Archive for the ‘Photographs’ Category

CLOUD SEMINAR UPCOMING FOR THE SENIOR LEARNING INSTITUTE

Cirrus cave

left clicks of mouse will enlarge

I am pleased to announce that the Senior Learning Institute (SLI) of the College of Central Florida in Ocala is providing me another opportunity to present a geosciences topic that is near and dear to me.

IMPORTANT SPECIAL UPDATE (5-10-2015):  The Senior Learning Institute no longer exists.  It has become the non-profit Senior Learners, Inc. and classes are still taught at the College of Central Florida in Ocala.  Here is a link:

http://seniorlearners.org/

IDENTIFYING AND UNDERSTANDING CLOUDS will be presented on Feb. 5, 7, 12, 14 (2013) – from 10 until noon  (for a total of 8 hours).  Click on the following link for my outline which will be distributed at the beginning of the first class meeting.

Clouds 2013

I have presented a dozen seminars at the SLI since 2006 and thoroughly enjoyed them.  Since I taught a 12 hour course on clouds in April, 2007 I have received requests from a number of people who missed it and also from others who wished to do it again as a refresher.

SLI is a membership group composed of some terrific people who seem to consider “learning” to be an integral aspect of their life styles.  When I am with them, though my official roll is that of a presenter, I learn so very much.  I learn from them and I learn in the processes of preparing and presenting.  There are some significant differences between these courses and the courses I taught for 41 years at colleges and universities:  1) the SLI seminars are non-credit courses, 2) they are short in duration compared to most college courses, 3) there are no academic prerequisites to the courses, 4) there are no exams to fret over, 5) there are no grades,  6) all who enroll are there voluntarily and, from what I can tell, gladly and 7) many have a great deal of experience acquired through time and by their sharing are able to enhance the quality of the course.

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Photo Of Irene From Space – 8-28-2011

The photo below is actually from a scan of the “full disk” of earth from the GOES-13 satellite.  I have cropped the original in order to concentrate upon Tropical Storm Irene.  Tropical Storm Jose also shows up in the image; it is very small.  To find it look for a small blob of clouds, bright white (about half the width of the state of Florida and located off the Carolinas  and next to Bermuda).  More information follows after the image.

TWO INDEPENDENT LEFT CLICKS WILL ENLARGE TO THE FULLEST.

– THANKS TO NOAA FOR THIS IMAGE –

TIME OF PHOTO – 2:45 pm Eastern Daylight Time

DATE – Sunday, August 28, 2011

ALTITUDE OF SATELLITE – about 22,300 miles

TIME NEEDED TO SCAN FULL DISK OF EARTH – about 26 minute

LINK TO MORE INFORMATION ON  SATELLITE IMAGE –  http://noaasis.noaa.gov/NOAASIS/ml/imager.html

Spring Is About to “Spring!”

In the Northern Hemisphere this year’s Spring begins on March 20, 2009 at 11:44 Universal Time or 7:44 AM Eastern Standard Time.  Therefore, the first FULL DAY of Spring is March 21, 2009.  On those two days the length of daylight and darkness will be almost exactly the same at 12 ‘n 12.  Of course, if there is a mountain up close to you, either east or west (or both) your daylight hours are more likely to be shorter than your darkness hours even though the time will be close to the Vernal Equinox.

Those of you who drive toward the east early in the morning to get to work and then toward the west to return home in the evening might have been noticing lately that you have been having the sun’s light directly in your eyes on both occasions.  Expect that for a while longer and be careful.

I live 18 miles inland from the Gulf of Mexico at 29 degrees North latitude.  We’ve been here since early August, 2005.  I tell people that I escaped South Florida to return to the United States of America but remained in the low latitudes (barely).  The plants here are blooming like crazy!  My notion is that because they were stressed a great deal from repeated freezing episodes, Mother Nature has been telling them to procreate profusely for survival’s sake.

I took a few snapshots recently and thought I’d share them with you.  Most folks who photograph their flowering plants tend to stand back to get the whole structure but I prefer to get in close enough to see features of some of the individual blossoms.  Like people, they are each beautiful in their own way.  Most of the images in this posting are of azaleas but I did throw in a couple of loropetalum or “fringe flower.”  At the end I was unable to resist showing one of a complete bush behind two oaks.  Today the plants are even denser with blossoms than when I took the photos just a few days ago.

In time, once they’re out, I hope to show you dogwood, crepe myrtle, agapanthus, lilacs, and roses – all on our heavily wooded property.  And, if I’m lucky, the wisteria, which has been struggling in the shade, will bloom this year.

To enlarge the images fully, left click once, pause, and then left click again.

Enjoy!

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RECORD LOWS COMING FOR PARTS OF FLORIDA

Left clicks enlarge most images on this site

Left clicks enlarge most images on this site

RECORD LOWS ARE EXPECTED FOR PARTS OF FLORIDA ON FRIDAY NIGHT AND SATURDAY MORNING.  I AM EXPECTING BELOW FREEZING WEATHER WHERE I LIVE IN NORTHEAST CITRUS COUNTY.  PLEASE GO TO THE FOLLOWING SITE FOR MORE DETAILS:

http://www.srh.noaa.gov/images/tbw/pdf/TopNews/RecordColdFeb21.pdf

THIS POST AND THE LINK ABOVE ARE TIME SENSITIVE.

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ICING AS PART OF THE HYDROLOGIC CYCLE – SOME BASICS

LEFT CLICK TO ENLARGE
TWO SEPARATE LEFT CLICKS TO ENLARGE

THE HYDROLOGIC CYCLE, A CLASSICAL TOPIC

IN NATURAL SCIENCE COURSES

I’ve taught the hydrologic cycle many times in geology, meteorology, physical oceanography and environmental science classes.  It’s always been a pleasure but I’ve never had enough time.  All of these were college courses and in almost every case the text book covered the subject adequately.  However, the manner in which water moves and changes in our natural environment is so very interesting that a few pages in a text with a traditional drawing and an hour lecture from me simply does not do the subject justice.  Water is such a remarkable compound – I can’t find the words to explain how very interesting it is and how mysterious it can be at times considering the amount of scientific attention it has received through the years.  There is still so much to learn.

So, it is with excitement that I look forward to a 6-hour course that I am scheduled to teach in May to the Senior Institute enrollees at Central Florida Community College.  In 37 years of full-time college teaching (and 4 years part-time) I never had the opportunity to devote so much time to the subject.  The method I intend to use is my own “idea” but surely it has been done before – that is, to follow water step-by-step as it goes from one phase or one environment to the next.  My presentation won’t be a journey without side trips and backtracking.  There are multiple manners in which water can transform and/or move with interesting little anomalies along the way.  With 6 hours to utilize I will be able to discuss aspects that were only fleetingly mentioned in my previous hour-long presentations e.g.: Capillary action, deposition, glacial calving, influent groundwater movement, juvenile water, super-cooled droplets, and much more.

SUPERCOOLED CLOUD DROPLETS AND ICING

I feel fairly certain that some people who read this have had the experience of having rain freeze upon impact with their vehicle’s windshield.  Some would assume that the freezing occurs because the windshield is so very cold.  That is usually not the case.  Instead, the liquid droplets were probably at a temperature well below “freezing” and the impact with the windshield itself triggered the instant freezing.  Hopefully, the “defrosting” vents can keep the windshield warm enough so that the ice can be quickly cleared.  Now, imagine what it must be like if the surfaces being iced are the windshield and wings of your aircraft in flight – as well as other aircraft surfaces (e.g. propellers, fuselage, horizontal stabilizers)!

Today, February 15, 2009, the mere thought of super-cooled droplets hauntingly reminds me that in addition to the marvelous beauty of water’s multifaceted journeys and transitions through our natural environment, there are some insidious elements that can become deadly in this modern world.  Of course, I’m thinking specifically of the recent terrible aircraft accident responsible for 50 fatalities near Buffalo, New York.

PURE SPECULATION

For a short while since the accident it appeared that icing might have been the culprit or perhaps a contributing factor in causing the aircraft to make its sudden rapid descent (apparently almost immediately after the application of flaps).  At the time other aircraft in the vicinity were reporting icing.  HOWEVER, AT THE TIME OF THIS WRITING, NEWS RELEASES HAVE INDICATED THAT THE NATIONAL TRANSPORTATION SAFETY BOARD CLAIMS THAT ICING APPEARS NOT TO HAVE BEEN A FACTOR. The changing of the airfoil’s shape upon flap engagement might have triggered the rapid descent – an apparent stall leading to a flat spin.  That would indicate either insufficient air speed at the time of flap deployment or some type of catastrophic failure.   SINCE MANY AVIATION ACCIDENTS HAVE BEEN CAUSED BY ICING – AND IT WILL REMAIN A PROBLEM FOR AIRCRAFT FOR A LONG TIME TO COME, I SHALL CONTINUE.

When icing was being blamed, I suspected that some critical errors might have been made in the cockpit.  At best, my notions were intuitive – or, on the other end of the spectrum, unfair during such an early stage in the investigation.  Nevertheless, a surprising amount of information has been made available during this embryonic phase – partly due to the fact that the flight recorders are advanced models and they were in very good shape.  There is no need for me to dwell on factors that can cause a plane to become unstable when icing occurs – suffice it to say that airfoils lose “lift efficiency” quickly when ice buildup changes their shape and of course the weight of the ice accumulation can also be a huge factor.  I do not know what kind of air speed indicators are installed on that type of aircraft but I do know that icing can cause false readings on some types.  Icing can also cause problems at air intakes and oil cooler intakes of some aircraft.

glls-labeled-bw4BUT WHY DOES THE PHENOMENON OCCUR

IN THE FIRST PLACE?

The cause of the icing is a surprise to most people.  Though icing can occur on a plane’s very cold surface when it descends into “warm” clouds whose temperatures are above freezing, the vast amount of problematic icing occurs when the liquid droplets themselves are below what we traditionally consider freezing temperature.  These droplets consist of what is called supercooled liquid water (SLW).  Water in cloud droplets can get as cold as about negative 40 degrees Celsius (which is the same as negative 40 Fahrenheit) without freezing.

When liquid water freezes (box 3 to 4 in the illustration above) the water molecules align in a crystalline fashion.  But in order to do so they need one of two things:  1) either a freezing nuclei whose surface acts as a template to initially “show” the molecules how to (or trigger the molecules to) line up, or 2) some molecules themselves must be jolted (or jiggled) such that for at least an instant they are arranged so they can act as a template or model for the rest to follow.  The likelihood of such alignment occurring in undisturbed droplets is slim.  This would not be true of most fresh water at the surface, such as in lakes because there are microscopically-sized particles available in the water to act as templates.  On the other hand, water that has condensed and remains in the air is very “clean” by comparison.

An aircraft flying though supercooled cloud droplets causes considerable rapid stirring to set the stages for freezing upon impact with that aircraft – just as supercooled raindrops freeze upon impact with trees and suspended wires in those notorious, damaging ice storms.

VIDEO DEMONSTRATIONS

The first three links below show convincing demonstrations of liquid water freezing as a result of hexagonal ice crystal seeding.  The ice crystals provide the template which “shows” the liquid water what to do in order to become solid.  In the third example when the water freezes and builds up a small mound on the wooden post, I suspect that the split second ideal alignment of some water molecules (while pouring) provoked the freezing.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xe8vJrIvDQM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gGpNhBPYNfs

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4g1BDpU7ZQo

In this 4th example you will see that a jolt causing a sloshing of the water in the small amount of air space at the top of the bottle allows for enough water movement so that for an instant a hexagonal orientation occurs among some molecules causing a very rapid “follow the leader” freezing all the way down to the bottom of the bottle.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DpiUZI_3o8s

Just as condensation and deposition give off heat, freezing is also exothermic.  This is probably why some of the water remains in the liquid state.  If the SLW is not very much colder than “freezing” temperature, the heat given off during freezing will cause the remaining liquid to acquire enough heat to teeter over to the liquid side.

Use the search term “supercooled water” on YouTube.com and you will find many other video demonstrations.

WHEN WATER FREEZES IT EXPANDS, BECOMING LESS DENSE.  THIS EXPLAINS WHY SOLID WATER FLOATS UPON LIQUID WATER.

If you compare box 3 and 4 in the illustration in this post, you will see why water expands and becomes less dense upon freezing.  To establish the hexagonal grid necessary for ice, the molecules can’t be as close together as they were when they were in the cold liquid stage.

Information on supercooled liquid water would have eventually been posted here if the Continental Express Flight 3407 disaster had not occurred.  It is regrettable that the accident played a role in my posting this information at this time.  I offer my sympathy to all who have broken hearts over the loss of a loved one and all others adversely effected.

Finally, the information in this post about SLW and icing merely scratches the surface compared to that which is known.  But, that which is not understood is formidable.

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FLORIDA – THE SUNSHINE STATE!

LEFT CLICK TO ENLARGE
LEFT CLICK TO ENLARGE

It’s expected to get down into the high teens in the morning in my part of Florida (halfway between Inverness and Dunnellon at 28.97 degrees North latitude) and down to a warm 45 degrees where I used to live in Florida (Homestead at 25.46 degrees North latitude).  But even though the temperature here is going to be less than half what it will be down there – the “atmosphere” here is 100 times as serene.  I’ll take serenity and cold over helter-skelter and “not as cold” any old day.

God bless my friends who are stuck down there in that foreign county – even the ones who don’t even realize they are stuck.  As for me – being back in the country of my birth and the county I served honorably while in the Air Force – the good old U.S of A. is a tremendous relief.  In spite of all of our problems today, this is still the greatest country in the world!

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YET MORE COLDNESS FOR FLORIDA!

Two independent left clicks will enlarge
Two independent left clicks will enlarge

This seems almost like an instant replay!  We Floridians are again playing host to a couple of surges of cold air.  Florida is once again cloudless and the cold air is relatively dry –  therefore the state can’t count on much of a greenhouse effect to slow the loss of heat from the surface.

My neighborhood in northeast Citrus County, Florida can expect freezing temperatures on Wednesday and Thursday morning – and perhaps Friday morning.  As is so often the case, the fickle microclimatology of a neighborhood can be manifested by a wider-than-expected range of low (and high) temperatures.  For example, during a luncheon today a neighbor reminded me that by virtue of his property being on about the highest ground in the neighborhood, his low temperatures end up being not quite as low as those in other parts of the neighborhood.  This is not always the case but it happens the majority of times because on those cold, marginal mornings when the synoptic pressure gradient is weak, the coldest (and therefore densest) air tends to spill downward into the lower vicinities.

My wife and I have given up on covering our ornamentals – deciding a while ago to allow “survival of the fittest” to kick in.  But – many of my neighbors have already covered some of their plants.

This is not a mean-spirited criticism but it is a huge paradox to me that so many will go out of their way to protect a plant that isn’t meant to grow here yet some think nothing of killing a native species of harmless snake that dares to stray on to their property.  I understand the fear – but not the lethal reaction.

If you are “up north” reading this, I imagine that you’d love to be enjoying our temperatures down here.  Everything is relative, is it not?  For example.  I took my daily 3-mile walk earlier today wearing a light-weight sweater over a T-shirt and at the half-way mark the sweater came off!  It has been a delightful day for early February – that’s for sure.

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Cold Snap Coming to Central Florida

LEFT CLICK ENLARGES - This image is discussed in the text below
LEFT CLICK ENLARGES – A SECOND LEFT CLICK ENLARGES EVEN MORE.  This image is discussed in the text below

LIKE MOST POSTING ON THIS WEBLOG, THIS IS TIME-SENSITIVE AND WAS ENTERED DURING THE AFTERNOON OF JANUARY 11, 2009.  EVEN ONE DAY CAN MAKE A BIG DIFFERENCE SO IF YOU ARE NOT READING THIS CLOSE TO THE POSTING TIME, PLEASE CONSULT YOUR LOCAL MEDIA OR ON-LINE RESOURCES FOR UPDATES.

Here in Citrus County, Florida an approaching cold front is expected to arrive tonight (Sunday, January 11, 2009).  Then the lowest temperatures will get progressively lower for a few days.  For Hernando a small town nearby which is 23 miles from the Gulf of Mexico, the current 10-day forecast is for the following LOWS shortly after 7:30 AM:

50˚F. Monday, January 12

42˚F. Tuesday, January 13

33˚F. Wednesday, January 14

31˚F. Thursday, January 15

30˚F. Friday, January 16

28˚F. Saturday, January 17

38˚F. Sunday, January 18

45˚F. Monday, January 19

41˚F. Tuesday, January 20

42˚F. Wednesday, January 21

Because of the diverse micro-climatology of this area, expect even colder temperatures in certain areas that cool off very quickly during the night.

Ocala, about 40 miles inland from the Gulf of Mexico, might expect temperatures 4 degrees lower than those listed above.

Interestingly, it is typical for the minimum temperatures of a day to occur 30 minutes or so AFTER sunrise.  This is because during that early portion of daylight the sun is so low on the horizon (thus the intensity of solar radiation is weak) that more heat escapes the surface than is received from the sun.  People who must protect their crops from freezing temperatures know this.

THE IMAGE ABOVE  shows a steam fog over a roof in Central Florida during a cold morning last month.  You are looking southward at the west side of my house.  You can see frost on the roof except in places where the lack of insulation kept it warmer underneath – including the parallel trusses.

“Steam fog” is actually a MISNOMER.  That is because what you see is not steam.  Steam, in the strict scientific sense, is invisible.  YOU HAVE NEVER SEEN STEAM.  What you see rising from a teapot of boiling water is not steam.  By scientific definition, steam is water vapor and water vapor is defined as water in the gaseous state.  There is some water vapor in the air where you are this very moment but you can’t see it.  What you are actually “seeing” and calling steam is liquid water in the form of tiny droplets, not unlike cloud droplets.  That liquid has formed by the condensation of water vapor (the steam which neither you nor anyone else can see) into tiny little spheres of liquid.

NOTE ABOUT STEAM:  You can search for definitions of steam and you will find some alternate ones which will use terms like “mist.” In the non-scientific world there are even alternate understandings of the meaning of vapor.  Please understand that I am talking about steam as defined by the modern physicist, chemist, meteorologist, physical oceanographer, etc.

WHAT WAS HAPPENING ON AND OVER MY ROOF WHEN THIS IMAGE WAS TAKEN was that frost on the south-facing side and on heated edges of the roof was melting, some of that resultant liquid evaporated into water vapor (steam) but the water vapor quickly condensed back into the liquid phase due to the cold air into which it ascended (water vapor generally rises easily in still air because the water molecules are so much lighter than the nitrogen and oxygen molecules making up most of the air).  NOTE:  The only other remote possibility is that the frost was sublimating into water vapor but the air was not nearly dry enough nor was the temperature cold enough for this to be happening; sublimation is the phase change whereby a solid becomes a gas totally bypassing the liquid phase – as does dry ice.  Vapor pressure plays a significant role in sublimation but I’m ignoring that now since that is not what was happening.

Because evaporation is an important component to the conditions leading up to the development of a steam fog, many meteorologist have chosen to refer to them as evaporation fogs.  To be more specific, a steam fog is a type of evaporation fog.

Steam fogs occur when the air is colder than the moist surface.  Perhaps you have seen steam fogs over liquid surfaces like a wet asphalt highway after a heavy, cooling rain, over a heated swimming pool, or over other bodies of water that are warmer than the air above.  In time, more images of steam fogs will be posted on this site.

SPECIAL NOTE ABOUT STEAM BURNS AND ANOTHER NOTE ABOUT CENTRAL AIR CONDITIONERS:  One reason why steam burns are so serious is because not only is the victim injured by the very hot steam (super-heated water vapor) but also by the extra heat given off when that steam condenses.  Condensation (the opposite to evaporation) gives off heat called the latent heat of condensation.  It is the same heat that was taken away from the environment where the water vapor was originally formed from the evaporation of liquid water.  So, evaporation is a cooling process (taking heat from the environment where it’s occurring) and condensation is a heating process (adding heat to the environment where it is occurring).

In home central air conditioning systems the place where the coolant is being condensed by compression will be outside because both compression and condensation raise the temperature.  If there was not a fan to circulate air out there, the compressor unit would “fry.”  The cooling half of the unit, that which is inside, is the evaporator.  A fan blows air through the cold evaporator coils in order to make that air cooler.


FLORIDA WEATHER ALERT FOR CERTAIN GULF COASTAL COUNTIES

LEFT CLICK IMAGE TO ENLARGE
LEFT CLICK IMAGE TO ENLARGE

Target Area = the following Florida counties:

Levy,  Citrus, Hernando, Pasco, Pinellas, Hillsborough

Event: Coastal Flood Statement Effective:18:38 CDT on 12-10-2008 Expires:09:00 CDT on 12-12-2008 Alert:

…INCREASING WINDS AND SEAS WILL RESULT IN HIGHER THAN NORMAL TIDES AND HIGH SURF ALONG THE FLORIDA WEST COAST THROUGH THURSDAY NIGHT…

.AN AREA OF LOW PRESSURE IS EXPECTED TO DEVELOP OVER THE NORTH CENTRAL GULF OF MEXICO AND QUICKLY STRENGTHEN AS IT MOVES NORTHEAST ACROSS THE SOUTHEASTERN STATES TONIGHT AND THURSDAY AND EVENTUALLY UP ALONG THE MID ATLANTIC COAST THURSDAY NIGHT AND FRIDAY. AS THIS SYSTEM MOVES BY TO THE NORTH IT WILL DRAG A STRONG COLD FRONT THROUGH THE GULF WATERS TONIGHT AND THURSDAY.

AHEAD OF THIS FRONT SOUTHEAST TO SOUTH WINDS ARE EXPECTED TO INCREASE TO NEAR 20 KNOTS WITH SOME HIGHER GUSTS LATER TODAY AND

TONIGHT THEN SHIFT INTO THE WEST AND NORTHWEST AT 20 TO 25 KNOTS WITH HIGHER GUSTS DURING THURSDAY AND THURSDAY NIGHT.

INCREASING SOUTHERLY WINDS AHEAD OF A COLD FRONT AND STRONG WESTERLY WINDS IN ITS WAKE WILL HELP TO BUILD SEAS OVER THE ADJACENT GULF WATERS THROUGH THURSDAY NIGHT. THE INCREASING WINDS AND SEAS WILL CAUSE TIDES TO RUN SOME 1 TO 2 FEET ABOVE NORMAL FROM TAMPA BAY NORTH TO THE SUWANNEE RIVER…WITH THE POTENTIAL FOR 2 TO 3 FEET ABOVE NORMAL TIDES FROM HOMOSASSA NORTH THROUGH CEDAR KEY TO THE SUWANNEE RIVER.

THESE ABOVE NORMAL TIDES MAY CAUSE SOME MINOR COASTAL FLOODING AND OVER-WASH AS WELL AS MINOR BEACH EROSION AT TIMES OF HIGH TIDE THROUGH THURSDAY NIGHT. IN ADDITION THE RISK OF RIP CURRENTS AND STRONG UNDERTOWS AND LARGE BREAKING WAVES ALONG AREA BEACHES WILL ALSO BE ON THE INCREASE.

RESIDENTS LIVING ALONG THE COAST SHOULD MONITOR WATER LEVELS THROUGH THURSDAY NIGHT AND BE READY TO MOVE TO HIGHER GROUND SHOULD FLOODING BE OBSERVED.

STAY TUNED TO NOAA WEATHER RADIO OR YOUR LOCAL MEDIA FOR FURTHER UPDATES ON THIS DEVELOPING WEATHER SITUATION.

_______________________________________________

I personally recommend that residents of the counties mentioned above and also adjacent inland counties pay attention to the weather tomorrow (Thursday).  Cyclogenesis is predicted to occur along the front over the Gulf and that could cause it to swing around rapidly – generating a dangerous squall line ahead of it.  The radar image above shows a squall currently out ahead of the front itself and I have no reason to believe that it will dissipate any time soon.  So – expect squally weather tomorrow and plan accordingly.

Yours Truly,

Cloudman 23 (Tonie A. Toney)


A HINT OF ADIABATICS – IT’S A GAS!

LEFT CLICK IMAGE TO ENLARGE

Friday, 11-21-2008

Several years ago this bag of corn chips was purchased somewhere in Southern California.  Shortly afterwards one of my two former students hiking the Mt. Whitney trail with me pulled it out of his backpack when we were taking a break at the 11,395′ benchmark near Consultation Lake.  Adam and Carl were game hikers and a joy to be with.  I’ve lost track of Adam but Carl (Opper) is an earth science professor at St. Petersburg College.  He makes me proud.

I must admit that right now I have a problem with this image:

IT ACCURATELY DEPICTS

HOW MY ABDOMEN FEELS THIS EVENING!

That strange statement will be explained in a moment.

Of course the reason why the bag is near bursting is because the atmospheric pressure upon it is so much less than it was where it was packaged and sealed.  The image also illustrates that when air rises, it expands.  Interestingly, the “heat” within the air inside the bag is spread out over a greater volume due to the expansion.  Therefore, were it measured, one would find the temperature of the air at any point inside the bag to be colder than it was at the beginning of the hike.  But, the amount of heat inside the bag would be essentially the same as at the beginning of the hike, except for the small amount lost due to radiation cooling of the bag’s surface.

Did you catch that?  When air rises and expands the temperature changes but the amount of heat remains essentially the same.  I was reminded many times during my years of teaching that many people do not discriminate between the word, heat and the word, temperature.  The fact is, they do not mean the same thing.  For example, it takes a lot more heat to increase a gallon of room temperature water up to boiling than to increase a quart of room temperature water up to boiling – though the temperatures of each once the heating was accomplished would be the same at boiling.

When unsaturated air rises, its temperature drops at a rate of about 1degree C. per 100 meters of ascent!  When saturated air rises its temperature drops at a rate of about 0.6 degrees C. per 100 meters.  The reduction (retardation) is due to the fact that when saturated air is rising and being further cooled by expansion – condensation occurs which releases heat; the heat released slows down the rate of expansion cooling.

This is the crux of adiabatic cooling, a subject which will come up sooner or later at this site (as well as adiabatic heating).  NOW: Back to the strange comment about my abdomen.

Even before we returned to our Florida home from our month-long stay at our mountain cabin I knew that something inside my lower abdomen was not quite right.  After getting back to Florida I investigated on-line and correctly reached the conclusion that I had a hernia.  The surgeon found a second one when he examined me.  I had surgery that took a little over two hours early in the afternoon on Monday.  The surgeon found a third hernia while he was in there looking around with his magic wand, the laparoscope.

All went well.  The surgery was done on an out-patient basis.  That’s not a complaint.  Once my head hit the pillow at home I felt very tired but I was not sleepy!  I was so relieved that I jabbered off and on all night long.  My poor wife!  Perhaps the medication played a role in that.

The surgery is the main reason for my inactivity on line – that plus the fact that there is no tropical weather going on right now, being near the end of the official season.  I’ve read that it’s over but my feeling always at this time of year is, “It ain’t over ’til it’s over!” spoken first (I think) by the great living sage, Yogi Berra.  Out-of- season storms have occurred though such events are relatively rare.  Here are two examples:

1) Hurricane Alice formed at 1 A.M. EST December 30, 1954 and continued as a hurricane into January 6, 1955.  Here’s a plot.

http://www.stormpulse.com/hurricane-alice-1954

2) A hurricane formed on March 6, 1908.  It is called both “The March, 1908 Hurricane” and “1908 Hurricane #1.”  Here’s a plot.

http://weather.unisys.com/hurricane/atlantic/1908/1/track.gif

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