Raging Oklahoma Fires, Olympic Thunderstorms, Ernesto Update
Evacuations ordered yesterday as fires burned out of control in Oklahoma. Images of the devastation:
Picture from the AP in Luther, OK
Highway 48, Photo From AP Photo/Tulsa World, Tom Gilbert
From Fox News: “One roaring fire near Luther, about 25 miles northeast of Oklahoma City, destroyed nearly five dozen homes and other buildings before firefighters gained a measure of control Saturday. Authorities said several state roads remained closed early Sunday because of drifting smoke or nearby fires…Authorities suspect the fire near Luther may have been intentionally set, while the cause of the others was undetermined. The Oklahoma County sheriff’s department said it was looking for someone in a black pickup truck seen throwing newspapers out a window after setting them ablaze. Department spokeswoman Mary Myers said there were “no arrests, no suspects” but deputies were “working around the clock” to find anyone responsible.”
Although it is believed these fires were intentionally set, the weather did not help the circumstances. Extremely dry ground combined with high winds and plenty of hot air created explosive growth once they were started. Miserable conditions for the fire fighters with high temperatures up to 105 degrees.
Conditions slightly improved today and the Red Flag Warnings that were in effect yesterday have been allowed to expire as some much needed rain moved in this morning.
Radar estimated storm totals from this morning:
Some totals close to 2 inches and isolated amounts even higher than that to the north of Tulsa.
Several issues emerging this afternoon in London due to heavy rain and thunderstorms this morning. Not exactly ideal conditions for the women’s marathon:
Picture from The Telegraph
Rain didn’t stop spectators from coming out to line the streets and cheer on the runners.
Other spectators that were expecting to remain dry, also dealt with some wet conditions – inside!
From The Telegraph: “Huge storms have already left parts of Britain under water, with driving rain, thunder and lightning forcing thousands of Olympic spectators to run for cover and threatening several key events on day nine of the Games. By this afternoon, leaks had emerged in the velodrome roof after heavy rain and spectators were subjected to water dripping on their heads and seats as they waited for Team GB to perform. Officials are now investigating whether droplets of water, which were spotted on the ground in several parts of the venue, could affect today’s cycling. So far the track has escaped unscathed but spots of rain water have been reported in the centre of the arena and other areas, including the Chinese “pen” where the country’s athletes are stationed during events. The men’s trap event has also been suspended due to “lightning and dangerous conditions”, according to Australian officials…The Met Office has issued a severe weather warning, with “slow moving, torrential downpours, some of them thundery, with the risk of hail and strong winds” expected across most of England, Scotland and Wales. ”
Latest water vapor imagery from Ernesto, sitting just south of Haiti. Storm will approach Jamaica this afternoon and continue westward, making landfall potentially over Mexico as a tropical storm. Notice the drier air sitting in front of the storm, that makes it not conducive for additional growth at this point. Nonetheless, high winds and heavy rain expected for Jamaica with a Tropical Storm Warning in effect for today.
Florence not expected to intensify much and so far, no land areas are in the path of this storm.
Intensification to a hurricane is possible by end of the week as it moves into the Gulf of Mexico.
Enjoy the rest of your weekend!
Meteorologist Gretchen Mishek