A summer-like pattern

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SUMMARY

We have certainly entered a summer-like pattern, folks. While temps will stay in the same ballpark over the next week, the humidity will not. With that humidity gradually increasing each day, it will also feel hotter each day. And the more we increase that humidity, the more we have to increase our chances for a mainly afternoon/evening shower or storm.

As is most often the case around here in the summer, widespread severe weather is not expected. However, any storm that fires off in the heat and humidity will have the potential to become strong to even briefly severe. Of course, frequent lightning is always a concern with any storm that develops.

Over the weekend, a very slow moving front will be in Kentucky. This front will gradually slide south, making into our neck of the woods by early next week. As showers and storms fire off along this boundary over the weekend, they will have a tendency to slowly move southward. That will mean a slightly  better chance of storms across the northern plateau on Saturday. That better chance of storms will shift southward as we go through time.

At this time, I do not foresee a good chance of a complex of storms organizing and moving down on us from Kentucky, but I’ll keep an eye on that. The Storm Prediction Center has removed the plateau from the marginal risk of severe weather for Saturday, but that marginal risk gets pretty close to us on Sunday. It’s only a marginal risk but I’ll keep an eye on in it for you!

DISCUSSION

Well, our weather around here these days has been quite boring. Can I get an “amen” from the weather geeks? But, it is summer time now and things can get a little mundane around these parts. Of course, we can get some mean storm complexes from the Midwest this time of year. You know, those big lines of storms that drop in from Missouri and Kentucky and give us strong/damaging winds and LOTS of lightning. If you want the “good” stuff you have to go north these day. When I say north I mean WAY north.

The best part about storms in the northern Plains (ie. Wyoming, Montana, etc) is that the storms are very photogenic and the tornadoes, should they occur, often just roam over open prairie. Storms up there produce less rainfall than ours and that makes the structure of the storm, as well as the tornadoes, so much more visible.  Our tornadoes are often obscured by rain and trees and hills, etc.

It’s a storm chasers paradise up there and  it’s on my bucket list, for sure! So why don’t all the chasers crowd up there during this time of year? Well, most of the time they’ve exhausted their resources from chasing in the southern Plains in April and May. Everyone is over-anxious to get those first storms that hit Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas earlier in the season. By now, most chasers are returning to their “normal” lives and jobs. If only they’d wait.

Chasing in the north is a bit challenging, as there is SO much open country. You really need to be good at picking your target area or you could way too many miles away from the action when it gets going. You have a lot of open road, as, like I said, not too many chasers wait and go after these early summer storms.  Roads aren’t congested with hundreds of chasers.

This is just one of the many good photos that folks have been getting this week in Wyoming.  Ain’t she a beaut!? Wow. (Photo credit: Willoughby Owen,Brayden A Marshall and Greg Campbell of www.severeweather.com.au)

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More storms are expected up there for the next three days, so I expect more pics to be coming soon.

Speaking of impressive pictures, remember the picture of the earth I showed you a while back that the new GOES-17 satellite sent back? Well, it has sent back more good pics but this time of the sun.  It has instruments that will allow scientists to study the sun like never before. Expect some good stuff to come from that!

But, I say all this because I wrote an article for the Fentress Courier about the new satellite and it was published in this week’s paper. I will share that with you below. I hope you enjoy!

You all have a great week and great and safe weekend! I will be heading up to Asheville for a half marathon, so wish me luck! I’ve never ran this race before and it’s supposed to take us around the French Broad River and through downtown Asheville.  Runners say this is one of the prettiest races around. I guess I’ll find out!

GOES-17

With everything that has to go right, it really is a miracle that any satellite we send into space ever works.

We recently got word that the GOES-17 satellite that was launched on March 1 is having problems with a cooling system. It will likely get resolved, and may even be resolved by the time you read this, but it reminds us of how much we take for granted with these satellites.

I had the rare opportunity to get to see this satellite while it was in its holding facility in Titusville, Florida back in January. Standing there in front of this ingenious work caused me to stand in awe. It really is remarkable what great minds can design.

Then, I got to see the satellite launched into space on March 1. What a sight! The force to get the satellite up into space is comparable to the power of an atomic bomb. You understand and appreciate that when you see one of those rockets take off.

On May 31st, we got the first images from GOES-17 and they are absolutely spectacular! The detail that shows up on the images is just remarkable. This is the first time I have looked at a satellite image and can say I was in the same room as that satellite. And then I saw it launched. You can only imagine my excitement when the first images came in!

The excitement is overshadowed by the idea that something might be wrong with the satellite. We should all be hopeful that the situation gets resolved quickly. These satellites give us views and data of our planet that help us answer difficult questions, not to mention warning of us of incoming tropical storms.

With hurricane season now underway, we need these improved satellites more than ever!

 

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