California fires could reach record levels in 2008

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 9:42 PM GMT on June 25, 2008

Share this Blog
5
+

An unusually early and dangerous fire season has hit California, where at least 33 fires burning over a total of 190,000 acres are active, according to the Interagency Fire Center. The fires were sparked over the weekend when an unusually far southward-moving storm system brought numerous thunderstorms to central and northern California. Over 8,000 lightning strikes hit the region. Most of these strikes were not accompanied by rain, since a very dry atmosphere at low levels caused much of the thunderstorm rain to evaporate before reaching the surface. The lightning strikes ignited an unusual number of fires, due to exceptionally dry vegetation in California. This year, the state experienced its driest spring season (March-April-May) since record keeping began in 1895, and much of the state is in moderate to severe drought.


Figure 1. Visible satellite image from NASA's Aqua spacecraft on Monday, June 23, 2008, showing smoke from hundreds of wildfires sparked by lightning in California. The red regions show where the satellite's sensor detected fires burning. The smoke has created air pollution levels in excess of the federal standards for fine particulate matter (PM2.5) over much of California's Central Valley. Image credit: NASA.

The forecast
With the dry season only beginning, it could be a record fire year in California. Even before last weekend's lightning storms, California had already seen an unusually large number of destructive wildfires, according to CalFire--90,000 acres had burned, compared to 42,000 acres during the same period last year. It is not unusual for large portions of the state to receive no rain at all in July and August, such as occurred last year (Figure 2). The jet stream typically moves far enough north in summer that the migrating low pressure systems that bring California most of its rain only hit the northernmost portions of the state. With high fuel levels due to a century of misguided fire suppression efforts, moderate to severe drought gripping the state, no rain in sight for months to come, and an above-normal chance of warmer than average temperatures forecast this summer for the state by NOAA's Climate Prediction Center, expect a record fire season in California.


Figure 2. Observed precipitation over California during 2007. Much of the state received no rain at all during July and August, which is a common occurrence. A little bit of thunderstorm activity did make it into the easternmost portion of the state, thanks to moisture flowing north-westward from the Arizona Monsoon. However, the Sierra Mountains block this moisture from reaching the central and western portions of the state. Image credit: NOAA.

Tropics
It's quiet in the tropical Atlantic. There are no threat areas to discuss, and none of the models are forecasting tropical storm formation in the next seven days. Beyond a week from now, the GFS is hinting that the region off the coast of Africa could see some development, but it is still probably too early for this too occur, despite warmer than average sea surface temperatures in the region.

Jeff Masters

San Bruno Mountain Fire - Cresting the Ridge (ajkimoto)
Photo taken as the fire crested the ridge of San Bruno Mountain
San Bruno Mountain Fire - Cresting the Ridge
()

Reader Comments

Comments will take a few seconds to appear.

Post Your Comments

Please sign in to post comments.

or Join

Not only will you be able to leave comments on this blog, but you'll also have the ability to upload and share your photos in our Wunder Photos section.

Display: 0, 50, 100, 200 Sort: Newest First - Order Posted

Viewing: 764 - 714

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25Blog Index

764. thelmores
12:25 AM GMT on June 27, 2008
the next post besides weather, I am leaving..... now there is a real threat! LOL






Looks like the CMC and GFS are in good agreement... and as Drak pointed out, the GFS is convinced!


There I did my part!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
763. pearlandaggie
12:24 AM GMT on June 27, 2008
thanks, pat. that did it!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
762. TampaSpin
8:22 PM EDT on June 26, 2008
Great pic you can see the low just to the NW of Tampa....
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 178 Comments: 20439
761. Patrap
7:23 PM CDT on June 26, 2008
Try this one..and ignore the Prompt if it occurs.Link
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
760. Patrap
7:22 PM CDT on June 26, 2008
Its a NAVY certificate site,..some Browsers may not allow it.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
759. TheWeatherMan504
12:05 AM GMT on June 27, 2008

714. Tazmanian 12:02 AM GMT on June 27, 2008
that fool Tropicaldiscussion ban me from his blog


he is now baning evere one ohs post there


indeed

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
758. pearlandaggie
12:20 AM GMT on June 27, 2008
pat, i tried your link but it gave me an error. any ideas?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
757. DDR
12:16 AM GMT on June 27, 2008
Any caribbean folks on the blog tonight?
The itzc has settled over my island
(Trinidad)@10N 61W.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
756. Patrap
7:19 PM CDT on June 26, 2008
Once again.
DO not repost the offending stuff.
You will be Banned along with them'

As any reposting of Vulgarity will be Flagged.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
755. OUSHAWN
12:17 AM GMT on June 27, 2008
Thanks, beell.
Member Since: September 20, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 44
753. Levi32
12:17 AM GMT on June 27, 2008
744. Patrap 12:15 AM GMT on June 27, 2008

Exactly, guys seriously just click ignore and if we ALL do that then his posts will never show up to anybody and we won't have to talk about him.....just quit commenting about it and reposting his posts.....click ignore and move on. I have....and this is my last post about it. Lets get back to the weather.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
752. Patrap
7:17 PM CDT on June 26, 2008
Global SST's Link
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
750. OUSHAWN
12:15 AM GMT on June 27, 2008
I guess it's difficult to get an answer on here with all the drama and crap going on. Isn't this a weather blog? Geez people, ignore the trolls and continue to talk weather...is it really that hard to do?
Member Since: September 20, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 44
749. beell
12:12 AM GMT on June 27, 2008
Does anyone know when the ULL in the western gulf is suppose to move out? It's just sitting there and has been for days and as long as it does there will be no development in the GOM. I haven't really heard yet.

733.
OUSHAWN,

GFS shows a weakening ULL at 250mb through 12Z tomorrow in the W GOM. Gets pretty indistinct after that.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
747. thelmores
12:14 AM GMT on June 27, 2008
740....

"several hours"....

How many dog years is that? LOL

You really think there is any potential?? I just don't see it..... Genesis just takes longer than this little spinning top has.....
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
746. JLPR
12:15 AM GMT on Junio 27, 2008
730. pearlandaggie 12:10 AM GMT on Junio 27, 2008
lol very funny =P
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
745. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
12:11 AM GMT on June 27, 2008
hes banned you stormchaser from his blog he has also banned me thats ok cause we are working on the isp # and tropical will soon be no more
by the way tropical thanks for banning me from your blog
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
744. Patrap
7:15 PM CDT on June 26, 2008
Since I cant see the Blogger,please dont repost the offending Posts.

That is why we use the ignore. feature.

So italicizing and re-posting allows the Behaviour to continue.

WunderBlogs - Dr. Masters' Blog Content Rules


Due to the high amount of traffic that Dr. Masters' blog receives, a special community standard has been established for the blog. The following list comprises the "Rules of the Road" for Dr. Masters' blog.

1. Keep it civil. Personal attacks, bickering, flaming, and general trollish behavior will not be tolerated. Disagreements are fine, but keep them civil and short.
2. Stay on topic.
3. No monomania.
4. No hot linking external or copyright images without the image owner's permission.
5. Do not circumvent a ban. Most bans last 24 hours or less, please accept the ban. If you create a new username to circumvent a ban, you will be blocked from the site completely.
6. No comments that contain only personal notes such as, "Good Morning!", or "You've got mail, X".
7. Do not "1st!", "1st post!", or any of the numerical/linguistic derivatives. This is a worthless use of blog space.
8. No spamming.
9. No spamming.
10. Seriously, no spamming. Spamming includes but is not limited to, trying to sell products, trying to solicit traffic for your own blog, trying to solicit traffic for other commercial entities, etc. Do not post links to your own site unless they are directly relevant and even then, use sparingly.

Tips

Do not enter games of oneupmanship with trolls or bloggers you find to be annoying. You will be banned along side them, as your verbal jousts consume the space and time everyone else is sharing. If you come across a troll or another blogger whom you find to be irritating, please use the site reporting tools and your ignore list.


Member Since: Posts: Comments:
743. pearlandaggie
12:14 AM GMT on June 27, 2008
uh oh...some posts are being deleted.....
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
741. thelmores
12:13 AM GMT on June 27, 2008
Tropical.... congrats.... you are the first person I have "ignored" in my 3 years on this blog! Great job! :)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
740. TampaSpin
8:12 PM EDT on June 26, 2008
735. thelmores 8:12 PM EDT on June 26, 2008
all the NE flow makes it extremely difficult to see what is going on at the surface...

How much time till landfall do you estimate Tampa??


I think North Florida panhandle area...several hours....off shore the further north it goes the less shear there is also
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 178 Comments: 20439
739. Levi32
12:11 AM GMT on June 27, 2008
Rule number 1 about trolls:

IGNORE THEM!!!


Rule number 2 about trolls:

Report them!



All he wants is us to do is post funny stuff and respond to his antics. The admins will take care of him soon enough. If he posts something......just move along with our discussion as if he wasn't here. That's the best way to deal with it. Don't even talk about him anymore. Not even indirectly....act like he's not here.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
738. Tazmanian
5:12 PM PDT on June 26, 2008
IKE yup i do that
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
737. TampaSpin
8:11 PM EDT on June 26, 2008
I love how he post things then edits real quick. What a creap.
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 178 Comments: 20439
736. Stormchaser2007
12:08 AM GMT on June 27, 2008
724. Thats all i can handle!!!!!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
735. thelmores
12:10 AM GMT on June 27, 2008
all the NE flow makes it extremely difficult to see what is going on at the surface...

How much time till landfall do you estimate Tampa??
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
734. IKE
7:11 PM CDT on June 26, 2008
He'll be banned soon enough TAZ...ignore him.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
733. OUSHAWN
12:09 AM GMT on June 27, 2008
Does anyone know when the ULL in the western gulf is suppose to move out? It's just sitting there and has been for days and as long as it does there will be no development in the GOM. I haven't really heard yet.
Member Since: September 20, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 44
732. Tazmanian
5:10 PM PDT on June 26, 2008
where is the Admin when you need one
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
730. pearlandaggie
12:09 AM GMT on June 27, 2008
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
729. Tazmanian
5:09 PM PDT on June 26, 2008
oh god


oh is going to help us now
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
728. thelmores
12:09 AM GMT on June 27, 2008
720...

Hmmmm....

Let me put my beer googles on and take another look! LOL

We will be losing visible very soon though! :(
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
726. melwerle
12:08 AM GMT on June 27, 2008
tropical depression has a screw loose...tell him to go make me a sandwich...lol
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
725. Stormchaser2007
12:07 AM GMT on June 27, 2008
Finally Tropical Weather Dicussion was banned....

Banned
This blog's author or an administrator has banned you from this Wunder Blog. The ban is in effect for an indefinite period of time.

All blog content is judged according to the Community Standards. Please make sure that you have read and understood them.

If you believe this is an error, please contact the Administrator.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
723. Tazmanian
5:06 PM PDT on June 26, 2008
some in needs to be done about tropicaldepressions blog and fast
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
722. pearlandaggie
12:06 AM GMT on June 27, 2008
well, i guess the latest data doesn't necessarily support my observational theory! doh!

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
721. melwerle
12:03 AM GMT on June 27, 2008
let's put him on press' boat as the bilge cleaner...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
720. TampaSpin
8:04 PM EDT on June 26, 2008
Thelmores it is actually moving NNW
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 178 Comments: 20439
719. JLPR
12:03 AM GMT on Junio 27, 2008
ha lol I posted there It was just so funny lol =P
so I guess he banned me too but he is on my ignore list so I cant even see his blog ha! =D
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
718. thelmores
11:55 PM GMT on June 26, 2008
Looks to me the low we have been observing should be onshore within the next hour or so......

add all pressures I have seen are well above 3o inches.....
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
716. TampaSpin
8:02 PM EDT on June 26, 2008
The surface low NW of Tampa is a true spinner...but it just can't build for the shear.
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 178 Comments: 20439
715. melwerle
12:01 AM GMT on June 27, 2008
What a crack up! I got banned from tropicaldepressions blog too for posting what admin said on his blog earlier about not taking matters into you own hands...and he comes back for more. Don't feed the trolls...hit ignore and move on...what a knucklehead.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
714. Tazmanian
5:01 PM PDT on June 26, 2008
that fool Tropicaldiscussion ban me from his blog


he is now baning evere one ohs post there
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

Viewing: 764 - 714

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25Blog Index

Top of Page

About

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.