Friday, May 7, 2010

Weekend Forecast/Horizon Deepwater Spill/How to Help Air Quality

Severe weather hit northeastern Indiana and northern Ohio today as a weak cold front pushed eastward. On Saturday, highs will be in the 40s and 50s over the norhern Rockies, northern plains, northern New England, and upper midwest. There will be several areas with thunderstorms (see map at right) and there is a slight risk for severe storms over the central mid-Atlantic. Highs will be in the 80s and 90s for the southwest, south Texas and the southeast.

Houston, there could be a couple rumbles of thunder over night. Saturday will be pleasantly lower in humidity with highs in the low 80s. Sunday will start pleasant and in the 60s and highs will reach the mid-80s. Skies cloud up and there could be some showers in the late afternoon/evening. Saturday and early Sunday, sky cover will be broken.

Let's do grateful or agradecido, pronounced ah-grah-day-SEE-doh. We are so agradecido for our mothers.

And all mothers want their children to learn as much as possible. And, learning languages is fun and beneficial to cognitive development. And, children are inately adept at acquiring language. So, don't miss this window of opportunity. Start them out with my award winning DVDs, Let's Learn Spanish with Frank & Paco. They are on the shelf (in the education section) at Barnes & Noble stores or you can order them from,,,, or Our ESL (English as a Second Language) version can be found at


My poll on what you value most about your mother is closed. 57% said they value most their mother's abundant love. 28% said hard work and 14% said sense of humor. No one said religious devotion or intelligence. Thanks to all who participated.

My new poll is on the Horizon Deepwater spill. How do you feel about the containment/cleanup efforts so far? Only one answer is allowed. Thanks in advance for participating.

The following is information I pulled from NOAA regarding the Horizon Deepwater oil spill. Note that they say "1.89 million gallons of oily liquid have been recovered".

The experimental containment dome was lowered to just above the sea floor today. The final positioning will be guided via sensors and video cameras to accurately position the structure. Once in position a mile-long riser pipe will be attached to pump oil to a waiting tank vessel. This piping effort may take several days. Meanwhile, response operations continue at more than a dozen command posts and field staging locations across the affected region. The unified command reports that more than 8,500 responders are working on the incident, and approximately 1.89 million gallons of oily liquid have been recovered.

24 Hour Trajectory Map: Jump down to Current Trajectory Maps on this page for full-sized versions.

Overflight and shoreline surveys have found emulsified oil within the Breton National Wildlife Refuge. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service closed the Refuge today to allow personnel conducting cleanup operations and recovery efforts to work safely and efficiently.

NOAA modified the boundaries of the closed fishing area and is extending the fishing restriction until May 17. The federal and state governments have strong systems in place to test and monitor seafood safety, prohibit harvesting from affected areas, and keep oiled products out of the marketplace. NOAA Fisheries continues to work closely with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the states to ensure seafood safety, by assessing whether seafood is tainted or contaminated to levels that pose a risk to human health. NOAA will continue to evaluate the need for fisheries closures based on the evolving nature of the spill.

NOAA continues to track the floating oil with aircraft and satellite imagery. Twice daily, NOAA oceanographers continue to release updated trajectory maps showing the predicted trajectory of the oil slick. The latest trajectory forecast shows the oil slick generally centered over the leaking well, but spreading both west and east.

Deepwater Horizon Decision Support

NOAA restricted fishing in federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico directly adjacent to the area closures enacted by Louisiana. The closure, which will be in effect for at least 10 days, is to protect consumers and the seafood industry. NOAA fisheries representatives will be meeting with fishermen this week to assist them.

NOAA Fisheries Service

This has been Air Quality Awareness week through the Houston National Weather Service. It was quite timely that high pressure dominated our weather for much of the week and there were several ozone warnings issued for dangerously high levels of ozone. The combination of sunshine, light winds and warm temperaturese can lead to the formation of high concentrations of ozone nesr the surface. This is especially problematic for those with respiratory conditions like asthma, the elderly and young children.

The following is a link to air quality information through the Houston NWS web site. It provides ideas for how you can help improve the air quality.
The Environmental Protection Agency works constantly to make the air cleaner across the country through air quality standards and rules reducing pollution from power plants, industries and diesel trucks, buses and construction equipment. But you have a role to play, too. Any time you use energy – whether it’s gasoline, diesel, electricity or wood -- you contribute to air pollution in your community and communities downwind.

Saving energy reduces pollution – and it can save you money. Use the following guidelines to help keep air cleaner in your community.

You can help reduce pollution in your community by following these guidelines. These recommendations are especially important when ozone is expected to be unhealthy:

Conserve electricity and set your air conditioner at a higher temperature.
Choose a cleaner commute—share a ride to work or use public transportation. Combine errands and reduce trips.
Bicycle or walk to errands when possible.
Defer use of gasoline-powered lawn and garden equipment for later in the day, or for days when the air quality is better.
Refuel cars and trucks after dusk.
Limit engine idling.
Get regular engine tune ups and car maintenance checks (especially for the spark plugs).
Avoid spilling gas and don't "top off" the tank. Replace gas tank cap tightly.
Properly dispose of household paints, solvents and pesticides. Store these materials in airtight containers.
Paint with a brush, not a sprayer.
Buy low VOC paints for indoor and outdoor painting jobs.
You can help prevent or reduce unhealthy levels of particle pollution with these actions: :

Reduce or eliminate fireplace and wood stove use.
Avoid using gas-powered lawn and garden equipment.
Avoid burning leaves, trash and other materials.
Use household, workshop, and garden chemicals in ways that keep evaporation to a minimum, or try to delay using them when poor air quality is forecast.
Replace your car's air filter and oil regularly


Congratulations to the Weather Research Center and Weather Museum for the following writeup in the Thursday Houston Chronicle business section. Director Jill Hasling gave a talk at the Offshore Technology Conference about whether the impact of recent hurricanes has anything to global warming.

To all the moms out there, have a very happy and restful Mother's Day. And to my Mom, I love you and hereby grant unto you my award for Best Mother.

Have a great weekend everyone!
Cecilia Sinclair
Wonder Weather Woman

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