SpaceX launch rescheduled for Saturday in Florida still faces chance of bad weather

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There is still a chance of storms this weekend for the historic SpaceX launch, scrubbed Wednesday as a result of bad weather.

On Saturday at 3:22 p.m. ET, NASA and SpaceX will reattempt their joint mission to launch astronauts from Cape Canaveral in Florida to the International Space Station. President Trump said he’ll return to Florida for the second attempt.

Meteorologists forecasting for the SpaceX Falcon rocket launch have numerous weather conditions to take into account.

SPACEX AND NASA’S HISTORIC LAUNCH SCRUBBED AS A RESULT OF WEATHER

The task is especially complicated because, not only does the forecast at the Cape Canaveral launch pad (and the surrounding area) need to meet certain criteria, but so does the weather thousands of feet into the atmosphere along the flight path.

The East Coast and North Atlantic must be free of active weather, in case the astronauts are required to abort the launch and splash down into the ocean.

The weather at the ocean’s surface, monitored by buoys, ship data and satellites, can’t be too turbulent.

Residents in Florida are no strangers to daily thunderstorms, especially in summer, with so much sun and moisture in the air.

SPACEX LAUNCH MAY BE IMPACTED BY THUNDERSTORMS ALONG FLORIDA’S SPACE COAST

In face of ‘launch fever,’ NASA scrubs historic SpaceX flight attended by Trump due to weather
In face of ‘launch fever,’ NASA scrubs historic SpaceX flight attended by Trump due to weather
The atmosphere on Wednesday had the added lift from Tropical Storm Bertha far to the north over South Carolina.

This tropical air mass and circulation added to the development of thunderstorms, and there were plenty of lightning strikes within 10 miles of the launchpad.

«We had showers and thunderstorms all day yesterday around Cape Canaveral, even a tornado-warned storm before the launch, so obviously they had to scrub it,» Fox News senior meteorologist Janice Dean said on «Fox & Friends» Thursday.

Satellite imagery shows the extent of lightning in the area at the time of the first launch attempt.
Thunderstorms in the vicinity also had outflow boundaries or gusty winds that spread away from it and easily threatened the launch.

CLICK HERE FOR MORE WEATHER COVERAGE FROM FOX NEWS

And those thunderstorms have cold cloud tops that extend tens of thousands of feet into the atmosphere, where air temperatures are well below freezing and can cause ice crystals to interfere with the rocket.

Saturday afternoon’s forecast is more favorable for launch, but far from perfect.

 

Scattered thunderstorms will develop in the afternoon as is common this time of year, but should be less numerous than on Wednesday.

Meteorologists will again monitor conditions closely, but a launch is not a sure bet.

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