Of course it’s the Polar Vortex!

Climatologist Dr. Judah Cohen points out that Siberia is the world’s ice box and temperatures last week there were running in the MINUS 70s! So if those fast winds at the north pole (the polar vortex) weaken due to some undue warming, then that cold air crosses right over into Canada and the USA. You can get a sense of that happening from the Global temperature forecast here as those purple/white/blue colors---cold air---spill from Russia across the north pole and eventually into Texas!

How a cloud can stop a launch

We have liftoff! Those three words are music to NASA ears as Artemis has faced a number of delays over the past several weeks. I think we can all understand mechanical concerns, high winds, thunderstorms and hurricanes as launch-blockers. What I didn’t realize until yesterday is that one good healthy cumulus cloud can stop a rocket launch in its tracks! A cumulus cloud? Those puffy, fair-weather innocent-looking clouds against a beautiful blue sky? The kind that don’t even produce rain? Yep. Those clouds.

Yesterday’s crazy hazy sky

Yesterday in the early morning hours, a lumber yard on the northeast side of town went ablaze calling in more than a hundred firefighters! Our story on that massive fire is here. A light wind from the northeast sent roiling smoke across downtown skies resulting in, if nothing else, a spectacular smoky sunrise as you can see in my cover shot above! But for most of the morning the skies looked more like a really bad dose of Saharan dust! Here’s a morning shot from yesterday’s smoke-filled sky:

Get your head in the clouds!

I have blogged before about the Cloud Appreciation Society, the society for people who love the sky, which offers daily cloud pics and other cloud-loving memorabilia to its members (join for as little as $37 a year). I was gifted my membership after speaking to a senior group in Brenham a few years back. Honestly, it’s a nice way to start each day with a fabulous cloud pic submitted from one of its tens of thousands of members.