"But seeing they could not See; hearing they could not Hear"
“The views expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the National Weather Service or affiliate/related organizations. Please consult .gov sites for official information”

"From its chamber comes the whirlwind, and cold from the scattering winds." - Job 37:9.

"The wind blows to the south and turns to the north; round and round it goes, ever returning on its course".

Friday, March 4, 2011

Will The Atlas V 501 (OTV FLT 2) Launch Today At 3:50 EST

Image: Video Grab taken from my Cape Canaveral location of a prior Delta Launch.
March 4 @ 3:50 pm - Atlas 5 - OTV (X-37B)The Launch Team is continuing their operations toward a 3:50 pm launch. According to the 45th SW Weather Squad, there is a 70% chance the weather will be unacceptable for launch. The primary concerns are gusty Ground Winds and Cumulus Clouds. 
See this link for a live simulcast access to launch 25 minutes prior to launch:

TODAY: As you might have read above, the restricting factors for launch today are clouds, but probably of more greatest assuredness are the gusty winds.  Winds at this hour are from the east gusting to 22mph. with a rain shower. Here's is a photo (just taken) of what this low topped rain shower looked like from near Port Canaveral looking north toward the pad. Acutally, it had probably moved beyond the pads area by this time.  See radar image further below.

So, again, whehre will the clouds be  around launch time and will there be too many ? Maybe, maybe not. They are not a constant, with some very good breaks between the surges of them and rain showers. So timing will be of the essence. What about the wind? Could be close as well. I do not know what the exact threshold is for winds. It can vary from launch to launch regarding both speed and direction from which it blows for certain missions, although I do not know if this applies to unique Atlas launches. But as reads above, I'm assuming the 70% no-go is based on winds primarily, since that forecast was made well before the scope of rain shower activity was known.

OTHERWISE: No changes from yesterday's post regarding upcoming days. Winds generally easterly today at 12-18mph with gusts to 28mph. Rain showers possible, widely sporadic.

TONIGHT: No change, but winds will abate a little at the coast, more so inland. Coastal lows (A1A) in the mid-60s, low 60s/ upper 50Fs further inland. Better chance of showers from Canaveral and north to Jacksonville later today and through the evening.

SATURDAY: Few changea as wind gradually veers to ESE-SE very late in the day with light rain showers possible.

SATURDAY NIGHT/SUNDAY: Winds veer to south over night and decrease, then pick up after sunrise from the SSW-SW by noon as a pre-frontal trough / cold front couplet approaches from the WNW.  Rain chances increase by early morning spreading from west to east across North and North Central Florida...roughly along and north of SR 528 / I4 / Tampa.  

Highs in the mid-upper 70Fs, cooler further north to precedent cloud coverage. Very small chance of thunder after noon, with most likelihood along and north of I-4. Shower chances end from north to south / west to east shortly after sunset.  Rain chances end South Florida by early evening.  Winds shift to NW - N -NNW going into Monday morning.

IRON HORSE: Last I can find, the blaze is only slightly more than 25% contained, solid as a rock (iron ore). Probably has changed some by now.  Some showers did pass close to the burn today, so that may have helped matters somewhat, but they were far from 'drenching'. Some showers are passing just south of the burn as I post.

 One of the big concerns with this wind is if any lit ambers were to get lofted toward a fresh/unburned area nearby only to ignite another blaze. Smoke will continue to advect upstream per wind directions, and as alluded to might be the area SSE-S of the blaze (most of Brevard) that will bear the brunt of the exhaust by early Monday morning.  Next chance of rain arrives sometime on Thursday or very early Friday.

No comments: