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Thread: Still Smokey

  1. #21
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Still Smokey

    All sneezy and brown this morning, but now with bits of marine blue air sneaking in. Don't know what to expect. It seems like mixed smoke sources now, from both the Sierra and North Bay. Some iconic structures outside of Santa Rosa which they spent so much effort to save two years ago are now completely gone. I don't know what would have prevented it except preemptive control burns earlier in the season; but those are almost impossible to safely implement in what are now suburbanized rather than open areas. Control burns worked great around little country towns like the one I grew up near to. The whole town as well as the Forest Service would show up for an annual burn in June. Ironically, a number of the old historic structures uphill from there burnt down during mid-winter deep snows; somebody from the city would buy a quaint old place and not realize that burning pitchy pine wood in the fireplace leads to creosote build up, and results in a chimney fire. I probably can't even work in the darkroom today because I don't want to turn the air exchanger on.

  2. #22

    Re: Still Smokey

    A glimmer of hope buried in this mornings forecast:

    If you did happen to look at the satellite and see clear skies
    over the Bay Area did you notice the hurricane spinning SW of
    Baja? Hurricane Marie quickly intensified and was upgraded to a
    category 4 hurricane yesterday. Why is this important for our
    weather? Well, for several days now extended model guidance has
    tracked the hurricane northward through early next week. By the
    middle of next week the hurricane will have likely weakened but
    the moisture associated with it remains. Farther north in the
    Pacific a robust upper level trough begins to deepen and move
    toward the PacNW. The leftover tropical moisture has a good shot
    at getting pulled northward and absorbed into the trough. The
    latest 00Z models bring a frontal boundary through the region next
    Friday/Saturday (Oct 9/10). Ensemble guidance, which is a good
    metric to use that far out, is showing a 15-20% chance for
    measurable rain. Some of the operational runs are showing
    impressive rainfall amounts at 0.5-1". Obviously a forecast at
    over 180+ hours out will change a lot, but confidence is
    increasing for at least some wet weather late next week.

    So the next question becomes, what does the rain do to the ongoing
    fire situation? If it plays out that rain does occur it will
    definitely aid in the firefighting efforts, but will it totally
    end the fire season? Probably not. A proxy that is used to define
    a season ending event is 0.5-0.75" of rain in 5 day or less. Given
    the state of the fuels if it does rain it may be more of a season
    slowing event. It`s all speculation at this point, but wanted to
    mention it nonetheless.

  3. #23
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Dec 2011
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    Re: Still Smokey

    as i use black mode, all your posts are unreadable with blue text

    Quote Originally Posted by tgtaylor View Post
    A glimmer of hope buried in this mornings forecast:

    If you did happen to look at the satellite and see clear skies
    over the Bay Area did you notice the hurricane spinning SW of
    Baja? Hurricane Marie quickly intensified and was upgraded to a
    category 4 hurricane yesterday. Why is this important for our
    weather? Well, for several days now extended model guidance has
    tracked the hurricane northward through early next week. By the
    middle of next week the hurricane will have likely weakened but
    the moisture associated with it remains. Farther north in the
    Pacific a robust upper level trough begins to deepen and move
    toward the PacNW. The leftover tropical moisture has a good shot
    at getting pulled northward and absorbed into the trough. The
    latest 00Z models bring a frontal boundary through the region next
    Friday/Saturday (Oct 9/10). Ensemble guidance, which is a good
    metric to use that far out, is showing a 15-20% chance for
    measurable rain. Some of the operational runs are showing
    impressive rainfall amounts at 0.5-1". Obviously a forecast at
    over 180+ hours out will change a lot, but confidence is
    increasing for at least some wet weather late next week.

    So the next question becomes, what does the rain do to the ongoing
    fire situation? If it plays out that rain does occur it will
    definitely aid in the firefighting efforts, but will it totally
    end the fire season? Probably not. A proxy that is used to define
    a season ending event is 0.5-0.75" of rain in 5 day or less. Given
    the state of the fuels if it does rain it may be more of a season
    slowing event. It`s all speculation at this point, but wanted to
    mention it nonetheless.
    sin eater

  4. #24
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Still Smokey

    Don't expect serious rain anytime soon. October is usually an especially dry month, and especially fire prone. I'll be happy just to get a break in the smoke long enough for some exercise. It looks like just about everything brush-related that didn't burn in the wine country the last round is doing so this time. That fact should by itself provide something of a reprieve in that region at least for awhile until the brush builds up again, and everyone has forgotten its risk. Building codes will be revised demanding more fire-resistant construction. But the somewhat inland hot geography made all that chaparral and scrub pine especially vulnerable. The repeated heavy economic hits to the area are going to be hard to recover from, especially with respect to tourism.
    I'm guardedly more optimistic about what happened up in my old back yard of the San Joaquin canyons. If that Creek Fire was an utter monster down in the canyon and amidst all the beetle-killed forest of mid-elevation, it seems to have progressed more naturally above 7000 ft to the north, and might have simply cleared out a lot of deadfall tamarack and so forth, more like a typical lightning fire would have done. A lot of enclosed zone on the maps is actually quite cliffy, so wouldn't have been affected much; and of course, everything around timberline and above would be immune. But that's all quite a different scenario in what is largely either official or de facto wilderness, from the North Bay, where the tentacles of unwise development have spread far and wide.

  5. #25
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Re: Still Smokey

    That's some my hope in the Yolla Bollys -- isolated pockets, protected by recent fires and landforms...the whole wilderness is marked in red. My access points are also burnt, so we'll see if I ever do get back in there. August Complex is almost at one million acres at 51% contained. Firefighters yesterday working to save multiple homes were called off to help transport people out of the fire area who had ignored the evacuation orders. A cannabis crop and/or 'your rights' are not worth it.
    "Landscapes exist in the material world yet soar in the realms of the spirit..." Tsung Ping, 5th Century China

  6. #26
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Still Smokey

    Who needs cannabis when poison oak leaves can be smoked instead, which don't even need any herbicides or pirated water? In fact, it's one of the primary pioneering species after a burn. ... I briefly talked with a Shasta NF manager last month, who told me that most of that area's illegal pot is going to Wisconsin and Indiana.

  7. #27
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Re: Still Smokey

    In other news -- Yosemite will end the day-use reservation system put into place due to Covid19 on November 1, 2020.

    10-4-2020

    Another day of good air, but we have been 'promised' a shift in the wind and that will change tonight as smoke comes in from the east. I should have taken advantage of the break and got out more. However I am in the middle of cleaning up my dimroom spaces so that I can do some negative development and platinum printing. Between the smoke, ash and the summer-long construction just down wind from me -- and the lack of air filtration in my old place -- everything is a mess! My house backs up to an old railroad right-of-way that is being converted into a trail through town...pretty cool.

    Some rain in the forecast for the weekend...the last storm we were on the southern edge and got little, so hopefully we'll get a touch more this time.

    10-5-2020

    I hate being right -- smoke is back...climbed up to "Unhealthy", but my bathroom/dimroom is cleaned -- just got to put everything back in and together for tonight.
    Last edited by Vaughn; 5-Oct-2020 at 17:59.
    "Landscapes exist in the material world yet soar in the realms of the spirit..." Tsung Ping, 5th Century China

  8. #28
    おせわに なります! Andrew O'Neill's Avatar
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    Re: Still Smokey

    Smoke is still making its way up here... albeit thinner, today.

  9. #29
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Still Smokey

    Finally got blue sky, headed across the bridge toward the redwoods, and then snapped a fan belt just before Skywalker Ranch, where I pulled over onto trailhead parking waiting to get towed. At least it was a pretty spot. But there goes another one of our few clean air days. They say no actual rain will reach us this weekend; but at least the smoke getting pushed away for awhile is encouraging.

  10. #30
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Re: Still Smokey

    We might get a third of an inch - what we got from the last storm that went to the north of us. They were originally saying we might get an inch....but the amount predicted kept dropping thru the week. It will help our fire situation. The air has finally cleaned up a bit since this morning. Still unbreathable in places inland.
    "Landscapes exist in the material world yet soar in the realms of the spirit..." Tsung Ping, 5th Century China

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