Saturday 1st March
Mountain walks and polar lows
Weather Outlook: More polar lows, but the models don’t agree where. Which will we run out of first – polar lows or flight hours???
Flight plan for tomorrow: No flight as the Falcon needs to have its brakes replaced!
today is up to
With the sun shining bright this morning, Birgitte and I set off after morning briefing to climb the mountain behind the rocket range. It’s a small mountain, so it didn’t take too long, even with me slowing things up when I got scared on the windy icy upper slopes! Thanks to Birgitte, who helped the struggling English girl find her footing on the steep slippery parts, we made it up the mountain, and had great views from the top, to the rocket range below, and over to Andenes. More photos will appear in due course, courtesy of Birgitte, since my camera battery gave up in the freezing conditions (-2degC without wind chill, but surprisingly warm in the sun). Coming down the mountain was more fun, since we found some softer snow to walk in, and even tried sliding down some parts where there was ice under the snow, which would have maybe worked better if we’d had a toboggan.
Back down to the rocket range and back to planning the flights for the next couple of days. We were having a long debate about whether or not to fly tomorrow, when Frank came in to tell us that the Falcon needed to have its brakes replaced tomorrow, so that made our decision for us! There is a low pressure system (polar low?) developing to our north-west that looks interesting. It’s not going to move too far so we might be able to study it throughout its lifecycle on Monday and Tuesday.
We had a
delicious meal of salmon tonight, followed by ice cream! With a down day tomorrow we can relax a little
tonight, and Gudmund has bought supplies of ice cream
and beer to help us along. We’ve been
looking at pictures of the damage that storm Emma did to
conditions continue to look good for polar low formation. The forecasts differ as to when and where
though! The Met Office global model has three
polar lows in the forecast for tomorrow, one north of us, one west and one
south-west. The HIRLAM 00Z forecast
doesn’t have the low to the south-west, which the UM develops and moves into
mid-Norway on Tuesday. The northern one
develops and also is in the forecast until Tuesday. In the ECMWF forecast the northerly low develops
much more, and on Tuesday starts moving NW and curves up towards
to be reverse-shear conditions developing on Wednesday which would increase our
chances of seeing (more) polar lows. Ian
and Kent have expressed a wish via email for us to fly to
The SV SAPs continue to put the sensitive area in the verification area and to our west, probably explained by the 500mb flow into this region.
The ETKF sensitive region has moved a little, and is now
further south, extending from northern