for an update on the California Wildfires, including news on malware operatives exploiting the situation, CLICK HERE.
On Tuesday, the Station Fire in Southern California had charred some 122, 000 acres. By Wednesday, that number had increased to 140,000 acres. But, as I had mentioned the past few days, it appeared that humidity levels would be increasing and temperatures falling. To support this notion, the forecast called for patchy morning fog. Well, the humidity levels increased and firefighting efforts were aided to the point that fire officials say that the giant Station Fire is 22% contained. Keep in mind, that’s not 22% out, just contained. It’s progress.
Investigators have been able to get to the suspected area where the fire originated, near a Forest Ranger Station, and the preliminary conclusion is that the Station Fire was man made. The Station Fire as of Wednesday afternoon had burned 140,150 acres, destroyed 62 residences, 3 commercial properties, 27 other buildings, 10,000 residences threatened and as mentioned earlier, was 22% contained. The California Emergency Management Interactive Fire Map indicates that there are several fires around the state, including 3 others not far from the Los Angeles area. The Beaver Valley fire has backed off enough for residents to return. There are still many California Wildfire Incident Reports coming in from around the state. The story is one of international proportions.
The Ottawa Citizen has a rather elaborate photo gallery from their sources in the region. Wildfires are fairly common in the region as the average annual rainfall is rather low so it’s naturally dry and conditions that promote the spread of fire is not unusual. That is part of the reason why fighting wildfires is different in California than other parts of the country. Many states around the country are in a budget crunch, but it’s different in California in that regard as well. California is in a bankruptcy crisis and yesterday’s report that they were running through the firefighting budget just two months into the fiscal year has led to today’s announcement that they California may be running through their emergency reserve.
As stated on numerous previous posts, Hurricane Jimena is going to be no help. In fact, I’m pondering whether or not the track of the hurricane may actually worsen conditions. Previously, the storm was expected to northeast into New Mexico. Now, the official forecast track has the storm hooking a left and go due west to die in the colder Pacific waters. Now, as expected, the storm was falling apart when it approached southern Baja California as it began to encounter colder water from the California Stream. A northeasterly track would have had circulation such that perhaps they’d get a wind with a more northerly component. Now, with a track due west, I’m wondering if the broad scale circulation might be sufficient to turn the winds out of the east, which would bring the winds down from the mountains. Those winds would be drying and warming as they move down the slope. It’s possible that we may see a lowering of humidity and increase in tempertures…possibly even higher winds if the gradient is sufficient. It will be interesting to see how it works out but I bet that the circulation field is not large enough to affect Southern California too much.
HURRICANE JIMENA DISCUSSION NUMBER 21
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL EP132009
200 PM PDT WED SEP 02 2009
THE CENTER OF JIMENA HAS MADE LANDFALL ON THE WEST COAST OF THE BAJA
CALIFORNIA PENINSULA WITH AN ESTIMATED INTENSITY OF 75-80 KT. THE
FORECAST TRACK KEEPS THE CENTER INLAND FOR THE NEXT 24-30 HR BEFORE
EMERGING OVER THE PACIFIC WEST OF BAJA CALIFORNIA. THE PACIFIC
WATERS ALONG THE TRACK ARE COLD…AND THE FORECAST VERTICAL WIND
SHEAR INCREASES SIGNIFICANTLY AFTER 24 HR. THUS…THE CYCLONE
SHOULD CONTINUE TO WEAKEN…BECOMING A TROPICAL STORM LATER
TONIGHT…A TROPICAL DEPRESSION IN 36-48 HR…AND A REMNANT LOW BY
72 HR. THERE IS A CHANCE THE CENTER COULD BRIEFLY EMERGE OVER THE
GULF OF CALIFORNIA TONIGHT…BUT IF THIS HAPPENS IT WILL LIKELY NOT
STAY THERE LONG ENOUGH TO AFFECT THE INTENSITY OF JIMENA.
THE INITIAL MOTION IS 350/11. ALL GUIDANCE AGREES THAT JIMENA
SHOULD DECELERATE AND TURN NORTHWESTWARD DURING THE NEXT 24 HR OR
SO AS HIGH PRESSURE BUILDS TO THE NORTH OF THE CYCLONE. THE BULK
OF THE TRACK GUIDANCE SUBSEQUENTLY MOVES JIMENA SLOWLY WESTWARD
INTO THE PACIFIC…A MOTION THAT SHOULD CONTINUE UNTIL THE SYSTEM
DISSIPATES. THE NEW FORECAST TRACK IS AN UPDATE OF THE PREVIOUS
FORECAST…NUDGED A LITTLE NORTHWARD DUE TO THE INITIAL POSITION
INTERESTS IN THE HURRICANE WARNING AREA ARE ADVISED THAT STRONG
WINDS WILL PRECEDE THE ARRIVAL OF THE CENTER BY SEVERAL HOURS…SO
PREPARATIONS NEED TO BE COMPLETED VERY SOON. REMEMBER NOT TO FOCUS
ON THE EXACT FORECAST TRACK SINCE DANGEROUS IMPACTS EXTEND SOME
DISTANCE FROM THE CENTER.
FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS
INITIAL 02/2100Z 26.4N 112.3W 75 KT
12HR VT 03/0600Z 27.4N 112.7W 60 KT…INLAND
24HR VT 03/1800Z 28.1N 113.3W 45 KT…INLAND
36HR VT 04/0600Z 28.2N 114.2W 35 KT…OVER WATER
48HR VT 04/1800Z 28.1N 114.7W 30 KT
72HR VT 05/1800Z 28.0N 115.5W 25 KT…REMNANT LOW
96HR VT 06/1800Z 28.0N 116.5W 20 KT…REMNANT LOW
120HR VT 07/1800Z…DISSIPATED