Monday, October 05, 2009

Maybe One Wildfire Post

I was getting tired of fire season (and it has only just begun), but this picture was so interesting, I wanted to share.  Here's yesterday's NASA Aqua satellite imagery of southern California.  Look at the smoke plume emanating from the Sheep Fire.  (Click to see the 500 meter resolution images.)

In the false color image, you can see the burn area and past burn areas that have not yet recovered.  Look at the sizes of the burn scars from the Station fire (immediately to the west of the current fire) and near Santa Barbara.  Malibu and Baja California also show evidence of recent fires.

You can always find more imagery at the MODIS Rapid Response System website. The La Jolla Subsets are of particular interest to Angelenos and San Diegans. Santa Barbara residents may be more interested in the Fresno subsets.  They provide imagery in 2 km, 500 m and 250 m resolution.

The California Regional Weather Server at SDSU shows handy jet stream analyses like this one, from around the time of the Terra imagery above.  We were lucky that the wind was blowing smoke away from population centers.

The jet stream is still overhead.  We will have several days of cold, windy and unsettled weather, perfect for the new mommy and me riding boots that Iris and I bought over the weekend.

The jet stream is a high altitude current of fast-moving air.  Surface winds do not necessarily coincide with the jet stream, but they are influenced by them.    Right now, the sum of the jet stream and our seasonal Santa Ana winds is producing very calm wind conditions near the fire.  That's the good news.


  1. Doesn the smoke bother your asthma? I recall that it used to make me cough and cough. I love looking at the satellite pictures - so interesting how the smoke moves around the globe

  2. This fire wasn't too bad. There were a few days around the Station Fire where I used Advair in anticipation of the smoke. I tapered off after the fire burned out. I wonder if that had anything to do with the infection I caught around that time.


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