Sunday, August 8, 2010
On the Comeback Trail
This could be one of those "Good News/Bad News" deals.
Since the weather cooled here in the Inland Valley, and the Fire Weather Warnings in the High Sierra ended, I've not paid much attention to the weather out West. I have been following the hurricane forecasts and looking around for some real solid data on the Sun's possible upturn in activity.
Just exactly when will Solar Cycle 24 ramp up?
Lot's of Solar Geeks got all excited this week, when NASA's SOHO Solar Observer Satellite captured sublime images of what's been called a Solar Tsunami. The video shows the Sun's "Perfect Storm"...a twofer even. At last some Space Weather worthy of the title!
An Earth-facing Solar Flare occurs at the same time as a Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) explodes from an area of twisted magnetic fields that have huge filaments of plasma spanning the whole disc of the Sun! There is a visible shockwave that travels from one side of the Sun's disc to the other...your tsunami! Breathtaking stuff, to be sure.
The Sun fired off another M-1 class flare releasing another CME Saturday that will give Earth a glancing blow Monday or Tuesday. Lot's of Space Weather out there...maybe old Sol is awakening at last.
While I was looking at all the space weather stuff, I saw a Tweet announcing a Special Weather Statement for the Greater Lake Tahoe Area:
642 PM PDT SAT AUG 7 2010
...THUNDERSTORMS MOVING FROM EAST TO WEST ACROSS LAKE TAHOE...
AT 636 PM PDT...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE METEOROLOGISTS WERE TRACKING
STRONG THUNDERSTORMS ALONG A LINE EXTENDING FROM MOUNT ROSE SUMMIT
TO SOUTH LAKE TAHOE...AND MOVING WEST AT 5 MPH.
OCCASIONAL LIGHTNING...MODERATE TO LOCALLY HEAVY RAIN WITH RAINFALL
AMOUNTS UP TO ONE HALF INCH PER HOUR REDUCING VISIBILITY TO LESS
THAN THREE MILES...SMALL PEA OR MARBLE SIZE HAIL...AND GUSTY WINDS
OF AROUND 30 TO 40 MPH... ARE EXPECTED WITH THESE STORMS.
* LOCATIONS AFFECTED INCLUDE...CRYSTAL BAY...DAGGET PASS...GENOA...
GLENBROOK...INCLINE VILLAGE AND KINGSBURY THROUGH 730 PM.
BOATERS AND SWIMMERS ON LAKE TAHOE SHOULD GET OUT OF THE WATER AND
MOVE INDOORS OR INSIDE A VEHICLE NOW. DON`T BE CAUGHT ON THE WATER
IN A THUNDERSTORM. STRONG WIND GUSTS AND LIGHTNING NEAR
THUNDERSTORMS POSE AN IMMEDIATE DANGER TO BOATERS.
IF YOU ARE IN THE PATH OF THESE STORMS...SEEK SHELTER INDOORS AND
STAY AWAY FROM WINDOWS. STAY TUNED TO NOAA ALL HAZARDS RADIO...
WEATHER.GOV/RENO ON THE INTERNET...OR LOCAL MEDIA FOR LATER UPDATES
AND POSSIBLE WARNINGS.
Fine...thankfully, it's wetting rain with that lightning. Fire Weather is back in the Reno AFD!
Wow! 7:34PM, and More Severe Thunderstorm Warnings are up for the Northern regions of the Tahoe Area through Plumas and Lassen Counties. Ride 'em Cowboys!