Too close for comfort! Members of Ferdinand Hayden’s Survey stand precariously close to @YellowstoneNPS Old Faithful Geyser erupting, circa 1878 — USGS

Too close for comfort! Members of Ferdinand Hayden’s Survey stand precariously close to @YellowstoneNPS Old Faithful Geyser erupting, circa 1878. Photo credit: William Henry Jackson

More on the early surveys can be found here: https://pubs.usgs.gov/circ/1050/pdf/CIRC1050.pdf?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=social&utm_term=71d2e8e7-ca66-42be-8e2e-884d17ed9d62&utm_content=&utm_campaign=usgs.

Pipelines? #Desalination? Turf removal? #Arizona commits $1B to augment, #conserve #water supplies — AZCentral.com #ColoradoRiver #COriver #aridification

Arizona Rivers Map via Geology.com.

Click the link to read the article on the AZCentral.com website (Brandon Loomis). Here’s an excerpt:

The Colorado River’s precipitous decline pushed Arizona lawmakers to deliver Gov. Doug Ducey’s $1 billion water augmentation fund — and then some — late Friday, their final night in session.

Before the votes, the growing urgency for addressing the state’s oncoming water shortage and the long timeline for approving and building new water projects nearly sank the legislation. Just over a week after the federal government warned that the seven states that use the Colorado must make major new cutbacks by next year, Democrats held out until they got an additional $200 million commitment for water conservation, which they argued could help Arizonans much faster than the costlier seawater desalination plan that the governor has touted. Some of the water importation schemes that had been discussed would require multiple billions of dollars and interstate or international partnerships, making this three-year investment effectively a fund for down payments for big-ticket pipes or treatment plants. The water conservation measures, such as grants to help cities reduce turf grass, could be cheaper…

One after another, a bipartisan stream of legislators picked up a microphone in a two-day blitz for the package to say that spending to plug the emerging holes in Arizona’s water supply was critical to the state’s future. They eventually passed it as Senate Bill 1740 with just one dissenter in each chamber.

Nationally, topsoil moisture rated short to very short increased sharply for the 2nd straight week. Two weeks ago, the value for the nation was 25% VS/S, this week it’s 43% — NRCS #drought

Note the 30%+ jumps in Indiana, Ohio & Kentucky. MI, AR & TN also are drying out fast.

It’s been a decade since the #WaldoCanyonFire started near #ColoradoSprings. CSU’s Tony Cheng reflects on how it fits into #Colorado wildfire history — Colorado Public Radio #ActOnClimate

A helicopter drops water on the fire as firefighters continued to battle the blaze that burned into the evening hours in Waldo Canyon on the U.S. Air Force Academy June 27, 2012. The fires, which have burned more than 15,000 acres, began spreading to the southwestern corner of the Academy in the early morning, causing base officials to evacuate residents. (U.S. Air Force Photo by: Master Sgt. Jeremy Lock) (Released)

Click the link to read the article on the Colorado Public Radio webisite (Shanna Lewis). Here’s an excerpt:

The Waldo Canyon fire started in the mountains west of Colorado Springs ten years ago on June 23. Smoke was actually first reported on June 22, 2012 but it wasn’t located until the next day. Just days later it roared into the city, killing two people and destroying hundreds of homes in the Mountain Shadows neighborhood. It also burned the Flying W Ranch.

Tony Cheng leads the Colorado Forest Restoration Institute and the Southern Rockies Fire Science Exchange Network at Colorado State University-Fort Collins. He visited the area with KRCC’s Shanna Lewis and reflected on the significance of the Waldo Canyon fire for Colorado.

Here’s an excerpt from their conversation, which has been edited for clarity.

Shanna Lewis: How does the Waldo Canyon fire fit into the historical context of wildfires in Colorado?

Tony Cheng: Wildfires in Colorado have always been around. So it shouldn’t be surprising that we had an event like Waldo. What was unique about Waldo was how it got into the suburban communities of Colorado Springs and transformed from a wildland fire into an urban conflagration. We really had never seen that in Colorado, nothing that really was of the magnitude of destruction.

Now, we’ve seen similar kinds of transitions from wildland fire into urban fire in places like California, but when it happened here, I think it was a real wake up call, especially at that time.

The other thing (is) that Waldo Canyon came on the heels of other fires, such as the Hayman fire in 2002, that burned almost 138,000 acres. There was definitely some loss of homes and structures, but not of the magnitude of Waldo. Subsequent to that, we’ve seen more and more of these fires that transitioned from a wildland fire into an urban conflagration.

Waldo Canyon Fire

U.S. supercomputers for weather and #climate forecasts get major bump — NOAA

Twin supercomputers Dogwood (pictured here) and Cactus are the newest additions to NOAA’s weather and climate operational supercomputing system. Located in Manassas, Virginia, and Phoenix, Arizona, respectively, each supercomputer operates at a speed of 12.1 petaflops — three times faster than NOAA’s former system. (General Dynamics Information Technology (GDIT))

Click the link to read the release on the NOAA website (Susan Buchanan):

Today, NOAA inaugurated the nation’s newest weather and climate supercomputers with an operational run of the National Blend of Models. The new supercomputers, first announced in Febuary 2020 with a contract award to General Dynamics Information Technology (GDIT), provide a significant upgrade to computing capacity, storage space and interconnect speed of the nation’s Weather and Climate Operational Supercomputing System.

“Accurate weather and climate predictions are critical to informing public safety, supporting local economies, and addressing the threat of climate change,” said U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo. “Through strategic and sustained investments, the U.S. is reclaiming a global top spot in high-performance computing to provide more accurate and timely climate forecasts to the public.”

“More computing power will enable NOAA to provide the public with more detailed weather forecasts further in advance,” said NOAA Administrator, Rick Spinrad, Ph.D. “Today’s supercomputer implementation is the culmination of years of hard work by incredible teams across NOAA — everyone should be proud of this accomplishment.”

“This is a big day for NOAA and the state of weather forecasting,” said Ken Graham, director of NOAA’s National Weather Service. “Researchers are developing new ensemble-based forecast models at record speed, and now we have the computing power needed to implement many of these substantial advancements to improve weather and climate prediction.”

Enhanced computing and storage capacity will allow NOAA to deploy higher-resolution models to better capture small-scale features like severe thunderstorms, more realistic model physics to better capture the formation of clouds and precipitation, and a larger number of individual model simulations to better quantify model certainty. The end result is even better forecasts and warnings to support public safety and the national economy.

The new supercomputers will enable an upgrade to the U.S. Global Forecast System (GFS) this fall and the launch of a new hurricane forecast model called the Hurricane Analysis and Forecast System (HAFS), slated to be in operation for the 2023 hurricane season pending tests and evaluation.

In addition, the new supercomputers will enable NOAA’s Environmental Modeling Center — a division of the National Weather Service’s National Centers for Environmental Prediction — to implement other new applications created by model developers across the U.S. under the Unified Forecast System link over the next five years.

The twin Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) Cray supercomputers, called Dogwood and Cactus, are named after the flora native to their geographic locations of Manassas, Virginia, and Phoenix, Arizona, respectively. They replace NOAA’s previous Cray and IBM supercomputers in Reston, Virginia, and Orlando, Florida. The computers serve as a primary and a backup for seamless transfer of operations from one system to another.

Each supercomputer operates at a speed of 12.1 petaflops, three times faster than NOAA’s former system. Coupled with NOAA’s research and development supercomputers in West Virginia, Tennessee, Mississippi and Colorado, which have a combined capacity of 18 petaflops, the supercomputing capacity supporting NOAA’s new operational prediction and research is now 42 petaflops.

According to GDIT, Dogwood and Cactus are currently ranked as the 49th and 50th fastest computers in the world by TOP500.

Under the initial 8-year contract with a 2-year optional renewal, GDIT designed and serves as owner/operator of the computers with the responsibility to maintain them and provide all supplies and services, including labor, facilities and computing components.

The first phase of the contract covers products and services for the first five years, after which NOAA will work with the contractor to plan the next upgrade phase,” said David Michaud, director of the National Weather Service’s Office of Central Processing. “This new total managed service approach ensured that we could acquire the best system in the marketplace that can be adjusted as our needs grow in the future.”

Navajo Dam operations update: Bumping down to 400 cfs June, 29, 2022 #SanJuanRiver #ColoradoRiver #COriver #aridification

From email from Reclamation (Susan Novak Behery):

In response to continued forecast precipitation and sufficient flows in the critical habitat reach, the Bureau of Reclamation has scheduled a decrease in the release from Navajo Dam from 500 cubic feet per second (cfs) to 400 cfs for Wednesday, June 29th, at 4:00 AM.

Releases are made for the authorized purposes of the Navajo Unit, and to attempt to maintain a target base flow through the endangered fish critical habitat reach of the San Juan River (Farmington to Lake Powell). The San Juan River Basin Recovery Implementation Program recommends a target base flow of between 500 cfs and 1,000 cfs through the critical habitat area. The target base flow is calculated as the weekly average of gaged flows throughout the critical habitat area from Farmington to Lake Powell.