Friday, August 25, 2006


pireps, or pilot reports, can give lots of information to a weather forecaster.

and sometimes (when useful to pilots but not so much to forecasters) they're just fun information.

to wit:

UACN10 CYXT 242352

i wonder if they had really interesting haircuts.

i know, it's late. ;)

Thursday, August 24, 2006

and also...

about hurricanes, which i mentioned yesterday, i think this qualifies. cat 4? yes indeedily doodily.

finally (for this year)

not for me, but finally, for the spc, a moderate risk works out.

it was one of those days that looked almost too good to be true, except for one difference: it was already happening (after a fashion) as morning broke. so things were set to go kaboom.

i think that, were i chasing, i would have been torn. it depends on my previous night's location, but had i bedded down in fargo or sioux falls, i would have been on the long-lived tornadic supercell that went through central south dakota. had i been in minneapolis, i would have played just south of the warm front, catching the tornadoes by mankato and such.

i think. :)

will there be another opportunity, a moderate risk, like this again this year, one that i'll be able to chase? who knows. i hope so, but my hope is quickly fading...

where's the commentary?

i've been asked more than once about my thoughts on the gull lake tornado of august 5 and the winnipeg and la broquerie tornadoes of august 20. i've been asked why i didn't comment, why i didn't make big mention of them yet.

answer: because i'm steamed about them.

i'm still oh-fer in terms of tornadoes this year, folks.

the first one, the gull lake one, i had just come back from my grandfather's funeral in saskatchewan, and i didn't look closely enough at things, and ended up chasing a pile of garbage storms down by grand forks. stay closer to the jet, dave.

the second one, with the tornadoes by winnipeg and la broquerie, well, i was out golfing in selkirk. nice course. but geez. i had looked at things that morning and hoped that it wouldn't be as severe as i really thought it might be. especially with the acc over the area first thing. ("acc in the morning, forecaster take warning." thus says yg, a long-time forecaster in edmonton.) the storms were building to our west, and i remarked that they could be bad--as they were leaning over nicely and progressively getting straighter and straighter. and finally one showed some backshear on its anvil and i saw some pretty low scud under it before it was obscured by rain.

we got to the clubhouse just as it started to pour down, and then we got some hail (nickels, and yes i phoned it in) and winds i estimated to be 100 km/h (also phoned in).

so i missed them, and i'm mad about it. at myself.

i collected radar and some satellite imagery from the events, though, and they're now available on the weather imagery portion of weather central. go take a look. it's neat.

more big storms last night over saskatchewan. and possibly some biggies over southwest manitoba later today, if enough sun comes into play. but the real biggies will be in eastern south dakota. that's where i'd be if i didn't have to sleep and work another night shift tomorrow night.

hurricanes yet? not big ones, but i'll keep an eye out...

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

quickie about the trip

i only really have one regret about the trip:

that we weren't able to visit space aliens.

i may have to make a pilgrimage.

their ribs are out of this world.