“Critical Fire Weather” 2k+ acres burning in NW MN; Weather Channel to “name” winter storms

3 separate fires burning in Northwest Minnesota today

2,000+ acres burned so far, and growing

Red Flag Warnings out for the western half of Minnesota today

16% Humidity values as low as 16% today

Winter Storm “Yogi?” Weather Channel to “name” major winter storms this winter!

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Source: NWS

Multiple fires underway in northwest Minnesota:

This is not your typical early October weather in Minnesota.

The NWS is highlighting “critical fire weather” again today as at least 3 separate blazes burn a total of 2,000 acres in northwest Minnesota.

National Interagency Coordination Center

Incident Management Situation Report

Tuesday, October 2, 2012 – 0530 MT

National Preparedness Level 2

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Source: U.S. Forest Service

An area of low pressure will intensify across southern canada today. as a result, the pressure gradient will increase across the northern plains and portions of the upper midwest this afternoon. Humidity values will drop into the teens and low 20s, creating critical fire weather conditions over west central and southwest Minnesota. Winds further east should be light enough to keep conditions below critical levels. another front is expected to move across the upper midwest late wednesday. Ahead of this front, low relative humidity values are predicted, but winds are currently not expected to reach red flag criteria. Behind this front, much colder air will surge southward with a chance of precipitation, especially across central Minnesota thursday.

Some smoke is visible mixing in with cirrus clouds this morning in northern Minnesota.

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Source: College of DuPage Weather Lab

Red Flag Warnings are flying for the western half of Minnesota today.

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…RED FLAG WARNING IN EFFECT FROM 11 AM THIS MORNING TO 7 PM CDT THIS EVENING FOR WIND AND LOW RELATIVE HUMIDITY FOR WEST CENTRAL AND SOUTHWEST MINNESOTA…

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN TWIN CITIES/CHANHASSEN HAS ISSUED A RED FLAG WARNING FOR WIND AND LOW RELATIVE HUMIDITY…WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM 11 AM THIS MORNING TO 7 PM CDT THIS EVENING.

* WINDS…SOUTH 15 TO 20 MPH WITH GUSTS UP TO 30 MPH.

* TIMING…11 AM TO 7 PM TODAY.

* RELATIVE HUMIDITY…AS LOW AS 15 TO 20 PERCENT.

* IMPACTS…FIRES COULD BECOME FAST MOVING IN A SHORT PERIOD OF

TIME DUE TO THE HIGH WINDS AND LOW HUMIDITY.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

A RED FLAG WARNING MEANS THAT CRITICAL FIRE WEATHER CONDITIONS ARE EITHER OCCURRING NOW…OR WILL SHORTLY. A COMBINATION OF STRONG WINDS…LOW RELATIVE HUMIDITY…AND WARM TEMPERATURES WILL CREATE EXPLOSIVE FIRE GROWTH POTENTIAL.

Winter Storm “Athena?” Weather Channel will name winter storms in 2012-’13:

This could get interesting.

The Weather Channel announced this morning that they will name major winter storms, similar to the way NOAA names hurricanes this winter.

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Source: The Weather Channel

During the upcoming 2012-13 winter season The Weather Channel will name noteworthy winter storms. Our goal is to better communicate the threat and the timing of the significant impacts that accompany these events. The fact is, a storm with a name is easier to follow, which will mean fewer surprises and more preparation.

Naming Winter Storms

Hurricanes and tropical storms have been given names since the 1940s. In the late 1800s, tropical systems near Australia were named as well. Weather systems, including winter storms, have been named in Europe since the 1950s. Important dividends have resulted from attaching names to these storms:

•Naming a storm raises awareness.

•Attaching a name makes it much easier to follow a weather system’s progress.

•A storm with a name takes on a personality all its own, which adds to awareness.

•In today’s social media world, a name makes it much easier to reference in communication.

•A named storm is easier to remember and refer to in the future.

The chosen names come from a list that will not intersect with names used for hurricanes.

This could get interesting…and in my opinion it’s a great PR move for The Weather Channel, whose ratings spike during major winter storms.

Where’s “Boreas” and “Vulcan?”

PH

  • More bread and circuses.

    Naming winter storms is a great idea. I suggest they included the names of beer companies for added advertising revenue. “Here comes Michelob Athena!” While we’re all freaking out over those scary storms on Weather Channel, we can enjoy some suds or other consumer item.

  • Chris B. Critter

    Q? They don’t have a “Q” name? I’m sure Quinn, Quincy, Quagmire (giggity), Quasar, Quinlan, Quentin, Quimby, Queeney, and Queequeg are disappointed.

    OTOH, John de Lancie, Desmond Llewelyn, and John Cleese (among others) are pleased.

  • Michelle Tetreault

    I actually thought of naming winter storms a couple years ago after the Bomb Cyclogenesis in October 2010. (I’m not taking credit for the idea. I just thought of it on my own.) I compiled 6 years of names and have been using them among my friends and family. I suppose they are useless now. But I have found it does simplify which storms we are discussing them.

  • Melissa

    Speaking of northwest MN, what is your take on the potential for SNOW this week??!

  • Disco

    Yes, it’s a great idea.

    A great idea to make even bigger idiots out of people who watch the Weather Channel.

    Perhaps Jim Cantore can drive a snowplow during Winter Storm Draco. Or be shown with icicles danging from his nose during Winter Storm Saturn. Or have his car be involved in a 20-vehicle pile-up during Winter Storm Yogi.

    I, too, am somewhat surprised that they didn’t choose product names for these storms. Maybe that’s next.

  • Amax

    I think they are a little late to the game… KFAN has been naming winter storms for a couple of years on Dan Barrerio’s show. I’m just sayin’! :)

  • Chris

    To Chris B. – Q is a character from Star Trek TNG. Maybe not a common real world name I understand but Trekkies will appreciate. Actually, one of my favorite all time characters as he was omnipotent and somewhat of a rebel in his species.