Irma Briefly Clears our Skies Tuesday Evening

On Tuesday, September 12, a high overcast covered the region most of the day, the remnants of once Hurricane Irma.  Below this solid high overcast, a layer of smoke continued, lending the sky a dull, hazy quality.  However, late in the day, northeast winds around the remnants of Irma pushed the smoke layer westward, just out of our region.  Then the high overcast dissipated (for the most part), offering a classic, almost smoke-free, cirrus sunset over our area.


Viewed across Clinton Lake, the sun sets behind a patch of cirrus under relatively smoke free skies Tuesday evening.


Zooming in on the horizon, con trails from jet airliners are brilliantly lit up above a dissipating cirrus canopy, the remnants of Irma’s cirrus outflow shield. 


The sun briefly makes an appearance through a thin spot in the cirrus shield to the west. 


The snags in the distance offer perches for what appears to be turkey buzzards and sea gulls. 


And the sun sets under an almost smoke-free sky.    


The 5:45 PM CDT satellite image: The dashed line just to the west and north of Lawrence is the approximate border of the smoke aloft.  This wildfire smoke, mainly from the Pacific Northwest, has predominated since late August.  However it was briefly pushed out of our area Tuesday evening, courtesy of the remnant circulation around Irma.  Very dense smoke covers the northern high plains.  A thinner but still prominent smoke layer still covers areas just to the north and west of eastern Kansas. 


On Tuesday evenings upper air chart (500 MB – about 18,000 feet up) we see 25 knot northeast winds at Topeka.   While we are in the western periphery of the now vast circulation around Irma, any moisture at this level or below resides only about as far west as a St Louis to Springfield line.   St. Louis ended up with 0.06 inches from Irma’s remnants, while Cape Girardeau in far southeast Missouri picked up 0.30 inches. 



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