Wednesday, February 16, 2005

There's lots of homework and studying happening, updates will be sporadic for awhile, but it will pick up again, so don't worry... and don't cry. I just can't handle it when you cry. Stop it. I'm leaving, I'll be back later.

Also, I'm taking offers for people who want to take my Math and Geology tests this week and next. Apply at my office.

Saturday, February 05, 2005

So the real-time satellite image that I've been using as a background has switched file types and is now a "cooler" .html instead of a "lame-o" .jpg, which doesn't seem to work so hot in the template. Don't worry, a solution will be found. In the meantime (meantime means whilst I look for a worthy substitute), you can look at the new and improved animated version of it here.

Don't cry, my chillins.

Miss Amy's Forecasts are back online. If for some reason I don't update as often as you'd like (I *am* shooting for a 4.0 this semester), keep in mind that the backgroud picture is *suppose ta be* current, updated with every reload (not my fault if that's not true though). Also, plenty of links to the left to keep you up to date when Miss Amy is working on her astronomy minor.

Miss Amy's Forecast: You Missed It, Dincha?

Tonight: Rain (YES!!!). Gonna start any minute. Low 46, but it will feel more like 38. Winds south, around 10mph. Not bad; I'm sleeping with my windows open. It makes the trains sound closer.

Danica's 21st Birthday: A little bit of wind (gusts up to 22), a little bit of rain (no more than an inch, if that). High 51, feels like 44.

Birthday night: Low 41, feels about two degrees lower. Winds southwest 8 to 15mph.

Monday: High 49, low 35, feels about 5 degrees cooler than that all around. There will be a time for clouds, there will be a time for sun. Everybody's happy.

My One-Sided Discussion (*so unfair!*):

As of 7:30 pm, there be a storm system centered over northern Mexico, just south of El Paso. It's moving northeast, covering a whole lot of central and western Texas with a large and expanding area of rain. This will contine to move as such, and rain will begin in Norman around 9pm or shortly after. Rain will probably overspread (good word!) the larger part of Oklahoma by 11pm. That's all I have to say about that.

If It Warn't Cloudy, We's Could Be Doin Astronomy!

Moon Phases:
New First Full Last
Feb 8 Feb 15 Feb 23 Mar 3

Moonrise Moonset Sunrise Sunset
5:51 AM 3:23 PM 7:25 AM 6:03 PM

Planet Rise Set
Mercury 7:17 AM 5:31 PM
Venus 6:48 AM 4:57 PM
Mars 4:31 AM 2:13 PM
Jupiter 10:49 PM 10:20 AM
Saturn 3:51 PM 6:08 AM
Uranus 8:19 AM 7:27 PM
Neptune 7:17 AM 5:48 PM
Pluto 3:37 AM 2:14 PM

Whattya Gonna Teach Us, Miss Amy?

Well kids, I'm going to teach you about "degree days," because no one seems to actually know what those are. describes degree days as:
– A measure of the coldness of weather to determine heating requirements. Degree days for a 24-hour period are calculated by adding the day's high and low temperatures and dividing by two, and subtracting the result from a reference point, usually 65 degrees Fahrenheit.

Oh okay, thanks. NOT. Let's try another definition. says:
- The difference in temperature between 65 degrees fahrenheit and the average temperature over the previous 24 hour period. In example, if the average temperature over the previous 24 hour period was 30 degrees, 35 degree-days have elapsed.

Now I get it. NOT. One more try. says degree days:
- are a practical method for determining cumulative temperatures over the course of a season. Originally designed to evaluate energy demand and consumption, degree days are based on how far the average temperature departs from a human comfort level of 65 °F *. Simply put, each degree of temperature above 65 °F is counted as one cooling degree day, and each degree of temperature below 65 °F is counted as one heating degree day. For example, a day with an average temperature of 80 °F will have 15 cooling degree days.

Well, when you say the word "practical" it must be so. NOT.

I have to of course include my all-time favorite definition, from the folks at :
- A value used, especially during egg incubation, to estimate and predict the various stages of development. Calculated by multiplying the average temperature by the number of days. For example 300 degree days may be 30 days at 10oC, 100 days at 3oC or any other multiple that results in 300.

So you see kids, no one actually knows what degree days are. Clearly. It's a term that's thrown around a lot, and I suspect those who use it do so to make him/her/itself look impressive. I have shown you the truth though; there is no such thing. It's all made up. That's why none of the definitions actually agree with one another. It's not real.

I think.

Sunday, January 09, 2005

Forecasts by Miss Amy: A Must-Have For Dorm Move-In.

Maunday Update: the high will be (like I SAID) 66 or maybe 65. Could be foggy in the morning. Uninteresting, almost non-existent southwest winds.

Maunday Night: 11% chance of rain before the Midnight of the Soul. Otherwise, just mostly cloudy. Low 39. Winds picking up a little speed and shifting to north northeast after dinner.

TUESDAY MY FAVORITE DAY OF THE WEEK: Lots of clouds. High: almost 50, might not quite reach it. Probably more like... 48. Same winds.

Wednesday, upperclassmen move-in day: 50% CHANCE OF SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS!!!! High around 60. Sounds like my FAVORITE weather.

Wednesday night: Maybe some more rain, and MAYBE EVEN SOME SNOW! Mostly cloudy, windy, and cold. Low near 32, with a Percent chance of Precipitation (POP) 30%.

Thursday, freshmen move-in day: Partly cloudy, high: freezing. HAHA YOU SUCKERS! All us olda kids will be snuggled in our rooms with OUR STUFF ALREADY MOVED IN!!

Thursday night, freshmen move-in recovery night: Partly cloudy, low 16.


There's a slow-moving front curtain-rodding the top of the state. It's supposed to stregthen and then sag down over our area, but when exactly?? We dunno. Neither do the models. This stupid front is making the temperature forecasts a "MAJOR CHALLENGE NEXT COUPLE DAYS." It'll be possible for temperatures to vary 20-30 degrees over county lines so you see, you should just give up on trying to know what's happening. There will be rain, it will get cold. That's about all I can tell you for sure.

What's Happening in L.A.?
There's a flood watch, it's VERY humid, it's going to rain on and off until Wednesday, and the temperatures will stay probably between 50 and 60 degrees. Mmm... soggy.

Do you understand humidity?
Of course not, and lucky you're here. Let me help you out.

Humidity: the amount of water vapor in the air.
Relative humidity: completely irrelevant and hard to understand (for you nerds, it is the actual vapor pressure divided by the saturation vapor pressure).
Dew Point: Mountingly Monotonous (M)Atmospheric Moisture Measurement-- the air has to be cooled to this temperature for saturation to occur (saturation is when the pesky relative humidity is 100%).

So, what does humidity have to do with anything? Well for example, if it's hot outside then it's just hot outside. If it's hot and humid outside, you're certainly going to die. Guess how much water is in the air at any given time (whether in the form of clouds, precipitation or water vapor). Go on and guess. It's a *tiny* fraction of the amount of water on the planet. Well?

Three thousand one hundred cubic miles of water are in the sky. Cubic miles. Miles cubed. 3,100. Of water. In the air.

If we didn't have that much humidity in our air, we'd practically be on Arrakis. Dust clouds would be our only weather. There would be no rain, snow, thunder, fog, sleet, lightning, et al. And if there warnt no water in the air, there wouldn't stand to reason any water bein' in the ocean (unless this is "Imaginary Chemistry/Physics Land" as opposed to the real world), and so there wouldn't be any life. Or oceans. Or weather. Or people. Hey... how'd the Fremen end up on Arrakis... and the worms...

Did you know that humidity can be LESS than 100% if it's raining? Because it can. For clouds to form and rain and stuff, the air has to reach 100% humidity, but only where that's happening. The rain can fall from a high section of air that is 100% humid to a lower section of air with a lower humidity. Some of the falling rain will evaporate before it reaches the ground, thus raising the humidity in the air it's falling through, but not by much. Ain't this crazy? If you never remember anything else I tell you, remember this: humidity is a measure of the amount of water vapor in the air, NOT the total amount of vapor and liquid.

Humidity is a greenhouse gas (as is carbon dioxide), which is important to climate change, but I don't want to talk about that right now. Deal with it. The whole Greenhouse subject is *not* interesting anyway.

Now you understand humidity. A little bit.

Friday, January 07, 2005

"A Weekend Forecast"
by: Miss Amy

Saturday, the Day of Satur: Pre-10am fog, Post-10am sun. High: 58...? Winds shifting to the south (Where the Warm Air Comes From).

Saturday Night, Eve of the Day of Satur: Mostly clear, meaning the moon people have a clear shot of you. Low: 44. Two fours for "four sure."

Sunday, Day of Partial Cloudiness: Partly cloudy, of course. High: I'm betting on 68.

Sunday Night, Eve of the Day of etc...: Some clouds some times, with a low close to (and probably equal to) 49. Winds shifting southwest, probably bringing with it Hokey Spells from those weird people in New Mexico.

Monday, Everyone's Favorite Day: Lotsa clouds for lotsa angry people, with a high around 65 (which interestingly enough is most people's Boiling Point on this, our Mon Day of the Week).

Monday Night: Mostly cloudy, low near 49. Or 48.

"A Forecast Discussion of Moderate Length"
also by: Miss Amy

There is a batch of low clouds over a chunk of central and northern Oklahoma, DANGEROUSLY OBSCURING our view of a "minor" cold front, which will bring "trivially" cooler air to our "area." Sounds like a sham to me. A facade, if you will, for our lows overnight Friday will be warmer indeed than those temperatures experienced as such this early the morn of Fri. Tiny wisps of fog further obstruct our vision, distracting us from what can only be happening: the "area" is warming. Not quite to the degree of such as one could call mayhaps "Spring Season," but of unnatural (or is it???) warmth and compassion on the part of the Air Mass's's's Temperatureocity. Much as a magician uses sleight-of-hand, our own weather systems distract us from such feelings of joviality as we have not experienced in near a week. Dismay overcomes our inner child further as further a STRONG ARCTIC FRONT looms dismayingly over our e'er ending celebrations. News of Mid-Week-Next bodes ill of these Maypole-Circling ideologies we have come to not furrow our brows with, also the plow will stop as a chance of falling water perhaps with noise leads us on in the...

What I mean to say is, it's gonna get warmer. Then a few days later it's gonna get cooler. Then it's going to rain. Then it's going to storm, the winds will shift North (that equals colder), then snow. At least, that's what it looks like right now. Kapish?

Miss Amy's Foreign Forecast!

Today's Destination: RURUTU ISLAND, French Polynesia.
It's really humid out there, but it's cold. The temperature will pretty much stay in the 20s all week. The UV index is almost always 8. This does not sound like a fun place to be. In fact it sounds really wacky. This may surprise you, but I've decided not to go there this weekend. Maybe another time.

Time To Learn!!!?!

You're going to need to know some of the basics of meteorology. You know, so you don't die or something. What's the blanet of air around the Earth called? Yeah, the atmosphere. That one was easy. Now what about the bottom layer of the atmosphere, what's IT called, eh smarty? If you said "the stratosphere," YOU'RE COMPLETELY WRONG AND WE'RE NOT FRIENDS ANYMORE. It's the Troposphere, and it's six to ten miles thick. All of our weather happens in the troposphere, and meteorologists study the changes in temperature, wind direction, air pressure, and moisture in this layer. And no, meteorology is *not* boring. I just didn't um, make it sound as interesting as it really is. I don't want you stealing my job. Yeah.

The real reason we have weather is because of the sun. As you probably know, I am ABSOLUTELY TERRIFIED of the sun. Is this ironic? Maybe. Weather systems are "in action" because the sun heats the Earth unevenly, like a lot in the middle and not much on the edges (edges= poles).

Kinda like a microwave. We are inside a giant microwave, which is scary.

The plus to all this Terror is that since the Earth is tilted inside the Giant Microwave of Eventual Doom we have seasons, which gives elementary kids something to focus on while their moms make casserole, and gives the meteorologists (who don't live in Oklahoma) some variety. After all this uneven heating, there's still the variable of land heating up faster than water, which further variates all that variating stuff I talked about earlier that we study in the Troposphere. Ocean currents have something to do with it too, but I don't remember what.

Miss Amy's Not-So-Detailed Forecast:

What's left of Friday: Sorta cloudy. High approx... 43? Maybe? Wind: 6-9 mph, starting out from the South, but DEFTLY changing to Northwest. Before your very eyes.

Tonight, tonight: After midnight, it might get foggy so do whatever you want. No one can see you! Otherwise, mostly clear. Oops. What? Low 29. That's cold. That's why they call it a low. North northwest (MAKE UP YOUR MIND!) wind between 5 and 8 mph.

Cartoon Day: Before 10am it could be foggy. After 10am it could be sunny. We don't really know. 59 is the high, because that number sounds specific, like we did some research or something. East southeast wind 5 to 8 mph becoming south southwest between 18 and 21 mph. Whatever. More specifics = knowledge of subject.

Clubbin' Night: Not really any clouds. Nah. Low near 44. 13-15 mph winds from the South Southwest. Just enough to make you fall down if you've had more than three shots.

The Day of Our Lord: Some clouds, kinda warm, wind. Welcome to Oklahoma.

Miss Amy's Area Forecast Discussion:

Most of the mid-level cloud cover will be MIA by late morning, what with the upper wave moving and all. Does this mean things will head up, you ask? No, you sad gimp. I can't believe you even asked that. Low clouds behind the SFC boundary are working their way in from the northwest, duh. The flippin' models are saying these clouds will break up later today and might not lower the highs down south, but we'll see. Models lie; anything that looks like that can't be trusted.

The extreme southeast might experience some sprinkles of delightfully freezing rain through about mid-morning, but don't get your hopes up. School is in session. Any precipitation that happens will probably be way too small for your unadulterated eyes to properly percieve. The hoary weak front passes through the area today, acting out its rage by SCOURING OUT the colder airmass, leading to breezy and carefree warming through this weekend. Let's go swimming with our friends!!!

The NWS says "STRONG FRONTAL BOUNDARY PROGD FOR NEXT WEDNESDAY BASED ON LRGFS AND DGEX." I'm going to let you figure that one out for yourself.

Another "arctic outbreak" is growing and learning in Canada. It's going to attack next week. There is nothing you can do. Really, just hide. You can be a consultant when they write the screenplay for "ARCTIC OUTBREAK." If you live, that is.

Miss Amy's High Seas Forecast for Lazy Pirates in the Know:

NWS Northern Pacific Analysis is here.
NWS Northern Atlantic Analysis is here.
More stuff is here.

You guys are grown pirates, you've got your own ships, you should be able to do this yourself. Geez. I'm not helping you anymore.

Miss Amy's "Learn It Or Else" for Today:

If you're a loser and you don't care much about science then you probably only know about these three cloud types:

Stratus: This word comes from the Latin (SURPRISE!!!) meaning "to spread out." These clouds are horizontal like sleeping people flatly stretched out under a blanket. There are of course exceptions, like my Uncle Walter who sleeps standing up. Anyway, these clouds form at the boundary between gross, watery, warm air passing over cool, calm, and collected air. The boundary is kinda like a referee, only for the sky. The ref cools the warm air, and if the warm air gets cooled below its dew point, the ref gets a fun blanket of clouds to sleep under. Anyway, uh, stratus clouds can extend for many miles.

Cumulus: This word comes from the Latin (SURPRISE!!!) meaning "heap" or "pile," which is what you're gonna be in if you don't learn this stuff. Cumulus clouds are puffy-lookin'. They look like cotton. Or marshmallows. Mmmm... You can rely on cumulus clouds to form when gross, sticky, wet air is forced upward (AS IT SHOULD BE). It's cooled on its way up, and once again if it Dips below the Dee-finitive Dew Point, condensation occurs (that means you can see it, dufus). The size of the cumulus cloud has something to do with the force of the air moving upward and the amount of wet stuff. Really really big cumulus clouds are called Cumulonimbus and you have to watch out for those guys. They can be hundreds of meters tall, they can kill you with electricity, and they have large cloud-talons. I think.

Cirrus: This word comes from the Latin (SURPRISE AGAIN!!!) for a tuft or curl of hair. These clouds are feathery, wispy, dainty, permeable, cobwebby, flimsy, gossamer, dainty, delicate, diaphanous, vulnerable, weakly, puny, wimpy, sad-sack, wishy-washy, unsubstantial, wafer-thin wafts of ice crystals. They only form at high altitudes (sorta around 7km above the ground), because they know they'll get beat up if they come any lower.

Those are the three main types of clouds. You really should know more than that. Maybe someday if you're lucky I'll tell you what some of the others are.

Thank you, that will be eighty-six dollars.

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