Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Nights of 1-2 and 2-3 August (and forecast)

The weekend proved not fruitful in catching sprites. Sunday night a good storm system was over Spain, but cloudiness obstructed observations. The same was true at the start of the shift of Fredrik and Oscar last Monday. A promising long-lived storm system moved from Spain into the Balearic islands, but both cameras were in/under the clouds. Last night we had not much to complain about: a clear view from both cameras, no software problems, however the very distant storms over Italy must have been too far to observe anything, not even the flashes were observed as their tops are below the horizon, as seen from France.

In the next two days, the upper low that is causing the thunderstorms is moving eastwards into the Balkan. A high pressure area settles over our region. At most some isolated thunderstorms could develop during the weekend over the Iberian Peninsula, but it does not seem that conditions will become favourable for sprites again till the weekend of the 13th of August, when ensemble model runs finally come again with a southwesterly flow over this part of Europe. Boring!

Monday, August 01, 2005

Thunderstorm Outlook: 1-3 August

Currently a powerful storm system is active over eastern Spain. Too bad that our cameras are still in the clouds, though there might be some chance that clearer conditions arrive the next hours from the west for Pic du Midi. The storm certainly looks like a good candidate sprite producer.

Tomorrow the west edge of the upper trough slides over Spain, which will perhaps just allow a storm to form at the east coast, but the focus will shift to Italy, where the upper trough and unstable airmass is going to hang around for a few days. This is a little far from our cameras, unfortunately, but who knows. As high pressure builds up west of us, good conditions for large thunderstorm systems likely stay away for quite a few days.