Let's face it: Eating snow is delicious and super-duper fun. From opening your mouth and letting flakes melt on your tongue to scooping up fistfuls of the stuff and chowing down, eating snow is one of the best parts of every snow day.
We have all heard the statement that we need a cold winter to reduce the bug population in the spring. This is true to some extent. As you probably expected, many insects do indeed perish when cold weather strikes. This fate isn't as harsh as it sounds, though.
The first week of the New Year has picked up right where 2017 left off with an abnormally cold and dry pattern persisting across the region. Waves of dry, cold Arctic air continues to spill southward from Canada across the nation's midsection this week.
So far this winter season, there have been several forecasts calling for snow. I, and many of you are snow lovers and I am as disappointed as you when the forecast just doesn’t measure up when it comes to predicting snow.
With December well underway, families who decorate for Christmas might be thinking about selecting that perfect live tree for their homes. If you are choosing the real thing this year, here are some tips to keep your Christmas tree as healthy as possible this holiday season.
The coldest air of the season so far is starting to sweep into the southern United States and may bring the first snowflakes of the season to a few locations in our area this week and beyond. Unlike the cold shots this fall that came in then left after two or three days,
Many folks may have been lulled into a false sense that the approaching winter may not be too bad. We have certainly seen some mild temperatures considering it is the last weekend in November. Even though it is a little cooler at the moment, our up and down temperature swings continues.
We all enjoy holidays with friends and family and Thanksgiving is one of the biggest holidays besides Christmas. Nowadays, we also have Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Super Saturday which all revolve around Thanksgiving and Christmas. But I’ll bet few of you know how it all started.
Hang on to your hats and break out your winter coats: An Arctic blast will bring cold temperatures and howling winds across much of the central and eastern U.S. over the next week or so. It may get even colder, as we approach Thanksgiving, as we see the season's first appearance of the infamous Polar Vortex.
The weather has kept us on our toes this season with major hurricanes, wildfires, and flip-flopping weather patterns. It has been hard to keep up with the very changeable weather patterns. So I am going to do sort of a shotgun approach with this post and talk about a couple of things on my mind at this point in our weather.
Here we are in mid-October and everyone is asking “Where Is Fall?” The last few weeks, we kept expecting a more permanent cooldown that never came. On top of that, it was very dry, bordering on drought until recently.
I know many of you are wondering what the upcoming winter will bring. I am actively working on my long range winter outlook but it will be a bit before I have everything compiled. In the meantime, a lot of folks are looking at other methods for telling what the weather will be like.
We have sure been through a lot lately as a nation and to some extent on a local level as well. We heard about the record-setting amounts of water that Hurricane Harvey dumped on Houston and other Gulf cities and towns, mixing with petrochemicals to pollute and poison on an unfathomable scale.
This is a new feature I hope to add to this blog on occasion. As the title implies, it is a look at the long range trends to get some idea on what to expect over a period of time. Keep in mind, these outlooks are overall trends over a three-month period.
After inundating Texas and Louisiana for days, Harvey will race across the Ohio Valley with rain and wind. Winds of 20 to 30 mph with gusts to 40 mph will be possible as Harvey shows it is still a powerful storm. While Harvey is not expected to bring widespread flooding, or flooding anywhere close to the disaster in Texas, enough rain is likely to fall to bring urban and isolated flash flooding to some areas.
It is almost impossible to describe the devastation Texas is suffering from Hurricane Harvey. Now Tropical Storm Harvey has drifted back over the open water of the Gulf of Mexico and is re-intensifying.
According to a CNN poll, they say around 323 million people viewed the recent total solar eclipse. On Monday, August 21, a total solar eclipse was visible from coast to coast in the United States. This was the first time it had happened since the year 1918.
The time of the great eclipse of 2017 arrives on Monday, August 21st. Local officials have been planning for ten years in some cases to make sure all the bases are covered. But one thing you can’t control is the weather.
In my last post, I told a frightening story of a beast that is said to be living in Land between the Lakes. I call this frightening because there appears to be some evidence to back up claims of the creature’s existence.
Every now and then, you run across something that catches your interest. Recently on Facebook, I saw a brief story about a strange beast in Land between the Lakes. So I decided to dig into this a little further to see if there were any truth to it.
The mainland United States has not experienced such a celestial event since 1979. The rarity of these events means many of us may not be aware of the potential dangers. We have been hearing about the solar eclipse in newscasts, newspapers, and magazines from all over the world on a daily basis now. Pretty much every one of them say Hopkinsville is the place to be for the best viewing.
Winter 2016/17 was much milder than average as a whole with very little snow. There were a couple of dustings and I believe the total snowfall last winter was an inch or less for the whole season. This left many folks thinking we didn’t have a winter.
The days between July 3 and Aug. 11, are often referred to as the "dog days of summer" and are some of the hottest in the Northern Hemisphere. I always thought that this meant it was so hot that even the dogs would lie around on the porch or under a shade tree to keep cool.
I think by now most of you know that I dislike hot weather. But there are good times to it when it isn’t just stifling out there. But you have to be careful. We all love spending the long, sunny days of summer outdoors with our furry companions, but being overeager in hot weather can spell danger.
A full moon is coming. What will it do to you? The idea that the phases of the moon are linked to the human psyche is one of the oldest and most pervasive examples of folk lore and mythology. It is woven into the fabric of our classic literature, poetry and music.
You may have noticed recently that the countryside sounds like a war has broken out. Every year, Independence Day celebrations across the country include the fiery, colorful displays and explosive pops of consumer-grade fireworks. Many times, individuals start celebrating a week either side of the Fourth of July.
Since we are officially in summer, many people will spend a great deal more time outdoors soaking up the sun’s rays. You lie out in the sun hoping to get a golden tan, but instead walk away from your lounge chair looking like a lobster that's been left in the pot too long.
Make the most of this summer because it could be your last decent one: winter is coming as the planet enters the most devastating cooling period since the 65-year Maunder Minimum of the 17th and early 18th centuries.
Snakes seem more plentiful this year. If you’re afraid of snakes, this news is probably going to alarm you. Among the 32 snake species found in Kentucky, four are venomous. Copperheads, cottonmouths, as well as the timber and pygmy rattlesnakes, are native to Kentucky.
May has turned out be a wet month over much of the eastern United States, and it has been a little on the cool side. We started out with a pretty much snowless winter followed by a warm spring in March and April with below normal rainfall. May has been almost a complete opposite.
On Aug. 21, 2017, millions of people will witness a once-in-a-lifetime event as a total solar eclipse is visible across the United States. The great thing is that our own backyard here in Christian County and surrounding counties in western Kentucky will be the ideal spot to view it.
I was in my yard the other day, thinking about having to mow soon. The clover and dandelions are in full bloom in my yard, but I noticed something was missing. There were no honeybees working the blossoms.
Nocturnal tornadoes, as they are called, are like nightmares that have come to life. They strike under the cover of darkness and are often among the most deadly weather phenomenon. As a matter of fact, Kentucky is number 3 in the nation for having nighttime tornadoes.
There are so many things going on in our chaotic world nowadays and, if you are like me, it is hard to stop and plan for things that may or may not happen. I have received several requests to give tips on emergency planning. The thing is, we live near the New Madrid Fault and the threat of a major earthquake is always a possibility.
There seem to be a lot of things going on across the region this spring. The New Madrid Fault keeps rumbling and fraying the nerves of those living near the Mississippi River. We have seen late freezing conditions causing damage to some crops and fruit trees. Then to the other extreme, we have had several tornadoes already recorded. Thankfully, none of them were real strong.
Most of you know I have a soft spot for creatures of nature. I have a family of Mockingbirds that approach me very close without fear. They seem to know I am the one who brings them their favorite food of mealworms. I have had a little skunk that always wants to come up and play. But I’m just not that brave. So I see the disappointed look on it’s face as it wanders off into the brush.
By spending more time outside in warm spring weather, people put themselves at risk of outdoor hazards like potentially dangerous tick bites. Understanding where ticks are common and avoiding those areas can also help to reduce your risk of a tick bite.
The New Madrid earthquakes were the biggest earthquakes in American history. They occurred in the central Mississippi Valley, but were felt as far away as New York City, Boston, Montreal, and Washington D.C. President James Madison and his wife Dolly felt them in the White House. Church bells rang in Boston.
As we continue our discussion on the eyewitness accounts from folks who actually lived during the 1811 to 1812 New Madrid Earthquakes, we find that the areas near the epicenter saw catastrophic damage. But there were effects felt over a good part of the eastern U.S. Because this was such an extreme event and felt over a wide area, people wrote about it.
So much has been written on the dangers of a major earthquake on the New Madrid Fault, we have to look back to the big earthquakes of 1811 through 1812 if we want to get a glimpse of what could happen. The most asked question is “What can we expect in our area?”
I have decided to bypass another post on the New Madrid Fault just for the time being. The fault is still rumbling though. But the onslaught of severe and violent storms is taking center stage. We hear about Tornado Alley all the time!
As I write this, the New Madrid Fault continues to rumble with small earthquakes. Most of them are occurring along the Mississippi River and several miles either side of it. I don’t want to unnecessarily alarm anyone about the danger with the fault.
Though Tornado Alley in the American Great Plains has a reputation for being a hotbed for tornadic activity, it’s more lethal cousin lies just next door and it comes across our region. Dixie Alley, in the southeast US, has become the deadliest region for tornadoes in the world.
Spring is right around the corner, which means allergy season is on its way. Some in the area are already being affected by the pollen in the air. Pollen is one of the most common allergens in the United States.
First things first, the long range outlooks are trending to a colder second half of February. So I haven’t given up on a measurable snow yet. We will see and I will talk more about that in future posts. I have been concerned over the last few weeks about the coming spring severe season.
After having computer issues, I am finally updating this blog. The number one question on everyone’s mind is if we are going to get any snow to speak of this year. We just can’t seem to get things to come together.
As the gloomy, gray winter days become more and more common this time of year, winter blues can set in. These periods of depression are called seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and is a condition that occurs as the light dwindles in the autumn,
It’s that time of the year when families who decorate for Christmas might be thinking about selecting that perfect live tree for their homes. If you are choosing the real thing this year, here are some tips to keep your Christmas tree as healthy as possible this holiday season.
We are now in December and the weather is about to take a big turn. The Christmas season is upon us and many folks are asking about the snow possibilities. I can tell you that there are several possibilities of seeing snow over the next few weeks.
There are a great many changes taking place across the northern hemisphere in regards to the weather. In fact, there is so much going on that it is hard to keep up with and therefore, confidence in the outlooks is a best guess situation. So let’s start in the short term.
It has been bone dry in Kentucky and especially western Kentucky for the past 8 weeks. On top of that, while temperatures have been cooler recently, that are still a few degrees above normal for the most part. All these conditions can partially be explained by the re-emergence of the La Niña in the Pacific Ocean.
Daylight saving time ended at 2:00 A.M. on Sunday, Nov. 6, 2016, as clocks were set back an hour. I have been going through this ritual for years and never stopped to find out much about it. So I’ve done my research.
It is a boring week of weather while we wait for the next changes to arrive. The leaves are changing, pumpkins are being carved and Halloween is upon us. But what do we know about this unusual holiday?
We are very warm for October, but things are about to change. We will have a significant return to more typical fall weather with highs in the 60’s and low 70’s. But there are rumblings of other things going on that will eventually affect our late fall and even the winter outlook.
I am looking at the weather too much lately. But now there are new signs that something is up. This time it isn't in the tropics. The teleconnections are going deeper than I have seen them in years. Almost to the extreme.
Many of you have been keeping up with Hurricane Matthew since many are either headed to the Gulf coast or soon will be for fall break. I have been watching this closely and I am thinking it would be better to avoid Florida altogether.
It may seem like you have seen more butterflies than usual lately. With fall weather finally arriving, some butterflies migrate in order to escape the coming cold. In all the world, no butterflies migrate like the Monarchs of North America.
So where is the fall weather? Afterall, it is getting to be late September and we are still dealing with warm highs in the upper 80’s and uncomfortable humidity. We have been getting brief shots of cool air but they just don’t last long.
Several changes have prompted me to update my thoughts on the very long range outlooks into late fall and early winter. At this time I will look at the outlook through December and save the winter and early spring outlooks for a future update.
I have travelled to many places, observed strange rituals, lived off the land and eaten just about anything edible. Except for bugs and spiders. I draw the line there. I use both Nature’s signs, computers, and technology to come up with my thoughts on what the weather is going to do.
You may have heard that a wet summer has a big benefit – the rain produces the most brilliant foliage come fall. Summer's not for everyone and I have to admit, it is not my favorite season. But fall seems to rank high on everyone’s favorite season list.
There’s something about those clear pleasant blue sky days with just a hint of tobacco smoke from tobacco barns that makes it special. It seems to be a beautiful time of year that was put there for the shear enjoyment of it. Autumn might be the most beloved season of them all. Every year, people watch in awe as the trees begin their magical transformation from green powerhouses to veritable smorgasbords of color.
As the leaves begin to change color, the beauty intensifies and scenes sometimes become indescribable. Let's take a look at what exactly happens when leaves change their colors as the seasons change. First, what "makes" the fall color of a leaf is present from its formation – every leaf already contains pigments. When we see leaves in the height of summer, their green color comes from production of lots of chlorophyll – that green pigment that allows plants to make food from carbon dioxide and water – resulting from all the sunlight they're getting.
As sunlight fades during the fall, chlorophyll production decreases and leaves lose their green. Without that green present, the other colors already in the leaves take center stage. Yellow pigment is produced by xanthophyll, orange-red color is caused by carotene and the reddish-purple color comes from the anthocyanin pigment. All those big words probably don’t mean much to you, but what about the question at hand – is there a predictor for a more brilliant fall, or any way to guess when the leaves will be at their best? Summer weather won't do much to influence foliage color.
As I said, chlorophyll is still going strong during summer. It's actually the very late-summer, early-autumn weather from September to October, the time when leaves begin to turn anyway – that affects leaves' appearance. What leaves really need for a good display during this time is clear sun in the day, with nights that are a bit chilly – but not freezing. The warm sun provides the sugars needed for pigment production, and the cold makes sure the sugars don't travel far from the leaf. Further, it's not rain that determines whether leaves are vividly colored.
If you're partial to crimson, you might wonder why nature seems to go overboard with the red some years and forget it entirely during others. The reason involves photosynthesis, pigments and sunlight. To fully understand the chemistry behind the color show, we'll need to look at the process and those big words we used earlier. As summer nears its end and days get shorter, the increased amount of darkness incites trees to prepare for a sort of hibernation. Leaves won't be able to continue photosynthesizing during winter due to the dry air and lack of sunlight, so the tree does two things. First, it forms a separation layer made of corklike cells at the base of each leaf to seal it off from the tree. Second, it stops producing chlorophyll since it won't need this pigment until the days start to lengthen once again in the spring.
With chlorophyll out of the picture, the yellow and orange pigments get a chance to shine. The red hues, which come from pigments called anthocyanins, are slightly more complicated. Whereas all trees contain chlorophyll, carotene and xanthophyll, not all of them produce anthocyanins. Even the ones that do have anthocyanins only produce it under certain circumstances. Remember that layer of cells at the base of the leaf? Its purpose is to protect the tree during the colder winter and prevent it from drying out. When the separation layer is complete, the leaves fall off in the tree's attempt to conserve energy. But before the leaves fall off and the tree closes up shop, it wants to pull in as much sugar and nutrients as possible from its leaves, which is where the anthocyanin comes in. The reason you'll see more vibrant reds during some years is that lots of sunlight and dry weather increase the sugar concentration in tree sap, triggering the tree to release more anthocyanins in a last-ditch effort to gather up energy to get through the winter.
If it's been especially rainy and overcast, you won't see much red foliage. Without bright sunlight, the trees don't need the added protection that the red pigments provide, so they don't bother producing them. So if autumn just isn't the same for you without the occasional splash of red, hopefully the weather will cooperate. If not, you'll just have to make do with the more reliable yellows and oranges. Feel free to comment on this post and be sure to hit the “Like” button at the end.
What is now known as the Kelly-Hopkinsville encounter took place on the evening of August 21st, 1955 near the small town of Kelly outside of Hopkinsville, Kentucky. But this story actually begins in the summer of 1954
Ok…here it is. My very early outlook on what I think the patterns are showing concerning fall and winter for western Kentucky and surrounding areas. Let me start by saying there are several things to consider when I came up with this.
I have been doing extremely in depth research into my early fall and winter outlooks. I was hoping to have it ready to post now, but more and more data is becoming available so it may be a few more days. In the meantime, I have become aware of news in space that could have dire consequences on the future of Earth.
With thunderstorms set to rattle several parts of the nation this week, more lives will be at risk. Anyone planning to spend time outdoors are urged to review key lightning safety tips to avoid becoming another lightning death statistic.
We are now in the hottest time of year. Temperatures in the 90’s and high humidity make it very uncomfortable to be outside. None of us have been a stranger to this season’s hot weather throughout the country.
It is the hottest time of year and running air conditioners is almost a necessity. Air conditioning costs U.S. homeowners nearly $11 billion in energy expenses annually, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
As I write this second part of “What’s Happening to the Sun?”, the sun continues to be blank with no sunspots. We are still 3 to 4 years away from the solar minimum so the lack of sunspots for this long is a little unusual.
With summer heat and humidity making outdoor activities pretty miserable, it is hard to take any talk of a coming global cooling seriously. But the signs are already starting to show themselves in the sun.
In this final post about Mosquitoes, I want to take a look at things that work and don’t work to keep mosquitoes away. It is summer and we have a lot of outdoor activities going on. Unfortunately, mosquitos also enjoy the summer heat so we keep them at bay by stocking our decks and campsites with citronella.
Continuing my series on the mosquito, since my last post, I have been bit no less than five times by these rotten pests. I must have looked like a karate champion as I tried to bat away these flying vampires. While I did get hit, several didn’t make it to attack me again.
Summer is officially here. I love being outdoors, working in my garden, playing with my animals, smelling the fresh air, basking in the sun, and enjoying nature of all kinds. But then, I soon discover things that make life miserable in summertime.
When the weather gets hot, I hear people talking about global warming. Likewise, when the weather gets cold, I hear that global cooling is taking place. So I decided to try to find the truth which involved pouring over all kinds of data and different scientist’s opinions in order to come to some kind of credible conclusion.
In this last in a series on GMO’s, I take a look at how the average American is in the dark about these products that have been thrust into our food supply. Most developed nations do not consider GMOs to be safe.
For thousands of years, humans have been genetically enhancing other organisms through the practice of selective breeding. Look around you: the sweet corn and seedless watermelons at the supermarket, the purebred dogs at the park, and your neighbor's prize rosebush are all examples of how humans have selectively enhanced desirable traits in other living things.
Often called the original MRE, pemmican is considered the ultimate survival food. Created by Native Americans and adopted by European explorers of the New World, pemmican is a concentrated blend of fat and protein from lean, dried meat.
One of my favorite thing to enjoy during the warmer months is fresh vegetables and fruits from the garden or from the local Farmer’s Market. There are few food sensations that better mark the summer and early fall months than the sweet juiciness of a vine-ripened tomato.
I was driving from Cadiz to Hopkinsville on Highway 68-80 today when I saw an unfamiliar creature lying on the side of the road. It had obviously been hit by a car. At first. I thought it was a possum since it was about the same size.
I have such mixed feelings on coyotes…one side of me wants to get rid of them, while the other side admires them for their cunning and intelligence. Unfortunately they are overrunning Kentucky and Tennessee. Kentucky officials say they are turning calves, foals and even small dogs and cats into their prey.