Monday, September 7, 2020

Multiple Fires Ignited, Major Dust Storm Develops, Tens of Thousands Out of Power, and I-90/US 2 Closed By Winds in Eastern Washington

This is rapidly becoming a major event.   Strong winds, gusting to 50-70 mph, has caused a dust storm that has closed major roads in eastern Washington (e.g., I-90 and US-2).   Here is a recent satellite image, with the oval centered on the dust storm area (dust is apparent by the brown colors).  The winds have initiated several fires--I put orange arrows to indicate a few.


Visibility has dropped to under 50 feet in some locations due to the blowing dust (see image).  You can see why the State Patrol has closed down several roads.


We can view the multiple fires on the latest short-wave infrared imagery--with fires indicated by black (warm) dots (below). Wow.... I count 5-10 new fires compared to this morning (the big area in the northwest section started overnight and was talked about in an earlier blog).


Tens of thousands are without power in eastern Washington, with trees falling on power lines.  Falling powerlines probably started some of the fires (Spokane outages shown below).


This is all the "warm up" to be big event tonight.....over NW Oregon.
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21 comments:

  1. I wonder why the utilities did not shut down the power ahead of time? PGE has plans in place to shut down the power around Mt. Hood today.

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  2. Cliff: Please tell us that global heating doesn't have anything to do with these fires. California neither!

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    Replies
    1. Awww..hug a tree stop a fire...geez..sh!t happens...mother nature rules..

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    2. Shhhhhhhh! Climate Change is a hoax! (Says Robert Felix) meanwhile as record high temps in many methods and locations get smashed year after year. The last 5 years are the warmest on record mostly because of a few INSANE INSANE warm waves!

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    3. Why are we stuck with both sides yelling and screaming about global warming or ice age?

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    4. Um, Seattle snowflake, these things happen. It's not all about you and your doom and gloom fantasies.

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  3. The winds here in Aumsville are getting gusty about 25 to 30 making creaking noises. I wonder if this is retribution for the firing of cliff mass.

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  4. On the ground reports of three fires in South Ferry County that are not yet shown on the NWCC fire maps.

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  5. Hearing on the ground reports of three fires in South Ferry County on the Colville Reservation. At Kewa, Meteor and Hall Creek with the little town of Inchelium in between. Looks like Cliff got the picture of the hot spots before they were reported on NWCC fire map.

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  6. Yet people keep hoping for high pressure - sun! clear skies! - and complain if there's a westerly flow of air and seasonal temperatures. This blog included.
    Drove back from Idaho this morning. Amazingly poor visibilty. Still, folks were driving without lights and too fast.

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  7. Hi Cliff, I know the winds are the main story here but I found no mention of the rapidly deteriorating air quality that occurred along the I90 corridor beginning at 5pm in any of the weather reports and the latest forecast NOAA discussion. The wind gusts appear to have mixed the smoke from higher altitudes to ground level in the north bend area. What happened and will this air quality linger all week?

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  8. National wind map: http://hint.fm/wind/

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  9. 153 AQI right now in the Redmond area.

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  10. Isn't it about time we started undergrounding electricity supply lines to avoid some of these problems as they do in most of the advanced countries in the world.

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    1. The problem is the cost. It is a lot cheaper to string lines on poles that to tunnel everything. Especially for high voltage lines.

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    2. My appreciation to all our tax supported public servants, including Cliff, who keep providing us with essential information. Re underground lines - Yup. Gotta keep profits up for stockholders, bankers, highly rewarded top management but never enough $ for infrastructure improvements that improve service and reduce chances of Little Things like wildfires that cost everyone so dearly.

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    3. Underground isn’t just more expensive to install, it’s harder to do repairs on than overhead. I guess if you can convince enough people to be willing to be without electricity for longer repair periods and if people are also willing to pay tremendously higher electricity costs than, yeah underground is the way to go. Still have to figure out the transmission lines though.

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    4. Definitely an expensive endeavour but we do spend money when its in our national interest and other countries seem to manage it, most of them are poorer than the US. At the moment we've got I think 12 aircraft carrier battle groups patrolling the world, each with its attendent flotilla of cruisers, destroyers, frigates, submarines. Not sure any other country has more than 1 and even them no where near the power. Reduce those to say 8 and there might be a whole lot of money to invest in these types of things. Big money up front but in the future reduced maintenance costs, less fires, less outages. Not going to happen but you have to think what the nations priorities are

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    5. More short term profit in weapons of mass destruction (all forms) than fixing essential infrastructure from power grids and roads, education and health care. And the fact that too many people prefer & support blowing things up (from fireworks to bombs) because it's 'exciting'

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