Keeping It Cool

For a little while there, I was pretty optimistic a rebound of temperatures would come by. It now looks like we are in Fall’s grip. Last Thursday was really nice when we hit the mid 70s, but the following day retaliated with highs in the 50s.

I’ve spent some time thinking of a possible research/poster for annual NWA meetings and the like. So far I’ve thought about how storm conditions show different lightning characteristics, and something about deformation snows associated with a low pressure system in winter. Both I’ve experienced.

The lightning one is interesting. Since I pull my camera out during any lighting/storm activity, I’ve likened a few traits together. High precipitation storms, where you are literally getting rinsed even if behind a plate of glass, seem to have more cloud to cloud lightning than CG (cloud to ground). This could be due to the massive amount of rain in the sky which diffuses the light about and makes it act like a giant flashbulb, or it’s just that there is a TON of lightning going on. I learned last semester that high precip rates lead to frequent lightning, because the precipitation activity creates the + and – charges needed to create a polarized environment in a cloud. I’ve noted less cloud to ground bolts in the middle of a storm, and more on the edges of storms. Again, all of this could be relative, but I can never get crisp lightning photographs in the middle of a storm.

I also was thinking about a topic about deformation snows around a negatively tilted low pressure system. While the negative tilt has more to do about the trough with the system, the low is affected. I don’t know what relationship I would like to focus on, but maybe something like trying to pinpoint that sweet spot where someone will get buried. Yea, and it will be over my house.

Anyway. What’s the weather doing? Well Tuesday looks beautiful and windy. We should hover around normal temperatures this week with a shot of rain Tuesday night.

The aurora made another appearance here in Mount Pleasant. I rallied some room-mates up and we went searching for a wide open field to get some photos. Unfortunately the back road we thought was perfect, was not perfect for someone else and they chased us off. No worries though, sure the lights will be back. Did get a couple good shots and they can be found on my flickr page. Just click on one of the photos to the right.

Wxchallenge is going on. Actually put more effort in, and after learning some things these past years, I placed well for the first city. For anyone that is new, the Wxchallenge is a collegiate contest where you must forecast for a certain city over the course of two weeks. You must enter a forecast for high and low daily temp, wind speed, and precipitation. Points are given for error. So, say I forecast 78F, but the real high temp is 74F. I would be given 4 points of temp error. Scoring plays like golf, you want to have the lowest amount of points, thus the lowest amount of error. It can get intense sometimes! Especially when you see yourself doing well, and you spend that much more time making sure your next day is going to be spot on. I finished first in our CMU student group, but barely. Another junior was just 0.1 of a point behind me, so it was pretty tight up to the last day. Did get a few mean mugs from some seniors, but the next city will be interesting. Billings, MT is located near some mountains, and they goof everything up for us flatlanders!

CMU Wxchallenge final for Pensacola, FL. Would have been nice to have someone place in the top 50, but maybe next city.