Friday, September 18, 2009
Here it comes, it's Fall-like weather coming early to the Bay Area's Inland Valley. The dreaded Triple Digit Heat. Time for me to skedaddle up the Hill for the weekend! I feel the Need For Speed, not to mention some sleep-friendly overnight temps! Once I get the Ancestral Digs irrigated Friday, I'm on the road to the 46th National Championship Air Races near Reno, NV!
Held in the High Desert North of Reno at Stead Field, it's the best place to hear "The Sound of Freedom"! High Horsepower Warbirds dueling wingtip to wingtip less than 100 feet above the desert floor! Did I mention they're going 450 MPH? Telephone Pole High?
Squadrons of P-51 Mustangs race against Hawker Sea Furies, F8F Bearcats, a Russian Yak or two, and maybe a P-38 Lightning! There's nothing else like it in the World. This is Unlimited Class Air Racing. The Reno Air Races feature several classes of Race Planes, but the real show, the reason I've been a regular since 1981, is the Unlimited Class. Prop-driven Romance served Straight Up!
There's Jets racing at Reno now, and plenty of the latest Military Jets doing Demo Flights. The big F-18 Hornets of The Blue Angels make the new Sound Of Freedom, and it is awe inspiring, but it's all brute force, all powerful...deadly serious. Today's Jets mean business, but they lack the romance of the propeller and piston era.
Beatin' The Heat
The San Francisco Weather Woman on CBS-TV's 11 O'Clock News warned of 90F temps Sunday for San Francisco, and promised 100's for the Inland Valleys. I'm outta here! A quick look at the Reno NWS forecast says I'm going to save 10-20 degrees at Stead, and maybe 30F in Truckee overnight! Even though Stead is the High Desert, the winds look promising too...less wind at Stead means greater speed, lower flying and better racing all around! I'm stoked! I missed last year altogether, and in 2007 I only watched the Sunday Unlimited Gold Race. I'll get all the Saturday Unlimited Heats in, and be back for the whole day Sunday. This year, I'm bringing my camcorder batteries!
Another Paper on the Sun and it's recent behavior is up at Watts Up With That This one's from NCAR, the National Center for Atmospheric Research. Scientists have found that even though the Sun's been devoid of sunspot activity for months, the Solar Wind has been full of High Energy Streams that carry Turbulent Magnetic Fields that excite the earth's Outer Radiation Belts, warm and expand the Upper atmosphere, and impact the Satellites in High Earth Orbit.
They're talking about a whole lot of Solar Energy entering the Atmosphere at a time when the Sun seems almost docile! It all adds up. I'm still going with my Normal or Above Normal Precipitation Prediction for Winter 2009/2010
As long as I'm diligent applying the SPF30 Sunscreen out at Stead, I won't give the Sun much thought this weekend! Beatin' the Heat in Style...Unlimited Style!
Don't look at my Goofy Pirate Sun Hat please...there's no style there at all...arrrgh!