Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Wildfires Rage On

Watching the wildfires on TV the last few days has been rather heartbreaking. It has to be a very helpless feeling for firefighters to stand back and watch stuff burn right before them. The Santa Ana winds can be relentless, much like the Kansas wind sometimes.
This graphic helps explain what the Santa Ana winds are and how they fuel the fire. We have something similar to Santa Ana winds here in Kansas, only ours is called a "chinook" wind. A chinook wind blows off of the Rocky Mountains, down into Kansas and warms up rapidly as it goes from high elevation to low elevation. Just like the winds in California, the chinook wind is a very dry wind. During the wintertime, temperatures can start out in the 20s and end up in the 70s during the afternoon, often because of this chinook wind.

NASA released this satellite picture Tuesday and we've been showing it on the newscasts from time to time. Several different areas burning and TONS of smoke. Conditions should improve for firefighters as the wind slows down and changes direction. The relative humidity should start coming back up by the end of the week. Our thoughts are definitely with those in southern California.


Anonymous said...

Scary times for sure. Glad that we aren't that dry this year. Shows the importance of fire prevention.

shelly said...

I have family near San Diego that had to be evacuated from their home. They have not yet gone back. Asking for prayers......thanks

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