Happy Birthday to my sister Shelli Krings. You see her front and center above with my god daughter Isabella on the left and my Wisconsin Mom on the right. There is no need to attach in-law to Shelli's name. Shelli has been a big part of the Prangley family and I am not sure where we would be without her. Well, in a lot of trouble that is for sure. She deserves a month long celebration! She is from the best generation in my book.....GENERATION X! Yesterday she actually turned 40 and told me it was the best thing that ever happened. This gives me plenty of hope since I turn 40 next year. She loved the nice warm weather on her birthday. She lives in Wisconsin and many times her birthday is the unofficial start to winter, but not this year. So I am glad I came through for her and since this was a belated blog birthday wish the least I can do is send more pleasant weather her way through the weekend. After all Shelli is the Queen of Warm Weather. That is right, Shelli got out the tierra yesterday to celebrate the weather and her birthday. I will post that great picture here on the blog shortly. I told her she can keep the tierra out for a few more days until the King of Cold hits the Midwest late next week in the form of a vicious cold front. Tonight we will take a look at a satellite picture at where the King is holding court. In the coming years the Queen of Warm may want to move South if she likes warm weather on her birthday.
You see a NOAA picture of the sun and they held a special press conference on Tuesday in its honor. The sun's solar wind is the weakest it has been since it was first measured in the 1960s or close to when Shelli was born and sunspot activity is the quietest it has been in 100 years. This favors warm hats and snow shovels and not tierras. Here are the bullet points to remember:
1) The NASA spacecraft Ulysses measured the temperature and pressure of the solar wind which was 30% less. This means the edge of our solar system or the Heliosphere has been weakened. This usually shields us from cosmic gamma rays. This means we will have increased gamma radiation bombarding our solar system. No, it does not mean the end of the world but here is what it does mean.
2) This increased radiation means we will have more nucleation taking place in the atmosphere or more condensation nucleii for raindrops to form on. This would mean an increase in cloud cover on earth bringing increased storms and this of course would bring cooler temperatures.
3) Even though NASA did not admit this it could bring subtle changes to our weather in the near future and much bigger changes in decades to come. Harsher winters would become more commonplace and if you look at the history of the earth we do have cycles of much cooler weather periods with direct links to exactly how the sun is behaving. When we have less solar radiation reaching the earth and a solar minimum with little or no sunspots watch out. I am not saying we have another Little Ice Age on the way, but certainly a downturn in our temperatures.
4) Space weather and sunspots will be new buzzwords in the future when it comes to forecasting the weather, but for now we are just learning about this important connection. As I tell kids in my school talks....all our weather is caused by and begins with the sun.