June 9, 2012

Weekend edition: Little Bear fire sends smoke over Texas

The Little Bear Fire in NM (not the Whitewater-Baldy fire) is showing 32% containment but still is an impressive source of smoke. The GASP WEST image (left) shows that the smoke from the fire is sending a major AOD plume eastward. The Terra MODIS RGB image is striking today in linking the smoke plume over Texas with this New Mexico newsmaker.

UPDATE: 6/10/12 13:00 EDT

Ozone was high overnight in Michigan and Southern California. Code Orange readings were reported in Wisconsin at 2:00AM which is unusual. The Midatlantic Forecast by Bill Ryan at PSU for Sunday afternoon is predicted to be Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups because of the upwind ozone.

There is a disturbance in the force last night. There is a low pressure area over Montana and when you have high overnight O3, something is going on aloft. I pulled a Texas Wisconsin cross-section from our friends at College of DuPage and there is a low stratosphere over Wisconsin (down to 400mb) and there is a southerly jet beneath it. We'd have to run a potential vorticity cross-section to see if there may have been a tropospheric fold last night.

UPDATE #2: 6/10/12 19:00 EDT

The Little Bear fire continues to throw out smoke today (left, below) and the smoke is widespread across Oklahoma. In Colorado a rapidly growing wildfire in the High Park area west of Fort Collins is over 14,000 acres at this point and the winds continue to force the fire to grow. We'll have to watch this one over the next few days.

Posted by Ray Hoff at June 9, 2012 5:12 PM
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