Thursday, June 25, 2015

Nebraska Star Party Weather

If last year was your first trip to NSP you probably came back wanting to return in 2015 to enjoy even more mild weather. I know I did.

 2014: Uncommonly Cool

This was not a year that people returned with stories of blistering heat or gear-toppling thunderstorms. The first four days were a cool eight or nine degrees below normal, nighttime lows were in the 40s twice, winds were light most of the time and no precipitation fell.  Daytime skies were generally clear to partly cloudy, and no weather (thunderstorms, fog, haze or smoke) was reported. There was an amazingly tiny total of 11 cooling degree days for the period compared to a normal of 50.

Daily summary for Valentine during NSP 2014: 
Date          High Low Departure
July 27 (Sun) 84   50  -8 
July 28 (Mon) 83   49  -9 
July 29 (Tue) 78   54  -9 
July 30 (Wed) 86   49  -8 
July 31 (Thu) 88   52  -5

2015: What to Expect

The average maximum temperature is around 90 and the overnight low (which you'll feel only if you're still up observing or imaging at sunrise) is around 60. Every day has about a one-third chance of a thunderstorm, so of the five days it could be expected that there be one or two with thunder.

Daily Averages for Valentine during NSP 2015:
              Average   Record 
Date          High Low  High Low
July 12 (Sun) 89   60   109  42 
July 13 (Mon) 89   60   107  41 
July 14 (Tue) 89   61   105  44 
July 15 (Wed) 89   61   110  40 
July 16 (Thu) 89   61   113  45 

In other words, last year was an outlier in a good way. You shouldn't expect it to be repeated this year, but no one will complain if it is!

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