Friday, September 11, 2020

New Podcast: Smoke and Fire, Plus the Weekend Forecast

My podcast this week starts with the forecast, with particular attention to the area of dense smoke that will move in on Friday.  I will give the weekend forecast and tell you about a major weather change next week.

In my extra-topic segment I will talk about whether global warming had an impact in causing the fires on the western slopes of the Oregon Cascades.



You can listen to my podcast here:


Or you can stream it from these sites:

If you would like to support the creation of this podcast, please visit my Patreon site. Later on, I plan special online events for supporters.




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My blog on the KNKX firing and cancel culture is found here.


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26 comments:

  1. Thanks Cliff. I appreciate your work.

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  2. Two of the major fires just south of here have now merged, towns less than a half hour away are under a Level 2 evacuation, which means they have to be ready to go on a moment's notice. Not good. I live on the southern border of the city of Portland, and the smoke is so thick that it's permeated my completely closed - up townhome. Why the local authorities here waited so long to request Federal help at this late juncture is unfathomable to me.

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  3. Question: A vast majority of these fires were started by lightning storms. Is there a correlation with increased atmospheric temperatures and lightning storm events?

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  4. Thanks, Cliff. The lore of the big burns west of the Cascades has always been part of the culture around my here. Hope to hear more about your research.

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  5. So Governor Inslee is not only wrong, what he says is the exact OPPOSITE of what scientific research tells us. You can't get any more wrong than that. It's blatant foolishness, and you have to wonder what motivates him to operate that way.

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  6. Cliff,
    I really appreciate that you toned down the background music and felt your audio levels were really good this week. I was able to hear and follow the discussion with ease. I really do appreciate the change.

    The Global Warming discussion was really interesting and so important. While I'm really concerned about the future, determining what is and what isn't an impact is still important. Just throwing every weather event into the "Global Warming" bucket makes no sense and doesn't help us understand what the actual impacts we are seeing today and what to expect over the next 50 years. I think your rational discussion helps a ton.

    Now, would you please hit the On Shore Flow switch and get this smoke moving out?

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  7. More proof of suspected arson:

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-wildfires-investigation-idCAKBN2613LG?taid=5f5af2c19ce301000129b74a&utm_campaign=trueAnthem:+Trending+Content&utm_medium=trueAnthem&utm_source=twitter

    But don't worry, trust the authorities that only yesterday were telling you that this was just scaremongering. What.A.Joke.

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    1. Sloppy reporting. “ Some 500,000 Oregon residents - about a quarter of the state’s population - were under evacuation orders on Thursday, officials said.”

      500,000 residents make up less than12% of Oregon’s population.

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  8. I wonder if this smoke apocalypse is the new normal. Also there are serious rumors that antifa set a lot of these fires.

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    1. https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/factcheck/2020/09/11/fact-check-oregon-fires-were-not-set-antifa-any-other-activists/3460386001/

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    2. Hi Kevin - I noted in an earlier post that there has been one arrest already with an Antifa arsonist - please keep up.

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    3. Those rumors would be false. From the FBI:

      “Conspiracy theories and misinformation take valuable resources away local fire and police agencies working around the clock to bring these fires under control. Please help our entire community by only sharing validated information from official sources."

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    4. Eric - the FBI has refuted the rumors that the arsonist was connected with Antifa.

      “FBI Portland and local law enforcement agencies have been receiving reports that extremists are responsible for setting wildfires in Oregon. With our state and local partners, the FBI has investigated several such reports and found them to be untrue," the agency said in a statement. "Conspiracy theories and misinformation take valuable resources away local fire and police agencies working around the clock to bring these fires under control. Please help our entire community by only sharing validated information from official sources."

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    5. P"in Medford as well as in Douglas County to the north cautioned against rumors that left-wing anti-fascists and right-wing Proud Boy extremists were starting the fires.

      Rich Tyler, a spokesman for the state fire marshal’s office, said separately that it was not immediately clear whether any of the fires raging across Oregon this week were deliberately set."

      This is the quote from the article you posted. Did you read the article?

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    6. “Every fire is investigated for the possibility of arson so that we can either determine it is or rule it out,” he said.

      O’Meara said investigators of the Almeda fire, led by detectives from his department, were treating the blaze as suspicious, but declined to give further details.

      “We have good reason to believe that there was a human element to it,” he said. “We’re going to pursue it as a criminal investigation until we have reason to believe that it was otherwise.”

      Also from the same article. Where is the mention of antifa in particular, or any other group for that matter, being responsible for the fires?

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    7. Yeah, the antifa rumors are FALSE. Follow trusted sources (like law enforcement agencies) only for your information:
      https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/antifa-starting-fires-oregon/

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  9. Regarding your extra topic segment and the effect of warming on fire severity. Your argument about warmer air over the inland deserts make sense but excess CO2 may impact the fuel loads. It's fairly well know that CO2 leads to faster growing, particularly in dry environments. If that's the case, could the main effect of CO2 be more fuel to deal with at the end of each dry summer?

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  10. With the reduction of late summer east winds due to global warming I’m curious about winter east winds in particular the Fraser River gap. With global warming will these winter time events be reduced of at least have a more limited impact from say Bellingham northward? A reduction in Fraser River gap events could make areas Seattle/Everett southward frost free in the winter with the exception of occasional radiational cooling on clear nights.

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  11. Fascinating analysis of what's causing these major fires.

    A few things:
    1) Haven't there been a few posts you've made stating that you weren't concerned at all about this year's fire season? I realize context matters. We could have fewer fires but those fires could be more intense or the converse. Were the easterly winds not accounted for in your initial assessment? Were the temperature projections not as high as reality? Were expected amounts of precipitation a bit too low? It seems a bit rough to say "well, it was just the really strong east winds and that's that, nothing more to see here." How do you account for what could be argued as a signficant "miss?"
    2) You seemed to say that climate change didn't play a major role in these fires, but what if it doesn't need to play a major role to get a major result? What if just a minor rise in temperature outweighs the diminishing winds - are we still in a worse-off position then because of climate change?

    Love the analysis you provide, curious about the details and complexities of the situation.

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  12. Enjoyed your podcast segment, and correlation with east winds.....I live in Bonney Lake and experienced directly!

    Question, and I have wondered about this from other reporting.......under global warming would high pressure events coming down from the arctic likely increase in the center of the country (like Colorado this week) and increase east windstorm frequency as a result? One can get the sense (which may be incorrect) that as the arctic warms it is dumping some of that colder air south perhaps?? Any credence?

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  13. Cliff: thanks again for an extremely interesting talk this morning. I was a resident of Montclair/Oakland Hills (CA) in 91 when the wildfire swept through the east bay. You got it right: early October, extremely dry, high east winds seems to be the perfect recipe for westside wildfires. Something else to consider: I have heard that the century-long human suppression of smaller natural forest fires has built up an incredibly huge supply of dry snags, brush, etc. that serves as tinder to burn down otherwise fire-resistant large trees. I'm not a climate change denier, however it seems that national forest fire suppression and the increase in temperature are concurrent. In other words, warming is not causing more fires: more flammable small weeds, brush and trees due to lack of smaller fires are causing bigger fires, warming or not. Would be interested in your thoughts on that at some future time. Thanks again.

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    1. The Dave: Cliff has spoken frequently and at length about mismanagement of forests as a major factor in the increased frequency of wildfires.

      https://cliffmass.blogspot.com/2018/08/northwest-wildfires-are-we-seeing-new.html

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  14. You described the recent East winds being a results of a typhoon moving North and altering the jetstream in your first podcast. In this podcast you said global warming will not increase East winds because of pressure differences over interior land and the Pacific. My question is, do your simulations account for odd events like a typhoon disrupting the jetstream? It would seem that events like that could become more likely if climate change weakens the jetstream.

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  15. Cliff, thanks for challenging the political spin on Oregon's wildfire emergency. Look forward to reading your forthcoming paper. Question: Since high-resolution climate simulations project global warming will weaken the easterly winds associated with big fires, is it possible to estimate the extent to which global warming has weakened the easterlies in recent decades?

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  16. Well done Cliff. Well, except for your lack of hysterical alarmism about climate change causing all these fires. Clearly Inslee and Greta know better than you. How dare you!

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