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Smoky Skies!

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#101 Chucke

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Posted 31 July 2021 - 02:58 PM

Sounds like normal conditions for southern AZ.   Hope you have AC.



#102 LDW47

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Posted 31 July 2021 - 03:58 PM

The transparency was poor last night at the Naylor Observatory.

 

Here's today's Canadian smoke map.

 

https://firesmoke.ca...Ki3Od7Y00YWrTsE

I'm at least 50% in the green zone, if you can believe it, I'm to the right of the 3 in Ontario



#103 Szumi

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Posted 31 July 2021 - 04:29 PM

How much forest is going to have to burn before we have summers that are smoke free? 



#104 Oscar56

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Posted 31 July 2021 - 08:01 PM

The transparency was poor last night at the Naylor Observatory.

 

Here's today's Canadian smoke map.

 

https://firesmoke.ca...Ki3Od7Y00YWrTsE

Thanks for posting Dave.  I had not seen this map before, it is very informative.

 

We are within the big smoke dome in the South Okanagan.  Ash has been falling since last Sunday but it could come from any of 5 different fires.  Visibility today did not get above 2km.

 

Unbelievably the CSC is showing exceptional visibility and transparency that we see less than 10 nights a year.  That's before you add in the wildfire smoke...



#105 vsteblina

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Posted 01 August 2021 - 11:59 AM

How much forest is going to have to burn before we have summers that are smoke free? 

A lot.  A whole lot probably for the next three decades.  There are millions of acres of public lands left to burn.  In many cases, they need to burn TWICE before the fire potential and smoke production is reduced.

 

Here is a map showing the fires since 2000.  The map does miss the era of mega-fires which started in 1988 with the Yellowstone fires.

 

https://caltopo.com/...a=fire,modis_mp

 

Scroll around for a look.

 

The west slopes of the Cascades will probably burn in the next two or three decades.  The good news is that those fires will come with east winds so Seattle and Portland will get smoked out, but the rest of the country will be spared.  These fires tend to happen in the fall and burn hot and heavy for about two weeks and then the rains and snows come and it is done.  BUT those two weeks are always hell on earth for people caught in the path.

 

The northern Rockies in Washington, Idaho and Montana are ready to burn.  This will be a repeat of the 1910 fires.  This is a popular book on the fires:  https://www.goodread...61-the-big-burn

 

The book will give you a good idea of how horrible that will be when it happens.  Unlike the western Cascade fires this smoke will head east as it did in 1910.  This might be the year for it to happen.  It probably will happen within the next decade.

 

The Bootleg Fire is eastern Oregon this year was a surprise.  Lots of flat ground, but that didn't matter when the wind was pushing it.  There is lots of acreage left to burn in the eastern Oregon forests.  Forest Service has been working real hard the past twenty years to reduce the hazard, but not sure how successful they have been given all the lawsuits and Congressional foot-dragging on funding timber sales to reduce fire hazard.  That smoke will reach the east coast.

 

California is well California.  It is amazing how much of the state has burned in the past 20 years in hot fires.  The fire hazard in the wildland-urban interface there is incredible.  Those fires will burn lots of homes. 

 

The good news is that much of the fires are in shrub-steppe habitat that burn hot and quick.  Just had one of those burn within 50 feet of my house.  It is over pretty quick, you know if your going to have a house in 15 minutes or less.  The good  news for you is these fires do not produce much smoke compared to forest fires.  

 

I get to smell the burned ash until it snows this winter....hopefully it will snow and not rain, since rain accentuates the smell.

 

IF you want an view on how bad it can get this book discusses the fire situation in West over the past 10,000 years.  There is evidence that the West is going back to a "normal" climate pattern.  The last 100 years in the West have been abnormally WET.

 

https://www.ucpress....t-without-water


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#106 Ron359

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Posted 01 August 2021 - 01:03 PM

Its important to keep a global perspective re the wildfires and how much more can burn...  Parts of Ore. and CA are but a small percentage of forested lands that are burning and enduring the increasing extreme rise in temperatures from the process that cannot be named here.   Siberian temps have been well over 100F much of this summer as well as other arctic and sub arctic regions.   The Tiaga forests of Russia cover 17% of the global land area and produce much of our O2.  The smoke already has gone global.  As Cotts pointed out there are huge fires in Ontario also.  Millions of acres of standing dead pine forests on very mountainous terrain here in CO. are just waiting for the right winds and ignition source.  The conflagrations we had last year of those beetle kill forests were just the start and already dwarf the 1910 burned acreage.  

 

An interesting bit of past SW US drought history I heard a Chaco NP Pueblo archeologist point out (which should be obvious) was the 20 yr. (or less) droughts that Puebloan people lived through 1000-800 yrs ago,  and caused them to abandon their cities like Mesa Verde and Chaco,  did NOT occur with continual rising extreme temperatures we have now, which is drying out the 'fuel loads' and evaporating 20th century surface water sources ever faster now.  



#107 EJN

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Posted 01 August 2021 - 02:15 PM

How much forest is going to have to burn before we have summers that are smoke free? 

 

More logging. If those trees had been cut for lumber, they wouldn't be there to burn and lumber prices wouldn't

be going insane.

:yay:


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#108 RLK1

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Posted 01 August 2021 - 02:40 PM

More logging. If those trees had been cut for lumber, they wouldn't be there to burn and lumber prices wouldn't

be going insane.

yay.gif

More logging, other than in certain prescribed areas, is not the answer and lumber prices already have been dropping for quite some time:

https://fortune.com/...e-cost-of-wood/


Edited by RLK1, 01 August 2021 - 02:41 PM.


#109 vsteblina

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Posted 01 August 2021 - 04:24 PM

 

An interesting bit of past SW US drought history I heard a Chaco NP Pueblo archeologist point out (which should be obvious) was the 20 yr. (or less) droughts that Puebloan people lived through 1000-800 yrs ago,  and caused them to abandon their cities like Mesa Verde and Chaco,  did NOT occur with continual rising extreme temperatures we have now, which is drying out the 'fuel loads' and evaporating 20th century surface water sources ever faster now.  

That drought is covered in the book. It went on for 150 years. 

 

I suspect the drought was associated with "rising extreme temperatures" which quickly evaporated the lakes in the Sierra.

 

Looking at the trees that grew to maturity in Teneya and Fallen Leaf Lakes and then drowned when the rains returned it went much longer than that.  

 

If this is the start of a 150 year drought.  There will be lots more fires and fewer trees in California at the end of that period.


Edited by vsteblina, 01 August 2021 - 05:00 PM.


#110 RLK1

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Posted 01 August 2021 - 04:55 PM

I wouldn't forget the "contribution" of power companies in the role of fires.  From a timely 7-30-21 article:

"Pacific Gas & Electric will face criminal charges because its equipment sparked a wildfire last year that killed four people and destroyed hundreds of homes, a Northern California prosecutor announced Thursday."

From the same article:

 

https://www.nbclosan...a-fire/2655508/


Edited by csa/montana, 03 August 2021 - 09:44 PM.


#111 John Fitzgerald

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Posted 01 August 2021 - 05:20 PM

We desperately need to work on attaining control of weather, so rain falls when and where needed, hurricane activity is quelled, and severe thunderstorms and tornadoes are prevented.



#112 kksmith

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Posted 02 August 2021 - 03:32 AM

We desperately need to work on attaining control of weather, so rain falls when and where needed, hurricane activity is quelled, and severe thunderstorms and tornadoes are prevented.

No we don’t. Because that is a piece of technology that will quickly become part of what is know as “arsenal.” When you can control your own weather, you can control someone else’s weather - it becomes a weapon. There is already a thought process that at least one major power is working on just that. 

 

But back to the original topic. Some areas here in Montana are getting some major rain. Just not all that need it. 
 

Ken


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#113 laedco58

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Posted 02 August 2021 - 08:23 AM

Smoke has been horrible in Minnesota. 



#114 John Fitzgerald

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Posted 02 August 2021 - 09:42 AM

It looks like viewing for this year will be completely lost at my location due to smoke.  Might as well dismantle the equipment and store it until mid to late winter.


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#115 Chucky

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Posted 02 August 2021 - 12:16 PM

(( Might as well dismantle the equipment and store it until mid to late winter. ))

And then do what many do ( including me!) .... Buy a few more eyepieces for something to do.


Edited by Chucky, 02 August 2021 - 12:18 PM.


#116 payner

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Posted 02 August 2021 - 12:22 PM

It looks like viewing for this year will be completely lost at my location due to smoke.  Might as well dismantle the equipment and store it until mid to late winter.

Same here, John. This has been so disappointing. We've had clear skies enough to be content, but with the level of smoke it's not worth the effort. Plus, I don't want to expose my optics to all the associated particulates in the air.

 

Randy



#117 Cotts

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Posted 03 August 2021 - 07:22 PM

Another RedRubberBall Sunset™ tonight here in otherwise cloudless S. Ontario....  This 'dark moon period is slipping by with either clouds or smoke....

 

Dave


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#118 John Fitzgerald

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Posted 03 August 2021 - 09:27 PM

Same here, John. This has been so disappointing. We've had clear skies enough to be content, but with the level of smoke it's not worth the effort. Plus, I don't want to expose my optics to all the associated particulates in the air.

 

Randy

I think the particulates are high up, and probably not falling to the ground much, this far away from the fires,  but maybe I'm wrong.....


Edited by John Fitzgerald, 03 August 2021 - 09:28 PM.


#119 csa/montana

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Posted 03 August 2021 - 09:47 PM

Here, because of the smoke; we're under an "Unhealthy" notice.



#120 csa/montana

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Posted 03 August 2021 - 09:48 PM

Just a reminder, climate change is a hot topic, and not allowed for discussion on these forums!  Any posts referring to this, will be removed immediately.



#121 George N

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Posted 03 August 2021 - 10:25 PM

It's been clear 3 nights is a row here in NY's Southern Tier. The smoke map shows we're are not 'in it' but last night and tonight have low transparency for some reason.

 

On the other hand - this past Friday/Sat night was near perfect ( until the moon came up ). The Milky Way was easy to see from my house (except in the light dome to the South) and my little C-9.25 Evo was offering some nice views despite a little dew on the corrector plate.

 

I'm hoping that the smoke stays away for Stellafane this coming weekend -- and Cherry Springs next week for the Perseids.


Edited by George N, 03 August 2021 - 10:25 PM.


#122 payner

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Posted 04 August 2021 - 10:34 AM

We've had days where the air quality is in the "moderate" category.  I am not used to less than "good" air quality except with the current smoke streaming east.  I can also tell the difference in air quality, but if doesn't keep me from doing what I want outside -- other than astronomy.  I'd think the fine particulates are near ground level based on air quality conditions.  Though likely higher concentrations higher up.



#123 Cotts

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Posted 04 August 2021 - 11:22 AM

Smoke map for 0600Z Aug 5th.  Tonight for all N. American time zones.  10pm to 2am local depending on where you are....

 

May i suggest a nice scotch and some old Nat King Cole?

 

Screen Shot 2021-08-04 at 12.17.00 PM.jpg

 

Dave

 

 

 

 

 

 



#124 Chucky

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Posted 04 August 2021 - 11:32 AM

All invited to my city of Columbus, Ohio. Great skies... Ha ha. In the clear.

#125 Bill Weir

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Posted 04 August 2021 - 11:37 AM

I feel your pain. Besides I don’t drink so I guess I’ll just make plans to go out tonight and observe for the rest of the continent. Any requests? 

 

Bill

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