Roll Clouds

AWIPS animation of visible satellite on Friday, December 16.
AWIPS animation of GOES-East visible imagery on December 16, 2016. Roll clouds are very evident in this imagery. Also note the hard edge of the cloud canopy of the cool air wedge in place around Lumber City, GA.

Yesterday’s skies were particularly awesome, with lots of roll clouds on display. Shea Gibson of WeatherFlow shared some photos from the ground as well as a great explainer on how the clouds ended up like they did over on Facebook.


Anemometer update and Tuesday

I got my replacement anemometer in yesterday…and of course, during the only real time that I’ll have to get it all set back up, the rain will be here. I’m going to try to see, weather permitting, if I can get things going again on Sunday. That’s going to be a fairly big job, though — we’ll see what happens.

The rain is definitely inbound. NWS has it pegged for “after midnight” — here’s hoping it holds off for at least a little while so I can get to work reasonably dry. I have an umbrella there, which is a plus. So far, the rain does not look like it’s moving all too quickly, but we’ll see what happens. Don’t think I’m going to activate the radar for this one — makes the main PC somewhat sluggish at times, especially when I need to dive in and do analysis of my own.

If you haven’t already, I urge you to read Brian Goode’s blog about the Tuesday weather non-event. It’s a great explanation of why broadcast meteorologists reacted the way they did to the threat — the data was pretty solid. I certainly appreciate the perspective and transparency Brian brings to the process through his blog time and time again. I do find it hilarious how people get all up in arms when the weather is less worse than predicted — isn’t that a good thing? As Brian put so well, the media did not tell the schools and cities and stuff to start closing up shop. They just reported what they saw as the situation, and the situation evolved and changed throughout the day to end up being very much in our favor.

Media Weather

A busy night ahead, and overexcitement…

Looks like tonight is going to be a rough one, particularly after midnight. I just saw that the National Weather Service is conducting a conference call for broadcast meteorologists at 4:30 today — there’s a risk of fairly potent thunderstorms tonight, with the possibility of tornadoes. A peek at GRLevel3 does indeed indicate two active tornado warnings in southwest Alabama, and taking a look at the radar image does indicate some fairly intense rotation within these storms, with three — count ’em, three — Tornado Vortex Signatures being reported by NEXRAD. Elsewhere in the line of storms, I see radar indicating velocities of up to 95 knots about 4400 feet from the surface — e-gad!

On a related topic: Ale pointed me to a thread on a Redskins forum that really lays into some meteorologists for getting excited about potentially destructive weather events on air. On the one hand, I can definitely feel what the meteorologists feel — this is their job at its most intense, it’s a real rush. Heck, we all know how I get during hurricane season. But on the other hand, an event that is “exciting” to one meteorologist may be extremely frightening for the 99% of others who aren’t hardcore into the weather. On-air meteorologists have a responsibility to tell the facts of a weather situation. They can convey the gravity of the situation, but should always be careful to keep their inner meterological libido in check, keeping in mind that they’re reporting to a general audience who aren’t all storm spotters ready to go “YEEHAH!” and fire up their personal Dopplers. :)