As we approach @NASA & @SpaceX DM-2 crewed mission, all eyes will be on the weather. The weather constraints for launch will now be more strict then ever before. We will be relaying on the @45thSpaceWing weather squadron more then ever to produce an accurate forecast.
While I’m certainly NOT the 45th, I am a weather “geek” enough to at least see what may be the concern for this week. Let’s take a look at what we will be working with.
First— the variability in forecasts. I use two popular weather sites to validate each other — @wunderground and @accuweather . Both of these sites are relatively accurate but also use slightly different models to create their forecast.
@wunderground is showing a stormy day on May 27th. If this is the forecast that holds then I do not even expect crew to head to the pad Wednesday due to storms in the area, and instead we will have a launch on Saturday, May 30th in the afternoon.
But here’s where things get interesting! Usually if I see a forecast like this, 3-4 days out, I can be fairly confident in a scrub of sorts, BUT that is after confirming the @wunderground forecast with @accuweather ! This time around, I can’t do that! Because they are different!
@accuweather is showing what appears to be “nominal” conditions for a May 27th liftoff! Even still, will have some scattered clouds, which will make for “less then perfect” rocket photos from pretty much anywhere except from those glorious pad shots, but we will have a lauxch!
However, at least the @accuweather forecast would be passable, and everyone watching from home will still have a spectacular view of Bob and Doug heading to the ISS on Wednesday! (Possibly)
To recap, right now we currently have highly variable forecast and there’s a ton of uncertainty! But wait there’s more...
So one other element to watch — “Abort Recovery Weather”. We need good weather up the eastern seaboard form cape canaveral, up to just off the coast of eastern Canada, and another section of track near Ireland. This ground track will sort of give you a sense for that path.
And this is where more concern comes in. The same storm system that is causing a stormy forecast on Wednesday in @wunderground’s forecast will be just off east coast of Florida in @accuweather’s forecast. And this would be bad for recovery weather.
Looking at the GFS output from the @TropicalTidbits website, we can see that on Wednesday that even if the weather is improving over Florida, there will still be a ton of storminess off the coast of Florida. This would be a non starter for a launch.
Before concluding here’s a quick disclaimer: I am NOT a meteorologist! — I just love studying weather and relay heavily on the hard work of pro meteorologists and web developers like Levi of @TropicalTidbits as will as the entire team that produces models like the GFS! Thank you!
Conclusion: I am still hopeful that we will have a break in the weather just enough where the storms and clouds will be “scattered enough” that will allow for passible weather. However it is way more likely, unfortunately, we will see a delay until Saturday.
The good news! If DM-2 does not launch Wednesday, Saturday looks MUCH better. 6 days out, and with an expected high pressure building we have much better agreement between @accuweather @wunderground and the GFS.
Final final recap! — Let’s patent! Good weather is a vital part of mission safety, and Falcon and Dragon will fly when ready! If you don’t “need” to be at the launch, don’t go. Besides, unless you are friends, family, or a member of the media, your view from home will be better.
If you made it this far, thanks for reading! And if you think any of this makes sense, be sure to share! Thanks again! #LaunchAmerica
Quick Update: As expected the @45thSpaceWing Weather Squadron provides their L-3 forecast. And as expected, the recovery weather forecast has been upgraded to a moderate risk for causing a delay. As discussed, this is due to the area of storms expected to be offshore Wednesday!