12/13/2014

Time-lapse Video: Grand Canyon Sea Of Clouds..

You need to see this stunning time-lapse video from Thursday when the Grand Canyon was filled with fog! This phenomenon is known as a temperature inversion. It typically occurs in the winter when there are long nights, clear skies, and calm winds. Cool air gets trapped underneath warmer air and if any moisture is present in that layer, it can form fog. The action in this 1 minute video would take 15 minutes in real time. It almost looks like a tide coming in and going out...

 

Video Courtesy: RT America

 

-Rick DeLuca

Rick

https://www.facebook.com/RickDeLucaWeather

12/12/2014

VIDEO: Tornado Touches Down in Los Angeles!

A very rare tornado touched down in South Los Angeles earlier today.  

(Please excuse all the **BEEPS** for language in this amateur video)

 

The National Weather Service confirmed that an EF-0 tornado with winds up to 85 mph ripped up roofs, downed powerlines, trees and tossed Christmas decorations from Souther Vermont and West Gage avenues to 57th and Figueroa streets.  

The twister struck during the middle of a heavy rain event that has been ongoing for the last couple of days causing several mudslides in the area. 

Meteorologist Jeremy Kappell

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Update: Geminid Meteor Shower

The Geminids will be ramping up through the weekend and peak on Friday night, December 12-13 and Saturday night, December 13-14. Most meteor showers are remnants of comets, however, the Geminids are the product of a small asteroid called 3200 Phaethon. One of the exciting parts of the Geminid meteor shower is the raw number that can occur per hour. Astronomers are calling for a peak of around 50-120 per hour, but many of the most recent reports I have read are on the lower end of that estimate.

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Image courtesy: NASA / Wally Pacholka / Astropics.com

 

-- Try to view the Geminids away from city lights. The city lights can make it much more difficult to see the streaking meteors. Inside the city, the bright lights may only allow you to see one or two meteors per hour.

 

-- Allow your eyes to adapt. Don't just go outside and expect to see a dazzling show. It normally takes about 20 minutes for your eyes to adapt to the low light.

 

-- Best viewing will be between midnight and 2 am Friday night and Saturday night, so if you are hardcore then that is the best time to watch.

 

-- The best possible location to look is in the eastern sky near the horizon at 7 pm and it will climb through the night higher and higher in the sky. The meteors should streaming from a point within the constellation Gemini. The nice thing about the Geminids is that most times you can see the meteors streaming across many locations in the sky.

Unfortunately, the latest data suggests something will probably spoil the show for many. A deck of low clouds spilling in from the west will block the view for a large chunk of our area. Partly to mostly cloudy conditions are certainly not ideal for viewing. If you are lucky enough to get a hole of clear skies overhead, it's worth going out there and taking a look. Dress for temperatures in the upper 30's...

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-Rick DeLuca

Rick

https://www.facebook.com/RickDeLucaWeather

 

Air Quality Alert This Weekend...

...AIR QUALITY ALERT IN EFFECT FROM 7 AM SATURDAY TO 7 PM EST
SUNDAY...

THE LOUISVILLE METRO AIR POLLUTION CONTROL DISTRICT AND THE INDIANA
DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT HAVE ISSUED AN AIR QUALITY
ALERT...IN EFFECT FROM 7 AM SATURDAY TO 7 PM EST SUNDAY.
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A CODE ORANGE AIR QUALITY ALERT FOR OZONE HAS BEEN ISSUED FOR THE LOUISVILLE METRO AREA. MEMBERS OF SENSITIVE GROUPS MAY EXPERIENCE HEALTH EFFECTS. THE GENERAL PUBLIC IS NOT LIKELY TO BE AFFECTED. SENSITIVE GROUPS INCLUDE THE ELDERLY...CHILDREN...PERSONS WITH ASTHMA OR OTHER BREATHING PROBLEMS...AND PERSONS WITH LUNG AND HEART DISEASE. PEOPLE IN THESE GROUPS ARE ADVISED TO LIMIT THEIR OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES TO REDUCE THEIR EXPOSURE TO PARTICULATE POLLUTION.

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-Rick DeLuca

Rick

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Weather Blog: Insane Storm Chase Video

From Jude Redfield...

    If you need a few minutes of relaxation on this Friday, sit back and enjoy this show.  The opening montage of lightning will take your breath away. I found this on VIMEO courtesy of Nicolaus Wegner.  Hope you enjoy this...Have a great weekend!

 

 

12/11/2014

"Dirty" High Pressure Moves in this Weekend!

It was nice to see the return of some sunshine today.  It was the first time since the beginning of December that our sky wasn't cloudy or mostly cloudy in Louisville. 

Now, we are looking at the approach of a slow moving upper high pressure system to our west.  

Ordinarily, this would translate to more sunny skies ahead.  However, this time, that doesn't look to be the case.  

Rad2

Notice all the cloud cover on this satellite/radar image across the Central US. Currently, low clouds stretch from the Arrowhead of Minnesota all the way down to the Texas Gulf Coast. 

"Dirty" High Pressure

The reason for the cloud cover is something meteorologists refer to as "Dirty" high pressure.  

Satrad

You see, even though high pressure exists aloft, it is fairly weak and there is a substantial "temperature inversion" just above the surface.  This temperature inversion literally "traps" clouds and prevents them from evaporating.  Hence the name "dirty" high. 

The Inversion

In the atmosphere, although ordinarily it ges colder as you increase in height, in the presence of a temperature inversion, the reverse is true.  

Take a look at the below forecast profile of our atmosphere valid Saturday in Louisville.  

Inversion

Notice the sharp increase in temperature at around 900 mb or about 3,000 feet above the surface.  

Below this layer, where the temperature and dew point lines are in close proximity, represents where the atmosphere is either saturated or nearly saturated.  This is the cloud layer.  

The temperature inversion above this cloud layer acts like a lid and prevents the moisture laden bottom part of the atmosphere from mixing with drier air (where the temp and dew point lines are far apart) higher up in the atmosphere.  

So what does this mean?  

This means, that after a brief break in the cloud cover, the gloomy conditions look to quickly return as we head into this weekend.  

Let's time it out with AdvanceTrak...

AT shows our fair weather continuing into your Friday with lots of sunshine expected through the day with highs into the 40's.  However, notice the shield of clouds looming to our west.

Advancetrak

This low mass of clouds overtakes the entire area Friday night with lows settling down into the 30's. 

Advancetrak2

Clouds persist through the day on Saturday with very little improvement in temperatures. 

Advancetrak3

Moral of the story... the gloom returns this weekend.  

We will keep our fingers crossed for some improvements by the end of the weekend.

Meteorologist Jeremy Kappell

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Powerful "Pineapple Express" & Our Next Rain Chance...

More than 95,000 customers are without power in the San Francisco Bay area right now due to a massive storm churning on the West Coast...

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Rounds of heavy rain are expected to dump between 4 - 8 inches of rain on very dry ground...

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The National Weather Service has issued several watches, warnings, and advisories in California for flash floods, blizzard conditions, and high winds. The winds are so fierce, that the waves in Lake Tahoe are large enough to surf on!

 

Video Courtesy: grads2112

It's not all bad news in California. As you may already know, a large chunk of the state has been placed in the "exceptional drought" category...

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Image Courtesy: USGS

Drought is a familiar occurrence in California. It has a remarkably variable hydroclimate, experiencing larger year-to-year variations in precipitation than anywhere else in the U.S. In large part, this extreme variability arises from the small number of storms that provide most of the state’s precipitation each year. If a few large storms happen to bypass California in a given winter, precipitation totals are proportionally much reduced and we risk drought. But the wet, drought-busting months are typically reflections of one or two extremely large storms, with almost half of the large drought-busting storms resulting from landfalling atmospheric rivers or “pineapple expresses.”

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Image Credit: NASA

Pineapple Express is a non-technical term for a meteorological phenomenon characterized by a strong and persistent flow of atmospheric moisture and associated with heavy precipitation from the waters adjacent to the Hawaiian Islands and extending to any location along the Pacific coast of North America. A Pineapple Express is an example of an atmospheric river, which is a more general term for such narrow corridors of enhanced water vapor transport at mid-latitudes around the world.

By the time this system arrives in the Ohio Valley late Monday - early Tuesday, the Pacific moisture supply will be cut off. This means light rain showers, maybe a brief downpour at best in our area. Rainfall totals from both the GFS and EURO only show a few tenths of an inch...

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 Make sure you turn on WDRB at 4 for an update with Jeremy Kappell.

 

-Rick DeLuca

Rick

https://www.facebook.com/RickDeLucaWeather

Weather Blog: Video Of The Day Takes You On A Ride

From Jude Redfield...

    This is about the coolest skiing I've ever seen. Today's must watch video shows something I could only dream of. I can ski at Perfect North Slopes and Paoli Peaks, but this is out of control. Watch and tell me what you think. -Jude-

 

12/10/2014

Video Of The Day: Waterspout In Turkey...

Remarkable video was captured earlier today of a large waterspout near Alanya, Turkey. A waterspout is an intense vortex that occurs over a body of water. They are connected to a towering cumuliform cloud or a cumulonimbus cloud. Waterspouts like this are not out of the ordinary during this time of the year in the Mediterranean... 

 

Video Courtesy: War News

 

 

-Rick DeLuca

Rick

https://www.facebook.com/RickDeLucaWeather

 

NASA's Vision of Future Air Travel...

Three industry teams spent 2011 studying how to meet NASA's goals for making future aircraft burn 50 percent less fuel than aircraft that entered service in 1998, emit 75 percent fewer harmful emissions; and shrink the size of geographic areas affected by objectionable airport noise by 83 percent. This blog explores the coolest future concepts, some of which could enter service as soon as 2025...

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Image Credit: NASA

 

The "double bubble" D8 Series future aircraft design concept comes from the research team led by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Based on a modified tube and wing with a very wide fuselage to provide extra lift, its low sweep wing reduces drag and weight; the embedded engines sit aft of the wings. The D8 series aircraft would be used for domestic flights and is designed to fly at Mach 0.74 carrying 180 passengers 3,000 nautical miles in a coach cabin roomier than that of a Boeing 737-800.

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Image Credit: NASA/MIT/Aurora Flight Sciences

 

The Hybrid Wing Body H-Series future aircraft design concept comes from the research team led by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

This design is suitable for intercontinental flights and larger passenger loads similar to a Boeing 777. It features embedded engines using variable area nozzles with thrust vectoring, noise shielding thanks to the fuselage and other technologies, and advanced onboard vehicle health monitoring systems. This aircraft is designed to fly at Mach 0.83 carrying 354 passengers 7,600 nautical miles.

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Image Credit: NASA/MIT/Aurora Flight Sciences

 

This idea for a possible future aircraft is called a "hybrid wing body" or sometimes a blended wing body. In this design, the wing blends seamlessly into the body of the aircraft, which makes it extremely aerodynamic and holds great promise for dramatic reductions in fuel consumption, noise and emissions.

NASA develops concepts like these to test in computer simulations and as models in wind tunnels to prove whether the possible benefits would actually occur.

This NASA concept, called the "N3-X," uses a number of superconducting electric motors to drive the distributed fans to lower the fuel burn, emissions, and noise. The power to drive these electric fans is generated by two wing-tip mounted gas-turbine-driven superconducting electric generators.

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Image Credit: NASA

 

This concept of an aircraft that could fly at supersonic speeds over land is being used by researchers, especially at NASA's Langley Research Center, to continue to test ideas on ways to reduce the level of sonic booms. Its technologies – the F-100-like propulsion system, a tail blister, and the overall shape – are combined to achieve a lower target perceived decibel level.

Aeronautics researchers continue to tweak, modify and test concepts like these to develop and validate tools that could someday be used by industry to design commercial supersonic aircraft.

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Image Credit: NASA

 

Boeing's advanced vehicle concept centers around the familiar blended wing body design like the X-48. What makes this design different is the placement of its Pratt & Whitney geared turbofan engines on the top of the plane's back end, flanked by two vertical tails to shield people on the ground from engine noise. The design also uses other technologies to reduce noise and drag, and long-span wings to improve fuel efficiency.

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Image Credit: NASA/Boeing

 

Lockheed Martin's advanced vehicle concept proposes a box wing design, which is now feasible thanks to modern lightweight composite (nonmetallic) materials, landing gear technologies and other advancements. Its Rolls Royce Liberty Works Ultra Fan Engine achieves a bypass ratio (flow of air around engine compared to through the engine) nearly five times greater than current engines, pushing the limits of turbofan technology to maximize efficiency.

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Image Credit: NASA/Lockheed Martin

 

Northrop Grumman's concept is based on the extremely aerodynamic "flying wing" design. The four Rolls Royce engines are embedded in the upper surface of the wing to achieve maximum noise shielding. The company used its expertise in building military planes without a stabilizing tail to propose this design for the commercial aviation market.

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Image Credit: NASA/Northrop Grumman

 

This updated future aircraft design concept from NASA research partner Lockheed Martin shows a few changes from another concept. It is a good example of how simulations and wind tunnel tests, conducted over time, generate data that tell researchers how to improve a design to achieve goals. The goals for a future supersonic aircraft are to produce a much lower-level sonic boom and to reduce emissions. The ultimate goal is to achieve a low enough boom that a current ruling prohibiting supersonic flight over land might be lifted.

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Image Credit: NASA/Lockheed Martin

 

-Rick DeLuca

Rick

https://www.facebook.com/RickDeLucaWeather