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Madras smoked out

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#1 CCDMan

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Posted 03 August 2017 - 09:19 AM

OK, the thread title is a bit of click bait but not entirely wrong. I live near Prineville and last evening, had the eclipse been at that time, Madras would indeed have been toast.

 

The whitewater fire near Mount Jefferson was reported at 1800 acres as of this time but looks much larger to judge from the smoke plume.

 

Plenty of time to get it under control before the eclipse but the weather is not helping (close to 100 in madras for the next 10 days at least)

 

It is ironic that madras is listed as the highest probability for clear at that time of year but those stats do not take smoke into account and in my 15 years of living in the area I have found that

Madras has one of the highest chances of smoke in Central Oregon at that time of year.

 

Here is hoping that they get the fire beat down soon and no others threaten. Unfortunately, history shows that fires are pretty likely and they can close areas and even entire highways.

In fact it was at this time in August 2015 that large parts of Hwy 26 (the main route from Portland) were closed by a major fire.

 

See attached smoke plume sat image from last evening - Madras is the red dot.

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Edited by CCDMan, 03 August 2017 - 09:20 AM.

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#2 Glenn Graham

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Posted 03 August 2017 - 09:24 AM

Hi Bill. I've been worried about that. I can remember quite a few smokey Oregon Star Parties over the years out there. Fingers are crossed for clear (not just non-cloudy) skies.



#3 dghundt

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Posted 03 August 2017 - 09:50 AM

I can't remember the link to the cloud/smoke cover images.

Could you post that?



#4 grnbrg

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Posted 03 August 2017 - 09:54 AM

http://airquality.we...ctors/conus.php seems pretty comprehensive.

 

 

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#5 dghundt

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Posted 03 August 2017 - 09:57 AM

Thanks, I have seen that one. 

I could not zoom in and seem what appears to be a satellite image though.



#6 grnbrg

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Posted 03 August 2017 - 10:44 AM

You can click on the map to zoom, and you need to use the checkboxes on the left to select smoke data....

 

d1ig9th.png

 

 

 

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#7 Don W

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Posted 03 August 2017 - 12:04 PM

I was in the process of making eclipse plans for the Carribean eclipse in the late 90s. Was going to watch it from Monserratt. Then it blew up. We didn't go.


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#8 Crow Haven

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Posted 03 August 2017 - 12:21 PM

Yep.  Fire season is here.  We even had some of the smoky haze clear down here on the S. coast yesterday and 100°F.



#9 Myles

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Posted 03 August 2017 - 01:14 PM

The huge smoke coverage seen in the map is from fires in BC Canada - pretty thick thru western Washington and now western Oregon too. Not sure if that smoke is reaching the site of fire near Mt Jefferson effecting Madras.

- Myles

#10 CCDMan

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Posted 03 August 2017 - 02:38 PM

The best images to use for this are the NWS 3km visible. If they don't show on that then they probably are not an astronomy issue.
The other services are more for pollution purposes.

NWS Pac NW 3km:

http://www.wrh.noaa....ellite/?wfo=pdt

This morning it is blowing West over the mountains and the Willamette valley but is less dense. My buddy in Corvallis confirms this.

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Edited by CCDMan, 03 August 2017 - 05:04 PM.

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#11 CCDMan

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Posted 03 August 2017 - 08:44 PM

Pretty smoky again here - fire has tripled to 4500 acres.  Smoky Sunset from lake Billy Chinook Webcam SW of Madras....

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#12 Cajundaddy

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Posted 03 August 2017 - 08:55 PM

Fire is the big wild card and very possible in the PNW anytime in August.  Hoping for the best and keeping our options open.


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#13 CCDMan

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Posted 03 August 2017 - 09:02 PM

Fire is the big wild card and very possible in the PNW anytime in August.  Hoping for the best and keeping our options open.

Indeed, my concern if this or similarly located fire is smoking Madras, the only nearby option for all those folks is to the SE along the path and the ONLY highway for that is 26 East thru Prineville and over toward Mitchell. That could be a zoo less than a mile from my house (but  I would have a great view of the animals in that zoo <G>). So maybe doom and gloom could happen but not from the eclipse alone - a more "normal" disaster like a fire would need to happen at the same time.


Edited by CCDMan, 03 August 2017 - 09:04 PM.

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#14 CCDMan

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Posted 03 August 2017 - 10:14 PM

Sunset from my deck in the direction of Mt Jefferson - unfiltered.

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#15 tsk1979

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Posted 03 August 2017 - 10:32 PM

I am wondering if going further east near border of ID/OR is a better bet since fewer cities nearby. But at the same time more people may have the same idea. 



#16 Myles

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Posted 03 August 2017 - 11:57 PM

what would the effect of forest fire smoke be on the eclipse?

We are going to Camp Sherman - a bit SW of Madras - east slope of the cascade mountains - probably not far from the Mt Jefferson fire.  Also not sure if the BC Canada forest fire smoke has made its way to central Oregon - it is certainly socking in Seattle and Portland in a haze.

 

Can I assume the corona would be extinguished in the smoke/haze rendering the sky a dull grey as if it there was no moon or sun at all?

 

- Myles



#17 CCDMan

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Posted 04 August 2017 - 09:06 AM

what would the effect of forest fire smoke be on the eclipse?

We are going to Camp Sherman - a bit SW of Madras - east slope of the cascade mountains - probably not far from the Mt Jefferson fire.  Also not sure if the BC Canada forest fire smoke has made its way to central Oregon - it is certainly socking in Seattle and Portland in a haze.

 

Can I assume the corona would be extinguished in the smoke/haze rendering the sky a dull grey as if it there was no moon or sun at all?

 

- Myles

Well, as you can see from the photo, (although the sun will be a lot higher and therefore brighter during the eclipse), there are times with heavy enough smoke that one can look at the sun w/o solar shades. OTOH, I have only seen one time here where you could do that safely with a high daytime sun like we will have for the eclipse so that is not likely to be the case unless one is VERY close to the fire AND under the smoke plume (and those areas may be closed anyway).

 

 Any large amount of smoke will simply destroy the totality experience. This is because the corona is experienced as bluish and those are precisely the wavelengths that are eliminated by the smoke (why the sun looks red thru smoke).

 

The sky tends to look more brownish or orange than grey under heavy smoke.

 

There might be some things that would be better (it might get even darker) but mostly the experience would be anywhere from less spectacular to plain ruined - depending on the amount of smoke.

 

Of course the biggest problem with smoke gets back to weather. It is 100% dependent on the wind direction. We have had heavy smoke here one hour that is totally gone the next hour (and vice-versa) because of a wind shift.

 

If there is good news it is that the sun will be to the SE during the eclipse so unless you are NW of Madras/Jefferson, that might improve the odds. Also, smoke tends to be less in the morning since the fires tend to progress more slowly at night. This morning, at my place near Prineville, it was a bit smoky (4 out of 10) but the area of the sky where the eclipse will be is quite blue so these conditions would be OK for us.

 

Bottom line - unpredictable, especially at this point. Official information can be found here, usually undated once or twice daily:

 

https://inciweb.nwcg.../incident/5420/


Edited by CCDMan, 04 August 2017 - 04:37 PM.

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#18 lmwpearce

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Posted 05 August 2017 - 04:31 PM

Just for anyone following this:

They now have an estimated containment date: Tuesday October 31st, 2017 (see the incident report link above), and it's looking unlikely that the area will be open for the eclipse, according to the local newspaper ( http://www.statesman...-pct/542760001/ ).  Fingers crossed- I'll still be in Madras, since that's where my family is, regardless of how smoky it is...

 



#19 SKYGZR

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Posted 05 August 2017 - 06:08 PM

Sat Image: https://fsapps.nwcg...._or-000_143.jpg



#20 CCDMan

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Posted 06 August 2017 - 08:28 AM

Just for anyone following this:

They now have an estimated containment date: Tuesday October 31st, 2017 (see the incident report link above), and it's looking unlikely that the area will be open for the eclipse, according to the local newspaper ( http://www.statesman...-pct/542760001/ ).  Fingers crossed- I'll still be in Madras, since that's where my family is, regardless of how smoky it is...

 

That containment date is almost certainly a default boilerplate for "unknown". I have lived in this are for 15 years and there has never been a single fire that I can recall has not been well under control long before that date. Nov 1 is well into the cold and usually wet time of year. This even applies to fires that were over 10 times the size of the whitewater fire. The best example is the B&B complex in 2003 which was over 90,000 acres in the same general area and was over by late September.

 

https://en.wikipedia...B_Complex_fires

 

FYI, yesterday here was almost smoke free, although partly cloudy. This morning has very light smoke, also partly cloudy. If the eclipse was today, smoke would not be a problem but clouds sure would.


Edited by CCDMan, 06 August 2017 - 08:30 AM.


#21 Cajundaddy

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Posted 06 August 2017 - 09:44 AM

Two weeks and counting.  So far I like our chosen viewing area.  We are mostly surrounded by irrigated farm land so less chance of a forest fire obliterating our view.  Smoke can travel a long way though so we will watch the incident reports and weather carefully.



#22 Myles

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Posted 06 August 2017 - 11:08 AM

Time to start thinking about plan B.  We are booked in cabin in Camp Sherman (we live in Seattle)  sunday thru tuesday (1:38 totality; 1:48 a 5 mile drive north on maintained road). The fire smoke from the fire NE of Mt Jefferson (where mouse pointer is) could nix our view  - a lot can happen in two weeks, but I want a plan B.  FYI Camp Sherman is about 25 air miles W-SW of Madras.  Gonna call for cabin for current conditions later today.

 

Could use Camp Sherman as basecamp and get up at 3am to drive west towards Salem or east towards Madras - which ever has better day of conditions.   

 

Or try to book a room north - maybe Pendleton Oregon and drop in the 130 miles south to John Day - again the morning of - like 2AM.

 

No idea where to go once at a relocated viewing area - parking lots; side streets; roads - just need a place to park for few hours once relocated.

 

Thoughts?

- Thanks Myles

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Edited by Myles, 06 August 2017 - 11:09 AM.


#23 Myles

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Posted 06 August 2017 - 11:17 AM

found a web cam for Camp Sherman - have to monitor this  - hard to tell if there is smoke mixed in with this morning's clouds

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#24 Cajundaddy

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Posted 06 August 2017 - 12:26 PM

It doesn't matter whether that is clouds or smoke.  It would make for lousy eclipse viewing if similar conditions exist on the 21st.  Come on blue skies!



#25 CCDMan

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Posted 06 August 2017 - 12:37 PM

Well, my plan is to stay put at home regardless of whether we smoke or cloud out (I live under the path). Not gonna chase clouds or smoke in the traffic.


Edited by CCDMan, 06 August 2017 - 12:44 PM.

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