It doesn't take a Hurricane Irene to create a power outage, but the recent storm scare on the US eastern coast has reminded many of us of the misery of being instantly transported back to the 19th century. Coffee, entertainment, connectivity--all our toys are dependent upon electricity.
Hurricane season is far from over and the weather seems to have gone a little crazy these days. 20 Things to Have on Hand for Power Outages | WiseBread has created an affordable list of items that will help make recovery from a weather disaster a little more comfortable the next time the power goes out. To keep our spirits up and stay connected, must-haves are:
You may still be trying to stay cool this summer, but are maxed out on AC bills for the season. Hot weather can last well into Indian summer.
Have you ever noticed that spicy food is a staple in the warmer climates? Spicy foods make you perspire, and sweating cools you down. Also spicy foods make you want to drink water, which lowers your body temp as well. So kick it up a notch and pour on the hot sauce!
Rain in the forecast? This little weather girl holds her wide-top umbrella high over a deep basin to keep your bird seed nice and dry. The Rain Girl Birdfeeder is made of metal with a bright, hand painted finish.
Now when you are checking out Google Maps for directions, you can get an instant weather report too. The Official Google Blog has announced they have just added a weather layer on Google Maps that displays current temps and conditions around the globe:
To add the weather layer, hover over the widget in the upper right corner of Google Maps and select the weather layer from the list of options. When zoomed out, you'll see a map with current weather conditions from weather.com for various locations, with icons to denote sun, clouds, rain and so on. You can also see cloud coverage, thanks to our partners at the U.S. Naval Research Lab. And, if you look closely, you can also tell if it's day or night around the world by sun and moon icons.
As you know, Texas Gov. Rick Perry recently declared his candidacy for President of the United States, campaigning as a conservative Republican who does not believe climate change is human-induced. On the presidential campaign trail in New Hampshire Wednesday, he kicked the rhetoric up a notch claiming "a substantial number of scientists [have] manipulated data to keep the money rolling in ":
Fielding audience questions after brief remarks that dwelled largely on fiscal and economic issues, Perry encountered one skeptic who said he was quoting from Perry's 2010 book, Fed Up!: Our Fight to Save America from Washington
, then asked whether misgivings about climate science fueled distrust of federal research in general.
"I do believe that the issue of global warming has been politicized," Perry answered. "I think there are a substantial number of scientists who have manipulated data so that they will have dollars rolling into their projects. I think we're seeing it almost weekly or even daily, scientists who are coming forward and questioning the original idea that man-made global warming is what is causing the climate to change. Yes, our climates change. They've been changing ever since the earth was formed."
In the video below, Perry comes in at around the :53 mark:
Always be prepared for fall rains with this roomy Marimekko Black Dot Rain Poncho. This pullover has a stylish black-and-white-print lining and fastens with a snap placket. Its convenient adjustable hood secures with drawcord. Stash one away in your tote bag, your car, and your carry-on luggage.
The above Drought Monitor map tells the story of the exceptional drought conditions in Texas, Oklahoma and southern New Mexico. The last extended drought in Texas occurred in the 1940s and '50s and was the worst in history.
Miles and Miles of Drought in Texas | NYTimes.com says today that "the real fear is that this may not be a one- or two-year drought, but the kind that lasts for 30 or 40 years. Droughts of that extent appear often enough in tree-rings, which suggest that they are part of normal historical weather patterns across the Southwest." We all certainly hope not.
Drought: Past Problems and Future Scenarios by Justin Sheffield, a research hydrologist at Princeton University and Eric F. Wood, Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Princeton University, reviews the historical occurrence of global drought, particularly during the 20th century and assesses the likely potential changes over the 21st century under climate change.
Have you ever taken a hot air balloon ride? Ballooning has everything to do with the weather. Ballooning and Riding the Weather |AccuWeather.com gives a quick video lesson in ballooning. You'll find out why dawn and dusk are the best times to fly, how the pilot gauges the ground wind speed for landing and a lot of other ballooning weather trivia.
Our children are heading back to school and college to play fall sports, and the NFL exhibition games are starting up. In many parts of the country, hot weather will continue for weeks to come, causing some athletes to suffer from dehydration, heat exhaustion and even sometimes dangerous heat stroke.
This Heat Index Warning System can literally be a lifesaver as it sounds adjustable, audible warnings before the heat index reaches a critical level. Accurate temperature, relative humidity, and heat index readings are always shown on its display. This important information is stored in memory for 24 hours and can be retrieved. This handy tool also functions as stopwatch, countdown timer, calendar, and alarm with an ergonomic design to fit in the palm of your hand.
The sun is entering an active phase of activity that might lead to a state of solar maximum by 2013. This normally occurs when a burst of charged particles ejected from the sun's corona slams into Earth's magnetic field at a rate of over 5 million miles per hour.
As the ejection moves towards Earth's surface, it might cause geomagnetic storm that may disrupt Earth's magnetic field. Due to this, there might be severe disruptions in radio and satellite transmission lines, power grids, airline communications and GPS applications.
It is believed that there might be a series of blackouts in different parts of the world that could last for even weeks or months. Banking and financial networks might go offline, disrupting commerce in a way unique to the Information Age.
To overcome such catastrophic situation, NASA researchers are trying to work out ways to overcome the possible situation.
Heavy rain on the vehicle windshield definitely interferes with visibility while driving. Turning the windshield wipers up to full speed doesn't always clear things up sufficiently. It may seem counter-intuitive on a gloomy day, but wearing a pair of polarized sunglasses can help you see through the downpour during the daytime.
Wearing polarized sunglasses when driving in the rain during the day will help a driver see better. Poliarized sunglasses work to block horizontal components of scattered or reflected light, which means they help counteract the scattering of light that atmospheric effects like fog or rain have on daylight.
It is not a good idea to wear polarized sunglasses driving after dark. They reduce contrast and thus your depth perception.
Once a weather emergency strikes, chaos usually ensues, unless you have a plan. Preparation is key for enduring and even surviving any disaster. The Florida Division of Emergency Management in Tallahassee has instituted a fabulous interactive web-site to help us make our emergency plans now.
At FloridaDisaster.org anyone, anywhere can customize a plan for their own situation--a Family Plan, Business Plan, Plans for Kids, How to Strengthen Your Home and Disability Disaster Information. The site is naturally geared for Florida, but has helpful tips for anyone who may face a disaster, and who should know better than Floridians? Here's a sample of the Family Plan:
In a major disaster, emergency workers may not be able to reach everyone right away, and in some cases it may take 3 or more days for help to arrive. What would you do if you had no electricity, no gas, no water and no telephone service? Having a plan for your family and their needs will help ensure their safety and comfort during these difficult times.
Over the next few minutes, you will be asked to provide information about your home, family, and pets. Using the information you provide, this website will create a personalized Family Disaster Plan that you can print out and save for future emergencies. Included in your plan will be:
Recommended amounts of food and water based on your family information.
Contact information for your local emergency responders and maps of your local Evacuation Zones
Checklists of important steps to take before, during, and after a disaster!
If your recent electric bill gave you a shock, you probably can thank your air conditioner. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, heating and air conditioning your home account for 43 percent of your monthly utility bill.
The heat this summer has been so relentless, it's likely a necessary expense. We found some tips to help us all stay frugal over at 9 ways to cool down air-condition costs | Bankrate.com. Among them are: cover your windows, maintain your A/C unit, retreat to the basement
and the time-honored way--make liberal use of fans.
The case guards against rain, frost, dust, and dirt as well as those accidental drink spills and splashing at the pool, beach or on the boat. The UV-stabilized material won't be broken down or discolored by sunlight. You can operate the keyboard and navigation button of your Kindle right through the case.
Having trouble sleeping these hot summer nights? Eliminate those noisy fans and cool yourself off without electrical power or refrigeration. This Sleep Assisting Cooling Pad is a gel-filled pad that works by quickly reducing the surface temperature of your skin to several degrees below the ambient temperature. It continues to absorb your excess body heat for about 45 minutes. Lay this supportive pad on top of your bed or under the sheet.
A low pressure system moving through the southeastern Caribbean has a 90 percent chance of becoming a tropical storm by today,Tuesday. And so it begins. If you are one of the thousands of Americans planning an east coast vacation or honeymoon, you know that August weather near the Atlantic Ocean can be dicey due to hurricane season.
In June and July storm formation is limited due to strong wind shear and the simple fact that the ocean hasn't really warmed up yet. August is when conditions become optimal for tropical storm and hurricane development, as this fabulous graphic from Eye on the Storm | Palm Beach Post illustrates: