Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Space Shuttle Atlantis Lights Up the Lafayette Sky After a Gully Gushing Rain

What a night last night. The e-mails and calls came pouring in just as fast and furious as the early morning rain. I was out on the roof taking in the breath-taking view of the Space Shuttle and International Space Station as they rocketed over Lafayette. It was like not one, but two shooting stars next to each other moving in tandem and in slow-motion so you could easily take it all in. Earlier in the day of course they undocked from each other helping to make all of this possible. Here is a re-cap of the show in the sky that lasted about 3 minutes.

Atlantis is expected to land in Florida now on Thursday. The good news if you missed last night's show in the sky is you can once again see the International Space Station pass over us tonight at 10:53 p.m. It will be followed by another space shuttle fly-by at 10:54 p.m. Look toward the northwest sky. It will last about 3 minutes and is worth watching before the late newscast. The viewing conditions like last night should be excellent.

Now what you all have been waiting for and that is an update on our drought which did reach the moderate stage last week across much of Indiana. The rain we had this morning is a sign of better days ahead for farmers. The Climate Prediction Center has the drought easing up for much of the southeast, including Florida and much of the Hoosier state, including Lafayette. The long-term drought outlook for the rest of the summer keeps the highest risk south of us as you can see below.

We will have occasional dry spells but the true drought conditions seem to favor areas in Kentucky and Tennessee. The blocking pattern we have seen so often this Spring will not be in place for much of the summer. So even the areas with the higher drought risk should receive at least some rain. Here at home you can see the pattern is already changing with yesterday's welcome rain totals below.

This was the heaviest rain in two weeks and if you look closely you can see some happy hastas!
Some areas did not receive as much rain with huge variations as we so often see this time of year. Folks in Frankfort were wishing Logansport would have shared some of their heavy rain. The gem city struggled to reach much more than a tenth of an inch of rain.

But do not despair if you are in need of more rain, by late week into the early part of the weekend we have more welcome rain in the forecast.

Here on our Wednesday you do need to get out and enjoy. We do not have too many more of these days with low humidity. The summer solstice or beginning of summer arrives tomorrow afternoon. I recommend a nice walk or jog and if possible a fishing trip.

Bill Lovelace shows us how it is done, with your blog picture of the day. We have great fishing weather today. This is a 33 and a half inch flathead catfish he caught this past weekend. His fishing spot was top secret. This broke his old record of 32 inches he set last year. Great job Bill! Check back for lots of interesting weather worth tuning in for tonight as a summer surge of heat is back in the forecast that could be preceded by strong thunderstorms. I will see you soon. Do not forget the sunscreen. A sunburn at 1 p.m. is possible in as little as 18 minutes.

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