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Holiday Shopping Guide for the Weather Enthusiast

By: Dr. Jeff Masters, 6:18 PM GMT on December 11, 2013

What’s the hottest gift of the year for the weather enthusiast? It’s the 2014 Climate Models Calendar, featuring the world’s hottest climate scientists posing in front of provocative backgrounds. I’m in San Francisco this week for the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union (AGU), the world’s largest climate science conference. Over five thousand of the world’s top climate scientists are here, giving a staggering 10,000 talks and poster presentations. One of the poster presentations yesterday was for the Climate Models Calendar, a crowd-funded project that raised $10,000 to make this humorous calendar of “climate models”. The calendar includes information about the climate models’ research, favorite datasets, and has memorable dates in weather and climate history.  You can pick up a copy of the the Climate Models Calendar for your favorite weather and climate science enthusiast at http://climatemodels.tictail.com/; it’s $20.


Figure 1. Front cover of the 2014 Climate Models Calendar.

Buy a Personal Weather Station!
Every serious weather enthusiast deserves a Personal Weather Station (PWS) in their backyard! Not only can you enjoy seeing what the weather is in your backyard, you can share the data with everyone else on the Internet by uploading to the Wunderground Personal Weather Station network, which boasts data from over 25,000 stations. You don’t need to have a computer on all the time to collect the data and send it to the Internet—a company called Ambient makes a weather bridge that will keep the data flowing to the Internet even when your computer is turned off. A full list of wunderground-compatible PWS models, software, and add-ons like the Ambient weather bridge is available from our Personal Weather Station page. I have had a Davis Vantage II Pro in my backyard for the past five years, and have been very happy with it, but Rainwise also makes an excellent PWS that is very easy to set up.




Holiday books for the climate science enthusiast
If your favorite climate science enthusiast hasn’t read “The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars: Dispatches from the Front Lines”, by Michael E. Mann, now is the time to give him or her this must-read book. It’s out in paperback for the first time, and the new paperback edition includes a postscript from the author updating the story, and a new foreword from Bill Nye the Science Guy. My 2012 review of the book is here. The paperback version of “The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars” is $19.95 from the Columbia University Press.

If your climate science enthusiast’s reading taste runs more towards fiction, there is a whole new genre of climate fiction called “cli-fi” that has emerged in recent years. The best book I’ve read in this genre so far is “Flight Behavior” by Barbara Kingsolver. Kingsolver's story concerns a young wife and mother on a failing farm in rural Tennessee who experiences something she cannot explain—the mass migration of monarch butterflies from Mexico to new overwintering grounds in Tennessee. Her discovery energizes various competing factions—religious leaders, climate scientists, environmentalists, politicians—trapping her in the center of the conflict and ultimately opening up her world. Given the huge crash in monarch butterfly numbers in 2013, this novel is particularly timely. “Flight Behavior” is $10.63 in paperback from Amazon. I’ve read two other works of “cli-fi” this year that I enjoyed. ”Year of the Bad Decision” by Charles Sobczak tells the story of a geoengineering project in the year 2043 gone horribly wrong. ”A Change in the Weather” by Raymond Welch is set in 2028, and focuses on an Orwellian U.S. society that comes about in response to severe climate change.

Follow this week’s talks at AGU via the Internet
You can watch live streaming and recorded talks at this week’s AGU meeting—nearly 100 sessions (almost 600 presentations in total)  will be available live and on demand. Register here, and be sure to use code AGU13 for free access. You can also browse thousands of poster presentations at the poster site.
 
I’ll have a new post by Friday at the latest.

Jeff Masters

Book and Movie Reviews

The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

Reader Comments

Quoting 988. GTstormChaserCaleb:
I remember this day very well, it felt like NYC. A humid, cold airmass, we are so used to the dry, cold airmass here in Florida. It was definitely refreshing for a change. :)



That's cold stuff.
Sanible - beach at Fort Myers was low of 35 high 55. That's about as cold as it gets out on the Island. If its 35 degrees out on the Island it will be upper 20s inland.
Hope it doesn't get that cold.

Except I love cold weather for racing. The cold air makes a lot more horsepower and my car runs faster times at the track.
Quoting 998. Torito:


Alaska has only been hit by 2 tornadoes between 1950 and 2006 (the first being November 4, 1959, and the other was August 2, 2005). Both were also only ranked as F0.


I feel that is too close to the sleet line for there to be a TVS. So I think it is a glitch.

Reminds me of one time I saw a TVS show up in the middle of an area of snow.
Quoting 999. ILwthrfan:


Just the right front quadrant of low pressure pushing up against the mountains there in southern Alaska. It can cause smaller vortices within the broader area of low pressure to become enhanced.


So it really isn't a TVS.
1004. Torito
Quoting 1003. FunnelVortex:


So it really isn't a TVS.


It is a small non tornadic vortex then. xD
This is what I mean.

January 18, 1977: The pressure gradient between a strong ridge over the Mississippi Valley and a Nor'easter over Atlantic Canada sends very cold temperatures southward into the state. Areas around Pensacola are the first to receive the snow. Then the rest of The Panhandle. Followed by record accumulations for The Nature Coast, the I-4 corridor (both Orlando and Tampa (one tenth to a quarter inch) receive light accumulations of 1 inch (25 mm) to 2 inches (51 mm) with a few isolated spots reportedly receiving 3 inches (76 mm) to 6 inches (150 mm)), and finally South Florida. By early morning before sunrise on January 19, West Palm Beach reported snow for the first time on record, with snow flurries reaching as far south as Homestead. The snow causes little impact as it was of the dry variety, though the accompanying cold air results in hundreds of millions of dollars in damage (Orlando tied the 1899 record of over six consecutive nights well-below freezing). On January 20, The Miami Herald reports the event as the front page story, with a headline of a size usually reserved for the declaration of war.
1006. LargoFl
pic wont post grrr
Quoting 1004. Torito:


It is a small non tornadic vortex then. xD


Yeah. But as I said before, one time I saw a TVS show up inside a heavy band of snow.

It was most likely a fluke, but I wonder if a "snownado" is possible...
Quoting 988. GTstormChaserCaleb:
I remember this day very well, it felt like NYC. A humid, cold airmass, we are so used to the dry, cold airmass here in Florida. It was definitely refreshing for a change. :)


It was plenty refreshing that winter at 3000' elevation in the western NC mountings. Very refreshing indeed! :)
1009. Torito
Too hard to actually see.. it is too close to the clutter in the center of the radar.

1010. LargoFl
Quoting 1005. GTstormChaserCaleb:
This is what I mean.

January 18, 1977: The pressure gradient between a strong ridge over the Mississippi Valley and a Nor'easter over Atlantic Canada sends very cold temperatures southward into the state. Areas around Pensacola are the first to receive the snow. Then the rest of The Panhandle. Followed by record accumulations for The Nature Coast, the I-4 corridor (both Orlando and Tampa (one tenth to a quarter inch) receive light accumulations of 1 inch (25 mm) to 2 inches (51 mm) with a few isolated spots reportedly receiving 3 inches (76 mm) to 6 inches (150 mm)), and finally South Florida. By early morning before sunrise on January 19, West Palm Beach reported snow for the first time on record, with snow flurries reaching as far south as Homestead. The snow causes little impact as it was of the dry variety, though the accompanying cold air results in hundreds of millions of dollars in damage (Orlando tied the 1899 record of over six consecutive nights well-below freezing). On January 20, The Miami Herald reports the event as the front page story, with a headline of a size usually reserved for the declaration of war.
surprising alright..air usually dries out when it gets cold enough for snow..so we dont get any...but every now and then..conditions must be just right..humidity and cold.
1011. Torito
Quoting 1007. FunnelVortex:


Yeah. But as I said before, one time I saw a TVS show up inside a heavy band of snow.

It was most likely a fluke, but I wonder if a "snownado" is possible...


Snow devils exist... which are basically super small scales of the real things.....



Quoting 1011. Torito:


Snow devils exist... which are basically super small scales of the real things.....





I see snow devils all the time.
1013. Dakster
Quoting 1000. GTstormChaserCaleb:
Does it really matter how they would classify it though? It is Florida it rarely snows here, but it has happened and it has accumulated before. Some spots just received more than others that is all. It is just like when you have severe weather in Florida, some spots receive more rain than others. It would make more sense that the snow would accumulate on grassier surfaces than on asphalt/concrete surfaces. So these pictures are definitely believable.


It matters when someone is talking about snow in Miami or South Florida. Central to Northern Florida snow is not as rare an event. Florida is a very long state and it extends towards the equator further down than any other state in CONUS. Remembering that Florida is in two distinct climate zones - Orlando and Miami are not in the same climate zone.

Otherwise, yes, I agree with your analysis.


And for the record, I was around and remember the 1977 snow event. Nothing accumulated at our house and I still went to school that day. Is it a big deal to Miamians, yes, but it isn't like Miami was covered in snow/ice for days.

I get what you are saying - I drove through what I would call a heavy snowfall borderline blizzard in Utah a few years ago - My Dad who lives in Michigan was with me. For him, it was a light snow. Even though highway signs were warning against using cruise control and there was low visibility (but not a white out). Accumulation was an inch or so and it stuck around for a few days. (This was in the summer, in the Utah Mountains)
For those not familar with Sanible Fl. This picture shows where Sanible Island connects with Captiva Island.
These islands are across the causeway/bridge from Fort Myers. It a pretty unique place and rather expensive to live.
1015. hydrus
Quoting 1014. Sfloridacat5:
For those not familar with Sanible Fl. This picture shows where Sanible Island connects with Captiva Island.
These islands are across the causeway/bridge from Fort Myers. It a pretty unique place, and rather expensive to live.


And the first to go during a major. I would not risk losing my investment there.
Quoting 1015. hydrus:
I I'm looking at this correctly..The cold air will be in place while the moisture is also in place?.Cold(32-)+moisture=snow.Am I seeing this correctly.
1019. hydrus
1020. Dakster
Quoting 1014. Sfloridacat5:
For those not familar with Sanible Fl. This picture shows where Sanible Island connects with Captiva Island.
These islands are across the causeway/bridge from Fort Myers. It a pretty unique place and rather expensive to live.


And stunningly beautiful.

When I was a kid we used to stay at South Seas Plantation for a weekend during the summer.
1021. hydrus
Quoting 1018. washingtonian115:
I I'm looking at this correctly..The cold air will be in place while the moisture is also in place?.Cold(32-)+moisture=snow.Am I seeing this correctly.
I have no idea why we can't put images directly from accuweather on here...But they do show the 3-6 inch line being very close to D.C...Ah c'mon.This is like a strip tease..
1023. LargoFl
Quoting 1012. FunnelVortex:


I see snow devils all the time.
I guess after 3-4 shots of the good stuff I'd be seeing them too LOL
Quoting 1021. hydrus:
Looks like cold rain fro D.C then.
1025. hydrus
Quoting 1020. Dakster:


And stunningly beautiful.

When I was a kid we used to stay at South Seas Plantation for a weekend during the summer.
We used to go there a lot. I lived about 150 yards from the security gate.
Quoting 1023. LargoFl:
I guess after 3-4 shots of the good stuff I'd be seeing them too LOL


Difference between me and you is that I live in a place where we get a lot of snow, sometimes with a loose dusty top layer of snow which blows around, forms drifts, and sometimes vorticies.
Quoting 1007. FunnelVortex:


Yeah. But as I said before, one time I saw a TVS show up inside a heavy band of snow.

It was most likely a fluke, but I wonder if a "snownado" is possible...
Quoting 1009. Torito:
Too hard to actually see.. it is too close to the clutter in the center of the radar.


It's a radar algorithm false alarm. They occur frequently close to the radar sites.

Even with snowspouts... they generally would be so low to the ground that radars would not see the rotation, even if there were hydrometeors aloft for the radar to detect.
1028. LargoFl
Quoting 1026. FunnelVortex:


Difference between me and you is that I live in a place where we get a lot of snow sometimes with a loose dusty top layer of snow which blows around, forms drifts, and sometimes vorticies.
yeah i know..we had them every now and then up in NY also..snow on top had to be fluffy,would twirl around like a very mini tornado for a few mins..kinda cool to watch if you were a young child..
Quoting 1017. FunnelVortex:


And the first to go during a major. I would not risk losing my investment there.


Something like this might happen (Hurricane Charley).
Quoting 1028. LargoFl:
yeah i know..we had them every now and then up in NY also..snow on top had to be fluffy,would twirl around like a very mini tornado for a few mins..kinda cool to watch if you were a young child..


I still find it cool to watch as a 17 year old.
1031. LargoFl
Quoting 1029. Sfloridacat5:


Something like this might happen.
yes its just a barrier island,surprising people have their Main homes there..guess it would be ok if it was a vactioning second home..me I would'nt have my main home there either but..some very beautiful homes there and some good fishing around there also..spent many a night down there years ago..
Quoting 1029. Sfloridacat5:


Something like this might happen (Hurricane Charley).


Just says my point. Why make a big investment in a expensive luxary home if it could just get washed away not even a year after you purchased it?

Your vacation home is gone along with the millions of dollars you spent on it. Kinda wasteful.
1033. LargoFl
Quoting 1030. FunnelVortex:


I still find it cool to watch as a 17 year old.
yeah i bet it sure is...down here..all we get are sand devils sometimes at the beach lol..again, conditions here too have to be just right.
Quoting 1027. ScottLincoln:

It's a radar algorithm false alarm. They occur frequently close to the radar sites.

Even with snowspouts... they generally would be so low to the ground that radars would not see the rotation, even if there were hydrometeors aloft for the radar to detect.


I would think it would take extremely impressive low level shear and extremely steep lapse rates to create a scenario where a snowspout is possible. I have a hard time finding s scenario where a tornado could develop with surface temps at or below freezing.

I suppose a sudden extreme outbreak of cold with strong low level shear early in the season over the Great Lakes when they are still relatively warm could initiate a "snowspout" in a convective snow shower.

I guess mathematically its possible, but needless to say you might understand why I'm hesitant to believe they exist.
Quoting 1033. LargoFl:
yeah i bet it sure is...down here..all we get are sand devils sometimes at the beach lol..again, conditions here too have to be just right.


Im hoping to see the big boys someday. Becoming a stormchaser is one of my main goals.
Quoting 1031. LargoFl:
yes its just a barrier island,surprising people have their Main homes there..guess it would be ok if it was a vactioning second home..me I would'nt have my main home there either but..some very beautiful homes there and some good fishing around there also..spent many a night down there years ago..


Definately one of the most beautiful places in the country. I've been all over the country and Sanible has a very unique feel to it like your on a Caribbean Island.
But yes, these homes are at a serious risk of being completely destroyed by a strong storm.
1037. LargoFl
Few meteorologists I follow think there might be something around Christmas including NC and VA. They wisely didn't reveal much because it's long range, but it look like NC and VA will eventually get hit by arctic cold soon enough around 22nd or 23rd and open up a window for snowstorm. Again, this is just long range and could change.
1039. LargoFl
Quoting 1035. FunnelVortex:


Im hoping to see the big boys someday. Becoming a stormchaser is one of my main goals.
thats it,study,study and study..never lose sight of your goal..you CAN do it...good luck
Quoting 1034. Jedkins01:


I would think it would take extremely impressive low level shear and extremely steep lapse rates to create a scenario where a snowspout is possible. I have a hard time finding s scenario where a tornado could develop with surface temps at or below freezing.

I suppose a sudden extreme outbreak of cold with strong low level shear early in the season over the Great Lakes when they are still relatively warm could initiate a "snowspout" in a convective snow shower.

I guess mathematically its possible, but needless to say you might understand why I'm hesitant to believe they exist.


To spark the convection needed to make a "snow supercell," You would need a mildly cold moist airmass, cold enough for snow, and another supercold airmass.

That sort of setup is highly unlikley, but it may have happened before and we just dont know about it.
1041. LargoFl
looks like the week of Christmas..in the 70's here...
Quoting 1034. Jedkins01:


I would think it would take extremely impressive low level shear and extremely steep lapse rates to create a scenario where a snowspout is possible. I have a hard time finding s scenario where a tornado could develop with surface temps at or below freezing.

I suppose a sudden extreme outbreak of cold with strong low level shear early in the season over the Great Lakes when they are still relatively warm could initiate a "snowspout" in a convective snow shower.

I guess mathematically its possible, but needless to say you might understand why I'm hesitant to believe they exist.

Snowpouts are seemingly very rare, but have been documented.

As far as actual tornadic activity from a snow squall... I have a feeling that the ingredients coming together would be much less common. The closest situations I recall was several years ago in Iowa where a fast moving snow/sleet squall was moving very quickly and had strong winds. It developed a bit of rotation aloft over time.
Quoting 1039. LargoFl:
thats it,study,study and study..never lose sight of your goal..you CAN do it...good luck


I will. I want to get into Ok U eventually, but since it is out of state I probably cant afford it, and it is highly competitive.

I might end up having to go to Wisconsin University, but I will do anything to achieve my goal.

I've pulled up my grades heavily this year.
Wind damage - Captiva Island home - Hurricane Charley
Quoting 1044. Sfloridacat5:
Wind damage - Captiva Island home - Hurricane Charley


Wind, no surge?
1046. LargoFl
Quoting 1040. FunnelVortex:


To spark the convection needed to make a "snow supercell," You would need a mildly cold moist airmass, cold enough for snow, and another supercold airmass.

That sort of setup is highly unlikley, but it may have happened before and we just dont know about it.
we i was young in nyc, and we'd get the snowstorm..and along with came the winds blowing down the canyon like streets..and the snow devils would run down the middle of the street..saw it every couplke of years..didnt last long and again, conditions like fluffy type snow and winds blowing just right but i Have seen them..amazing sight alright..
Quoting 1041. LargoFl:
looks like the week of Christmas..in the 70's here...
It's only few days of nice weather in the Southeast before a cold front hit around 12/22
Quoting 1042. ScottLincoln:

Snowpouts are seemingly very rare, but have been documented.

As far as actual tornadic activity from a snow squall... I have a feeling that the ingredients coming together would be much less common. The closest situations I recall was several years ago in Iowa where a fast moving snow/sleet squall was moving very quickly and had strong winds. It developed a bit of rotation aloft over time.


Wow, I'd love to see one of those. Never heard of a real tornado forming in those conditons.
Quoting 1046. LargoFl:
we i was young in nyc, and we'd get the snowstorm..and along with came the winds blowing down the canyon like streets..and the snow devils would run down the middle of the street..saw it every couplke of years..didnt last long and again, conditions like fluffy type snow and winds blowing just right but i Have seen them..amazing sight alright..


I love winter storms and blizzards. I epseically love the convective snows (aka thundersnow)
There has been an explosion at a Chicago Chemical Plant, reports of injuries, per CNN.

The snowpout/snownado case I'm thinking of must be before December 2006. I found this comment I made about it back then on Stormtrack:


I dont remember the date but i have archived Level2 NEXRAD data from a case where there was a very small area of intense precipitation that was falling as snow, where ground reports were indicating zero visibility from the intense but brief snow squall. The NWS out of Des Moines issues a blizzard warning for this small system. On radar it was definitely rotating, visible on both reflectivity and velocity. If it was not for the fact it was snowing... i would have been seriously quesitoning why a tornado warning was not issued as it looked to me like a good example of a bow echo induced tornado case with mesocyclones forming and dissipating in front of the intense precipitation. I think this small squall may have been associated with a vort max, but i didn't end up having the time to go back and look into the case like i originally wanted to. I always wondered if it possibly could have been strong enough to produce a tornado, but it would be hard to know since it was in zero visibility....
1052. LargoFl
Hurricane Charley was seen as a far greater threat.

Officials were concerned at the possibility of freakishly high tides whipped up by Charley's winds. The area's last serious hurricane, in 1921, caused a 3-metre wall of water in Tampa Bay. If a wave that size were to hit today, it could cause enormous destruction because of much greater development and population, officials said.

Residents of Sanibel and Captiva, slender islands off south-west Florida, popular with seashell collectors, were given until midnight to leave. Other barrier islands to the north, in Manatee and Sarasota counties, were also evacuated. Mobile home owners in Manatee County were told to find more secure shelter.


1053. josF
Quoting 1030. FunnelVortex:


I still find it cool to watch as a 17 year old.

I'm 68 and still see new stuff. :)
Quoting 1042. ScottLincoln:

Snowpouts are seemingly very rare, but have been documented.

As far as actual tornadic activity from a snow squall... I have a feeling that the ingredients coming together would be much less common. The closest situations I recall was several years ago in Iowa where a fast moving snow/sleet squall was moving very quickly and had strong winds. It developed a bit of rotation aloft over time.


Very interesting. I can see how in rare situations based on my limited knowledge of thermodynamics, how a snow squall waterspout is possible, but a tornado on land seems far less likely and nearly impossible. Of course, the chances have to be non-zero given some perfect model scenario. However, its seems incredibly unlikely.

Having rotation aloft seems plausible and has been documented, but there is a far cry between that and funnel touching down on land.


I don't think its impossible, I just doubt if its happened before.
Quoting 1045. FunnelVortex:


Wind, no surge?


They got a decent surge (I believe around 7-9 feet), but the majority of the damage on Sanible and Captiva (main island) was from the wind. Winds were 140+ mph on the north end of Captiva. That caused extensive roof damage to almost every home out there.
There were so many old grown trees down it looked like a bomb went off.
Residents got very upset because they weren't allowed back on the island after the storm. For days they protested at the bridge trying to get the police to let them on the island.
But due to all the downed trees and powerlines, they wouldn't let residents back on the island.
What are your chances for a white Christmas?

Excerpt:

Minnesota. Maine. Upstate New York. The Allegheny Mountains of Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Practically anywhere in Idaho. And of course, the Rockies or the Sierra Nevada Mountains. These are the places where weather history suggests you want to be if you're looking for the best chance of a white Christmas.



Typical wind damage found on homes out on Captiva Island.

1058. LargoFl
Quoting 1057. Sfloridacat5:
Typical wind damage found on homes out on Captiva Island.

yeah where i live..its wind damage i fear the most..
1059. JNTenne
"A team from the University of Utah have told the American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting in San Francisco that Yellowstone’s magma chamber is 2.5 times larger than previously thought." Link

Now there's an unexpected Christmas present! i guess coal in the stocking is better than LAVA!
1060. LargoFl
Quoting 1059. JNTenne:
"A team from the University of Utah have told the American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting in San Francisco that Yellowstone’s magma chamber is 2.5 times larger than previously thought." Link

Now there's an unexpected Christmas present! i guess coal in the stocking is better than LAVA!
yep a most dangerous place alright..
1061. LargoFl
"ole blue eyes"............Link
1062. LargoFl
Quoting 1061. LargoFl:
"ole blue eyes"............Link
1063. LargoFl
grrrr..wont open
The annual Geminid meteor shower will peak on the night of Dec. 13-14, 2013.

Excerpt:

How to See Geminid Meteors
The best time to view Geminids is normally around 1-2 a.m. your local time. This year, the presence of a bright moon may make 4 a.m. to dawn a better time. Find a place away from city lights, then allow 45 minutes for your eyes to adjust to darkness. Lie on your back and look straight up because no binoculars are needed.
1066. Grothar
Quoting 1064. nrtiwlnvragn:
The annual Geminid meteor shower will peak on the night of Dec. 13-14, 2013.

Excerpt:

How to See Geminid Meteors
The best time to view Geminids is normally around 1-2 a.m. your local time. This year, the presence of a bright moon may make 4 a.m. to dawn a better time. Find a place away from city lights, then allow 45 minutes for your eyes to adjust to darkness. Lie on your back and look straight up because no binoculars are needed.


Now this is something I have always wanted to do. :)
Quoting 1052. LargoFl:
Hurricane Charley was seen as a far greater threat.

Officials were concerned at the possibility of freakishly high tides whipped up by Charley's winds. The area's last serious hurricane, in 1921, caused a 3-metre wall of water in Tampa Bay. If a wave that size were to hit today, it could cause enormous destruction because of much greater development and population, officials said.

Residents of Sanibel and Captiva, slender islands off south-west Florida, popular with seashell collectors, were given until midnight to leave. Other barrier islands to the north, in Manatee and Sarasota counties, were also evacuated. Mobile home owners in Manatee County were told to find more secure shelter.


Largo... I was at work with FPL watching the radar . We were all thinking Charley was heading for the Tampa area(which is non-FPL area) Everyone was shocked when it made the hard right towards Lee county area... We all jumped into Storm Mode.
Grothar, you killed the blog! Everyone is waiting for you to go do it now. :)
Quoting 1064. nrtiwlnvragn:
The annual Geminid meteor shower will peak on the night of Dec. 13-14, 2013.

Excerpt:

How to See Geminid Meteors
The best time to view Geminids is normally around 1-2 a.m. your local time. This year, the presence of a bright moon may make 4 a.m. to dawn a better time. Find a place away from city lights, then allow 45 minutes for your eyes to adjust to darkness. Lie on your back and look straight up because no binoculars are needed.
I do know how to lie on my back.....Watching meteors
Good Day Sensei,
Another cool sunny day. Sky milky with cirrus. Temps are about the same as yesterday--low 60s--but with little wind it feels milder. Dewpoint is up from upper 20s yesterday to near 50 today. The air feels soft.
JeffMasters has created a new entry.
1075. Dakster
Quoting 1059. JNTenne:
"A team from the University of Utah have told the American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting in San Francisco that Yellowstone’s magma chamber is 2.5 times larger than previously thought." Link

Now there's an unexpected Christmas present! i guess coal in the stocking is better than LAVA!


That area is very pretty. Lots of different colors. Even though it is extremely dangerous. If it erupted, that could be a life ending event worldwide.
18Z NAM SIM RAD FULL

It's unfortunate that the government of the Philippines has lacked the foresight to provide structures to provide shelter from typhoons. Bangladesh has saved many lives with such shelters. http://weburbanist.com/2011/08/28/windbreakers-ban gladesh-cyclone-shelter-architecture/