I Love Skew-Ts!

How can something so simple be so powerful? There’s no tool more important to forecasting than current and forecast soundings displayed on a skew-t. With a snapshot I’m able to get a complete picture of the atmosphere over a given point.  I actually have had skew-ts (and hodographs for that matter) enter my dreams at night – dead serious and that’s a frightening thing to admit!

Here’s a NAM forecast sounding for Bradley tomorrow at 4 p.m. This is what we call a “loaded gun” sounding with very strong instability that’s effectively capped off. While thunderstorms tomorrow would be explosive in nature if this instability was tapped into it doesn’t appear that we’ll be able to break the cap.

Tomorrow appears to be an EML day across most of New England but many of us won’t realize that potential. While skies will be blue (well, actually smoky) we’ll actually be sitting on a powder keg of an atmosphere. It won’t blow here – but Maine may not be as lucky.

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2 thoughts on “I Love Skew-Ts!

  1. that is a fabulous skew-t! Can you tell us where you got it? If it isn’t on the web somewhere, could you post the entire thing including the parameters on the right and the full scale at the bottom. And how do you come by a skew-T for Hartford? Best I can do is Albany, Portland, and the one on Long Island. Are you using Bufkit?

    I am still bemused by the notion of an EML? I can see why the cap might be suspended in the atmosphere to the extent that it is warmer than a raised parcel; but it’s also a whole lot DRIER.

    Is it the case that every point on the parcel line describes a point that is more buoyant (at present) than the point just below it?

    What is the function that relates buoyancy (on the z axis to temperature and moisture content on the x and y axis? Is that on the web anywhere?

    I hope you will post the noon skew-T with comments tomorrow.

    Nick Thompson

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