Friday, July 23, 2010

This IS Kansas, Dorothy … better grab Toto, the wicked weather-witch this way comes

By Phasma Scriptor

United Airlines flight 967, enroute from Washington DC to LA, hit extreme weather over Kansas on Wednesday. The turbulence caused what was described as an "up and down", i.e., a severe updraft, followed immediately by a severe downdraft; 26 passengers and 4 of the crew were injured, forcing the pilot to make an unscheduled stop in Denver, UAL’s base field, where local EMA teams were waiting.

Turbulence is, of course, not unusual, but the jolt, in this case unexpected, can provoke reactions ranging from freak-out to catching a bad case of aerophobia. The United Air pilot, having racked up thousands of hours of flying (required for UAL), has endured many such disturbances of the force; however, he said this one stands out as #1, that is, in the scheme of things turbulent, he'd just been through an anomaly. Downdrafts (fka "air pockets") are typically caused by cold air rushing downward. A rapid updraft/downdraft doesn't appear in any of the e-sources, consistent w/the veteran pilot's comment.

When I want to see the weather forecast, I watch the Weather Channel’s Local on the 8s; featured at the end of each such forecast are satellite images of the US which clearly show the severity, shape, size, movement & location of systems as they swirl across the US. They also let you see radical anomalies in weather patterns, of which TWC meteorologists have, in the past, made mention. There may have been such comments about this system; however, since I don’t watch TWC endlessly (although some of you might think I have no life and, therefore, have time to watch TWC endlessly).

The area over which UAL 967 got hit with an anomalous downdraft was within the effective range of a severe weather system, that is, the plane was close enough to experience turbulence. That system, viewed on TWC satellite image, was loaded w/the reds, oranges and yellows indicative of severe weather. Previously, that system had undergone a period in which the number of lightning strikes appeared to be unusually high. When I saw the concentration of strikes, there didn't seem to be anything really extraordinary. With the reports of this "up and down" turbulence anomaly, maybe there's a there after all.

The weather pattern developing in Kansas had no swirl. The jet stream had an unusual nearly straight vector from the Plains States across Chicago, dipping slightly over Lake Michigan and, then, heading in an ENE direction through the Northeastern Corridor (see Baked Apple post about the weather bomb that hit its target, causing the recent NEC heat wave with record highs).

Weather systems on the ground don’t follow the jetstream exactly although the weather is influenced by the jetstream, e.g., the jetstream doesn’t straighten out the Coriolis effect (the counter-clockwise motion of the swirl in low-pressure weather systems - the ones that make trouble - in the Northern Hemisphere). So, the system in which UAL 967 was violently pushed up and then down wasn’t your normal swirling system (call it UD).

UD started out from New Mexico, the location of the Area 51 facility, a fairly normal circumstance during the summer, as the Southwest heat moves with the normal prevailing winds in a Northeasterly direction. After making the passengers and crew on UAL 967 collectively lose their cheap inflight meal and several hundred years of life, on Thursday, UD moved further North from a path that appeared to be aimed directly at Chicago, washing out the forecast for scattered thunderstorms over Chicago (out of range of the land-based weather modification facilities, the movement and bad behavior of UD may have been due to military planes flying out of Offutt AFB in Nebraska, utilizing either facilities there, previously unknown to me, or redirecting electrostatic energy from another land-based source). Instead, still running in a straight line, UD shifted over Nebraska and then crossed into Iowa, continuing in its path over the Illinois-Wisconsin border which it followed with discipline across the length of that border until it moved over the Lake.

When UD reached the Lake, what had been a narrow, unswirling system, appearing to be less than 25 miles wide, explosively and anomalously expanded as it crossed the Lake. Unlike an Atlantic tropical depression, there isn’t any warm water in Lake Michigan to supercharge a system into a much bigger system. As UD began to emerge from passing over the Lake, its width appeared to be nearly the entire length of the Lake, North to South. Although there’s nothing that TWC could show that would enable anyone to see whether UD had been artificially pumped with electrostatic energy, the explosive expansion suggests that’s what occurred, courtesy of the Fermilab/Argonne facility (see, e.g., Baked Apple, ibid).

UD is now headed for the NEC. Forecasts for Saturday have temperatures ranging from the mid-80s in Boston to the low triple-digits for DC. As it moves East, from the State of Michigan, UD has already taken a slight right turn, effectively a course correction, which positions UD for a strike into the heart of the NEC. The current NEC forecasts are probably taking UD into account; however, there are other factors which may exacerbate temps and the humidity back into record territory with THI definitely headed even higher if other weather systems are pushed into the NEC.

While UD appears to bear down on an already sweltering NEC, threatening its extremely weak infrastructure, there’s a nasty mean potentially working in concert with the while. One, a very tight high pressure system (high-pressure systems rotate clockwise) in the Huntsville/Oak-Ridge facility is pumping hot, moist air from the Gulf in the direction of the NEC, appearing to be influenced by the air currents flowing out of the Atlantic ahead of the tropical depression of the week. Two, if the Norfolk facility pushes more hot, humid air from the Mid-Atlantic Coast toward the NEC juiced with electrostatic energy, there may be a collision of these two auxiliary weather missiles with the potentially ballistic UD.

The infrastructure of the NEC is up against it. The Rothschilds, looking for payback from the carpet bombing of their Euro facilities by Rockefeller-directed Allied bombers during WWII, could push the NEC way, way up the wall this summer.

Portable power generators are going to be very hot items (sorry) should the very thinkable happen.