Archive for July, 2009

Sunday Night’s Severe Weather
July 27, 2009

Mygatt_Storms

Photo by: Colleen Mygatt, Cypress

249 & Cypresswood

Rayphole_Hail

Photo by: Jennifer Rayphole, Jersey Village

Willowbridge Subdivision (West Rd @ Beltway 8)

The McGee_sHail

Photo by: Samantha McGee, Houston

Golf ball sized hail, coincidently Samantha lives on Storm Meadow Drive 

 

Send in your storm shots to: hotshots@click2houston.com

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Total Solar Eclipse
July 22, 2009

July’s total solar eclipse — the longest of the 21st century — will cover parts of Asia.  Unfortunatley we cannot see it in America. 

eclipse

The Sun and the Moon align July 22, 2009, for this year’s only total solar eclipse. A cone of darkness will cut a narrow course through eastern Asia and the western Pacific. The Moon’s dark face will block the Sun’s brilliant disk for up to 6 minutes and 39 seconds, making this the longest total solar eclipse of the 21st century.

Two factors make this the longest total solar eclipse of the 21st century. First, the Sun is at its farthest point from Earth July 4. By July 22, the Sun hasn’t come much closer, so it appears near its smallest in our sky. A small Sun means the Moon can cover it longer.

Second, the Moon comes closest to Earth in 2009 — and thus appears biggest — less than 5 hours before the eclipse begins. Just as a small Sun lengthens an eclipse, a large Moon covers the Sun longer. The Sun and Moon normally appear about the same size in our sky. At maximum eclipse July 22, the Moon appears 6.2 percent bigger.

eclipse_track

Track of the eclipse

A really good website explaining solar exlipses can be found here:

SOLAR ECLIPSES

Weather Myth – Lightning & Tires
July 21, 2009

Tuesday_Answer

I was just watching the national news and the reporter said the reason the people weren’t hurt when their car was struck by lightning was because of the rubber tires.  You would need one mile thick tires to protect you from a lightning strike.  The reason a car is a safe place to be during a thunderstorm is because the metal in the car act as a faraday cage.  Like electricity, lightning will travel only on the outside surface of enclosed metal objects.  The lightning will hit the car but the charge will stay outside, it will not go inside the car.  The exception is a convertible.  The safest place to be during a storm is indoors.     

To view other weather quiz answers click here:

http://www.click2houston.com/slideshow/news/19724380/detail.html

What Are You Doing To Stay Cool?
July 15, 2009

 hotshot

Photo by: Rose Odell, Lake Somerville

This is Rose’s 9 month old grandson, Clayton Wayne Yovino, keeping cool at Lake Somerville.

hotshot

This is a Great Blue Heron.  Herons cool themselves by panting and/or gular fluttering.  (They flap membranes in their throat to increase evaporation.)

Photo by: Margaret Sloan, Brazos Bend State Park

El Nino & Our Hurricane Season
July 14, 2009

IMG_0182

Click image to view how how an El Nino weather pattern affects our hurricane season.

Hear Comes The Rain
July 14, 2009

There isn’t any rain in the forecast today, but these guys made it rain.  Watch it once and then close your eyes and listen to it a second time.  It’s pretty awesome!

Courtesy: Perpetuum Jazzile

Heat Stroke
July 10, 2009

Wednesdays_Answer

What is heat stroke?

Heat stroke is a form of hyperthermia, an abnormally elevated body temperature with accompanying physical and neurological symptoms. Unlike heat cramps and heat exhaustion, two forms of hyperthermia that are less severe, heat stroke is a true medical emergency that can be fatal if not properly and promptly treated.

The body normally generates heat as a result of metabolism, and is usually able to dissipate the heat by either radiation of heat through the skin or by evaporation of sweat. However, in extreme heat, high humidity or vigorous exertion under the sun, the body may not be able to dissipate the heat and the body temperature rises. Another cause of heat stroke is dehydration. A dehydrated person may not be able to sweat fast enough to dissipate heat, which causes the body temperature to rise.

Those most susceptible to heart strokes include:

       infants, the elderly (often with associated heart diseases, lung diseases, kidney diseases, or who are taking medications that make them vulnerable to heat strokes), athletes, and outdoor workers physically exerting themselves under the sun.

What are heat stroke symptoms?

Symptoms of heat stroke can sometimes mimic those of heart attack or other conditions. Sometimes a person experiences symptoms of heat exhaustion before progressing to heat strokes.

Symptoms of heat exhaustion include:

       nausea, vomiting, fatigue, weakness, headache, muscle cramps and dizziness.

However, some individuals can develop symptoms of heat stroke suddenly and rapidly without warning.

Different people may have different symptoms and signs of heat stroke. But common symptoms and signs of heat stroke include:

       high body temperature

       the absence of sweating, with hot red or flushed dry skin

       rapid pulse

       difficulty breathing

       strange behavior

       hallucinations

       confusion

       agitation

       disorientation

To view other weather quiz answers click here:

http://www.click2houston.com/slideshow/news/19724380/detail.html

Kids and Cars
July 9, 2009

Tuesday_Answer

When I first heard this I was shocked.  Here is an excerpt from the study:  

Airbags vs. Hyperthermia Deaths 
 In the three-year period of 1990-1992, before airbags became popular, there were only 11 known deaths of children from hyperthermia.

In the most recent three-year period of 2004-2006, when almost all young children are now placed in back seats instead of front seats, there have been at least 110 known fatalities from hyperthermia…a ten-fold increase from the rate of the early 1990s. [Important note: This in no way implies that it is advocated that children be placed in the front seat or that airbags be disabled.]

airbags

Click image to get more information on kids and cars.  Or go here:

http://ggweather.com/heat/

To view other weather quiz answers click here:

http://www.click2houston.com/slideshow/news/19724380/detail.html

Heat, Children and Vehicles
July 9, 2009

It’s something we hate talking about — the deaths of children left in cars.  In 2008, there were 42 deaths nationwide and we led the country with five.  So far this year there have been 14, none in southeast Texas.  I am posting this now because the month of July is typically when this happens the most. 

2008usamap (2)

Safety Recommendations:

  • NEVER LEAVE A CHILD UNATTENDED IN A VEHICLE.  NOT EVEN FOR A MINUTE!
  • Be sure that all occupants leave the vehicle when unloading. Don’t overlook sleeping babies.
  • Always lock your car and ensure children do not have access to keys or remote entry devices.  If a child is missing, check the car first, including the trunk. Teach your children that vehicles are never to be used as a play area.
  • Keep a stuffed animal in the car seat. When the child is put in the seat, place the animal in the front with the driver.
  • Place your purse or briefcase in the back seat as a reminder that you have your child in the car.
  • Make “look before you leave” a routine whenever you get out of the car.
  • Have a plan that your childcare provider will call you if your child does not show up for school.
  • Here is a web site with excellent information on this problem:

    http://ggweather.com/heat/

    Ask Anthony
    July 8, 2009

    From John:

    Why is Houston’s weather only done at IAH? Why not from 4 points around Houston and then take the average?

    It’s not only done at Bush Intercontinental, but IAH is the official weather station for Houston.  There needs to be a precision for records — that’s why you don’t see an average.  Also, people want to know what the temperature is where they live.  When fronts move through the temperature difference from Tomball to Pearland can be 10-20 degrees. 

    If you watch me in the morning, the Titan Temperatures I use are averaged, so you are getting your wish.  I also have a temperature tour map that shows the difference between the cities. 

    AY_TV_TEMPS

     

    The choice to have Bush Intercontinental as the official recording station came from the aviation community.  There was pressure to have observations at the airports as the airline industry grew. Since human observers were required to take the readings, it did not make financial sense to keep multiple observation sites in place, so downtown office observation sites were moved to the airports.  The switch was not driven by climate parameters but rather by aviation interests.

    Here is the history of record keeping in Houston (From the National Weather Service):

    “The history of the Houston office can be traced as far back as 1881, when a cotton station (in an unknown location in Harris County) was used as a base for taking weather observations. As the city of Houston grew, the need for a Weather Bureau Office resulted in the establishment of the Houston office downtown on September 16, 1909. Between 1909 and 1968, the Houston Weather Bureau office occupied three separate locations in the downtown area – the Stewart Building (at Preston and Fannin Streets), the Shell Builiding (at Texas and Fannin Streets) and its last location downtown at the Federal Building (at Franklin and Fannin Streets). The expanding needs of the old Weather Bureau forced a move out of the downtown area. In 1970, the National Weather Service moved the Houston area office to Alvin (southwest of Houston). Around that same time, as a part of the move out of downtown, the weather observations part of operations moved to the its now current site at Houston Intercontinental Airport in northern Harris County.”

    Heat Stroke
    July 6, 2009

     Mondays_Answer

    Heat causes harm by overloading the body’s heat removal system.  When heat gain becomes greater than heat removal, the body’s core temperature rises, causing cramps, exhaustion and even heat stroke or death.  Heat stroke occurs when the body’s core temperature reaches 104 degrees fahrenheit and death from heat is expected when core temperature reaches 107 degrees.  The very young and the very old, the homeless, and those with obesity, heart diesease or poor circulation conditions are at especially high-risk for heat-related health issues.

    Courtesy: Earth Gauge

    Heataware

    To view other weather quiz answers click here:

    http://www.click2houston.com/slideshow/news/19724380/detail.html

    Ask Anthony
    July 6, 2009

    From Jessie:

    will houston get a big hurricane or any at all????

    Ask_Anthony

    That’s the big question. No one knows the future, but we all have to be prepared. As the image shows, on average southeast Texas gets hit with a hurricane once every 12 years.  The key is to always be prepared.  There is no harm in preparing for the worst and hoping we don’t get hit.  We went through Ike last year, so we know the supplies we need and how to survive a week or longer without power.

    The Weather Research Center, located in Houston, is stating that Louisiana and Mississippi are at an elevated risk of getting hit this year.

    Joe Bastardi, an Accuweather forecaster, is saying Galveston needs to be on guard with the potential of a storm forming close to shore this hurricane season. 

    This image does not include Ike, but does give the forecast tracks going back to 1871.  (Click to enlarge)

    Fourth of July Hurricanes
    July 3, 2009

     

    Fridays_Answer

    On the Fourth of July, there has been only one tropical storm or hurricane that has made landfall anywhere between Matagorda Bay and the Texas-Louisiana border since 1871. Way back in 1874, a hurricane made landfall in the Matagorda Bay area. Since then, not a single tropical cyclone has made landfall along the upper Texas coast on Independence Day.

    For a complete history of our fourth of July weather click here:

    http://www.srh.noaa.gov/hgx/climate/holidays/independence.htm

    To view other weather quiz answers click here:

    http://www.click2houston.com/slideshow/news/19724380/detail.html

    Dog Days of Summer Begin
    July 3, 2009

    hotshot

    The dog days of summer (a period of 40 days starting July 3 and ending August 11) are named for the Dog Star, Sirius, which is visible with the rising Sun at this time.  Long ago people associated this sky picture with the hot days that coincided with it.

    Photo by: Gary Hunt, Discovery Green

    Ask Anthony
    July 1, 2009

    I want to pass along the June temperature records you reported this morning, but cannot find them.  Can you post them to your blog? Please?

    Dave Hathaway

    AY_TEXT