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I’ve put a couple of radar animations in the Image Gallery (sidebar) from the Dallas Fort Worth area yesterday (2009-06-12). Pretty graphic show of massive thunderstorm supercell development. To assist the novice, the composite scan shows the development of moisture laden storm clouds (yellow through red and beyond in the top scan over about an hour and 1/2. -Yes, an hour and a half!. At one point, you can see the evidence of rotation in the prime cell where the purple crescent shaped area develops. The red warning boxes are tornado warnings evovling out of the rotation.

The second image is the radar scan history of vertical cloud development for the same period, colour keyed in thousands of feet. At a couple of points, the tops bubbled over into 65,000 feet airspace – 12 miles in the air! Jetliners fly at 32-38,000 feet usually.

The Ephemerata Weather Radar Project continues to expand. I’ve added a dedicated computer to run the Project, and I’m actually considering a second one. The present full configuration of the project requires two computers running in harmony. Having been very involved in alpha and beta testing of the current Storm Predator product, I am in discussion about attempting to see if multiple versions of the weather processor can be run concurrently on a single machine. It is a very resource intensive program.

I’ve also added a FAQ page, accessible from the project scan page to answer some of the questions that might come to mind for viewers of the web pages. I decided to go this route instead of expanding the reference text on the main page to an unwieldy level.

While I am focusing on severe weather in the GTA, being able to wander around “tornado alley” and other areas where spectacular weather occurs has been both informative and illuminating. From a safety aspect, blessed are those who live in “quiet” weather areas, yet to be able to observe the majesty of our atmosphere up close is equally stirring. Where time allows, I try to run some of these events in Scan B for others to observe first hand.

If you like watching storm chasers in action, check out
Chaser TV provides an outlet for storm chasers to upload streaming video by cell phone to display on either their own website or on the “wall” at Chaser TV. This is “as it happens” video, so you may get anything and everything, or nothing at all.
EWR doesn’t have any plans to introduce this feature here, since most of the severe weather we get you are in the middle of. Unfortunately (or fortunately), we don’t get to stand back and watch nature unfold like the tornado chasers do.

The loss of flight 447 over the mid-Atlantic is truly unfortunate. Tim Vasquez is a meteorology specialist with flight analysis specialization. Based on information he is able to assemble about the the weather and the flight over the Atlantic at the time, and his analyst’s insight, he constructs a review of possible weather conditions the aircraft may have encountered. Since his post is commented, additional insight and information is coming forth that he is able to incorporate into his analysis. It has to be stressed that this is a speculative analysis by a professional, not in any way a formal assessment of the tragedy.

“Air France flight 447 (AF447), an Airbus A330 widebody jet, was reported missing in the equatorial Atlantic Ocean in the early morning hours of June 1, 2009. The plane was enroute from Rio de Janeiro (SBGL) to Paris (LFPG). Speculation suggested that the plane may have flown into a thunderstorm. The objective of this study was to isolate the aircraft’s location against high-resolution satellite images from GOES-10 to identify any association with thunderstorm activity. Breakup of a plane at higher altitudes in a thunderstorm is not unprecedented; Northwest Flight 705 in 1963 and more recently Pulkovo Aviation Flight 612 in 2006 are clear examples.

Back in the 1990s I did flight route forecasting for the Air Force. One of my assignments in summer 1994 was forecasting the sector between Mombasa, Kenya and Cairo, Egypt for C-5 and C-141 aircraft. The Sudan region had tropical MCS activity similar to this with little in the way of sensor data, so this incident holds some special interest for me as one of our C-5s could easily have followed a very similar fate. Using what’s available to me I decided to do a little analysis and see if I could determine anything about the fate of AF447 and maybe through some circuitous, indirect means help give authorities some clues on where to look. ”
Follow the detailed analysis here. WUWT also featured Tim’s analysis, and what is interesting in both posts are the many comments from current and retired big-jet pilots.


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  • GH-GTA Scan Zone Severe Weather Alert #ONStorm October 2, 2016
    SEVERE WEATHER ALERT — 01:35 PM EDT Oct 02 2016 This is an automated alert of potentially severe weather for the Golden Horseshoe/ Greater Toronto/Niagara Peninsula/South-Central Ontario Monitored Area, from Ephemerata Weather Radar. See attached scan image. The alert triggered at 01:35 PM EDT on Oct 02 2016, from radar data analyzed from NWS radar site KBUF […]

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