Clouds will move back in for Thu. & linger into Fri. along with occasional showers. Rain, however, doesn't look to be real heavy at this point averaging less than a half inch in most spots except farther south from Gainesville to Palatka to St. Augustine. Clouds will keep temps. near 80 under the thicker clouds & rain to the mid to upper 80s over SE Ga. where clouds won't be as thick nor will there be as much rain.
The weekend is looking decent with partly cloudy skies & warm temps. as highs jump well into the 80s & close to 90 inland.
Endeavor took is taking its official last flight. From NASA:
Secured atop NASA's modified 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft, space shuttle Endeavour is headed west after a 7:22 a.m. EDT departure from Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The early-morning takeoff marked the beginning of the final ferry flight of the Space Shuttle Program.
The flight path will take the aircraft to the northwest, across the Florida panhandle and toward Houston after low-level passes over NASA's Stennis Space Center in southwest Mississippi and Michoud Assembly Facility east of New Orleans.
Arriving in the Houston area at approximately 9 a.m. CDT, the SCA crew will initiate a 1,500 flyover of various areas of the city, including downtown, before heading to the Clear Lake area. The SCA and Endeavour are predicted to land at Ellington Field at about 10:45 a.m. CDT.
The SCA/Endeavour will depart at dawn on Thursday and make a fueling stop at Biggs Army Air Field in El Paso before proceeding to Dryden Flight Research Facility at Edwards Air Force Base, California. On Friday it will depart Dryden for a flyover of northern California and areas of the Los Angeles basin before landing at LAX between 11 a.m. and noon PDT. In October, Endeavour will move to the California Science Center to begin a new mission inspiring future explorers.
Check out the time lapse video ** here ** of how the the shuttle was pout on top of the 747.....click ** here ** for take-off video from early Wed. The photo below is courtesy NASA:
Arctic sea ice had a great "melt down" over the summer. From NASA:
Arctic sea ice melts to a new record low: only 1.3 million square miles of ice left! The extra ice that melted this summer was equal to the size of Texas; that's extra Arctic Ocean water that gained energy (warmth) from the sun; extra energy now in the water that will be released into the atmosphere later this autumn and perhaps cause some changes in weather patterns this Fall. This decrease in summer ice matches the long-term Arctic warming.
Why did the more ice melt this summer?
1. STRONG WINDS :
An unusually deep storm system (964 Low) developed over the Arctic Ocean (in August) and its strong winds help break up the ice, resulting in increased melting by strong winds & wave action during the storm. (just as small ice cubes melt faster in one's glass of ice tea, especially if you stir the ice with a spoon). See the animation ** here **.
2 . WARM AIR:
Air temperatures in August at the 3,000 foot level for parts of the Arctic Ocean basin area were 2 to 7 degrees WAMER than normal.
3. MORE EXPOSED SEA WATER:
Arctic sea water temperatures were generally warmer than normal, partly because there was less ice to reflect the sun's direct rays, and consequently the energy from the sun was able to heat the sea water directly. (Less ice, means more open or exposed water to absorb solar energy which leads to the warmer water melting even more ice.)
The photo below was posted on my Facebook fan page by Kelly McCormick Douds. Kelly says that everytime I'm on the air, "Choko", their cat, stops to watch(!).