Thursday, May 28, 2015

Rain --> Sun

Temperatures this month have been slightly cooler than usual, but not much. There has been more rain than your typical May. About half the days this month measuring rain at the airport. The amount of rain is about twice the normal amount for May.


Even right now there are severe thunderstorms passing through Box Elder county.

This weekend May will leave us warm and hot. Temperatures in northern Utah will be in the 80s. Take a look for yourself...this is the ridge forecasted to build over Utah on Sunday...
This is the NAM forecast for Sunday at noon. Perhaps it will be followed by a cool down when the trough over the ocean progresses inland.

Update: this morning I saw on twitter a few cool pictures from this storm. First, a picture taken Morgan County taken by Nicole McMillian.

And here's a look at quarterz sized hail out in the Uintah Basin!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Cool Clouds

Yes, clouds are pretty cool and hip, but they are literally cool. After all, a little cooling can create a new cloud if saturation is reached.

Today's first cool cloud: A lenticular cloud or cap cloud over Mount Timpanogos this morning.

The second cool cloud: Stratocumulus over President's Circle at the University of Utah

Third cool cloud: Some sort of orthographically lifted cloud yesterday in Spanish Fork.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Spring Thunderstorm

I was going to go mow the lawn, but then it started to rain. Then it started to rain harder, and I just had to check out the radar.

There is a nice convective thunderstorm cell moving north, northwest right over the river bottoms in Spanish Fork. The edge of the storm put 0.03 inches of rain at the house in just a few minutes (so far this month we've had 1.65 inches of rain in Spanish Fork, though I suspect that is an inaccurate measurement.)
source: Weather Underground is a cool website where you can see the approximate location of the lightning strikes. These detectors detect both cloud-to-ground and cloud-to-cloud strikes. Each of the colored dots are lightning strikes. The yellow dots are the most recent strikes and the orange dots are older strikes.

When a lightning strike is detected a new yellow dot appears on the map with a red circle outline. A shaded and enlarging circle expands from the strike. This is the approximate location of where thunder is heard. We could hear the thunder from this particular strike (below) just a little before the thunder front on the map reached our house.

The storm has since moved north and more lightning is striking between Provo and Orem. Several people I've talked to said the thunder in Provo was pretty loud for a few moments.

Lightning detectors are scattered all around the world. When lightning strikes they emit a low frequency radio wave that can be detected by antennas states away from the storm. Below is a map from that show lightning in the southeast being detected from stations all acros the country. Each yellow dot circled in red are the lightning strikes. The blue lines are drawn between the lightning strike and the detector the registered the strike. Each lightning event is measured by several stations so that the location of the lightning can be determined. A good Wikipedia article about lightning detection can be found here.
Looks like the storm has passed and I can go mow the lawn now :)

In other news, I got my exam results for a qualifying exam I took last week. I passed the exam "with distinction" meaning that I can now pursue a doctorate degree in Atmospheric Science.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Good WX for a while

Last weeks rain softened up the ground. Today is a perfect day to plant the garden. Here's the NWS recap of rain totals across the state...

This next week will be filled with lots of sunshine as a high pressure builds into the western states. Below is the NAM forecast for Monday morning. Another disturbance in the upper level flow could bring more rain this weekend.

Until then, enjoy the sun and mornings that look like this...
BYU Timp. Camera

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Spring Storms

The SLC radar was active all day.

A professor at the U pointed out that Thursday morning's temperature profile follows the saturation adiabat throughout most of the troposphere. Very neat to see this...

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Passing Thunderstorm

Had a good view from campus of the thunderstorm passing through Salt Lake yesterday around 3:00 PM.