Weather Gadgets

August 17, 2011

WeatherWear -- Marimekko Black Dot Rain Poncho With Bag

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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.

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With matching Bag.

Read More in: Weather Apparel & Gear

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August 16, 2011

WeatherWise -- Is the Disaster Drought in Texas Long Term?

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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.

drought81711.jpgDrought: 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.

Read More in: Global Warming/Climate Change

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August 15, 2011

Weather and Hot Air Ballooning

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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.

Graphic: 2012 Hot Air Balloons Deluxe Wall Calendar

Read More in: Weather Programs

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August 12, 2011

Multifunction Heat Index Warning System

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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.


Read More in: Weather Gadgets

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August 11, 2011

WeatherWise: NASA Predicting Blackouts Through 2013 Due to Solar Storm

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The Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC) at the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has predicted a severe solar storm that could create serious issues here on Earth. Catastrophic Solar Storm to Cause Global Disruptions; NASA Plans Emergency Steps | International Business Times explains:

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.

empsurvival.jpgThe power grid failure could be repaired in days or...it could take years. Get ready! EMP Survival: :How to Prepare Now and Survive, When an Electromagnetic Pulse Destroys Our Power Grid.

Read More in: Space Weather

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August 10, 2011

Polarized Sunglasses Improve Visibility When Driving in the Rain

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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.

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Snopes explains why a pair of polarized sunglasses improves daytime visibility in rain and fog:

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.

[via Wear Sunglasses to See Better When Driving in the Rain | Lifehacker]

Read More in: Tips and Tricks

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August 9, 2011

Hot Weather Pet Store at PETCO.com -- Up to 20% Off

There are many gadgets and toys available that can help our pet companions beat the heat. The Hot Weather Pet Store at PETCO.com is offering up to 20% off hot weather pet products through August 26th.

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Read More in: Pet Gear

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August 8, 2011

Plan for Weather Emergencies at FloridaDistaster.org

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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!

Read More in: Emergency Weather | How-To Emergency

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August 5, 2011

Air Conditioning Bills Giving You a Shock? Tips to Lower Cooling Costs

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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
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and the time-honored way--make liberal use of fans.

Read More in: Indoor Weather | Tips and Tricks

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August 4, 2011

Weatherproof Your Kindle -- WaterGuard Waterproof Case

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Stuck in a downpour? Keep your precious Kindle dry in an affordable TrendyDigital WaterGuard Waterproof Case. It protects against any wet environment that Kindle (First, Second and Third Generation) might be subjected to.

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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.

Read More in: Tips and Tricks | Weather Gadgets

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