All Weather News

Severe Risk Today, Weather Hinders Firefighting Efforts and Biking to Work Weather

18 May 2012, 9:07 am

Severe Threat Today

The SPC has issued a slight risk of severe storms for portions of Utah, Colorado and Wyoming. Already strong winds have been reported in the area and wind appears to be the main threat today.

Fire Weather Update

The Hewlett fire in Colorado has grown to 7,673 acres, prompting officials Friday to declare an emergency. Read more here: Wildfires in Colorado and Arizona growing; firefighters struggle – latimes.com.

Photo Courtesy: R.J. Sangosti/The Denver Post

Wild fires continue to burn in Arizona today and the weather isn’t helping the situation.  High winds and low dewpoints are to blame for these difficult conditions.  There are two major fires just to the north of the Phoenix area, the Gladiator Fire and the Sunflower Fire.  The Sunflower Fire is the larger of the two fires, now sized at  over 14,000 acres.  Both of these fires are located in difficult terrain for fire fighting.

The fires are so large that the smoke is visible from space.

Photo from the NASA.

Most recent update from the www.inciweb.org:

“Today (May 17) Red Flag winds drove fire north and east with a push to the west with more intensity than in the past few days. Fire behavior included group tree torching with 120 foot flame lengths in the timber and 20 foot flame lengths in lower elevations, with spotting up to ½ mile. Six air tankers worked on the western perimeter near the communication towers to check the fire and allow hot shot crews to construct fireline. There are numerous towers with multiple users on the Towers and Wildflower communication sites. Local, regional, and national communication sites include FM and AM radio, internet, phone, public safety as well as private and federal enterprises. Much of the fireline in the Crown King area is now considered controlled.”

Red Flag Warnings continue to remain in effect today and fires will continue to spread to the north with winds over 20 miles per hour and humidity levels at only 12%

Gladiator Fire

(Information from www.inciweb.org – check that site for the latest updates)

Total Personnel 640
Size 8,166 acres
Percent Contained 5%
Fuels Involved Ponderosa pine and chaparral

Sunflower Fire

(Information from www.inciweb.org – check that site for the latest updates)

Total Personnel 601
Size 14,465 acres
Percent Contained 15%
Fuels Involved Grass, chaparral, pinyon pine, heavy Arizona cypress trees in the southwest corner.
Fire Behavior Active fire behavior in pockets of unburned fuel. Fire burned actively through shrub/ brush during burnout operations Thursday.
Significant Events Burnout operations are occurring along FR 627 continuing toward FR 393.

National Bike to Work Day

Some Americans are taking part in the National Bike to Work Day today. This event is apart of the National Bike Month, as declared by the League of American Bicyclists.

Thanks to pdennison for this photo! Looking like a perfect day to bike to work in Cleveland, OH today. With plenty of sunshine and high temperatures in the 70s, its not too hot or too cold. Winds won’t be much of a factor either at only 3 to 5 mph.

Great photo from spocxli in Indianapolis, IN! Bikers waiting patiently (or impatiently) for the train.  At least it was sunny this morning.  The commute home will be just as enjoyable with highs in the low 80s today and clear skies all day long.

Of the large cities in the US, here is a list of the most bikeable cities from www.walkscore.com:

  • Minneapolis
  • Portland
  • San Francisco
  • Boston
  • Madison
  • Washington, D.C.
  • Seattle
  • Tucson
  • New York City
  • Chicago

The survey uses criteria such as availability of bike lanes and racks.

Bikers in most regions will enjoy a rain-free day with the exception of the Southeast and portions of the Central Plains. Beautiful conditions in the Northeast for biking today with high pressure in place.  Most of the Northwest stays dry but it is on the chilly side.  Bikers in the Midwest will be fighting high winds and hot weather.

Stay safe!

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