Monday, April 30, 2018

Tinder Fire On Rim/Strong Cold Front Approaching Here

David Blanchard alerted me yesterday re the Tinder wildfire that had started very close to the KFSX radar. Photo above taken by Claudia Hauser around 2:30 pm MST from near Clints Well looking northeast toward Winslow. Radar image below (from David) is at about the same time as photo and shows the distinct smoke plume. I was curious and checked the polarization products a bit later at the CoD webpage - algorithm classified the echo as bugs/insects. Second below is visible satellite image from 6:30 am this morning. There are a number of small communities that have been built in the pines that are ahead of the fire. 

 Here in southeast Arizona models forecast continued gusty winds as a cold front associated with sharp 500 mb trough approaches for tomorrow late in day. The 500 mb forecast (above from 06 UTC WRF-GFS at Atmo on 5.4 km grid) is valid at 5:00 am on Wednesday morning. The trough heads toward southwestern Colorado and weakens with time. The WRF-GFS forecast for total precipitation through 5:00 pm on Wednesday is below - most precipitation avoids eastern Pima County once again, if this forecast verifies well.

Once this system passes, temperatures at 500 mb warm rapidly and reach to mid-summer type levels by Sunday (second below), when forecasts indicate temperatures at that level approaching -5C. So a roller-coaster ride this week.

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