Baldwin’s Tuesday LAUNCH WEEK Wx Blog for May 25

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Headlines

Launch week continues! Tomorrow is the big day!

An unsettled pattern continues

A cold front arrives next weekend

Main threats

Any storm that develops could be on the strong side. Just keep that in mind if you’re out and about.

A better chance for strong storms exists for Thursday. Again, just isolated severe t-storms are possible, with a damaging wind gust being the main threat. The Storm Prediction Center has placed the plateau in the MARGINAL RISK for severe weather.

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Baldwin’s Severe Wx Concern

Heat and humidity will add fuel to storms this week. Some of those could be strong, or even briefly severe, this week. That threat is a bit higher on Thursday. After Saturday, severe storm chances drop to zero for several days.

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Baldwin’s 7-Day forecast

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Daily Forecast

Today – Wednesday: Scattered showers and storms, mainly in the afternoon and evening.

Thursday – Friday: Showers and storms are likely. Some storms could be strong.

Saturday: Scattered showers and storms are possible, though the trend for drier weather will begin this day.

Sunday – Monday: Partly cloudy with lower humidity and cooler temperatures.

Almanac

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Yesterday’s National High and Low Temperature

High: 110 Death Valley, California

Low: 12 at Pikes Peak, Colorado

Difference of: 98 degrees

Today’s 

Wx Hazards Across the Nation

Severe storms will threaten parts of Iowa and Wisconsin, along with heavy rainfall that may even extend into southern Minnesota.

Tuesdaythreat

Tomorrow’s 

Wx Hazards Across the Nation

Heavy rainfall once again threatens the Carolinas and western Virginia. Severe storms threaten central Texas.

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Thursday’s 

Wx Hazards Across the Nation

Unsettled weather continues for much of the country. Severe storm chances will likely be added in later outlooks for this map.

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LAUNCH WEEK!

We are now just a day away from the big launch! I thought it would be nice to introduce you all to the two astronauts who will be making history with this launch.

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Robert L. Behnken is from St. Ann, Missouri and has been an astronaut since 2000. He’s flown two space shuttle missions and has logged 708 hours in space. He’s logged 37 hours doing spacewalks. He’s actually completed six of those walks. Behnken is 49 years old.

Behnken’s education portfolio is impressive. He earned a B.S. in both physics and mechanical engineering from Washington University (two B.S. degrees!). He then earned an M.S. and PhD in mechanical engineering from California Institute of Technology.

Behnken was in the Air Force ROTC program while he was an undergrad. He then entered active duty in the Air Force while in grad school.

From July 2012- July 2015 he was NASA’s Chief Astronaut. As Chief Astronaut, he was responsible for flight assignments, mission preparation, and on-orbit support of international space station crews as well as organizing astronaut office support for future launch vehicles.

Behnken is married to astronaut Megan McArthur.

The list of honors and awards for Behnken is, understandably, impressive. He will now serve on the test flight of SpaceX’s DEMO-2 on Wednesday. We wish him all the best!

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Douglas Hurley is from Endicott, New York and has also been an astronaut since 2000. He, too, has flown two space shuttle missions, including the final one in 2011. So, he flew on the last flight that took astronauts up from American soil and he will fly the first one to do that since! Hurley is 53 years old.

Hurley earned his B.S. in civil engineering from Tulane. Before entering college, he was a fighter pilot and test pilot for the U.S. Marine Corps.

He is married to astronaut Karen Nyberg. They have one son.

As you might expect, Hurley has an array of awards and honors. We wish him all the best as he returns to spaceflight!

Records

On this day in 1951 the first American woman in space, Sally Ride, was born! She was not, however, the first woman in space, as two other Russian cosmonauts had been there before. She remains the youngest American astronaut to have gone to space, having done so at the age of 32.

Ride was on board two Challenger shuttles and helped investigate both the Challenger and Colombia disasters. She is the only person to have served on both investigation committees. Her findings were key in determining the cause of the Challenger disaster.

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Weather Trivia 

Q: The Vehicle Assembly Building on NASA’s campus is quite iconic! Being on the eastern coast of Florida, the construction of the building had to take hurricanes into consideration. What is the maximum strength of hurricane the world’s tallest single story building can withstand?

a. cat 1    b. cat 2     c. cat 3     d. cat 4     e. cat 5   (note: cat 1 is the weakest, cat 5 is the strongest hurricane)

(Answer at the end of the blog!)

Long Range Outlook 

Long range outlooks are really starting to pick up on this cold front coming this weekend. Below normal temps and below normal rainfall are both expected next week. Hay farmers are going to love this! I’ll have an updated hay cutting weather forecast available tomorrow!

Temperature

TuesdayTemp

Precipitation 

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7-Day Projected Precip Totals

Rainfall will be widespread in the eastern US, with folks in the Carolinas and Southeast Coast picking up the highest totals.

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Baldwin’s View-of-the-Day

Astronauts Behnken and Hurley go through a dress rehearsal of the launch. Can you imagine how excited they must be?

Weather News

There is, as always, the possibility that tomorrow’s launch will be delayed because of weather. We’ll continue launch week celebrations as if the launch is on schedule. The re-schedule date is Saturday, May 30. I’ll keep you all posted!

Answer to Trivia Question

A: (c) Surprisingly to me, the building is only built to withstand maximum winds of 125 mph, or that of a cat 3 hurricane. I suppose cost of construction prohibited making the building able to withstand a stronger hurricane? Many storms have threatened the Space Coast but the folks at Kennedy have always repaired and gotten back to work in rather short order.

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You all have a great day!

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