January 212 Newsletter

The next SKYWARN meeting is 17-Jan @ 7:00 PM, the third Tuesday of the month.

CERT Class
The next CERT training class begins 07-Jan. Contact Bonnie at OFD to register. More information is available on the Steele County Emergency Management web page.

OSCAR Technician class
The 2012 Technician Class is set to begin 14-Feb. Scheduled teachers are Dennis NRPI, Dale WBPKG, Randy KDUNV, Jeff KCUOW, and Tom NUW. As always, we encourage OSCAR members to sit on the classes and heckle the instructors.

Chanhassen Field Trip From Dave KCUVY
The 13th Annual SKYWARN Recognition Day (SRD) Special Event took place Saturday, December 3, 2011. SRD is co-sponsored by the Amateur Radio Relay League (ARRL) and the National Weather Service (NWS) as a way to recognize the commitment made by Amateur Radio operators in helping to keep their communities safe.

The idea for the first SRD took shape in the summer of 1999. Meteorologist-in-Charge of the Goodland, Kansas NWS office Scott Mentzer, N0QE, tried to find a way to recognize the valuable contributions storm spotters make to the National Weather Service. Since many of those storm spotters were also hams, Floyd told the ARRL, it seemed like a natural fit for the recognition to be centered on Amateur Radio.

To celebrate, Steele County SKYWARN took 13 of our volunteers to visit the National Weather Service office in Chanhassen, MN. When severe weather threatens Steele County, our trained spotters serve as the eyes and ears of the National Weather Service, providing them with ground truth to support their radar observations. During our visit today we had the opportunity to meet several of the people that we work with and learned how they build their forecasts and make their warning decisions.


MPX Spotter Activation
A new link to the web page is a map of the MPX Recommended Spotter Activation Status from Chanhassen. The map indicates which counties are being recommended by Chanhassen to activate spotters due to forecasted and actual weather conditions. Links are on the Home Page and WX Dashboard.

Wolf Moon From Multiple Sources
The full moon that occurs in January is often referred to as a Wolf Moon. The origin for this reference relates to wolves howling on the outskirts of Native American villages.

Extreme Cold Warning From Multiple Sources
The National Weather Service in Chanhassen is one of eight forecast offices participating in a new experimental warning. Currently, the only way to headline very cold temperatures is to issue a "Wind Chill Advisory" "Wind Chill Warning". One of the requirements for those is a wind speed greater than 3 mph. If the temperature was 35F below zero with no wind, for example, a "Wind Chill Warning" was not issued. An "Extreme Cold Warning" may now be issued when dangerous conditions result in extreme cold ambient temperatures with little or no wind. The meanings are essentially the same, be sure you are prepared for the extremely cold temperatures. It is interesting to note that 7 of the 8 forecasts offices using the experimental "Extreme Cold Warning" are in MN, SD, and ND. The eighth office is in Arkansas.

Hurricane Prediction Delayed From Multiple Sources
Researchers at Colorado State University historically issued predictions of the number of named storms that may form in the Atlantic. For the first time in 20 years, the researchers are delaying the prediction until April. The researchers indicate some of the relationships that were used for the prediction in the past are no longer valid. Continuing to make longer term forecasts based on those relationships would simply be a guess.

Term For The Month From Multiple Sources
Freezing level
The freezing level is an altitude indicating a 0C isotherm. Above the freezing level, the temperature of the air is below freezing. Below it, the temperature is above freezing. It may be determined using instrumentation on radiosondes, satellites, radar, and aircraft. Local conditions such as daylight, wind, reflection of the sun, snow, and humidity level can affect the freezing level. Average height of the freezing level over the Twin Cities during the first week of November is about 3,200 ft, but by the end of the month it is about 1,200 ft. In summer it might be as high as 10,000 ft.

Copyright 2011
All Rights Reserved
Steele County SKYWARN
Owatonna, MN