June 24, 2011
Few places in the US endure a summer sun as brutal as the one that beats relentlessly down on South Florida. Keeping your car cool | Sun-Sentinel offers comprehensive advice on how to best maintain your car in the summer heat, and they should know. This useful article covers the roof, under the hood, engine fluids, windows, interior, a/c, and tires. Some basic tips:
Park in the Shade. As the article points out, try to park in the shade as often as you can--easier said than done we know. Your car and your passengers will thank you. It can lower interior temperatures by as much as 40 degrees.
Children and Pets. Your parked vehicle will start to heat up in as little as 3 minutes. It's not safe to leave a child or a pet in your car while you just run in the store for a few minutes. In 10 minutes, the interior temperatures may rise as much as 20 degrees even with the windows cracked and feel like an oven.
Air Conditioning. Instead of instantly turning up the A/C full blast on "cold", try rolling down the windows when you first get going to air out the intense heat of the car.
Auto Finish. We did our homework, and this is what we use on our vehicles. Meguiar's NXT Generation Tech Wax protects your auto's finish against UV damage. It provides a sharp, wet-look shine and eliminates fine scratches and swirls.
June 9, 2011
With a heat wave descending upon much of the country, you may be looking for ways to cool down. You can reduce the effects of the searing heat and blazing sun on your porch, patio or the interior of your home or business--and reduce your weather-related energy costs at the same time. These weather-resistant Coolaroo Window Sun Shades are woven of a thin and elegant fabric that looks fashionable for any setting. They are resistant to fading, mold and mildew and are easy to keep clean.
The shades block up to 80% of UV rays while still allowing air to flow through. They also let in just enough light--without darkening the shaded area--to ensure you can see what's happening on the other side of the shade.
Available for interior/exterior use at Amazon or exterior use only at Orvis.
March 11, 2011
We all know solar power is a good thing, and like most things, best in moderation. Just a few weeks ago on this past Valentine's Day, the sun erupted with the largest solar flare seen in four years--powerful enough to interfere with Earth radio communications and GPS signals for airplanes on long-distance flights.
As solar storms go, this flare was relatively modest. But, according to Nat Geo -- What If the Biggest Solar Storm on Record Happened Today? the burst of activity is only the start of the upcoming solar maximum (the period of greatest solar activity in the solar cycle of the sun) due to start in 2012.
The biggest solar storm on record, called the Carrington Event, occurred in 1859 during a solar maximum about the same size as the one we're entering.
During the Carrington Event, northern lights were reported as far south as Cuba and Honolulu, while southern lights were seen as far north as Santiago, Chile. The flares were so powerful that "people in the northeastern U.S. could read newspaper print just from the light of the aurora," Daniel Baker, of the University of Colorado's Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics, said at a geophysics meeting last December.
How would we be affected today in 2011? Powerful solar flares could knock out our GPS services (cell phones, airplanes, and automobiles), satellite communications (TV, credit cards) and electrical grid (power surges blowing out our giant transformers.)
For more information, read Nat Geo -- What If the Biggest Solar Storm on Record Happened Today?
and check out Solar Storms: The darker side of the sun
by Lydia D. Thomson - Smith, just published February 23, 2011.
Photo: Solar Storms Light Up Arctic Night--NatGeo
September 28, 2007
Okay - so not totally weather related, but still very cool and dependent on weather. Ras al-Khaimah — one of the United Arab Emirates is going to install a floating solar island, which will be 0.62 miles in diameter when completed, and propel itself with solar gas.
Ras al-Khaimah has a lack of space on land, the micro-state contracted the Neuchâtel's Swiss Center for Electronics and Microtechnology to design it, paying $5 million toward the construction of the project. The island will produce electricity by heating up water to produce vapor, and will be able to propel itself in case bad weather strikes.
See - there's the weather tie in - without sunny skies - no solar, and the sharks will then rise up from the bottom of the ocean and consume the entire solar array as it tries to propel itself with nasty solar gas.
Via Gizmodo at GoodCleanTech
May 1, 2007
I've really been into solar radiation lately - reading about various topics I had no idea even existed. I know the driving force behind all of our weather on Earth is the sun, but who knew there was so much to it when different air masses, pollution, and other factors come into play. Check out this rather interesting site with pictures of various devices used to measure solar radiation and it's effects.
The uneven heating of the Earth's surface by the sun contributes to the formation of different air masses and influences ocean currents. Energy from the sun reaches the Earth-atmosphere system in the form of electromagnetic radiation. However, only about half of the solar radiation makes it to the Earth's surface. The rest is either absorbed or reflected by clouds and the atmosphere. The Earth's surface itself can emit infrared radiation. ARM scientists use radiometers (instruments for measuring radiant energy) to continuously monitor this balance between incoming and outgoing radiation.
Read and See Tools of the Atmospheric Scientist