Friday, January 27, 2012

Wet Bulbs and Satellites

It's 38 degrees, then rain has passed, and the cool night sky is crystal clear.  Midlife has brought an obsession for observing and recording.   I began making my own weather observations in 7th grade, guided by a middle school library book on how to build your own weather station.  In high school I was set on a career in broadcast meteorology, but dreams change often.  I've always liked to experience the weather: cycle in the rain, hike during a snow storm, and (safely) face the wind of an approaching thunderstorm.  I've recorded weather observations on and off over the decades.  It's one of those "on" times.

Jan 28, 2011  01:14 UTC  38 degrees, Easterly Winds at 15, clear, Barometer 29.54" and rising 0.45" rain

Thanks to Jim AF3Z/K3Y/3 and Greg WA1VIL/K3Y/1 for the contacts tonight, as the Straight Key Century Club K3Y Special Events winds to a close.  I've have a busy month, with radio taking a back seat to other priorities.  I REALLY appreciate getting on the air tonight guys, and making several CW QSOs.

I use a remote / electronic thermometer that seems to do a good job with current, hi, and low temps.  The hygrometer is not good, often wildly off from the NWS Bradley International readings 10 miles away.  This was a good excuse to use a wet bulb thermometer.  A quick internet search shows a new sling psychometer for $60, a "classic" 1960s instrument for more.  Why not build one from the local hardware store for $5.

Thanks to the good folks from the El Paso, TX NWS office who have posted a wet bulb calculator on their web site. 

I'm outside, twirling my homebrew sling psychometer, trying to stay warm, and stay hidden from the neighbors who certainly think in nuts by now.

Relative Humitidy 84%, Dewpoint 39 degrees

As I pass the time, look at Orion, Jupiter, there is something more.  A satellite passes overhead.  South to north east, quietly in the distance.  This is why I always come back to observing the weather.

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