Happy Wednesday everyone!
Today's the day we get serious about our sunshine, because we should be getting a good chunk of it each day through the rest of the week. Of course, for those of you reading this blog in the wee hours of the morning, you may be scratching your head saying, "Again?"
Here's a look at the humidity levels by altitude at 8am this morning:
|NMM - Relative Humidity by Altitude - 8am Wednesday|
We have another set-up where, despite the influence of weak high pressure, the lowest levels of the atmosphere are still chock-full of humidity. The valley areas are hard to clear out in this situation, often the afternoon evaporation will do some work, but we had a few more clouds in these areas yesterday than we liked. So this morning we'll be on fog patrol yet again. I'm going to link a few special satellite products to help us keep track of fog:
|GOES-13 Fog Product (Experimental)||GOES-13 Fog Depth Estimate|
---Explainer Tangent (about satellites and the fog product)---
"GOES-13" refers to "Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (No. 13)". The only real word that's interesting in that big long name is the 'geostationary' one. That refers to the altitude above Earth in which the orbital speed of a satellite would be precisely matched by the rotational speed of the Earth, resulting in the satellite always positioned directly overhead the same spot (which is very useful for taking pictures and stringing them together in a animation).
Yep. In order to be in a "geostationary" orbit, our satellites have to be more than 22,000 miles away. Pretty crazy eh? And yet, we use these satellites to be able to identify the strength of hurricanes in the open sea in the middle of the night, track forest fires in the Amazon plain, and to search for valley fog in the Appalachian Mountains. That's got to be some pretty good cameras. Sometimes these satellites have to have an operational life-span of up to 10 years. Just think of the type of camera technology you had 10 years ago, and consider whether it would have been good enough to put on to a satellite.
Now, it basically looks down on Earth just like you and I would, and takes pictures. But, at night you can't see anything, right? Well, not really. Light waves travel in a wide spectrum of energy wave-lengths, and at night only the 'visible' portion of the spectrum goes dark. There's still the infrared, the ultraviolet, etc. etc.
Notice how the visible light portion of the spectrum is actually pretty small compared to the total-- and yet that's all we can see. For satellites, the "Infrared" is where it's at. Incoming radiation at infrared frequencies can be measured by these satellites, and then can be translated into colors, manipulated by math formulas (called 'algorithms'), all in the effort to make it useful. You have absolutely no need to know this, but the 'fog' product involves measurements at two different infrared 'windows' (3.9 microns and 10.7 microns). By subtracting the 3.9 numbers from the 10.7 ones, meteorologists can get an idea of what's going on-- oddly enough at the low and high levels of the atmosphere. The same product that detects fog is also pretty good at detecting cirrus clouds (high altitude clouds).
When you look at the Fog imagery (you can click on either map for a larger image), the one on the left will show cirrus clouds in blue, and the fog in yellow. Most of us are interested in situations where there's only fog forming in those valleys on an otherwise pleasant day-- so where you see the yellow, that's a best-guess of fog development. The right-hand map measures "fog depth". This one comes into play in situations where the left-hand map shows fog for an area (you followin' me?). We'll start off with green colors for the type of stuff that exits soon after sunrise, and work our way through to red, yellow, and black (that kind of fog will ground planes at the Huntington-Tri-State Airport and take until after 9am to get out of here, if at all.
So let's see if any shows up on the maps today, or if I've coded things wrongly ;-)
Okay, back to the weather and the forecast...
Let's revisit the two maps I showed you yesterday regarding the simulated radar and the possibility for showers this afternoon in a thin line. Checking the most recent updated run for this same NAM product:
|NAM - Simulated Radar - 2pm Wednesday||NAM - Simulated Radar - 5pm Wednesday|
This time it looks different than yesterday, The showers and storms look to stay closer to the better support near the Great Lakes. Even though we should still be on the lookout for a stray shower Wednesday afternoon, the odds are looking better to stay dry all day and lap up a little extra sunshine. :-)
And let's talk about the temperatures...
|GFS - Max Temps - Thursday||GFS - Max Temps - Friday||GFS - Max Temps - Saturday|
After Thursday's little dip in the road following that tiny line of clouds this afternoon/evening, we'll be back on track for an 80s weekend! Now, I don't like it when we creep over 85-- I'm not used to that kind of weather yet. If we can keep it right here, that would be the sweet-spot. I fully expect to have to mow the lawn a few times in this nice weather though. It's going to grow like crazy.
|Regional Radar/Satellite with Warnings Tracking||
|Temperatures||HD Doppler Radar||Estimated Rainfall||Active Warnings|
|Click For Larger||Click For Interactive Radar||Click For Larger||Click For Larger|
Have a great day everyone!