Wednesday, April 13, 2011

SOLPEX IOP5 Possibilities

We have teams leaving shortly to the north end and east side observing sites around the Great Salt Lake in case we get a period of lake effect tonight.  Lake temperatures are near 9C, and forecasts are for a moist airmass with a -9C 700-mb temperature to be over it by 3 AM tonight.

So, there is a brief period from about 3-6 AM where perhaps something will bubble up.  The NAM model sounding shows the moisture and northwesterly flow.

This is a fairly marginal event, as they all have been this spring.  The period of potential lake effect is brief and, instead of unidirectional northwesterly flow from the surface to the middle troposphere, there's a bit of a westerly component at low levels.  Our plan is to do a 3 am sounding launch, and then do a 6 am and possibly a 9 am launch only if something happens.  This may be our last chance of the spring, which is why we're going to be out tonight, but if nothing develops, we'll save the soundings for fall and will only lose a night of decent sleep.


  1. midnight sounding? appears to be building back over the lake.

  2. Yes, midnight would have been a good one to have, but alas, we're trying to reserve resources for the fall (when storms tend to be longer lived) and targeted the later period. Pretty good band for a big prior to 9Z, but we got something then. Things seem to be detatching now (~11Z). We'll see if it refires.

  3. Update: I stand corrected. Our north end team opted to put up a sounding at 12:30 am when they arrived. Great initiative! We'll at least have a good upstream sounding covering the early part of the event.