13 January 2017

Mass GIS

We have seen tremendous improvements with interactive mapping sites.  My own "river.wsc.ma.edu" served maps a decade ago and you can see some of the features on this link (thanks to Archive.org and the "wayback machine").

More contemporary ones are wide spread and may be general, like Google Earth, or specialized like the Oliver one at Mass GIS or one for Iceland.

11 January 2017



Explore your National Parks!  Thanks to the National Park Service, all national parks across the country will waive admission fees on the following days throughout 2017:

January 16: Martin Luther King Jr. Day

February 20: Presidents Day

April 15-16 and 22-23: Weekends of National Park Week

August 25: National Park Service Birthday

September 30: National Public Lands Day

November 11-12: Veterans Day Weekend

10 January 2017

Where's the snow?

It was a cold weekend in Westfield, but in a few days, warmer temperatures are predicted.   That said, short term memories mean that we may remember that last winter was mild and the one before it was hard.

What will we say about the winter of 2016-17 next summer?  time will tell.

The graphic above shows the change in the Urban Heat Island for Westfield, 16 years apart.  Read more about this here.

05 January 2017

Cold Fronts

At 12 midnight GMT last night, the US was experiencing this:

You can see the cold front just passing the eastern seaboard and with it, we are getting colder air with winds from the NW.

The current radar loop is found here and depending on how far after you observe it will take the past conditions above and relate that to the live values in the loop.

What will tomorrow bring?

04 January 2017

They're dead. They're all messed up RIP

George Kosana, who played Sheriff McClelland in the 1968 cult zombie film, Night of the Living Dead, has died. He was 81. http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/people/2017/01/03/george-kosana-sheriff-night-living-dead-dies-81/96133166/ 

NOTLD was one of my first prints in my 16 mm collection.

03 January 2017

Full Proof Weather Forecasting

Ok, the secret is out.

Long thought to be highly trained scientists, actually meteorologists employ and ancient and highly accurate tool to understand the weather.

(source: http://www.usscouts.org/profbvr/weather_rock/)

To analyze:

If the rock is wet, it's raining.
If the rock is swinging, the wind is blowing.
If the rock casts a shadow, the sun is shining.
If the rock does not cast a shadow and is not wet, the sky is cloudy.
If the rock is not visible, it is foggy.
If the rock is white, it is snowing.
If the rock is coated with ice, there is a frost.
If the ice is thick, it's a heavy frost.
If the rock is bouncing, there is an earthquake.
If the rock is under water, there is a flood.
If the rock is warm, it is sunny.
If the rock is missing, there was a tornado.
If the rock is wet and swinging violently, there is a hurricane.
If the rock has white splats on it, watch out for birds.

02 January 2017

To see the Northern Lights

Iceland is the place to go.

On my first visit, it was June and we enjoyed 20 hours of daylight and plenty of time to explore the countryside.  And a second visit was in October.  A bit more chilly, 12 hours of daylight, but we did get to see the lights while in southern Iceland, southeast of Hella.