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MOUNTAIN SAFETY in a CRASHING CLIMATE; Smoke and Fire of 2018: Two Reports UPDATED | High Sierra Backpacker

MOUNTAIN SAFETY in a CRASHING CLIMATE; Smoke and Fire of 2018: Two Reports UPDATED

Alex Wierbinski's picture

By Alex Wierbinski - Posted on 17 September 2018




A Video
A Season of Smoke,
NASA Earth Observatory, September 11, 2018.



Smoke and Fire: Two Reports
Mid-to-Late August

1> 1.9 million acres burned or burning, Smoke Covers Western US

2> HOT, HOT, HOT: Fire Season Just Beginning in California




Near Two Million Acres On Fire in the United States,
NASA, August 20, 2018.

Western US Covered with Smoke
NOAA HRRR Smoke ForecastImage of the distribution of smoke across the U.S. on August 20, 2018.

Western US on Fire: Another Smoke Tracking Tool, NOAA HRRR-Smoke, click image above.


Serious Hazard Conditions


“The West Coast of the United States is shrouded in smoke from...110 large fires...”

NASA EOSDIS Satellite reveals Smoke over USA on August 19, 2018.NASA EOSDIS Satellite reveals Smoke over USA on August 19, 2018.

“Over 1.9 million acres are or have been ablaze. Six new large fires were reported in Idaho, Nevada and Oregon over the weekend and eight large fires have been contained including the Ferguson Fire near Yosemite National Park in California.”

“National Preparedness Level is at the highest level of 5. This level includes national mobilization heavily committed to fighting active fires and taking measure to support these geographic areas that are on fire...”

“Smoke from these fires has traveled along the west to east jet stream and that stream is bringing the smoke across the country as far as the East Coast.”

NOAA’s High-Resolution Rapid Refresh-Smoke (HRRR-Smoke) air quality modeling system is a web-based system that runs in real time and also is predictive of where the smoke may travel taking into account the movements the atmosphere normally takes following the laws of science. Those movements can be calculated mathematically which produces a forecast.
The HRRR-Smoke processes data from numerous sources, such as weather balloons, surface observations, aircraft, satellites and other atmospheric monitoring resources to approximate the physics, chemistry and dynamics of the atmosphere but at high resolutions on some of the most powerful computers in existence”


This image shows the August 20 distribution of smoke across the U.S.




Serious Hazard Conditions


For the High Sierra Backpacker







The Traditional Fire Season is Just Beginning

Scientists have a forecast for the rest of California’s fire season. It isn’t pretty.
McClatchy, August 16, 2018.



This story is based on the US Seasonal Drought Outlook published on August 16. All Outdoorsmen should be monitoring the Climate Prediction Center:
2018 Seasonal Drought Outlook August through November

Seasonal Drought Outlook Above:
August 16 Analysis


Climate Prediction Center's Data Tools



Climate Prediction
“...the remainder of wildfire season is expected to be hotter and drier than normal, virtually assuring there will be more destruction ahead, scientists for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Thursday.”

“...monitoring stations in Northern California show that grasses, brush and other fire “fuels” are reaching record-dry levels, following a July that was the state’s hottest month on record.”

Fall Winds
“...a chance that strong “Diablo winds” — like those that fanned the deadly fires last fall in Sonoma and other counties — could return in coming months.”

Lots of Fire
“...80 others were burning nationwide, including 17 in Alaska, 15 in Montana, 13 in Arizona, 11 in Idaho and 9 in Washington state.”

Threat Multiplier
“Daniel Swain, Crystal Kolden and John Abatzoglou — called climate change a “threat multiplier” that has lengthened the fire season and contributed to more-explosive blazes.”

Corporate Tool of Deception
“The interior secretary rejected the climate change link...This has to do with active forest management.”

(fires burned in non-managed areas…)

Nightime Temp Rise
“A chart they shared showed how overnight low temperatures in California during July have markedly risen since the year 2000.”

“But if nighttime stays warm and humidity stays low, then fire behavior can continue at pretty high levels,” Brown said. “This can lead to longer fires and more smoke production.”

“During the last couple of decades, this trend has really taken off.”

Hottest Month Ever
According to NOAA, California recorded its warmest month on record in July, based on 124 years of data. The state recorded an average temperature of 79.7 degrees, surpassing the previous record of 79.5 degrees in July 1931. In downtown Sacramento, temperatures hit at least 90 degrees every single day, a record month, according to the National Weather Service. “

“Using NOAA data, the National Weather Service in Los Angeles reported this week that, for the entire United States, May through July was the hottest three-month period of its kind in recorded history. “


July 2018 warmest month in California history


Bottom Line

We’ve changed the planet’s weather, and very specifically changed the weather over the High Sierra. All the seasons have changed. This is, and will continue to have profound effects on all Californians.

These fires and all this smoke are the most obvious consequences, but they are only one manifestation of a year-round problem centered on the changing nature of the seasons.

On the front-end of Winter, we’ve got longer, hotter, drier Summers pushing the heat of Fall to the very doorstep of Winter.

Winters have gotten shorter, warmer, and wetter with a steadily declining average snowpack, and steadily increasing Winter temps. The incidence of Winters coming out of the Southwest rather than the Northwest has dramatically increased, and this warmer, wetter pattern out of the Southwest looks to be establishing itself as the dominant mechanism delivering Winter precip to the Sierra in our, “new Normal,’ climate-weather reality we are watching emerge.

On the back-end of Winter the change in storm sources to the Southwest dramatically increases the chances of powerful, warm, torrential downpours triggering destructive Spring Thawing large enough to escape capture for human use.
The increased average temps of Spring combined with the increased incidence of warm tropical storms out of the Southwest now presents us with the threat of broken dams, if we do attempt to capture it, or, if we can’ t get enough water out from behind the dams before the melt water comes surging down..

Springtime is starting earlier and earlier, bringing us warmth much earlier almost every year, and working to extend the length of the heat of Summer into early Spring, effectively lengthening Summer.

These are the factors that dried out our forests in the High Sierra, the conditions that permitted the spread and effectiveness of bark beetles to explode, and these are the changing climate conditions that triggered the High Sierra tree mortality we are witnessing in the High Sierra, as well as across the whole West and Southwest.

TREE & CLIMATE NEWS: High Sierra Forest Succession Disaster Looms

These are the reasons the forests are burning and smoke is speading across the whole West of the US.



Expect Weather Extremes

The Bottom Line, April 22 Research
Cal to Ride the Tiger: Climate Change Weather Extremes to Lash California


The BEE, Sept, 2017
Extreme Weather Increasing


Want to Fight Climate Change?

Then you’ve got to change the way you think about the relationship between the behavior of your country and the destruction our ancient climate.



Related Topics

Tree Mortality



Tree News, Dire Warning for California Plants: Half of You are Dead by 2100



Night Time Temps Rising Quickest of All

July 2018: Warmest Nights Ever in California

June 2018 Crop Problems

Rising Quicker than Daytime Temps

Warm Nights Speeding Beetle’s Rush North



Hottest Month in History

2018: The New Normal Emerges in California, July Hottest Month EVER



Rise of The New Normal

CEPA Report Shows How Ancient California Ecosystems Destroyed in a Century

Record 2018 Death Valley & Northern Hemispheric Heat

Scripps Pier Records Highest Ocean Temperature in its 102-year History

2018, Hot Times in SoCal: Record Warm Waters off Southern California



For the High Sierra Backpacker








The Great Northern Hemisphere Heatwave of 2018

August 2
Record 2018 Death Valley & The Northern Hemispheric Heat Wave of 2018


July 30
The Hottest Summer of 2018: Killing Ourselves and Everything Else


July 28
NORTH HEMISPHERE HEATWAVE, Everything Frying: Three Articles, UPDATED


July 6
The N Hemisphere is on Fire



Heatwave Research

Heat Wave-a-topia, More Heat Waves Coming

Heatwave deaths will rise steadily by 2080 as globe warms up



The Fate of the Sierra & the Southwest

Climate Change News: Whole Southwest of US Undergoing Aridification


The Climate Models

Climate Models Underestimating Scale of Change: Twice What Climate Models Predict?

Four Degrees by 2084


We're in deep trouble.











August 2018 News of Man & Nature





News from Nature


Climate Destruction News



Bee News

Bear News

Spider Forum

Bird News

Small Mammals

Frogs and Reptiles

Butterfly News


Health and Fitness

Mountain Safety

Mosquito News

Female Trail

High Sierra History


Astro-Phys, Space, & Science News

High Sierra Geology News

Fish, Oceans, & Water News



All High Sierra News





2018 fire smoke news information forecasts


Originally Published
2018-08-21 12:16:24

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