Tuesday, July 29, 2008

I noticed it this morning

As I drove to work this morning just before 6am, I noticed something different in the sky. Yes, it was raining but that wasn't it (although clouds did play a part). It was much darker this morning than it was at the same time just a few weeks ago!

Rain and clouds aside, if you keep up with our Almanac table on TV or on-line, you'll notice the sunrise is arriving a little later each day and the sun sets a little earlier. In fact, we are losing about 2 minutes/day of light now that we're past the Summer solstice. On June 22, our sunrise/sunset in Wichita was 6:08am/8:55pm respectively. Today it is 6:31am/8:40pm. We've lost 38 minutes of daylight in just over a month's time! If you're like me, I like the late sunset, although it does present some challenges in getting to bed on time on the weekends when I have to get up earlier!

Here's a link to the U.S. Navy's sunrise and sunset table (my Rodney's Referral for this post).

I hope your work week is going well. I'll see you at Noon!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

ISS Flyover- 9:36pm in Wichita

Here's the best photograph that I took this evening of the ISS flyover (see previous post). My wife and I watched it streak across the Wichita sky from WSW to ENE. In fact, she was the one who picked up the station first as it rose above the trees in our neighborhood.

You'll need to click on the picture to get the larger size version. The solid line is the station's path across the sky in this 13 second exposure. All of the extra "dots" are artifacts of the digital camera's shutter being open for so long.

In any event...Enjoy!

Neat sight in the sky this morning

I took a little break from my forecast early this morning as I ventured outside to see the International Space Station fly over! A web site I check out often, Spaceweather.com, had mentioned that the station would be visible twice today over North America.

Just after 5am, I stepped out the west door here at the station, got past the trees in our parking lot and scanned the western sky. I quickly found it...right where the web site said it would be. It looked like a large, bright star but with an average speed of just over 17,000 mph, it didn't stay in sight very long! Soon it passed behind some clouds that were in the southern sky and just like that the show was over.

I'm curious if anyone else watched it this morning and/or took some pictures. I'm going to try to take some long-exposure shots tonight when it makes it's second visible pass of the day. (It makes a complete orbit around the Earth approximately every 91 minutes.) The ISS will rise over Wichita at 9:31pm...look west-southwest. By 9:34pm, it will reach it's highest and brightest point at 78 degrees above the horizon. The weather should be perfect as mostly clear to clear skies are forecast.

Happy stargazing!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Live Blog last week

Thanks to everyone who participated in my Live blog last Tuesday! It was an impressive debut, given we set everything up that morning and there was no promotion at all on the air or on the web site. John Boyd, our Web Content Producer, was ecstatic about the number of visits to the page and how long visitors stayed there. Thanks to John for getting the ball rolling with this! If you want to look at the archived blog session, please go to this link. (By the way, it's my "Rodney's Referral" for this entry!)

If you missed out, don't worry! You'll see more of this when future storms roll through. By then, we'll also have a few ground rules in place that will keep the experience interactive but also help me manage my work time! When big storms are moving through, there's simply no way I'm going to be able to answer every single question that arrives (i.e. "When will the storm hit Central and Ridge? How about "Kellogg and Rock? K-96 and Webb?") There's no way I'd be able to get any other work done! Like I said, our exact plan is still being mapped out but I hope you enjoy the live blog as much as I do!

Again, thanks to everyone who dropped by Tuesday. Enjoy your week!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Hot as a Firecracker!

The Fourth of July weekend is almost over and I hope you have enjoyed the holiday! What a delightful day for the Fourth: 85 degrees here in Wichita! I can remember plenty of holidays that I wished to do nothing but be in the pool, lake or in air conditioning. It couldn't be mistaken for a pool but a "slip and slide" we bought for our daughter provided some fun Friday afternoon before we fired up the BBQ grill.

Now the temperatures are on the upswing. Yesterday, we hit 96...the hottest day of the year so far in Wichita. We should at least tie it today and it wouldn't surprise me if it were a degree or two warmer. How much you want to bet the slip and slide gets set up again soon?

Shifting gears, my "Rodney's Referral" for today is the Wichita National Weather Service's "Unique local climate data" page. Just select the site, month and year then click on "submit query" and you'll get climatological data from the major reporting stations here in southcentral and central Kansas.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

A New Feature

It's hard to believe that the second half of the year starts today. Where did May and June go? We've had so much severe weather in the last month and a half that the days just seemed to blend together. May 2007 was like that too...especially the weekend of the Greensburg tornado.

May 2008 was the wettest May ever in Wichita with 13.14" of rainfall (8.17" above normal). We had 7.42" of rain in June, 3.17 above normal. That's 20.56" of rain in those 2 months alone and for the year we're at 27.38". On the flip side, I got an email last week from a farmer in western Kansas who has had less than 3" of rain...since last August!

I'm going to try something new today and I'd appreciate your feedback. Each time I post, I plan to include an interesting web page for you to enjoy. Most of the time, the page will be weather related but occasionally I'll keep you guessing. And yes, it will always be family friendly!

"Rodney's Referral" for today is the Kansas Department of Transportation web cams page.

Enjoy your Tuesday and the 4th of July!