Monday, September 7, 2020
This is rapidly becoming a major event. Strong winds, gusting to 50-70 mph, has caused a dust storm that has closed major roads in eastern Washington (e.g., I-90 and US-2). Here is a recent satellite image, with the oval centered on the dust storm area (dust is apparent by the brown colors). The winds have initiated several fires–I put orange arrows to indicate a few.
Visibility has dropped to under 50 feet in some locations due to the blowing dust (see image). You can see why the State Patrol has closed down several roads.
We can view the multiple fires on the latest short-wave infrared imagery–with fires indicated by black (warm) dots (below). Wow…. I count 5-10 new fires compared to this morning (the big area in the northwest section started overnight and was talked about in an earlier blog).
Tens of thousands are without power in eastern Washington, with trees falling on power lines. Falling powerlines probably started some of the fires (Spokane outages shown below).
This is all the “warm up” to be big event tonight…..over NW Oregon.