Friday, November 12, 2010

Ice...


... crystals floating in the air this morning.  It is 8 degrees as I write this at 8:18 am on a very cold November 12.  I am one of those people who knows just enough about science to be dangerous.  I know that that you can actually see the differences in the ambient air temperature by looking at the clouds and looking at the fog/mist over the lake and the valley.  The water in Dillon Reservoir is so much warmer than the air temperature that on very cold mornings a fog hangs over the water.  As a storm comes in with colder temperatures you can watch the new cloud formations over the Gore Range as the temperature changes with the change in weather.  I actually took flying lessons forty years ago and that was one thing that always bothered me.  The amount of lift on the wing changed as the temperature changed.  I like to think of the plane flying though a liquid rather than air.  The temperature would control the amount of lift on the wing.  When I would fly over a recently plowed field that was dark there was less heat rising and the plane would drop and the flight would get choppy.  As I flew over something light the air would push the plane up.  I think of those days each time I am coming in for a landing at Denver International Airport as we fly over the farms of eastern Colorado.  Imagine the world encased in a big ball of liquid rather than air and you can get my analogy. Personally I would rather sit here at my desk and computer and watch all of the temperature changes from the comfort of my chair and not the cockpit of a plane.  I sometimes think that the most anxious passengers must be pilots.  I remember flying to and from Gillette, Wyoming in small commuter planes where I could actually see the cockpit crew and the control panel.  The stall alarm and light kept going off as the aircraft lost lift and my heart would stop.  I am sure the crew enjoyed the thought of some of the passengers going into shock when that would happen.

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