Thursday, July 17, 2008

Our Blue Skies Turn Gray & The Birds Take Over Live Doppler 18


It is great to check in with you on this Thursday. Last night a lot of folks commented on how beautiful and bright the full moon is. You can see how it looked over the beautiful Tippecanoe County Courthouse. It is hard to believe that Mark Twain was here for its opening ceremony back in the 19th century. It is such a historic and beautiful venue and the moon added to this nostalgic scene. Better yet, the full moon is not full until tonight. Moorise is officially at 8:11 p.m. Get some pictures so we can share them here on the blog. The other striking feature in the sky last night was how red the moon was during our moonrise. This time of year the haze particles really build up. They are made of water particles, dust, smoke, and other pollutants. The reason our blue skies turn gray is exactly because of these particles scattering light in the atmosphere. They are actually larger than the dominant air molecules of nitrogen and oxygen so this is the reason it happens. What causes the build-up of these particles. Look no further than the graphic below.




You need a high pressure system in place which causes sinking air. It also traps the particulates and allows them to grow larger. It can also cause Air Quality alerts like we have seen this week. These stable air masses created by high pressures really allows us to dry out. We have certainly seen that this week with our driest week since late October and early November. It is our driest week of the year! Richard Beedle has taken this opportunity in a nice tranquil weather pattern to take his boat out on the Wabash River. Not only did he enjoy the beautiful blue skies but he captured a picture of these beautiful cedar waxwing birds. I have never seen these birds before but apparently they do make their homes in Indiana.




Speaking of birds, do you realize we have picked up signatures of birds on our Live Doppler 18 this week. Things are always exciting here in Indiana even in quiet weather patterns. Now I did not capture what they looked like on our Doppler but did find a picture for you from the Chicago National Weather Service you see below.



The circled area shows you where the birds are located. Remember doppler radar can pick up not just raindrops but wind currents, objects like trees and buildings, birds, and even insects. The doppler radar scans the skies and picks up the birds because they are made of mostly water like humans and the radar beam is reflected off them just like it would when it hits oversized raindrops and it comes back to our Live Doppler 18 as a circle. The farther away they fly from their nesting ground the less intense the bird radar ring becomes. In the Autumn and Spring these birds play havoc with meteorologists because our wind estimates from doppler radar sometimes factor in the forward speed of birds that it picks up. The problem is many times it is hard to tell if the birds were factored in and it throws off all of our wind speeds and forecasts. This is just another reason why being a meteorologist is humbling.

Speaking of humbling, I have signed up for my 6th marathon. I will be running my 26.2 miles at the Walt Disney World Marathon. I will be earning the Mickey medal. I like challenges and I am sure that Florida heat and humidity will be waiting for me even in January. I will never forget living in Florida and waiting in line for ice cream to try to cool down in the middle of the winter. The good news is the race starts at 6 a.m. which means I will be running in much more runner friendly temperatures. If you are into running make sure to come on out this weekend to the Zoo Run Run at Columbian Park. It starts at 8:30 a.m. I will have much more on this here on the blog tomorrow, including when the heat will break!

Last but not least I am ecstatic to have joined SUNNY 107.7 FM or WMRS radio in Monticello to Delphi and Lafayette! It will be the perfect complement to my television weathercasts and webcasts. Make sure to listen for frequent weather updates on the radio from yours truly. WMRS also broadcasts our news on a daily basis. I cannot thank WMRS enough for this opportunity. We will expand the weather coverage of course during big or severe weather events. So if you lose power during storms tuning to WMRS is another great way to get the latest weather information to keep you and your family safe! One of these days I will have to do a weather watcher and blogger type radio weather show. With all the great weather bloggers on here the show would take off immediately! I am sure Mary Anne, Justing, and Teri would be big hits! Have a great day and thanks for all your support.

11 comments:

Brow said...

OMG, more spam. :(

*Please don't delete my comment this time! :)

That is funny about the birds on the radar...is it really possible?

Anonymous said...

Im with you Brow, LOL!!!

Mike can't wate to see how it happen. I had no idea something like that was even possible?

Don't worrie mike we wont click on anything that has to do with the poster's above!
Don't want my PC to crash :)

Just looked at my forecaster and it said 82.4* with a heat index already of 86* Im starting to look forward to a slight cool down :)

Justin in Lafayette.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful pic of the Cedar Waxwings, I have not seen them in this area before!

Be careful out there today, the air is so thick! If you have a bird bath make sure to fill it with cool water, the wild bird are thirsty. They were playing in my sprinkler this morning and loving it!

Anonymous said...

Hey justin, i just looked at the radar, looks like sat and sun we are to get heavy rain and strong storms! what do you think? Is the system up north going to do as it did last weekend?

Anonymous said...

Well it is still 3 day's away so as of now all I can tell you is look's like it would be Sunday into Monday. These storms are going to be following a cold front and with all this warm and HUM air mass in place when a cold front moves into our area it tends to fire up storms some even severe!

Sorry thats all I can tell you for now but by tomorrow I can give you a better idea as to what to expect.

Justin in Lafayette.

Anonymous said...

thanks, I am watching the storms move in from the north. I know that it may be to early to tell but looks like it may be here sooner than sun. yuck, at least not on Friday again! boy its humid out! I didnt even go to the pool was a huge crowd. temp is 93* and humidity is 63% accoring to my weather station.

Anonymous said...

A beautiful evening it is, I love to watch the moonrise. This time of year is wonderful, After a busy day, we gather with neighbors on the front porch swing to chat. And at times watch the storms roll in. Take care all!

Brow said...

Congrats on hitting up WMRS Mike! They have that station blasted at work, so I am sure to hear ya once in awhile.

If you guys find my blog offensive or contain spam, lemme know and I will quit posting the url...it just comes up there automatically so I leave it. :)

Anonymous said...

Brow, you have been posting on the blog for quite sometime, I for one do not think your postings are offensive or contain spam,I think there was just confusion with what had been going on here for the last couple of days.
I get a kick out of your postings
T.

Anonymous said...

I agree Brow you help to make this a great and funny blog you know what I mean like when you said it gets so cold you snot freezes ;)

By the way you never showed up over the 4th LOL...

Justin in Lafayette.

Brow said...

LOL! Thanks guys!

Hey I was there on the 4th...I think you give the wrong address or something. :p