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?
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.
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..