Thursday, May 22, 2008

Wild Weather and Wild Fire in CA

The jet stream almost exactly traced the coastline today, not a typical pattern for us.

The Santa Cruz mountains wildfire injected a plume of smoke into the middle of the jet stream.

My sister says that there was no way I could have been feeling the effects of the smoke from the Santa Cruz fire by 8:30 AM when we IM'd. Jet stream speeds of 120-150 knots could travel between Santa Cruz and LA in 3 hours or so. The fire started around 5:30 AM. She's right. But what could it be?

Perhaps I was experiencing respiratory effects from the Santa Clarita fire closer to home? Santa Clarita is NE of me; the smoke from that fire is unlikely to travel this far west. It was such a small fire compared to the Santa Cruz one.

After discussion with my sister, I realized that the unusual wind pattern put me downwind of the Chevron refinery 5 miles NE of home.

It rained between 6 and 7 PM today and it sounds like the rain has started up again. Rain in late May in a non-El Nino year is rare. Could the soot from the fire have nucleated raindrops?

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1 comment:

  1. This storm is producing weird weather all throughout the southwest. My son in AZ reported that it rained all day yesterday (Thurs.), which never happens in May in his area. My daughter reported rain and hail, while I had sun, wind, but no rain at all here.

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