We have received nearly all the missing data now for UV’s tour of Africa. Here is an overview.
It will take some time to extract the nuggets that lie within but a couple of key points stand out.
In the previous post (when data was incomplete for 24/25 April) Paul said this. “A check of sandstorm monitoring images from the SEVIRI satellite instruments shows a lot of convection activity in the region. We don’t get this data in real-time – it is about two days in arrears – but it suggests that UV found his route northwards being obscured by dust and the resultant poor visibility. Until the missing tracker data has “filled in”, we won’t know for sure at what point he turned back, but it is now clear that he did so. This graphic shows UV’s track in green, overlaid on the SEVIRI infra-red spectrograph pictures from Monday afternoon.”
Now we can see that on 25 April UV set out more or less on the NE track he had followed the previous day. But he soon halted.
The thermal convection activity that morning would not have looked quite like the afternoon image but it clearly affected UV’s route. Why he went so far SE is a mystery though!
The second major course alteration was on 1 May when he changed from a NNE route to fly NW. This was NOT the result of winds but was a navigational course correction which has brought him to roughly where he would have been if he had travelled NNE on 25 April.
To date UV has flown over 4800 km. He was about 210 km to the coast at its nearest point when the last data arrived but on his course he was about 260 km from the sea. The winds were in his favour and at his speed of travel he should reach the Alboran Sea as darkness falls tonight.