Polish president dies in plane crash during heavy fog

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 4:06 PM GMT on April 10, 2010

Share this Blog
3
+

Always obey your air traffic controllers. That's the cardinal rule of of aviation, and one apparently violated by the pilot of the aircraft carrying the Polish president and dozens of the country's top political and military leaders, which crashed in heavy fog this morning near Smolensk, Russia. All 96 people aboard perished. According to the New York Times, air traffic controllers had recommended the president's jet land in nearby Minsk because of bad visibility, but the crew decided to land anyway. The Polish news channel TVN24 reported that moments before the crash, air traffic controllers had refused a Russian military aircraft permission to land, but that they could not refuse permission to the Polish plane. Russian media reported that the airplane's crew made several attempts to land before a wing hit the treetops and the plane crashed about half a mile from the runway.


Figure 1. a large patch of fog covers the Russian city of Smolensk and regions to the east in this visible light image captured by NASA's Terra satellite between 08:00 - 11:15 UTC Saturday, April 10, 2010. Image credit: NASA MODIS Rapid Response System, visualized using Google Earth.

At 10 am local time, near the time of the crash, the Smolensk airport reported heavy fog with visibility 0.5 km (3/10 of a mile). As seen in the satellite image taken near this time (Figure 1), a large bank of fog covered Smolensk and neighboring regions of Russia and Belarus.

Jeff Masters

Reader Comments

Comments will take a few seconds to appear.

Post Your Comments

Please sign in to post comments.

or Join

Not only will you be able to leave comments on this blog, but you'll also have the ability to upload and share your photos in our Wunder Photos section.

Display: 0, 50, 100, 200 Sort: Newest First - Order Posted

Viewing: 78 - 28

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14Blog Index

Really dry around the Cayman and Jamaica region also.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Steve Lyons is going to be the MIC at San Angelo
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
post 73.
Yeah. Sigh. Oh well........

Have to go wash my truck. Wife says she will not go to the wedding of my brother this evening, in a vehicle that looks like that.
But I notice that she has not offered to assist. And I have to do the entire car with one bucket of water too. Conditions apply.

Anyway, I get to misbehave this evening. Looking forward to that LOL.
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 24202
Quoting pottery:


Hottest day ever, was a couple weeks ago, touched 98F.
A "cold" night will get down to 65F on rare occasions. Usually Feb. mornings early, under clear skies.

But I did drive through some rain once, in the hills at about 9:00 pm, and noticed that the drops were bouncing off the windshield. Stopped the car and confirmed it was indeed hail, but it was melted almost immediately.
Freaked me out. Stopped drinking for a whole week....
how much hail would it take for a month
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 170 Comments: 53452


some high cirrus coming in from your nw pottery thats it for now
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 170 Comments: 53452
Quoting StSimonsIslandGAGuy:
Pottery what's the hottest you've seen where you are? And the coolest?


Hottest day ever, was a couple weeks ago, touched 98F.
A "cold" night will get down to 65F on rare occasions. Usually Feb. mornings early, under clear skies.

But I did drive through some rain once, in the hills at about 9:00 pm, and noticed that the drops were bouncing off the windshield. Stopped the car and confirmed it was indeed hail, but it was melted almost immediately.
Freaked me out. Stopped drinking for a whole week....
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 24202
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 170 Comments: 53452
Hey StSimonsislandGAGuy hows the weather were you are? here in tampa its a pleasant day 80 degrees and intermittent cloud cover.
Member Since: April 8, 2010 Posts: 15 Comments: 2572
Quoting pottery:
Thanks Alex. But in the meantime, my feet are hurtin', man. It's been a long walk in the hotsun!
i know ya didn't ask but soon the rain will come to pass as it comes real fast
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 170 Comments: 53452
Hang in there pottery and hopefully come next week instead of walking in the hot sun you will be dancing in the rain LOL!
Member Since: April 8, 2010 Posts: 15 Comments: 2572
Hubble-Cast, Exo Solar Planets

Hubblecast 22: Hubble Space Telescope Directly Observes Exoplanet Orbiting Fomalhaut.

The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has discovered an extrasolar planet, for the first time using direct visible-light imaging. The strange world is far-flung from its parent star, is surrounded by a colossal belt of gas and dust, and may even have rings more impressive than Saturns.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Patrap that moisture is moving very rapidly eastward.
Member Since: April 8, 2010 Posts: 15 Comments: 2572
Thanks Alex. But in the meantime, my feet are hurtin', man. It's been a long walk in the hotsun!
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 24202
GOM IR Loop

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Pottery your one step closer to getting your rain.
Member Since: April 8, 2010 Posts: 15 Comments: 2572
Good Day to all.
Sad and Terrible news from Poland. That's a big change in Administration coming.

Temps here are scorching again today -96F my location at noon- but clearer sky and no haze or dust to speak of. Humidity 42%!
Looking at El Blobbo in the ITCZ between 30-40w, and wondering if it will bring rain.........
A nice blob over the coast of Africa too, a long way south. Some more WV around all over the Trop. Atl. compared to a week ago.
So....
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 24202
GULF OF MEXICO...
THE SOUTHERN EXTENT OF A COLD FRONT THAT MOVED INTO THE SE GULF
LAST NIGHT HAS DISSIPATED AS HIGH PRES BUILDS DOWN FROM THE N.
MEANWHILE A WEAK TROUGH OF LOW PRES HAS DEVELOPED IN THE SW GULF
AND BAY OF CAMPECHE AS CAPTURED BY EARLIER WINDSAT AND ASCAT
SCATTEROMETER PASSES. LATEST MODEL GUIDANCE IS MUCH LESS
AGGRESSIVE WITH THE DEVELOPMENT OF THIS FEATURE (MODEL SOLUTIONS
YESTERDAY WERE DEVELOPING AN AREA OF LOW PRES ALONG THE TROUGH).
BOTH THE 00Z GFS AND ECMWF NOW KEEP THE WEAK TROUGH IN THE SAME
GENERAL VICINITY THROUGH AT LEAST WED.

OTHERWISE A RIDGE OF HIGH PRES WILL REMAIN OVER THE NORTHERN
GULF OF MEXICO FOR THE NEXT SEVERAL DAYS AND WILL STRENGTHEN MON
THROUGH WED WITH 1034 MB HIGH PRES CENTERED N OF THE AREA OVER
THE CAROLINAS SINKING SOUTHWARD. THIS WILL RESULT IN A VERY
TIGHT PRES GRADIENT ACROSS THE REGION WITH EASTERLY WINDS
INCREASING TO 20-30 KT OVER THE MAJORITY OF THE GULF BY WED.
LATEST WAVEWATCH MODEL GUIDANCE BUILDS SHORT PERIOD SEAS UP TO
14 FT OVER THE GULF WATERS AS A RESULT OF THE LONG AND
PERSISTENT EASTERLY FETCH OVER THE AREA. SEAS MAY EVEN BE HIGHER
IN THE GULF STREAM/STRAITS OF FLORIDA DUE TO THE COUNTER CURRENT
AGAINST THE EASTERLY FETCH IF THIS SCENARIO PANS OUT.
$$
FORECASTER LEWITSKY

Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 170 Comments: 53452
yea all facebook and weatherblog tooo
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting CybrTeddy:
Steve Lyons is leaving TWC? :(

A day of sad news, when is he leaving?
His FB page is saying rumors not confirmed or denied yet by him.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
I dont know cyberteddy but he will be surely missed.
Member Since: April 8, 2010 Posts: 15 Comments: 2572
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 170 Comments: 53452
Steve Lyons is leaving TWC? :(

A day of sad news, when is he leaving?
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 23849
Well the weather channel have to find someone quick or else your going to get the tropical update with mike bettes oh no!
Member Since: April 8, 2010 Posts: 15 Comments: 2572



Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Patrap:


PCH south to I-10 East will get you to NOLA in 4 Days.


thank you for the laugh!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
If Dr.steve lyons left,who would take his place?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
GO BYE TWC NOW
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting WaterWitch11:


i try to experience life as much as possible......planes just scare me, i have had issues with heights since i was a child. there are certain bridges here in our area that i refuse to go on. the golden gate is the only one i feel safe on.


PCH south to I-10 East will get you to NOLA in 4 Days.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Patrap:
Flying is still safer than Driving to the Store.

To live in fear of what may occur, should never keep one from experiencing Life.


I have a fear of spiders,..but I still go outside.

Well,with a anti Spider mentality..

Beware arachnids,..I lurk


i try to experience life as much as possible......planes just scare me, i have had issues with heights since i was a child. there are certain bridges here in our area that i refuse to go on. the golden gate is the only one i feel safe on.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
I cant bilieve it now dr. Lyons is leaving he was really the last credible source the weather channel had with them and now he's leaving. i'm not watching the weather channel anymore.
Member Since: April 8, 2010 Posts: 15 Comments: 2572
No wonder why my head feels like it's going to pop off my shoulders, yesterdays Pollen Count, DFW, TX:
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
ALL ON FACEBOOK
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Hi guys today is hot hot hot down here and you guys got me on the run on this AOI at around 5N 35W
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 11666


Katyn Forest is a wooded area near Gneizdovo village, a short distance from Smolensk in Russia where, in 1940 on Stalin's orders, the NKVD shot and buried over 4000 Polish service personnel that had been taken prisoner when the Soviet Union invaded Poland in September 1939 in WW2 in support of the Nazis.
[NKVD- Narodny Kommisariat Vnutrennikh Del. If you are Polish NKVD means "Nie wiadomo kiedy wroce do domu. Impossible to tell when I will return home."]


In 1943 the Nazis exhumed the Polish dead and blamed the Soviets. In 1944, having retaken the Katyn area from the Nazis, the Soviets exhumed the Polish dead again and blamed the Nazis. The rest of the world took its usual sides in such arguments.

In 1989, with the collapse of Soviet Power, Premier Gorbachev finally admitted that the Soviet NKVD had executed the Poles, and confirmed two other burial sites similar to the site at Katyn. Stalin's order of March 1940 to execute by shooting some 25,700 Poles, including those found at the three sites, was also disclosed with the collapse of Soviet Power. This particular second world war slaughter of Poles is often referred to as the "Katyn Massacre" or the "Katyn Forest Massacre".


.."Irony keeps no Clock,nor woe for mans indecency to one another"..
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
LOL! patrap i miss the weather channel for what it was a channel about weather.
Member Since: April 8, 2010 Posts: 15 Comments: 2572
SAD Dr. Steve Lyons LEAVE TWC
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting xcool:
Dr. Steve Lyons leave twc wow

Did he just announce his retirement xcool?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
That's very good that the caribean is taking a breather from warming up .
Member Since: April 8, 2010 Posts: 15 Comments: 2572
Quoting alexhurricane1991:
I dont understand that either they should be on separate planes like what we have here in the united states the loss of so many important people could have been avoided.
"The role of the Polish president is not quite ceremonial ... he has some very real powers, but at the end of the day, the day-to-day running of the government is in the hands of the prime minister and the (cabinet) ministers," Valasek said. "Continuity is assured in ways that would not necessarily be assured in the case of the death of the U.S. president."

Tusk said that as head of the government, he will take care of the families of the victims and handle the investigations.

"We won't extinguish the pain, but we have our duties, and the Polish state must function and will function," Tusk said.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Dr. Steve Lyons leave twc wow
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting weatherwatcher12:

That's a big difference considering how close both the islands are. The air pressure here is fairly high also.
Might be because we are so small we get sea breeze from all sides too that keep us a little cooler.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Stormchaser2007:
On a different note:

The Caribbean has substantially cooled over the past 4 days. Dang NAO.
Now:

April 5th:

------------------------------------------------
NAO:


Certainly,I feel a moderate to sometimes strong breeze in San Juan.I thought the NAO was negative at this moment.
Member Since: April 29, 2009 Posts: 75 Comments: 14209
Quoting stormwatcherCI:
I can't believe it is in the upper 90's there and the upper 80's here.

That's a big difference considering how close both the islands are. The air pressure here is fairly high also.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Flying is still safer than Driving to the Store.

To live in fear of what may occur, should never keep one from experiencing Life.


I have a fear of spiders,..but I still go outside.

Well,with a anti Spider mentality..

Beware arachnids,..I lurk
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Patrap:




Russian and Polish officials said there were no survivors on the 26-year-old Tupolev, which was taking the president, his wife and staff to events marking the 70th anniversary of the massacre in Katyn forest of thousands of Polish officers by Soviet secret police.


i know patrap, but i can't believe that someone didn't think:

what if the plane crashes?

i want to go to new orleans and i've talk with my husband about just me & him going and that was my first thought. what if something happens and we leave our children orphaned?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting weatherwatcher12:

Yeah.
I can't believe it is in the upper 90's there and the upper 80's here.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

Viewing: 78 - 28

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14Blog Index

Top of Page

About

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

Local Weather

Overcast
68 °F
Overcast