From the ABC 7 Weather team

Archive for April 2011

Tornado warning in D.C. region during powerful Saturday storm

April 16, 2011 - 04:38 PM
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The sky grew dark in Gaithersburg as tornado watches and warnings were issued across the D.C. region. (Photo: Julie Parker/ABC7)

7:20: A new tornado warning for Leesburg and its surroundings has gone up until 7:45 p.m. -- places to run and hide indoors include northwest Montgomery, south-central Frederick central Loudoun counties. Here's the NWS warning.

7:15: That second line of storms looks like it'll pass through the region between 8 and 9. The tornado watch will come down tonight. Keep current with our updated ABC7 forecast and TBD's weather Twitter page.

7: A severe thunderstorm warning lasts until 7:15 p.m. for parts of Jefferson, Loudoun, Clark, Fauquier and Washington counties. Check the NWS' local site for all the standing alerts around D.C. The most shocking storm photos today are coming out of North Carolina; WRAL is definitely the place to be checking for storm damage reports down there.

6:45: Here's a video of that large tornado in Raleigh. Includes mild profanity, painful use of bro phrases.

6:35: An update for all you grizzled sea captains out there: There is a coastal flood warning for rivers and the Bay until 11 a.m. Sunday. The waters are expected to be 2 to 3 feet above their normal tides, even 4 feet during the evening high-tide cycle. Take that into account before heading out on the stormy seas to hunt sea monsters.

6:20: In the next 10 minutes, storms will move past Lorton, Alexandria, Fairfax and McLean, perhaps clipping Northwest D.C. on their journey northeast. After that, there's another line of storms out west to contend with, which might whip over Frederick County. Then we're through for the day.

6:05: About 5,500 Pepco customers are sitting in the dark, with northeast D.C. and Wheaton being the main outage areas. Even that relatively small number is inspiring some PePCo RAGE!!!(*&! on Twitter. Some of the tweets in the past hour:

- Nail salon lost power, manicure by iPhone flashlight app! Thanks Pepco!
- @mpmoran yep. I love that the only constant about pepco is their ability to suck balls.
- Wat a damn surpise rain=power outage Pepco sucks ass #pissed
- I feel like I moved to Jamaica...Pepco sucks!

5:50: A tornado watch stands for the D.C. region until 9 p.m., although it likely will be taken down before that. An isolated patch of savage weather is expected to clip the western part of the metropolitan area in the next 20 minutes.

5:45: There are now reports of overturned cars in Wilson, S.C. and a mobile-home park that was absolutely smashed near Raleigh. Here's what the storm looks like from above, courtesy of NOAA's GOES satellite:

storm

5:30: This is some "nasty, nasty weather," says ABC7 meteorologist Steve Rudin. The worst of it is well to the south of D.C., with several confirmed tornadoes in North Carolina. There is a report of one fatality in Elizabethstown, N.C. A flash flood warning still is in effect for the Shenandoah Valley. The storms look like they're be out of here by 7:30 or 8, leaving D.C. with nice Sunday weather.

5:10 p.m.: This storm system stretches from to Georgia up to Pennsylvania, and serious reports of damage are filtering in along the line. A large wedge tornado apparently crashed into Raleigh earlier and knocked over brick buildings. Here's a rooftop photo of it slouching over the city. This sad structure used to be a hardware store in Sanford, N.C.

You can follow this storm line as on our interactive radar halfway down the main weather page.

UPDATE 5 p.m.: The warning for central Prince William is ending. The storm is moving past. The stuff coming through Richmond is chugging along around 70 m.p.h.

Original: Really, people? There's a real danger of tornadoes around D.C. today and these are the e-mails we're getting?

Have you guys ever heard of split screen broadcast? Your weatherman is going on at length for more than 10 minutes during the middle of an NBA play-off game. I know this information is important, but it DOES NOT need the full screen.

And:

why is a tornado more important than the game? evacuate should not take more than a minute. no one cares! thanks for being douchebags

Perhaps we should just shut up about the tornado threat? Well, for people who aren't watching the game: The cold front and severe storms are now off to the west and heavy storms will be moving into Loudoun and Fairfax counties in the next 20 to 30 minutes. The storms within the line are moving upward of 60 m.p.h. The worst of it should be over I-66 in the next 15 minutes. A tornado warning remains for central Prince William and eastern Fauquier and north central Culpeper and the general region is under a tornado watch.

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Your severe weather checklist

April 16, 2011 - 03:42 PM
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Severe weather WILL come through the region today, there is no doubt about it. This will occur over the next couple of hours. We have plenty of tools at our disposal to help you stay on top of the storms. If a tornado warning is issued, that means a tornado has been indicated on radar or someone has spotted one. If this occurs and it is for your area, be sure to get to a study structure and go to an interior room away from windows.

Be sure to check our Live Super Doppler 7 radar and our new Interative Radar.

For information on Watches and Warnings, you can see the list on our site here:

http://www.tbd.com/weather/maps/warnings/

You can also go to the National Weather Service webpage for the DC Area:

http://www.erh.noaa.gov/er/lwx/

Another helpful site to see what the warnings are very quickly is below:

http://www.thundercall.com/weather.cfm

For the latest storm reports across the region, check the local NWS page and the Storm Prediction Center page. Email any storm reports to lwx-report@noaa.gov and be sure if you get any pictures of the storms or storm damage email it to iwitness@wjla.com.  You can also call the weather service to leave a storm report at 703-996-2200.

We will break into storm mode and go live on ABC 7 tonight if there is a tornado warning in the region. We will stay live until the tornado warning has expired or has been cancelled. This is a serious and very dangerous weather situation, so please stay alert and stay tuned to NewsChannel 8 at 5pm and ABC 7 at 6pm. You can also listen to our live reports on WTOP Radio 103.5FM.

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Tornado in Jackson, Miss., makes a frightening scene (VIDEO)

April 15, 2011 - 03:55 PM
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UPDATE 4:15 p.m.: The D.C. region has a slight chance for weak tornadoes as the line of storms pass through Saturday. ABC7 meteorologist Alex Liggitt has written a nice explanation of the risk, as well as an overview of the storm in general.

ORIGINAL: Tornadoes are flying out the storm system pounding the South, flinging trees around like matchsticks and flipping over cars. Check out the Weather Channel’s breaking-news Twitter feed for a multimedia extravaganza of destruction, danger and death – the site reports two “possible fatalities” in Mississippi, although that’s so far unsubstantiated.

This storm-chaser video takes place near Jackson, where a large and extremely dangerous tornado touched down today. The sky is the color of the hull of a battleship and blue electrical explosions pop and flash at the foot of the hulking twister. Look at those cars huddled under a bridge and the way that one driver tears out of there during a moment of opportunity.

Today is a good day to be an East Coaster, but we’ll be getting a taste of the powerful storm line tomorrow afternoon. Stay tuned for updates from the ABC7 weather team (also on Twitter) and don't miss our new interactive radar.

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Severe weather makes its way into the D.C. area Saturday

April 15, 2011 - 03:29 PM
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Credit: Max Kruger

The past two days have seen some of the most powerful severe weather events of the year, with numerous tornadoes reported and large hail and damaging winds. (Here's a video of one twister near Jackson, Miss.) Just today alone, the Storm Prediction Center has received over 25 reports of tornadoes with the number expected to increase during the remainder of the day.

This severe threat will continue to move east through the evening and overnight hours and reach the eastern seaboard tomorrow. The highest likelihood for severe weather will exist in central and eastern North Carolina and for eastern portions of South Carolina, where a moderate risk (higher chance) for severe storms has been placed. In those areas, there could be long-tracked and strong tornadoes.

For the D.C. area, the threat still exists for severe weather, but would be more focused on a threat for damaging winds and isolated tornadoes. Looking at some of our forecasted soundings in the area, there is plenty of wind shear with winds both veering with height as well as increasing with speed with height. With winds around 1,500 feet above the surface moving around 60 knots or more, heavy rain could easily help bring those damaging winds to the surface. The directional shear will also add the possibility of rotating updrafts in thunderstorms, which in our environment would more than likely lead to the possibility of weak tornadoes within quasi-linear convective systems like we saw the past couple of weeks.

Heavy rain is also a likelihood, with 1 to 2 inches possible through the day tomorrow. A flash flood watch is in effect for the day tomorrow mainly west of the Blue Ridge where the heaviest rainfall is expected. Unfortunately for you fisherman out there, a gale warning is also in effect for the tidal Potomac and Chesapeake Bay where winds could gust over 40 knots. I say this is unfortunate as tomorrow is the start of rockfish season. Just wait until Sunday!

The timing of the storm should be in the afternoon, with the best chance between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m., though it could continue later through the day. Be sure to check our watches and warnings often, watch our live streaming Doppler Radar and follow our new Interactive Radar to stay up to date. In addition, if a tornado warning goes into effect, we will more than likely break in live on TV to cover it, and you can also listen to our reports on WTOP radio.

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Lightning strikes the Empire State Building three times (VIDEO)

April 15, 2011 - 03:01 PM
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Shortly after midnight on Wednesday, a series of lightning bolts blasted the top of the Empire State Building during a strong thunderstorm. Die-hard building-gazer ESBisMyMuse caught the assault on tape, although a fourth strike that night slipped by undocumented. Says the videographer: “I've never seen so many hits on the ESB in one night. It was ridiculous! But so much fun to watch. Whoever said lightning doesn't strike twice was wrong. :)”

Whoever coined that maxim also must not have lived in NYC, where the Empire State Building sustains a fierce battery of lightning strikes each year. A firm annual average is tough to unearth – estimates range from 25 to 100 strikes – but the building has been attracting electrical discharges since the day it opened for business. In fact, some say it was designed to function as a giant lightning rod to keep neighboring structures safe.

The iconic tower, 1,454 feet tall from the ground to the tip of its antenna, has an interesting history as far as gigantic explosive bolts from the sky are concerned. Scientists measured some of the very first oscillographic readings of lightning currents there using tethered balloons in the 1930s, 40s and 50s. Lightning researcher and General Electric engineer Karl McEachron recorded 48 strikes in one year during the 1930s, employing an arsenal of cameras mounted on the 26th floor of the Daily News Building on 42nd Street. Later, on a quest to determine the speed at which lightning travels, scientists with the American Institute of Electrical Engineers filmed every strike from 1934 and 1937. They concluded the bolts whip along at 10,000 miles per second, although that finding is still up for debate.

The first major lightning strike at the Empire State Building occurred in August 1931, the year construction was completed. John Tauranac gives a good description of what that electrifying event looked like in his 1997 tome, “The Empire State Building, The Making of a Landmark”:

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Flash floods and coastal floods possible during Saturday's rain

April 15, 2011 - 12:41 PM
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Water vapor over the U.S. at 12:45 p.m., Friday (NOAA)

UPDATE 3:20 p.m.: A coastal flood advisory has been added to the coastal flood watch. This new advisory runs from 3 a.m. to noon on Saturday. Tides could be 1 to 2 feet above their usual height, says the National Weather Service.

ORIGINAL: Flooding! Brace for a squishy, squelchy Saturday as an impressive storm system arrives in D.C. The rain is expected to be heaviest during the afternoon, and severe thunderstorms with damage-sowing winds are a possibility – keep current with the latest ABC7 forecast here.

There is a standing coastal flood watch for areas along the Chesapeake and the Potomac River during tomorrow afternoon and night. Southeasterly winds are helping push tides 2 to 3 feet above their average levels, setting the stage for moderate inland flooding. It’ll be a good day to give your new spring rain boots some action. Or your canoe, if you happen to live near King Street in Old Town.

There is also a flash flood watch tomorrow morning through the evening, although this danger is primarily west of the Blue Ridge mountains. The soil out there is already dripping with retained water from past rainfalls and probably won’t be able to handle this uber-wet storm, which is expected to spray 1 to 2 inches of rain on the D.C. region. 

While it’ll be a dismal day for D.C., the storm likely won't be as bad as it was last night in the South, where tornadoes killed nine people in Oklahoma and Arkansas.

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D.C. live interactive radar: What the heck is this new feature?

April 15, 2011 - 04:45 AM
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Just in time for a stormy Saturday, we have a terrific new feature on our weather page. What’s the big deal, you ask? Not one, but two interactive radar displays.

You'll find the first radar, which we have designed with our partners at the Weather Underground, about halfway down our front weather page. This radar will give you a quick and easy look at the regional skies – where it’s raining, as well as your choice of seeing the trend of rain or storms over time. This display also shows area weather stations as well as any serious warnings for thunderstorms, tornadoes (I hope not) or flash floods in our area. You can zoom and move the map around to wherever you want and click on the neighborhood weather stations to see more information and a quick icon forecast. No, I will not refer to it as an iconoclast.

Ready to really get interactive with our new radar display? Click on the “View full-scale interactive map” link and hang on. It looks similar to the stripped-down version on our front page, but this is the interactive-radar hot rod, with everything from web cams in your neighborhood to storm tracks and storm information. It looks like this:

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Saturday storm in D.C. overshadows Friday's nice weather

April 15, 2011 - 04:37 AM
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Yesterday, at 5 p.m. in Petworth, perhaps the first lawnmower of the year came out of hibernation. It was a lime-green electric model that barely murmured as its handler, who looked like a really sweaty Gene Weingarten, pushed it to and fro over his front yard. The day certainly felt like spring, with sun-dappled streets and temperatures peaking at 70 degrees at Reagan National. Thankfully, Friday won't be too much different.

The main change will be an influx of cooler air from a “backdoor cold front,” or one that travels south or southwest down the East Coast. The dry front passed over D.C. last night and was expected to pull temperatures down to the 40s and even the 30s in higher elevations. The day will break sunny, but should cloud right up as moisture pours in from the sea and winds arrive from an elephantine storm system to the west. Should the clouds develop later in the afternoon D.C. might break into the lower 60s, but if they form early in the morning then temperatures might only touch the upper 50s. If you really, really care about this, then perhaps you should pack an extra hoodie.

Planning on hitting the town tonight? My advice, then, would be instead of ordering one beer, order two; instead of flirting with a single date prospect, go for two. (If you puke, vomit twice.) That's because the chance of rain on Saturday has gone up to about 100 percent. There might even be thunderstorms in the late afternoon. Prepare to spend some quality time indoors, at the movie theater or in front of your laptop at the coffee shop fiddling with our awesome new interactive radar. It becomes safe to venture outdoors again on Sunday.

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Listen to what Japan's 9.0 earthquake sounded like, underwater

April 14, 2011 - 03:48 PM
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Did you know that the U.S. government keeps microphones deep in the ocean? Well, it does, and on March 11 a couple of these mics recorded the ominous rumblings of the 9.0 earthquake that has devastated northern Honshu.

The hydrophones are an antiquated component of the U.S. Navy's Integrated Undersea Surveillance Systems, a Cold War project to monitor enemy submarines. Now they're being used by scientists at NOAA's Vents Program at the Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory and Oregon State University.

The first audio clip is from a sensor in the central north Pacific and sounds much like a prolonged thunderclap. The second clip and spectrogram comes from a hydrophone near Alaska's Aleutian Islands; it recalls the Space Shuttle taking off. One would expect the depths of the ocean to muffle sound somewhat, but the violence of this quake is evident in how loud these tremors are.

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Rock vomit: An invasive, ugly sea squirt threatens U.S. waters

April 14, 2011 - 03:19 PM
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vom1

Credit: NOAA

It's a creature that gives “gross morphology” a new meaning, in that it resemble beef gravy mixed with chaw spit. It bears both male and female sex organs and will excrete acid on anything that tries to touch it. It goes by the charming name of “rock vomit,” and it's threatening to choke U.S. waters with its noxious brown ooze.

Chances are that kids who signed up for oceanography degrees never imagined they'd be poking instruments into what looks like the contents of a baby's diaper. But rock vomit is currently at the center of a study in Alaska, where it was found in the waters last June. Scientists from NOAA’s Auke Bay Laboratories are using a remotely operated submarine to hunt down the sea puke to understand how large of a stranglehold it's gotten on the local ecosystem.

Rock vomit, or Didemnum vexillum, is actually a species of sea squirt – small, potato-shaped invertebrates that cling tenaciously to hard surfaces like docks, ship hulls, other marine creatures and (obviously) rocks. It's an invasive species most likely hailing from Japan that now can be found worldwide, from New Zealand to northern Europe to New England.

Want a closer look at the vomit? Fine, here:

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Weather in D.C. Thursday mighty fine: warm temperatures ahoy!

April 14, 2011 - 04:57 AM
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Thursday and Friday will be warm and partly sunny. Flooding is other people's problem for now. (NOAA's Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service)

Heavy schadenfreude is in the forecast Thursday as a splendid, sunny day unfolds in the District while other parts of the country look like Waterworld.

The D.C. region saw flash flooding in the Virginia/West Virginia highlands yesterday, but it was a trickle compared to the ongoing seasonal flooding in North Dakota and Minnesota. The swollen Red River is regurgitating great quantities of runoff and melted snow, shutting down highways and driving hundreds from their happy homes. The town of Oslo, Minn., has become cut off from civilization by a sudden moat of river; residents can only escape The Island by airboat. There have been no reports of cannibalism, yet.

In D.C., the weather will grow more stable as Canadian high pressure works its way into the Mid-Atlantic. Thursday dawns with a shiver as cool air lurks around, with ground fog or light mist possible in the mountains. But the increasingly psycho sun will drive the mercury up to about 70 degrees by afternoon. The gentlest of breezes from the northwest will temper the warmth, making for an all-around pleasant 24 hours. Correction, make that 48 hours: Friday looks temperate, too, with highs in the mid-60s.

Best not to think about Saturday.

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Heavy rain in the forecast for the D.C. area this Saturday

April 13, 2011 - 04:30 PM
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Credit: NOAA

A strong area of low pressure will approach the region on Friday and get here Saturday, bringing with it the chance for heavy rainfall for the beginning of the weekend.

Watching the latest guidance, rainfall is expected to start in the late morning hours and continue through the afternoon, becoming heavy at times and possibly being accompanied by a few embedded thunderstorms. This system is currently over the Rockies and will be moving into the Plains tomorrow, where severe weather is expected in parts of Oklahoma and Kansas. It will continue to move east through the day on Friday before finally getting here for the start of the weekend.

Forecast rainfall amounts are between 1 inch and 1.5 inches but could locally be heavier. This could lead to some flash flooding, particularly in the higher elevations of the mountains where 1 to 3 inches of rain has fallen over the past few days.

What does this mean for your weekend? You may want to sell those Nationals vs. Brewers tickets now and go on Friday or Sunday, as it will more than likely get rained out. Also, if you are running in the St. Charles Running Festival in Waldorf, Md., you could have a bit of a wet start and should probably bring a change of clothes and rain jacket for the end of the race.

Don't worry, the whole weekend won't be a washout, as temperatures Sunday should go back into the upper 60s to near 70 degrees under partly cloudy skies. Send any flooding or nasty weather pictures to iwitness@wjla.com.

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Tornado outbreak in Wisconsin ties state record (Classic Video)

April 13, 2011 - 02:15 PM
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The Wales F4 tornado on April 27, 1984 (NWS Weather Forecast Office for Milwaukee / Sullivan, Wisc.)

The commanding storm system that charged through the Midwest this past weekend – responsible for that chilling video of twin tornadoes at night – gave Wisconsin a tie for the biggest April tornado outbreak in state history.

Ten twisters touched down in Wisconsin on April 10, according to the National Weather Service. That many striking in one day last happened on April 27, 1984, when another 10 tornadoes ran amok, including an F4-strength funnel cloud that walloped Wales in Waukesha County and caused one fatality. Large cities like Madison and Milwaukee stayed on the sidelines of the action this time, with the tornadoes pounding the state’s rural central and northern regions. Seven of them visited the Green Bay area, which also tied the record there.

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The short, glorious life of a dandelion, in time lapse (VIDEO)

April 13, 2011 - 12:50 PM
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Some attack it with weed killer. Others consider it a tasty appetizer. Still others use it to induce urination. But one thing is not up for debate about the dandelion: Like a rainbow, it’s a good sign that spring has arrived.

The warm weather has recently coaxed Taraxacum officinale into blooming, creating a galaxy of sun-shaped flowers across the turfland of D.C. Now, thanks to the wonder of time lapse, please enjoy this video showing how a dandelion evolves through its short life, from fresh new bud to aphid-ridden middle age to hoary, fragile seniorhood.

I’m a little upset that those seeds weren’t blown off at the end – but hey, no video is perfect. For those with mild OCD just needing that to happen, here’s a dandy website that lets you blow seeds off a virtual dandelion by puffing into your computer’s microphone.

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Rainbow over Maryland: NOW spring is here

April 13, 2011 - 10:52 AM
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TBD reader Laura eyed this "huge rainbow" sprouting yesterday around 7 p.m. over Lexington Park, Md., on the southern tip of St. Mary's County. She says: "It goes to show you that spring is here to stay!" This is certainly the first 'bow I've seen all year. Anybody see any spring-rainbow prototypes before yesterday?

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D.C. weather may have morning rain; the South suffers a drought

April 13, 2011 - 04:20 AM
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Sixty percent of Texas is under high levels of drought, causing a major fire hazard. This NASA image is from April 10.

A storm system dragging a rain-soaked mop across D.C. slowly trudges out the door today, leaving behind flash flooding in the streams and hollers of western Virginia. The clouds will stick around, as will cool temperatures around 60 degrees. Residual rain showers might fall until early afternoon.

High pressure will force its way into the region around evening, setting the stage for warmer weather on Thursday and Friday. Then a formidable-looking storm is expected to swamp the Mid-Atlantic on Saturday, feeding our hungry spring plants and caking porch floors and children with rich mud.

All this wet weather has caused flooding along major rivers in the north and middle of the U.S. The National Weather Service's alerts map is alive with green, snaking veins that signify flood warnings and watches. But where national H2O distribution is concerned, it's really a case of the haves and have-nots.

More than three-quarters of the South is suffering from some form of drought, which is creating severe headaches for ranchers and growers. In Oklahoma, insects celebrating the arid conditions have arrived early, forcing farmers to spray multiple applications of alfalfa-weevil poison and whatnot. And in Texas, where 60 percent of the land is under the two highest levels of drought (“extreme” and “exceptional”), uncontrollable wildfires have broken out. They're so big you can see them from space – look at the above satellite image from NASA from Sunday.

“Even the weeds aren't growing,” says one agriculture expert. These are bad times for farmers but worse times for cows, whose owners have to make difficult decisions regarding how to apportion scarce food resources.

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Study: Climate change, whales causing penguins to starve

April 12, 2011 - 03:39 PM
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A penguin that apprently starved to death lies on the sand at Peruibe beach in Sao Paulo state, Brazil, in 2010. (AP Photo/Aquario Municipal de Peruibe)

That most iconic species of cold-weather waterfowl, penguins, is in dire peril due to climate change and a resurgence of hungry whales, according to the results of a long-term study.

Back in the early 80s, about half of Adelie and chinstrap penguins on the West Antarctic Peninsula returned to their breeding grounds after hatching. That number has plummeted to just 10 percent today – the implication being that the AWOL penguins have starved to death.

Biologist Wayne Trivelpiece of the National Marine Fisheries Service, a researcher in the study who has been on the penguin case since the 1970s, thinks he knows what’s killing off the birds: a lack of krill. These tiny shrimplike crustaceans are a huge food source to young penguins, and without enough of them the creatures are essentially screwed.

So what’s causing the krill implosion? Trivelpiece et al cite two prime suspects.

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Aurora borealis from a plane: U.S. to Paris time lapse (VIDEO)

April 12, 2011 - 01:57 PM
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Beep Show, an art collaboration of Nate Bolt and Kate Nartker, have time-lapsed everything from unloading a truck to camping in the Everglades. Now they’ve squeezed an entire plane trip from San Francisco to Paris into two minutes of awesomeness because, if you can't sleep on planes, why not do something constructive beside gulping mini bottles of wine? As the jet cruises into nightfall you can even see the aurora borealis come out and light up the sky with its strange emerald glow. Reports one the photographers: “Thanks to my neighbors for not minding an SLR click every 2 to 30 seconds for 11 hours….”

Don't miss 2011's other must-see northern lights time-lapse video. These things are like crack to stop-motion photogs.

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Geomagnetic storm ongoing as sun ramps up solar cycle (VIDEO)

April 12, 2011 - 12:45 PM
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suns

While we’re still in this little pause from the rain showers, run outside and look at the sun. Wait – don’t do that. Better, just take a peek at the above extreme-ultraviolet images of the sun from March 2009 (at left) and March 2011.

The older image, taken by NASA’s Solar and Heliospheric Observatory, presents a relatively placid, drama-free star. But the more recent photo from the Solar Dynamics Observatory shows the sun in explosive disarray, its atmosphere cracked with planet-sized sunspots disgorging megatons of magnetically charged space plasma.

Why the change?

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Spring tips for preparing your lawn and garden

April 12, 2011 - 10:18 AM
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As the pollen count climbs and temperatures warm, everyone is heading outside to enjoy the nice weather.

For most the warm spring weather also marks the time for yearly preparation to both lawn and garden. Now, I am a meteorologist and admittedly my knowledge and tips are minimal. With that in mind, I decided to dig around online and find a few sites to point you in the right direction for ideas.

The first article I found called “Tips on preparing your garden, yard for spring” written by Bill Hayes is a honey hole for great tips. If you haven’t started preparing, don’t panic; there is plenty of time to get your lawn mower tuned up and your garden ready to accept this year’s round of crops.

Perhaps you just bought a new home or just want to give new life to an existing landscape? Then check out this article “Tips For Preparing a Planting Bed” by Michael McGroathy. He takes what may seem like an overwhelming project and turns it into one that is much easier to tackle. On this same page there are links discussing plants, garden design, gardening spaces, pets/diseases and organic gardening. This site is pretty much a one-stop source for getting your hands dirty and producing a garden or landscape that you can be proud of.

One thing that I personally love to grow are tomatoes, so I thought I would find a good link to share that can answer almost any question you have regarding this sweet and juicy summer treat. This article called "How to grow a tomato plant" by Jack Herrick, Edge, Syndi B., Krystle C. and more pretty much covers tomatoes from A to Z.

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