March 2 - 3 tornado outbreak: 10th largest in recorded history?

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:06 PM GMT on March 12, 2012

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The deadly early-season tornado outbreak of March 2 - 3 that hit Indiana, Kentucky, and surrounding states, killing 41 people, may have been the 10th largest two-day tornado outbreak since record keeping began in 1950. NOAA's Storm Prediction Center now lists 132 preliminary tornado reports for March 2, and 11 for March 3. It typically takes several months to finish damage surveys and verify all the tornadoes that really occur in a big tornado outbreak. Sixty-one tornadoes have been confirmed so far, according to Wikipedia's tally of the outbreak. The two-day total of 143 tornadoes from March 2 - 3 is probably an over count of about 15%, based on historical levels of over counts. This would give the March 2 - 3 outbreak around 120 tornadoes, making it the tenth largest outbreak since record keeping began in 1950. Assuming this is true, the past two tornado seasons would hold four of the top ten spots for largest tornado outbreaks in recorded history. Below are the top two-day tornado outbreaks since 1950. Several of these two-day totals were taken from outbreaks that lasted three or more days; the highest two-day period of activity was selected for this list, so that the outbreak would not be mentioned multiple times. The numbers from the 2011 outbreaks are still preliminary:

262, Apr 26 - 27, 2011
169, Apr 3 - 4, 1974
160, May 29 - 30, 2004
141, May 24 - 25, 2011
135, Jan 21 - 22, 1999
130, Apr 15 - 16, 2011
125, May 4 - 5, 2003
123, Jun 15 - 16, 1992
121, May 4 - 5, 2007
120ish, Mar 2 - 3, 2012
120, May 3 - 4, 1999


Video 1. Spectacular tornado video taken at a home in West Liberty, Kentucky outfitted with seven automatic security cameras, which captured the fury of the strong EF-3 tornado with 165 mph winds that roared overhead on March 2, 2012. The views from all the cameras are worth watching, but don't watch past 7:00, as the end of the video has three minutes of blankness at the end. According to an article at wkyt.com, the home owners, Randy and Norma Risner, took shelter in the basement, and their home survived the tornado. "You could actually feel the ground shaking and our the 11-foot basement walls were shaking, too," Norma said. The tornado destroyed their workshop (caught on camera), and another camera shows the roof of their neighbors home peel off.


Video 2. Perhaps even more impressive is video taken at a nearby pharmacy showing the West Liberty tornado destroying buildings across the street. The view from Clinic Pharmacy starts at 0:50 into this video.

The uncertain business of counting tornadoes
While there's no question that having four top-ten tornado outbreaks in just two years is highly unusual, the quality of our tornado data base is poor, and there are probably outbreaks that occurred prior to 1990 that were significantly under-counted and would have made the top ten list, had they occurred today. The number of tornadoes being reported has increased in recent decades, and this increase may be due entirely to factors unrelated to climate change:

1) Population growth has resulted in more tornadoes being reported.

2) Advances in weather radar, particularly the deployment of about 100 Doppler radars across the U.S. in the mid-1990s, have resulted in a much higher tornado detection rate.

3) Tornado damage surveys have grown more sophisticated over the years. For example, we now commonly classify multiple tornadoes along a damage path that might have been attributed to just one twister in the past.


Figure 1. Number of EF-1, EF-2, EF-3, EF-4 and EF-5 tornadoes from 1950 to 2011. The total shown for 2011 is preliminary and uses unofficial numbers, but 2011 now ranks in 2nd place behind 1973. There is not a decades-long increasing trend in the numbers of tornadoes stronger than EF-0, implying that climate change, as yet, is not having a noticeable impact on U.S. tornadoes. Data provided by Harold Brooks, NOAA/National Severe Storms Laboratory.

If we look at changes in the strongest tornadoes--EF-1, EF-2, EF3, EF4, and EF-5 twisters, the ones most likely to have a reliable long-term detection rate, due to their destructive power--we see no sign of an increasing trend in recent decades (Figure 1), even if we include 2011. However, it is difficult to make solid conclusions on how tornadoes may be changing, since the quality of the historical tornado data set is so poor. This is largely due to the fact that we never directly measure a tornado's winds--a tornado has to run over a building before we can make an EF-scale strength estimate, based on the damage. As tornado researcher Chuck Doswell said in a 2007 paper, "I see no near-term solution to the problem of detecting detailed spatial and temporal trends in the occurrence of tornadoes by using the observed data in its current form or in any form likely to evolve in the near future." Major changes in the rating process occurred in the mid-1970s (when all tornadoes occurring prior to about 1975 were retrospectively rated),and again in 2001, when scientists began rating tornadoes lower because of engineering concerns and unintended consequences of National Weather Service policy changes. Also, beginning in 2007, NOAA switched from the F-scale to the EF-scale for rating tornado damage, causing additional problems with attempting to assess if tornadoes are changing over time.


Figure 2. Thomas Hudson and the Portlight trailer in Harrisburg, Illinois.

Portlight disaster relief charity responding to the tornado disaster
The Portlight disaster relief charity has made a strong showing in tornado-devastated Harrisburg, Illinois and Henryville, Indiana. Both towns were hit by deadly EF-4 tornadoes during the February 28 - March 3 tornado outbreak. From the Portlight blog:

"Yesterday we went to Henryville, Indiana and volunteered for a few hours, mainly unloading trailers with water, canned goods, etc.

The people were in great spirit, eager to rebuild, and overall thankful that it wasn't worse than it was.

Myself, Jeremiah Moran, Blaize Edwards, and Andrew Newcomb made the 2 hour drive from Washington, Indiana.

We will be trying to get back this weekend or a couple of days next week."

An interesting sciencedaily.com article discusses how the powerful EF-4 tornado from the February 29, 2012 outbreak that devastated Harrisburg, Illinois passed through a high-density network of seismographs. "The seismograms show a strong, low-frequency pulse beginning around 4:45 a.m. on Feb. 29. Our preliminary interpretation, based on other seismic records of tornadoes, suggests that we were recording not the tornado itself, but a large atmospheric pressure transient related to the large thunderstorms that spawned the tornadoes."

I'll have a new post by Wednesday.

Jeff Masters

HARRISBURG IL (catfish10)
HARRISBURG IL
HARISBURG IL. (catfish10)
Golden circle building
HARISBURG IL.

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1022. Jedkins01
7:54 PM GMT on March 14, 2012
Quoting Xyrus2000:


What? Are you saying viagra popping, closed minded, misogynistic old white guys aren't the best people to be talking about women's health? Are you saying that these people do not represent America?

Oh surely you jest. I'm sure it's every woman's dream to be to be pregnant, handcuffed to a stove, and making pancakes for a plumber. :P



Yep because women who choose not to use birth control definitely want to be pregnant handcuffed to a stove while serving pancakes to a plumber...


I don't think you have any idea about women's health either...

Member Since: August 21, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 7828
1021. Floodman
6:04 PM GMT on March 14, 2012
ECHO...ECHo...Echo...echo...

Now batting for New York, Minnie Minoso...
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 9922
1020. Floodman
4:49 PM GMT on March 14, 2012
The two yutes...need I say any more?
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 9922
1019. FtMyersgal
4:39 PM GMT on March 14, 2012
Quoting Grothar:


What's a grit?


Hi Grothar. Seems everyone was bickering last night and I didn't see anyone post a reply.

I guess My Cousin Vinny
Member Since: September 16, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1219
1018. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
4:32 PM GMT on March 14, 2012
Quoting Patrap:
Lasco Image with Comet inbound to SOL


comet impact will cause a flare event
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 175 Comments: 54827
1017. TropicTraveler
4:05 PM GMT on March 14, 2012
There is a new blog.
Member Since: July 24, 2007 Posts: 2 Comments: 927
1016. BobWallace
4:02 PM GMT on March 14, 2012
Quoting RitaEvac:
The sun has being doing this stuff for eons, nothing new going on, just the fact technology has allowed the casual user to see this stuff in real time. Nothing to see here, move along


I think I'll save this one for the first 'cane of the season.

Nothing to see here, move along.... ;o)
Member Since: February 22, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1344
1015. BobWallace
3:59 PM GMT on March 14, 2012
Quoting kwgirl:
Good Morning! I think all women in America should stop "accomodating" men until the national election. Then not only will the women vote, but the men may change their thinking as well. I am talking the same kind of revolt that women did to get the vote. Stop cooking, cleaning, and definitely NO SEX!


Might I petition for a litmus test? A pass for those of us who support women's rights.

While I'm an old white guy I would prefer to not be thrown out with the bath water....
Member Since: February 22, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1344
1014. TheOnlyBravesFan
3:56 PM GMT on March 14, 2012
Quoting GeorgiaStormz:



If wishes were horses then SPL would fly, way way up in a hurricane's eye.

unfortunately, nothing will happen for at least 8 days.


So mean lol
Member Since: January 30, 2012 Posts: 10 Comments: 224
1013. TheOnlyBravesFan
3:54 PM GMT on March 14, 2012
Quoting SPLbeater:


the SPLbeater meteorological service puts Cobb County GA in a high risk tomorrow.


The Storm Prediction Center of TheOnlyBravesFan has placed western North Carolina under an extremely high risk of severe storms, centered over the home of SPLbeater
Member Since: January 30, 2012 Posts: 10 Comments: 224
1012. Patrap
3:54 PM GMT on March 14, 2012
WSA-Enlil Solar Wind Prediction

Description: Latest CME-based model run
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129089
1011. HurrikanEB
3:54 PM GMT on March 14, 2012
Could Greek volcano force the nation to default?


A volcano on the island of Santorini in Greece seems a bit restless, according to scientists studying the latest data.

Monitoring stations on the island indicate the Santorini caldera is awake again and rapidly deforming, said Georgia Tech researcher Andrew Newman.

After decades of little activity, a series of earthquakes and deformation began within the Santorini caldera in January of 2011 Mr. Newman said. Since then our instruments on the northern part of the island have moved laterally between five and nine centimeters.


Member Since: May 2, 2008 Posts: 12 Comments: 1342
1010. TheOnlyBravesFan
3:52 PM GMT on March 14, 2012
Quoting SPLbeater:


i thought u was a girl?

hmm, maybe an 'it'...lol


Dang. Nope, a guy here, just the pic shows a girl, it was the best picture in Evony :D
Member Since: January 30, 2012 Posts: 10 Comments: 224
1009. TropicTraveler
3:51 PM GMT on March 14, 2012
Reasonable minds may differ on any subject, and often do. The discussions between them often raise new insights and improve the understanding of both. The trick is to have those discussions without offending one another with inflammatory language. Someone who calls me a liberal is saying I'm englighted, and I appreciate that. As to leftist, I take exception. I have always been right handed.

The weather is starting to get very interesting, and thank heavens it pays no attention at all to politics. I especially loved the focus yesterday on the solar weather which affects the tropics along with the rest of the earth. In fact as I looked at the many views of the solar "triangle" I pondered on how very little we know about the sun and wondered if it could do other odd things, after all the universe is little understood. So we should live for today and appreciate the fascinating weather of our planet together, which is why I like this blog very much. It enlightens, educates and is fascinating.
Member Since: July 24, 2007 Posts: 2 Comments: 927
1008. GeorgiaStormz
3:48 PM GMT on March 14, 2012
Quoting SPLbeater:


the SPLbeater meteorological service puts Cobb County GA in a high risk tomorrow.



If wishes were horses then SPL would fly, way way up in a hurricane's eye.

unfortunately, nothing will happen for at least 8 days.
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 9737
1007. HurricaneHunterGal
3:47 PM GMT on March 14, 2012
Quoting kwgirl:
I had read somewhere that solar flares could affect the earth by bombarding it with nutrinos that pass through the earth and maybe cause earthquakes. Of course, I read a lot of Sci-fi so it could be something fictional. Does anyone here know if this is a theory? I believe that Xyrus2000 says he works for NASA. Is he an astrophysicist?


I have done a little bit of research myself on this topic and found a few interesting articles.

Look up "Universality in Solar Flare and Earthquake Occurrence" by L. de Arcangelis, C. Godano, E. Lippiello, and M. Nicodemi
DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.96.051102

And "Universality in solar flare, magnetic storm and earthquake dynamics using Tsallis statistical mechanics"
Georgios Balasis, Ioannis A. Daglis, Anastasios AnastasiadisConstantinos Papadimitriou, Mioara Mandeac, Konstantinos Eftaxias
doi:10.1016/j.physa.2010.09.029

Also see: Complexity in Sequences of Solar Flares and Earthquakes by VLADIMIR G. KOSSOBOKOV, FABIO LEPRETI, and VINCENZO CARBONE in Pure and Applied Geophysics.
DOI 10.1007/s00024-008-0330-z
Member Since: August 17, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 249
1006. SPLbeater
3:43 PM GMT on March 14, 2012
Quoting GeorgiaStormz:



Spring is over. Now comes summer....
If this keeps up, by june, all the severe weather will be in CAN and it will be 100F up to MI.
Pulse t-storms starting to refire in AL. The little gnats have gone crazy, just wait till we have dew.



the SPLbeater meteorological service puts Cobb County GA in a high risk tomorrow.
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4488
1005. Patrap
3:42 PM GMT on March 14, 2012
From solarham.com

1432 Produces Moderate Flare

A moderate M2.8 Solar Flare peaked at 15:21 and was centered NOT around Sunspot 1429, but around Sunspot 1432 located towards the middle of the visible solar disk.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129089
1004. SPLbeater
3:42 PM GMT on March 14, 2012
Quoting TheOnlyBravesFan:


Were the 3 people who plused that before me all women? lol

Also, am I bad for being a man(ok boy) who agrees? That last item is so scary, I don't know how I could survive without it!


i thought u was a girl?

hmm, maybe an 'it'...lol
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4488
1003. GeorgiaStormz
3:41 PM GMT on March 14, 2012
Quoting SPLbeater:
*sigh*

It has been too long since i been included in a slight risk area. :/



Spring is over. Now comes summer....
If this keeps up, by june, all the severe weather will be in CAN and it will be 100F up to MI.
Pulse t-storms starting to refire in AL. The little gnats have gone crazy, just wait till we have dew.

Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 9737
1002. Patrap
3:40 PM GMT on March 14, 2012
1432 is the Source

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129089
1001. Patrap
3:39 PM GMT on March 14, 2012
New EVE frame shows the Bloom still brightening.

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129089
1000. ShenValleyFlyFish
3:39 PM GMT on March 14, 2012
Folks, I usually try to stay away from self promoting particularly on the main blog. However fwiw I'm back to spinning yarns and got one that I intend to replace this weekend, Lord willing and the creeks don't rise. It's got weather in it sorta. You wanna check it out here's a link: ShenValleyFlyFish
Member Since: September 9, 2007 Posts: 36 Comments: 4687
999. SPLbeater
3:38 PM GMT on March 14, 2012
well, im hungry once more, and there aint much to talk bout here. see ya.
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4488
998. dogsgomoo
3:37 PM GMT on March 14, 2012
Quoting @994 Patrap:
It is Earth directed.


Cool. That isn't 1429 is it? That's 1432. Unless EVE is ahead? Poor weee 1432 got sick of 1429 hogging the spotlight?
Member Since: March 4, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 316
997. TheOnlyBravesFan
3:36 PM GMT on March 14, 2012
Quoting kwgirl:
Good Morning! I think all women in America should stop "accomodating" men until the national election. Then not only will the women vote, but the men may change their thinking as well. I am talking the same kind of revolt that women did to get the vote. Stop cooking, cleaning, and definitely NO SEX!


Were the 3 people who plused that before me all women? lol

Also, am I bad for being a man(ok boy) who agrees? That last item is so scary, I don't know how I could survive without it!
Member Since: January 30, 2012 Posts: 10 Comments: 224
996. Patrap
3:34 PM GMT on March 14, 2012
Flare Producer - An interesting fact. Of the top 20 Solar Flares recorded during Solar Cycle 24, a quarter of those (5) were produced by Sunspot 1429. (X5.4, X1.3, X1.1, M8.4 and M7.9.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129089
995. kwgirl
3:30 PM GMT on March 14, 2012
I had read somewhere that solar flares could affect the earth by bombarding it with nutrinos that pass through the earth and maybe cause earthquakes. Of course, I read a lot of Sci-fi so it could be something fictional. Does anyone here know if this is a theory? I believe that Xyrus2000 says he works for NASA. Is he an astrophysicist?
Member Since: March 28, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1532
994. Patrap
3:29 PM GMT on March 14, 2012
EVE X-ray Imagery is back after the Downtime for the CCD Bake out maintenance on the spacecraft.

The Current Flare is shown Blooming



It is Earth directed.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129089
993. SPLbeater
3:29 PM GMT on March 14, 2012
*sigh*

It has been too long since i been included in a slight risk area. :/
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4488
992. Patrap
3:28 PM GMT on March 14, 2012
Thats from the NASA SDO Page
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129089
991. hydrus
3:27 PM GMT on March 14, 2012
Quoting Patrap:
Yesterday Solar Flare, NW Limb,LARGE Image




Very cool image Pat.
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 21734
990. Patrap
3:24 PM GMT on March 14, 2012
Quoting HurricaneHunterGal:
A Flare (Greater than C8 in X-ray Flux) Has Just Started At:
1516 UT on 14-03-2012
Further Information Will Be Issued At the End of the Event

Follow the progress of this flare on the IPS Web site
http://www.ips.gov.au Click "Space Weather" Click "X-Ray Flux"





Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129089
989. HurricaneHunterGal
3:22 PM GMT on March 14, 2012
A Flare (Greater than C8 in X-ray Flux) Has Just Started At:
1516 UT on 14-03-2012
Further Information Will Be Issued At the End of the Event
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ +++++++++++++++
Follow the progress of this flare on the IPS Web site
http://www.ips.gov.au Click "Space Weather" Click "X-Ray Flux"
Member Since: August 17, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 249
988. RitaEvac
3:21 PM GMT on March 14, 2012
The sun has being doing this stuff for eons, nothing new going on, just the fact technology has allowed the casual user to see this stuff in real time. Nothing to see here, move along
Member Since: July 14, 2008 Posts: 1 Comments: 9645
987. Patrap
3:20 PM GMT on March 14, 2012


Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129089
986. SPLbeater
3:18 PM GMT on March 14, 2012
Lua up to 50 knots as of an hour ago...:D

This might not be good for Australia, because Lua might turn into a category 2 system before landfall
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4488
985. Patrap
3:17 PM GMT on March 14, 2012
Yesterday Solar Flare, NW Limb,LARGE Image




Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129089
984. Chicklit
3:17 PM GMT on March 14, 2012
(edited)
You're right Patrick.
Anyway, in terms of weather, it's a perfect day here in ECFL, particularly for the tens of thousands of motorcyclists who are here for Daytona Bike Week.
Member Since: July 11, 2006 Posts: 14 Comments: 11387
983. WxGeekVA
3:14 PM GMT on March 14, 2012
Quoting kwgirl:
Good Morning! I think all women in America should stop "accomodating" men until the national election. Then not only will the women vote, but the men may change their thinking as well. I am talking the same kind of revolt that women did to get the vote. Stop cooking, cleaning, and definitely NO SEX!


Please god no!!!! Whatever will I do without my daily sandwiches and my laundry not done for me? I'll have to turn on a washing machine for the first time ever and cook food which I havent done since my BacoSteaSausaBurger fiasco a few years ago!

SARCASM FLAG: ON
J/K FLAG: ON

For real though that would probably work... My father said (he isn't the most eloquent but he has a good point..) " A man wouldn't die for himself, his country, his dog, or a steak. But you can be d*** sure when it comes down to his sex life being affected, the impossible becomes possible for him."
Member Since: September 3, 2011 Posts: 13 Comments: 3476
982. SPLbeater
3:13 PM GMT on March 14, 2012
Quoting kwgirl:
Good Morning! I think all women in America should stop "accomodating" men until the national election. Then not only will the women vote, but the men may change their thinking as well. I am talking the same kind of revolt that women did to get the vote. Stop cooking, cleaning, and definitely NO SEX!


those last 3 things can tear a man apart ya know, lol.
i am really not good at hous cleaning. my work should be outside where you have fresh air and a breeze.

That last one might get a riot started(excluding me)..xD
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4488
981. fireflymom
3:11 PM GMT on March 14, 2012
The problem lies in the fact that no one  running is worth while, polictics does not attract intelligent, moral, forward thinking people. Back to the Weather hoping for rain next week while we can still get some down in Texas.
Quoting kwgirl:
Good Morning! I think all women in America should stop "accomodating" men until the national election. Then not only will the women vote, but the men may change their thinking as well. I am talking the same kind of revolt that women did to get the vote. Stop cooking, cleaning, and definitely NO SEX!

Member Since: June 5, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 591
980. Patrap
3:11 PM GMT on March 14, 2012
Lasco Image with Comet inbound to SOL


Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129089
979. Floodman
3:08 PM GMT on March 14, 2012
Quoting PensacolaDoug:


Why do people think POTUS can affect the price of gas? That's easy. For eight years while GWB was prez the Dems and the media drilled it into the national psyche. They blamed Bush every time the price went up. I think it was John Kerry who implored Bush to go to Saudi Arabia to beseech the the Saudis to pump more and to help get the price down to $75 a barrel.


Let's take it back a little further than that...Newt and the "Back room deal boys" screamed about in the 90s while Clinton was pres. Give credit where crediot is due, afterall
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 9922
978. Patrap
3:06 PM GMT on March 14, 2012
co2now.org


Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129089
977. kwgirl
2:55 PM GMT on March 14, 2012
Quoting BobWallace:


The best cure for those kinds of headaches is through the ballot box.

Women outnumber men in the US. If women register and vote their interests they can kick these "viagra popping, closed minded, misogynistic old white guys" to the curb.

Good Morning! I think all women in America should stop "accomodating" men until the national election. Then not only will the women vote, but the men may change their thinking as well. I am talking the same kind of revolt that women did to get the vote. Stop cooking, cleaning, and definitely NO SEX!
Member Since: March 28, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1532
976. Patrap
2:41 PM GMT on March 14, 2012
"Go wit da flow"

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129089
975. hydrus
2:40 PM GMT on March 14, 2012
iS that a dry line in there.?
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 21734
974. hydrus
2:37 PM GMT on March 14, 2012
Is that a trough in there.?
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 21734
973. Patrap
2:34 PM GMT on March 14, 2012
Another Comet?

Tue, 13 Mar 2012

SOHO and STEREO are reporting another Kruetz comet moving toward the Sun. It is expected to make its closest approach to the Sun tomorrow, March 14. If it survives perihelion and is bright enough, we would see this comet appearing in the upper right side of the Sun and moving down over the disk. Current estimates are that this comet is smaller than Lovejoy. At this time we do not know the time of perihelion passage.



We have a daily eclipse of the Sun by the Earth (at 0630-0730 UTC tomorrow), and a momentum management burn tomorrow at from 1845-1915 UTC. During both periods the images of the Sun may be absent.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129089
972. AussieStorm
2:29 PM GMT on March 14, 2012
Ice helps run rings around the sun



NO, it’s not the apocalypse. This unusual sight, captured about noon yesterday, is a ring around the sun known as a “halo”.

The effect is caused by sunlight shining through a thin layer of cloud called cirrostratus, which consists of millions of tiny ice crystals. The halo is a distant cousin to the rainbow, and The Weather Channel’s Dick Whitaker said it appeared two to three times per year.

“There is no way to judge how long the halo will last over Sydney, as it depends on the cloud cover,” he said.

The black colour of our photograph is because of the reduced exposure required for photographing the sun
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15961

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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

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