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Scott Dennstaedt

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About Scott Dennstaedt

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    : Charlotte, NC
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    Weather, writing, flying

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  1. Skip, It's likely because it's an AWOS-3. They are a piece of crap compared to an ASOS. The ASOS has much higher standards and would never generate a dewpoint temperature warmer than the temperature. Here's a nearby obs from an ASOS. METAR KOMA 041452Z 00000KT 3SM BR FEW004 SCT120 BKN250 M02/M03 A2999 RMK AO2 SLP168 I3001 T10171028 53031= Chalk it up to fake news! Here's the algorithm used by the ASOS... The current 1-minute ambient temperature is also compared against the current 1-minute dew point temperature to ensure the dew point is not higher. If the dew p
  2. Yes, a cloud drop needs an ice nuclei to freeze. That's called heterogeneous nucleation. The nuclei needs to look remarkably similar to an ice crystal, that's why they are relatively rare compared to condensation nuclei. So ice crystals make the best ice nuclei, of course. You will get homogeneous freezing once the temps drop to below -40°C. But your airplane makes a great ice nuclei. Most non-convective clouds are glaciated at a temperature below -25°C.
  3. My advice for approaches or landings with ice accretion is to avoid anything that might change the angle of attack significantly. So, I avoid adding flaps and I avoid rapid airspeed changes...if you need to slow down, for example, pull back the throttle deliberately, but slowly. And if you start experiencing any sloppy feeling in the controls or feel any buffeting that is not characteristic of normal flight, then add power back.
  4. I have an ice cream scoop that uses body heat in a similar way. Hmmm? I think I'll try it out after dinner tonight!
  5. FYI: Weather observations from the ASOS at Campo, CA, (KCZZ) will cease due to construction at the site. The ASOS equipment will be moved to a new location with a new site and identification being established.
  6. Two things we are taught to avoid...thunderstorms and freezing rain. That's a bad day even when walking! KOKC 281223Z 34008KT 3SM TS -FZRA BR BKN004CB BKN008 OVC018 00/00 A3001 RMK AO2 PK WND 23028/1153 WSHFT 1157 LTG DSNT N AND S TSE06B23 FRQ LTGICCC OHD TS OHD MOV NE P0019 T00000000 $
  7. Here's your chance to show your Skew-T acuity. In this forecast sounding, what precipitation type would be expected to reach the surface based solely on the forecast below? An explanation is also required with your answer.
  8. Nice post. All correct. Certainly the sferics devices are real time sensors, but can't be the sole decision point as to whether or not deep, moist convection is dangerous to penetrate. Walter Atkinson (who recently passed away) used to say that if his Stormscope didn't register anything, he'd charge right through it. Him and I had a huge disagreement here. Lightning may not always occur even though severe or extreme convective turbulence exists. In other words, the lack of lightning does NOT imply the lack of metal-bending turbulence. Low-topped convection is one of those scenarios. Also,
  9. NEXRAD are WSR-88Ds now. You were referring to earlier technology. Night and day.
  10. Not exactly. The radar operator at the NWS WFOs will set the radar using one of many scanning strategies...called volume coverage patterns (VCPs). The VCP they use is based largely on the weather they are expecting. Light snow or drizzle might cause them to set the radar to one of the slower clear air mode VCPs. Severe storms will likely trigger them to place the radar in one of the faster precipitation mode VCPs. And with dual-pol and new strategies such as SAILS, mesoSAILS and AVSET, they can get a much better (faster) view of the weather in the area. The radar is never "left" unattended.
  11. This is a lot more common than you'd think. In fact, Matt Guthmiller reached out to me to ask me about a similar experience a couple years ago. So I did some research and put together this video.
  12. I do agree that you need to be making decisions about your course through/around areas of convection 30 minutes or more ahead of time. Here's what I teach my students. If you are making course changes of more than 30 degrees you are too close to the weather and are likely making decisions too late. I use a 20 degree rule myself. Once I deviate from that more than once, I'm looking for an alternate airport to land and wait it out. I am not a fan of the 15-20 minute latency edict put out by the NTSB. I think that's just as bad as telling pilots it's real time. If the depiction is that o
  13. Sorry I'm a bit late to the game...lots going in these days and don't get much of a chance to participate. There's certainly a lot to unpack in this thread and I won't specifically respond to every post, but let's first understand that every weather product or service has its limitations. Every distribution system has it's limitations. Take some time to learn those. First, the preflight portion of a flight is critical to understanding what you see or don't see on your in-cockpit devices. Surprises should be rare. Second, I rarely ever zoom in on an area with a radar mosaic. I h
  14. Can't trust those NWS employees...caught destroying property!
  15. As they say, as long as the aircraft is reusable, it was a good landing. That's always been my goal.
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