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Sun, Jul 30, 2006

Weather... Weather... Should Get Better

Wittman Field Lashed By Thunderstorms

So here it is, 0750 local and the wind has been lashing us and the rain is blowing semi-horizontally and the sky is occasionally lit by flashes and accompanied by ominous rumbling sounds. Here at the house it's VV, but at the airfield they're reporting 500 feet visibility.  Even the ducks are on the ground right now, although the forecast is positive.

In other words, the weather stinks at the moment. The METAR tells the tale:

KOSH 301249Z 01016G23KT 7SM -TSRA FEW005 OVC033 21/18 A2993 RMK AO2 PK WND 01036/1221 WSHFT 1209 LTG DSNT ALQDS TSB25RAB19 P0055

For those of you who are not pilots and don't speak METAR, here's the plain English version:

Conditions at: KOSH (OSHKOSH, WI, US) observed 1249 UTC 30 July 2006
Temperature: 21.0°C (70°F)
Dewpoint: 18.0°C (64°F) [RH = 83%]
Pressure (altimeter): 29.93 inches Hg (1013.6 mb)
Winds:  from the N (10 degrees) at 18 MPH (16 knots; 8.3 m/s)
gusting to 26 MPH (23 knots; 12.0 m/s)
Visibility: 7 miles (11 km)
Ceiling: 3300 feet AGL
Clouds: few clouds at 500 feet AGL
overcast cloud deck at 3300 feet AGL
Weather: -TSRA  (light rain associated with thunderstorm(s))

(ASIDE: Both of these are courtesy of aviationweather.gov -- something likely to become a pay-per-view site if the interests pulling for GA user fees get their way -- so check it out while you can.)

The forecast, fortunately, is for much improved weather in a couple of hours.

KOSH 301151Z 301212 32012G20KT 5SM TSRA BR BKN040CB BKN100
      TEMPO 1213 29030G50KT 2SM TSRA OVC025CB
      FM1400 20008G18KT 5SM SHRA BR SCT040 BKN100
      FM1600 18005KT P6SM SCT040 BKN100 OVC200
      FM1900 20010KT P6SM SCT050 BKN250
      FM0200 19007KT P6SM SCT250

WHat this says is that the worst of the thunderstorms should already be past at this hour (0800 Local, 1300Z) and by 1600Z (11 AM local) the storm should have entirely passed, with good visibility, scattered clouds below the broken ceiling of 10,000 feet, and gentle winds. By 1900Z (2 PM) when the airshow gets underway, the scattered clouds have lifted to 5,000 and the ceiling to 25,000. The show will go on!

And the overcast should keep the field from baking in the sun. If you are in the Wisconsin area, today might be a good day to hit the show (even though vendors will be breaking down to the extent that they can get away with, on this last day of the event). The EAA is also offering a $7-a-head discount to non-EAA-member Wisconsin residents who come to the show today.

So things are getting better. Which might be small consolation to some drenched campers right now.

FMI: www.airventure.org  www.aviationweather.gov (while you can!)

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