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Wildfire Smoke Dynamics

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Well we have been having smoke all week here at Royal Palm Hammock. A little bit about smoke dynamics and why you will smell it at night more than in the day.

Right now there are still several fires burning the in the area. There are four in Big Cypress National Preserve, the largest being the Strickland fire mostly on the north side of Alligator Alley near mile marker 59, and a few miles in either direction. Most of the alley between exit 80 and exit 49 are burning; mostly on the north side. I heard the Strickland fire covers 30,000 acres.

There is still a few fires in Picayune Strand State Forest. The Balsa fire that started earlier this month is still going, and a fire near Miller Road has grown quite large.

At night, the atmosphere "stabilizes." Winds calm down, and the air just stagnates and hugs the ground. Any smoke from a fire will stay close to the ground and not move around. It may become foggy on the highway, especially in the wee hours of the morning before any daylight. This makes driving very dangerous.

During the day time, the winds kick up and you have hot air rising from the ground. This causes lift and carries the smoke upward away from the fire. Now it may travel several miles, and if the air cools down, the will bring the smoke down as well. I have seen many times when the smoke is picked up, and then several miles away dumped back down. This can also be seen on a much larger scale, like the Bugaboo fire in Georgia/Florida, now having burned about 120,000 acres. If you have seen any satellite map in the past month, the smoke is carried up and then travels across the state, and falls back down on places like Tampa or Orlando.

And on the Florida peninsula in the afternoon, the sea breeze will kick in. Then the wind will change in the opposite direction and start blowing the other way.

So everyone in this area will be smoked out sometimes or another during the day.
Current Location:
the hammock
Current Mood:
awake awake
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