Friday, August 23, 2013

Huge Amounts of Smoke in Nevada from California Fires

Yesterday while I was at work, a large, relatively high, cloudlike layer of smoke moved in from the southwest. Unfortunately, I didn't bring my camera, but I took some pictures after work.
This is what the smoke bank (after "cloud bank") looked like over Winnemucca Mountain at about 7:00 pm yesterday evening.
The leading edge of the smoke bank had already moved past Winemucca, and I got a shot of it while it was probably already as far east as Golconda.

Today's trip to work was highlighted by an orange, just-past-full moon and a red, rising sun. The smoke thickened through the day, blocking views of all but the closest mountains on the trip back this afternoon.
This is what the top of the mountain looked like this evening at 6:16 pm.
The sun was orange at that time, becoming red before it sank behind the mountain.

Smoke from three major fires was streaming into western Nevada through the day, with two shown on the satellite image below, a screen capture from Intellicast. While watching the visible satellite loop, I was surprised to see a bright flash at the end of the oop (on both Intellicast and NOAA). I've circled the flash below. The flash (the fire itself, I think), and the associated smoke plume is from the huge Rim Fire located north of Yosemite Valley. A second streaming plume is visible to the NNW, west of Carson City (and west of Lake Tahoe); that plume is from the smaller American Fire. A fire south of Yosemite Valley, not seen in the screen capture below, was also streaming smoke into Nevada: that may be the relatively small and mostly contained Aspen Fire, or maybe another fire I'm unaware of.
Screen capture from about 2:30 pm, of visible satellite channel from Cyan circle outlines the bright flash at the center of the Rim Fire.

UPDATE 25Oct2013: There's a great satellite a GIF of the fire for the period 16Aug through 3Sept on the Google Earth Time Machine blog (h/t +Brian Schrock).

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