From the ABC 7 Weather team

Archive for category Just For Fun October 2014

Partial solar eclipse arrives Thursday

October 22, 2014 - 04:16 PM
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A partial eclipse happens when the moon passes in front of the sun, partially obscuring the disk of the sun with some of it left uncovered. This will occur late today just before sunset at 6:19PM.

Live coverage of the eclipse can be viewed online from NASA here starting at 5pm!

While the window of opportunity to catch the partial eclipse on the east coast is limited (26 minutes in the metro D.C. area) the farther west you head the longer that window take in the celestial splendor.

Courtesy: NASA

Viewing is expected to be best for people in the Central Time Zone because of the timing and the weather, which is mainly clear in those locations. Locally, it may be a different story, as the low pressure system riding along the east coast is expected to continue to spread clouds over the region. The hope is that while the region will start mostly cloudy we should break into some sunshine by this afternoon.

One thing is for certain, if you can see the sun, do not attempt to view the partial eclipse without special viewing tools as you can damage your eyes. From NASA, "Direct viewing should only be attempted with the aid of a safe solar filter."

Check out this great tutorial on how to make a solar eclipse viewer from the great folks at space .com!

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Fun Fact Friday: Weather and Baseball

October 3, 2014 - 08:08 AM
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We like to have a little fun on Fridays during Good Morning Washington and today's theme is obvious with the Nationals playoff game.  I did some digging to find out how the weather might impact the game and came up with some fascinating information.

We all know weather can impact the players and their ability to handle the ball. Some of the obvious include rain and wind.  But, did you know that air pressure, temperature and humidity all affect how far the baseball can travel?

(Weather and Baseball)

Let's start with temperature. If we don't consider how the cold or heat makes the player feel, having hot weather can make for better action.  When the air is warm, the air expands and rises. This lowers the density of the air and allows the ball to go faster and farther. Temperatures during the game today will be in the mid to upper 70s and in the 60s on Saturday.

(Temperatures and Baseball)

Nationals Park is located in beautiful Washington, D.C. right along the Anacostia River.  Seems like a great central location, not to mention a pretty view. Here's a snapshot from Google Earth.

(Google Earth)

However, whoever decided to build the ballpark there probably didn't consult a meteorologist. Why, you ask? When considering atmospheric pressure, it's not ideal. The park sits at sea level where there is friction at the surface and pressure is higher. When air pressure is lower, a baseball can travel at a greater distance. A baseball hit at the exact same angle and speed at Coors Field in Denver, Co., (the mile high city) may travel 20 to 40 feet farther!

(Baseball and atmospheric pressure)

Considering the humid air today with milder temperatures and the colder, breezy day expected on Saturday evening, weather and physics tell me the Nationals are hitting some home runs today! For the updated forecast for both games, check out our other blog here. If you're interested in more information on weather and baseball there is a great interactive website here by NASA that is especially cool for kids.

 

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