Polish president dies in plane crash during heavy fog

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

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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

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678. AussieStorm
3:35 PM GMT on April 12, 2010
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15937
677. CycloneOz
3:20 PM GMT on April 12, 2010
Quoting alexhurricane1991:
Well guys my recruiter just called and he says theres a job for me so ill be off here for a couple of hours see you this afternoon and i hope i go to boot camp after the hurricane season!


Don't wait until after hurricane season. Boot right away! There's nothing like it! You'll LOVE it!
Member Since: August 26, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 3751
676. AussieStorm
3:16 PM GMT on April 12, 2010
Quoting hydrus:
I,ll be ready. I will have mine fried and crispy when the time comes. :)

I like mine baked with tomato ketchup and a side serve of fries.
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15937
675. hydrus
3:10 PM GMT on April 12, 2010
Quoting WxLogic:


Don't forget about the crows... hope there're enough boxes of raw ones ready for cooking. :)
I,ll be ready. I will have mine fried and crispy when the time comes. :)
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 21409
674. alexhurricane1991
2:27 PM GMT on April 12, 2010
Well guys my recruiter just called and he says theres a job for me so ill be off here for a couple of hours see you this afternoon and i hope i go to boot camp after the hurricane season!
Member Since: April 8, 2010 Posts: 15 Comments: 2572
673. RitaEvac
2:23 PM GMT on April 12, 2010
Quoting BarnacleBill:
If I always obeyed my air traffic controllers I would not be here today. The Captain is ultimately responsible for the safety of his passengers and aircraft, not the controller.
The function of air traffic controllers is to provide safe orderly separation between aircraft and to provide advisory information. Controllers, like pilots, make mistakes. Professional pilots are very much aware of this. A good pilot will be constantly aware of the situation around him and be alert to refuse instructions or request an alternate clearance.
I have done this many times.
Captain Bill


President was always known to push pilots to just go ahead and do it. Heard that on Good Morning America. Was pushy about arriving on time to events and orders to follow his commands.
Member Since: July 14, 2008 Posts: 1 Comments: 9630
672. AussieStorm
2:20 PM GMT on April 12, 2010
Jack frost returns

Snow has made an Autumnal appearance, albeit briefly, across parts of Tasmania, Victoria and New South Wales.

The first major cold front of Autumn delivered a chilly blast of cold air over the southeast during Sunday and Monday. The air, with origins in the deep Southern Ocean, sent some bitingly cold air over Tasmania and Victoria.

As the summer sun deserts us to the Northern Hemisphere, it is not that unusual for such an event at this time of year.

Snow has been reported through the Victorian and New South Wales alps, down to around 1500 metres. Generally, little has accumulated and most has subsequently melted, so keep the skis in the garage.

For those that remember last April, we also saw a cold blast bring snow. Around the 25th/26th decent falls were taken as the mercury plunged to a record minus 10(Thredbo), making last night's minus three seem quite tropical, well almost.

The coldest air is now exiting east and a huge high pressure system is moving in. Some of the cold air will hang around though, and with the shortening nights and calm conditions cold mornings will prevail.

With the chill, fog and frost patches will develop, horticulturalists and motorists beware!

© Weatherzone 2010
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15937
671. AussieStorm
2:18 PM GMT on April 12, 2010
Record rainfall transforms Red Centre

Big summer rains that saturated large parts of central Australia have transformed the usually arid bush landscape in Alice Springs.

The city received more than its average yearly rainfall in just one week earlier this year, and the Red Centre now has a carpet of green.

In the first two months of this year more than 400 millimetres of rain fell in the centre of Alice Springs, and Alice Springs Desert Park curator of botany Scott Pullyblank says it is an exciting time.

"It's just a total transformation, it's like the whole country has put on a different coat," he said.

Lea Laughton, an Indigenous woman from the Alice Springs area, works as a guide at the park, and says the rain has produced an abundance of bush foods and medicine.

"All of the grass is just starting to shoot, like the kangaroo grasses and the native mullet grasses, which were used traditionally to make damper and bread and stuff like that," she said.

"The native apple bush is starting to come up, that's used for colds and stuff ... and a lot of that limestone rock fuchsia is starting to come up. That's used for washing your body if you've got sores on your body and stuff like that."

But Ms Laughton says just as soon as the plants shoot up, they are ravaged by insects and the birds which are now flourishing in the desert.

"You've got to beat all the birds ... not only that [but] all the grasshoppers are out, so they've stripped a few of our ... bush bananas, so that's really unfortunate," she said.

This year's rain came after Alice Springs recorded its driest year on record in 2009, and the downpour was a huge relief for pastoralists.

The executive director of the Northern Territory Cattlemen's Association, Luke Bowen, says some cattle stations in the centre had been in drought for up to eight years, and many had been forced to de-stock their properties.

"It's great to see the country in central Australia now, it's really rebounded and it looks fantastic," he said.

"The spirits of people there have significantly improved. It's amazing to see the difference - the looks on people's faces, the smiles, the general optimism that follows rain."

If the rain continues, Mr Pullyblank from the Desert Park says it will add even more colours to the landscape.

"If this rain keeps going on into autumn and spring we'll end up with carpets of wildflowers," he said.

He says it has been almost 10 years since the last major wildflower event in the area.

"So it just tells you how remarkable those species are that the seed can remain in the soil for that long, just waiting for the right climatic conditions at the right time of year," he said.

© ABC 2010
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15937
670. AussieStorm
2:18 PM GMT on April 12, 2010
High Country receives autumn snow dusting

The New South Wales High Country received its first evidence that winter is on its way with a light dusting of snow covering the alpine areas.

While the Far South Coast baked in near 30 degree temperatures yesterday, about 1cm of snow fell in the alpine villages.

But The Weather Bureau's Sean Carson says it was short lived.

"About a centimetre of snow fell above 1500m," he said.

You can certainly feel the chill in the air with those south-westerly winds, which are still fairly strong out to sea and are pretty strong throughout the Monaro and the highlands.

"It is going to be another 24 hours before they gradually ease.

"We are left with an air mass that will give us some beautiful autumn days."
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15937
669. WxLogic
2:15 PM GMT on April 12, 2010
Quoting stoormfury:
now with this predicted very active hurricane season and the absence of the QuickScat how accurate is the ASCAT and the European satelite in making early detection of tropical seedlings


Predictions will be a bit more challenging now since we won't have 2 SCAT Satellites available for cross referencing, but the ASCAT tends to be a bit better in my opinion although is coverage was not as large as the QuickScat as well as other features.

Won't be surprised to see NHC hesitate more than ever on bumping speed(s) and/or categorizing disturbances until SFC and/or Hunter data verifies it.

That's my take on it.
Member Since: August 14, 2008 Posts: 4 Comments: 4976
668. CybrTeddy
2:08 PM GMT on April 12, 2010
Quoting stoormfury:
now with this predicted very active hurricane season and the absence of the QuickScat how accurate is the ASCAT and the European satelite in making early detection of tropical seedlings


If it was a perfect world and I was NASA administrator.. I'd send up a QuickSCAT the size of a bus by the Space Shuttle, then let the QuickSCAT fly off to Geo-Synch orbit. We could get some great images of forming LLC's out of that!
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 24161
667. stoormfury
1:58 PM GMT on April 12, 2010
now with this predicted very active hurricane season and the absence of the QuickScat how accurate is the ASCAT and the European satelite in making early detection of tropical seedlings
Member Since: August 22, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 2711
666. Tropicsweatherpr
1:50 PM GMT on April 12, 2010
Quoting hurricane23:
This current El nino is all but done.


Yes,apart from the rising SOI, CPC in todays update has El Nino 3.4 at 0.8C.



Link
Member Since: April 29, 2009 Posts: 75 Comments: 14308
665. StormChaser81
1:50 PM GMT on April 12, 2010
Member Since: August 11, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 2315
664. NttyGrtty
1:42 PM GMT on April 12, 2010
Quoting BarnacleBill:
If I always obeyed my air traffic controllers I would not be here today. The Captain is ultimately responsible for the safety of his passengers and aircraft, not the controller.
The function of air traffic controllers is to provide safe orderly separation between aircraft and to provide advisory information. Controllers, like pilots, make mistakes. Professional pilots are very much aware of this. A good pilot will be constantly aware of the situation around him and be alert to refuse instructions or request an alternate clearance.
I have done this many times.
Captain Bill
As have I...great post!
Member Since: February 11, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 836
663. alexhurricane1991
1:35 PM GMT on April 12, 2010
Unfourtunately so hurricane23 i wish we have more seasons like last year with few storms impacting land and powerful fish storms to look at but this year will probably be different so be safe.
Member Since: April 8, 2010 Posts: 15 Comments: 2572
662. BarnacleBill
1:33 PM GMT on April 12, 2010
If I always obeyed my air traffic controllers I would not be here today. The Captain is ultimately responsible for the safety of his passengers and aircraft, not the controller.
The function of air traffic controllers is to provide safe orderly separation between aircraft and to provide advisory information. Controllers, like pilots, make mistakes. Professional pilots are very much aware of this. A good pilot will be constantly aware of the situation around him and be alert to refuse instructions or request an alternate clearance.
I have done this many times.
Captain Bill
661. hurricane23
1:30 PM GMT on April 12, 2010
This current El nino is all but done.
Member Since: May 14, 2006 Posts: 8 Comments: 13804
660. belizeit
1:30 PM GMT on April 12, 2010
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
iam thinking GOM will take longer than normal to recover temp wize but once it does things will take off
How many storm a year you think form in the gulf ? Usually the form in the Caribbean and then enter the Gulf . So storms could still form in the carribean but thy would not be able to intensify as much when they enter the gulf waters .
Member Since: January 10, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 925
659. StormChaser81
1:28 PM GMT on April 12, 2010
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
if lots of cloudiness and showers things will take longer if clear and dry temps response sooner


The very warm feed from the Caribbean going into the loop current will raise the GOM pretty fast. The warmer waters spread out pretty quick. I'm seeing already 81 degree temp waters feeding into the loop current.
Member Since: August 11, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 2315
658. alexhurricane1991
1:26 PM GMT on April 12, 2010
ive been looking at the usgs website and have noticed a lot of shaking in the baja california area. so the question is are these aftershocks from the earthquake that happened a couple of weeks ago or are they several small earthquakes in the same general area?
Member Since: April 8, 2010 Posts: 15 Comments: 2572
657. alexhurricane1991
1:18 PM GMT on April 12, 2010
Morning cyberteddy.
Member Since: April 8, 2010 Posts: 15 Comments: 2572
656. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
1:11 PM GMT on April 12, 2010
if lots of cloudiness and showers things will take longer if clear and dry temps response sooner
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 173 Comments: 54283
655. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
1:08 PM GMT on April 12, 2010
iam thinking GOM will take longer than normal to recover temp wize but once it does things will take off
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 173 Comments: 54283
654. weathermanwannabe
1:06 PM GMT on April 12, 2010
As I mentioned last week, I think that sheer levels will be the main ingredient to look for in the early part of the season closer to home but I don't like to pick a date for the first one........ :)
Member Since: August 8, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 9211
653. weathermanwannabe
1:02 PM GMT on April 12, 2010
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
11 degrees below theshold good if it rise 1 degree a week for 12 weeks it will be july before ya get to 80 degree mark


We'll have to see how it goes; if the current frontal pattern dies down, and we get some settled high pressure (think heat wave) over the next two months, we could get there by June me thinks....
Member Since: August 8, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 9211
652. IKE
1:01 PM GMT on April 12, 2010
Quoting CybrTeddy:
Morning Ike, Alex, everyone else!


Morning.


Quoting weathermanwannabe:


Yup.......Just in time for June 1rst........


LOL...I was thinking that too.

Someone should start a contest soon on when the first named storm will be?

I'll say in June. There will be no 0-0-0 this year until August. If I'm wrong...that crow in the freezer looks eatable. With A1 sauce:)
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
651. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
12:59 PM GMT on April 12, 2010
647. weathermanwannabe 12:55 PM GMT on April 12, 2010
Good Morning..........Went fishing in the Gulf on Saturday, 15 miles out of St. Marks, and caught our limit of Gag Grouper (Yum). Water temp out there, in about 40 feet of water, was 69 degrees........
Action: Quote | Ignore User


11 degrees below theshold good if it rise 1 degree a week for 12 weeks it will be july before ya get to 80 degree mark
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 173 Comments: 54283
650. weathermanwannabe
12:57 PM GMT on April 12, 2010
Quoting IKE:


I think it's gonna take until late May to get up to 80 in the NE GOM.


Yup.......Just in time for June 1rst........
Member Since: August 8, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 9211
649. CybrTeddy
12:56 PM GMT on April 12, 2010
Morning Ike, Alex, everyone else!
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 24161
648. IKE
12:56 PM GMT on April 12, 2010
Quoting weathermanwannabe:
Good Morning..........Went fishing in the Gulf on Saturday, 15 miles out of St. Marks, and caught our limit of Gag Grouper (Yum). Water temp out there, in about 40 feet of water, was 69 degrees........


I think it's gonna take until late May to get up to 80 in the NE GOM.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
647. weathermanwannabe
12:55 PM GMT on April 12, 2010
Good Morning..........Went fishing in the Gulf on Saturday, 15 miles out of St. Marks, and caught our limit of Gag Grouper (Yum). Water temp out there, in about 40 feet of water, was 69 degrees........
Member Since: August 8, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 9211
646. IKE
12:39 PM GMT on April 12, 2010
And the reason I need a newer car, is so I'll have a reliable one in case I have to get out of here from a major-cane or even a cat 2.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
645. alexhurricane1991
12:39 PM GMT on April 12, 2010
I have a feeling you will need a back up supply of crow this year ike.
Member Since: April 8, 2010 Posts: 15 Comments: 2572
644. IKE
12:36 PM GMT on April 12, 2010
Quoting WxLogic:


Don't forget about the crows... hope there're enough boxes of raw ones ready for cooking. :)


I've got some in the freezer, just waiting to be thawed out.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
643. alexhurricane1991
12:34 PM GMT on April 12, 2010
Cant wait for the rainy season because my grass still hasn't recovered from this winter! needs the rain.
Member Since: April 8, 2010 Posts: 15 Comments: 2572
641. WxLogic
12:30 PM GMT on April 12, 2010
Quoting IKE:
49 days....from today is May 31st. Season will start on a Tuesday...the day after Memorial Day.

I have a feeling 2010 will be a 180 from 2009. Wild season...numerous bannings on the blogs...fights...cutdowns...numerous TS and hurricane threats....could be very serious for people along the coasts.

Hope you all get prepared. I need a new car. My 260,000 99 Pontiac Sunfire is near the end...heater core going out...valve cover gasket...oil pan gasket...

I'm gonna get my last miles worth on it and get me a newer model vehicle. One with an AC in it! I've gone about 6-7 years without one.

I need one before the heart of the season.


Don't forget about the crows... hope there're enough boxes of raw ones ready for cooking. :)
Member Since: August 14, 2008 Posts: 4 Comments: 4976
640. alexhurricane1991
12:30 PM GMT on April 12, 2010
Good morning wxlogic.
Member Since: April 8, 2010 Posts: 15 Comments: 2572
639. WxLogic
12:28 PM GMT on April 12, 2010
Good Morning...

Well, Summer sure wants to come in and I guess we should expect CFL Northward drier conditions as the WX transitions from a drier to a more moist airmass and sea breezes start to get established.

There's definitely huge amounts of moisture in the Caribbean ready to be tapped and drawn west and north as the Bermuda High takes its rightful place. :)
Member Since: August 14, 2008 Posts: 4 Comments: 4976
638. severstorm
12:28 PM GMT on April 12, 2010
Quoting Jeff9641:


I'm sorry next Monday & Tuesday. I don't think Central Florida will get much rain at all this week. We are going to have to wait several days.

Nope i dont see much rain in wcfl this week. They were calling for it yesterday and it all went to Fort Myers.
Member Since: November 25, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 956
637. alexhurricane1991
12:27 PM GMT on April 12, 2010
It is next week this week will be dominated by a ridge of high pressure and a pressure gradient that will make for brezzy conditions at least here in tampa.
Member Since: April 8, 2010 Posts: 15 Comments: 2572
636. alexhurricane1991
12:24 PM GMT on April 12, 2010
Man thats nothing jeff hopefully the models will keep the rain chances for next week and the gfs comes on board with the rest you guys need it.
Member Since: April 8, 2010 Posts: 15 Comments: 2572
634. severstorm
12:19 PM GMT on April 12, 2010
I do remember you telling me that about 10 days ago. So i will be waiting. Thanks jeff9641
Member Since: November 25, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 956
632. IKE
12:18 PM GMT on April 12, 2010
49 days....from today is May 31st. Season will start on a Tuesday...the day after Memorial Day.

I have a feeling 2010 will be a 180 from 2009. Wild season...numerous bannings on the blogs...fights...cutdowns...numerous TS and hurricane threats....could be very serious for people along the coasts.

Hope you all get prepared. I need a new car. My 260,000 99 Pontiac Sunfire is near the end...heater core going out...valve cover gasket...oil pan gasket...

I'm gonna get my last miles worth on it and get me a newer model vehicle. One with an AC in it! I've gone about 6-7 years without one.

I need one before the heart of the season.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
631. severstorm
12:17 PM GMT on April 12, 2010
Quoting IKE:


Too much rain in the winter. Now it's too dry.

Yeah i here ya. Its that time of year.
Member Since: November 25, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 956
629. alexhurricane1991
12:08 PM GMT on April 12, 2010
Good morning.
Member Since: April 8, 2010 Posts: 15 Comments: 2572
628. wunderkidcayman
11:44 AM GMT on April 12, 2010
Good morning guys
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 12140

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