Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Under Carefully Controlled Laboratory Conditions, God Will Do Whatever He Wants

In getting my instrument rating for flying airplanes in the clouds, I had to learn a lot about weather, and I generally keep tabs on daily conditions and forecasts by going right to the National Weather Service pages (which are vastly more informative than the Weather Channel and other such sources). Although forecasting has become more accurate due to computer modeling, it periodically seems that the weather just does whatever it wants, for no discernible technical reason. Right now we're in the middle of a heat wave. I was amused by the follwing in the latest forecast discussion:


.DISCUSSION...AS OF 4:30 AM PDT TUESDAY...SHORT TERM FOCUS ON HEAT
ADVISORY FOR THE SANTA CLARA VALLEY/RECORD TEMPS...THEN COOLING
TREND AND ANY SHOWER CHANCES LATER THIS WEEK.

HEAT ADVISORY CONTINUES FROM NOON TO 8 PM THIS EVENING FOR THE
SANTA CLARA VALLEY AND THE CITY OF SAN JOSE FOR CONTINUED RECORD
HIGH AFTERNOON TEMPS. THIS HEAT EVENT CONTINUES TO BE QUITE
REMARKABLE WITH RECORDS BEING SMASHED THE LAST TWO DAYS AT NEARLY
ALL OF OUR CLIMATE SITES. THE INTERESTING THING IS HOW UNREMARKABLE
THE OVERALL PATTERN SEEMS TO BE AND LONG STANDING RECORD HIGHS ARE
BEING SURPASSED BY AS MUCH AS 12 DEGREES?

850 MB TEMPS OF 20 CELSIUS ARE NOT UNUSUAL...NO STRONG OFFSHORE
GRADIENTS WITH ONLY 2-3 MB DOWN THE COAST AND 5-6 MB OFFSHORE FROM
THE DESERTS. 500 MB HEIGHT FIELD IS DOMINATED BY A 582-584 HIGH.
LEAVES ONE SCRATCHING THE HEAD A LITTLE BIT AS TO WHY WE`VE BEEN ABLE
TO GET SO WARM...EVEN AT THE COAST IN THE ABSENCE OF ANY NOTEWORTHY
WEATHER FEATURE.

2 comments:

J A said...

Matteo,

Take a look at this post from someone else's computer---the formatting isn't quite right, and the text is running into the margin.

Matteo said...

If it is in a clunky looking courier font, with a bit of margin overrrun, it is what I intended, since that's the formatting on the National Weather Service page. Thanks for the heads up!