A Letter to Mother Nature: a book review

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 11:52 AM GMT on June 05, 2012

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One of the features of wunderground.com that I'm most proud of is one all of you can take credit for--our wunderphotos. Each day, users of the web site upload an average of 500 - 600 photos of some of the most beautiful and spectacular natural phenomena on the planet. We all share the same atmosphere, and one really gets a sense of that connection when we look at the wunderphotos, which come from every corner of the planet. Since 2003, 1.5 million wunderphotos have been uploaded, with over half a million just in the past three years. We have a dedicated team of volunteer reviewers that screen each photo, and I owe a big thank-you to all of you who have served as wunderphoto moderators. One of our most dedicated wunderphotographers, Lucy Woodley (wunderhandle: observing), was inspired to collect a set of 90 of her favorite wunderphotos and put them into a book. Her effort, A Letter to Mother Nature, was published this May. Each photo in the book has a sentence above it, poetically describing the scene below. It only takes a few minutes to whip through the book, but the spectacular images and thoughtful text invite one to linger longer and contemplate the natural beauty we are surrounded by. Here's a sampling of the text and images from the book, with wunderphotos by SunsetFL, CameraDiva, and Sharrose:

Dear Mother Nature,
Quite simply, I am in awe
of you and here is why...

You remind us to always look up...



...for there are great wonders overhead.



We can't resist dancing in your meadows.




A Letter to Mother Nature is $14.99 (paperback) from amazon.com. Proceeds from sale of the book go to support the disaster relief charity Portlight.org, founded by members of the wunderground community. I give A Letter to Mother Nature my highest rating, five out of five stars.

Rare transit of Venus today
I hope all you wunderphotographers will help document for us today a rare celestial happening--a transit of Venus across the sun. On June 5th at 3:09 pm PDT, Venus will begin a historic 7-hour transit of the solar disk, appearing as a dark spot against the sun's blazing face. This will be the last transit of Venus across the sun until 2117. As always, when viewing the sun, be sure to do it indirectly, or use a proper filter such as a #14 welder's glass to block the sun's eye-damaging rays. NASA.gov has more info. I'll link the best wunderphotographs taken of today's transit at the bottom of this post tonight and Wednesday morning. Below is one from Venus' last transit of the sun, back in 2004. Thanks, wunderphotographers!

Jeff Masters

Venis in transit (tillerdog)
Venus in transit across the sun June 8, 2004. Taken at sun rise in Flagler Beach Floirda ( USA ) with a 850mm lens by photojournalist Jim Tiller.
Venis in transit
Transit of Venus (redtim)
Transit of Venus from the Wunderground Office
Transit of Venus
Venus Sunset 7 (Nikongranny)
Venus across the sun during a cloudy evening.
Venus Sunset 7
Transit of Venus (LaddObservatory)
Despite thick clouds we were able to capture a brief glimpse of the planet Venus transiting the Sun. This image was taken with a modern digital camera attached to the historic Ladd Observatory telescope (1891) The clouds thinned just enough to capture this one image at 6:21:38 PM EDT, just moments after second contact.
Transit of Venus
Venus and sunspots at sunset (Llamadave)
I took this from a telescope projection on a white surface in West Lafayette, IN
Venus and sunspots at sunset
Transit of Venus 2012 (Guruchild)
I used a first generation canon digital rebel, a 300mm telephoto lens, a circular polarizing filter, and the low atmosphere to capture this beautiful amateur photograph of Venus dotting the Sun's disc.
Transit of Venus 2012
Venus transit (milfeld)
Venus transit

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Quoting Skyepony:
Had a 27mph gust here.
nastyheretoo
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Even the dove laying on her nest in the gutter in the back yard looking at me in distress
Member Since: July 14, 2008 Posts: 1 Comments: 9628
Cooking out here, heat index 108 with dewpoint of 77 according to WunderMap app on my Iphone
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1267. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
looks like rain for fla ne gulf coast
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Earth transit...
for observers on a sweet spot like Mars, the sight could be amazing. Fundamentally, it would look like a scaled-down version of a transit of Venus, but what could make it extra interesting is the presence of our inordinately big Moon. The fifth largest satellite in the solar system, the Moon's diameter (2,160 miles) is more than a quarter the size of Earth's.

http://blogs.plos.org/retort/2012/06/05/transits- of-earth-from-other-planets-2/
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1265. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Quoting Grothar:


Well, the experts still expect some development. So in a few days we will have to see. The shear tendency is to increase by tomorrow and the long range even more.






well this expert would say looks like a whole lotta nuttin for GOM/BOC area now
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Quoting redwagon:

Lynard Skynard will come to Houston before these storms do.

Get over it, and go water the lawn. I was so hoping not to have to water again today! :(


Lol
Member Since: August 18, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 598
Statement as of 4:21 PM CDT on June 06, 2012

... Significant weather advisory for Hardin... Jasper... Newton...
Tyler... Jefferson and Orange counties... significant weather advisory
for Beauregard... Allen... Acadia... Calcasieu... Jefferson Davis...
Vermilion and Cameron parishes until 515 PM CDT...

At 415 PM CDT... National Weather Service meteorologists detected a
line of strong thunderstorms from near Lake Arthur through Lake
Charles and Orange to near Jasper. The line was nearly stationary.

The primary threats from these storms are continuous lightning and
pea to nickel size hail. Seek shelter in a safe home or building
until these storms have passed.

These storms could produce rainfall amounts of one to two inches in a
short period of time... resulting in ponding of water around low lying
roadways. Remember... do not drive your vehicle into water covered
roadways. The depth may be too great to allow a safe crossing.
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Quoting DavidHOUTX:


they need to come to Houston!!!!!!!!!

Lynard Skynard will come to Houston before these storms do.

Get over it, and go water the lawn. I was so hoping not to have to water again today! :(
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Scratch this post. Wasn't thinking straight when comparing Mars and Venus.
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Quoting AtHomeInTX:


Hang in there. Looks like they're breaking up before hitting Orange County too. :)



they need to come to Houston!!!!!!!!!
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1259. Grothar
Quoting reedzone:


I know, wasn't saying it was gonna get interesting, but there is a patch of wind shear under 20 knots over the circulation, that patch would have to expand some more in order for something "interesting" to happen.


Well, the experts still expect some development. So in a few days we will have to see. The shear tendency is to increase by tomorrow and the long range even more.

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We still have a chance of rain just not as high as it was...

NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE LAKE CHARLES LA
319 PM CDT WED JUN 6 2012

.DISCUSSION...THE 12Z KLCH SOUNDING INDICATED THAT WHEN MODIFIED
TO A SURFACE T/TD OF 92/70 THE CAPE INCREASES TO AROUND 3K J/KG.
THIS WOULD BE SUFFICIENT FOR STRONG TO SEVERE STORMS AS THE WEAK
CAP BROKE. THESE STORMS WILL BE AROUND THE CWA THROUGH THE
AFTERNOON AND START TO SLOWLY DISSIPATE AS DAYTIME HEATING IS LOST.


A WEAK FRONTAL BOUNDARY CURRENTLY STRETCHES ACROSS
THE NORTHERN GULF COAST FROM SE GA TO SE TX. AN UPPER LVL LOW IS
ALSO NOTED ACROSS THE TX PANHANDLE AND WEAK DISTURBANCE IS OVER
THE WESTERN GULF OF MEXICO. HIGHER MOISTURE LEVELS WILL CONTINUE
TO POOL ALONG THE WEAK BOUNDARY WITH PWATS RANGING FROM 1.7-1.9
THROUGH SATURDAY. WITH THE RIDGE BREAKING DOWN, ISOLATED TO
SCATTERED STORMS CAN BE EXPECTED EACH DAY THROUGH THE END OF THE
WEEK. BY FRIDAY AND INTO SATURDAY THE UPPER LOW WILL SLOWLY MOVE
THROUGH WITH AN INCREASE IN UPPER DIVERGENCE AND A SLIGHT COOLING
OF THE MID LVLS. THE WEAK DISTURBANCE OVER THE GULF WILL ALSO
DRIFT NORTH OVER THE THE NEXT FEW DAYS ADDING TO THE MOISTURE
LEVELS BY THE END OF THE WEEK... THEREFORE THE HIGHEST RAIN CHANCES
WILL BE FRIDAY AND SATURDAY ACROSS THE REGION. THE UPPER LOW WILL
DEPART THE AREA LATER SATURDAY WITH SLIGHTLY DRIER CONDITIONS
EXPECTED LATE IN THE WEEK AND INTO EARLY NEXT WEEK AS DRIER AIR
FILTERS IN BEHIND THE UPPER LOW
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Quoting LargoFl:
i wonder what tomorrow is going to bring us. they say its going to be a wash out here


I've seen rain chances as high as 90%. This afternoon I drove from Lakeland to palm harbor and drove through some serious rain in hillsborough county. The wind was quite gusty too.
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Quoting Grothar:


I've been following the shear tendency closely the past few day. It seems the Caribbean and Gulf are staying pretty strong. That shear will have to die down before anything can develop.


I know, wasn't saying it was gonna get interesting, but there is a patch of wind shear under 20 knots over the circulation, that patch would have to expand some more in order for something "interesting" to happen.
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Quoting hydrus:
What I meant was, Venus is 7520 miles in diameter, Jupiter is just under 89,000. That would mean you could put 11 Venuses side by side, and it still would not be as wide as Jupiter. Venus is looking way to large.
But if Venus is, say, four times closer to the observer (you) at the time of transit than is Jupiter, its apparent diameter would exaggerated by four, making it appear to be roughly one-third the diameter of Jupiter--as the conceptual image shows.
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Tornado Watch 361 remains valid until 9 PM MDT this evening for
the following areas

In Colorado this watch includes 10 counties

In east central Colorado

Elbert

In northeast Colorado

Adams Arapahoe Broomfield
Denver Douglas Logan
Morgan Washington Weld

This includes the cities of... Akron... Aurora... Broomfield...
brush... Castle Rock... Denver... Elizabeth... Fort Morgan...
Greeley... Highlands Ranch... Northglenn... Otis... Parker...
Ponderosa Park... Sterling... Thornton and Westminster.

Idk if anyone posted this yet so sorry if u did


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1253. Grothar
Quoting reedzone:


I didn't expect low wind shear to move in that area.. but according to the CIMMS map, wind shear is just under 20 knots where the broad circulation is...




I've been following the shear tendency closely the past few day. It seems the Caribbean and Gulf are staying pretty strong. That shear will have to die down before anything can develop.
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1252. Skyepony (Mod)
Had a 27mph gust here.
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Quoting etxwx:


There appears to be an alien shield over my part of East Texas (Northern Jasper County)...rain within a quarter mile of my house and nadda...
*head desk* *head desk*


Hang in there. Looks like they're breaking up before hitting Orange County too. :)

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1250. hydrus
Quoting BaltimoreBrian:


Not really. Venus is also a lot CLOSER to us than Jupiter is.
What I meant was, Venus is 7520 miles in diameter, Jupiter is just under 89,000. That would mean you could put 11 Venuses side by side, and it still would not be as wide as Jupiter. Venus is looking way to large.
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Well, i will have to go soon, sunny and warm in GA, what some would call "Nice Weather"

also, can a troll get you banned?
i was just wondering.
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 9718
Quoting Grothar:


I didn't expect low wind shear to move in that area.. but according to the CIMMS map, wind shear is just under 20 knots where the broad circulation is...


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Quoting ozprof:
When Venus transits in front of Jupiter in 2065, they will only be about 8 degrees from the Sun, so it will be an extremely difficult sight to see. :-(


Dang... plus a lot of us will be dead anyway.
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Quoting LargoFl:
hi, plse post that ok

http://www.lcra.org/water/conditions/weather/weat her_column.htmlThis is a couple sentences...

Strong atmospheric lift associated with the low is causing the development of thunderstorms near the low center. It now appears this low pressure system and not the low pressure system over northeastern Mexico and Deep South Texas will be the main weather feature over the next several days......
........... As a result, we’ll need to closely monitor weather developments across the northern Hill Country and the northern counties of Central Texas both Wednesday and Thursday nights. Sometimes with these types of lows, very heavy rain can develop after dark.
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1244. ozprof
When Venus transits in front of Jupiter in 2065, they will only be about 8 degrees from the Sun, so it will be an extremely difficult sight to see. :-(
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1243. nigel20
Quoting LargoFl:
well dinner bell rings lol...great day posting huh..hope everyone is safe tonight...later folks

Same to you Largo!
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1242. Grothar
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Quoting LargoFl:
That's weird. At my house in Odessa, I haven't recorded any gust over 10mph lol.
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1240. LargoFl
well dinner bell rings lol...great day posting huh..hope everyone is safe tonight...later folks
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 36664
Getting ready to water back yard later, it's wilting bad, not counting on rain
Member Since: July 14, 2008 Posts: 1 Comments: 9628
1238. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
Japan Meteorological Agency
DEVELOPING LOW, FORMER MAWAR (T1203)
3:00 AM JST June 7 2012
=================================

At 18:00 PM UTC, Developing Extratropical Low, Former Mawar (964 hPa) located at 38.0N 150.0E. The cyclone is reported as moving northeast at 30 knots.
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We've had a couple of good downpours in a row here in New Smyrna Beach this afternoon. Winds gusting here and a Decent cluster of rainstorms is headed toward the Cape right now.
Link Melbourne Radar

Statement as of 4:41 PM EDT on June 06, 2012

... A significant weather advisory is in effect for strong wind gusts between 45 and 55 mph over northern Brevard County...

* until 530 PM EDT.

At 440 PM EDT... National Weather Service Doppler radar indicated a storm capable of producing strong wind gusts over Sharpes... moving northeast at 35 mph.

Locations in the path of the storm which may experience strong winds include Kennedy space center and Canaveral Groves.

The primary threat will be cloud to ground lightning strikes and gusty winds of 45 to 55 mph... which can cause unsecured objects to blow around... snap tree limbs or cause power outages. Heavy rainfall will temporarily reduce visibility. Seek shelter indoors until the
storm passes.

Lat... Lon 2835 8061 2836 8064 2840 8064 2835 8065
2835 8086 2845 8090 2850 8088 2854 8094
2861 8097 2876 8084 2866 8080 2872 8075
2876 8082 2880 8081 2868 8067 2879 8075
2880 8073 2859 8057 2845 8052
time... Mot... loc 2041z 246deg 36kt 2843 8077
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1236. LargoFl
whew, boaters over by daytona beware............SPECIAL MARINE WARNING
AMZ550-552-062145-
/O.NEW.KMLB.MA.W.0056.120606T2045Z-120606T2145Z/

BULLETIN - IMMEDIATE BROADCAST REQUESTED
SPECIAL MARINE WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE MELBOURNE FL
445 PM EDT WED JUN 6 2012

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN MELBOURNE HAS ISSUED A

* SPECIAL MARINE WARNING FOR THE COASTAL WATERS...

FROM DAYTONA BEACH TO THE VOLUSIA BREVARD COUNTY LINE OUT TO 20 NM.

* UNTIL 545 PM EDT

* AT 439 PM EDT...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DOPPLER RADAR INDICATED A
THUNDERSTORM...PRODUCING STRONG WINDS OVER 34 KNOTS 10 MILES
NORTHWEST OF OAK HILL...OR ABOUT 7 MILES SOUTHWEST OF NEW SMYRNA
BEACH...MOVING NORTHEAST AT 20 KNOTS.

*THE THUNDERSTORMS AND GUSTY WINDS WILL CROSS THE VOLUSIA COAST AND
MOVE ONTO THE NEARSHORE ATLANTIC WATERS THROUGH 530 PM.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

THESE THUNDERSTORMS WILL LIKELY PRODUCE WINDS OVER 34 KNOTS AND
LOCALLY ROUGH SEAS. SMALL CRAFT...ESPECIALLY THOSE UNDER SAIL...
SHOULD MOVE TO A SAFE HARBOR IF POSSIBLE. MAKE SURE YOU AND YOUR CREW
ARE WEARING APPROVED FLOTATION DEVICES DURING THESE HAZARDOUS
CONDITIONS.

AS THESE STORMS CROSS THE INTRACOASTAL WATERS AND BARRIER ISLAND
COMMUNITIES...THEN OVER THE ATLANTIC...THEY WILL PRODUCE STRONG GUSTY
WINDS...ROUGH SEAS...HEAVY DOWNPOURS AND DANGEROUS LIGHTNING. TRY TO
AVOID THESE STORMS IF POSSIBLE. IF YOU GET CAUGHT OFFSHORE...MAKE
SURE ALL SAFETY GEAR IS AVAILABLE AND LIFE JACKETS ARE BEING WORN BY
YOU AND YOUR CREW.

&&

LAT...LON 2930 8066 2885 8038 2879 8079 2882 8082
2880 8084 2879 8083 2878 8085 2880 8086
2880 8084 2884 8082 2901 8092 2905 8091
2906 8094 2916 8100
TIME...MOT...LOC 2044Z 233DEG 22KT 2896 8094

$$


KELLY
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 36664
How's the gomex blob doing?
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1234. LargoFl
Quoting luvtogolf:


If you read Crown Weather's forecast from this morning, he forecasted strong winds along the west coast today.
i wonder what tomorrow is going to bring us. they say its going to be a wash out here
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 36664
1233. nigel20
Quoting HurrikanEB:


"there were two new tropical storms discovered, two existing cyclones were removed from the database as they did not reach tropical storm intensity, and two existing storms were actually one continuous system"
Link

Thanks much!
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Quoting floridafisherman:
1169. BaltimoreBrian 7:54 PM GMT on June 06, 2012 +4
Here's one you might get to see Analyst. Venus transiting Jupiter. November 22, 2065.

It will look something like this in binoculars.






--------
actuallly, that is impossible to see from earth, as venus is INSIDE our orbit and jupiter is outside of it. it would be possible for all 3 planets to line up but the sun would block the earths view of the transit in that case


It's not impossible, if Venus and Jupiter are both evening or morning stars and along the same line.
Member Since: August 9, 2011 Posts: 26 Comments: 8550
Quoting LargoFl:
yeah we had a pretty good one come thru earlier,lots of wind and some branches down here but everything is ok,wind is the story over much of central florida today i guess.


If you read Crown Weather's forecast from this morning, he forecasted strong winds along the west coast today.
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1230. Grothar
Quoting GeorgiaStormz:


i think it is 11, so what is it gro?


13
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1229. LargoFl
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 36664
1228. nigel20
Quoting Grothar:
Astronomers even caught images of Auroras on the planet.


Very nice images!
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Quoting nigel20:

Hey TA...was it because of over counting?


"there were two new tropical storms discovered, two existing cyclones were removed from the database as they did not reach tropical storm intensity, and two existing storms were actually one continuous system"
Link
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Quoting BaltimoreBrian:


How many rings are around Uranus, Grothar?


i think it is 11, so what is it gro?
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 9718
Quoting LargoFl:

storms just finished off here...wished they were in houston now lol
Member Since: June 4, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 767
1224. LargoFl
Quoting redwagon:


Can you believe the 100% divergence from last night's forecast for those two Lows from today's reality?

They shouldn't dangle that rain candy in front of us in their official forecasts, it's not fair. Now back to drought, and the underbrush is pretty dry around here.

I should paste LCRA's forecast from last night just so FL knows what's coming their way that THEY probably don't expect.
hi, plse post that ok
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 36664
Quoting RitaEvac:
Come on Houston fix the dang radar. Those storms wont make it here, only way for storms is for those to send out outflow boundaries igniting new storms somewhere, but you have to be underneath them to get any rain.


Yea the need to fix the radar asap. Ive been using Beaumont lol. There is a nice outflow boundary heading this way from those storms.

Link
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1222. Grothar
Astronomers even caught images of Auroras on the planet.

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Quoting Grothar:
A lot of people don't know Uranus has a series of rings around it like Saturn



How many rings are around Uranus, Grothar?
Member Since: August 9, 2011 Posts: 26 Comments: 8550
Quoting hydrus:
I do believe that the scale is off on the pic. Venus would look smaller if it were to be next to Jupiter.


Not really. Venus is also a lot CLOSER to us than Jupiter is.
Member Since: August 9, 2011 Posts: 26 Comments: 8550

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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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