Smoke Returns for Sunrise Wednesday

Wednesday morning, September 13th:  While Irma’s local northeast winds around its cyclonic wind field managed to briefly push the smoke aloft out of the area Tuesday evening, by Wednesday morning it had pushed eastward again, following Irma’s movement slightly to the northeast.  Alas, smoky and hazy skies are here again – and offering those interesting sunrises and sunsets!


The sun starts to peek above the horizon on the Baker Wetlands Wednesday morning, the strong orange glow revealing that the smoke has moved back over our area overnight.  There is also some patchy ground fog, despite two and a half weeks with no rainfall.   The low this morning was 51 at the Lawrence Airport, after yesterday’s mild and dry high of 80.


Zooming in on the big, smoke-tinged orange beach ball with a flock of birds in the foreground.


There is not much you can say for the smoky haze during the day, but the smoky skies make for interesting photos at sunrise and sunset.


The leading edge of the smoke front lies to our east in multiple bands.   The sun is rising through them from our vantage point in Lawrence.  Little spots on the disc are small birds.


Here the sun has risen upward through one thicker smoke band aloft to our east and is entering another.


A sublime scene at sunrise – and I was the only one there.


A Blue Heron and White Heron face off.


Nice morning for a stroll in the wetlands.


The late summer blooms enhance the scene.



At 9:15 AM Wednesday, Sept 13th – The smoke discontinuity is now just east of Kansas City (thin dashed line) as the flow around Irma has pushed eastward.  Much denser smoke (thicker dashed line) advances eastward to our north and is poised to round the corner and head our way.   A persistent low off the California coast triggers unusual morning thunderstorms in the Monterey and San Francisco Bay area.


8:45 AM regional view – Two close parallel bands of smoke can be seen marking the smoke discontinuity that now extends northeast to southwest just east of Kansas City.


Wednesday morning’s upper air chart showing Irma over Kentucky now moving northeastward and the low off the central California beginning to get picked up and flung northeastward as an upper trough of low pressure starts to dig into western Canada and the Pacific Northwest.  As the California system gets entrained in the trough and finally gets pushed eastward, we may get our first shot at a few showers Friday night, but more likely Saturday night and Sunday.


While the drama of the sunrise is done, the misty morning on the wetlands still offers photo ops for wildlife.


And chances to enjoy the general scenic qualities as this local resident flies from a wetlands pool to a perch.


And here is that perch.


The wild sunflower face the early morning sun.


Here we see in interesting Monarch-like butterfly, and, not seen until I looked at the image at home, a grasshopper perched nearby.

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