The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
-Psalm 19:1

Do you know that God controls the clouds and makes his lightning flash?
-Job 37:15

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Looking through the looking glass... updated with Health Advisory

This is the view I have looking through my window, right now ... Yet another Special Weather Statement this morning regarding our ridiculously smoky lifestyle these days. This morning actually offered some relief as the smoke seemed to be contained in the higher atmosphere, but since then, it has settled in with a vengeance. It appears worse than yesterday, and I know that it is definitely worse inside my office than it was yesterday. People are coughing. It is actually starting to affect my very mild asthma causing me to have to use my rescue inhaler yesterday, so my heart sinks to think of those with bad asthma and other respiratory problems. I saw someone driving down the road with a mask on this morning. I think they might very well have the right idea. There is no longer any way to escape from it. My ears are filled with fluid, and I am hearing echos and the smoke has caused my eustachian tubes distress. My chest burns, and my coughs are providing little relief. My clothes wreak of the scent of a campfire; heck, the air smells that way. I hate to imagine that if we can see so much ash, how much of it is microscopic and thereby being breathed into our lungs. I took some pictures of the smoke on the interstate yesterday as I was leaving work and headed home. The first is the interstate between my office and home. The second is that same wood pile that they have got waiting for a safe time to burn, but this time you can see how the smoke obscured the sun. It's incredibly ominous looking. It felt very ominous, being there... like a set in a horror flick. This last one, I took on the way into work. The smoke was only at the upper levels, so we felt some relief, but boy has it settled...

Interestingly, they have worked POPS into the forecast and perhaps some thunderstorm activity in light of the easterly convergence... sea breeze actually more moist than expected. Coolness. I will remain cautiously optimistic.

I spoke briefly with Jess again last night. She had a great day yesterday, seeing an HP and an LP Supercell and decent sized hail. She has had a wonderful chase experience, and I am just thrilled to pieces for her. I look forward to mine, but in the meantime, I am just tickled that she has had such an amazing experience! It was long overdue for her.

That's it for me for now.

1:55 Update: The sky has taken on an eerie green, orange tint, no doubt a reflection of the spring green colors and the attempts the sun is making to peak through. The smoke has lifted in to the higher levels some, but the ash is falling in greater abundance, and some of the pieces are an inch square. It is ASHing here folks, ashing like I've never seen. It's almost like a volcano has erupted nearby. It's falling from the sky like a decent snow flurry. I cringe to think about what we aren't seeing and why our lungs are burning. I just heard the the fire jumped another stop and is even closer to us now. It is truly frightening to imagine worse than this. This is insane! Lord, we need rain!

Our county just issued a Public Health Advisory stating:

**Health Advisory**

Agency: South Health District
Topic: Smoke and respiratory precautions

The South Health District is issuing a health advisory for Ben Hill, Berrien, Brooks, Cook, Echols, Irwin, Lanier, Lowndes, Tift and Turner Counties because of the smoke caused by the current wildfires. Public Health is asking that all outdoor events, especially recreational, be postponed until this health advisory is lifted.

Smoke from wildfires is a mixture of gases and fine particles from burning trees and other plant materials. Smoke can hurt your eyes, irritate your respiratory system and worsen chronic heart and lung diseases. Small children, older adults and anyone with a chronic illness should take precautions and limit outdoor time.

For more information about health problems related to the smoke, please call your local healthcare provider.
They go on to say...
How to tell if smoke is affecting you

Smoke can cause:

• Coughing
• A scratchy throat
• Irritated sinuses
• Shortness of breath
• Chest pain
• Headaches
• Stinging eyes
• A runny nose

If you have heart or lung disease, smoke might make your symptoms worse. People who have heart disease might experience:

• Chest pain
• Rapid heartbeat
• Shortness of breath
• Fatigue

Smoke may worsen symptoms for people who have pre-existing respiratory conditions, such as respiratory allergies, asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), in the following ways:

• Inability to breathe normally
• Cough with or without mucus
• Chest discomfort
• Wheezing and shortness of breath

When smoke levels are high enough, even healthy people may experience some of these symptoms.

Fire Situation Report

Sigh... keep praying for rain...


  1. A good tropical storm would put all these fires out.

  2. Know where I could find a good tropical storm???

  3. Oh man, you paint a bleak picture of the air quality and outlook down there. Even though the conditions are horrible, i loved the pics. I don't think i can imagine much worse than having smoke settle in on you like that. My wife has horribe asthma and she would be in trouble if it was like that here. Hang in there, you're chasing soon!!!


  4. As I write this response, I see the smoke, settling back down into the ground level. I wouldn't recommend that you and your wife take a vacation down this way for a while. It is sadly as bleak as the picture I have painted.

    Thanks for the compliments and encouragement. I will be chasing soon!

  5. Here is a picture of the Day from South GA, You can really see the smoke settled in.

    Big Version


  6. Sobering images. Most of it is well east of me... I cringe to think of life there.


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