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July Disc/obs 2021


George BM
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10 hours ago, Stradivarious said:

I lived in Winnipeg Canada in the middle 1970’s. The smoke was unbearable… driving from Grand Forks ND to Winnipeg, there would be wildfires burning everywhere . And nobody cared, because there was nothing to burn there but peat and grasses. Thought  I was going to h*ll.

These fires burn naturally. Spontaneous combustion. They are not a new thing at all.

Spontaneous combustion? As in piles of hay catching fire as a result of biological impetus and eventual chemical reactions? Seems more likely that they would start from lightning strikes.

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2 hours ago, mattie g said:

Spontaneous combustion? As in piles of hay catching fire as a result of biological impetus and eventual chemical reactions? Seems more likely that they would start from lightning strikes.

 This occurs, (for example), in highway maintenance when roadside brush cutting crews pile their chips at the shoulder areas. I have witnessed this along multi-mile stretches in MD or VA, with multiple smoldering brush fires from different chips piles.  They're not hard to control, but do get response from local FD. Also cause rubber-necking backups. (No surprise there).

It's not normal; conditions have to be just right. But, it's a good reason to try not to do brush cutting in hot summer wx.

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22 minutes ago, peribonca said:

All in all this summer hasn't been too hot... Is the smoke from out west limiting our daytime heating?

No, it is mostly that the ridge has set up pretty far west.  We get bigger heat when the ridge sets up either over us or in the central US and the heat “rolls over” to us.  This year we are above normal on 90 degree days but below normal on 95+.  A fairly average summer under the new 91-20 climate norms.

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25 minutes ago, peribonca said:

All in all this summer hasn't been too hot... Is the smoke from out west limiting our daytime heating?

We haven’t had much for extreme heat on a given day, but we are (of course) above normal temps this summer and above normal 90F days.

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3 hours ago, mattie g said:

Spontaneous combustion? As in piles of hay catching fire as a result of biological impetus and eventual chemical reactions? Seems more likely that they would start from lightning strikes.

That actually happens a lot in these parts. In Taneytown the other month 4 acres of cut grass caught on fire because of spontaneous combustion while it lay drying in the field.

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3 hours ago, mattie g said:

Spontaneous combustion? As in piles of hay catching fire as a result of biological impetus and eventual chemical reactions? Seems more likely that they would start from lightning strikes.

I'm from Western Canada, where at some point the prairies turn into lots of trees if you go far enough north,  It is true that in the part prairie/part forested provinces fires get caused by things such as hay and peat igniting on their own, things igniting because of lightning, or things igniting because of human stupidity.

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1 hour ago, Eskimo Joe said:

That actually happens a lot in these parts. In Taneytown the other month 4 acres of cut grass caught on fire because of spontaneous combustion while it lay drying in the field.

Spontaneous combustion is a big issue in the midwest farm belt too.  It's why one never puts green/wet hay or alfalfa in the barn.  It's a good way to burn your barn down.  My dad actually helped fight a barn fire in Switzerland of all places in 1981.  They put wet alfalfa in the barn and it lit up on its own.  (Dad was a volunteer for 60+ years and in the first class of paramedics in Ohio).  

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