Thursday, June 28, 2012

Wyoming, Utah Do Not Escape Wildfires

Wyoming and Utah are not escaping the wildfire dangers on this day, as the Fontenelle fire rages in Wyoming, and the Church Camp and Wood Hollow wildfires on the prowl in Utah.

This is part of continuing coverage of the devastating 2012 wildfires in the West.


Waldo Canyon Fire Smoke Visible on Satellite

The Waldo Canyon wildfire is quite visible on satellite imagery as at least half a dozen wildfires burn throughout Colorado.
The firefighters are getting a break today, as winds are shifting, chances for rain are coming, and humidities are rising. Wind changes can actually go either way, but let's keep optimistic here.
This is a part of continuous coverage on the Colorado wildfires.


Colorado Wildfire Forecasts: June 28, 2012

Boulder, CO (Flagstaff Wildfire)

High: 97 (F)
Chance of Precipitation: 20% (after noon)
Dew Point: 43 (F)
Winds: West winds 6-12 MPH with gusts as high as 18 MPH.

Fort Collins, CO (High Park Wildfire)

High: 98 (F)
Chance of Precipitation: 20% (after 2 PM)
Dew Point: 43 (F)
Winds: West winds 6-10 MPH becoming south.


Thunderstorm Potential a Toss-Up in Midst of Heat

(This post focuses on northern IL and eastern IA after my concerns of the SPC downgrading the severe weather threat for those areas today.)

The models continue to indicate vast amounts of instability in the regions mentioned above, but coverage of any storms that manage to form looks isolated. Here is the forecast from the 2 km run of the WRF from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. This is valid at 2:00 PM CDT today.

The model shows small pop-up showers and storms striking northern Illinois, with the 20 hour forecast (1 hour later) showing a blossoming storm cell in northeast Illinois.
There will likely be some trouble with convection, as models are showing cloud bases in the 1000-2000 meter range. Considering the cold front coming through will be weak, this could very well be an issue that will stop growth of thunderstorms.

After reviewing the fact that there will be a lot of instability at hand but not a lot of forcing, I think that there is indeed a chance of thunderstorms in north Illinois and southern Wisconsin into east Iowa. However, these storms will become severe should they form. I will have more updates on the Facebook page.