After such a memorable hurricane season last year which featured Hurricane Sandy, many of us will be taking note of the National Hurricane Center's Atlantic hurricane season outlook which they issued today. Here is a quick look at the number of named storms, hurricanes and major hurricanes (Category 3 or higher) they expect this season.
"For the six-month hurricane season, which begins June 1, NOAA's Atlantic Hurricane Season Outlook says there is a 70 percent likelihood of 13 to 20 named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher), of which 7 to 11 could become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher), including 3 to 6 major hurricanes (Category 3, 4 or 5; winds of 111 mph or higher).
These ranges are well above the seasonal average of 12 named storms, 6 hurricanes and 3 major hurricanes."
Reasons for the above-average activity are warmer than average sea-surface temperatures in the tropical Atlantic, near-normal sea surface temperatures in the equatorial Pacific, and the continuation of the overall atmospheric climate pattern responsible for the high activity era since 1995.
How does this compare to last season? Here was the National Hurricane Center's 2012 season recap.
"For the 2012 Atlantic season, 19 named storms formed, of which 10
became hurricanes. One of those hurricanes, Michael, reached major hurricane status. Activity fore 2012 was well above the 30-year (1981-2010) average for named storms and hurricanes, and below average for major hurricanes. The 1981-2010 seasonal averages for the Atlantic Basin are 12 named storms, 6 hurricanes and 3 major hurricanes."
It's time to start heading to the beaches again! I hope everyone has lined up their list of back roads for the Eastern Shore or is planning to leave at Midnight to avoid the 5 hour trip time. Regardless, it's the beach, it's worth it. Will the weather cooperate though? Here's a look at the Memorial Day Weekend forecast on the Eastern Shore.
If there is a day you could skip or travel on besides Friday, this will be your day. Low pressure is expected to develop off the east coast which will bring the chance for scattered showers, breezy winds and cool temperatures. Highs will only reach the low to mid 60s and the wind may make it feel even cooler. A rain jacket and sweats might be some good lounge-wear. May also be the best day to catch the new Star Trek movie at a local theatre. Plan ahead and book a ticket today!
Temperatures: Mid to Upper 60s Winds: NW 10-15 m.p.h.
Low pressure will be moving farther off the east coast into the Atlantic, making for improvements along the Eastern Shore. Temperatures will still be cool unfortunately, with highs only in the mid to upper 60s. This will be the case as water temperatures, which have a huge impact on the air temperatures, are only in the mid 60s.
At this point I think Monday will be the best day of the bunch, with plenty of sunshine and slightly milder temperatures. Highs should reach the upper 60s under partly cloudy skies. Clouds look like they will be the upper-level cirrus variety so I would imagine there would be a filtered sunshine. Winds will be light around 5 to 10 mph out of the northwest.
This has been a journey (not over yet by the way) that began when I was a young kid who always loved the sky and the weather. I never dreamed I would be a broadcast meteorologist for some 45 years.
Like so many of us who love what we do, have done, and have yet to do, teachers were critical to where I find myself today. Science and math were my favorite subjects in school and my general science teacher really encouraged me. I was the only kid in the 9th grade who really loved the weather. I did get 100 on the general science section on the atmosphere. But he also was a great adviser for my science fair projects.
Here I am with one of favorite projects, my homemade Van de Graff generator. Must be some distant relative of NewsChannel 8 meteorologist Brian.
I was still the local paperboy in the town where I grew up and was out in all sorts of weather and loving it. I still don't like terrible tornadoes such as just hit Moore, Okla. or ice storms. I wanted to be a weatherman - a meteorologist. But in the 1950s, most of the jobs were working as forecasters for the U.S. Weather Bureau. That meant "shift work." I might have to work midnight-4 AM sometimes.
I was never keen on getting up early and the idea of shift work (still not a good idea for my many friends in the NWS who get burned out after 30+ years and we lose great meteorologists to retirement) was not appealing. About the same time, I saw the first earth satellite, Sputnick in the night sky. That was really exciting. I was going to build rockets.
Here I am with my other science fair project with model rockets.
But after a number of years at college and studying physics, I still loved the weather and was lucky enough to meet another wonderful teacher who became my mentor and lifelong friend.
Dr. Bernard Vonnegut (yes Kurt's brother) here with other teachers from SUNY Albany from the right Duncan Blanchard, Bernie, Vincent Schaefer and Ray Falconer.
Here I am conducting an experiment for Bernie.
We were forming small whirlwinds from the heating from an electrical discharge. I did not electrocute myself but did come close. Ray suggested I look up the great weathercaster Don Kent as I began a career in research in Boston. I was fortunate to get a moonlighting job at one of the first 10 PM newscast in Boston (the news was canceled after 9 months). Thanks to encouragement from legends such as Don and my colleague Bob Copeland, I was soon on my way from a research lab to broadcast meteorology.
Would you hire this guy today wearing a horse blanket for a sport jacket? Actually that was the style and my wife has picked out what I wear every day for 35+ years. Even getting up with me at 2:30 AM when I was doing the Today Show from 1978 to 80.
Then I spent 30 years at NBC4 with terrific coworkers and friends like Vance and Doreen and many years of writing my Almanac.
The proceeds of the Almanac go to children's charities. Of course, there is also the Golden Snow Shovel contest and the first digital weather site in Washington with friends Dave Jones and Mark Hokezma.
With sponsors, we placed 300 interactive weather stations in area schools (now our WeatherBug network here).
And the, there is the last three years here with the wonderful team at ABC7. Our digital weather page with Doug and the entire team keep you up to date 24/7.
Helping a great team of designers and digital gurus has been just fun for a kid who never even saw a television until he was almost 10 years old. I still love the weather and how we communicate weather. I still think we need to "complete the forecast" and really involve social scientists into our physical scientists. A perfect forecast but not the best decsion is still not the best forecast.
There will be more fun things to do in my science when I step down from TV. But I will have more time with my life long partner and best critic, Olga and more time with Santa like this.
These are the reasons I'm now taking a break and can't wait to just watch that first snows in the seasons ahead and enjoy watching as I did 65 years ago as I have done forecasting for 40 years.
Enjoy the weather and enjoy everyday. I'll see be around Washington and sure see you from time to time. Just smile and ask, "how's the weather?" I'll smile and say "It's great."
With advancements in radar technology, forecasters have a greater ability to analyze storm structures. Even though there is still much more to be researched and explored, meteorologists can get a good indication of the height, size, and intensity of a particular storm cell, which then leads to better warnings to the public. The 3D visuals in the video below recap the evolution of the devastating tornado in Moore, OK Monday.
The Moore, OK tornado, at one point, reached the highest tornado classification, EF5 status. EF4 and EF5 tornadoes make up only 1% of all the tornadoes in the U.S.
I wanted to share this first and foremost. You can donate to the Red Cross primarily but if you search around, some businesses will even match your donation. One of those is the National Storm Shelters LLC who tweeted earlier that they will match donations sent through their Red Cross Page Here.
The Red Cross stands ready to help meet the blood needs of patients in and around Oklahoma City if needed, and there is currently enough blood on the shelves to meet patient demands. The Red Cross is a secondary supplier of blood products to hospitals in the affected area in Oklahoma. People with type O negative blood are encouraged to give blood when they are able. All eligible blood donors can schedule an appointment to give in the days and weeks ahead by calling 1-800-RED CROSS or visiting www.redcrossblood.org to help ensure blood is available when people need it.
Here is a look at the track of the tornado. It first touched down at 2:56pm and finally roped out at 3:36pm with a path length of 17 miles and a preliminary damage rating at EF-4 intensity.
The National Weather Service office in Norman, OK is continuing to do the damage survey today and will probably continue working on it tomorrow before putting out the final assesment. They will continue to keep updating their page on the tornado here.
You can also stay up to date with the NWS Norman Public Information Statement found here. The latest statement continues to show EF-4 damage with estimated winds of 190 mph, though they said they will continue to update as the teams complete their surveys.
Right after I write that, this was put out by the NWS Norman twitter page, "@NWSNorman: At least one area of EF-5 damage was found by survey crews. Details to follow later. #okwx", so updates will be made soon.
This is a bit of a tough post to make after watching everything yesterday leading up to the tornado and then watching the tornado itself form just southwest of Oklahoma City.
By the time the storm reached Moore, Okla., the storm was an absolute monster. The tornado was up to a mile wide and the winds were possibly up to 200 mph, according to preliminary reports from the National Weather Service.
Unfortunately this storm has taken 24 lives so far (at least not the 91 reported by some outlets earlier today) and just looking at the damage I would imagine there still may be more found today.
Similar tracks of the 1999 and 2013 Moore Tornadoes
Here is a look at the path of this tornado compared to the one that struck the same area on May 3, 1999, which was also classified as a F-5 (Before the EF scale was used) and had winds recorded at nearly 300 mph from a nearby Doppler on Wheels.
It's crazy how these two storms paralleled one another before crossing paths with nearly the same strength 14 years apart.
Comparison of the 1999, 2003 and 2013 Tornado Tracks (Credit: Weather Decision Technologies)
Another view of the track compared to the 1999 tornado as well as the 2003 F-4 tornado shows just how violent tornadoes have been in that area over the past 14 years.
Reflectivity image as the tornado moved into Moore. Note the giant debris ball which is the pink circle entering Moore.
Above is what I was looking at as this storm was at its height. This is the reflectivity image from the Oklahoma City radar located just southeast of the storm.
If you take a look at the image you will note the big pink to purple circle on the radar image heading into Moore. When I saw this, I was terrified, because that is actually debris suspended in the air that the Doppler is seeing. You can clearly see the classic "hook echo" to the storm, but it's that debris signature that gives you an idea of just how strong this thing was.
Velocity image from the ktlx Doppler radar east of Moore
Above is a look at the velocity image, which shows winds going towards the radar in green and blue and winds going away from the radar in red. This is definitely one of the strongest velocity couplets I've seen through my radarscope app. This is showing winds in excess of 150 mph and possibly up to 200 mph which would be in an EF-4 range.
It's just unbelievable strength and power in this storm, and something that you most likely will not make it through unless you are underground or in a storm shelter.
Here are a few videos I've seen from YouTube of the tornado.
The storm threat isn't done yet. There is still a moderate risk for severe storms today stretching through Texas, Louisiana and Arkansas and a slight risk through much of the Midwest. Be sure to heed warnings and be ready for severe weather again this afternoon.
May might have started out slow, but tornado season is now in high gear. A major outbreak over the weekend left dozens homeless and killed at least one person.
Hardest hit was Shawnee, Okla., where a large, violent tornado struck a mobile home park leaving nothing standing. Here is video from our ABC affiliate of the damage. That twister, among several others, was caught on tape by stormchasers.
The severe weather had been advertised for days. All of the elements came together like a textbook example of how warm moist air from the Gulf of Mexico meets up with cooler, drier air from the north. Strong winds turn with height in the atmosphere and the winds also increase in speed with height.
This helps provide the support needed for major tornadoes of EF3 or more.
Severe Weather Elements, Accuweather
The Shawnee tornado is yet to be rated on the Enhanced Fujita Scale, but the National Weather Service is on the scene Monday to do a survey. In all, there were around 50 preliminary reports of tornadoes this weekend and many, many more reports of wind damage and hail stretching from Oklahoma to Minnesota. Here are the storm reports from just Sunday:
Storm Reports Sunday, May 19, 2013
Unfortunately, more tornadoes are expected this afternoon and evening. The Storm Prediction Center has issued a "Moderate Risk" for tornadoes in some of the same areas of Oklahoma. A slight risk stretches into the Great Lakes.
Severe Weather Outlook Monday
Despite the large number of tornadoes this weekend, we are still far below the seasonal averages. May is usually the month with the highest count of tornadoes in the United States. Check out this graphic from the Storm Prediction Center. Also, notice the high count in 2011.
Preliminary 2013 Tornado Count
As for us in D.C. Maryland, and Virginia, we tend to see more frequent violent weather in July and August, but tornadoes can and do happen in May and June. Remember, it's not the number of tornadoes that develop, it's the potential of just one of them impacting you.
I recently attended a talk by Dr. Michael Mann, a leading climate scientist who also has drawn more than his share of biased criticism and even very harsh personal attacks for his work.
His recent book, The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars, relates his work on reconstructing the climate back thousands of years, but as the title insinuates, how his findings have lead to political, philosophical and personal attack. Climate is always changing as shown in this reconstruction back millions of years.
But the key question remains: "Is human activity now a principal driver of some recent rapid changes in climate?"
Archeologists (not meteorologists) have found some evidence that early humans and cave bears probably had contact.
Original art by Zdnek Burian
Imagine your family struggling to survive in the shelter of a cave and this monster shows up at the door or opening of the cave. You fight the cave bear to defend your family or clan.
The cave bear was a short-term threat. Humans are very good at responding to short-term threats. It's the way we have survived and are "wired" to respond to short term rather than long-term threats. The long-term change rise in global temperature during the last 100+ years is obvious.
The projections of most simulations of global temperatures 50-100+ years from now are pretty consistent and not really different than Michael Mann's "hockey stick". Latest here and below
IPCC WG1 2007
But for so many of us trying to balance this week's budget, or with no good planning for retirement 10-30 years from now (the Cave Bear is far away), how can we think about or make decisions about what might be major changes to the world and our country's climate 100 years from now?
Especially if some short term climate projections are for relatively steady temperatures over the next decade?
It's the question I asked Michael Mann. The climate Cave Bear is not here yet but he's coming. Once it's obvious it's here, our short term instinctive wiring won't help us easily change the climate any more than it helps us change the tide.
Long term decisions, meanwhile are very difficult to make and sure even more difficult to get consensus about from now, about 7 Billion of us on our changing earth.
The August 2011 earthquake in Washington caused significant damage to the Washington Monument and has been closed to the public, as repairs are being done.
If you've been around town, you've likely seen the scaffolding growing up the side of the monument, as crews work hard to make sure the structual integrity of the monument is up to standard. This process has been going on since March 2013. Take a minute to watch this incredible timelapse over the past 54 days of the rising scaffolding and the changing weather over the two month period. Incredible!
It's that time of year again! Get those hats out, put those bets in - the second leg of the Triple Crown is right in our backyard. Yes, I am talking about the one and only Preakness Stakes at Pimlico in Baltimore, Maryland. The race begins at 6:20 PM, Saturday May 18th.
Right now the Pimlico website has the main track as "fast" and in good condition. Since this is the fastest track in the trio of those represented in the "Triple Crown" due to the shortness of the track itself, just a little rain could make for a very interesting outcome. Orb, (who also won the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs) is the clear favorite not only to take Preakness Stakes but to take the Triple Crown. However, it is not going to be really fun to bet on him. His odds are currently 1-1 which means you bet a dollar, you get a dollar. I'd say go out on a limb and make things interesting for yourself and then brag to everybody who bet on Orb after you win--but that's just me...and I digress....
Hopefully the track at Pimlico will be nowhere near the condition of the track at Churchill Downs--muddy, soaking wet and slick:
So what is the forecast for the 138th Preakness Stakes?
Well, while although we do have an unsettled pattern of weather for the weekend, it looks like highs throughout the daytime will reach into the lower 70s with cloudy skies and a light SE wind at 5 - 10 mph. A chance of a passing shower or storm is not out of the question through the day but I only give that about a 25% shot.
By the time racetime rolls around at 6:20, temperatures will be right around 70 degrees with overcast skies. A chance of a shower or thunderstorm now at about 20% - 25% shot.
I do get a little concerned that at least one of our models, the GFS is picking up some more widespread rain for Saturday--including for Baltimore. This shows precipitation for 2:00PM EST:
However, I believe at this point the threat of more widespread rain stays well to the south of the D.C. and Baltimore areas through the day on Saturday.
The April climate report shows the month was much cooler than normal across the lower 48, with an average temperature of 49.7°F, which was 1.4°F below the 20th century mean. This made the month the 23rd coolest on record and marked the coolest April since 1997.
Reagan National Airport actually ended up 2.1°F warmer than normal for the month, and would have been even warmer than that if it weren't for 9 of the last 11 days in April with below average temperatures.
April Statewide Temperature Ranks
Above is a look at the statewide temperatures ranks from the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC). As you can see, Virginia actually ranked as the 28th warmest April on record and states on the east coast and west coast had above normal temperatures.
The there's the central U.S. North Dakota recorded its coldest April on record with a statewide average of 31°F! That's an incredible 9.9°F below normal for the month. It reminds me of last March in D.C. which was the warmest on record at 10°F above average.
Alaska also had a cold April, with temperatures 5.8°F below average and it ranked as the 7th coolest April on record for the state. Fairbanks, AK was actually 14.5°F below normal for the month!
Snow cover across the U.S. ranked as the 5th largest snow cover in April in the 47-year period of record. The Care Bears even helped close the season at Breckenridge in Colorado!
Finally, for the first time in a long time, record cold highs and lows outnumbered the record warm highs and lows. In fact, there ended up being three times as many record lows as record highs. Check here to see the latest update for the year.
The Storm Prediction Center has collaborated with the National Weather Service office in Sterling, VA today to upgrade parts of the D.C. area to a Slight Risk for severe storms. This just highlights a greater potential for severe weather in the area highlighted below. The best chances for severe storms will actually be in the southern part of the blue circled area.
Slight Risk Upgrade by the SPC and NWS Sterling
Damaging winds will still be the primary mode of severe weather in any storms that form and location should be along and south of the frontal boundary. A lot of lightning has also been in the storms that have developed around Charlottesville.
Areas south of Fredericksburg in VA closer to Central Virginia and the Northern Neck will have the biggest threat for any severe storms. Stay tuned this afternoon for further updates on our homepage, through social media and on ABC 7 News at 5pm and 6pm.
While the Atlantic Hurricane season is still two weeks away, today marks the beginning of hurricane season in the Eastern Pacific Ocean. And, already things are starting to develop.
The National Hurricane Center has identified a cluster of thunderstorms hundreds of miles south of the Mexican Coast as having the potential of developing into the first named storm of the season. If so, it would be named Alvin. Here's a complete list of hurricane names for 2013. (I always like looking to see if my name is on there, it never is!) This chart of forecast models show that if Alvin develops it should stay away from land.
Computer Model Track
The large majority of hurricanes here travel from East to West or Northwest. The Eastern Pacific season on average is busier than the Atlantic season which can impact us here in D.C.
Average Tropical Cyclones East Pacific
On average there are 15 named storms, 8 of them becoming hurricanes and 4 of those becoming major hurricanes (cat 3 or stronger). We are expecting it to be a near average to slightly below average Eastern Pacific season in terms of numbers of cyclones. One of the reasons for this has to do with the temperature of waters in the equatorial pacific. Notice they are slightly below average in blue.
Sea Surface Temperature Anomoly
We look to that El Nino phenomenon for clues. El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is the unusual warming of equatorial waters in the Pacific Ocean. When temps are warm and winds are calm, it can make for a busy hurricane season in the Pacific. This year, we are in a "neutral" phase of El Nino and should stay that way through the summer, making for a trickier forecast. More detailed ENSO info here. So, why should we care about this in D.C? The ocean and atmosphere are a continuum of currents and patterns. And, when it's warm in the Pacific, it is often cool in the Atlantic and vice versa. With a near normal to below average season in the Pacific, we are seeing parts of the Atlantic warm up, especially off the coast of Africa.
Atlantic Sea Surface Temperatures
Notice the cooler temperatures hugging the East Coast of the U.S. where we have had a cool May. It's also a bit cool in the northern Gulf of Mexico. Water temperatures need to be 80 degrees to support the "fuel" needed for a hurricane. The Atlantic Season may very well end up a busy one as many hurricane experts are predicting. We are coming off three consecutive "busy" seasons with 19 named storms each of those years. We'll talk and blog more about the Atlantic Season in the next few weeks.
This is a follow-up blog to a story I had on our 11PM news Tuesday May 14. You can see the actual story below but I wanted to expand a few things beyond 1 minute and 30 seconds. Here's the tease :>). Do you live in a city? Marshall Shepherd, a leader in the increasing important field of urban meteorology (and current President of the American Meteorological Society) writes in a recent book that by 2030, 80% of the world's population will live in an "urban environment" So you or you children, do or likely will live, in a city. Do you notice the city is warmer than the "countryside" or "rural area"? Yes cities are warmer, especailly on hot summer nights. It's called the urban heat island or UHI. We can see it.
The concrete, buildings, streets, ashphalt absord heat in the day and just like a hot pot of water are slow to cool at night. I think everyone living in a city, during a summer heat wave knows cities are hotter. Is the city weather different than the "rural" weather? I hope you think yes-at least on summer nights cities are warmer. Also warmer on winter nights-which helps the heating bills. OK is the "climate" (think average summer temperaturers) of the cities different? Is the climate of the cities changing? Yes, I know slipperly slope and not going there. But let's just agree that on a small scale (let's call it a microclimate) the climate is changing. So now what about summer thunderstorms? Here is a series of radar images that Marshall Shepherd thinks shows were started in part by the Atlanta urban area in a northeast flow of unstable air.
The story I did via Skype is with one of the leading researchers in urban meteorology Dr. Robert Bornstein. His ideas about cities affecting thunderstorms came about by talking with NWS forecasters who observed thunderstorm lines that seemed to "split" as they moved into New York City. He wonded why and thought that maybe cities can by either the heat island or the city structure/buildings can change the motion or flow of thunderstorms or even lines of storms.
He set out to test his idea/theory by experiemts. He and students made physical/mathematical simulations of the city and the atmopshere and found in some special cases thunderstorms do split around NYC.
An unseasonably cool airmass will creep into the region Monday morning and hang around through Tuesday behind this weekend's cold front. Here is a reason why you should wait until mid-May to plant many of your flower beds or your garden: Areas of frost and potentially sub-freezing temperatures will be possible in parts of the area.
Forecast Surface Map Tuesday Morning (COD Models)
Here's the set up. High pressure will enter the region Monday and Tuesday making for clear skies and light winds. Temperatures aloft and humidity levels at the surface will also be quite low, allowing for the maximum potential for radiational cooling. At this point in time, the potential exists for portions of our area to see morning low temperatures Monday night into Tuesday morning in the 30's and possibly even 20's in the mountains.
This will allow for some areas to develop frost around the D.C. Metro and potentially freezing conditions along and west of the Blue Ridge through the Shenandoah Valley. I have introduced that beautifully hand-drawn blue line to denote the freezing line, with temperatures forecast to be at or below freezing along and west of the line. This model does show, however, temperatures in the mid 30's closer to D.C. and upper 30's closer to the Chesapeake Bay. D.C. itself may see lows closer to the 40 degree mark.
The weather pattern across the D.C. area, and much of the East Coast, has been plagued by this pesky upper level low the couple of days. Clouds, showers, and muggy conditions. Today the metro region finally broke out into some sunshine, but with unstable conditions, heavy showers and thunderstorms developed. Even though there was some very heavy rain and even reports of small hail, these storms did give way to some neat looking skies. Check out this timelapse from the WeatherBug camera on top of our ABC7 studios in Arlington.
After an absolutely gorgeous first weekend of May, the start of the work week weather took a turn in the opposite direction. Unfortunately, for those of you not a fan of the grey skies and showers, this weather pattern is here to stay... at least for a good chunk of the work week. So why the unsettled weather? Let's explore.
Check out yesterday's satellite image. Notice the big "swirl" from space.
I went ahead and drew the features that are present from this system. The 'L' represents the area of low pressure that is spinning, counterclockwise, over the southeast US. The blue arrows indicate the onshore, or easterly, flow bringing in Atlantic moisture to the mid-Atlantic. Air circulates around the low in this counterclockwise fashion.
The low will track northeast over the coming days, but will be slow to do so. Take a look at the upper level low from about 18,000 ft (500mb). This is a simulation of where the low will be later this afternoon.
As the low tracks northeast, cloudy and damp weather will persist across the region. It won't be a complete washout each day this week, but scattered showers will be possible through at least Thursday. Check out the Weather Prediction Center's quantitative precipitation forecast through Thursday evening. This forecast shows between 1 and 2 inches of rain over our region, with locally higher amounts over southwestern VA.
With moderate rain possible over an extended period of time, the National Weather Service has issued a flood watch for parts of the Shenandoah valley through late tonight. Remember, if you encounter standing water, never drive through it. The latest Flood Watch was extended north into Clarke, Frederick (VA), Hampshire and Mineral Counties as well.
By late Thursday, the low weakens its grip and gets caught back in the overall pattern. Compare the 500mb heights in this forecast (below) for Thursday night to the same map shown above. Notice there is a slight dip in the wave pattern, but nothing cut-off (like in the similar image a few graphics up).
For us, this means a less unsettled weather pattern.... sort of, for Friday at least. High temperatures will climb to near 80 degrees by the end of the week, which could initiate a few airmass thunderstorms to develop, but nothing widespread. A cold front will then slide through this weekend bringing continued chances for showers but drier and slightly cooler air can be expected for early next week.
The National Mall will be flooded with pink on Saturday for the Susan G. Komen Global Race for the Cure, and some special students were recognized for their efforts this morning on Good Morning Washington. Kids of all ages from Green Acres School in North Bethesda, MD chatted about their efforts and success with the Race for the Cure while showing off their forecasting skills. These kids along with 23 other schools helped raise $17K!
The School Spirit Challenge was a throw down to public and private K-12 schools in the Washington metropolitan area to create a team for the 2013 Global Race for the Cure. The Challenge was a strategy to grow K-12 academic teams to make for an unforgettable Race Day experience, and empower our kids to make a difference in their community. School team participation is a community commitment to:
· Raising awareness about breast cancer throughout the school community;
· Celebrating anyone in a school’s community who is or has battled breast cancer
· Helping students, faculty, and families learn, understand and overcome fears about breast cancer and its treatment; and
· Promoting this global outreach effort to end breast cancer as a life-threatening disease.
Check out energetic crowd and how much fun we had together in the clips below as we chat about the Challenge and the forecast.
Spring is here and that means many of us are spending a lot more time outdoors. We may have gotten out of the habit of applying sunscreen over the winter. Here's a common conversation at my house: "But Mom... it's not even sunny out. Why do I have to wear sunscreen?" I admit it. My kids absolutely hate slathering on the thick white lotion that protects them from harmful ultra violet rays. It's even a battle some days. But, I make them do it anyway, and we wear it year round. Today is Melanoma Monday, as declared by the American Academy of Dermatology. They would like you to "Spot the Orange" and wear that color today to remind others to protect themselves. Did you know that skin cancer is the most common form of cancer? And, it's highly preventable. Here's is today's forecast Ultra Violet Index.
UV Forecast May 6th
Wear sunscreen with UVA and UVB proction with an SPF of 30 or greater and apply it every few hours. If at the beach, make sure it is waterproof. On a day when the UV Index is "Extreme" it takes less than 15 minutes to get burned. Here is a chart to calculate sun exposure/burn times.
Sun Exposure/Burn Times Chart
You can get your own personalized UV forecast by entering your zip code here. The sun's rays are strongest from 10a until 2p. Avoid prolonged exposure during this time. Staying in the shade or taking shade "breaks" is recommended, so is wearing light weight long sleeves and pants if you're going to be in direct sun at length. A hat can cover and protect your head and face. And sunglasses with UV protection are a must. Remember white sandy beaches and water reflect the rays and can double your exposure. Memorial Day weekend is just a few weeks away. Check out the average UV Index for May.
Average May Ultra Violet Index
Did I mention that sun damage makes you look OLD? Ever heard of sun spots? Sun damage in your younger years can translate to darker discoloration of your skin. Check out this image from the Mayo Clinic.
Photo of Sun Damage from The Mayo Clinic
Not a lot of sun expected until Friday in the D.C. area. Make sure you pull out the sunscreen now, and check if its expired. If so, time to freshen up and stay sun safe.
I remember, as a young boy, watching the night sky to see the first artifical satellite call "Sputnik" in 1957. Our world and our ability to observe our world has changed tremendously in since that small object was launched into orbit around the earth. Here is a wonderful, beautiful video from NASA that takes us on a journey above our home. Earth observations from satellites have made incredible advances in the 56 years since I saw the first satellite. Enjoy.