Archive for the ‘Senior Institute’ Tag

Oh Beautiful for Spacious Skies! GOES 12 Image.

Never in my wildest dreams during my 41 years of teaching college/university meteorology did I ever think that I would be able to sit in my recliner at home (or anywhere else for that matter) with a personal computer on my lap allowing me to gaze at color images of our beautiful earth from near space in nearly real time!  Nor did I ever imagine being able to electronically transfer that image to a web-log for hundreds of interested (and interesting) people who visit the site.

The only thing about all of this that disappoints me is my not having been able to do similar things in the classroom for the nearly 25,000 students who took my courses.  I feel very fortunate, however, to have a wonderful following of Senior Institute participants at Central Florida Community College in Ocala.  In the classroom where I meet with them I am able to project on-line images on a large screen.  That they seem to enjoy my use of the technology in the classroom is icing on the cake.  I know how lucky I am to be able to continue after retirement, teaching and learning more and more about subjects I love.

Please take a look at this beautiful image.  Enlarge it as much as you are able.  I suggest right-clicking on the image and saving it so that you can study it using an image viewer of your choice; do that, ONLY after getting the image as large as you are able following the instructions immediately below.

TWO INDEPENDENT LEFT CLICKS SHOULD GIVE YOU

A VERY LARGE IMAGE WHICH WILL ALLOW YOU TO SEE

DETAIL MUCH BETTER SO LONG AS YOU SCROLL

UP AND DOWN, RIGHT AND LEFT.

PLEASE BE PATIENT.

DEPENDING UPON YOUR CONNECTION SPEED,

LOADING MAY TAKE A WHILE.

11-10-2008-345p-est

This image was completed at 3:45 PM EST, November 10, 2008; the time stamp is at the upper left corner but is easy to read only when you enlarge.  The satellite that did this, GOES 12, is in geosynchronous orbit.  This simply means that it completes one orbit (revolution) in the same period of time the earth makes one rotation; that period of time is one day.  Also, it orbits within the equatorial plane.  Therefore, as the satellite travels rapidly though space it stays over the same point above earth (about 22,300 miles from the earth’s surface).  The distance between the satellite and earth’s surface is almost three earth diameters – so “high” that full disk images of earth can be captured.

With adequate enlargement you can see the aqua-blue of the shallow Bahama Platform.  You can also see ice and snow in the Southern Andes, Greenland, the Arctic Ocean, and the Antarctic peninsula.  You can see the remnant of what was once hurricane Paloma centered slightly north of Cuba.  You can see the bright tops of high clouds and the grey tones of the lower clouds.  If you know weather circulation patterns as marked by clouds you will see cyclonic circulation in both hemispheres.  In the North Pacific there is a very large cyclonic system approaching B.C. Washington, and Oregon.  There is a huge front stretching across the South Pacific.  The Intertropical Convergence Zone is very well marked by clouds in the Pacific.  There is a large extratropical cyclone over the Middle United States. The list goes on and on.

Being able to see all of this, to my mind, is a miracle.

Yours Truly,

Tonie Ansel Toney

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HURRICANE FOCUS ON CENTRAL FLORIDA

LEFT CLICK ON THE IMAGE TO MAKE IT LARGER.

It was obtained from the NOAA Coastal Service Center.  I prepared this chart using a program with a menu whereby I could select the city and pick the time frame.

I live in Citrus County, Florida.  Our house is 17.5 miles from the Gulf of Mexico (measured with Google Earth) and it sits 50′ above sea-level.  I present short Chautauqua-type seminars at Central Florida Community College’s Senior Institute.  The main campus, located in Ocala, is 69′ above sea level.  Its distance from the Gulf, (to the nearest whole number), is 35 miles.

In the three years we have lived and travelled around here I have become increasingly alarmed at the number of homes and businesses I see in Central Florida that seem to have no window protection.  What I look for are pre-drilled anchors or pre-installed braces for temporary panels, and I hopefully look for permanent shutters.  Permanent protection like accordion or rolling shutters is expensive but can blend in nicely with the building’s architecture and is so very easy, by comparison to “temporaries”  to get ready for a storm.  Temporary protection, such as aluminum panels or plywood (and other newer plywood alternatives) cost less.  Heavy plywood can be a real job putting in place and for some people there are problems with storage space.  The lighter-weight alternatives are improving but if you decide on one of those products, make sure they comply with the codes.  There are also shatter-resistant films for window glass and the same advice about compliance applies there.

There seems to be a notion among many that we in interior Central Florida can’t get a major hurricane – that any that reach the shore will be reduced significantly by friction so that window protection is really not necessary.  Those people are wrong.  What has just happened in Houston is a prime example.

At other places in this web-log I have written a great deal about the importance of protecting windows and the damage, danger, and hardships that can occur when they are blown or broken out.  My 8-9-2008 posting, Window Protection for Hurricanes is Essential, goes into more detail and tells a bit of my family’s story of our hurricane Andrew experience.

Here is the NOAA site for information on storm shutters.  If you live where hurricanes might visit, I suggest you read the questions and answers.

http://www.aoml.noaa.gov/hrd/shutters/index1.html

This link is to the web page of the Florida’s Bureau of Mitigation, Division of Emergency Management Office:

http://www.floridadisaster.org/mitigation/rcmp/hrg/content/openings/openings_index.asp

Here is a private posting about window protection that I feel is well done (note – it has several pages):

http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/22549/hurricane_window_protection_options.html?cat=6

Please visit the rest of this web-log at https://cloudman23.wordpress.com/.  If you are interested in weather, there are some tutorials scattered about and more will be added in time.  At the end of this page there is a cue to click to the previous page.