Friday, December 21, 2012

2012 - Weather blog in review

The_Weather_Vane in 2012 - a year of blogging..

I am happy to say that I witnessed many events this year which helped push me to document and learn more about weather events.  Last year I took two courses at the Mt. Holly National Weather Service so that I can be a volunteer Storm Spotter.   With this I report key information that Meteorologists use to help produce "ground truth" so that they can compare data with other advanced weather tools and information.  This year I learned about Tsunamis, Space Weather events and read and wondered how much more I should do to learn about Meteorology and being a Writer.
After thinking of new ways for me and this blog to evolve I have stepped things up to a new level.  I have enrolled with an online Meteorology program with Penn State.  I am anxious to learn even more as I exercise my mind in writing here and learning from experts.
If you are new to the blog I am here to help. Here is a summary of events with links to each story that I posted throughout this year.

TWV first anniversary  Sept
I reported storms as a Storm Spotter and made many updates to the blog.

Storm Chaser Andy Gabrielson killed by drunk driver  Feb
Tragic accident for a dedicated professional storm chaser

Tornado Warning June
Horsham was mentioned on the Weather Channel Live

What is a Tsunami  My father's story  Jan
My father witnessed two tsunami's

First Dual Pole Image (NJ/PA NWS)  Jan
Dual Pole Radar upgrade test

Lightning in Horsham  May
One of a few lighting photos I took from my balcony

Extreme Weather - Dallas TX Hail Storm  June
Video of a terrible hail storm in Dallas with a hail stone size list.

Hurricane Sandy became Superstorm Sandy
I have to talk about all my posts about this storm.  Many news outlets and weather watchers complained about the over use of hype and scare tactics reporting about this storm that was coming up the East Coast.  I for one am happy that I spoke up about this storm. I was talking about Sandy online and posted here on the bog days before it hit our area.  Did my warnings help you?

Being Ready for Hurricane Sandy (my first talk about this storm) Oct 26th

Hurricane Sandy - Before the storm (I was bringing news updates during the storm)
Oct 28th

Hurricane Sandy reaches PA  (photos after the storm)  Oct 29th
I took many pictures of storm damage around Montgomery and Philadelphia Counties in PA
Get your "The_Weather_Vane"  App for your smartphone

Finally, here is a video from one of my favorite online Weather Sources

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Near Earth Asteroid

What is considered too close for comfort?

An asteroid measuring roughly 3 miles across passed near the Earth last week at a distance of about 4.3 million miles away.  So what is considered too close for comfort?  To give an idea of the scale of this asteroid at its closest distance to the Earth, Toutartis 4179 passed at 4.3 million miles away.  Our own moon is just 238,900 miles from us and Mars varies in distance because of the Earth and Mars have unrelated orbits around the Sun.  Mars at is closest distance is 34 million miles and at the farthest could be 250 million miles out.  Scientists state that even though Asteroid (Toutatis 4179) passed safely away from the Earth that it will return in the year 2069 and that time it will pass even closer to the Earth at 1.8 million miles.  To give an idea how much damage this asteroid could do if it collided with the Earth,  scientists state that the asteroid that would have killed off the dinosaurs would have been 6 miles across so if in one of its future runs it could cause catastrophic damage.
I for one would wish that NASA would have in place an early warning system for large objects like this so that we could have enough time to do something to protect the Earth.

Below is a video from multiple space radar images.

Article sources are from NASA and