A lightning barrage puts the western U.S. on fire

From the Cliff Mass Weather Blog.

During the last few days, hundreds of fires have been ignited by an extraordinarily unusual barrage of thousands of lightning strikes over the western U.S. Major fires are burning all over California and dense smoke has spread across the region (see below).  The city of Vacaville is being engulfed in flames and air quality is rapidly degrading.

Impressively, an amazingly dense plume of smoke extends from California hundreds of miles into the Pacific.

And several major fires have started here in the Northwest–most by lightning.  Here is a satellite image of northern Oregon, with smoke extending eastward from fires on the eastern slopes of the Cascades.

And more fires are found over north-central Washington.  This sudden wildfire blow up has its origin in two meteorological events.  First, a strong persistent ridge of high pressure that brought record-breaking temperatures and drying conditions over a vast area of the west.

And then there was the most unusual and extreme “lightning barrage” with over 10,000 lightning strokes  in 72 hr.   Keep in mind this is usually the dry season in California. Let me show you the lightning in 24 h chunks.

For the 24h ending 1 AM Saturday. there was lightning over the Sierra Nevada, but much more over New Mexico.

Lightning starting moving into southern CA during the  next 24h and extended up the Sierra Nevada into southern Oregon.

But the real barrage hit on Sunday, with over a thousand lightning strikes in CA and even lightning over western Washington, something described in my previous blog.

The onslaught over CA did not end on Monday, with thousands more lightning strikes in northern CA and southeastern Oregon.

And even more on Tuesday, mainly over the eastern side of CA and Oregon.

These lighting strikes hit fuels that have been dried by not only the normal drought of the western summer, but an extraordinarily warm, dry period the last few weeks.

A persistent ridge of high pressure over the West was the cause, illustrated by the upper level weather map at 5 AM Sunday. The orange/red area is where the heights (or pressures) were much higher than normal at this level (about 18, 000 ft).   The winds are also shown at that level.  Strong southerly (from the south) winds are on the western side of the ridge—this is very important.

Why?  Because it entrained lots of moisture from the tropics and pushed it northward, creating lots of thunderstorms (see moisture map at that time).  If you look carefully you will see tropical storms to the south, which helped supply even more moisture. And it was worst than that.  The thunderstorms were mainly high-based, with much of the rain evaporating before hitting the surface.  Lightning, without wetting the surface, on very dry surface fuels.  A recipe for disaster.


My blog on the KNKX firing is found here.

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Nick Graves
August 21, 2020 3:15 am

Nah, wrong – it’s that God bloke firing thunderbolts again.

Trouble is, he’s confused Washington, CA with Washington DC. Muppet…

Reply to  Nick Graves
August 21, 2020 4:03 am

Trump did it

Walter Sobchak
Reply to  Nick Graves
August 21, 2020 3:32 pm

I think he is hitting the right people. Californians clearly need to be rebuked for their sins.

Ron Long
August 21, 2020 3:16 am

Fascinating videos of satellite imagery showing how different the winds are near surface and at much greater height. The smoke from the San Francisco area fires has spread well out to the SW over the Pacific, then it is also pickup up and streams NE toward Idaho. This near-surface air, moving toward the SW, is hot and dry and fits into the report narrative about big thunderstorms at higher elevations and dry and hot near surface. These stalled high-pressure ridges always cause problems during the summer months. August through September in Kalifornia is clearly fire season, especially when the Santa Ana Winds blow through the LA Basin, a totally natural process.

a happy little debunker
August 21, 2020 3:31 am

Fuel is gonna burn.
Maybe some Indigenous burning practices could be employed to reduce the fuel load?

Reply to  a happy little debunker
August 21, 2020 3:38 am

fire prevention measures like these?


I note it says ‘about 18 million trees died in California in 2018 from drought or wildfires, bringing the total in the state to 147 million since 2012’ which must add to the problem.

See also:

How much longer can people keep pretending this is just about forest management and not climate change? That this is just ‘normal drought’?

a happy little debunker
Reply to  griff
August 21, 2020 4:18 am

90 thousand acres of fuel reduction (.09%) vs. the state’s 102 million acres doesn’t sound like much of a plan – because at that rate the potential fuel load is reduced just once every thousand years.

Just think about how much money could be re-directed to Indigenous Fire Management.

Fred Middleton
Reply to  a happy little debunker
August 21, 2020 4:41 pm

That is the problem. Very large acreage with postage stamp solutions. 1977 – New Study (original done in 1922) claiming – with due respect – 1922 study not with our smart (my opinion) educated knowledge. 1977 We be advanced in knowledge. Sheep – grazing. OK. Problem, large numbers of sheep herders almost non-existent in California and adjacent lands. Went to New Mexico and adjoining areas, hired 1,000,000 sheep to bring in to ‘primary area Southern California. Cost $$$$. Very successful. Yep. “eat that weed over there, but do not eat this one single weed- good weed, we save”.

Bruce Cobb
Reply to  griff
August 21, 2020 4:35 am

How much longer will you “climate change” retards keep confusing weather with climate?

Reply to  Bruce Cobb
August 21, 2020 5:18 am

How much longer will you retards keep confusing “record-breaking temperatures and drying conditions” with weather?

David Kamakaris
Reply to  Loydo
August 21, 2020 6:10 am

Loydo, how long is your record?

Bruce Cobb
Reply to  Loydo
August 21, 2020 6:16 am

LOL. What a moron. You just described weather. “Record-breaking” or not, it’s still weather.

Reply to  Loydo
August 21, 2020 6:35 am

Oh look, the troll is convinced that just because something is the worst in 100 years, proves that it’s the worst ever.

Reply to  Loydo
August 21, 2020 8:34 am

Its not my record David its Cliff Mass’.

David Kamakaris
Reply to  Loydo
August 21, 2020 10:25 am

Loydo, you’re dodging. But I’ll re-word my question. How long is the record to which you are referring?

Reply to  Loydo
August 21, 2020 12:27 pm

Dodging the question and jumping to conclusions is the only exercise Loydo gets these days.

Reply to  MarkW
August 21, 2020 2:13 pm

Quite regularly I forget that using the “k” word for ending a life, or turning off an appliance gets me “moderated” but never once deleted.

I have a very beautiful daughter, much loved by all who meet her, more entertaining than Hollywood, who by the winds of fate will always be aged two to four in her cognition.

I do wonder how others in this thread use works like moron, and retard don’t trip the wire ? So much more ugliness than saying ” Hey Joe, kill the lights will ya?” (Thus guaranteeing my post gets inspected )

G Mawer
Reply to  Loydo
August 21, 2020 4:05 pm

When the media and agenda pushers make a bid deal of a situation, how do you know the truth unless you are in the middle of it?
I am. I am maybe 15 miles from one the problem fires. Yes in the dry fuel. Yes in California.
I have been here for more than six decades. Our weather now is not unusual. It’s been drier in the past. It’s been hotter in the past. August 19888 comes to mind.
Records fall. It happens. If they do not fall by a significant amount with some frequency, no matter how long the record there is no climate change. (as defined)

Reply to  Loydo
August 21, 2020 8:51 pm

I’m not dodging anything, I am quoting Cliff Mass, ask him.

“This sudden wildfire blow up has its origin in two meteorological events. First, a strong persistent ridge of high pressure that brought record-breaking temperatures and drying conditions over a vast area of the west.”

Apologies sendergreen.

Reply to  Loydo
August 22, 2020 12:30 am

“I’m not dodging anything”

Says Loy-doh as it ducks and weaves in a comedic riot of evasion. !!

“Loy-doh, how long is the record?”

Answer the question, you poor ineffectual twerp.. !

Reply to  Loydo
August 22, 2020 12:36 am

And how much have previous records been “adjusted” downwards?

And how much tar and cement has been added around the measuring site, since whenever…

Until you can answer these basic questions, your comments are totally EMPTY. !

Do you DENY the 1930’s dust bowl being far longer and far more devastating that this current WEATHER event !

David Kamakaris
Reply to  Loydo
August 22, 2020 7:28 am

Loydo, that was pathetic. YOU cited a record. YOU should have the good common sense to be able to say how long is that record. You either don’t know, don’t care, or deliberately have chosen to dodge my question because you know the answer will undermine the narrative you and other alarmists are trying to force upon the world. I suspect the latter.

Reply to  Bruce Cobb
August 23, 2020 1:45 am

I quoted the author’s words. Cliff Mass cited a record, why not get all shouty at him for not giving you all the details? No, its all about your imagined little “narrative”.

David Kamakaris
Reply to  Loydo
August 23, 2020 8:07 am

Even more pathetic than before. The author is not on this thread pissing and moaning about a record. You are.
Loydo, how long is the f-n record?

Reply to  griff
August 21, 2020 4:37 am

You have NO evidence of human caused “climate change”, griffool.

Generally you have DENIED that climate changes, refusing to ADMIT that current global temperatures are pretty much in the lowest decile or so of the last 10,000 years.

Only a degree or so above the coldest period in 10,000 years. !

Reply to  griff
August 21, 2020 4:39 am

I suppose you are going to also DENY the dust bowl conditions of the 1930s, hey griffool. !

This is nothing like as bad as that.

Reply to  fred250
August 23, 2020 12:46 pm

There was a study published a couple or few years ago, quite possibly also presented on this site, that found, mainly through lake bed sediments, that while the dust that spread from coast to coast may have been largely a product of agricultural practices, the dust bowl drought was a small drought relative to many that have occurred in the same region over the past several thousand years.

Tim Gorman
Reply to  griff
August 21, 2020 4:40 am

Much of the CA interior is classed as semi-arid desert. That means it *is* subject to severe droughts on a regular basis. CA has always had wildfires since it has always had fuel available. Don’t base what you know of CA just on your lifetime.

Reply to  griff
August 21, 2020 4:43 am

“How much longer can people keep pretending”

You have been “pretending” that human cause climate change is real for the last many years.

Even parrots and monkeys learn something new occasionally ! You.. not so much.

Brooks Hurd
Reply to  griff
August 21, 2020 4:53 am

What forest management, Griff?

Please identify where the fire breaks are in California?

Where and when were the last control burns to reduce fuel load?

Cal Fire was very clear in their report after the spate of huge fires in recent years that California lacked effective forest management since it has been blocked by well meaning but very foolish green policies at the state and loca local level.

Fred Middleton
Reply to  Brooks Hurd
August 21, 2020 4:25 pm

Class of 1950 Foresters/Mercantile Timber managers on public lands put most common sense forest management into practical concepts, that did need tuning time to time. Most concepts were not invented by this singular group, but the Tool Box came together. Today these individuals are retired and or gone. Checker-Board harvesting. 40-60 year cycles. Conifer specie improvement – Mercantile. Checker-board fuel loading. Most importantly (California NF) provided the daily inventory of private logging contractors that used Dozers, water trucks, falling crews and an assortment of support logistics etc. Seasoned steep rugged terrain operators. All available to be assigned as initial and extended attack suppression forces. In those past years, Federal National Forest employees knew 1st hand every rock/tree on the forest. Several 70s-80’s NF ( National Forest) timber sale include an adjoining or near-by dead stand removal. Example – 1980s90s Zealot alarmists Concerning the Plumas NF – logging bad, screamed to ‘hurt my ears’ clear cutting (50 acres on NF), turns out to be Specie improvement – removing invasive specie (Tan Oak), and this land was clear cut for practical reasons. National Forests, for all practical reasons, do not manage Timber – thus fuel loading

Reply to  griff
August 21, 2020 4:59 am

Perhaps griffool can show us the “climate change™” trend in the Californian rainfall data.. or NOT !

comment image

Tom in Florida
Reply to  griff
August 21, 2020 5:10 am

These fires are caused by:
a) climate change
b) Donald Trump
c) George Bush
d) None of the above

Don K
Reply to  Tom in Florida
August 21, 2020 6:37 am

Mostly, I think by the fact that rainfall west of the Sierra Nevada crest is quite rare between mid-May and late October. Things get dry. Very dry. That is exacerbated by the fact that Winter rains are quite erratic in California — torrential some years. Almost completely absent in other years. Plus the tendency for humans to build on every patch of private land in the California wilderness which increases the opportunities for human caused wildfires although this weeks’ fires appear to be mostly/entirely natural.

Having lived much of my life in California, my opinion is that you have to be stark raving mad to build a house in the hills there except for the narrow coastal strip that is blessed with a nearly perpetual fog bank. And even that is iffy on the few days every year when high pressure builds over the Great Basin in the Autumn and the hot,dry winds from the East override the prevailing Westerlies. But lots of folks feel differently.

BTW, there’s no good reason to blame climate change for recent and current California fire problems. But there is plenty of paleo evidence for really long droughts — 20,30,40 years — at times in the past thousand years. Climate change plausibly could bring those back. Or maybe prevent them from coming back. No one knows. Climate modelling is — surprise! — unhelpful on that subject.

Eric Eikenberry
Reply to  Don K
August 21, 2020 9:55 am

In CA, we have had 3+ years of great winter snowfall. There’s been plenty of moisture in the springtime, sparking off a plethora of new plant growth everywhere (greening of the planet through increased CO2 anyone?) including a rare blooming in Death Valley last year (2019?). Of course, every summer brings the “Four Corners High” into play as the dominant weather pattern, and most all of CA, NV, AZ, NM, and parts of CO simply roast until the sun goes south for the winter in October and the jet stream wanders back to SoCal. This brings the winter storm fronts in off the Pacific through Northern and Central CA, and the whole snow pack winter wet cycle begins again. Only a complete idiot would look at this an think it’s worse because of global warming. It is a completely natural cycle dominated only by the change of the seasons and the position of the sun and the jet stream. Its been happening for several hundred thousand years, at least.

Fires are the inevitable method by which nature clears away the underbrush. We have earthquake drills; we should also have fire evacuation drills annually and pre-planned routes sufficient for population evac. It is an emergency management crisis, not a climate one.

Reply to  griff
August 21, 2020 5:21 am

Cali has had 100 year droughts before. This is not yet even an average drought. The problem is we don’t let the fires burn, so over tens of decades the ground-level fuel load builds up, allowing normal lightning storms to create these large, abnormally hot fires. If we would let the fires burn, not only would the ground level fuel burn, but the numbers of dead trees would also not build up. By the way, trees die. That is also normal. But, of course, the obvious is lost on some people.

Climate alarmists have got one part right. Man is the cause of these terrible fires, but the cause is not man-made-CO2-triggered wild fires. Rather the cause is short circuiting the normal fire cycle by not allowing normal fires to burn.

Mike Dubrasich
Reply to  Ken
August 21, 2020 2:33 pm

What should be obvious to everybody is that if wildfires were “allowed to burn” without any effort to suppress them, the entire western US would go up in flames every year.

I am continually amazed at the “geniuses” who recommend NOT fighting fires. If you would please be so kind as to include your home address in such statements, we will know which home to let burn when a fire erupts in your vicinity.

I am also amazed at the deep thinkers who believe there is a “normal” or “natural” fire cycle, as if Nature was a deterministic machine that engenders burning on a regular clockwork schedule like celestial orbits.

It is not obvious (obviously) to most people that human beings have been the fire starters and regular burners across NA for millennia, but it’s a fact nonetheless. The residents tended the land. They were humans. They burned on a regular schedule because humans do that kind of thing. Nature does not have a mind and so is not mindful.

The former resident caretakers were removed and with them the scheduled fires. The victors of history who supplanted the traditional residents had and have no clue whatsoever about caring for the land. They let the fuels accumulate and presto! catastrophic fires break out. Then they blame Ma Nature and her stopwatch.

And then remarkably, they praise the catastrophes and seek to defund and outright ban firefighting. It’s the Antifa solution: burn everything to the ground.

Reply to  Mike Dubrasich
August 22, 2020 4:40 am

August 21, 2020 at 2:33 pm
Dear Mr Dubrasich

Nature has a clock, based on celestial orbits: they are called ‘seasons’. The Byrds sang a song about it:

To everything – turn, turn, turn
There is a season – turn, turn, turn
And a time to every purpose under heaven


Source: Ecclesiastes 3:1-8:


Fires won’t burn the same land every year, because there is no fuel to burn.

People do not control lightning.

Jo Nova wrote of fuel loads during last year’s Australian fire season – example:


Hope this helps.


Reply to  griff
August 21, 2020 5:24 am

How about some long term data showing that this is not just a normal drought. If we go back to Medieval times, we see droughts that lasted 200 years. link Trying to blame the current drought on anthropogenic carbon dioxide is just stupid. You’ve followed this site long enough that you should know that. Please work harder to provide us with a reasonable challenge.

Rich Davis
Reply to  commieBob
August 21, 2020 6:25 am

Oh, you didn’t think “you retards” was a reasonable challenge, eh?

Reply to  griff
August 21, 2020 5:24 am

I am not saying that forest management necessarily always uses the best strategies, but fires are down by more than an order of magnitude since the use of fossil fuels allows equipment to help fight them. More than anything else, air tankers and helicopters, when deployed in time can address fires in the most remote locations.

It’s unlikely that a Peshtigo type fire is even possible today so long as fire fighting tools are allowed to be used.

Justin Burch
Reply to  griff
August 21, 2020 5:25 am

Yes accept the all inclusive “climate change” story from the Democrats rather than hold them accountable for all their stupid stuff like no forest fire management.

Reply to  griff
August 21, 2020 5:41 am

Oh, griff, you need to open your eyes occasionally.



That’s the difference. Try to get that into the space between your ears. YOU will NOT live long enough to see any REAL climate change. Period. And if you don’t understand that the difference is the length of time, it’s your misfortune, kiddo.

F.LEGHORN in Alabama
Reply to  Sara
August 21, 2020 10:14 am

It’s OUR misfortune because we keep responding to him. And we let his inanity raise our blood pressure.

He was so much better of a jerk in “Back to the Future II”.

Reply to  F.LEGHORN in Alabama
August 21, 2020 1:54 pm

He fancies himself as the Griff from MIB …

Reply to  griff
August 21, 2020 6:34 am

Compared to historical droughts in the western regions, the current drought is still a piker.
How much longer will climate alarmists try to claim normal weather as proof of global warming.

Reply to  griff
August 21, 2020 6:36 am

I’m not a real scientist and bit raw but is Griff a troll?

Reply to  Paul
August 21, 2020 9:31 am

Griff is not a troll. He/she has engaged in the conversation in the face of many who disagree – a brave act.
I suggest, Griff, that fire is part of the normal ecology of California. Just as it is in the foothills of the Rockies, where my family has a home. Around our home, the last fire was 100 years ago – and the normal period is about 70 years.
So the forests are unhealthy, full of dead and diseased trees for 40 miles in all directions. Imagine acres and acres of wall-to-wall fire logs, piled vertically so that the air can get between them, waiting for a lightning strike. At least in our neighbourhood, it’s not climate change to blame, it is fire suppression.
Throughout California there are valleys that burned last year, or five years ago. Perhaps this year they are counting those previous fires as a blessing.

Reply to  boffin77
August 21, 2020 12:29 pm

The new griff does not act as trollish as did the previous griff.

Reply to  boffin77
August 21, 2020 1:33 pm

If there was the will over time … decades to centuries, we could arrange parts of the forests like farmers arrange corn. Same number, or more trees but allowing driven machines, hell even robot machines to control the flat and gentle sloping forest’s detritus. You can use the biomass in many ways. The wood from old trees can be made into pellets which are very popular for wood fired stoves. Leave lots of the forests natural but those areas cultivated are both more fire resistant, and firebreaks to lessen the frequency of mass wildfires. The biomass is going to burn or decay regardless. There’s nothing wrong with controlling using the energy to warm homes, and people, rather than have it burn out of control, destroy homes, kill people and wildlife.

Reply to  boffin77
August 22, 2020 10:24 am

Yes, SenderGreen, I agree. If we are determined to stop massive wildfires (and I love that house in the foothills) we must replace the wildfires with something that achieves the same forest renewal cycle, but disrupts the fire cycle.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  griff
August 21, 2020 8:47 am

Droughts can and have happened when humans could not have been responsible for them. One has to be able to demonstrate that any recent droughts are ‘un-normal’ before prescribing fixes.


Reply to  griff
August 21, 2020 9:08 am

First “Climate Change” is now a political term that places the “cart before the horse”, where the political control issues are dominant over the scientific. Who always wants more control, more power? Who controls the vast majority of scientific grant money? Answer to both? Government.

Truth is California has always had major long term drought cycles. That’s the real climate change that we have to adapt to, not try to control. ( because we can’t, and trying is bad ) Bad forest management has clearly made the once natural fire results worse. Stupid “green” policies banning removal of ground detritus. Detritus which isn’t green, rather “brown fuel”. Sometimes many feet thick. A Century old policy of over planting trees on public land to create more stunning vistas for tourism. Destroying the natural spacing of trees that stopped, or slowed fire spread.

Why would I waste time reading a post with a .ca.gov address ? A radicalized Government.

Mark A Luhman
Reply to  griff
August 21, 2020 9:49 am

Say Griff I reminded you yesterday the the third nation people told the forth nation people that LA basin was called the valley of smoke. Do you really think the native Americans at that time drove SUV to cause the LA basin to burn almost every year. previous to the white Europeans showed up?

Pat from kerbob
Reply to  Mark A Luhman
August 21, 2020 9:37 pm

I’m 54
In the 70s I recall a popular song “it never rains in california”

There must be some reason they wrote that?

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Pat from kerbob
August 21, 2020 9:58 pm

If you listen to the lyrics, it goes on to say right after that, “but pours, man it pours.”

Reply to  griff
August 21, 2020 11:21 am

Get back to me with bark beetle kill … and I’ll tell you whether “global warming killed all those trees”. Ohhh … but beetles only kill “drought-stressed” trees … right? Uh huh.

BTW … in my upper, upper, middle class leftist, leftist suburb … every tree is sacred and one needs a tree permit to remove most native trees. And the $ FINES for removing a tree on a whim is financially crippling. Sounds like the leftists need to simply pass the same laws for every square inch of CA. Then … ALL our trees would be preserved for ever!

Robert W. Turner
Reply to  griff
August 21, 2020 6:05 pm

I guess because we’re educated?

Reply to  griff
August 23, 2020 12:35 pm

Most likely the same, more or less, kind of climate change that caused 100 year droughts in the past. Current forest practices make fire danger much worse than it has to be.

Reply to  a happy little debunker
August 21, 2020 4:08 am

Yep. somehow people believe that the forest didn’t burn in the past.

Reply to  a happy little debunker
August 21, 2020 7:45 am

I don’t know if it’s changed (unlikely, I think) but when I lived in CA, there were mountain communities where people could be fined for clearing brush and such from their property.

It’s not just the national and state parks that need to be managed.

Mark A Luhman
Reply to  TonyG
August 21, 2020 9:53 am

In the same communities fifty years ago you were fined if you did not clean up the brush. The Greens made a fine be to lay on did they.

Peter W
August 21, 2020 3:38 am

Obviously the fault of global warming. All the heat has pushed the weather higher.


Reply to  Peter W
August 21, 2020 5:10 am

“record-breaking temperatures”

I think your (sarc) should have been an (ir).

Reply to  Loydo
August 21, 2020 6:20 am

You are correct. There are record breaking temperatures. But it works both ways. Record highs and record lows. While the western US has been in a heat wave, parts of South America are experiencing record lows deep into the Amazon Basin. Every year we get both but we never seem to hear about the lows, only the highs. http://coolwx.com/record/

BTW the southern hemisphere winter has been exceptionally cold this season, with “record breaking” snows in quite a few areas. But all I hear is crickets chirping.

Rich Davis
Reply to  rbabcock
August 21, 2020 6:32 am


What is the significance of a record extreme temperature looking back little more than a century? Proxy evidence indicates that California and the American southwest has experienced droughts lasting for centuries!

Climate change deniers like griff and Loydo pretend that this natural variability does not exist.

Mark A Luhman
Reply to  Rich Davis
August 21, 2020 10:05 am

Funny they make all these claims about record breaking heat yet, they remover the daily long term records from the internet. Previous to the removing the long term records when I check on the so called record for the day the idiots in our media reported I generally found the record was several degrees below the actual record. I guess it has something to do with the old guys did not no how to read a thermometer correctly. Yet today nearly have of all reading are made up because some idiot did not make sure the equipment is working properly.

Reply to  Rich Davis
August 21, 2020 11:31 am

Mark, I would like someone to give me the average age of current Californians, and … the average number of years they have resided in this State. I suspect the leftist politicians know these stats quite well … and that the numbers are very low. As a 4th generation Californian of 65 years … I am almost NEVER “shocked” and “amazed” at CA weather and temperature like all the weather girls on KTVU in Oakland. Been here, done that.

PS … we are not currently experiencing “drought”. It’s summer. It’s August. It’s hot. Like it always is in … August. Hey kids! It has something to do with the tilt of the earth!

Reply to  rbabcock
August 21, 2020 6:39 am

Wasn’t Loydo one of the people who got all upset whenever we paid attention to the huge number of record cold temperatures this past winter?

Reply to  MarkW
August 21, 2020 8:55 am

Make-it-up Mark hard at it again. Compare global hot records with cold and then get back to us with the actual data instead of just makin’ stuff up.
You won’t, so here is a sample:
and given the trend:
it would be astonishing if it weren’t the case but ‘ol mate Bruce above still thinks that a hundred year trend is the weather. What a surprise he’s in for but I guess thats what happens in an echo-chamber.

Reply to  MarkW
August 21, 2020 12:33 pm

I notice that Loydo didn’t even bother to address the question that I asked.

Regardless, one year in which more high records fell than low records.
And from that we’re supposed to panic.

Poor Loydo, she actually believes she’s being effective.

BTW, the cold weather in question was Jan and Feb of this year.
As to your predictions by Berzerkly of what this year is supposed to be like. You can put that the same place you keep the rest of your models.

Reply to  rbabcock
August 21, 2020 7:54 am


“BTW the southern hemisphere winter has been exceptionally cold this season, with “record breaking” snows in quite a few areas.”

According to UAH_TLT the SH winter has been well above average temperature so far. Jun was +0.41C and July +0.42C above the 1981-2010 average. Temperatures were higher again over land-only areas; +0.61C June and +0.84C July, making July 2020 the joint 10th warmest SH land-only July in the UAH record: https://www.nsstc.uah.edu/data/msu/v6.0/tlt/uahncdc_lt_6.0.txt

In the land record, GISS reports that Jun 2020 was the second warmest June in the southern hemisphere record and July was the 7th warmest July in record, both starting in 1880: https://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/tabledata_v4/SH.Ts+dSST.txt

Given that, what leads you to the conclusion that “the southern hemisphere winter has been exceptionally cold this season” please?

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  TheFinalNail
August 21, 2020 10:12 pm

You’re using averages of “anomalies”. Not useful in any practical sense.

Reply to  TheFinalNail
August 22, 2020 12:11 am

Jeff Alberts

“You’re using averages of “anomalies”. Not useful in any practical sense.”

Not sure what you mean? I’m quoting the monthly anomalies (which are just differences from the long term monthly averages) as published by the data producers UAH_TLT and GISS. The anomaly for, say, July in UAH is directly comparable to all previous July anomalies in UAH. Ditto for GISS or any other surface set.

In the case of UAH, the anomaly base, the point set to ‘zero’, is the average temperature between 1981 and 2010 for each month. In July 2020 the air directly over land areas in the southern hemisphere was +0.84C warmer than the anomaly base period according to UAH. In a very practical sense that tells us that July 2020 was much warmer than average in that region. Within the 10 warmest on record, in fact.

It’s even stronger than that in the surface record in June, where the whole southern hemisphere was the 2nd warmest it’s been in a record going back to 1880. How is that not useful in a practical sense and what evidence is there to support rbabcock’s claim that “the southern hemisphere winter has been exceptionally cold this season”? The evidence suggests that instead it has been unusually warm.

Reply to  Loydo
August 21, 2020 6:38 am

Like all warmists, Loydo actually believes history started 100 years ago.

David Kamakaris
Reply to  Loydo
August 21, 2020 6:52 pm

Loydo, how long is the record to which you are referring?

Jeff Id
August 21, 2020 3:56 am

These videos are amazing. Wow!

August 21, 2020 4:04 am

“unusual barrage of thousands of lightning strikes over the western U.S.”

Why should that be ‘unusual’ ?

Reply to  Robertvd
August 21, 2020 6:38 am

It’s very unusual for this time of year

Tom in Florida
August 21, 2020 5:07 am

The real Lightning strike was Wednesday in Toronto at 14:48 of the first overtime.

August 21, 2020 5:48 am

And while those fires were starting up, over here in the Midwest, farm crops were being flattened and destroyed by a straight=line windstorm called a derecho. 15 tornadoes in the northeastern part of Illinois alone, did more damage to Chicago and it environs than they’ve seen in a while.

Now the air in my area is so lacking in humidity that my lawn is starting to deteriorate. The grasses are above the surface, and look bad, but the roots are underground and will survive. I refuse to water the lawn this time. A serious lack of humidity is visible and obvious when the air is so clear that the sky is a darker blue than usual. I would much rather see a hazy blue sky than a deep blue that is nearly the shad of the mineral cobalt. That’s how little moisture there is in the air. Not a good sign. No clouds except for a few in the morning is also NOT a good sign.

Krishna Gans
Reply to  Sara
August 21, 2020 6:51 am

You will like a dewpoint around 20°C ??
That’s what we we have now in some parts of Germany. Not so amazing… 😀

John M. Ware
Reply to  Krishna Gans
August 21, 2020 7:44 am

20 C is 68 F. Dew points in the 40s and 50s F are comfortable on a warm day. Dew points in the sixties begin to be sweat-making even in the shade; in the sun they are oppressive. Here in central Virginia, the highest dew point so far this year is 75, at which point it gets hard to move outdoors. I think the highest dew point I’ve seen in my own record keeping (seven years now) is 78, though I understand it can get much higher. A dew point of 68 F is quite common in the South in summer.

I suspect that in a desert or semi-desert climate in summer the dew point can get quite low, perhaps in the teens or twenties. In the winter we get dew points well below zero here in VA; that’s dry; the air crackles.

Mark A Luhman
Reply to  John M. Ware
August 21, 2020 10:00 am

Sorry you have no idea about heat and due point, presently id just about ten the dew point is 66 the temp is 90 F the high today will be 104, so much for the dry heat in Arizona. Yesterday the dew point was about 60 and the high for the day was 108. I does feel better than last couple of weeks when the dew point was in the fifties and temps were in the mid teens. Today feels somewhat cool.

Dodgy Geezer
August 21, 2020 5:53 am

I don’t think anyone has claimed that Climate Change causes increased lightning strikes? Not yet?

Can I have a grant for a paper claiming that there is a direct correlation? And that we only have N months to save the Earth, where N is a variable depending on whatever is politically expedient?

HD Hoese
Reply to  Dodgy Geezer
August 21, 2020 6:40 am

Find the cause, saw this in Hurricane Celia [1970] offshore, coalesced into a tight hurricane, backside strongest. Hard to fly around.
Molinari, J., N. Demetriades, R. Holle an d D. Vollaro. 2006. Applications of long-range lightning data to hurricane formation and intensification. Preprint. 2nd Conf. Meteor. Appl. Lightning-Data:3.5. file:///C:/Users/H4148~1.DIC/AppData/Local/Temp/103732.pdf

Price, C., M. Asfur and Y. Yair. 2009. Maximum hurricane intensity preceded by increase in lightning frequency. Nature Geoscience. 2:329-332.

Sugden, J. W. 1930. White pelicans killed by lightning. Auk. 57:72-73.

Rich Davis
Reply to  Dodgy Geezer
August 21, 2020 6:49 am

Cmon man, don’t annoy Loydo by being a “retard“
1) Lightning starts forest fires (bad)
2) Lightning is a weather phenomenon
3) Weather is changing because of CO2 (it’s The Science)

Therefore more lightning is caused by more CO2

Just ask griff and Loydo, they’ll assert it to you, er, I meant explain it to you.

Just Jenn
August 21, 2020 5:53 am

CA has had a difficulty with responsible land management (I’m including erosion and water management in that as well) for a very long time. The policies restricting land management have been increasingly tighter and tighter with each decade as policies are driven by social viewpoints backed with votes and money rather than sound geology, botany, biology and civil engineering.

This is nothing new. Nor are the lightening strikes anything new, nor are floods, fires, drought, or erosion. What is new is the vast majority of an HOA policy intrusion for what some feel CA should “look” like and feel good politics pandering to those special interest groups as they are convinced that their mantra is not only right but acceptable. Because who doesn’t want a “beautiful” state….that kind of gaslighting regulation setting keeps tightening the noose around sound land management policies and will continue to put lives at risk.

CA is bankrupt and has been for decades, and while our economics may favor governments in the red rather than black, the money doesn’t stop flowing out in CA with very little coming in to replace it. As such, budget cuts to infrastructure are rampant. Just look at the bridges. CA bridge regulations are ludicrous and dangerous. Most of the bridges that are vital for goods can’t bear the weight of a standard semi with a fully loaded trailer (80K lbs is the max in case anyone is interested…that’s the weight of the tractor and trailer combined), and so companies have to use box trucks increasing the cost of those goods due to shipping just to get them across a bridge that needs an upgrade to handle the extra 40K lbs. Worse is the CA CARB law–now that’s a crazy one–if you’ve never heard of it, CA requires every semi tractor to conform to their CARB law by paying a fee for a certificate which must be renewed every year and which expires on 31/12 of every year. OR they can have a certified letter on file with a filing fee but again, must be renewed every year and expires 1 year to the date of the letter. No other state in the US requires a CARB certification for shipping. And if you don’t have it, the fines are enormous. That kind of regulation is a nightmare to enforce and requires positions to manage that regulation and for what? It doesn’t reduce pollution which directly affects people’s lives in the state. It’s a “feel good” policy that has created an entire department of people to shuffle paper.

(HOA for those outside the US are HomeOwners Associations which list down rules and collect monthly fees for keeping neighbors in line with what the “majority” feel the neighborhood should look like–and some of them are absolutely ridiculous–like your grass can only be 1 species and must be mowed weekly to a specific height. During severe droughts, my brother actually got fined for a patch of grass that turned brown because the city put water restrictions in place. FINED by the neighborhood for following sound water policy, talk about insanity).

And yes I am picking on CA for their bridge maintenance because unlike some states on the Eastern US, those bridges weren’t made in the 1800’s and are preserved from heavy load shipping due to their age and historical value. Most of the bridges identified in CA are rickety affairs that were slapdashed together and have enormous costs to just keep them from falling apart rather than investing in the structure to have it replaced.

Reply to  Just Jenn
August 21, 2020 8:07 am

And don’t forget about California resident’s water rates being raised because they used such little water after being forced to conserve.

Just Jenn
Reply to  Kevin
August 22, 2020 6:14 am

Ontop of releasing water into the ocean from reservoirs instead of using the aging canal systems to distribute that water to the LA basin–most were deconstructed to make way for more freeways.

August 21, 2020 5:57 am

Solar minimum effects on the jet stream in the northern hemisphere is the cause. The same applies to derecho in 2020 and 2009.

August 21, 2020 6:36 am

Our local weather guy called this system a “dirty high”. That was a new one for me
but he explained it was monsoonal related. The dendro evidence gathered from the
Sequoia’s show that this type of dry weather is not really unusual..esp when compared
to the period between 800-1300 the MWP. We really need something to utilize
the overgrown forests…a solid to liquids plant would be perfect but the national
forest requires that the wood products group would need to approve of it and they
don’t want it. We used to have a pulp mill that did a good job but since it closed
the loggers just burn the slash/waste wood. Volvo is said to have a couple of
portable solids to liquids fuel plants in North America in the NE but I suspect that fracking
was the disruptive force for that not being expanded. In my area there is the equivalent
of 6+ billion gallons of diesel fuel in the beetle killed pine. There was talk of
former governor Schweitzer getting the former pulp mill converted to fischer/tropsch
but they scrapped it out and sent it to china..it had just been rebuild and was like
new….the forest this time of year is a death trap. If a person is in the woods when
one of these systems goes through you would not make it out alive. Where the beetle
\kill hit the needles fell off letting the sun light in and with the trees not using any
water the springs came to life. The grass came up and is chest high–now with over
10 years of grass..a lightning hit start runs through that like 100 ft tall grass fire…

August 21, 2020 8:34 am

The earth’s magnetic fields is changing … weakening, and the rate of that change is increasing. I’ll leave it to others to argue over causes, and predictions. But lightning is a discharge. Atmosphere to Earth, or the opposite. I hear occurence of the opposite is increasing. Get used to different.

Climate believer
August 21, 2020 9:17 am

I think alarmist/media rhetoric like “a record temperature” is so counter productive to their cause because it doesn’t mean anything in relation to the subject of climate, which everybody here knows, is not ascribed by any single min/max event, be it temperature, precipitation, wind or whatever.

Just for reference, temperature records measured at the California State University campus in Sacramento go back to 1878.

The highest temperature recorded during that time (over 140 yrs) was 114 degrees Fahrenheit (46 Celsius) on July 17, 1925.

What should we think about that little fact, when levels of CO² were at 305 ppm?
What is it attributable to?

….and the most recent Tmax for Sacramento (near Vacaville) :

°F °C
107 AUG 2019 42
109 JUL 2018 43
109 AUG 2017 43
108 JUL 2016 42
108 JUL 2015 42
107 AUG 2014 42
110 JUL 2013 43
107 AUG 2012 42
102 SEP 2011 39
108 AUG 2010 42
The average max temp over the last 30 years is 108.14°F / 42.3°C
The average max temp for the 30 years before that is 107.06°F / 41.7°C

The average Max temp has gone up by 1.08°F / 0.6°C . Is that a plausible cause for the fires of today?

Other notable dates:

112 JUL 2002 44
112 JUL 1988 44
113 JUL 1972 45
112 JUN 1934 44

August 21, 2020 9:45 am

All natural event.

August 21, 2020 9:57 am

I’m sitting here in Grand Junction Colorado watching the effects of what might turn out to be Colorado’s largest fire in history. Already at 125,000 acres as of this morning, with some containment finally in place, the fire is still expected to grow for several more days. Ash is covering the entire city but for the first time in several days I can see the Bookcliffs to the north.

I expect the fire may be in the first stages of coming under control. Like the fires elsewhere, the Pine Gulch fire started from a lightning strike. At a point during the maelstrom, the fire was making it’s own lightning.

Unlike California, the Pine Gulch fire is not causing that much structural damage. Ranches are located along the creeks and the area above the creeks, where the greatest fire load is located, is under BLM control.

Its been hot here for several weeks, the area has been experiencing a drought for several years and we haven’t had any rain in a very long time. It was time.

August 21, 2020 10:46 am

I live in the middle of a vast forest, so I am especially susceptible to a forest fire and/or a real monster, which is a fire storm that nothing will stop, even a mile wide firebreak. Cooler weather/humidity and rain are the only salvation to that conflagration. Some of it is my own forest which is one of my core businesses, having harvested and planted millions of these trees. I accept the risk of living in a forest and plan accordingly. Logging and reforestation is probably the best insurance, in that the dead fuel supply can be dealt with during harvest and getting a young forest started will be more fire resistant than an old mature forest, including the threat from insects and disease, which is actually created by the mature forest. Like planting your entire garden to cabbage, and then wondering why you get cabbage worms.

If I build a new house at my private lake, it would be as fire proof as possible. It would be insulated concrete formed, with steel siding, tile roof, fire proof window shutters and would have all the post and beam woodwork internally in the house, and nothing combustionable on the outside of the house at all, not even plastic furniture. Would have sprinklers built into the roof and surrounding yard, run by a dedicated gasoline water pump/genset next to the lake, since the electricity is usually one of the first things to go. All you can do is hope for the best, and prepare for the worst. A good ideal for living life actually, since life can be so fragile and can change on a dime. My biggest fear now is stoopid people, and the world is full of them, especially in Gov’t, with their indexed pensions and 17 hour work weeks.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Earthling2
August 21, 2020 10:38 pm

What about building underground, or into a berm?

Reply to  Jeff Alberts
August 22, 2020 7:14 am

Absolutely. Would be part of the ‘basement’. Like a secure room in a basement for hurricane or tornado country where the occupants can survive a worst case scenario from a Cat 5 or F5 tornado. Would be a refuge from surviving a fire storm while it blew over for several hours, and having an oxygen concentrator handy would be good for a few hours, or even have my oxy/acetylene tanks handy. A large oxygen tank will keep a few people going for a few hours. Once you are trapped, you can’t go anywhere anyway. Best to hunker down and plan to survive, rather than be on the road trying to escape and get trapped and then get smoked or burnt in the truck. This is all fairly easy to design into a new house, and would literally be the ‘root cellar’ where the potatoes and wine/beer are stored. I already have that, but don’t have it in a fire resistant house that would be nice to survive with. The odds are fair to middling over a longer time frame that a major fire can happen sooner or later, so planning a survivable root cellar in the basement makes a lot of sense. As I learnt in the Boy Scouts, best to be prepared.

Reply to  Earthling2
August 22, 2020 7:51 am

Monolithic dome homes. Can be built above ground level, or partially/fully below ground.

Atlas Survival Shelters. A wide range of below ground bunker shelters. Can be installed independently of the home, or installed first to be under a new home build.

Reply to  Earthling2
August 22, 2020 6:58 am

Sounds like you have things figured out. Check out this report by Jack D. Cohen, PhD
Research Physical Scientist, Missoula, MT. http://dnrc.mt.gov/divisions/forestry/docs/fire-and-aviation/prevention/roaring-lion-fire-document-for-web.pdf
It’s the details that matter when building in a wildland interface area. I had
a private forester help me with my project. He advised me that it’s the “ember wash”
that precedes the flame front that ignites most building not the actual flames. I have
a combination of wildfire sprinklers. I have a WEED system installed along with rooftop
impacts. I run it off a well and also have a fire pump in a river next to the house. Here is a link
to the weeds system–>https://www.mbartek.com/weeds-info

There was a earth sheltered built house burn in a fire a few years ago…it was the ember wash
that got it.. I went with class A roof & siding along with screens on all roof vents. The sofit vents
were moved towards the fascia and screened. I used cement fiber board. The wall eve junction is
a critical area. My daughters housed survived a hot wildfire a few years ago. The fiberglass insulation
in the attic melted from the heat, but the house survived. It was a blackhawk helicopter that saved it
with a water dump..Defensible space is #1 We have some national forest unimproved campgrounds
near our place and on sunday afternoons I checkout the fire pits with infrared thermometer..I’ve
had to pour water on more than one hot campfire pit over the years…the lazy ignorant public
causes most fires.

Reply to  Dan-O
August 22, 2020 7:30 am

Exactly…what amazed me in the Paradise fire complex, was that the ’ember wash’ was what lit up nearly every house and car in town from the main fire storm over a mile away, but the green trees in the yard survived. So in those circumstances is why I say even a mile wide fire break won’t do any good. In other fires, where they have a fire resistant house, but not window shutters, the radiant heat from the nearby fire was enough to set the furniture inside the house on fire through the windows. The soffit vents, the eavestroughs, and every little detail can’t be overlooked, as the weakest link that fails will get the house burning from the inside out.

Reply to  Earthling2
August 22, 2020 7:49 am

Take a good look at the weeds system. It’s basically shrub mister nozzles pointed out
away from the house. I use F10 nozzles..F is full circle and 10 is the diameter. I get
them by the box @ $1 ea.. low volume and low pressure compared to impacts. Mount
them pointing away so the wind pushes the spray back onto the structure soaking the embers
as they come in. Plus they will cool the side , I have blinds that insulate and won’t ignite.

But with most everything there are limits. A local fire here in W MT about 10 years
ago had burning logs 6″ in dia. 10ft long raining down on the fire crew…I know the fire
boss and it was the worst he’d ever seen in 30 yrs. It was a old burn from ’84 that reburned.
Then there was the Yellowstone Park fires back in “88 that generated hurricane force
winds towards the fire…It laid down miles of timber..I wish the professional forestry
people at the NF were allowed to manage the forest instead of the greens and their
activist judges backing them in the courts.

August 21, 2020 3:07 pm

The ongoing magnetic excursion. This is just the beginning.

August 22, 2020 3:54 am

It would seem that the Marxist/Leninist Demo rats have joined with the Chinese Communist Party in losing the https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mandate_of_Heaven

August 25, 2020 1:15 pm

Every year the same problem – The New York and Eastern News Media, failing to understand that the fires in California are a normal cycle. There are no preventative measures. The fires cannot be controlled by better forestry, or “better management”. It has nothing to do with a political party, or who is in control in Washington. They are part of our climate.
Everyone back East understands that Hurricanes cannot be prevented – they occur every year. The East also understands that Tornadoes cannot be prevented in the Midwest. We in California do not Blame the East for these storms – we do not say “Hurricanes can be prevented by better management!” Or, “Tornadoes are the fault of the local government!”
When is the News Media going to understand that Fires in California are like Hurricanes and Tornadoes – they cannot be prevented. It is as simple as that, but after many years of fires, the News Media in New York, and the East still doesn’t get it….

Reply to  Joe
August 25, 2020 2:13 pm

Joe says :
“When is the News Media going to understand that Fires in California are like Hurricanes and Tornadoes – they cannot be prevented.”
Agreed, but they can be mitigated.
First with forest husbandry.
Reduce or eliminate the forest floor biomass detritus wherever practical to reduce dry ember producing fuel for fires.

Harvest trees to increase the spacing of trees over time. When replanting over time aim to create bi-directional rows like you would in an orchard ,,, where terrain permits, to make it easier to machine clean the forest floor. Start culling with older trees which are more susceptible to fire. A century or more ago California deliberately over-planted trees with the intent of thickening some of the forests to “sweeten the vistas” for tourism purposes.

Reply to  sendergreen
August 25, 2020 5:29 pm

NO. This isn’t like the forests or biota back east. Stick to reporting on Massachusetts or New York.
California has a problem as bad as the Hurricanes in Florida, or the tornadoes in Kansas.
We know its tough for New Yorkers to understand, but that’s the way it is here, massive fires covering huge areas, not like in Central Park.

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