Planets Align, Rain Continues Jul 15, 2012

Sights in Space!

With the recent geomagnetic storm, Auroras have been appearing throughout the overnight.  This time, the auroras were visible as far south as Missouri, usually they are only visible in the far northern latitudes.  Current viewable areas:

There was speculation that there maybe disruptions to the earth’s magnetic field and potential even affect cell service and GPS devices.  Results of this disruption from

“The arrival of the CME shook Earth’s magnetic field, which in turn induced electrical currents in the ground at Arctic latitudes. Rob Stammes measured the effect from his magnetic observatory in Lofoten, Norway:


Stammes has observed many CME strikes from his laboratory at the Polar Light Center. He says this one was not particularly strong, at least in terms of ground currents. Relatively weak ground currents are consistent with the muted displays of auroras in the aftermath of the strike.”

The Northern Lights from the foot of Lake McDonald around 11:30pm on July 14th.


Picture From Bob Conzemius on Facebook from northern Minnesota

Planet Conjunction

Sometimes it seems that my toddler will only eat certain vegetables when the planets are aligned.  Well, the stars aligned last night to form a triangle so I am holding out hope that broccoli will the favorite item at dinner tonight.

Picture and story below from

“This picture, taken as dawn broke over Sydney, does not do justice to the stunning sight of Venus and Jupiter, which we will not see again so close together for the next few years. However, the good news for budding astronomers who may have missed the early morning show, is the best is yet to come. Because of the rare alignment of the moon with the two planets – tomorrow will be the clearest display yet.  Allan Kreuiter, Astronomy Educator Sydney Observatory, which is part of the Powerhouse Museum said: “If you look to the north-east before sunrise you will see the spectacular sight. “The two planets are at their brightest and you will also see other bright stars.”The best time to look will be around 6am and you will see the crescent moon low to the horizon, directly above it is the brightest planet Venus. Above Venus and to the left is the largest of the planets, Jupiter which will appear slightly dimmer. Just above them both will be the bright star Aldebaran.””

What a Mess!

I just feel for these people stuck in this traffic nightmare.  Flooding roadways due to heavy monsoonal rain has led to this situation in Val Vista, AZ.  A true test of patience.

Interesting (?) Idea

These guys may have been inspired by the movie “Up” when creating this flying device.  The flight plan was put to halt, however, when thunderstorms threatened to bring hail to the balloons.

From the AP: ” Two men who were trying to fly from Central Oregon to Montana in tandem lawn chairs suspended from party balloons are back on land after having to abort the flight due to thunderstorms. They landed about 30 miles east of their starting point. (July 14)”


Northwest Storms

It isn’t all that often that we are talking about severe weather in the Northwest.  But yesterday there were a couple reports of hail damage and wind damage as well as several thunderstorms with lightning.  One of those storms caused some trouble at a Rodeo in Montana.

Picture from:


From the Missoulian: “A cowboy and two spectators were taken by ambulance to a Hamilton hospital Saturday night after lightning hit a power pole at the Elite Bull Connection, sending an electric shock through the grandstands, rodeo chutes and bull pens. “It hit that one light pole and came down, and everything was so wet, it went in every direction,” said Cal Ruark, the Bull-O-Rama’s chairman. “I’m telling you what. It was deafening almost when it hit.” Miraculously, everyone survived the lightning’s strike, he said. “Everyone is accounted for, and as far as we know there is nothing life-threatening at this point. Thank goodness. That’s the important thing.” All three people taken to Marcus Daly Memorial Hospital were alert and conscious when they were loaded into ambulances, Ruark said. Sixty bull riders and probably 1,000 spectators were in the rodeo arena and grandstands when a thunderstorm rolled in from the south and pummeled Darby, drenching the grounds. Then came the lightning. One bolt struck directly across the river. The second strike hit the Bull-O-Rama.”

Enjoy the rest of the weekend!

Meteorologist Gretchen Mishek

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