Monday, August 31, 2009

Fires, Hurricanes, Earthquakes, and Frost

It's been nearly two weeks since my last post and although I haven't really thought much has been going on, I was wrong. Looking back over the weeks a lot has happened. We'll start with the California wildfires.
This picture was taken in the city of Los Angeles. I'm not sure what direction the picture is facing, but the smoke is going up to 25,000 feet into the air. This looks more like a photo of a volcano than of smoke from a brush fire. That's a point to make too, this isn't really a forest fire, but rather a brush fire. The mountains around Los Angeles are so dry there aren't any trees. It's just scrub brush. You can see many more pictures on the LA Times website here.

Moving on from fires to Earthquakes now. An earthquake hit the Charleston, South Carolina area on the morning of Saturday, August 29. The quake measured 3.2 which is quite small and probably not felt by many. What's really interesting though is that on August 31, 1886 a 7.3 quake struck the same area causing massive damage. Sixty people were killed and over 90% of the buildings in Charleston were damaged. You can read more about the 1886 quake here.

Now for the hurricanes. Tropical storm Claudette didn't bring much moisture to us here in Indiana. In fact, Claudette just sort of fizzled. However, Bill turned into a strong category 3 storm, but stayed well offshore. The only problems were strong rip currents and beach erosion caused by the very large waves. I'm thinking that there was a tropical storm Danny, but I'm not sure what happened to it.

Finally, the first signs of fall are appearing. The low this morning was 48 and in Minnesota and Wisconsin, low temperatures were in the upper 20's and low 30's. As a result, frost advisories were issued for the northern sections of those two states. Woo hoo! :-) It won't be long till we get a nice frosty morning ourselves. Tonight, the core of the cold air has moved east and frost advisories are posted for the northern half of the lower peninsula of Michigan and for areas of northern New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine.

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