Contracted Military Transport Aircraft Skids Off Runway While Landing In A Thunderstorm In JacksonvilleRead Now
A second aviation incident within a week for the U.S. Military that likely involves flying in and near thunderstorms has made the headlines. Late Friday night, May 3rd, 2019, a military transport Boeing 737 skidded off the end of the runway and into the St. Johns River at Jacksonville Naval Air Station in Florida while landing during a thunderstorm. No fatalities were reported of the 143 occupants, of the Miami Air International contracted flight, although 21 people were reportedly transported to the hospital.
A weather report taken from the Naval Air Station within 2 minutes of the reported incident showed a thunderstorm with heavy rain overhead, and frequent lightning. Surface winds were gusting to 18 mph, and the visibility at the surface was reported at 3 miles. About half an inch of rain had fallen in the 20 minutes prior to the incident, likely leading to some puddled or standing water on the runway.
Of particularly interesting note, according to the flight radar tracker, the plane landed approaching from the west, facing east, while the wind direction in the weather report about 20 minutes prior to the landing showed a light northerly crosswind, and, more importantly, the weather report within 2 minutes following the incident showed wind gusts of 18 mph from the west-northwest, which would have functioned as a tailwind, adding roughly 17 miles per hour to the landing speed of the aircraft - hence requiring a longer distance to completely stop, especially in wet runway conditions.
Combined with turbulent conditions likely just off the surface associated with the thunderstorm overhead, it is possible that the airplane may have been difficult to handle, as mentioned by a witness on-board.
Thunderstorms often contain powerful undrafts and downdrafts - sometimes on the order of several thousand feet per minute, as well as dangerous wind shear. While the thunderstorm involved in this incident did not have any "severe" weather indication, frequent lightning and heavy downpours were reported during the time of the crash.
The National Oceanic & Atmospheric Association's Aviation Weather Center published a Convective Significant Meteorological Information (SIGMET) which was valid for the area warning aviators of these thunderstorms.
According to archived radio transmissions from LiveATC.net, the Jacksonville Approach Air Traffic Control warned of heavy precipitation at the destination airport several minutes before the landing was attempted, offering clearance to the runway facing the west (into the wind). The pilot then replied that he would check the weather as he flew closer to the airport. A few minutes later, the air traffic controller advised the east-facing runway, which ultimately landed the aircraft in the river.
STWX Strategic is a forensic meteorology agency with expertise in aviation meteorology. For more information, visit our About page.
Del Rio Dodges Tornado, Two Baseball-Sized Hail Storms In One Night; Picks Up Almost Two Inches of RainRead Now
A strong atmospheric disturbance over the Southern Plains left its mark on the Del Rio, Texas area on Thursday Evening and Friday Early Morning, May 2nd-3rd 2019. This prompted numerous weather watches and warnings from the National Weather Service, including two tornado warnings in Val Verde County.
The National Weather Service originally issued a Severe Thunderstorm Watch for baseball-sized hail and damaging wind gusts just before noon on Thursday. By 2 PM, an unofficial report of a funnel cloud had been reported along the Val Verde/Sutton County line, with a tornado warning issued for Sutton County.
Significant storms failed to develop in the Del Rio area until after sunset, as shown in the satellite loop below.
One particularly severe thunderstorm after sunset triggered tornado warnings north and northeast of Comstock, Texas, with a storm chaser (Daniel Shaw) reporting a tornado nine miles northeast of Comstock.
The radar imagery for this storm is shown below, also indicating hail sizes up to baseball-sized. Another storm report was broadcasted from the Rough Canyon area of Lake Amistad with estimated 2-inch diameter hail.
As this storm - at times likely producing baseball-sized hail - neared the Lake Amistad area, it was promptly flanked by smaller, developing storms to the west.
These weaker storms cut off some of the dynamic support needed to sustain severe weather and deflected the larger storm just to the north of Del Rio, and weakened its hail core. As a result, only reports of pea-sized hail were reported on the north and east sides of Del Rio. Flash Flooding was also reported in some areas of town, although only 0.54 inches of rain was recorded at Del Rio International Airport during this storm.
This storm, combining with other local storms, moved as a complex together to the southeast as the night progressed. Flood advisories were issued for Val Verde, Kinney, and Maverick Counties.
A second potentially severe storm came at approximately 1:30 AM, weakening as it crossed the Rio Grande from Ciudad Acuña, Coahuila. Of note, this storm originated near Langtry on the Texas side of the border, but then moved southeastward and migrated back into Mexico before crossing again in Del Rio.
Just before crossing, an unofficial report was published indicating the presence of a funnel cloud. This was not confirmed. However, during both crossings of the Rio Grande - at Langtry and at Del Rio - Severe Thunderstorm Warnings were issued by the National Weather Service. This storm dropped an additional 1.24 inches of rain within one hour in Del Rio, as recorded at Del Rio International Airport - equaling a total of 1.78 inches for the night.
STWX Strategic is a forensic meteorology agency. Storm reports are important as they allow meteorologists to verify their weather forecasts and improve their skills. They are also important as they often assist in insurance claims from damage resulting from foul weather. If you are in need of a formal, certified weather report, please be sure to Contact Us.
According to the Sheppard AFB public affairs office in Wichita Falls, Texas, a T-6 trainer jet crashed shortly before 2 PM on Wednesday, May 1st, near Lake Waurika, Oklahoma. The office reports that it appears as though both pilots ejected.
While Sheppard AFB has not named a cause of the incident, one look at the weather radar gives a clear sign: Severe Weather. A tornado was reported within the vicinity at 2:08 PM, as well as reports of baseball-sized hail within the hour.
A T-6 trainer aircraft from Sheppard AFB, Texas crashed near Lake Waurika, Oklahoma on May 1st, 2019, shortly before 2 PM. This 4-panel radar image shows the approximate location (Lake Waurika is centered on the four panels). Severe weather was ongoing during the incident time in the local vicinity - including multiple tornado warnings issued by the National Weather Service (purple boxes).
While it is unclear exactly what caused the aircraft to crash, severe weather is certainly in the question. This particular thunderstorm complex contained storm tops above 50,000 feet - almost twice as high as the service ceiling of a T-6 aircraft.
Additionally, thunderstorms are packed with aviation weather hazards - enough so that the National Weather Service's Aviation Weather Center warns aviators of them in advisories known as "SIGMETs", or SIGnificant METeorological information, and pilots tend to navigate around these areas.
In this case, strong updrafts and downdrafts (likely on the order of several thousand feet per minute) were likely around these storms, causing extreme turbulence. and damaging wind gusts - enough to take down even large airliners. Large hail (up to 2.5 inches in diameter) was also reported, as well as a tornado within close proximity, according to data procured from the National Weather Service. Heavy rain combined with this hail would have most likely reduced flight visibility to instrument conditions - or less than one mile.
The US Air Force also retains it's own aviation meteorologists, although they are not explicitly bound to Aviation Weather Center & National Weather Service forecasts - leading to often very confusing, inconsistent forecasts for military aviators.
This is a developing story.
STWX Strategic is a forensic meteorology and expert witness agency with expertise in aviation meteorology. For more information, visit our About page.
A potent storm system moved across portions of Texas during the early morning hours of April 13th, 2019. While severe weather was rather isolated, it did manage to produce large hail near Barnhart and Big Lake, Texas and in Brackettville, Texas - and also triggered tornado warnings in both places.
A Tornado Watch had previously been issued by the National Weather Service during the very early morning hours. Severe Thunderstorm Warnings, Tornado Warnings, and some areas of Flash Flooding also occurred across the West Texas region.
A severe thunderstorm was noted crossing from the Mexican state of Coahuila into Kinney County, Texas around 3:45 AM. This storm quickly intensified along Pinto Creek in rural Kinney County and produced radar signatures indicative of a potential tornado as it neared Brackettville. While reports of a tornado touchdown have not been received, severe reports of golf ball to half-dollar sized hail were submitted, as well as reports of shattered windshields. The storm then continues eastbound, prompting additional tornado warnings for the northern portion of Uvalde, Texas around 6:45 AM, then Sabinal, Texas around 8:00 AM.
Around sunrise, an additional line of storms swept through Del Rio bringing gusty winds (nearly 50 MPH) and briefly heavy rainfall (0.23 inches at Del Rio Airport and 0.26 inches at Laughlin AFB). Additionally, Laughlin AFB reported 1/2 inch hail. A report of pea to nickle-sized hail also surfaced in the San Felipe neighborhood of Del Rio.
For more information, contact Smalltown Weather at SmalltownWeather@Gmail.com or (830) 313-6899.
Storm reports are important as they allow meteorologists to verify their weather forecasts and improve their skills. They are also important as they often assist in insurance claims from damage resulting from foul weather. If you are in need of a formal, certified weather report, please be sure to Contact Us.
At 107°F, April 10th became the first day of 2019 to reach - and surpass - 100°F in Del Rio. Rapid warming occurred throughout the afternoon as very warm, very dry air filtered into the region allowing daytime heating to reach maximum potential with little resistance from atmospheric moisture. At the peak of the afternoon heating, the relative humidity in Del Rio was slightly below 9%. Further west, relative humidity dropped as low as 5%. Combined with wind speeds in the 30's in Del Rio, a Red Flag Warning was in effect indicating critical fire weather conditions. Further west, widespread blowing dust caused reduced visibility across the West Texas desert.
April 10th's 107°F sets the record for the hottest temperature ever recorded in Del Rio during the month of April, and is the 11th earliest in any year that a 100°F+ day has been recorded.
Other locations' high temperatures on April 10th, 2019:
Laughlin AFB - 103
Spofford - 104
Eagle Pass - 104
Uvalde - 100
Carrizo Springs - 104
Laredo - 105
Rocksprings - 93
Sonora - 97
Junction - 98
San Antonio - 92
Hondo - 99
Ozona - 95
Sanderson - 101
Fort Stockton - 96
San Angelo - 99
For more information, contact Smalltown Weather at SmalltownWeather@gmail.com or (830) 313-6899
- Image & Article by Karen Gleason, Del Rio News Herald -
Community leaders should be ready to take advantage of opportunities for growth and improvement and the chance to turn “outsiders” into insiders, one transplanted Del Rioan told chamber of commerce members Wednesday.
Meteorologist Dan Schreiber told members of the Del Rio Chamber of Commerce he and his wife have found the perfect atmosphere in Del Rio.
Schreiber, a former U.S. Air Force meteorologist at Laughlin Air Force Base and owner and operator of Smalltown Weather, a local and regional weather service, spoke to chamber members during their monthly membership meeting at the Ramada Inn.
Schreiber, who currently is a firefighter for the city of Del Rio, first spoke to the group about meteorology and the three variables that create weather – pressure, temperature and air density.
But Schreiber spent the majority of his presentation talking about why Del Rio is so important to him and his wife.
He recounted how he and his wife had arrived in Del Rio shortly after they were married in 2015.
“My first interaction with somebody in Del Rio occurred when I walked into a real estate place called Texas Heritage (Real Estate) and was greeted by someone very friendlyby the name of Delia. She set the initial tone for our entire move to Del Rio,” Schreiber said.
Schreiber said Texas Heritage owner Cathy Wacaser also went above and beyond in her efforts to make him feel welcome here, providing advice about schools and doctors and neighborhoods.
“She made me feel excited about moving to Del Rio and made me feel already welcome in the community,” Schreiber said.
He said many other Del Rioans made him feel equally welcome and at home, adding he and his wife found “many passionate and professional” individuals as they settled into their new life here.
“Shauna and I began to invest more and more of our time, hearts and minds into the Del Rio community, and we began to notice that the arms of the community began to wrap around us, and we met a lot of wonderful people,” Schreiber said.
He said he and his daughter now have their favorite cashier at Mr Gatti’s and their favorite wait staff at River City Donuts, where they stop on Sunday mornings.
Schreiber said one of the reasons he left the military was because he and his wife realized “the community of Del Rio was a place we didn’t want to leave.”
“I came to realize the only difference between an outsider and an insider is about where Del Rio sits in our hearts and the investments we make in the community, physically, financially, with our time, how we call this place home,” Schreiber said.
“We’re in a strategic position to take advantage of huge opportunities sitting on our doorstep: Pilot production at Laughlin has increased substantially in the past year, bringing more and more families to the area. Given our current president’s position on border security, you can be assured in some way there’s going to be employment and occupations along the border. Oil fields and pipelines have increased local sales tax revenue lately. We definitely have a place on the map for a lot of different reasons right now,” Schreiber said.
He said this was not a time for community leaders “to kick back and relax and enjoy short-term success.”
“As a community, we must continue to take consistent and aggressive action to increase our attractiveness and our opportunities for insiders and outsiders alike. We must hold our municipal leaders and community servants to high standards, hold our schools to a bar no less than excellent, hold our employees accountable and responsible, but also with the utmost respect and remember that our personal image and character reflects enormously on our community. We must not be afraid of new ideas, expansion, taking the initiative to start something beneficial that this community has never seen before,” he said.
Schreiber also urged community leaders “to go the extra mile in support of good things for our community.”
“We must honor our customers and valuable citizens, reach across barriers of competition and politics to identify the immense opportunities for partnerships, mutual support, growth and success awaiting our town,” Schreiber said.
He said he is more excited than ever to be a part of the Del Rio community.
Direct Link: http://delrionewsherald.com/news/article_dc2aa89c-3188-11e9-b7da-7778064f13a6.html
A polar cold front moving through the region on Thursday resulted in increased moisture and cooler air across Central Texas early Friday morning. Numerous reports of sleet (also known as ice pellets) and graupel (tiny frozen-over snow pellets) were reported through Hill Country and the San Antonio/Austin metro area. Sleet was also observed in Del Rio and at Laughlin AFB.
Small hail (about pea-sized) was also reported in Del Rio briefly around 8 AM.
Small hail, graupel, and sleet, while similar in appearance, differ in the processes by which they are made. Hail is formed due to convective processes that cause a rain drop to be lifted back to a point where it freezes before falling again - often several times. While often found in thunderstorms, hail can occur without thunder and lightning. Hail is often quite durable. Graupel is formed by supercooled water droplets which form over a snowflake and is often very brittle to touch, routinely taking the appearance of Styrofoam particles (opaque white). Sleet (ice pellets) is (are) formed when a falling water droplet re-freezes in a cold layer before falling to the ground. Sleet is often very small and clear.
All of these types of precipitation may fall a surface temperatures above freezing. Often, however, sleet and graupel will fall when the freezing level (altitude where the air reaches 32°F/0°C) is relatively low to the ground. Hail may fall with high freezing levels as it is often convectively forced.
For more information, contact Smalltown Weather at SmalltownWeather@gmail.com or (830) 313-6899
Meteorologist Dan Schreiber is scheduled to speak at the Del Rio Chamber of Commerce February meeting at the Ramada Sunblossom Room in Del Rio on Wednesday, February 13th, 2019 at 12 PM.
Mr. Schreiber has worked in various fields of operational meteorology since 2012 and has been trusted by high-level local, state, and federal officials for his meteorological expertise. Dan has been recognized by the National Weather Service as an ambassador for community severe weather preparedness and is a member of the American Meteorological Society. He is also an outspoken advocate for the economic development and sustainability of the city of Del Rio, Texas.
To see more about Dan and Smalltown Weather, click here.
Despite an exceptional drought during the first half of the year and claiming the third-driest first-half on record, Del Rio pulled ahead during the second half, exceeding average annual precipitation by 6.69 inches, registering as the second wettest second-half on record, behind only 1998's historic season of Tropical Storm Charley.
Temperatures remained more-or-less in normal swing, on average, scoring only slightly less than a degree above normal. However, 2018 did register a high temperature of 110°F, which has only been recorded during five other years on record, and is only two degrees off of the official maximum temperature ever recorded in Del Rio since records began being kept in 1905. Del Rio finished 18th highest, when compared to previous years' average daily temperatures.
For more climatological information for 2018 and the Del Rio area, please contact Smalltown Weather at SmalltownWeather@gmail.com or (830) 313-6899.
Cold and cloudy weather following cold frontal passage mid-week will bring a chance for winter precipitation on Wednesday across Central Texas. Areas of sleet, freezing rain, and snow flurries will be possible. In the Del Rio area, winter precipitation will be more reserved for Hill Country, but lower elevations may see trace amounts of freezing or frozen precipitation through the course of the day.
Updates to this release will be posted at the top of this page as they become available.
For more information, contact Smalltown Weather at SmalltownWeather@gmail.com or (830) 313-6899