|Forecast Cloud Cover at Noon Monday Eclipse Day|
Satellite photo taken at 0800 MDT Monday August 21 2017
|NAM model of the percentage of forecast cloud cover at noon Monday August 21 2017.|
|NAM 300 MB forecast for noon Monday August 21 2017|
|Vertical forecast sounding vicinity Star Valley noon August 21 2017(green dewpoint, red temperature)|
|Forecast of percentage sky cover for noon Monday from the GFS Model|
|GEFS forecast of percentage cloud cover for Noon Monday|
|NAM forecast of percentage cloud cover at Noon Monday 8/21/17|
|Forecast of 300 MB humidity at Noon Monday.|
The next chart is the forecast relative humidity at 700 MB, or about 10,000 above sea level. This suggest that moisture for clouds will be above 700 MB and most likely at the cirrus level.
|Percent of cloud coverage forecast from the GFS model for noon Monday August 21 1917|
|Cloud Cover Total (%) valid at Noon Monday August 21 2017|
This forecast suggests that the area from Oregon into Idaho has a good chance of favorable eclipse viewing conditions, with some concern for cloud cover over much of Wyoming.
Again this is still 5 days out, and forecasting cloud cover is little better than a crap shoot at that range.
Below is the model forecast from 24 hours earlier for the eclipse time of noon Monday.
|Cams available in Star Valley area|
|Cams available in WY area|
|Cams available in the CONUS|
|Above: A group trying to rescue animals waits at a road block as smoke rises from a catastrophic forest fire near Fort McMurray, Alberta on May 6, 2016. Canadian police led convoys of cars through the evacuated city in order to get people to safety far to the south. Image credit: Cole Burston/AFP/Getty Images.|
|Figure 1. Dramatic smoke plume from an experimental fire at Bor Island, Siberia, 1993. Helicopters flew around and into the plume to collect sample emissions. Image credit: J.G. Goldammer|
|Figure 2. Smoke from a devastating series of forest fires that raged across the northwest U.S. in the summer of 1910. Image credit: From Fred G. Plummer, Forest Fires. USDS Forest Service, Bulletin 117 (1912).|
|Figure 3. This MODIS image from NASA’s Terra satellite shows smoke from numerous forest fires across northern Sumatra, Indonesia, blowing westward across the island on September 24, 2015. The record-strong 2014-16 El Niño brought parched conditions to southeast Asia. Image credit: NASA Earth Observatory.|
|Figure 4. This photo, taken from an Oregon Air National Guard F-15C on the evening of July 31, 2014, show a developing pyrocumulus cloud above the Oregon Gulch fire, a part of the Beaver Complex fire. Image credit: James Haseltine, via NASA Earth Observatory.|
|Figure 5. Smoke billows into the sky near a highway on October 22, 2007, at Stevenson Ranch, California. Devastating wildfires during the autumn of 2007 burned nearly a million across Southern California, killing 14 people and destroying thousands of structures. Air quality reached unhealthy levels across the San Diego area, prompting a city attorney to suggest evacuating the city. Image credit: J. Emilio Flores/Getty Images.|
|Afton Cam midday|
Afton Cam late afternoon
|GOES satellite photo taken later Thursday afternoon|
Another of the GOES 16 sensors is able to pick up hot spots associated with ongoing fires. The one taken late this afternoon provides a dramatic depiction of the active fires today.
The bright red returns are where the hottest fires are located. The most obvious big fire is the Cinder Butte Fire in Eastern Oregon and the primary source of Star Valleys smoke today. This fire in 3 days has grown to 56,000 acres with no containment. Another large fire is the Lava Flow fire west of Idaho Falls. While it has grown to 22,000 acres in 3 days it appears to be a secondary source of our smoke and the satellite hot spot is not nearly as well defined as the one in Oregon and those to the north in Western Montana and Northern Idaho.
The very moist Winter and Spring in the Western States is just a memory and the past two months have proven to be quite dry in the Northwest states.
The above chart shows most of the area where the current fires are located has had 2 dry, very warm months. All that growth that resulted from the wet winter are now providing fuels for fires as they have rapidly dried.
The outlook for August is not encouraging. It is forecast to be warmer and drier than normal over much of the Northwestern U.S.
Therefore it appears that smoke will be an issue in the skies around Western Wyoming for some time.