Wednesday 12th March


Flight Cancellations


Weather Outlook: Easterly winds persist, northerly flow returning at the end of the week.

Flight plan for tomorrow: Down day.




In order to capture the strong winds off the coast of Nordland and Trøndelag today it was necessary to have an early take-off, between 07-08UTC.  Flight planning therefore recommenced at 5:30am, although I’ve heard that only a brave few helped with this.  Also with an early start was Ivan, heading off to Narvik to go hunting in the wilds of Norway for a few days.  Bad news came from the airport after breakfast, that the departure of the Falcon would have to be delayed while brake problems were investigated.  Late morning and she was still on the ground, as the crew tried to work out why her right-gear anti-lock braking system wasn’t working.  This is a serious problem; if the anti-lock fails completely then a tyre could burst on landing.  By lunchtime the problem still wasn’t fixed, and so there remained no choice but to cancel the flight.  There were suggestions from some members of the science team that the dropsondes could be handed to passengers of the next Widerøe flight heading south to Bodø, to drop out of the plane along the way.  This idea wasn’t passed onto the PI’s who had been up flight planning a now cancelled flight since the early hours and who might not have got the joke. 


The team spent the rest of the day passing the time until dinner.  At the afternoon briefing meeting Andreas gave an update on the condition of the Falcon – out of action until Friday – and we started planning for the weekend.  The last two days of the campaign look to be promising, so we will save our remaining flight hours for these days.  With polar lows forecast for Sunday, the campaign could end on a high note!  Campaign dinners are traditionally held at the end of the campaign, but because several people are leaving (and indeed Erik and Ivan have already left) before then the dinner has been brought forward to tonight.  Thus ends my blog for the day, as we are shortly heading off to the restaurant.  I updated the photo album today, with photos from walks around the nearby fishing village of Bleik and the surrounding area.


Weather Round-up


There’s little to add from yesterday.  The polar low development is still in the forecasts for the weekend, although the location and track has changed and it now looks like it won’t hit Andøya until Tuesday.


SAP Evaluation


The SAPs highlight similar regions as sensitive as they did yesterday.  The flow today is similar to yesterday, thus the sensitive regions haven’t really moved.  The ETKF SAPs highlight the region to the north of Andøya, and the SV SAPs highlight the region to the east of the low pressure system, within the verification region.