Various topics for May 29, 2009

Tropical Depression One
T.D. 1 is headed out to sea after exiting the Gulf Stream overnight with no further intensification. It poses no threat to land and should become extratropical by Saturday. An early arrival of the first depression of the year means nothing as far as what the hurricane season will bring; however, new evidence of El Nino conditions appearing over the eastern Pacific could have an effect, according to Weather Underground’s Dr. Jeff Masters.

Heat returns
After flirting with the 90 degree mark earlier in the week, and then remaining in the mid 70s yesterday (what a great day!), we’ll again make a run at 90 just in time for the start of “meteorological summer” (defined as June-July-August) as upper-level high pressure moves in this weekend. We could reach 90+ on Monday and Tuesday, and we’ll be pretty close Saturday and Sunday! Average highs for this time of year are in the mid 80s. Check the “most accurate Memphis forecast” at MemphisWeather.net for more details.

New Memphis ATCT Rising over the Airport
Since my second big interest behind weather is aviation, I’ve been keeping an eye on this site with a webcam showing the FAA’s new Air Traffic Control Tower being constructed at Memphis International Airport. (There is even a time-lapse feature that is cool to watch.) I drive by the tower every day on the way to work, so I’ve gotten to see the new landmark as it rises into the sky. It’s now almost as tall as the old control tower and still rising! The new tower will boast double the space for controllers in the tower cab (the room at the top of the tower) and will be well over 100 feet TALLER than the existing tower when commissioned in 2011. At 336′ tall, it will be the third tallest control tower in the south. The radar control room at the base of the tower is also part of the new construction, as well as administration offices and training areas. For more on the new tower, check out this archived article from the Commercial Appeal.

Yes, but did your hair stand on end?
Check out this amazing video on AccuWeather of a guy that was filming a thunderstorm and ended up filming a lightning strike less than 0.4 mile away!

Poll on wall-to-wall severe weather coverage
You’ve got until Sunday night at midnight to take this week’s MWN Blog poll on wall-to-wall severe weather coverage. Is it too much, not enough, or just right? Cast your vote, then check out my previous blog on the subject.

MWN on social media sites
Be sure to check out MemphisWeather.net on Facebook (and become a fan!) and follow me on Twitter for micro-blogging on current weather and other weather-related topics. You’ll also get Shelby County warnings via my Twitter feed. Amazing what you can do these days with the Internet…

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