Greatest Olympian Ever?
I’ve heard the phrase “Greatest Olympian ever” tossed around quite a bit when it comes to USA swimmer Michael Phelps. I can think of MANY great USA Olympians from the past, but no other Olympian has claimed as many as he has! Thanks to @SummerSanders_
for the picture below from London during Phelps’ last SOLO finish during these games, a race in which Phelps won gold. Congrats again to Michael Phelps!
Elsewhere in the Solar System
Keeping an eye on Curiosity! NASA expects the Mars explorer Curiosity to arrive on the red planet sometime late Sunday. Here’s to hoping for some amazing images, data and theories in the near future!
“Late Sunday night, the 1-ton Curiosity rover’s spacecraft will barrel into the Red Planet’s atmosphere going about 13,000 mph (21,000 kph). A huge parachute will deploy about 7 miles (11 kilometers) above the ground, slowing the vehicle down to 200 mph (320 km) or so. Rocket engines will then fire, reducing the craft’s descent speed to less than 2 mph (3.2 kph).”
TMI or Too Much Information?
“A study put out by Trojan Brand Condoms finds that 70 percent of Americans have had sex during tornadoes and thunderstorms. Seven percent of people admitted to having sex during a hurricane, including 27 percent of those who live in Miami.”
Thanks to Dale Miscuraca for the picture below from Republic, MO
“Saskatoon Canada Seeing Record Tornado Activity in 2012 “
“REGINA — Southern Saskatchewan has seen yet more tornadoes in what is shaping up to be a potentially record-breaking summer for twisters in the province. Environment Canada issued tornado warnings for the RM of Craik and the RM of Huron on Thursday, and received several reports from the public of tornadoes touching down near the town of Tugaske, Sask. about 150 kilometres northwest of Regina. Environment Canada also confirmed that at least one tornado touched down in Douglas Provincial Park, about 180km northwest of Regina. “The average number of tornadoes between 1991 and 2011 has been 12 per year,” said John Paul Cragg, a warning-preparedness meteorologist for Environment Canada. Cragg added that the current record for tornado touchdowns in that period is 32, set in 1991. Cragg said 2012 may have already broken that mark, with somewhere between 27 and 34 twisters touching down. Cragg says a warmer-than-average summer has been partly to blame. The warmer temperatures, more moisture than normal in the air and the arrival of low-pressure systems in the mid-afternoon have created ideal conditions for the kinds of thunderstorms that can produce funnel clouds.” Read more from Leaderpost.com HERE:
Drought Continues and Worsens
The US Drought Monitor released their update last Thursday, which showed conditions even worse than the week before throughout the central part of the country. Folks living in eastern Minnesota and northern Wisconsin have been getting adequate moisture, but areas in red (EXTREME DROUGHT and deep red (EXCEPTIONAL DROUGHT) seem to be getting worse.
“The Midwest: Most of the region registered above-normal temperatures for the period ending Tuesday morning. In fact, preliminary data show that July came in at 5-10 degrees above normal for the month of July. The region continues to be impacted not only by oppressive heat, but also by depleted soil moisture, desiccated pastures and widespread crop damages, livestock culling and elevated fire risk. Recent concerns have now turned to soybeans and water supply as the drought’s duration persists. Some fared a bit better than others; southern Minnesota and southern and eastern Wisconsin benefitted the most from rains, leading to general 1-category improvements this week. Rains also fell across northern Indiana and southern Michigan, leaving things pretty much unchanged from last week. That said, there is a slight expansion of D3/D4 across western and central Indiana. Much of southern Ohio and eastern Kentucky also saw measurable improvement on the order of 1-category this week, pushing the drought to the west. Longer-term impacts still remain even given the short-term relief, but parts of eastern Kentucky and Ohio are seeing a rebound in streamflows, which is a good sign. In the western half of the region, things continue to worsen across Missouri and Arkansas, with continued deterioration and encroachment of D3 and even D4.”
“Why the Drought Will Make Food Cost More”
“The U.S.Department of Agriculture says food prices will rise because the drought is harming the corn crop. Corn becomes feed, and as the price of feed goes up, the price of animals goes up. Meat and poultry prices are affected the most because feed is the biggest production cost.”
“Drought May Cost $20 Billion in Crop Insurance”
“WASHINGTON (CNNMoney) — As the drought continues to ravage the nation’s corn, wheat and soybean fields, crop insurance losses are expected to break records.
“It will be a major loss situation,” said Thomas Zacharias, president of the National Crop Insurance Services, a lobbying group representing private crop insurers. “The companies are in the field adjusting claims as we speak.”
An economist with the group roughly estimated that losses could top $20 billion and taxpayers will ultimately shoulder most of the cost the nation’s scorched fields.”
Watching the Tropics
Two Typhoons Saola and Damrey were making headlines in the Philippines, Taiwan and China earlier this week
“In the Philippines, Saola (locally known as Typhoon Gener) brought torrential downpours earlier this week forcing 154,000 to evacuate their homes. The storm tracked slowly just north of the Taiwan after its brief landfall. The Central Weather Bureau in Taipei reported more than 800 mm [app. 31 ½ inches] of accumulated rainfall from Tuesday to the present at 35 stations in northern and central portions of Taiwan. The city of Taipei has reported about 355 mm [app. 14 inches] of precipitation. Anticipating high water levels, administrators at Taiwan’s seven major reservoirs have released water to mitigate flooding.
Meanwhile, Typhoon Damrey has made landfall along China’s coast farther to the north than Saola. Damrey is the tenth typhoon of the season and hit northern Jiangsu province with maximum 1-minute sustained wind speeds of 150 km/h (93 mph, or a strong Category 1 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale), according to the Japan Meteorological Agency’s 15:45 UTC advisory. It is moving to the west-northwest with a forward speed of 25 km/h.”
ERNESTO Eases West
Closer to home, ERNESTO continues moving west northwest toward the Gulf of Mexico. This is something that the National Hurricane Center is keeping a close eye on, which is forecast to become a hurricane within the next several days.
How about the image below huh?!? Talk about a meteorological mess. The picture below is a list of several different models that the National Hurricane Center will be looking at over the days to come as the storm moves west. It’s quite confusing, but the general trend is through the Caribbean and near the Gulf of Mexico by next week.
National Hurricane Center Forecast
The NHC’s forecast isn’t quite as confusing and takes a similar track to what the spaghetti plots are saying above. Note how the forecast shows ERNESTO becoming a hurricane by early next week.
Thanks for checking in, have a great weekend!