gordon.dewis.ca - Random musings from Gordon


I want no part of this

April 14, 2014 @ 22:47 By: gordon Category: Weather

The forecast for tomorrow has no redeeming features:

TAF CYOW 150238Z 1503/1524 20010KT P6SM SCT020 OVC030 TEMPO 1503/1507 5SM -SHRA BR OVC020
BECMG 1504/1506 29010KT
FM150700 29010G20KT P6SM OVC012 TEMPO 1507/1510 4SM -SHRA BR OVC006
FM151000 31012KT 2SM -RA BR OVC006
FM151500 31015G25KT 3SM -FZRA -PL BR OVC010
FM151800 30012G22KT 2SM -PLSN OVC012
FM152100 30012G22KT 3/4SM -SN BLSN VV008

Basically, that says light rain showers overnight, gusty winds, rain and mist becoming freezing rain and pellets (yum!) around 9am, which will become snow pellets in the early afternoon and finally snow and blowing snow around 5pm tomorrow afternoon.

I want no part of this.

Springing forward: Lose some sleep, increase your risk of a heart attack

March 08, 2014 @ 23:06 By: gordon Category: Astronomy, Current affairs, General

Time_vortex-red-forward.jpgHey… can you believe it? I almost forgot to post my semi-annual rant about having to change to daylight saving time. Fortunately for you, I remembered. :)

This evening most of North America sets its clocks forward an hour in a vain attempt to save energy. I say vain attempt because there hasn’t been any sound evidence that adjusting the clocks to chase the sunshine has actually resulted in any reduction in the demand for energy. There is, however, evidence that shows an increase in accidents in the days immediately following the switch.

Research from the University of Alabama at Birmingham published a couple of days ago reveals that there is a 10% increase in the risk of having a heart attack on the Monday and Tuesday following the time change in March. (The risk decreases by about 10% for a couple of days when the clocks are set back an hour in the fall.)

If you want to learn more about the history of daylight saving time, check out David Prerau’s book Seize the Daylight: The Curious and Contentious Story of Daylight Saving Time (hardcover: 1560256559; softcover: 1560257962). It’s actually more interesting than it sounds. Read the rest of this entry →

R.I.P. Roger Tomlinson

February 19, 2014 @ 14:00 By: gordon Category: Current affairs, General

roger_tomlinson-photo-thumb-425x524Though I never met him, I was sad to learn yesterday of the passing of Roger Tomlinson a couple of weeks ago. Though I never met him, it’s safe to say that I would not have the job I have today were it not for him.

You’re probably asking yourself: “Why?”, to which my response is “Roger Tomlinson is the father of GIS“. Read the rest of this entry →

Winter à la xkcd

January 27, 2014 @ 16:19 By: gordon Category: Seen on the 'net, Weather

Saw this in my RSS reader this morning and it made me smile…

Snow in Tunney’s Pasture… Now you see it, now you don’t

January 27, 2014 @ 11:53 By: gordon Category: Weather

I looked out the window at work a few minutes ago and saw the leading edge of a wall of snow moving in:photo 1

About 30 seconds later the view was this:

photo 2

And about 20 minutes later it’s back to normal:


Between the time of the first and last photos, the RCMP closed Sir John A. MacDonald Parkway along the shore of the Ottawa River because of the lack of visibility.

On the Franktown radar, it looked like this:

The incoming cold air at lunch

January 06, 2014 @ 22:58 By: gordon Category: Weather

Photo 1-6-2014, 11 52 17Just before noon today I noticed that the sky to the north of the Ottawa River was nice and clear, while the sky to the south was overcast. Well, that’s because the boundary between the high pressure to the north and the low pressure to the south was more or less right there.

The temperature at Ottawa Airport a few minutes later (i.e. noon) was -5C, while in Pembroke about 2 hours to the northwest it was -12C and -16C in North Bay, which is a couple of hours past Pembroke.

If you check out the following two graphs, you can see the incoming cold air coming in from the northwest:

Welcome to 2014, eh?

January 05, 2014 @ 22:16 By: gordon Category: Weather

XFT radar - 20140105 2120L

So, 2014 is off to a bit of an extreme start weather-wise. We saw -27C weather that felt like -40 thanks to the wind last Thursday, and Winnipeg was colder than Mars.

This evening, it’s about -5C and forecast to go above 0C tomorrow. The incoming warm front has been causing the air pressure to plummet the last few hours (the blue line in the graph below) and we can expect to see freezing rain and probably rain overnight and in the morning. A few hours after that, we can expect to see the cold air return with over the course of a few hours, which should make the evening commute rather messy, with the evening forecast to be -24C and a windchill of -33.

If you look at the aviation forecast, you can see the wind change direction from being out of the northeast (050) at midnight local time (0500Z) to coming from the southwest (230) by 8 am (1300Z):

TAF CYOW 060242Z 0603/0624 07015G25KT 6SM -FZRA -SN FEW006 OVC025
TEMPO 0603/0605 2SM FZRA -PL BR BKN006 OVC030
FM060500 08015G25KT 2SM -FZRA BR OVC005 TEMPO 0605/0611 6SM -FZRA BR OVC010
FM061100 10008KT WS010/17032KT 1SM -RA BR OVC003 PROB40 0611/0612 1SM -FZRA BR
FM061300 23020G35KT 2SM -RA BR OVC008
FM061600 25020G35KT P6SM BKN025

And you can see that the wind from 1300Z on is going to be 20 knots gusting to 35 knots (37 km/h gusting to 65 km/h). Ick.

Dress warmly because weather like that can cause frostbite before you realize it.