Well, if it were too easy, we’d never appreciate it, would we? With that said, today was not so great, but now we feel lucky there were ZERO clouds over California. I almost got to fly with SLY (nice ring to it)…but then, at the last minute, our instrument wasn’t working so I gave my seat to someone else. I was a bit nervous, even popped an air motion pill, and chose my lunch items very carefully….As for SLY, help is on the way as two of my students head here from our other field site at Sugar Pine. We will have a soft down day tomorrow (no flights) to allow us to hopefully get everything up to 100% on the aircraft. We lots of time since there is no inclement weather in sight for the next week…most people are happy to read this, right? Hopefully people can watch us fly on Friday which is the next time we will go up, most likely. I will provide the link on here once I have it so you can watch us in Google Earth…We’re having a debriefing meeting now, and most instruments are working well. We can’t tell if the cloud probes are working, yes, because there were no clouds…maybe Friday.
Well, day 1 of Calwater has officially arrived. The airplane (the PNNL/DOE G1) came down from its home base in Richland, Washington and landed about 10:50 am this morning. There is a saying that if you ever want to clean up the air pollution, just schedule a field study. It is amazing how clear the air has become during some of our larger field campaigns. Well, I have another one–if you ever want to stop the rain and have beautiful clear skies, plan an aerosol-cloud-precipitation study. It is almost unbelievable. No bad weather in sight for maybe 2 weeks….good old La Nina that we were promised has finally kicked in. So, tomorrow we will do our first test flight–we’ll probably fly down through the pollution in the Central Valley. I’ll stay on the ground tomorrow and watch the flight data from the control room with the other scientists….I think I will give it few more days before going up myself. We had our first meeting, toured the G1 which is very nicely equipped, and then went out for a wonderful (very authentic) Thai dinner at a total hole in the wall place that we almost didn’t go into because it looked so rough from the outside (those are often the best spots!). Tomorrow morning we’ll have our safety briefing at 8 am and then start Day 2…Before I go to sleep, I’m going to pray to the rain Gods!!