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July Banter 2022


George BM
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Reaper Dude: Yeah dude! Wet microbursts are the bomb! The sheets of blinding rain. The high winds. It’s just like tropical. :wub:

George BM: 4,000 J/kg MLCAPE, 2.25”+ PWs and 1,000-1,500 J/kg DCAPE along with modest but decent enough deep-layer flow looks very promising for cold pool generation. Maybe we can score a severe MCS with embedded microbursts/macrobursts. Every one of us crazies win!

Reaper Dude: Great for softening the dirt as well for whenever I get the call. ;)

George BM: Why DID you stop doing it lately?

Reaper Dude: Life. Taxes. Responsibility. Yiddy yaddy yoody yadda!

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1 hour ago, Stormfly said:

Transformer explosions rarely happen.  The flashes visible are arc faults or simply power flashes where something comes in contact with lines or a line is on the ground arcing producing lots of light.  Pole mounted transformers are extremely robust, I've seen secondary faults burn through an entire pole and while the pole and transformer ended up on the ground, the transformer was still functional but damaged only from the fall!

In substations where larger transformers are used where 500kV may be stepped down to 33kV, for example, faults here are quite spectacular and if it goes up in flames its usually due to the oil heating up to the point where the internal pressure reaches limits and safety devices vent the oil which instantly vaporizes and ignites when it contacts something hot (like an arc).

Well known events involving substations include NYC:
 

 

Closer to home, there was an incident on 12/21/2012, the day the world was supposed to end. ;)  Freaked a lot of folks out in the Annapolis area IIRC.

During strong winds at night when your lights start flickering, dimming or going out and come back on, listen carefully.  You may hear humming.  And if you go outside you may see that eerie looking glow.  In rural areas where overhead lines and trees are close together, this is commonplace.  It's also annoying when a limb large enough to not be cleared by reclosers trips them out and you have to wait for crews to clear the fault.

 

 

 

Great info Stormfly.  Spot on re the arcs.  Transformer fires are rare, but when they do happen they can be quite spectacular.  The fuses normally do their thing and protect the transformer for obvious reasons.  

Had an interesting incident with a neighbor's ground level transformer adjoining our property 2 years ago.  Two houses on the same transformer lost power. VA Power responded, with what eventually became 5 trucks/crews.  They replaced the fuses and tried to "reset" things, and that didn't work.  Dunno how many fuses they burned up, but it was several.  After several hours of troubleshooting they said the transformer failed; with a very perplexing look of bewilderment.  The head of the crew said he'd only seen a couple of cases in his 30+ year career where a transformer actually failed on its own without any apparent reason.  

Bye coincidence or not, the failure was a couple days after the owner of one of the 2 houses put in a new wood fence, with a crew that used a power auger to make the post holes.  One of the posts was installed right over where the underground service runs from the transformer to their home.  We wondered if the auger may have nicked the line in a way it didn't electrocute the fence crew but somehow created a ground fault.  The lineman nodded with more bewilderment and said "that fence crew was very lucky".

They replaced the transformer and installed new fuses and got our neighbors online again w/o any further issue.  It was very interesting to watch the lineman install the new fuses with the long fiberglass pole, with the high-voltage feeds running to the transformer still hot and all of his buddies standing well away from him.  Things were quite serious at that moment.   

As a side-bar...  during the initial conversation with the lineman, he said "the service to your house is out too, right"  I said no.  He was convinced it had to be because according to his schematics we were supposed to be on the same faulty transformer as the other two houses.  I took him to the transformer where our service is from on the other side of our property and he just shook his head with a perplexing "well something is messed up here"...  He took pictures and measurements and told me he'd make sure they corrected the records for future reference.  That experience explained why we had such an issue with VA Power about 10 years ago when we had to relocate part of our underground service feed.  (That was a nightmare and VA Power wouldn't explain why...  too long of a story to repeat here)

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Not a true severe wx weenie.  You root for the hail despite potential cost to property.

 

1 hour ago, wxtrix said:

i’ve been hearing the thunder from this storm for the last half hour. i hope it misses me.

 

 

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Hail is the last thing I want.  Anything over mothball sized is absolutely unwelcome here!

Had a $60k claim on State Farm in 1980.  That's ~ $213k in today's dollars.

My lightning dets are going crazy right now, very energized cells to our west.

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2 hours ago, RDM said:

 

Great info Stormfly.  Spot on re the arcs.  Transformer fires are rare, but when they do happen they can be quite spectacular.  The fuses normally do their thing and protect the transformer for obvious reasons.  

Had an interesting incident with a neighbor's ground level transformer adjoining our property 2 years ago.  Two houses on the same transformer lost power. VA Power responded, with what eventually became 5 trucks/crews.  They replaced the fuses and tried to "reset" things, and that didn't work.  Dunno how many fuses they burned up, but it was several.  After several hours of troubleshooting they said the transformer failed; with a very perplexing look of bewilderment.  The head of the crew said he'd only seen a couple of cases in his 30+ year career where a transformer actually failed on its own without any apparent reason.  

Bye coincidence or not, the failure was a couple days after the owner of one of the 2 houses put in a new wood fence, with a crew that used a power auger to make the post holes.  One of the posts was installed right over where the underground service runs from the transformer to their home.  We wondered if the auger may have nicked the line in a way it didn't electrocute the fence crew but somehow created a ground fault.  The lineman nodded with more bewilderment and said "that fence crew was very lucky".

They replaced the transformer and installed new fuses and got our neighbors online again w/o any further issue.  It was very interesting to watch the lineman install the new fuses with the long fiberglass pole, with the high-voltage feeds running to the transformer still hot and all of his buddies standing well away from him.  Things were quite serious at that moment.   

As a side-bar...  during the initial conversation with the lineman, he said "the service to your house is out too, right"  I said no.  He was convinced it had to be because according to his schematics we were supposed to be on the same faulty transformer as the other two houses.  I took him to the transformer where our service is from on the other side of our property and he just shook his head with a perplexing "well something is messed up here"...  He took pictures and measurements and told me he'd make sure they corrected the records for future reference.  That experience explained why we had such an issue with VA Power about 10 years ago when we had to relocate part of our underground service feed.  (That was a nightmare and VA Power wouldn't explain why...  too long of a story to repeat here)

I saw that happen in 1998.  50kVA pad mounted transformer.  When a phase went out BGE changed taps.  When the last one opened they had the knuckleboom dropping in a new one.  Ridge Gardens apartments.  That area got a lot of severe in the mid to late 90s.  So much tree damage and cleanup too.  Then the derecho comes through in '12 and makes about the same mess as that decade!  Severe action and tree work (specifically felling) have a lot in common.  Like a big party.  Everyone wants in on the action but the next day when it's time to clean up the mess no one wants to contribute. ;)

Last time we saw excitement was the day before Isaias came through.  Feeder switch test failed and a 7.2kv feeder that runs between our parking pad and lane decided to shoot pink fire up into the air, full Dracarys mode!  Singed the grass, melted asphalt and nearly got my work truck.  Even in the pouring down rain of a thunderstorm I had to chase the flames with a big CO2 extinguisher 5 minutes after the power was cut.  Fun times!

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11 minutes ago, Stormfly said:

Hail is the last thing I want.  Anything over mothball sized is absolutely unwelcome here!

Had a $60k claim on State Farm in 1980.  That's ~ $213k in today's dollars.

My lightning dets are going crazy right now, very energized cells to our west.

I had golf ball+ several years ago.  Had to get a new roof but there were some pre-existing problems with the roof so it was going to have to be replaced anyway.  Went with somebody I had never heard of before (they were walking around the neighborhood in the days after the storm, looking for work) and was a little nervous about that, but it worked out.  My cousin has been in construction for 30 years and I had him take a look at it and he said they did a great job.  Don't think I've had anything bigger than ~dime size hail since then.

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Baseball+ for us.  Roof damage (45 squares of dimensional shingles), ridge vents destroyed, 13 windows broken, gutters removed, attic ventilator looked like it was shot with buckshot, and aluminum siding in similar condition.

RV nearly totaled (back before the GRP siding days).  Car windscreens spider webbed.  Even our redwood picnic table had severe damage to its planks and a well build ducane propane grill top was dented in!  I saw the needle of my weatherhelm remote anemometer nearly pegged at 109 mph before retreating to the basement.  Quite scary TBH.

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20 minutes ago, Stormfly said:

Baseball+ for us.  Roof damage (45 squares of dimensional shingles), ridge vents destroyed, 13 windows broken, gutters removed, attic ventilator looked like it was shot with buckshot, and aluminum siding in similar condition.

RV nearly totaled (back before the GRP siding days).  Car windscreens spider webbed.  Even our redwood picnic table had severe damage to its planks and a well build ducane propane grill top was dented in!  I saw the needle of my weatherhelm remote anemometer nearly pegged at 109 mph before retreating to the basement.  Quite scary TBH.

Dang.  There was very little wind in my case so it wasn't really a window problem except for anybody with a skylight or a vehicle outside.  

I can't remember the exact year (maybe 2010 or 2011) but there was something similar to what you described that struck a rural area well south of here.  Softball size hail and winds estimated at 100 mph iirc.  The buildings that were in the way obviously got beat up pretty badly and the crop damage was breathtaking... just decimated in a swath for miles.

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21 hours ago, nw baltimore wx said:

We were at Broadkill Beach this week and heard foxes on Monday night from indoors after sunset. Then on Tuesday, we were the only ones sitting on the beach near sunset and saw two adult foxes carefully make their way out from the dunes. A few minutes later, three kits (I want to call them pups but know that’s wrong) join them. The kits were loving it. Jumping and tackling each other in the sand. Very cute.

moving fox talk from June thread...that's so cool! It must have been magical seeing them emerge from the dunes! So I called them kits bc it was the first thing that came to mind after deciding against "fox babies". But I just looked into it and you can call them kits, pups, cubs and other it's all good. Also I have to correct my post a bit, the adult I've been seeing with the litter could just as well be dad as mom :) or both

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6 hours ago, Stormfly said:

I saw that happen in 1998.  50kVA pad mounted transformer.  When a phase went out BGE changed taps.  When the last one opened they had the knuckleboom dropping in a new one.  Ridge Gardens apartments.  That area got a lot of severe in the mid to late 90s.  So much tree damage and cleanup too.  Then the derecho comes through in '12 and makes about the same mess as that decade!  Severe action and tree work (specifically felling) have a lot in common.  Like a big party.  Everyone wants in on the action but the next day when it's time to clean up the mess no one wants to contribute. ;)

Last time we saw excitement was the day before Isaias came through.  Feeder switch test failed and a 7.2kv feeder that runs between our parking pad and lane decided to shoot pink fire up into the air, full Dracarys mode!  Singed the grass, melted asphalt and nearly got my work truck.  Even in the pouring down rain of a thunderstorm I had to chase the flames with a big CO2 extinguisher 5 minutes after the power was cut.  Fun times!

Interesting you mention losing one phase.  It reminded me that only one of the 2 phases on our neighbor's transformer went.  Don't recall how many kva the transformer was.  And, it didn't arc or shoot any blue flames.  haha.  Was fortunate for our neighbors in that the fuses did their thing and popped as designed.  Hats off for what you do.  Getting stung by 110vac is not pleasant.  No second chances with the level you deal with.  

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7 hours ago, Stormfly said:

Baseball+ for us.  Roof damage (45 squares of dimensional shingles), ridge vents destroyed, 13 windows broken, gutters removed, attic ventilator looked like it was shot with buckshot, and aluminum siding in similar condition.

RV nearly totaled (back before the GRP siding days).  Car windscreens spider webbed.  Even our redwood picnic table had severe damage to its planks and a well build ducane propane grill top was dented in!  I saw the needle of my weatherhelm remote anemometer nearly pegged at 109 mph before retreating to the basement.  Quite scary TBH.

 

6 hours ago, Hoosier said:

I found the storm I was talking about.  June 14, 2010 if you're interested.  Would've been crazy if this rolled through a more populated area.  

https://www.weather.gov/lot/2010jun14

Now that’s incredible. 

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1 minute ago, MN Transplant said:

Sorry, Os fans, the Twins needed that one after blowing 4 late leads to Cleveland in the last two weeks.

After the O's scored in the 8th to take the lead i turned it off....the losses to Cleveland nearly destroyed my hope with this team. 

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1 minute ago, leesburg 04 said:

After the O's scored in the 8th to take the lead i turned it off....the losses to Cleveland nearly destroyed my hope with this team. 

Pagan wasn’t going to pitch, so there was a chance!  They have to help the bullpen at the trade deadline.

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1 minute ago, MN Transplant said:

Pagan wasn’t going to pitch, so there was a chance!  They have to help the bullpen at the trade deadline.

The starters have been lights out so i'm happy with them plus Winder and Ober are about to return so all set there, hitting has been inconsistent but clearly good enough...need a couple bullpen arms to help out Duran and for the love of god Rocco make Duran the closer already

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2 hours ago, leesburg 04 said:

The starters have been lights out so i'm happy with them plus Winder and Ober are about to return so all set there, hitting has been inconsistent but clearly good enough...need a couple bullpen arms to help out Duran and for the love of god Rocco make Duran the closer already

I think Duran is the de facto closer, but the rest of the bullpen is so sketchy that he often needs to go more than one inning, making him out of pocket for the next game.  Or he has to be the fireman in the 7th, pitch the 8th, and then we need someone to not give up 2-3 runs in the 9th/10th.

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13 hours ago, RDM said:

Interesting you mention losing one phase.  It reminded me that only one of the 2 phases on our neighbor's transformer went.  Don't recall how many kva the transformer was.  And, it didn't arc or shoot any blue flames.  haha.  Was fortunate for our neighbors in that the fuses did their thing and popped as designed.  Hats off for what you do.  Getting stung by 110vac is not pleasant.  No second chances with the level you deal with.  

When the transformer shorted to ground the fuse on the pole cutout opened with a report similar to a 12 gauge!  Hard fault.  That transformer was from the early 70s.

When there is a secondary fault the cutouts don't always open, the fuses hold and the transformer will supply well in excess of its kva rating.  This is why its paramount to call before digging!  Secondaries running from the transformer to the building service demarc are unfused and if shorted in excavation operations, for example, the results are pretty impressive.

110VAC can definitely kill.  This is why pool/spa/restroom wiring has GFCIs.  Touching a faulty appliance while another part of your body is touching water or otherwise well grounded can produce a lethal shock.  Then there are secondary injuries that can occur even when the equipment disconnect is open and fuses are removed!  Typically with HVAC rooftop units.  Reaching inside a chassis and coming in contact with a charged capacitor creates the surprise of the century and the resulting reaction of pulling a hand out pronto causing one's arm to come in contact with protruding self tapping chassis screws everywhere!  That'll open you up nice and the zap is a faint memory at that point when you need a dozen stitches or so. ;)

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On 7/1/2022 at 1:52 PM, Hoosier said:

Not a true severe wx weenie.  You root for the hail despite potential cost to property.

 

 

 

hail put several hundred dents in my car and necessitated a new roof and several thousand dollars in water damage repair a few years ago. I'd have to be dumb to wish for that again.

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8 hours ago, MN Transplant said:

I think Duran is the de facto closer, but the rest of the bullpen is so sketchy that he often needs to go more than one inning, making him out of pocket for the next game.  Or he has to be the fireman in the 7th, pitch the 8th, and then we need someone to not give up 2-3 runs in the 9th/10th.

I'm guessing the Twins will trade for Lopez now lol

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Had tickets to take some family to fireworks and performances at the Lorton Workhouse this evening, they cancelled pretty early in the day because of the forecast. One of those situations where you feel for them if we end up not seeing any rain- tough call 

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8 hours ago, Stormfly said:

When the transformer shorted to ground the fuse on the pole cutout opened with a report similar to a 12 gauge!  Hard fault.  That transformer was from the early 70s.

When there is a secondary fault the cutouts don't always open, the fuses hold and the transformer will supply well in excess of its kva rating.  This is why its paramount to call before digging!  Secondaries running from the transformer to the building service demarc are unfused and if shorted in excavation operations, for example, the results are pretty impressive.

110VAC can definitely kill.  This is why pool/spa/restroom wiring has GFCIs.  Touching a faulty appliance while another part of your body is touching water or otherwise well grounded can produce a lethal shock.  Then there are secondary injuries that can occur even when the equipment disconnect is open and fuses are removed!  Typically with HVAC rooftop units.  Reaching inside a chassis and coming in contact with a charged capacitor creates the surprise of the century and the resulting reaction of pulling a hand out pronto causing one's arm to come in contact with protruding self tapping chassis screws everywhere!  That'll open you up nice and the zap is a faint memory at that point when you need a dozen stitches or so. ;)

Rgr on the GFIs - We have them religiously installed where called for and even in some other places as an extra precaution.  

Your observations about self tapping screws sounds like you may have lost some skin in the school of hard knocks.  When I lived in India and Thailand it was always interesting watching the locals test a 220vac wire to see if it was hot with the back of their hand.  If it was hot, they let out an "ouch" as their hand clamped tight, pulling their fingers away from the hot lead.  The practices in some other countries would put OSHA into convulsions here.  haha.  

Back in 2011 when we put on a second garage, we had to relocate about 200 feet of the underground service to our house.  Dug the trench, exposed the line at the mid-way point and then dug the lineman a hole for him to get easy assess to the lines.  He cut out the old line and spliced in the new cable with the 800amp service still hot.  I asked why he didn't lock out the service at the transformer and he said he hated messing around inside transformers.  He said "there's a lot going on in there"  (our transformer services 4 houses).  

He put on his lineman's chaps and long gloves and sat down in the hole and crimped/spiced everything without any apparent worry.  Out of respect, I kept my distance and didn't bother him with questions as he worked.  Just quietly watched him execute his trade.  He want trough a ton of self-splicing tape and several rolls of regular ole electrical tape.  Inserted the new meter on the riser, installed the seal and checked everything out.  Haven't had any issues yet - knock on wood.  

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1 hour ago, RDM said:

Rgr on the GFIs - We have them religiously installed where called for and even in some other places as an extra precaution.  

Your observations about self tapping screws sounds like you may have lost some skin in the school of hard knocks.  When I lived in India and Thailand it was always interesting watching the locals test a 220vac wire to see if it was hot with the back of their hand.  If it was hot, they let out an "ouch" as their hand clamped tight, pulling their fingers away from the hot lead.  The practices in some other countries would put OSHA into convulsions here.  haha.  

Back in 2011 when we put on a second garage, we had to relocate about 200 feet of the underground service to our house.  Dug the trench, exposed the line at the mid-way point and then dug the lineman a hole for him to get easy assess to the lines.  He cut out the old line and spliced in the new cable with the 800amp service still hot.  I asked why he didn't lock out the service at the transformer and he said he hated messing around inside transformers.  He said "there's a lot going on in there"  (our transformer services 4 houses).  

He put on his lineman's chaps and long gloves and sat down in the hole and crimped/spiced everything without any apparent worry.  Out of respect, I kept my distance and didn't bother him with questions as he worked.  Just quietly watched him execute his trade.  He want trough a ton of self-splicing tape and several rolls of regular ole electrical tape.  Inserted the new meter on the riser, installed the seal and checked everything out.  Haven't had any issues yet - knock on wood.  

Working hot is fine if you have the necessary PPE and training.
Yes those screws have gotten me and I've got scars to prove it!

Believe it not the nastiest "bite" came from a CRT chassis.  AFTER the (picture) tube was discharged, it sat and built up enough charge that it got me and part of the housing sliced my arm open.  The charge wasn't even that strong, perhaps a few joules.  Element of surprise gets me every time.

 

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8 minutes ago, Stormfly said:

Working hot is fine if you have the necessary PPE and training.
Yes those screws have gotten me and I've got scars to prove it!

Believe it not the nastiest "bite" came from a CRT chassis.  AFTER the (picture) tube was discharged, it sat and built up enough charge that it got me and part of the housing sliced my arm open.  The charge wasn't even that strong, perhaps a few joules.  Element of surprise gets me every time.

 

Can believe it re the CRT's and can relate to their potential, through my dad and my own experiences.  He used to fix TV's p/t back in the 60's and 70's for a little extra cash.  Got bit a couple of times by the static charge in a tube.  

He built our first color TV in 68 so we could watch Apollo 11 launch in color in 69.  Will never forget it.  Was a Heathkit 25" color unit when 25" was as big as they came.  It had a cool mechanical remote that used small tuning forks to generate a semi-audible "ping" that controlled channel, volume, on/off, and color.  Was very cool at the time to have a remote control.  He was so proud of that TV.  Only a fraction of people in our area had a color TV in the late 60's.  By the mid 70's color was the norm.  

 

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1 hour ago, RDM said:

Can believe it re the CRT's and can relate to their potential, through my dad and my own experiences.  He used to fix TV's p/t back in the 60's and 70's for a little extra cash.  Got bit a couple of times by the static charge in a tube.  

He built our first color TV in 68 so we could watch Apollo 11 launch in color in 69.  Will never forget it.  Was a Heathkit 25" color unit when 25" was as big as they came.  It had a cool mechanical remote that used small tuning forks to generate a semi-audible "ping" that controlled channel, volume, on/off, and color.  Was very cool at the time to have a remote control.  He was so proud of that TV.  Only a fraction of people in our area had a color TV in the late 60's.  By the mid 70's color was the norm.  

 

Heathkits were awesome!  Sad they went out of business.

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