Pagami Fire “burn scar” visible from space TX: Dust Bowl

Our “October Reality Check” continues Wednesday!

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Pagami Creek Fire “Burn Scar” visible from space!

The so called “burn scar” from the massive Pagami Creek Fire is clearly visible form NASA’s Landsat-5 satellite in orbit high above earth. Here is the image from NASA’s Earth Observatory.

(Click to enlarge!)

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Nearly two months after being ignited by lightning, the Pagami Creek Fire in northern Minnesota was nearly contained when Landsat-5 acquired this image on October 10, 2011. Since August 18, the fire has been burning in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in Superior National Forest. As of October 11, the fire had burned 92,682 acres and was 82 percent contained. Apart from a faint hint of smoke, there is little sign of current fire activity in the image. The burned forest, however, is charcoal-colored, in contrast to the green forest around it.


InciWeb. (2011, October 11). Pagami Creek Fire. Accessed October 11, 2011.

NASA Earth Observatory image created by Jesse Allen and Robert Simmon, using Landsat data provided by the United States Geological Survey. Caption by Holli Riebeek.


Landsat 5 – TM

For those that know the BWCA you can see the fire burned from near Lake One on the west to Lake Kawasachong on the east, and from the southern half of Lake Insula on the north to Lake Isabella on the south. That’s some pretty prime BWCA real estate.

Massive Texas Dust storm brings back “Dust Bowl” imagery:

Is this Phoenix or Texas?

The worst drought in Texas history means plenty of loose dry dusty soil around. Now the wind is sending it airborne.

The story from AP via Yahoo.

“LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) — Winds gusting at more than 70 mph churned up a dust storm that roiled through the Texas South Plains during the Monday afternoon commute.

Dust kicked up by westerly breezes ahead of a strong cold front restricted visibility in Lubbock to about 5 miles all afternoon, said National Weather Service Lubbock meteorologist Matt Ziebell.

That was nothing compared to the 8,000-foot-high rolling dust cloud that moved through the city just before 6 p.m., dropping visibility to between zero and less than a quarter of a mile, Ziebell said.

North winds gusting as high as 74 mph had begun forming the dust cloud about 100 miles north of Lubbock around 4:30 p.m., he said.

“It went from light to dark, just like that,” said Lubbock convenience store clerk Alma Williams. “I’ve never seen anything like it. It really scared me.”

She said customers who went outside to watch the dirt cloud said they hadn’t seen anything like it, either,

Lubbock city spokesman Jeff McKito said he was driving home from work when the dust hit. “It was pretty spectacular. Everything just turned black,” he said.

He said cars pulled over and stopped, “but you don’t want to get out of the car in this situation,” he said.

FAA controllers at Lubbock International Airport had to evacuate the tower and direct air traffic from a backup center on the tower’s ground floor, McKito said. Trees toppled, roofs lost shingles and a small cargo plane at the airport was overturned, he said.

No injuries were reported from the dust cloud reminiscent of those shown in Dust Bowl photos from the late 1930s.”

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Photo By The Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, Walt Nett

New NOAA Polar Orbiting Satellite may help refine forecasts

September: 8th warmest on record globally

From NOAA:

Global temperatures in September were eighth warmest on record

Annual minimum Arctic sea ice extent second smallest ever recorded

October 13, 2011

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The Earth experienced its eighth warmest September since record keeping began in 1880. The annual minimum Arctic sea ice extent was reached on September 9 and ranked as the second smallest extent since satellite records began in 1979.

Global Temperature Highlights: September

•The combined global land and ocean average surface temperature for September was the eighth warmest on record at 59.95˚F (15.53˚C), which is 0.95˚F (0.53˚C) above the 20th century average of 59.0˚F (15.0˚C). The margin of error associated with this temperature is +/- 0.20˚F (0.11˚C).

•Separately, the global land surface temperature was 1.57˚F (0.87˚C) above the 20th century average of 53.6˚F (12.0˚C), making this the fourth warmest September on record. The margin of error is +/- 0.43˚F (0.24˚C). Warmer-than-average conditions occurred across Europe, northern and western Africa, western Russia, the western and northeastern United States, Canada, and Mexico. Cooler-than-average regions included much of eastern Asia, and part of the central United States.

•The September global ocean surface temperature was 0.72˚F (0.40˚C) above the 20th century average of 61.1˚F (16.2˚C), making it the 14th warmest September on record. The margin of error is +/- 0.07˚F (0.04˚C). The warmth was most pronounced across the north central and northwest Pacific Ocean and within about the 30°N-40°N latitude belt across the Atlantic.

•The United Kingdom marked its warmest September since 2006 and sixth warmest in the last 100 years, at 2.7˚F (1.5˚C) above the 1971-2000 average.

•Spain had its warmest September since 1990 and fifth warmest for the past 50 years, at 3.2˚F (1.8˚C) above the 1971-2000 average.

Global Temperature Highlights: Year to date

•The combined global land and ocean average surface temperature for the January – September period was 0.94˚F (0.52˚C) above the 20th century average of 57.5˚F (14.1˚C), making it the 11th warmest such period on record. The margin of error is +/- 0.18˚F (0.10˚C).

•The January – September worldwide land surface temperature was 1.44˚F (0.80˚C) above the 20th century average — the seventh warmest such period on record. The margin of error is +/- 0.36˚F (0.20˚C). The global ocean surface temperature for the year to date was 0.74˚F (0.41˚C) above the 20th century average and was the 12th warmest such period on record. The margin of error is +/-0.07˚F (0.04˚C).

•La Niña conditions strengthened during September. According to NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, La Niña is expected to gradually strengthen further and continue into the Northern Hemisphere winter 2011/12.

Polar Sea Ice and Precipitation Highlights

•Arctic sea ice reached its annual minimum extent on September 9 at 1.67 million square miles (4.33 million square km), marking the second smallest extent on record. In September 2007, the sea ice extent dipped to 1.61 million square miles (4.17 million square km). According to the University of Washington’s Polar Science Center, Arctic sea ice volume, which depends on ice thickness and extent, dropped to 960 cubic miles (4,000 cubic km) on September 10, the smallest volume on record.

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