October, Friday the 13th: Friday was rather warm for late October with a high at the Lawrence Airport of 84 and low of 56, some 13 degrees above normal for the date, as a frontal boundary remained stationary not far to our west and north. It was more humid with afternoon dew points running in the mid 60s, ranging from 58 in the morning to 71 around sunset. Some clouds at sunset tried to form a few showers but ultimately did not manage to quite muster up any rainfall.
Clouds built up to the west and north at sunset Friday evening as seen from the Clinton Lake Dam, but there was not quite enough instability to break a stable cap at the top of the clouds.
Friday at 5:45 PM CDT, an area of stratus marks the region of a stationary surface boundary extending from central Kansas to central Iowa with some low level instability clouds ahead of the boundary that did not do much in eastern Kansas. The upper trough brought showers to the Pacific northwest. Clouds over Mexico and New Mexico portend some moisture heading our direction ahead of the upper trough. A thick blob of smoke is seen centered in the north San Francisco Bay region, drifting to the south in a light, dry northerly flow over California.
Friday evening 500 MB shows a new strong shortwave trough digging over eastern Oregon and a broader upper long-wave trough over the intermountain west. The shortwave driving southeastward will bring another shot of dry northeast winds to the California fire zones on Saturday.
Time to check in on the fire zone: The fires flared up late in the day on Friday:
At 4:15 PM a thick blob of smoke from the north bay fires hangs over the SF Bay Area and drifts southward along the coast. Fires also flare up in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, especially the large one south of Sequoia National park, but with three smaller plumes in the central Sierra.
A broader view at 4:45 PM shows the bay area smoke plume continuing to extend hundreds of miles offshore, with less dense smoke over the eastern and southern San Joaquin Valley and the dense plume from the late day flare up of the southern Sierra fires.
Low sun angle illuminates the plumes of smoke at 5:15 PM PDT, as a westerly flow of moisture seems to stop at the California-Oregon border.