February 212 Newsletter

The next SKYWARN meeting is 21-Feb @ 7:00 PM, the third Tuesday of the month.

OSCAR Technician Class
The 2012 Technician Class is set to begin 14-Feb. Scheduled teachers include Dennis NRPI, Dale WBPKG, Randy KDUNV, Jeff KCUOW, and Tom NUW.

Spotter Class
Steele County SKYWARN Spotter class is scheduled for 13-Mar. This class is for new spotters as well as a refresher for those previously trained. Remember, you must complete a Spotter Class at least every two years to remain certified.

Minnesota Skywarn Workshop
The 2012 Minnesota Skywarn Workshop has been set for April 14th at Schulze Hall at the University of St. Thomas. The keynote speaker will be Mr. Greg Carbin, the Warning Coordination Meteorologist at the Storm Prediction Center (SPC) in Norman, Oklahoma. Registration will likely open mid-February.

CERT Annual Meeting
All SKYWARN volunteers were invoted to attend the CERT annual meeting. We have so many volunteers across different groups, this is a great opportunity to meet others you may interact with in an emergency. Detective Tom Munns from the OWatonna Police Department gave a presentation on identity theft. Several volunteers were honored with the President's Volunteer Service Award: Autumn G., Juliette B., Brian KBDD, and Jerry KDKRY.

Automated Flood Gauges
The December Newsletter introduced the new automated flood gauges. The Bridge Street gauge appeared to be working, but Dane Road was not reporting. Both gauges now appear to be reporting data on a regular basis. You can check them out at:

Snow Moon From Multiple Sources
Since the heaviests snow ususally occur in February, it is logical the full moon is often referred to as the Snow Moon. Heavy snows also could mean difficult hunting conditions, so it may also be called the Hunger Moon.

Dual-Polarization Radar From Multiple Sources
The National Weather Service (NWS) will be installing a new radar system across the US. Current weather radars transmit and receive pulses of radio waves that only measure the horizontal dimensions of targets. Dual polarization (dual-pol) radar transmits and receives the pulses in both horizontal and vertical dimensions. Dual-pol systems provide a better estimate of the size and distribution of precipitation (drizzle, raindrops, snowflakes, hailstones, etc.). The system will also detect a debris field from a tornado. The National Severe Storms Laboratory provides a brief explanation of how the technology works.

Twenty systems have been installed with another 109 scheduled for 2012. The Chanhassen system is targeted for completion in September, 2012. The balance of the systems are scheduled to be complete by May, 2013. The NWS has developed on-line lessons to help non-meteorologists interpret the new information. The NWS recommends that students not complete the lessons more than 1 month prior to the installation of dual-polarization technology at their local WSR-88D site.

MN Weather Awareness
The Minnesota Weather Awareness Notification service will send e-mail notices about weather safety events, or notification when new information is added to the Severe Weather Awareness and Winter Hazard Awareness websites. This information service is provided free from the Minnesota Department of Public Safety.

Seasonally Affected Disorder From Multiple Sources
Less daylight during the fall and winter causes depression in some people. At least we have turned the corner and days are getting longer since the Solstice in December. Seasonally Affected Disorder (SAD) may cause a tendency to oversleep and over eat, lead to irritability, and cravings for carbohydrates. Light therapy is often cited as a treatment, but it doesn't work for everyone. There are many variations to light therapy that include the color and intensity of the artificial light. Diet, exercise, and daily activities should also be looked at for ways to help.

Superjet From Multiple Sources
This is not a new aircraft from Boeing or Airbus. Jet streams in the northern hemisphere blow from the west at roughly 140 miles per hour. A superjet can form when the subtropical jetstream merges with the polar jetstream, carrying roughly twice as much energy. One of these superjets is proposed to be ing responsible for the Alabama tornadoes in April 2011 and heavy rains around Nashville in May 2010. The interesting part of this event is the sequence of events to form the superjet may have originated from thunderstorms in Indonesia.

Atlantic Headwinds From Multiple Sources
Several airlines are reporting an extraordinary number of refueling stops for aircraft traveling from Europe back to the US. Cool equatorial ocean temperatures in the Pacific (La Nia) are being blamed as the cause for an 50% increase in wind speeds over the Atlantic. There is also a high number of occurences of these excessive winds. Aircraft with a smaller fuel capacity are being forced to have an unscheduled stop to get additional fuel. The same aircraft would normally be able to complete the trip non-stop.

Term For The Month From Multiple Sources
Chinook is claimed by popular mythology to mean "eater". When applied to weather, it means "Great snow eater." A strong Chinook can make snow one foot deep almost vanish in one day. A Chinook indicates a downslope wind where the wind becomes warmer as it descends on the lee side of mountain ranges. The warm,dry winds melt snow while evaporating the resulting moisture. Chinooks are most prevalent over southern Alberta. Chinooks, however, have been partly responsible for some of the warmer temperatures we experienced in January.

Copyright 2012
All Rights Reserved
Steele County SKYWARN
Owatonna, MN