Thursday, October 11, 2012

     I would like to apologize. I realize that I haven't posted, in what seems like decades. School has me quite busy these days. Although I feel like sometimes I can't breath because of the work, I keep in the back of my mind that this is really what I need and want to be doing. I've recently been becoming more involved in my classes and other groups including the American Meteorological Society. The weather up here in NoDak is quite interesting, so it only makes sense that they have their own chapter. I feel like most of the groups were created on the basis of food. Potluck this and Picnic that! Then again my whole being seems to have been built on the basis of food!

     I haven't really changed. It takes me a while to find friends. Not because I have a hard time making friends, but more so because I am picky when it comes to who I like spending time with. In fact I have maybe three people whom I am close with. This is not unlike home. I'm associated with a lot of people, but have few best friends. Don't worry, I've found my niche!

     As you may have heard me bitching on Facebook, we recently had an early snow storm move through the area. If you're from North Dakota, you understand how this works, but if you're not, let me explain: North Dakota is practically Canada. This hopefully isn't new to you. The majority of the weather we get comes from... You guessed it. Canada! The cold air is pushed down and across the state. Winds are always harsh and sometimes Canada sends us some moisture associated with that cold air. Last Monday they were already reporting that we were possibly in for a 'severe-weather-event'. Turns out it wasn't so severe. The 6-12" they called for, turned into a slushy 3-4" depending upon your location within the Red River Valley. "Valley" you say? Being from Virginia, I am quite skeptical of using the word 'Valley' up here only because us Virginians really know what a valley is like. There is a river that runs somewhat north to south and separates North Dakota from Minnesota. As you approach that river from the East and the West it slopes down into what they refer to as the Red River Valley. Devils lake is around 100 miles west of Grand Forks and is approximately 500 ft higher in elevation. (It does the same thing east of Grand Forks too) I promise I'll make my point soon. My meteorology professor mentioned that as the storm moved from the west to the east that the extra 500 ft that the snow had to fall through, made the snowfall totals incorrect. That extra 500 ft gave the snowflakes extra time to melt before hitting the surface which gave towns west and east of Grand Forks higher totals and made us fall short. On a side note there is supposedly a phenomenon that takes place as thunderstorms roll through (once more from west to east) that they lessen in intensity because of something taking place within the River Valley.  I may have found my senior project!

     Enough with weather! Since last posting quite a few things have happened. 1) I'm actually into the swing of college. It's not totally overwhelming just to wake up in the morning. It's more like "This is just what I do." and the day flows on as normal! 2) I passed my Stage-Check, which is like a second check-ride that I had to complete to show the Aerospace school that I understood, not only what the Federal Aviation Administration expects of me, but also the UND policies and procedures! It was a LOT of extra studying, but I feel all the more accomplished that I completed it within a month of being here. Unfortunately I'm not allowed to fly the University's aircraft because I 'graduated' from my course. (I think it is because of insurance purposes.) If I want to fly, I have to go elsewhere and pass a test of their own making, which is extremely frustrating. It'll eventually happen!

Keep in touch and feel free to write me at:

University of North Dakota
#315 Bek Hall
Grand Forks, ND 58202