Saturday, December 3, 2011

Loose Ends

Spaced Out
Time is running out for Russia's Phobos/Grunt Mars Probe...the latest attempts to contact the spacecraft have failed. Contrary to what I posted Thursday, NASA did lend an ear after all before returning it's assets to full support of the Mars Space Laboratory launch.

Today I read that the European Space Agency had to pull back to support other duties. The Russians say  that Phobos/Grunt's fuel tanks full of toxic fuel would likely burn up during reentry, now in February. Roscosmos continues to try to hail Phobos/Grunt, should they regain control, they probably will use that  control to steer the probe into a safer reentry.

USSTRATCOM is tracking the probe now. Spaceflight 101 is keeping score.

Just in
Latest orbitals have Phobos/Grunt reentry on or about January 6, 2012

@kcraFinan says we set Sacramento's record high for December 2nd. The winds that blew through yesterday went on to become hurricane strength Santa Ana Winds that tore up SoCal overnight. A second wave of NE Winds came to the High Sierra today with warmer temperatures ending the around-the-clock snowmaking hopes of the resorts.

It could be worse, witness the Austrian Alps that I caught on last night's 10 O'clock News:

The AFDs aren't exactly crowing about any pattern change in the next week. While snowmaking won't be producing around the clock this week, overnight temps will allow continued whittling on the To-Do Lists.

There is a "Silver Lining" however...Before dawn next Saturday December 10th, early risers on the West Coast of North America can see a Total Lunar Eclipse! At totality, The Moon will be almost setting in the West, so it's gonna look huge!

Why is this a "Silver Lining"? Because all these astronomical wonders are always obscured by clouds in My World! Usually it'll be snowing!


  1. Yeah, not much precip in any form herah!

    Weren't we just talking about those hurricane strength winds that ride along the Eastern Sierra? Didn't I predict eastern kinda weather patterns.

    I fell in love with weather when I took a basic meteorolgy class at CAL. Math wasn't my thing and still is not but it introduced me on patterns, how to read a SAT photo and anomalies. Passed Monteverdi's class and have enjoyed looking and trying to predict and guessing at the weather ever since.

    Santa Anas in SoCal are another memory of mine. The light ones brought in the smell of the blossoming dessert and orange groves. Oh it was so mesmerizing. While the Shirakos brought in dust, dust everywhere! In any nook in cranny! Up the nose! Dusty playa decomposing fossil dust.

    And, the fires. Hell hath no fury like a fire driven by the Santa Anas.

    It's cold at 3500 feet. Vuarnet skies and cold. Maybe I'll get a chance at seeing the total eclipse of the moon on the 10th.

  2. Light winter this year. It has happened before. It will happen again.

    Last year (2010-2011) California got a very long precipitation pattern.

    Weather is weather except, of course, when the weather appears to support the latest, hand wringing, AGW hypothesis.