Thursday, October 20, 2011

Winter Outlook

Graphics courtesy of NOAA.

The headline from the NWS' Climate Prediction Center:

"U.S. dealt another La NiƱa winter but ‘wild card’ could trump it
Devastating drought in Southern Plains likely to continue

The Southern Plains should prepare for continued drier and warmer than average weather..."

NOAA also adds: "
This will likely exacerbate drought conditions in these regions."

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Hard to put down the microphone lately

As mentioned on my station bio, I'm an amateur radio operator (call sign is N0SET). My "Technician" license limits me to small portions of the amateur radio bands that allow for long-distance communications with other fellow hams around the country and the world. Since I don't know Morse code, I'm really limited to a small, sliver of frequencies in the high frequency (or HF) portion of the band that are reserved for voice communication: 28.3 to 28.5 MHz.

This portion of the band, typically referred to as "10 meters" is called a "daytime band" (typically working during the daylight hours). When the sun's energy hits the part of the atmosphere called the ionosphere, it charges up and allows radio signals to bounce off of it (like skipping a rock on a pond) and travel farther downrange.

The 10 meter band really "opens up" when average sunspot numbers increase. Well, that has certainly happened in the last couple of weeks! In the last 7-10 days alone, I've talked to fellow hams in Canada, Northern Ireland, Spain, France, Italy, Portugal, Serbia/Montenegro, Brazil, the Canary Islands and E. Kiribati Islands (out in the Pacific Ocean, near the Equator). I've heard stations in Germany and the UK, South Africa and New Zealand too.

God bless my wife, who has put up with my increased excitement in recent days ("I worked France today!"). All of this radio activity has made it challenging to keep up with my "to-do" list but so far I'm keeping my head above water.

While I still haven't fulfilled my 2011 New Years' resolution of upgrading my license (and that's solely on me!) it sure has been fun lately getting a taste of what other hams enjoy daily.

Happy DX!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

October Outlook

On this first day of October, I wanted to share with you the Climate Prediction Center's monthly outlook. Above you'll see the temperature outlook, which calls for above normal temperatures for the eastern half of the country and below normal in the west. In Kansas, temperatures stand a better chance of being above normal. Given how the past few months have gone, who's to argue with that?

Here's the precipitation outlook and it actually calls for slightly above normal chances across the eastern part of Kansas and over the northern U.S.

Now while most of this week looks dry, we do have rain in the forecast for late next weekend into the weekend. The timing is still quite difficult to nail down at this point, as the computer model solutions have slowed down the forecast arrival time over the last couple of days. Stay tuned.