According to the US Drought Monitor, only 0.05% of the state is considered to be in a SEVERE drought, which dropped from the near 2% last week. Also note that nearly 16% of the state is considered to be in a MODERATE drought, which is also down from the near 21% frmo last week.
According to NOAA's SPC, the PRELIMINARY 2017 tornado count is 1373 (through September 22nd). Note that is the most active year for tornadoes since 2011, when there were 1,784 tornadoes. Keep in mind there was a major tornado outbreak in the Gulf Coast region from April 25-28, 2011 that spawned nearly 500 tornadoes, some of which were deadly. That outbreak is known as the Super Outbreak of 2011 and has gone down in history as one of the biggest, costliest and one of the deadliest tornado outbreaks in history.
2.) Heavy rain across portions of the Southern Plains, Tue-Fri, Sep 26-Sep 29.
3.) High significant wave heights for coastal portions of the Mid-Atlantic and the Northeast, Wed, Sep 27.
4.) Heavy rain across portions of the Alaska Panhandle, Tue-Wed, Sep 26-Sep 27.
5.) Much above normal temperatures across portions of the Northeast, the Central Appalachians, the Mid-Atlantic, the Upper Mississippi Valley, the Great Lakes, and the Ohio Valley, Tue-Wed, Sep 26-Sep 27.
6.) Flooding occurring or imminent across portions of the Southeast.
7.) Severe Drought across the Central Plains, the Northern Plains, Hawaii, the Northern Rockies, the Middle Mississippi Valley, California, the Upper Mississippi Valley, and the Southern Plains.
"Rain and snow take aim at the Montana drought"
"The weather this summer has been downright unruly, but it's ready to make amends. After months of extreme drought and fire, the state is getting some much-needed rain and snow. "We ended up receiving a second round of precipitation, mainly in southwest and central Montana," Jim Brusda, lead meteorologist with the National Weather Service, said. "It's pretty welcome because of how dry it has been." Lewistown is reaping the most benefits from the weather system with .32 inches by Friday afternoon. The east side of the Big Snowies has already received nine inches of snow. The rainfall wasn't too excessive in Great Falls, where only .18 inches fell, while, approximately .14 inches fell in Helena by Friday afternoon. Other places were worse off, with just a trace, .01 inches, in Cut Bank and nothing in Havre. But every drop of rain is going to good use. Brusda said the soil is absorbing all of the precipitation."
See more from Great Falls Tribune HERE:
The Chetco Bar Fire near Brookings, Oregon is a very large wildfire in the Western US that started on Wednesday, July 12th by lightning and has grown to more than 191,000 acres! There are nearly 1,200 people working on this fire, which is 97% contained. The estimated containment date is set for Sunday, October 15th.
"Incident Summary: In the past week firefighters have made good progress in containing and strengthening lines around the Chetco Bar Fire. Firefighters, including crews with Oregon Army National Guard Task Force 5, continue to monitor and patrol the fireline, adding waterbars and recovering equipment where where containment objectives have been achieved. The current weather pattern is more favorable for firefighters and the area forecast includes more than an inch of rain in addition to cooler temperatures and higher humidity over the next few days. Evacuations and Closures: All Evacuation Advisories in Curry County and Josephine County have been lifted."
See more from Inciweb HERE:
(Credit: Andy Lyon)
The Diamond Creek Fire near Mazama, Washington is a very large wildfire in the Western US that started on Sunday, July 23rd and has grown to more than 127,000 acres! There are nearly 227 people working on this fire, which is 75% contained. The estimated containment date is set for Sunday, October 15th.
"Incident Summary: The Diamond Creek Fire was reported on July 23, 2017 at approximately 9:45 a.m. The fire is burning in the Pasayten Wilderness and Eightmile drainage about 11 miles north of Mazama, Washington. Smokejumpers responded to the fire within two hours of it being reported. However, due to extreme terrain, heavy dead and down timber, and critical fire weather conditions, the fire was unable to be contained during initial response. The fire crossed into Canada on August 29. Fire managers recognized that the Diamond Creek Fire would likely be a long term event. Monitor, confine and point protection strategies are being used inside the Pasayten Wilderness. Outside the wilderness, the fire is being managed under a suppression strategy using a mixture of direct, indirect and point protection tactics when and where there is a high probability of success. Fire personnel will engage the fire at the appropriate time and location, while keeping public and firefighter safety as the top priority. Fire personnel are currently focused on identifying and implementing suppression repair work on the primary and contingency control lines. The suppression repair will not compromise the intended purpose of the control lines should they be needed at a later date"
See more from Inciweb HERE:
(Night time picture of a glowing yurt Credit: Brent Tannehill)
Here's a look at the current wildfire map across the country. Continued hot and dry weather has helped to spark several wildfires across the Western US. There have even been fires popping up in the Eastern U.S., two of the larger fires are burning in Florida.
Here's a list of all the current large wildfires from Inciweb:
By Paul Douglas
Average Low: 49F (Record: 30F set in 1942)
Record Snowfall: 0.4" set in 1985
Daylight LOST since summer solstice (June 20th): 3 hours & 34 minutes
2.8 Days Before First Quarter
A stalled frontal boundary will continue to keep showers and storms in place across the eastern Dakotas and far western MN once again on Sunday. Ahead of the front, sultry sunshine will continue just like it did on Friday and Saturday.
See more from DenverPost HERE:
(Fruit sits on the ground below an orange tree at the Alico Inc. Lake Patrick Grove in Frostproof, Florida, on Sept. 11, 2017. Daniel Acker, Bloomberg via DenverPost)
_________________________________________________________________"California cities want Big Oil to pay for costs of climate change"
"Coastal cities in California that are vulnerable to flooding caused by climate change are fighting back against Big Oil. San Francisco and Oakland filed lawsuits this week demanding that ExxonMobil, Chevron (CVX), BP, ConocoPhillips (COP) and Royal Dutch Shell pay billions to cover the costs of sea walls and other protections against rising sea levels. The aggressive strategy from the Bay Area makes San Francisco and Oakland the first major U.S. cities to attempt to shift the costs of climate change from the public to fossil fuel companies. San Francisco and Oakland fear that billions of dollars of property in low-lying areas will be swamped by rising sea levels that scientists blame on climate change. "These fossil fuel companies profited handsomely for decades while knowing they were putting the fate of our cities at risk," San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera said in a statement announcing the lawsuits, which were filed in Superior Court in San Francisco and Alameda Counties."
See more from CNN HERE:
(Image credit: Getty images via CNN.com)
______________________________________________________________"One of the most bizarre ideas about climate change just found more evidence in its favor"
"More and more, we are learning that climate change can lead to some pretty strange and counterintuitive effects, especially when it comes to the wintertime. For instance, scientists have pointed out for a number of years that warmer seas, and a wetter atmosphere, can actually fuel more snowfall in massive nor’easters affecting the U.S. East Coast. More controversial still is an idea called “Warm Arctic, Cold Continents.” This is the notion that as the Arctic warms up faster than the middle latitudes, it may sometimes cause a displacement of the region’s still quite frigid air to places that aren’t so used to it. In other words, even as the planet warms, masses of cold air could also become more mobile and deliver quite a shock at times when outbreaks occur in more southerly latitudes."
See more from Washington Post HERE:
_________________________________________________________________"NASA’S OSIRIS-REx Spacecraft Slingshots Past Earth"
"NASA’s asteroid sample return spacecraft successfully used Earth’s gravity on Friday to slingshot itself on a path toward the asteroid Bennu, for a rendezvous next August. At 12:52 p.m. EDT on Sept. 22, the OSIRIS-REx (Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, and Security – Regolith Explorer) spacecraft came within 10,711 miles (17,237 km) of Antarctica, just south of Cape Horn, Chile, before following a route north over the Pacific Ocean. OSIRIS-REx launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on Sept. 8, 2016, on an Atlas V 411 rocket. Although the rocket provided the spacecraft with the all the momentum required to propel it forward to Bennu, OSIRIS-REx needed an extra boost from the Earth’s gravity to change its orbital plane. Bennu’s orbit around the Sun is tilted six degrees from Earth’s orbit, and this maneuver changed the spacecraft’s direction to put it on the path toward Bennu. As a result of the flyby, the velocity change to the spacecraft was 8,451 miles per hour (3.778 kilometers per second)."
See more from NASA Here:
(OSIRIS-REx is NASA's mission to explore near-earth asteroid Bennu, collect a sample, and return it to Earth. To get to Bennu, however, OSIRIS-REx must first leave the plane of Earth's orbit and match the orbital tilt of its target. On September 22, 2017, OSIRIS-REx approached Earth and flew over its southern hemisphere, passing within 11,000 miles of Antarctica. Credits: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center)