Last day of Astronomical Winter & a new section to the blog!

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Main threats

MONDAY: monitoring for the risk of strong storms.

Summary

Winter is leaving as peacefully as it possibly could. Today is the last day of the 2019 winter season, according to astronomy. Meteorologically, the spring season started March 1st, as we do our seasons in even three-month increments. Never the less, we can all say it’s spring by tomorrow! More on this in the Astronomy section below.

Our next chance of showers comes late Wednesday night and Thursday morning. We may pick up a quarter of an inch of rain but that should be about it. Many of us may not even see that much rain.

The weekend is looking pretty darn good, especially for the first half of it. We may see some showers move in as early as Sunday evening, but that’s too far off to get too specific.

Monday is looking wet and stormy. It looks like a severe weather threat will evolve over the southern plains on Sunday. As that pushes east, we’ll have to see how well it holds together. Right now, it’s too far out to know any specific details, just that a storm threat may also develop for us. I’ll be watching it!

WeatherTAP WeatherFACT (new section!)

You may have noticed that the word “weather” is often abbreviated WX, but did you ever know why? It comes from the days of Morse code. That was the abbreviation for “weather” in those days and we still use that abbreviation today. Morse code was made up of dots and dashes and the shorter the word could be made the easier it was to send via telegraph. That’s right, long before the days of shortening words on today’s social media (and texting!), we were looking for ways to abbreviate.

Records

On this day in 1996, Nashville recorded 8.7″ of snow on the ground. Winter went out with a bang that year!

On this day in 1935, horrendous dust storms swept across southeastern Colorado. The storms lasted from the 12th to the 25th. Up to six feet of dust accumulated on the ground! Six people died and much of the livestock in the region suffocated or starved to death. Schools were closed and many rural homesteads were abandoned by their tenants.

Almanac

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Record high: 80 (1982)

Record low: 21 (1967)

Today’s sunset: 6:51

Tomorrow’s sunrise: 6:42

Today’s day length: 12 hrs 07 mins 20 secs

Tomorrow’s day length: 12 hrs 09 mins 38 secs

One year ago today

On this day last year we had a high of 60 degrees and morning low of 49. Just over an inch of rain fell (1.06″). The maximum wind gust was 20 mph.

Astronomy

Sky viewing conditions tonight: EXCELLENT

Moon phase: Waxing Gibbous, 96% illumination

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What to look for in the night sky tonight

The March 2019 equinox occurs tomorrow at 4:58 CDT, with a Full Moon coming just four hours later. That’s the closest those two have occurred to each other since March 20, 2000. On the day of the March equinox, the sun rises and sets due east and due west. So, if you want to know what due east is from your house, look for that sunrise in the morning! This is true no matter where you live on earth. Well, unless you live at the North or South Pole, where there is no east or west.

So, be ready for the equinox tomorrow! The earth will be tilted in such a manner that half the earth will be lit by the sun, giving us 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of darkness. After this, the daylight hours will slowly become longer than the night hours, all the way up until the first day of summer on June 17th!

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News

Historic flooding continues across the Midwest and things are starting to get really bad. Water restrictions have been placed on the residents of Lincoln, Nebraska and many communities have become islands in the flood waters. Thousands of people are being displaced and it’s only going to get worse, as waters are expected to continue to rise.

Let’s keep all these folks close to our hearts and hope this can get more national attention soon.

You all have a great day!

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