A very large high pressure ridge centered at the 4-Corners area will keep our temperatures pushing triple digits for the next few days. That’s enough heat to help pop up some afternoon clouds, and could even allow an isolated thunderstorm to form, mostly over the mountains south of Tahoe and the Pine Nut range. As the pattern stays that way, over time those thunderstorms have a chance of coming off the hills and drifting into the western valleys, and it’s likely we will see some of those in our area by early next week.

radio waves day night

Yesterday, I talked about the “bounce” off the ionosphere that helps radio signals travel farther. But this bouncing will only work effectively after the sun goes down. That’s because radiation coming from the sun interacts in the ionosphere to create (surprise!) ions (now if I could only figure out why they call it the ionosphere). These ions have the nasty habit of eating radio waves, instead of allowing them to be reflected. (I am somewhat over-simplifying the process here, as sunlight most directly affects the density of the D and E layers of the ionosphere, which is critical in interaction of radio waves.) Thus, while the sun shines, the ionosphere dines, and we don’t get to pick up Rush live from New York. We need a satellite for that.

At night, the sun is shielded, and the ionosphere goes back to bouncing Country Western music from coast to coast.