Winter type weather finally gave way to spring showers. We're in that awful phase of humdrum warm weather with lots of sunshine. Great for the outdoorsy-types. But finally some moisture-laden winds have been moving into the area. The last few days have raised the possibilities of afternoon occasional thunderstorms! Finally!
When the long range forecasts give a hint of this kind of weather, I start making regular checks of two radar sites on the Internet. First I check Intellicast for a regional look at developing storm cells over Utah and Nevada, using the animation feature to watch the prevailing winds and the direction of any incoming storms. When it looks like sufficient water-laden clouds are approaching, I also start checking the local television doppler radar to look for possible severity. A rogue thunderstorm out here is likely to contain a microburst and some lightning.
Today we had a nice big storm develop west of Utah lake. By the time it popped over the Ochre mountains it was ready to get into action. There was even a little bit of darkness to the sky. My brother called from his apartment down on the valley floor in PG to tell me he was getting a little bit of a micro-burst - quick winds and a sudden downpour of heavy rain. From the bench in PG I could smell the water in the air and then heard thunder as a bright streak of lightning flashed down-or up. What ever that bolt did, it scared the cat under the sofa and brought a smile to my face. Fun weather - as long as you mind it. But then there started a terrific amount of sirens and noise as I could hear the PG fire deparment start up all their vehicles. The noise of the sirens carries all the way up here.
The next few bolts knocked out the Internet, and power went out at the Space Center, so I'm told. Bummer for the people running the missions. lucky for me the internet came back in about 20 minutes, all I got here was a dimming of the lights, and I was able to keep on working. It never actually rained more than a 3 minute sprinkle here on the bench.
But it was exciting!