30 July 2013

Westfield River flood two years ago

Except for the stupid commercial in the beginning, there is some good footage from the youtube clip about the Westfield River flooding back in 2011.

And of course, there is my clip that highlights the impact to Ashley Brook, a tributary in the Westfield River watershed.

28 July 2013

25 July 2013

Fun in the Woods

Another Blog I read is called "Fun in the Woods" and found at this link.  It showcases the volunteer work on the Appalachian Trail in Massachusetts.

Check it out.

22 July 2013

Iceland Geologic Features 2013

Here is a short (five and a half minute) video I posted on Youtube that showcases some of the landscape in this country.


21 July 2013

Glacier studiess

I am preparing a lab for Physical Geography.  Now, I am not a glacier expert, but as a geographer, I am pretty fascinated by glaciers.  We have lots of glacial features around the area like cirques, erratics, drumlins and others.  And even in the Big Apple you can find some interesting features.

So for lab, I am going to explore a couple of glaciers I have visited.  After returning from Iceland for a conference I am currently reading about Sólheimajökull Glacier.  I have a masters thesis from the University of Iceland written by Bjarki Friis that is really good.  Google the name.

20 July 2013

Cold fronts bring cooler weather for recreation

So the US has been blistering hot this past week.  While not a record, Westfield, MA had 98 degrees F yesterday afternoon for a high!  Add to that high humidity and it is pretty uncomfortable.

So today, we are expected a cold front to pass through the area.  Notice the station model data from this report from the AMS Datastreme Project.

You can see winds are coming from the south for New England whereas in Canada, the winds are coming from the west since the cold front has already passed the area.

Cooler air (from the west and northwest) are coming to New England!

19 July 2013

Sustainability and Eco-health tourism

This chapter highlighted some of the consequences facing health tourism today.  While not comprehensive in all the positive and negative impacts of the industry, an attempt has been made to highlight two of the more pressing issues: health care equity and bio-hazards. 

Bristow, R. (2013) Sustainability and Eco-health tourism. In Sustainability in Tourism. Chapter 4 in Jenkins, I., and Schroder, R., eds. Gabler, Wiesbaden, Germany, pp. 67-82.

Available from Amazon or Springer Gabler.

18 July 2013

got rain?

Well, the current radar for the states show some spots of precip.  Why rain at these spots?
Some of it is frontal lifting, whereas the rest is just convective.  Where air rises, if it cools to due point, we can get clouds and then precipitation.

The National Weather Service Enhanced Radar Image is a good site to see precip.

Looks like we will be dry in the northeast except for the humidity.

16 July 2013

High Pressure along East Coast

A virtual sauna bath is what USA Today called the weather along the I-95 corridor today.  And I thought it was hot yesterday.

So drink plenty of water, or seltzer in my case, and minimize outside physical labor.

A high pressure means sinking air, where it then sprays out along the surface drawn toward a low pressure.  There are two mainland lows in the US: one in Nevada and one in southern Texas.

You can get some pretty neat (and detailed) weather analysis at the AMS Datastreme Atmosphere Project.

Here is the current isobar (lines of equal pressure) map.

14 July 2013

Weather Sayings

There is a lot of truth with weather sayings.  For example:

Red skies at night, sailors delight.
Red sky in the morning, sailors take warning.

These refer to the fact that the sun rises in the east (morning) and sets in west (night).  The color of the sky with the sun shining through tells us a little about the clouds and other atmospheric conditions.  And for us in the mid-latitudes, weather travels west to east due to the westerly wind flow and the pressure belts.

What other sayings of weather have you used?

12 July 2013

Sun Path Diagrams and travel

Want to know what time and in what direction the sun will rise where you are?  What about where you might  travel.
Well, you can use a sun path diagram to help you answer that question.  An explanation of what the diagram does is found here.

(source: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/9/90/Sun-path-polar-chart.svg/300px-Sun-path-polar-chart.svg.png)

This complicated graph plots the movement of the sun across the sky from sunrise to sunset, what azimuth (compass direction) and what altitude above the horizon.

Got it?

10 July 2013

Hurricanes and tourism

Ever wonder why the best deals for the Caribbean occur late summer and fall?  Hurricanes!

I would not book a trip to the Caribbean anytime from July to November until a week out.  Since these tropical storms move slow, say 15-20 mph, and the general direction of the path can be predicted a few days out, it is best not to risk it by "early birding" a trip months out.

For conditions in the Atlantic and Eastern Pacific visit NOAA.

08 July 2013

Google Earth and Physical Geography

Google Earth is fantastic.  I have blogged about the usefulness of Google Earth for tourism but it is also great for just plain geography.

If you don't have it on your computer or smart phone, get it right away.  Not only can you see areas from above, but ground based pictures are also available.  A great way to study the Earth.

For example, next week I will be in Maryland and might be able to see this haunted landmark.

Use Google Earth to explore!

05 July 2013

Sustainability in Tourism: A Multidisciplinary Approach

Ian Jenkins reports:

We would like to let you know of this new publication.  This is an Anglo-American/German collaborative approach to sustainability.  A good reader for your bookshelves and your summer hols!

We hope you enjoy it!


04 July 2013


Goit an email from ESRI to check out a new website.  Considering the world is going wireless now, it might be a good site to check out.

See http://pro.arcgis.com/ for details.

02 July 2013


A very popular sport and activity is biking.  Locally you risk your life biking in Westfield, so hopefully these videos will help educate people about biking safety.

See this link.