Tuesday, May 10, 2005

the things you see when you step back a little

while putting together the page for the animation of the storms crossing the warm front, i noticed something i hadn't seen in these images before: in addition to the warm front being easy to pick out on the radar animation, some of the storms kick out outflow boundaries, which are also easy to pick out, and they all meet west of grand forks at one point.

it makes sense, now that i think about it, because at first, it seemed like the front had surged southward rather suddenly, but then i noticed another boundary right where i would have expected the front in the first place. so the boundary that seems out of place (that sesame street song, "one of these things is not like the other one" comes to mind) is actually the outflow from the storms. it's really neat that you can pick out all these things on the radar--and important to storm chasing.

yes, it all comes back to storm chasing. as we've already seen and will see in the months (and hopefully years) to come, storms tend to form (or be enhanced) on boundaries. cold fronts, warm fronts, drylines, troughs, outflow boundaries, sea breezes, you name it. so if, like in this case, you can easily pick out the boundary, then your work is half done. pick that area as an area of enhanced thunderstorm potential--you'll be surprised how often it works.


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