Jul 232008
 

As I’m at the mercy of the folks here with the DEMOB unit, I’m stuck with a flight with 2 layovers…one of which is in Houston this afternoon. You know, the Houston that’s about 250miles northeast of where Category 2 Hurricane Dolly is making landfall today. Needless to say, George Bush Intercontinental/Houston Airport (IAH) is experiencing a few delays. According to the FAA:

Traffic destined to this airport is being delayed at its departure point. Check your departure airport to see if your flight may be affected.

…but like I said, I’m at the mercy of the DMOB unit, who has advised me to ride it out – and check for other possibilities at my first layover (San Francisco).

Jul 212008
 

As I didn’t want to use the image from the lightning web site we use (’cause I think that’d be illegal), here’s a Google Earth image. The white blob shows where the lightning was today. As expected…off to our northeast.Not very exciting…but right. Super.

Jul 212008
 

An upper level trough pushing over the northwest U.S. today will be enough to spawn thunderstorms. Maintaining the stance here that the majority of the moisture and instability would be off to the north and east of our incident. That said, I couldn’t completely rule out convection this afternoon and tonight so I mentioned a “less than 10% chance” of thunderstorms over the incident itself. As dry as we are, any storms that form would likely be dry thunderstorms – and/or there will be wind with any cumulus build-ups. So, despite the slim chance of activity – it would be a high impact event – and thus warranted mention.

No one was surprised, as I’d been explaining the situation and the uncertainty in convection chances for a couple of days along with this system as the reason for the daily mention at briefing while still leaving it out of the official forecast.

I leave here on Wednesday.

Jul 182008
 

I thought I’d lend a little frame of reference as to where I am. Here are a couple of Google Earth screen captures. The first, is a wide-angle visual of northern California with both the fire perimeters and the location of camp (the ICP). The second image is a zoomed-in version of the first. In the second, the fires in the complex are labeled. Despite the fact that the complex is only 55% contained according to this morning’s situation report – only the Motion fire if of much consequence at this point.

Jul 182008
 

Despite the fact that this is currently the biggest fire in the country, things are a bit slow – and are already kind of winding down. There’s a projected containment date of July 25th. So, if that comes to fruition, they likely won’t need me much beyond that date.

Here’s a picture of Makoto, the IMET I relieved today, giving the afternoon planning weather briefing yesterday:

Here’s the area where the morning briefings are held:


…and there’s a track at the fairground where we’re based:

I know…boring. That’s all for now.

Jul 162008
 

I leave for my first National Weather Service Incident Meteorologist (IMET) dispatch this year, tomorrow morning. I’m going to the SHU Lightning Complex in Northern California (near Redding, CA). This fire has more folks on it that any fire I’ve been to yet – I think. As of this morning, there were 2,678 people at the incident. Woah. 80,957 acres are involved. (Situation report)

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