California is where disaster and art always seems to intersect.
And so it is today with the wildfires that have hit the western states. A massive fire in the Angeles National Forest nearly doubled in size overnight, threatening 12,000 homes today in a 20-mile-long swath of flame and smoke and surging toward a mountaintop broadcasting complex.
Video blogger Eric Spiegelman posted this:
Here's Spiegelman's Vimeo page.
Our sister-station -- KPCC in Pasadena -- has its broadcast antenna on that mountain. Audience members have been sending in their own photos. Many are quite beautiful in their depiction of the disaster.
(AP Photo/DAN STEINBERG)
Update 2:52 p.m. I asked MPR meteorologist Paul Hutter, who also writes the Updraft blog, whether we'd see the effects of that smoke in some fashion in these parts. Here's his reply:
1) Is there enough volume of smoke to reach the Midwest? Looking at the GOES 1km visible satellite today over So Cal I see the plume just north of L.A. from what I assume is the La Canada area. The plume is drifting northward. The question is does it have enough volume to reach the Midwest in a significant way? My guess is most of it will dissipate unless increased smoke volume is generated by the fires. http://weather.cod.edu/analysis/loops/satmaster.pl?S_California
2) Will the flow between 10k and 20k feet reach the Midwest? It looks like the general trajectory over the next few days will move smoke over the central and northern Rockies, then eastward around the ridge toward Minnesota. If there's enough smoke, it could get here. If it does, it should create redder sunsets. http://www.nco.ncep.noaa.gov/pmb/nwprod/analysis/namer/nam/12/fp0_024.shtml
The Bad Astronomer reports that the Mt. Wilson observatory and Jet Propulsion Labs are threatened by the fires - Bad Astronomer blog
A commenter posted this link to a webcam on Mt. Wilson where smoke is clearly visible.