This blog provides commentary on interesting geological events occurring around the world in the context of my own work. This work is, broadly, geological fluid dynamics. The events that I highlight here are those that resonate with my professional life and ideas, and my goal is to interpret them in the context of ideas I've developed in my research. The blog does not represent any particular research agenda. It is written on a personal basis and does not seek to represent the University of Illinois, where I am a professor of geology and physics. Enjoy Geology in Motion! I would be glad to be alerted to geologic events of interest to post here! I hope that this blog can provide current event materials that will make geology come alive.

Banner image is by Ludie Cochrane..

Susan Kieffer can be contacted at s1kieffer at gmail.com

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

JAWS=(July Abnormally Wet System) approaches!

Satellite image of JAWS on Tuesday, July 9 from Cliff Mass blot
JAWS=July Abnormally Wet System

We have a wonderful atmospheric scientist at U. Washington, Prof. Cliff Mass. He has written a blog about the Northwest weather since 2008, two years longer than my blog and has had a total of nearly 46 million page views! The material below is taken from his post today, July 9.
     Usually we get hot and dry after the July 4th holiday, but not this year! Some people are even commenting that they are still using their furnaces...  JAWS is approaching the northwest coast, and Cliff says "The view from space is scary and unusual for this time of year. It looks like a November satellite image."
     Rain approaches overnight and tomorrow will be cool (almost cold for this time of year) and wet--not just a typical Seattle drizzle, but real rain, the heaviest being overnight Tuesday-Wednesday a.m..
    Cliff likes the JAWS movie analogy--there were sequels to the original JAWS film, and there are going to be sequels to the weather system here.  JAWS2 will move in on Sunday, when another upper level trough comes through our region.  And JAWS3 will probably strike between July 19-22, possibly even producing   wetter conditions than JAWS2. 
     We have been in an interesting summer weather pattern in June and early July: unlike normal summer weather in which eastern Washington is hotter than western Washington, we have had more severe drought conditions in the west. The Puget Sound region where Seattle is located is in the lighter orange color on the Drought Monitor map, classified as D1=moderate drought.  Much of the Olympic Peninsula is the dark orange, D2=severe drought. 
     Because of these conditions, JAWS and its sequels will be welcome for lowering the fire and smoke prospects at least through July.  However, this will encourage growth of flora and if we have a hot, dry August, the forest fire and smoke conditions may return. 

No comments: