So what the heck do you write about when the weather is perfect day after day? Forecasters out at Sterling continue to predict sunny skies and highs in the 70s for as far as they can see (the middle of next week). Overnight lows will remain in the 50s, allowing us great sleeping weather, at no charge from BGE (Buffett Gas & Electric).
Here are some of the overnight low readings from around and about. Not quite as cold in the far west as forecasters had been predicting. Here's more:
BWI: 63 degrees
WeatherDeck, Cockeysville: 51 degrees
Calvert & Centre: 61 degrees
Westminster: 51 degrees
Cumberland: 50 degrees
Hancock: 51 degrees
And, from WeatherBug:
Accident, Garrett Co.: 47 degrees
Oakland, Garrett Co.: 48 degrees
Frostburg (not frosty): 43 degrees
Monkton: 52 degrees
Owings Mills: 54 degrees
Perry Hall: 56 degrees
There's nothing serious stirring in the tropics, although there is a stormy area in the Caribbean that's getting some attention. No worries there, though, apparently.
There's been no change at all on the Drought Monitor map, which still shows lingering dry conditions on the central Eastern Shore.
So what else? I came in this morning and found some interesting satellite images that show the flooding along the Gulf Coast of Louisiana and Texas where Ike ran ashore last weekend. There was also an aerial shot showing how the storm surge swept a Texas beach, clearing away most of the homes there. It's a pretty graphic argument for why people with homes near the beach need to evacuate when these storms threaten.
Why anyone builds there is another question entirely. It was interesting to read in The Sun this morning that Texas, using a law already on the books, is planning to seize beachfront property where the storm erased the dunes, the homes, and pushed back the waterline. What once were people's vacation properties will become state-owned beach. That much makes some sense. But the owners may not be compensated for the taking. Is that even constitutional?
The former state senator who wrote the law in 1959 had little sympathy for those who built on shifting sands:
"We're talking about damn fools that have built houses on the edge of the sea for as long as man could remember and against every advice anyone has given," A.R. "Babe" Schwartz said."
I'd be interested to get readers' comments on Texas' plans.
And, from the Totally Unrelated News Dept.: Astronomers say they've snapped the first-ever direct image of a planet circling a sunlike star. The star is very young, and the planet is very big, very, very far from its star, and still very hot. So it's not going to be a place very friendly to life. But the search for habitable planets is making advances every day. I suspect that, within the lifetime of many of us, we will image an Earth-like planet and study the light bouncing off it for signs of life.