Just when I thought it couldn't get worse, I woke up this morning with the familiar burning eyes and sore throat. I could barely see my neighbor's house (slight exaggeration...) Whidbey Island is missing.... So I put the drone up to see how bad it was. This is definitely worse than yesterday.
The smoke this morning is awful.... The forecasts show some temporary relief for later today, but until these wildfires are contained, we will be in an on again off again smoke situation depending on the winds. I took this drone video this morning.
Cliff Mass just posted an interesting blog that coincides with what I am seeing. The clouds I saw this morning seemed to be replaced with smoke. We have a strong North wind blowing now, so the Maple fire and California smoke seemed illogical. But it definitely looked like smoke.... Well... We are now sharing smoke with BC again. If I am reading Cliff's blog correctly, we have BC's smoke now and it will soon combine with California's smoke and eventually Eastern Washington smoke.... For a guy with asthma, this is NOT good news..... It's also bad news for those looking forward to the Perseid meteor shower.... Click Here For Cliff's Smoke Blog...
The weather today turned out as promised. Actually, we avoided the BIG hit. I put it into a time lapse that shows Cam1, Cam2, Cam3 and then a panorama of all three. It's a bit long at just under 2 minutes, but worth watching to the end....
We are looking at potential lightning here this afternoon. This doesn't happen a lot around here and I think we all need to be reminded how to be safe during these events. About 30 years ago when I was young and dumb, I was fishing in a 14ft. aluminum boat under jet black skies. A bolt of lightning hit the water less than 100 feet from me. Yes, that was a very religious experience. I couldn't hear or see anything for a while after it happened, because it was so loud and bright. Plus every hair on my body was standing at attention..... That event "inspired" me to stay off the water when lightning is in the area. A boat is a perfect target. I have some tools on my site that I thought I would share in this blog. The first is the CAPE Forecast tool. This is down in the "National Weather Service" section. CAPE is an acronym that stands for "Convective Available Potential Energy". The weather service can measure the amount of energy an air particle would have if it was lifted in the atmosphere. If it creates enough energy, it results in lightning. When you click on the "CAPE Forecast" link, you will get an interactive screen that looks like this. You can see it is for 8:00am today. The pink off the coast is potential lightning. These forecasts are in 3 hour increments. I will share the forecasts for today below:
11:00am - You can see the potential starting to move into Puget Sound
2:00PM - You can see it has us covered and a new color is introduced.... This is a higher potential.
5:00PM - It pretty much has saturated our area.
8:00PM - Still pretty solid, but starting to lighten up.
11:00PM - It finally starts to clear up....
So, we could have some interesting weather today. There is one more tool to share from the site. It is an interactive lightning map that shows where lightning has struck. The link is right below the CAPE Forecast link. Here is a direct link to that site: Lightning Map
Edit 7/31/18 7:00AM: The NWS just released a new forecast and it appears that the smoke will veer to the East... NWS Smoke Forecast Today would have been gorgeous blue skies and water... Except... We are slowly being inundated with gray smoke. We had the opportunity to take some friends from California out for an extended boat ride. We launched in Kingston and then ran all the way around Bainbridge Island and back to Poulsbo for a late lunch. While we were on the water I watched as the smoke got thicker and thicker on the horizon. We had a great vantage point. Unfortunately…. This is only the beginning and things will likely get much worse…. California smoke is coming our way and odds are there will be some local fires as well. I took an aerial spin this evening that shows the encroaching smoke. Tomorrow night will probably be worse....
On the morning of July 4th we had a HUGE Noctilucent Cloud show.There was a brief showing the
evening before and then shortly after 2:30am on the 4th the sky
exploded with a beautiful display.
Noctilucent Clouds ("Night Shining Clouds") should not be confused with our “earthly”
clouds.These have nothing to do with
weather.They are actually frozen space
dust particles floating around 47 to 53 miles above the earth’s surface. They are visible on the Northern horizon.
The conditions have to be just right for us
to see them. Technically, we are too far south to be in the "sweet spot" for viewing. They are normally only seen between 50 and 70 degrees latitude. We are at 48 degrees.
They are only visible for a few weeks either side of the summer solstice. I have captured them from late May and into the middle of July.
For those who like their sleep... This may not be a popular event since they are only visible during "Astronomical Twilight". This varies throughout the year, but right now it is about 3 hours before sunrise.... The chart below shows the current "Twilight" times for our area.
All of these conditions have to come into alignment before these ice particles can be illuminated. The sun has to be at just the right angle where it is lower than the horizon, still dark at our level and at the same time illuminating these particles. The graphic below demonstrates this.
A lot of things have to be just right for us to enjoy events like this. Plus, there is no way to forecast if they will be visible. Conditions my be just perfect and they won't show up. They are very fickle.
A VERY interesting fact about Noctilucent Clouds is that there are no documented reports prior to 1885.... That can open a ton of questions about..... "Human Caused" vs. "Alien Caused" vs. "Climate Change".... Have fun with that one.... :)
Still images are beautiful, but I really like how Noctilucents move in a time lapse video. Here is a compilation from 3 of my cameras.