August 2ě11 Newsletter

The next SKYWARN meeting is 16-Aug @ 7:00 PM, the third Tuesday of the month.

Activation From Dave KCěUVY

Many in the community are saddened to learn of the unexpected death of John KDěNTB on Tuesday, 26-Jul. Our thoughts are with son Harrison KDěNTA and all of the Kuhn family. John and Harrison earned their licenses in 2011 and participated in SKYWARN.

Peopleĺs Press SKYWARN Series From Autumn Gangelhoff
A few months ago the Peopleĺs Press approached Dave Purscel about an opportunity to provide weather information to our community and also allow them to get to know the Skywarn people who help protect Steele County. The project was turned over to Autumn Gangelhoff, Jerry Iberson and Drew Meyer, who put together a list of weather tips for the paper. Members of Steele County Skywarn were requested to provide information to Autumn if they wanted to be in the paper. A total of 12 people responded.

The Owatonna Peopleĺs Press decided to run this as an advertisement and approached numerous businesses to get sponsorship to run the ad on Fridays throughout the summer. We have gotten positive feedback on the ad. People are glad that Skywarn is getting recognition for all that we do, and they enjoy getting to know who the spotters are. If you would like to be a part of this project, please contact Autumn at

Free Fair
The Steele County Free Fair opens 16-Aug and runs through 21-Aug. Last year the volunteer groups were set up in the Community Center, which did not have a good response. The mass casualty trailer used in previous years on Safety Alley will return for volunteer groups to staff. SKYWARN, RACES/ARES, and CERT will coordinate together. If you have the ability to spend a couple of hours promoting the volunteer groups at the fair, contact Shirley Woodfill ( Shirley is coordinating the master schedule of volunteers across groups.

Perseid Meteor Shower From Multiple Sources
The shower has a very long duration, from about July 15 through August 25, but is most interesting around its peak on August 13. The Perseids tend to strengthen in number as late night deepens into midnight, and typically produce the most meteors in the wee hours before dawn. Unfortunately, the full moon will spoil 2011's Perseid display. Face away from the moon and keep it out of your field of view for best results.

Spotter Store
Be sure to visit the new Spotter Store. The list of available items from Court Sports is updated. Support a local business that supports SKYWARN.

Relaive Humidity vs. Dew Point From Multiple Sources
July certainly produced a significant pattern of high heat and humidity. One news report indicated the dew point was equivalent to the rain forest. The 82 degree dew point recorded at MSP on 19-Jul is the highest on record. When it gets this hot and muggy, what should we pay attention to, dew point or humidity?

The amount of water vapor in air is often referred to as humidity. Absolute humidity is the specific amount of water in a specific volume of air. Relative humidity describes the percentage of water vapor relative to the maximum amount of water vapor. The dew point is the temperature when water vapor will condense into water. The dew point is the temperature when relative humidity is 100%. The maximum amount of water vapor in air is highly influenced by the temperature of the air, as shown at right. As the temperature goes up, the amount of water vapor it can hold will go up. For a given amount of water vapor in the air, the relative humidity will decrease.

Our bodies cool down by sweating. The heat is taken away by evaporation of the sweat. The cooling effect is directly related to how fast the perspiration evaporates. The rate of evaporation is dependent on how much moisture is in the air and how much moisture the air can hold. If the dew point is near the actual temperature, the air may not absorb a significant of persperation. We feel hotter because the cooling effect from evaporation is minimized. High dew points indicate air conditioning systems will work harder to reduce the relative humidity because there is that much more water vapor to condense out.

We are more accustomed to hearing relative humidity being reported. That single number gives you a quick idea of the possible evaporation rate, regardless of temperature. Humidity levels at 90% with cool temperatures might mean you will enounter fog or wet surfaces.

NAB Tornado Video From Television Broadcast
At the National Association of Broadcasters Education Foundationĺs Celebration to Service to America Awards, a six minute video was shown. The video assembles news coverage from several different tornado events.

St. Swathum's Day From Multiple Sources
Int the US, one of our weather lores is Groundhog Day in February. In the United Kingdom, St. Swithin's Day is observed on 15-Jul. Tradition says that whatever the weather is like on St. Swithin's Day, it will continue so for the next forty days.

'St. Swithin's day if thou dost rain
For forty days it will remain
St. Swithin's day if thou be fair
For forty days 'twill rain nae mair.'
St. Swithin was a Saxon Bishop of Winchester. The origins of the legend relate to the movement of the body of St. Swithin being moved indoors from an outside grave in the first century. The scientific explanation is the jet stream pattern that develops in mid-July. The jet stream settles into a pattern which, in the majority of years, holds reasonably steady until the end of August.

Term For The Month From Multiple Sources
Storm Defender Cape
If you do a serach on this term, you will likely come across products to help reduce the anxiety dogs may have for electrical thunderstorms. The idea is to the metallic lining in the cape will reduce the static charge on the animal's fur.

Copyright 2011
All Rights Reserved
Steele County SKYWARN
Owatonna, MN