David: yes, of course, would love to. Weather is so hugely complex that we are all "newbies", why thousands of man-years of study and computer modeling still can't reliably predict anything beyond a few days. It's impossible to pitch any talk at a level encompassing everyone, but...our club is chock full of gifted and talented individuals who are not intimidated by the sight of a double or contour integral. And one can get across some rather sophisticated concepts without using those. An hour lecture on fluid mechanics and thermodynamics as applied to the atmosphere is a lot to swallow in one gulp. What I've been doing (and will continue to, as in next paragraph) is occasionally throwing out a non-trivial tidbit or teaser on the Message Board, then people who want to learn more can Google the technical term I may have used.
Skew T? Congratulations, you have zeroed in on one of the most important tools of all, the one all serious forecasters always look at. Although, I wish NWS had ditched this particular plot format decades ago, but it is so firmly entrenched you can't get rid of it. Why? Because you have to compare the lapse rate to various slanted reference lines, the most important of which for the soaring pilot are the dry adiabats. Because a dry adiabat is what a thermal follows (well, almost). I used to have, of the three monitors on my old workstation, one of them with a different aspect ratio display compared to the others...drove you nuts when trying to compare several simultaneously-displayed soundings. Here's where introducing a more complicated variable actually makes things transparently simple. That variable is potential temperature...that remains constant when a thermal goes up, or you mechanically and violently stir up the air, as severe wind shear and rotor can do. So, on a plot of potential temperature versus height, you can see instantly what kind of a day you're in for, 'cause the dry adiabats are always vertical lines, regardless of whether plotted against height, log height, or whatever. When the lines slant forward with height (as in forward slash), the air is stable any you ain't goin' anywhere. The lines usually only slant backward with height in the shallow (few meters deep) "super-adiabatic" layer near the ground, and cause shimmering and water mirages over the desert. But sometimes they slant backwards for thousands of feet...that's when Dorothy starts asking if she's still in Kansas.
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