Real-time Earth and Moon phase

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Sunny sky isn't winter's end!

It's been a long and hard winter, as we are coming down to the last week of February, then March, Spring should be just around the corner now, right? Well, not so fast! The mlive.com this morning has an interesting artucle by Stephen Kloosterman that saying "Sunny sky this morning isn't winter's end":

MUSKEGON, MI – Take a peak outside – you won’t be disappointed.
You may have forgotten over the past winter months but the glowing orange thing is our sun. Don’t look at it too long.
Unfortunately,Saturday’s sunny morning is not forecast to be the end of the winter weather and the dangerous driving associated with it.
The Michigan State Police warn that roadways in the Muskegon County area are still wet and icy.
Temperatures Saturday, Feb. 22 are expected to top out at 30 degrees, according to the National Weather Service. A west-southwest wind will blow 18 to 20 miles per hour, with gusts as high as 29 mph.
Saturday night, skies will be partly cloudy, with a low temperature near 16 degrees. The wind will continue to blow, but without gusts.
On Sunday, skies will again be partly sunny, with a high temperature near 23 degrees, according to the weather service forecast. A west wind will blow 18 to 21 mph, with gusts up to 31 mph.
Starting Sunday night, there is a 40 percent chance of snow showers after 8 p.m. A west-northwest wind will blow 20-22 mph, with gusts again up to 30 mph.
There is a chance of snow every day from Monday through Wednesday next week, according to the National Weather Service.
Ugh! Winter sticks around a little longer yet! 

Can't wait for the daffodils in our front yard to blooming!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

'The Dismal Science'

I just read the book review in the Star Tribune by Tom Zelman on the book entitled "The Dismal Science" by Peter Mountford.  I am not aware of this book until now. The book title intrigues me.  It is a novel, not a book about science, but I am being tempted to try to get the book and read it at some point. The review particularly quoted a comment in the book:
“Everyone was afraid of rogue waves, flu pandemics, texting while driving. Everyone said what they thought and everyone was wrong. Even the people who said they didn’t know anything were wrong. … There was nothing left to say, no option left but to keep talking. And so they did.” 
Hmm,  can it be applied to the current state of science in general?  I have never thought of freaque waves are in the company of flu pandemics and texting while driving.  I still don't think they belong together. Is that what people think of freaque waves? 

What comes to my mind is the rest of the quote: "Everyone said what they thought and everyone was wrong. Even the people who said they didn’t know anything were wrong. … There was nothing left to say, no option left but to keep talking. And so they did. . ." might very well be a wild description of modern science, including the world of freaque waves studies.  

But being a scientist, even in retirement, it is still a little unsettling to see an adjective "dismal" applied to the noble word of "science".  Perhaps science is indeed dismal when some of the so-called scientists have to claim that they belong to a special group of "overwhelming numbers" with "like minded" on some conclusion. If that's what science is, it is downright dismal indeed!  Thank God, the study of freaque waves is not like that yet!!!

Peaceful Black Sea beach at Sochi


This is the week of 2014 Winter Olympics being held at Russia's Sochi on the shore of Black Sea. The above is a scenery of Black Sea Sochi sea shore, posted on Twitter by the USAToday sports columnist Christine Brennan @cbrennansport, with the Fisht Olympic Stadium in the background.

It looks like a nice, calm, quiet, peaceful, crisp, and even poetic morning there to take a strode on the beach.  I am not certain if there are any reported freaque waves happenings in those area.  If there are, there's clearly no one around to encounter it.  Did it ever happen? Why not?

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Happened at Milford-on-Sea, UK Hampshire

Here are two PA pictures captured from this Daily Star article yesterday by Tom Rawle with these headlines:


Army rescue stranded Valentine's Day diners as restaurant is hit by giant waves

ARMY troops were called in last night to rescue 32 people from the first floor of a restaurant that was hit by hurricane-force winds and huge waves.




That's about all that's what happening along with this details:
The couples were enjoying a love-filled Valentine's Day meal when storms blew out windows at the Marine Restaurant in Milford-on-Sea, Hampshire. 
Worried eaters were taken upstairs as waves pushed in to the restaurant 
Emergency services including coastguards, firefighters and the Army were called in to save the stranded lovers at around 10pm on Friday night. 
James McCrossan, a chef at the restaurant, said: "The wind was just smashing against the windows. It almost looked like the windows were bending 
"The outside of the windows started smashing. There was glass everywhere, it wasn't safe for anyone."It's like I never seen before and, touch wood, I hope never to see it again." 
The couples were eventually saved by six-wheel-drive Army vehicles as the sea began to submerge cars in the car park according to reports. 
Karen Bosman, from Lymington Coastguard, told BBC Breakfast said she had never seen weather like it before. 
She told BBC Breakfast: "When our coastguard got there, they were just making sure everybody was safe when the first-floor windows were also hit by a freak wave and shingle, and those windows were also stoved in by the weather. 
She added: "The sustained ferocity I have never seen in my experience. Last night we were getting gusts of 69 knots while this was occurring, and 69 knots is hurricane-force winds. 
"I have never seen that in the Solent before."
Needless to say, which may be an understatement, that was a memorable Valentine Day storm! Hard to believe that waves can get that far up to the restaurant location, but they certainly did!





Saturday, February 15, 2014

Freaque wave smashed into cruise ship Marco Polo

It is depressing to read this news item as this newser.com headline tells it all:




Freak Wave Kills Cruise Ship Passenger:
Passenger, 85, dies after wave hits ship in English Channel




Here's the story:
(Newser) – An 85-year-old man on a cruise ship in the English Channel was killed after what the ship's operator calls a "freak wave" smashed into the vessel, reports the BBC. Several others were injured, including a woman who was airlifted off the Marco Polo, operated by Cruise & Maritime Voyages. Witnesses say the wave struck early in the afternoon, with most of the injuries the result of shattered windows in the dining room, reports CNN. The ship was on its way back from a 42-day voyage to the Azores.

And here's a picture of the cruise ship Marco Polo:








Notice that we know that this is a case of freaque wave encounter is because the "ship's operator calls it"! As usual there's no details about the wave that smashed into the ship.  Clearly no one saw it coming. That's all. How did it happen? It just happened!!


On the other hand, I guess it is not hard to make sense on what was happening with this kind of UK Mirror headline: "Terror Storm Kills two as 85mph gales rip across Britain"!


These youtube videos: http://youtu.be/CmRYAqhf-pk and http://youtu.be/E1smv6jb9to can probably provide some insight on what was happening!




Here's another BBC picture of the cruise ship Marco Polo:

Luca Riva





Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Happened at Irish's Sheep's Head


According to Irishtrails: Sheep’s Head is the narrowest of the fingers of land that extend from the south west mainland of Ireland out into the Atlantic, between Bantry Bay and Dunmanus Bay. Hear's a picture from IrishTrails by Robert Shaw, showing a scenery on last Saturday:

This news from Herald.ie by Ralph Riegel  yesterday reports a tragic happening:
TWO friends are feared to have drowned when one apparently went to help the other after they were struck by freak waves and 130kph winds while walking along an exposed west Cork peninsula.
A major search operation off the Sheep's Head peninsula yesterday resulted in one body being recovered. The search for the second person is ongoing.
The men – named locally as Dutch national Roland Decker (32) and a 31-year-old German friend – flew into Cork last week from Amsterdam for a break in Kilcrohane village.
Mr Decker's mother owns a holiday property just outside the village. She spoke to them by phone on Saturday and learned of their plan to walk to a local lighthouse, where it is understood they hoped to take photos of the stormy seas.
Mrs Decker became concerned when she was unable to contact her son on Saturday evening and again on Sunday.
It is real heart aching to read story like this, it happened when they "plan to walk to a local lighthouse" to "take photos of the storm seas."  Isn't that something we all might wished to do at some point as a tourist ??? Our heart feels deeply for Mrs. Decker and other graving family members, may God bless their lost love one to rest in peace.

Saturday, February 08, 2014

Fishermen rescued after boat capsizes at Point Nepean

This news headline "Fishermen rescued after boat capsizes at Point Nepean" in the Melborne  Nerald Sun News today has seemingly familiar sounding that had happened before, but it is a new case:
A FISHERMAN was plucked from the water with serious injuries after being tossed into the sea when a freak wave caused his boat to capsize off Victoria's coast.
The 25-year-old Rowville man was rescued at Point Nepean by a passing crayfishing boat operator, who took him to Queenscliff where they met Water Police, this morning.
Officers administered first aid to him before he was flown to the Royal Melbourne Hospital.
His friend, a 36-year-old Mornington man who was captain of the 4.5m tinny, was washed up on shore near Cheviot Beach at the tip of the Peninsula, with cuts and bruises.
He was winched to safety by the police Air Wing helicopter in a dramatic rescue about 9.40am, before being transported to Rosebud Hospital.
Victoria's Water Police have been busy in recent weeks with rescues as more fishermen and boaters take to the water amid the warmer weather. 
The article by Rebekah Cavanagh tells another boat capsize case for the record! Boats in the nearshore area are vulnerable for being capsized by waves, was it always caused by a freaque wave? No one really knows! This time it was specified by the news writer as by a freaque wave. Some time reporters choose to use a different term.  It's all some sort of nearshore waves, some large, some larger, are they freaque? Who knows? Since we don't have a firm definition, it's not even in the eyes of the beholder, it's just whatever the reporter feels like to call it! I guess the only thing that all cases have in common is it usually not anticipated by the victim when it happened.  The unexpectedness, some time may be just taken for granted, is all that figured or not figured in the uncertainty -- happens out there day in and day out. Facts of life? Science does not seem to be able to do anything tangible about it!!

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Mountainous waves during storm at sea


Here's a picture I copied from the NOAAPhotolib, entitled "Mountainous waves during storm at sea", which is an art work with these details:

Image ID: libr0875, Treasures of the NOAA Library Collection
Photo Date: 1966 Circa
Credit: Artwork by Dr. Yuri V. Kurochkin, TINRO, Russia; Courtesy of Mrs. Yuri V. Kurochkin

Since this is an art work, it is not a photo, but it looks very real, a big thumb-up for the artist. I would put it in the same category as Hokusai!

Now compare this:

which I posted on Saturday, October 26, 2013, it is clearly that the real thing is indeed for real. I am not certain where this was taken or from where. A true mountainous wave which may or may not appeared out of nowhere. Just wish mariners may never encounter something like this!






























real!