Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Fluid Forecasting

Meteorology is everywhere. The lines and swirls that shape the clouds reveal the secrets behind their creation. The same thing happens in any fluid. One just needs a tracer substance to make them visible. Duck weed works just fine. 

Monday, July 28, 2014

A Group of Seven Experience at Charlton Lake

The attachment says it all...

Monday, July 21, 2014

Wilson Street Studios - Kawartha Highlands with Phil the Forecaster

Kawartha Highlands - Canoe and Paint with Phil the Forecaster.For more details, follow the links ... hope to have a full Group of Eight! August 6-10, 2014.

We are just a couple of weeks away but there is still time. The class is half full or half empty depending upon your perspective. This should be fun - I write all my own humour just in case it isn't obvious. Here is a link that will give you even more insight. This paint out is as much about adventure as it is about art.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Cold Frontal Westerlies

The cold front and heavy rain had passed through overnight. The strong winds and turbulent stratocumulus clouds dominated the weather. The winds helped to keep the hungry deer flies at bay. The biting bugs have been especially ferocious this summer. This view is looking northwesterly across the points into the east basin of Singleton Lake.
Robert Hedden and the Plein Air Painters Thousand Islands Region (PAPTIR) came to Singleton Lake to paint. This was their Third Annual Paintout here at the lake. We had about 8 artists with a pot luck lunch. What could be better. There were a lot of snakes but no one was too frightened as the slithered around the easels. That was a gray rat snake at my feet in the last photo.
Oils on medium burnt sienna oil tinted foundation on commer

cial canvas - 8 X 10

Friday, July 11, 2014

Wilson Street Studio Art Retreats for 2014
Keith and Helen from the Wilson Street Studios tell me that there are still openings for the  Kawartha Highlands Retreat. That's good news - there is still room! I try to advance rather than retreat and have been practicing for this adventure. Art is more than just painting. It is telling stories around the campfire - watching the satellites and stars and learning from your fellow adventurists on this artist journey we share. I also plan to talk about the weather, climate change ... and any topics of interest. Doing all of this in the Kawartha Highlands from your canoe will make the "Advance" memorable.
I will post something I did yesterday on the panels I have prepared for this canoe trip. The panel surface encourages one to be loose with the paint. Fun!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Canada Day 2014 - Raising the Largest Maple Leaf Flag Along the MacDonald-Cartier Corridor

The pictures say it all. There was great attendance and the southwesterly wind flew the flag very well. The thunderstorms passed by to the north and the south. It was a great day ... and thanks to the generous folks from the Smart Centres. This Canadian Flag is already a landmark in its Birthplace - Brockville. The 50 Years of the Flag Committee still has much to do by February 15th, 2015.


Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Happy Canada Day from Brockville, the Birthplace of the Canadian Flag

There will be weather today!
Satellite imagery was always my "go-to" resource. Every line and swirl means something and diagnosing the atmosphere is just like reading a book. You just have to learn the vocabulary.
The attached early morning visible image is really useful - the sun casts shadows and allows one to fine the high convective tops. That prefrontal line through Peterborough is a concern for sure. Convection will fire along it first. The cold front is the line of convection casting a shadow west of Barrie and then linking to the thunderstorms north of Sudbury.
Note how eastern Ontario is clear! Hot and sunny weather at least to start. The thin cirrus over Brockville now will probably evapourate away except for the contrails.
The question is whether the atmosphere is capped in the low levels or not. If there is no capping inversion then cumulus clouds will form this morning and reduce the amount of heating. If cumulus is prevented from developing by a low level cap then the skies will stay sunny until the prefrontal line arrives later this afternoon. This would allow the sun to really charge up the atmosphere and load the canons for the thunderstorms. I suspect there is enough wind shear to organize the thunderstorms. There are some other important things I want to look at but I am retired and will sit back and enjoy the Canada Day Show. Boom...

Monday, June 30, 2014

Canada Day in Brockville - the Birthplace of the Canadian Flag

A new Canadian Flag will be unfurled at the Maple Leaf Flag Memorial at 3 pm on Canada Day. The generosity of Mitch Golhar and the Smart Centres, will raise a 35-by-75-foot flag atop a 160-foot pole. This new Flag will become the largest, highest flag between Toronto and Montreal along the Macdonald–Cartier Freeway.
For more ...
Hot, and humid weather can be expected in Brockville for the July 1st festivities. There should be enough of a blustery southwesterly wind to get the new flag flying. The cold frontal passage with thunderstorms can be expected around 9 pm in the evening. Nature will provide the Canada Day fireworks!

One of the goals of the 50 Years of Our Flag Committee was to ensure that Canadians learned the history behind this iconic symbol and took pride in being a Canadian. We continue to work toward that end.
Some Flag Facts
  • The largest Canadian flag ever made was recently unveiled at a football game in Hamilton, between the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and Toronto Argonauts. The flag was 38x76 metres (125x250 feet), and required at least 80 pairs of hands to carry it on to the field. This flag is too big to fly but it will be brought on to the turf at Ivor Wynne Stadium, the Ticat's home base, for the start of every home game. A flag that size costs $15,000.
  • A larger flag is planned for Mississauga -over 300 feet in height with a 100 x 200 foot flag.
  • A flag in Hamilton is 160 high with a 35 x 70 foot Flag matching that of Brockville. 
  • A Flag similar to Brockville's is being planned for the Windsor waterfront. 
  • A 250x500 foot Flag has been made for Copps Coliseum but it is too large to fly.
  • The Flag pole on the 401 at Stevens Rd in Oshawa is 140 feet high and that Flag is 25 x 50 feet.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Welcome AES/MSC/EC Retirees!

I was waiting for you ...or at least hoping that you might come. I see that our mutual friend and tireless worker has included a link to my Blog. I post things of interest to me in this Blog. Lately I have been looking after the turtles and tree frogs. All Ontario turtles are struggling except for maybe the painted turtle.

I also post my paintings here even before I sign them in the studio. The link to my complete art site is but it links from my Blog and to other sites as well including Picassa. I am waiting to buy a better camera in order to take quality pics of my last 100 paintings or so. I am up to 1500 works which leads us to Bob's question "Makes us wonder how they had time for their meteorological duties ...... but let's not dwell on that!"

Very funny Bob! Being retired, I can now reveal my secrets.
  • Do the science to the best of your ability and learn something every day from the real atmosphere. 
  • Stay operational on 12 hour shifts. A day job means commuting in heavy traffic and working long hours at home on agendas that are outside your control anyway.
  • Accept all overtime - those will likely be the big storms anyway and the best opportunities to learn and to help those who need the most accurate forecast that you can provide.
  • Take your overtime as time off - up to whatever is allowed. No one has figured out how to tax "time-off" yet.
  • Enjoy the science and merge your day job with your passion. Art and science are really one in the same and it is good to be passionate about both.
  • Take every day as a "present" and vow to play with your family and your art.
  • Don't watch TV or organized sports unless your kids are involved. 
  • Remember, you gotta laugh!
I may be quasi-retired but I still teach the human approach to prediction based on remote sensing, pattern recognition and situational awareness - things that NWP is still working on but that humans mastered when we crawled out of the cave along, long time ago - seems like only yesterday though!
One of my very first charcoal drawing completed with Mario Airomi ... I was ten or so.