Desierto norte de Chile

Thursday, September 22, 2011

What a confidence-inspiring bunch of folks

The news out of Washington this afternoon is that the next stop-gap spending bill - to fund the government past Sept. 30 - failed to pass the House of Representatives. What a thrilling bit of information - that yet again that group of people couldn't agree on funding. Is anyone else tired of this? Round 3 of brinkmanship, except the pawn here is the country, its reputat, and its people. As Congress is scheduled to go on another recess (do these people actually work?!) tomorrow, they have to pass something by then, otherwise I'm out of a job in a week. Come on people, your vapid behavior is irksome (at least) and damaging.

Attack of the 70 degree F dew points!!

Ugh. Here we are at the first day of solar autumn and still suffering from dew point temperatures at or over 70F! My morning jog was drenching - both as I collided (and coalesced) with the misty droplets hanging about, and also from the lack of significant evaporation from my skin. Where are the sunny, dry days with temperatures in the 70s in the day, 50s in the night? We're 9 days from October and before we know it our highs will be struggling to break 65F. Perhaps if we had some sun things might be perceived differently (we're going on Day 4 without appreciable sunlight).

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Odds & ends

I spent part of this past weekend in North Carolina, joining Mom, Dad, and Kim in the 4th Annual Run, Walk, and Roll 5k race in Greenville. Dad and I were going to go to a football game afterwards, but the rainy weather (or chance of rain/drizzle) squelched those plans. While the trip was short - arriving 8:45 p.m. Fri, leaving 4:45 p.m. Sat - it was fun. Plus I set a personal best 5k time - 21:27! Maybe next year I can shoot for < 21:20? I've included a few photos below.

Fall weather is finally up us! We have had stratus clouds and highs in the 60s F the past few days, definitely a stark change from the humidity and sun of June, July, and August. The week after Hurricane Irene brought a taste of that weather, although the week was very sunny. Two more cold fronts are expected this week, with high temperatures behind each falling back into the 60s.

On Tuesday my colleague and I are presenting highlights from our SWIFT internship to the Annapolis USNA Alumni Chapter. I think we've built up quite a bit of goodwill from the USNA administration with this internship, one that can only help its future longevity.

Next month I'm connecting with Cru, Navy's Christian extracurricular activity, in two significant ways. First I'll be speaking to the chapter on Tue 04 Oct, and after that, I'll head to southern PA to their Fall Retreat on 14-16 Oct. I went on the retreat last year, too, and enjoyed the opportunity to connect with students in a way very different from the normal classroom interaction.

In November I'm considering visiting Scandanavia again - I spent Spring Break 2009 in Norway; this time I'm looking to fly into Helsinki and work my way down to Copenhangen, spending one night each in Helsinki, Stockholm, and Copenhagen. Anyone who's been to any of those countries have any tips? Things to see, eat, etc.? The plane fares are reasonable that time of year, so why not take advantage of the holiday?

Finally I've applied again for funds to take students to the Andes Mtns, this time during Spring Break 2012. Will see how the process goes (the due date for proposals was just this past Fri.), but hopefully I'll get to lead 4 more students in an exciting trip discovering language, culture, and science in South America.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Will 2011 be the new record year?

This month the Arctic reaches its sea ice coverage minimum - and it is a race to see whether 2011 will tie or best 2007, the current minimum extent. Will a summer ice-free Arctic be far behind?

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Autumn rains ...

The remnants of Tropical Storm Lee, combined with a stationary upper-level closed low, have brought quite a bit of rain to the greater Annapolis area. I posted last night about the interesting discrepancies in radar-estimated totals vs. gauges. After that post, Annapolis received about another 1.5" of rain, bringing our total to 4.57". Here is a plot of hourly, and total, rainfall, along with radar estimated totals (which are significantly higher just to our west).

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

What an interesting day!

So on a day with a north-south oriented warm front, heavy rain, tornadoes, coastal flooding, 3 tropical systems spinning in the Atlantic, and Spanish class work & Methods class prep to do, I still managed to submit a travel proposal to NSF. We'll see how it gets reviewed (or if it even gets reviewed? - I've never submitted that kind of a proposal before).

Now on to the weather:

This morning awoke to find a 13F temperature increase in Annapolis overnight, from 65F yesterday to 78F today. This can be attributed to the passage of a warm front, which moved through us and promptly stalled about 40 km to our west. Seeing how the front axis has been the axis for very heavy rainfall today, I think we were fortunate to have the front move to our west. We've still received 2.72" of rain in the past 3 days at KNAK. It's interesting to compare that gauge total to the radar estimated storm total. The pixels of the KLIX radar are at least 1.5 km x 1.5 km out here at Annapolis (about 60 km from the radar), and the estimates for our area are quite varied. Two of the pixels divide right over my house (about 2 km from the gauge): one indicates 4.00" storm-total rainfall, the other 3.28". The KNAK station is even luckier, located at the intersection of 4 pixels! One is 2.64", another 3.04", a third 2.08", and the final one 2.48". Which one is right? They're all right overhead of the gauge (within a few hundred meters of it). That's quite a spread for one location - up to 0.96" difference. The gauge actually is on the high end of the estimates, again at 2.72" for the same period. Very interesting indeed!

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