After high winds battered the drought stricken areas of the Central and High Plains Thursday afternoon we are seeing a layer of dust in the atmosphere this morning. You may have noticed this on the way to work or while dropping off the kids at school this morning. The dust is acting like a filter and it almost looks like we are having a solar eclipse this morning.
Here are some of the wind reports from Thursday afternoon from the National Weather Service in Rapid City, South Dakota.
October 18, 2012 - An intense storm system tracking across the northern tier of the United States produced very strong wind gusts over the Black Hills region. Gusty winds developed behind a cold front that crossed the area during the evening of Tuesday, October 16; then increased during the early morning of October 17. The highest gust recorded Wednesday was 73 mph near Parmalee on the Rosebud Indian Reservation. Thursday's highest gust was 81 mph at the National Weather Service office in Rapid City.
The table below lists the peak wind gusts in mph for weather stations across South Dakota.
|LOCATION||TYPE OF OBSERVATION|| WIND Oct 17
||GUSTS Oct 18
|Badlands National Park / 8 S Wall||RAWS||64||65|
|8 SW Batesland||Dept of Highways||46||57|
|1 N Belle Fourche||Broadcast Media||52||50|
|Belle Fourche Airport||AWOS||56||52|
|14 NW Belle Fourche||Dept of Highways||57||55|
|32 N Belle Fourche||RAWS||61||56|
|10 NE Belvidere||Dept of Highways||67||74|
|1 W Box Elder||Dept of Highways||55||72|
|1 N Buffalo||ASOS||71||63|
|14 ESE Buffalo||Mesonet||56||49|
|4 E Cactus Flat||Dept of Highways||64||65|
|2 E Cottonwood||Mesonet||55||59|
|Custer State Park||RAWS||50||45|
|Eagle Butte Airport||AWOS||62||63|
|1 SW South Eagle Butte||Mesonet||59||58|
|10 W Edgemont||Dept of Highways||57||61|
|Ellsworth AFB||Other Federal||58||74|
|2 W Hamill||Mesonet||64||62|
|Hot Springs||Broadcast Media||45||38|
|Hot Springs Airport||AWOS||52||38|
|3 W Lemmon||Dept of Highways||64||56|
|4 N Ludlow||Dept of Highways||63||57|
|15 SE Mission||Dept of Highways||67||74|
|2 NW Pactola||Dept of Highways||47||61|
|6 W Parmalee||RAWS||73||72|
|Pine Ridge Airport||ASOS||47||39|
|4 NW Pine Ridge||Broadcast Media||45||41|
|1 NW Piedmont||Mesonet||45||63|
|5 NE Porcupine||RAWS||57||57|
|Downtown Rapid City||Official NWS Obs||67||81|
|Downtown Rapid City||Broadcast Media||52||68|
|1 S Downtown Rapid City||Broadcast Media||41||50|
|Rapid City Airport||ASOS||67||70|
|Downtown Spearfish||Broadcast Media||50||50|
|Spearfish / Black Hills Airport||AWOS||51||51|
|Downtown Sturgis||Broadcast Media||55||57|
|3 NW Wasta||Dept of Highways||64||73|
|Beulah||Dept of Highways||49||44|
|2 NE Echeta||RAWS||57||49|
|Gillette-Campbell County Airport||ASOS||48||48|
|14 SW Gillette||Dept of Highways||46||42|
|5 NW Osage||Trained Spotter||69||N/A|
|Pine Haven||Trained Spotter||44||42|
|15 SW Sundance||Dept of Highways||47||47|
|25 N Weston||Trained Spotter||58||48|
|25 SE Wright||RAWS||48||50|
The high winds spread south into Kansas and Oklahoma. Here is a satellite image from the National Weather Service in Wichita, KS. You can clearly see the dust in the image.
This picture from KAKE TV in Wichita, Kansas shows just one of the wrecks along I-35 close to the Oklahoma/Kansas state line.
This is the 700mb weather chart for Friday morning. You can see the arrows indicating the wind direction. The wind between 8,000 and 20,000 feet is blowing the dust from Kansas and Oklahoma into the Tennessee Valley. This is why we are seeing the dust and filtered sunshine this morning. It looks like most of this dust will stay in the upper atmosphere. If we had rain in the forecast it would be a dirty rain that's for sure.
Pictures below from the interenet. No source given.
During the dust bowl of the 30s days like this probably happened a lot. For more on the dust bowl you can check out this link.
WAFF 48 Storm Team
We Track Storms
Mother nature is beginning to put on her October show across the Tennessee Valley. The typical peak for fall colors around here is late October. This can change slightly from year to year depending on early season frosts and below normal rainfall. Thanks to some near normal rainfall the past two months we should see a pretty good display over the next two weeks before the incoming winter cold fronts blow the leaves from the trees.
You can share your fall colors with our viewers by sending them to firstname.lastname@example.org
The main reason we see the colors change this time of year has to due with the fact we are losing sunlight. This is a critial part of photosynthesis. The colors begin to change first over the Northeast and Great Lakes. This is because that part of the country begins to lose daylight hours sooner and at a faster rate. Here is the equation for photosynthesis.
6CO2 + 6H2O + light → C6H12O6 + 6O2.
For more information on how trees prepare for winter click on this link. http://www.sciencemadesimple.com/leaves.html
We have been talking about increased solar activity lately and the possibility of communication and satellite interrupts because of it.
Coronal Mass Ejection courtesy http://scienceblogs.com/startswithabang/2010/08/from_the_sun_to_your_sky_in_ju.php
However one of the beauties that happens when highly charged electrons from the solar wind interact with elements in the earth's atmosphere is the Auroras Boreales. This is also known as the Northern Lights.
It is very rare to see them this far south but many North Alabama residents saw them early Monday evening.
This picture below is an example of what you might have seen. This picture was taken by Mike Kingston in Alaska.
More information on the Auroras Boreales can be found here. http://science.howstuffworks.com/nature/climate-weather/atmospheric/question471.htm
More information on space weather at www.spaceweather.com
Lightning is the under-rated killer. These pictures taken by Craig Shamwell show you the beauty as well.