A large number of fires are burning out of control in the Western states everywhere from Montana and Wyoming to California. A large percentage of these fires are in Nevada and California.
Besides the devastation these fires are producing both to Mother Nature and to peoples' lives, they are also producing a considerable amount of smoke. A satellite picture taken this morning when the sun was at more of an angle shows some of this smoke. The smoke is the hazy looking areas from northern California to Wyoming.
There is a special satellite-derived product that better depicts the extent of the smoke. This map appears below.
The colored areas depict where there is smoke being detected. The increasing green color is thicker and thicker smoke with the thickest smoke in the grayish, shaded areas. As you can see, there is quite a large area of the West having at least some smoke in the air. The heart of the fire season is just in its infancy, and there is a long way to go until the wet season returns.
A prolonged rain-free pattern is setting in.
By this time in 1998 there was twice as much rain that had occurred to date compared to 2015-2016.
Could an unusual El Nino precipitation pattern be as simple as looking at the state of water temperatures?
One thing that I find interesting is that the pattern since fall has not been your typical El Nino storm pattern.
There are signs of a possible stormier pattern beginning the week of Jan. 18.
The cumulative effect of the series of storms will mean flooding, mudslides and debris flows are going to be a problems for much of the week