Friday, May 18, 2007

Welcome back Summer

Unrelated to the post really but sort of is. This was a view out my hotel window the other evening and the sun now setting quite a bit farther to the west causes a really nice lighting effect on this metal. It is actually silver but almost looks golden in the light, it is a brand new hotel and has only been open for a few months. Inside the rooms look like an Ikea showroom with all sorts of Ikea style furniture and accessories. Apparently though a slight oversight considering it is called Future Inns was that it has a manual front door while almost every hotel has automatic ones. That would be fine if you didn't have 3 bags to carry in like me though when you check into a hotel :)

The weather radar got some use last month on the way to Florida but that was just for a few scattered CB's. This flight was at 28,000 feet and still riding in cloud so we were unable to visually see what was ahead and were purely dependent on the radio energy being reflected back off these storm clouds. Here we had been painting this cell on radar for about 60 miles, and we were getting ready to swing a bit right to stay in the smooth air when all of a sudden we broke out into the sunshine. On radar this cloud had pretty strong returns so it was red in the center (meaning mother loads of moisture either ice, rain...etc) but had a shallow gradient so it was pretty smooth around it. We have a really nice weather radar but I can just imagine Aviator's in the past dealing with these conditions with ancient radar sets, in principle it works all the same but with ours it has computer processing to give a clearer picture of what your actually seeing.

As you can see here we are coming out of that big mass of clouds behind us that we have rode in all the way for about 200 miles. I love when you encounter days such as these were you can pick your way around build ups visually and not have to constantly be scanning with radar making sure that you don't run into something inadvertently and leave the wings behind (I hate when that happens). There is a big warm front that extends from Winnipeg south east towards Montreal so that is all the warm air overrunning the cooler air below. The winds on the surface are 220 degrees at 30 knots so it's like a heat pump sucking up all the warm air from the American Southwest.

I love the textures with cumulus clouds when I can stare at them from a distance :) You can see them constantly rising in this case but we aren't going to be hanging around to see it grow into adulthood if it ends up doing so.

KMKE- General Mitchell Internation Airport, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

On final for runway 25L with an RJ just visible at the bottom of the frame over the water. Just about this point we were told to slow down because we were gaining on him by 60 knots. There was a 30 knot wind shear around 2500 feet above the ground so the RJ was getting into a 30 knot headwind while we were still in pretty benign winds and going 30 knots indicated faster. You can see we are a bit higher then a standard profile and that is because although I can swim, 6 miles might be a bit too much so we stay high in case of the air conditioner shutting off on final. ATC is really good here because we cross right over the middle of Lake Michigan and they give decent at our discretion so you have the option of bringing it in high to maintain glide.

Milwaukee was an old french fur trading post as many towns in this area once were. If anyone has ever said it's Miller Time, well this is where the stuff was originally created. We never had a chance to go to the brewery to check it out but we did sample some of the end products at the Oldest Bar in Milwaukee (The Landmark). They have 48 beers on tap and if you sign up and try all 48 you get a free steel beer stein, and a wicked hangover if you decide to do it all in one night ! It was opened in 1850 and Mr Miller used to deliver his beer there himself by horse. They have a little booklet that serves as a menu and history lesson which is a nice idea, I have a habit of reading when I eat breakfast or any meal if there is reading material and nobody around to scoff at my bad manners :)

If you stay right at the airport in KMKE it is just about a 15 minute walk from the main terminal south of the airport.

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