Category Archives: drought

Extended period of little or no precipitation

Drought and fires – California to Washington states USA August 2015

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USAFires1

USAFires2

USAFires3

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Worldviewfires

Firefighters are battling a significant number of fires from brush fires to forest fires from southern California all the way to Washington State. The blazes have been burning for some time although new blazes have flared since August 1.

It appears many blazes were started by dry thunderstorms as many blazes are burning within the Cascade ranges where thunderstorms have been occurring. A review of the NOAA weather forecasts for the area has identified that storm activity has been a feature and warnings have been issued over recent days for storms producing low rainfall.

As at 1 August in northern California (north of San Francisco) up to 40 new blazes broke out including 3 large incidents and 11 uncontrolled fires. Fires have impacted the Shasta, Trinity and Madoc State Forests. There are also blazes across the Sonoma, Lake Napa, Humboldt, Del Norte areas and a complex of fires within the Mad River area and Six Rivers State Forests.

There is also a fire near the famous Yosemite National Park.

In Southern California, up to 34 fires were being addressed at the same time.

In Washington State, a significant fire has broken out in the Cascade Ranges north east of Seattle called the Wolverine fire which when viewed from MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer), the plume stretched for hundreds of kilometres to the east. This fire on August 1 and 2 was intense.

Throughout the north west (Oregon and Washington States) there were 44 new fires including 2 major incidents as at 1 and 2 August including Okanggan, Wenatchee, Stouts Creek, North Boulder and Long Lake.

The MODIS satellite has facilities to overlay the fires onto satellite cloud images which are attached with the fires being highlighted in red. In particular, one image shows 9 fires burning close to one another. The Worldview Image (MODIS) attached shows the smoke plume produced by the Wolverine fire complex in Washington State with the plume stretching into Montana and even into southern Canada. All images are acquired from NASA 1 and 2 August 2015.

Drought in California is not helping the situation which most of the state in Exceptional Drought. Indeed, most of the west coast of the United States is afflicted by drought conditions although California is by far the worst affected. Cities such as Los Angeles, San Diego and Sacramento and the Central Valley and Sierra Nevada ranges are in very serious drought lasting 4 years or longer. Extreme Drought exists for south east Oregon, parts of Washington State including much of the Cascade ranges.

According to NOAA, it is estimated that 58,736,446 residents are impacted by the drought and current weather conditions with drought expected to persist during the August to October period. There is hope that El Nino will bring relief and rainfall as autumn arrives but with rainfall deficits so high, it is not clear what impact El Nino will have across the region.

Storms and Rain Queensland and NSW 16 to 17 June 2015

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Heavy Rain and Storms NSW Qld June 17 2015

Rain NSW Qld June 16 2015

Rain NSW Qld June 16 2015

Storms with widespread rain are developing in NSW as an upper trough with surface developing low approaches eastern Australia. Rainfall totals according to the models may be as high as 80mm of rain on Wednesday. The rain should then clear off the coast but cold air from South Australia should move through with more cold weather, showers and possible storms.

rain-nsw-qld-june-17-2015

Storm Chasing, Storm Stories & Storm Chasers

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Incredible staccato lightning
Tree-hit-by-lightning-200-metres-away-2nd-january-2015

Tree gets hit by lightning 2nd January 2015 with instant cannon lightning disturbing the usually rural region.

Extreme Storms - Storm and Storm Chasing

Storm Chasing, Tropical Cyclones and Tornadoes covers storm chasing, tropical cyclones, hurricanes and typhoons, and extreme storm events from around the globe! Included are local chases and those from Tornado Alley, extreme storm events including tropical cyclones such as Tropical Cyclone Ita and Larry, violent tornadoes, devastating hailstorms, flash flood events and other discussion occurs here.

Tropical Cyclone Ita 11th April 2014

Tropical Cyclone Ita 11th April 2014

This website has been tailored to integrate with Facebook, Twitter and other social media which means you should be able to log in with Facebook on here. Storm chasing has been around since the 1970's and expanded rapidly with the introduction and success of the internet, the movie Twister in 1996 as well as several documentaries.

appin_lightning_crop |storm chasing

Lightning Bolt hits close by!! | storm chasing

Now there are literally thousands of storm chasers in the United States as well as other countries around the world including Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Great Britain several countries in Europe and South Africa. Unfortunately, the deaths of Storm Chasers Tim Samaras, Paul Samaras and Karl Young during the El Reno tornado May 31st 2013 has changed the face of storm chasing and the way storm chasing should be approached.

Huge 10cm hailstone 10th December 2014

Huge 10cm hailstone spawned by a powerful supercell on the Putty Road north of Sydney 10th December 2014

Extreme chaser more often than most people encounter some seriously violent weather - this 10cm giant hailstone is one example of such extremes spawned by a powerful supercell 10th December 2014.

Rain Event Northern NSW 1st March 2014 | storm chasing

Rain Event Northern NSW 1st March 2014 | storm chasing

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