Atlantic Sat Image

Atlantic Sat Image
Clouds over Atlantic

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Why the time change?


We are all familiar with the saying, "spring forward, and fall back", which relates to setting the clock ahead one hour in spring and one back in the fall. But why do we do it? Here's a blog I wrote sometime ago explaining the tradition.


Here is a brief history of this practice:

18th Century:
Way back in the late 1700's Benjamin Franklin suggested that getting up earlier and enjoying the sunshine would help save lamp oil that would be wasted by staying up later at night.

19th Century:
When our country was young and most of the cargo was carried by train, companies needed set time zones so they would know where and when the goods would arrive. Time zones, splitting the nation into 4 parts, began in 1883. Until then, major cities set their own times from local astronomical observations.

20th Century:
By 1908, the House of Commons in England debated to change the time in order to eliminate "The Waste of Daylight". The measure failed.

Here in America, in 1918, congress passed a law making the time zones official for all to use but no time change was issued. That changed shortly thereafter as may countries engaged in World War I. The United States adopted Daylight Saving Time, pushing the clocks ahead one hour in order to conserve energy for the war effort. The measure was so unpopular that it was repealed as soon as the war was over.

As World War II emerged in 1944, we went back into Daylight Saving with clocks set ahead 1 hour. It remained this way until 1945. After the War, it was up to individual states whether to observe Daylight Saving.

By 1966 the Department of transportation was created and it took on the responsibility of handling the nation's time laws. They were confronted with a new problem... Television. How could networks tell the whole country at what time their favorite show would air if everyone was observing a different time zone? Over 100 million people were observing Daylight Saving set by local municipalities and customs, it was a mess.

Shortly thereafter, the Uniform Time act of 1966 was passed which called for the clocks to be set forward and backwards in the Spring and Fall. This new law just insisted that the states keep their times in a uniform fashion but did not force anyone to observe Daylight Saving.

21st Century
In 2007, new start and end dates were issued for Daylight Saving Time. It starts at 2 a.m. on the Second Sunday in March and lasts until 2 a.m.on the First Sunday of November.

As of last check, there are a few places that do NOT observe Daylight Saving. They are: Hawaii, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and by most of Arizona (with the exception of the Navajo Indian Reservation in Arizona).

Why do we still do it?
Proponents say, it saves energy.  We tend to use less electricity during the summer months because we are home fewer hours.  During this time of year, most Americans are enjoying outdoor activities. This means less electrical usage. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, a poll suggested that Americans liked Daylight Saving Time because "there is more light in the evenings / can do more in the evenings."  They also add that while the amounts of electricity saved per household are small...added up they can be very large.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Tropical Storm Karen

The low near the Yucatan Peninsula which caused all the rainy mess over South Florida on Wednesday, has become Tropical Storm Karen.


Where is it?
It appears the center has threaded the needle avoiding contact with land, making its way into the Gulf of Mexico between the Yucatan and Cuba.

This means its growth cycle will not be interrupted.

It is now moving into some of the warmest water in the Gulf of Mexico known as the Loop Current. This area just Northwest of Cuba and West of Florida is the birthplace of the Gulf Stream Current with temperatures hovering in the mid to upper 80's.  Plenty of fuel for further growth.

What next?


The models suggest it will take a track headed to Louisiana.


A HURRICANE WATCH IS IN EFFECT FROM GRAND ISLE LOUISIANA EASTWARD TO
INDIAN PASS FLORIDA. THIS DOES NOT INCLUDE METROPOLITAN NEW
ORLEANS...LAKE MAUREPAS...OR LAKE PONTCHARTRAIN

A TROPICAL STORM WATCH IS IN EFFECT FROM WEST OF GRAND ISLE TO
MORGAN CITY LOUISIANA...METROPOLITAN NEW ORLEANS...LAKE
MAUREPAS...AND LAKE PONTCHARTRAIN.


Even though they may see a direct impact, don't let your guard down. On Wednesday we were nowhere near this feature and yet some rain from it ventured here and cause plenty of flooding, Most areas from Downtown Miami South to Kendall and Pinecrest getting between 5 and 10 inches of rain.

This was issued by the Miami Weather Office: A RECORD RAINFALL OF 5.53 INCHES WAS SET AT MIAMI YESTERDAY. THIS BREAKS THE OLD RECORD OF 3.02 SET IN 1936.

Remain alert as more rain will be possible over the next few days and with the ground already saturated, any small amount of rain will lead to very fast street flooding.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Eyes on the Caribbean

I have been waiting a few days to post on the area of disturbed weather in the Western Caribbean Sea. I wanted to see if it would get its act together and if it would impact us in any way shape or form.

Well the time has come:
There is a broad low pressure swirl sitting due east of the Yucatan. Most of the weak cloud banding is to the east of the Low as well as much of the heavy rainfall.

NHC has deemed it INVEST 97L. This means its an area they would like to investigate a little further.

A recon plane is scheduled to check it out Wednesday afternoon.

What we know:
It will dump plenty of rain across the Cayman Islands, Western Cuba, and the Yucatan .

The radar out of Grand Cayman shows most of the heavy rain moving northwest from the islands and into the Yucatan.

The weather office in Grand Cayman says there may be some street flooding possible if the rain sticks around much longer.

The center should move into the Gulf of Mexico by Thursday.

Where is it headed?
Once in the Gulf, there is plenty of hot water that could provide the energy it needs to get stronger. By Friday it should run into the jet stream moving west to east. and it should get pushed anywhere between Louisiana to Northern Florida.


What can we expect?
We will stay away from any direct impacts, but plenty of surrounding moisture could get pushed our way.

Most of the rain is staying east of the center so if nothing changes, we should see some of it getting displaced here in the upcoming days.

Under this scenario there will be a chance for rain through Sunday, maybe into the early part of next week.

I'll keep you posted.