Joe’s Weather World: It will get better…I promise (THU-9/10)

Weather

Another day with temperatures in the 50s…this will be the 2nd straight day…almost the 3rd really but Tuesday we had a midnight high of 66°…we should get into the 60s tomorrow.

Rain is still predominate around the area this morning but things will be drying out somewhat this afternoon with predominately cloudy conditions expected. There may be some drizzle/mist out there but it should be somewhat improved for tailgating and the game. Perhaps not perfectly dry…but not as wet.

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Forecast:

Today: Rain fades after lunch…cloudy and raw with highs in the mid 50s

Tonight: Scattered showers likely. Not an all night rain though. Steady temperatures with readings remaining in the 50s

Tomorrow: Clouds and showers likely. Then perhaps some afternoon sunshine with renewed showers/storms developing. Highs in the mid 60s

This weekend: There should be some dry weather for awhile during the day then storm are possible>likely in the evening. Highs around 80°. Sunday looks nice with highs in the 70s

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Discussion:

Well it looks like November and it feels like November. We set a record cold high yesterday of 54° breaking the record of 66° set in 1907. Today will follow suit. We won’t make it to 60° today which is the record cold high going back to 1898…one of our older records.

This unseasonable cold weather is the result of a colder air mass that was born in the northern Canada/Arctic regions. This came into the area Monday evening…and it still with us. It will slowly move away tomorrow night and we should warm-up on Saturday to some extent…assuming there is enough sunshine.

Radar this morning is showing rain coming up from the south and south-south-west.

We should see a decrease in the rain sometime early this afternoon but with the low gray overcast it will be tough for temperatures to change much today since we’re not going anywhere through early this afternoon.

The 9AM surface map is showing the cool N flow of air continuing as well. The temperatures are in red.

Another wave in the atmosphere will come up from Oklahoma tomorrow…and increase the rain chances once again as the day evolves. Depending on the cloud breaks (if there are any)…we may be able to get into the 60s tomorrow…but we’ll see about that.

This should be the final wave of the week but not the last chance of rain. We’re going to warm-up on Saturday I think…but a cold front (not as strong) will be coming our way in the later afternoon and evening. Assuming we warm-up to around 80°…we should have some instability for that front to work with and spark off some showers/storms. I don’t think they’ll be severe but it’s possible there could be some heavier and brief downpours. The timing would be sometime Saturday evening into Saturday night and we’ll need to get into around 80° or a bit higher to pop the storms with the front.

Sunday looks nicer.

Meanwhile the western fires continue to burn. In California as of the 8th there were over 2.5 million acres burned already this fire season…the worst on record for them. There have been over 7700 fires…while other active years actually had more fires but fewer acres burned. This year there have been somewhat fewer fires (so far) and MORE acres burned.

and this is just in CA…

Other states have had it bad as well including CO and OR (among others)

Bone dry conditions along with very dry air and gusting winds have all contributed to the rapid and intense fire growth. With the winds predominately going towards the coastline…the fires are spreading westwards which is somewhat unusual, at least in Oregon.

You’ve perhaps seen some of the incredible pictures and videos of the red sky in the western US. It was dramatic…almost like the pictures that we show from Mars on the news. It’s almost as if a image filter has been used to color the shots but it wasn’t.

So WHY did these strange colors appears? It has to do with light and the we we see light.

When the sun’s light shines through, in normal times…gases and particles in the atmosphere “scatter” light in all directions. The light itself is actually comprised of many colors, all the colors on rainbow. Remember this from school…ROYGBIV. Red-Orange-Yellow-Green-Blue-Indigo-Violet. This light then goes through the atmosphere where it scatters around as it hits various gases and particles in the air.

I’ll let scijinks take it from there.

“As the white light from the Sun enters Earth’s atmosphere, much of the red, yellow, and green wavelengths of light (mixed together and still nearly white) pass straight through the atmosphere to our eyes. The blue and violet waves, however, are just the right size to hit and bounce off of the molecules of gas in the atmosphere. This causes the blue and violet waves to be separated from the rest of the light and become scattered in every direction for all to see. The other wavelengths stick together as a group, and therefore remain white.

So what happens to all the “non-blue” wavelengths? They are still mixed together, unscattered by the atmosphere, so they still appear white. The scattered violet and blue light dominates the sky, making it appear blue. What happens to the violet? Some of the violet light is absorbed by the upper atmosphere. Also, our eyes are not as sensitive to violet as they are to blue.

Closer to the horizon, the sky fades to a lighter blue or white. The sunlight reaching us from the horizon has passed through even more air than the sunlight reaching us from overhead. The molecules of gas have rescattered the blue light in so many directions so many times that less blue light reaches us.

So with all the smoke particles…add in the marine layer and add in the multi-layered smoke as well…the end result is folks out there saw mostly red in the sky instead of brown…or blue.

Essentially because of the smoke particles being so “large” they scattered the blue light out but allowed the yellow, orange and red part of the spectrum to come through. Where the smoke was too thick…it absorbed most or all of the light and that meant just dark skies

Just incredible. In Oregon…there are 37 active fires going with over 675,000 acres burned.

The feature photo is from Jill Ramage. Her husband took this while they were walking around Cameron Peak fire over Windsor Lake in Windsor, CO. She mentioned that ash was falling on them.

Joe

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