Saturday, June 21, 2008

Gone with the wind

Andrea is...getting blown away!
Today it is windy. Very windy. Dust is blowing off the building site next door right over our instruments, so I’ve had a call from the forecasters asking why our visibility (as measured by an instrument called a vis metre) is fluctuating so much, and is it really only 4km. At training school we were told to pretty much ignore the output from this because it’s generally unreliable especially when grass is being mown or vehicles are going by. The visibility is fine, except where the vis metre is. And around the large helicopters before they take off!

I don’t want to go outside to do obs because all I can smell and taste is dirt. Yuck. Might put on my hydrogen safety gear (long coat which covers head and mouth, gloves and goggles)!

Unfortunately a lot of the airport is dust and sand at the moment because of other building works going on. They are building more hangars in an area that is subject to high tides (during very high tides the airport perimeter fence becomes part of the bay!) so they have had to build the area up. They have dug a huge pit on the other side of the office to the new building to source the dirt. So it’s always a bit dusty with the trucks full of dirt driving up and down.
To the right is a picture of a wick on a thermometre inside the Stevenson screen which you may be able to see in the picture above (white box). This was only changed two days ago and we usually change it every three days, but it was so filthy I had to change it this morning (note: it's meant to be white!). I checked it again a few hours later, and the new one is almost as bad!