SCATTERED SHOWERS. ‘Widely’ scattered is a better description. It rained like heck here at times Saturday and Sunday. I’ve talked to friends who live just a few miles away from my home and they didn’t get a drop. That road runs both ways, too. They’ve bragged about rain they’ve gotten and at the same time my yard was like the Sahara.
So when you see information collected by the National Weather Service you should know that it was just for the specific area where their recording devices were. Conditions (and rainfall) could have been drastically different only 100 yards away.
Even so, in July, officially:
We had six days of 100 degrees or higher, including a high of 105 on July 21.
We had a total of 19 days with temps 95 or hotter.
Our rainfall for the month (before July 30 at 9 a.m. ) was a measley 2.93 inches, a little more than an inch below our Sahara measley normal for July.
The National Weather Service notes that for southwest Arkansas May thru June rainfall was 6-7 inches below normal and much of the area is in the grip of a drought despite some rainy spring months.
The NWS keeps records of our extremes only for Texarkana, so ours in south Howard County would vary some little bit.
July has historically been a brutal month. Record temps in July here have hit 110 twice. The record temp for our NWS area was 117 in 1936 in Texarkana.
I can’t imagine that heat in pre-airconditioning days.
All of that said, I am sure grateful to the Almighty for the weekend rains. It was wonderful to see water flowing in ditches again.
USELESS INFORMATION? If you hang two pendulum clocks side-by-side and start their pendulums swinging, after about 30 minutes the pendulums will be swinging in perfect time with each other but in opposite directions.
This important bit of information as discovered by a Dutch physicist named Christiaan Huygens in 1665 as he lay in his sickbed with nothing to do other than study a couple of clocks on the wall.
Let me back up to tell you a little bit about this guy, Huygens. He was a physicist, astronomer, musician and a whole bunch of other things. He was real important; so important that they named something after him. I can’t remember exactly what it was, but I know for a fact that somebody named something ‘Huygens.’ And HE was the Huygens that ‘they’ named something after, not some other Huygens.
For 350 long years after the day that Mr. Huygens was sick, other smart guys tried to figger out why and or how those pendulum clocks did what they did.
Finally some REALLY smart people ciphered that it was sound pulses that gradually put the pendulums in sync.
If you believe that, then you probably believe that former President Obama once ordered the Confederate flag flown at halfmast and upside down (I saw it on Facebook so it must be true).
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HEAVENS ABOVE. Comet Swift-Tuttle makes a complete circle around the Sun every 133 years. It won’t swing by Earth again until the year 2126. Sometimes on its pass it gets nervously close to Earth. Some astronomers have called it the single most dangerous object to mankind.
Its next flyby may be a long time off, but every year in July and August, the Earth plows through the debris trail left by the comet.
The resulting meteor show — called the Perseid Meteor Shower — is the best and most famous of all of our meteor showers. We’re already nudging through the edge of that debris trail, but best viewing of the Perseids will be on nights in the middle of August.
I’m telling you this now so you can get ready. I am pretty sure it will be overcast many of those nights so we’ll all just have to imagine what the Perseids look like above the clouds.
Just imagine seeing one or two Shooting Stars every minute. Doesn’t that make you feel better?
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OOOPS! Maybe I was a bit premature when I announced that the cicadas had come and gone. I guess I just went inside too soon.
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THINGS I LEARNED from opening (and believing) email: The words ‘racecar,’ ‘kayak’ and ‘level’ are the same whether they are read left to right or right to left. They are called palindromes.
WORD GAMES. The twins: Rhyme and Reason. You usually see them as NEITHER Rhyme NOR Reason. Don’t ask me why.
HE SAID: “I have seen many storms in my life. Most storms have caught me by surprise, so I had to learn very quickly to look further and understand that I am not capable of controlling the weather, to exercise the art of patience and to respect the fury of nature.” Paulo Coelho, songwriter and novelist
SHE SAID: “We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature – trees, flowers, grass – grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence … We need silence to be able to •••••
SWEET DREAMS, Baby