Tuesday, December 22, 2009

US Travel Weather/Catch Santa in the Act/Track Santa

Happy 1st full day of Winter -- Winter began yesterday, December 21st at 11:47 am central. In general, the earth's axis (from pole to pole) is tilted at 23.5 degrees relative to a line perpendicular to the line connecting to the sun. On the Winter Solstice, that 23.5 degree angle has the North Pole tilted away from the sun at an angle of 23.5 degrees. The sun makes its lowest path across the sky and thus, this is considered the day of the year with the shortest amount of daylight. Please note that the length of days just before and after this point are nearly equal. But technically, from this point on, the days will slowly start to get longer. The speed with which the length of day increases will increase as we get closer to the vernal equinox (the start of spring).

The northern Rockies, northern and central plains and upper Midwest as well as western Great Lakes states are, right on time, threatened with winter weather. On Wednesday, there will be some snow from Salt Lake City to Chicago. Look for airport delays, especially as some major hubs will be affected. Meanwhile from east Texas to Louisiana, there could be some severe storms. Highs will be in the 20s and 30s for the northern tier of states (some single digits in Montana and 40s for coastal northwest). Highs will be in the 50s for the southeast and Texas. Albuquerque should reach about 40 while L.A. will be in the low 60s.

On Thursday, Christmas Eve, some of the travel trouble spots for snow will be the same as the storm system makes limited progress lifting to the northeast. That means another day and probably the worst day for snow around Chicago. Finally on Christmas Day, some cold rain for New York and snow for Boston and then deteriorating even more in the northeast on Monday.

Houston will be mild, muggy and wet on Wednesday with highs in the low 70s. There is a slight risk for severe weather into Thursday morning. Rain tapers off on Thursday, Christmas Eve with a cold front arriving in the morning. Highs will be in the 50s. Clearing and chilly on Christmas Day with lows in the 30s and highs in the 50s. Enjoy!

Let's do saint or santo, pronounced SAHN-toe. What famous Christmas character is named after a santo. Why Santa Claus (remember he is also known as Saint Nick).

As you start making New Year's resolutions, don't forget about your intention to bring the world of language to your children. Order our award winning series, Let's Learn Spanish with Frank & Paco, Volumes 1 or 2 from http://www.frankandpaco.com
, http://www.amazon.com, http://www.bn.com, http://www.bestbuy.com, or http://www.ebay.com/. Our ESL (English as a Second Language) version can be found at http://www.frankypaco.com.

I was sad to hear about Brittany Murphy's passing. I thought she was a very funny actress and really enjoyed her in Just Married with Ashton Kutcher.

On a happier note, with Christmas almost upon us, I have a fun idea if you would like to "catch" Santa in your own home. A friend gave me a free photo pass, but you can get one for $9.99. Just take a picture of a scene where you would like to "catch" Santa. Then, go to the web site and upload that image and pick one of the Santa poses. I picked the one where Santa is bending over his sack but looking at the camera with a smile on his face. Then, follow the instructions. I downloaded the photo and printed it right away, so I can have it at the ready come Christmas morning. They also do other scenes for other holidays.

And of course, we're eagerly awaiting Santa's arrival. You can get geared up to do some Norad tracking by going to the following site.
Even though the official tracking has yet to begin, there are some activities which your kids might enjoy right away...so get started! One that I checked out had a map with places all over the world with cities named after holiday and winter themes. It's fun!

Don't forget to vote in the poll about how much you are spending on the holidays. The poll will close in just a few hours. So far, the range $500 to $1000 is in the lead.

Happy Holidays and safe travel everyone!
Cecilia Sinclair
Wonder Weather Woman

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