Re: Camp Evac Lighting Kinda Long
Norman J. MacLeod (gaelwolf@MARLIN.SSNET.COM)
Thu, 8 Jun 1995 12:18:21 EDT
Getting the folks off the field was a good idea. I assume you had adequate
shelter nearby just in case something like this happened. (Folks, I may
sound over-cautious, but during this time of the year, when thunderstorms
are frequent and often are of the more dangerous sorts in
Dorothy-and-Toto-Land, a large event such as a Camporee, should be planned
in a location where there is adequate shelter nearby in case of severe
thunderstorms. Ever see what gol-ball and up size hail does to tents? Makes
you do a pretty good hurt dance, too...)
>We watched the storm and it looked like it was going to go around us again.
>We saw the lighting going around us to the west and there was very little
>thunder so it made distance estimation difficult. The temp dropped and a
>breeze started to blow. With out a lot of warning a sizzler came down Not
>too close but close enough to evac the field. Right after the sizzler the
>rain came down in sheets.
Your major clues were not so much the lightning and thunder in the distance
as the temperature drop and breeze.
Thunderstorms develop vertically, and a lot of the air motion inside of them
is of the up and down sort. Hail is formed when a water droplet is hurled
upward into the freezing zone, becomes ice, drops to the level where H2O is
liquid, gets wet, and gets tossed up again for the new layer to freeze. The
more powerful the storm, the more often this can happen. The more often it
happens, the bigger the hailstone. An iceball falling from 60,000 feet with
a heavy push from a downdraft can do some significant harm.
The temperature drop and breeze were mot likely the result of a downburst of
cold air. Once the air hit the ground, it had no place to go but outward in
all directions. In the process, the cold air mixed with the warmer air at
ground level, becoming the breeze you felt and part ofthe temperature drop.
The rest of the temperature drop came from the air moving toward you through
all of that cold water that was approaching. As you may have noticed, this
can happen several minutes before it actual begins to rain. (Not always,
though - however, if a thunderstorm gives you rain without an immediate
temperature drop, it is often of the tamer variety of the species...) Hail,
if the storm is generating any, will generally he falling further into the
storm cell proper. Although there is no guarantee of this, any tornadic
activity tends to be taking place near the storm's "tail". most often on the
southwest side in the Northern Hemisphere.
Hopefully, this is useful trivia to you. If nothing else, you can use it to
impress all the other Leaders on the field around you - to say nothing of
the opportunity to impress the socks off your Scouts with your vast
knowledge of everything in general!
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City