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August 5, 2008

Storm risk diminishes

UPDATE at 5:30 p.m.: Forecasters are backing off their storm forecasts for this evening. Here's a portion of this afternoon's discussion from Sterling:

"EXTENSIVE CLOUD COVER THROUGH THE DAY TODAY HELPED TO ELIMINATE
THUNDERSTORMS ACROSS THE FORECAST AREA. CANNOT RULE OUT
THUNDERSTORMS HOWEVER THIS EVENING.  ... SEVERE THREAT AT THIS TIME APPEARS MINIMAL ... ACTIVITY FURTHER NORTH AND NORTHWEST HAS INCREASED. THAT ACTIVITY IS
EXPECTED TO MOVE SOUTHEAST...AND COULD HELP TRIGGER MORE ACTIVITY.
CANNOT RULE OUT A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM THIS EVENING...BUT CONFIDENCE
IS NOT VERY HIGH."

Earlier post follows:

Building heat and humidity near the surface, and cooler, drier air approaching aloft from the northwest late today will be the ingredients for what forecasters at Sterling expect will be a stormy evening.

They're calling for showers and thunderstorms developing later in the afternoon, and remaining a threat through the evening. A tenth to a quarter-inch of rain is possible, with more in thunderstorms. The storms may erase our chances to watch the International Space Station tonight. More on that in a moment.

Wednesday will be hot again - up to 92 at BWI - with more showers possible on Thursday as a second cold front passes by. But that one will clear the decks. From Friday well into next week we're looking for clear, sunny skies and seasonable highs in the low- to mid-80s as drier air builds in from the north and west. Nights will cool into the mid-60s, so open those windows and give the AC a rest.

Yesterday's high at BWI never made it into the 90s as Sterling had expected it would. Eighty-six was the most it could manage. We saw 88 degrees here at Calvert & Centre streets. The NWS is looking for 90s today. We'll see if they're right this time.

The overnight lows have been refreshing - 61 degrees yesterday and 67 this morning at BWI. We threw open the bedroom window early this morning and found the fresh, cool air a real relief. Others, apparently, hadn't done the same, so we were serenaded by the whirr of all the neighbors' air conditioners.

How about you? Do you seal up the house for the summer to keep out the heat, the pollen and the noise? Dutchess Community College Archive

Anybody still spend summer nights on an old-fashioned sleeping porch?  There was a time, before air-conditioning, when such porches were common. Here (above) is one at Bowne Hospital, a TB sanitorium in Dutchess County, N.Y., now the administration building for Dutchess Community College. Thanks to Ann Winfield and the DCC Archive for permission to use the image.

I can remember visiting a fraternity house at Bucknell U. one weekend in my youth and found all the brothers routinely slept on a second-floor sleeping porch. I can't remember what time of year it was, exactly. But I do recall it was cold as all get-out. I can't believe they still do that - not with tuition somewhere north of $30K a year.

Here (below) is another, more inviting sleeping porch I found online. It's at a bed and breakfast near Frankfort, Mich., called Reverie on Lake Michigan. Susan King, one of the owners, let us use the photo. Looks like naptime to me.

Susan King/Used with permission 

So where was I? Oh yes. The storms tonight may well obscure our view of the ISS as it flies over. But, just in case you get a break in the weather, here are the specs: Watch for the station to rise above the northwest horizon at 9:31 p.m., climbing high overhead by 9:34 p.m. It will be hard to miss if the clouds part - just about as bright as Jupiter, which is gleaming in the southeast after sunset.

At 9:35 p.m., the space station will vanish abruptly from sight as it flies into the Earth's shadow - sunset on board the station. With no direct sunlight to illuminate it for us, the ISS just disappears.

There's another nice ISS flyby on Thursday evening, weather permitting. Watch for details on The Sun's print Weather Page on Thursday morning.

Here's tonight's flight path from Heavens-Above.com, where you can get ISS flyby predictions for your location and much more..Heavens-Above.com

Posted by Frank Roylance at 10:40 AM | | Comments (4)
Categories: Forecasts
        

Comments

One of my favorite scenes in "Avalon" is where the family all heads to the park to sleep out in the open because of the heat. Could you imagine that today? I doubt you could even make it to the park without getting mugged.

I grew up in an old house in Roland Park, and although ours didn't have one, lots of the other houses on our street did. This was before a/c was in every house.

I live downtown now, and really do need to keep the a/c on, but I keep it at about 80, mostly to keep the dampness out. I turned it off Sunday and Monday to air out the house.

I probably won't turn the heat on until November, and managed not to heat or cool the house this year from March to June! But then again, I lived in the UK, where all the houses are cold and damp in the winter.

Very interesting, Just so you know, its actually Bowne Hall, no r. It seems wrong but there you go! I can attest this is a truly high point in the region, and I can see why they thought it would be a good spot for a sanitarium. Now the college is one of the largest junior colleges i the state. The grounds are quite nice for a stroll. DCC has a lot of outdoor art -& sculptures and plenty of benches to sit and appreciate the art! See our site if you are headed our way. Thanks for the story!

one more comment - Hyde Park is here in Duchess County , NY, the home of FD Roosevelt. The only National Historic Site dedicated to a First Lady, is Eleanor Roosevelt's own retreat, Val-Kill, also her home after FDR died. She slept on the upstairs sleeping porch off her bedroom the entire summer. It is still furnished that way today for visitors to see. On Val-Kill's website you can see images of the porch from the outside. http://www.nps.gov/elro/

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About Frank Roylance
This site is the Maryland Weather archive. The current Maryland Weather blog can be found here.
Frank Roylance is a reporter for The Baltimore Sun. He came to Baltimore from New Bedford, Mass. in 1980 to join the old Evening Sun. He moved to the morning Sun when the papers merged in 1992, and has spent most of his time since covering science, including astronomy and the weather. One of The Baltimore Sun's first online Web logs, the Weather Blog debuted in October 2004. In June 2006 Frank also began writing comments on local weather and stargazing for The Baltimore Sun's print Weather Page. Frank also answers readers’ weather queries for the newspaper and the blog. Frank Roylance retired in October 2011. Maryland Weather is now being updated by members of The Baltimore Sun staff
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