Thursday, November 29, 2007

Rossville Elementary 4th Graders Ready For Snow, But They Will Have to Be Patient

I had a lot of fun out a Rossville Elementary today and spoke to about 75 great kids. The fourth-graders actually sat and listened to me speak for about an hour. I told the teachers to give they certainly deserve some extra credit. One of the great things about being a meteorologist is not only living in a great community, but getting involved in the community. Going out and speaking to schools is always a lot of fun! The kids had fun learning how to make lightning by chewing on Mint-O-Green lifesavers. The nitrogen in the air reacts with the sugars that are broken when you chew the mint. This creates an opposite charge sparking a mini-blue bolt of lightning. The good news is this static electricity is safe unlike the real lightning. We went over lightning safety rules as well and parents you should not have to worry about the kids asking you to go through the drive-thru for food ever again during a thunderstorm. A Minnesota mother was struck by lightning trying to do this a few years ago and it got their attention. I watch out for them and you. There certainly should be a lot of kids paying closer attention to their math homework as well. The highlight today at Rossville was not only their warm hospitality on a cold, blustery day but we went over the winter forecast.

They may only be 4th-graders but I was very impressed with their prognostications on when the first inch of snow would take place. You can see their wall of forecasts. The popular days were November 30th, December 1st, December 10th, and of course December 25th. I do think a lot of them will hit it the forecast for the first snow right on the head. We will not have to wait until January 15th like we did last year for our first inch of snow.

During school talks I also talk to the kids about some old Hoosier weather proverbs. Here on the blog yesterday we all had fun with the squirrel weather predictions. They are warning us about a snowy December on the way. I am still getting squirrel pictures in today which is great! The more pictures the better and I cannot thank you enough.

Today I wanted to share sandhill crane pictures with you. All the birds have been very active this week which indicates a big weather change on the way. Notice there is one whooping crane in white surrounded by several gray sandhill cranes at the Jasper-Pulaski Fish & Wildlife Refuge. Monty Sloan was kind enough to send this into us. He took a trip up there because he had heard how beautiful these birds are and he certainly enjoyed quite a treat. I have had several e-mails and calls this week about migrating birds which includes geese and sandhill cranes. So the birds are telling us like the squirrels that real winter weather is coming. You can see why below.

Thanks to Monty Sloan

Here are just a couple of many e-mails confirming this:

I saw and heard 100+ Sandhill Cranes flying south over the Wabash about 3:15 today......
Nancy from south of Otterbein

These migrating birds were magnificently captured by Monty Sloan above. What makes it even more impressive are the beautiful altostratus clouds at sunset. It looks like a painting. Here was another picture and e-mail sent in by Pamela of migrating geese.

This is a pic of some of the thousands of geese that flew over today. They just kept coming from the north in waves that lasted for a few hours. It was just amazing.

Pamela Jones
South of Rossville

Today I think we would all agree with the birds and squirrels. It certainly feels like winter! The good news is that we will have a brief reprieve from this big chill on Friday. But December promises to come in with a fury. A big storm will bring over a foot of snow to parts of the Midwest. I talk more about this tonight and have the latest parade forecast. You stay warm and take care! Watch out for those birds and squirrels, they are not nearly as calm as I am when giving the forecast.

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