Thursday, October 7, 2010

No Surprises

The weather at departure from KVKX on Monday was wet, as anticipated. The NEXRAD radar image at left was recorded at 1151Z, just about the time that N631S and I were lifting off. Widespread light showers were the order of the day. The conditions at National Airport and at Andrews AFB were:
KADW 041149Z AUTO 35013KT 8SM RA OVC005 10/10 A3009 RMK AO2 CIG 004V007 SLP193
KDCA 041147Z 35012KT 2 1/2SM RA BR BKN014 BKN022 OVC038 11/09 A3012 P0002
For once, conditions at KVKX were closer to those at KDCA than KADW. On climbout, N631S entered the overcast at about 1,200 feet, well above the 500 foot ceiling Andrews was reporting.

After that it was pretty much in the schmoo until the clouds broke up at 7,000 feet over Dover AFB. For the trip across New Jersey it was entirely VMC between the layers, with lots of sunshine, until arriving in the New York area. There was another area of thick clouds and precipitation over Long Island. The rain didn't extend across the sound into Connecticut but the cloud cover did. The image below, from 1350Z, shows the extent of the precipitation at arrival.

So N631S and I descended through the clouds over JFK and were vectored for the ILS approach to Runway 6 at Bridgeport. We broke out of the overcast at about 1,500 feet, a few miles from the threshhold. The surface wind was gusty but from the northeast in line with the runway, and the landing was uneventful.

The folks at NOAA's National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) have a new Beta version of their Weather and Climate Toolkit available here. It has the ability to integrate Google Earth imagery with historical NEXRAD data (I've blogged about the historical radar image tools in an earlier post). The radar images above are examples - I think it's pretty cool!

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