2013 Fire & Smoke Reports

Questions and reports related to Sierra Nevada current and forecast conditions, as well as general precautions and safety information. Trail conditions, fire/smoke reports, mosquito reports, weather and snow conditions, stream crossing information, and more.
Post Reply
User avatar
Rockchucker
Topix Expert
Posts: 407
Joined: Mon Jan 28, 2013 5:22 pm
Experience: N/A
Location: Bishop, CA

Re: 2013 Fire & Smoke Reports

Post by Rockchucker » Thu Aug 01, 2013 8:25 pm

Haven't seen the mountians in 3 days, my son said it feels like he has a blanket over his head! Horrible.
I'm no suture for my future.

User avatar
SSSdave
Topix Addict
Posts: 2452
Joined: Thu Nov 17, 2005 11:18 pm
Experience: N/A
Location: Silicon Valley
Contact:

Re: 2013 Fire & Smoke Reports

Post by SSSdave » Fri Aug 02, 2013 9:14 am

Just looked at a bunch of Sierra web cams. Indeed the Owens Valley is moderate hazy/smoky as far north as Mammoth. Of course stale air in the Owens Valley often parks their as inversion until regional winds blow through. A bit further north Mono Lake skies appear nicely blue. Also blue skies in the Carson Valley and Tahoe. A web cam at Bear Valley looked fine too so am expecting my weekend road trip to the Ebbetts Pass area won't have issues. The general upper air flow continues to be west to east or southwest to northeast. Some chance monsoon weather may move further west again later next week. If so might try and get a backpack in about Humphreys Basin where vegetation out be near peak now.

User avatar
rlown
Topix Docent
Posts: 6761
Joined: Thu Oct 25, 2007 5:00 pm
Experience: Level 4 Explorer
Location: Petaluma, CA

Re: 2013 Fire & Smoke Reports

Post by rlown » Fri Aug 02, 2013 9:44 am

dunno about that. look at http://bishopweather.com/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Where are the mountains? But true, it can only get better.

User avatar
SSSdave
Topix Addict
Posts: 2452
Joined: Thu Nov 17, 2005 11:18 pm
Experience: N/A
Location: Silicon Valley
Contact:

Re: 2013 Fire & Smoke Reports

Post by SSSdave » Sun Aug 04, 2013 11:22 am

Drove up to Ebbetts Pass on SR4 late afternoon Friday. Skies were hazy blue over the Central Valley except for a thin dirty brown smoke band over the east foothills. Air over the Sierra looked hazy blue. At dawn had an unblocked view to the west and saw a more dense brown band had moved in above the Sierra foothills. At sunrise although Ebbetts Pass and areas north were hazy blue, areas just south in the Sonora Pass area and to the east over Monarch Pass looked hazy smoky. By 8am the smoky air to the south surprized me by moving north and I could smell smoke that was disgustingly unpleasant. I was working closeup wildflowers photography and not landscapes, so that had no impact on my reason for being there.

I had been in the area 4 weeks before when wildflowers were at peak which was surprising good despite the dry conditions and it appeared it would stay that way for at least a week or two longer. However the droughty conditions made quick work of green vegetation making for considerably less flowers than would be expected a couple to three weeks past peak. Grassy meadow areas are already quite dry and brown except in more permanent seep and streamside areas. After rambling about a few hours, at mid morning I decided to bail so drove home. Skies were smoky hazy until I reached Bear Valley, after which they were increasingly blue all the rest of the way home. Even the brown band over the Sierra foothills was gone.

The smoke situation was somewhat a mystery though I can speculate. One issue was why was there a band of smoke over the Sierra foothills that apparently thickened overnight? The jet stream and upper atmosphere for days has consistently been blowing west to east or southwest to northeast. Thus that flow would not have caused that smoke band as the Aspen Fire is well to the south-southeast. Lower down in the hot Central Valley, a thermal low often sets up rotating CCW. At night in stagnant air conditions in the lower and mid atmospheric levels like we have been having, the smoky air up the San Joaquin drainage sumps down canyon back towards the valley. So am guessing, plumes of sumping smoke got caught up in a thermal air circulation blowing north. Then in the morning as the valley air heats up and expands, that pushes east up canyons. Additionally smoky air at mid levels above west slopes bank up against Sierra crest areas and also may have rotated north and been helped by the upper air also moving west to east. Much of that hazy smoky air probably does not show up on the satellite until it becomes dense so I've learned another useful lesson. The current pattern is supposed to hold till the following weekend when the low off the Oregon coast is finally supposed to move east followed by more normal August weather though long range forecasts are rather speculative. Given the droughty conditions I may not have any reason to return to the Sierra till leaf season at the end of September.

User avatar
BrianF
Topix Regular
Posts: 285
Joined: Thu Jul 06, 2006 1:29 pm
Experience: Level 4 Explorer
Location: Santa Barbara,Ca

Re: 2013 Fire & Smoke Reports

Post by BrianF » Sun Aug 04, 2013 6:00 pm

Was up On Cirque Peak above Cottonwood Lakes on 8/3. All of the southern Sierra was smoke-free and views to the north were claer as far as I could see.
The direction you are moving in is what matters, not the place you happen to be -Colin Fletcher

User avatar
ndwoods
Founding Member
Posts: 236
Joined: Thu Nov 03, 2005 9:48 am
Experience: N/A
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
Contact:

Re: 2013 Fire & Smoke Reports

Post by ndwoods » Tue Aug 06, 2013 5:34 pm

75% contained!
http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/3552/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
http://ndeewoods.com/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

User avatar
SSSdave
Topix Addict
Posts: 2452
Joined: Thu Nov 17, 2005 11:18 pm
Experience: N/A
Location: Silicon Valley
Contact:

Re: 2013 Fire & Smoke Reports

Post by SSSdave » Tue Aug 06, 2013 9:17 pm

This link wildhiker posted earlier below on this thread is quite useful. More so than satellite views.

http://www.firedetect.noaa.gov/viewer.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Shows air above the whole central and northern Sierra has at least thin smoke and having been that way on the weekend can believe it. At best it looks hazy most everywhere. Anyway, there is yet another fire now in the Central Sierra a bit north near Beardsley Reservoir, the Power Fire. Rather interesting looking at the wide view of the map showing all of North America. Oregon fires blowing smoke eastward is plaguing huge areas across several states. And western Canada is looking even worse.

User avatar
markskor
Founding Member & Forums Administrator
Founding Member & Forums Administrator
Posts: 2266
Joined: Fri Oct 28, 2005 5:41 pm
Experience: Level 4 Explorer
Location: Mammoth Lakes

Re: 2013 Fire & Smoke Reports

Post by markskor » Wed Aug 07, 2013 8:36 am

Mammoth Lakes -
Wind from WNW with heavy gusts last night -
Cleared the smoke out, first time in a week can see the peaks.
About time.

As long as no Southern winds, East-side will have excellent hiking.
Expect isolated thundershowers tomorrow (always blows in) but hopefully good all next week too.
Mountainman who swims with trout

User avatar
caddis
Founding Member
Posts: 229
Joined: Sat Dec 03, 2005 7:01 pm
Experience: N/A
Location: Lemoore
Contact:

Re: 2013 Fire & Smoke Reports

Post by caddis » Thu Aug 08, 2013 6:41 am

Looking at the map. the fire made it all the way up t Pryor lake
Image

User avatar
orbitor
Topix Regular
Posts: 120
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2012 8:36 am
Experience: Level 4 Explorer
Location: Bishop, CA

Re: 2013 Fire & Smoke Reports

Post by orbitor » Thu Aug 08, 2013 4:18 pm

We were in Little Lakes Valley last weekend. Smoke from the Aspen Fire moved in the afternoons, totally engulfing peaks, passes and valleys. Here are some pictures from Saturday 3 August from Mt. Morgan:

Image
Zoom in to Red Slate Mountain from summit of Mt. Morgan, just before 1pm; unable to see anything beyond

Image
Little Lakes Valley, with Bear Creek Spire, Dade, Abbot and Mills lined up behind, looking ok around 1:20 pm

Image
Looking west from NW Ridge of Morgan, shortly after 4pm - Abbot, Mills, Ruby Wall barely distinguishable through the haze

Image
Descending the Tamarack Lakes trail back to Rock Creek Lake, around 6:30pm - can barely see Mt. Starr just across the valley

Heading to Mt. Lyell this weekend - hopefully they get a handle on the fire by then.
(80% containment as of 8 August)
Climbing | Community | Adventure | Life
http://www.sierramountaineeringclub.org

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google Adsense [Bot] and 4 guests