WXnation WIRE  

 Weather & Space News Blog
 since Feb. 2003

 WX - Telegraph abbreviation for weather often used with Morse code
 The Wire - Name once given to the telegraph

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February 28, 2003

Sky Show & Shots

From NASA: Earth is approaching a cometary debris stream that might trigger an unusual Antarctic meteor shower this weekend. The best viewing spots are near the coast of Antarctica, and, most likely, you’re not planning to be there tonight, so I’ll offer you an alternative: The 2002 Leonids have spawned some amazing photos, available in SpaceWeather.com’s gallery. While visiting SpaceWeather.com, be sure to check out its equally amazing Aurora Feb. 2003 Gallery for colorful Northern Lights pictures.

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February 27, 2003

Games!

It’s Thursday. You have made it into the latter part of the week. You have passed “hump day.” Another big snowstorm is headed to the Mid-Atlantic! Wherever you are, you deserve something for the hard work you’ve put into your workweek. People in Dallas/Fort Worth deserve something for the long, icy drives they’ve had to endure. You deserve games & more, as found by co-worker/nbc5i.com Convergence Editor Frank Heinz:

Monkey Game
Make a note of this URL — www.tekzoned.com/apple — and trick someone at work by making them think they’re computer has turned into a Mac. File, quit ends this prank
And, of course there’s always: HomestarRunner.com. Just click “Games” for hours of endless (and mindless) fun!

Enjoy! It’s the day before Friday!

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February 26, 2003

Birth Of A Website

Before I get to today’s topic, it was another icy morning commute in Dallas/Fort Worth. More details/cam links in yesterday’s entry. Other parts of the country are also seeing slick weather.

One year ago yesterday, I noticed that my weather calendar’s entry for the day stated: “Weather is the most popular topic on the Internet, outranking even sex in terms of searches and click throughs. There are at least 4,000 sites dealing with some aspect of weather or the environment.” And the next day, there was one more. I was interested in putting up a weather Web site before this, but on Feb. 25, 2002, I looked up some URLs to see what was available. That night, I considered these (then, and maybe now) untaken URLs: “radarnation.com” and “radarworld.com.” But on Feb. 26, 2002, I discovered “wxnation.com” was available, snapped it up on the same day, gave it the working title “The nation’s live weather portal,” and that same day reworked that to “America’s Live Weather Station.” It’s been the same to this day. I began putting content up right away. By Feb. 27, 2002, I had the following cities completed: Dallas/Fort Worth, Houston, San Antonio, Austin, and Oklahoma City. Here’s an archived snapshot of WXnation on 2/27/02. Each completed city had the same layout as now, with the radars in the top of the left columns, and cams in the top of the right columns. The footer of the home page stated: “First phase of site launched February 27, 2002.” The site really began taking shape on and after Mar. 1. Here are some other early versions of pages: Wichita 03/04/02, Billings 03/14/02, and Dallas/Fort Worth 03/30/02

Thanks to each and every one of you for making the first year of WXnation a super one!

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February 25, 2003

Virtual Vacation For White Texas

Virtually all kids and teachers in Dallas/Fort Worth have a day off as the area is under a two-inch layer of sleet and snow today. With a high of 29, not much of the crunchy stuff will melt, and another chance of sleet exists tonight and into Wednesday morning. Check out NBC5i.com, the Dallas and Fort Worth newspapers online for more. And areas as far south as San Antonio saw wintry precip. For those in the affected areas, might I recommend the following links, which provide a “virtual vacation”*: Key West Cam-Munnity Streaming Cams, Las Vegas MGM Streaming Cam (requires WMP), Napes, FL Cams, South Beach Hotel Miami, San Diego Live, San Francisco, and, of course, Hawaii, via EarthCam, Hawaii Live and Waikki Live. These are all in the Super Sites page. May these warm us all up!

* term coined by co-worker Ginny Bonner.

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February 24, 2003

From 66 To Sleet In One Week!

Traffic is snarled and schools will be closed tomorrow in parts of Dallas/Fort Worth, where sleet and snow will fall through the night. KXAS-TV Meteorologist/co-worker Rebecca Miller said in her Monday morning forecast that a wintry mix was possible today and tonight. Chief Meteorologist David Finfrock says conditions will not improve until around noon Tuesday. All of the necessary links, including school closings are in the Dallas/Fort Worth page. OK, I won’t tell you my life story here, but I will mention that one of the big reasons I moved to DFW was to escape winter. The day I left Detroit for good turned out to be the coldest morning of that winter season (-2 degrees on Jan. 22, 2000). When I arrived in Texas, I was greeted with an ice storm. Today, North Texas is seeing snowflakes for the second time in just over a month. Evidence of the first snowfall appeared on the WXnation Fort Worth cam. You can check that cam again today, or try these: EarthCam Dallas streaming cam, Irving streaming cam, KXAS-TV cams, WFAA-TV cams or the SMU cam. It was 66 and sunny here last week … The high in Dallas/Fort Worth this afternoon? In the mid-20s. Low tonight? 23, with wind chills in the low teens.

No escape!!!

Another big storm may be headed to the East Coast later this week, while flooding last weekend continued to cause damage. Fortunately, dry weather is expected in much of the region, Monday. Further south and west, the northern half of Oklahoma got 18 inches of snow!

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February 23, 2003

Big Apple Streaming Rain

New York City: It never sleeps, they say. Want proof? Check out EarthCam’s audio & video stream, which broadcasts live from Times Square 24/7. Even the rain doesn’t keep pedestrians and cabs from the streets on a Sunday morning. And the audio rivals any “sleep machine” with a “sounds of the city” setting, I’m sure. (I need to get me one of those!) Thankfully for NY, the rain should be coming to an end (for now) later Sunday. They’ve seen plenty of precip in the past week, as has much of the East Coast. Detroit is getting the snow this weekend (see yesterday’s entry for cams).

As for Saturday morning’s 5.4 magnitude earthquake 90 miles east of Los Angeles, a reminder of what might have been a rude awakening for some Californians can be seen with the IRIS Seismic Monitor. More quake links are in the National page.

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February 22, 2003

Rain, Snow & Fabulous Ruins

Snow left over from last weekend’s snowstorm along the East Coast (one of the worst of all time in NYC’s history), and more than one inch of rain forecast Saturday has prompted a flood watch through Saturday night in New York City, Southern New England and Pennsylvania. More details from Weather.com.

Another weekend snowstorm may hit parts of the Midwest, including Metro Detroit, Saturday. Up to a foot of snow may be possible in places by early Sunday morning. Should the snow pile up, good Detroit cams to check out are the auto-updating Motown EarthCam and Pleasant Weather Cam (which includes a daily time-lapse and pic archive). WDIV-TV’s Cam almost always offers a good skyline view from Windsor, Canada. (This shouldn’t be perceived as blatant promotion, despite the fact that I once worked at WDIV, located amid the mix of a resurging downtown and Faboulous Ruins Of Detroit). More cams are in WXnation’s Detroit page.

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February 21, 2003

Reality-Internet!; Staten Isl. Oil Storage Facility Fire

Now that American Idol is sweeping the nation, those into the latest reality-TV craze may want to check out reality-Internet by visiting the Nola.com Karaoke Cam, which streams live audio and video from the Cats Meow bar in New Orleans each evening, and well into the night. It was online well before Simon began dishing out criticism on national TV, and it’s a great way to hear sober and drunk stars of the future alike! Of course Friday and Saturday nights are prime time. Other streaming cam links are listed below the stream, including live Mardi Gras webcasts almost nightly through Mar. 4.

If reality-Internet is not your “cup of tea,” might I suggest my favorite animated cartoon on the Net: HomestarRunner.com. It’s only available on the Internet, and a lot of work (and comedy) has gone into this thing, from two guys labeled The Brothers Chaps. I must admit, the last cartoons I enjoyed were “The Simpsons,” “Ren & Stimpy” and “Scooby Doo” way back when I was 8 or so. No one ever seems to remember when the “Scooby Dumb” character was introduced, though… I’d say the cartoon jumped the shark when they brought in that “Scrappy Doo.” I didn’t see the movie they made last year. Anyone like it?

Posted at 10:28 a.m. CT: A smoke cloud from an accidental oil storage facility fire on Staten Island can be seen here: Staten Island Streaming Bridge Cam. A photo archive link exists above the image, should you want to check it later. (P.S. The smoke in the photo archive begins around 10:50 a.m.). This cam is linked in WXnation’s New York City page.

Text stories and video on this and the Rhode Island nightclub fire are available here.

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February 20, 2003

Day # 2 Brings Audio, Storms

Day 2 of the WXnation Weblog brings a new element to the table. What better way of saying hello, than audibly by electronic voice! Hear a welcome messages via wav file and wav file #2. Message text entered using AT&T Natural Voices.

OK, on to other matters! Strong to severe storms are expected in South Texas today. Probably the best webcam in the Brownsville/Corpus area is the SailCorpus.com.

As for San Antonio, which should see less-severe T-storms, the Alamo cam is the link to visit.

Rain is also falling in my region – Dallas/Fort Worth – today. A cool (large-sized) real-time stream from the City of Irving may capture lightning (should some come our way overnight as the forecast suggests).

I’ll finish today’s entry with more off-topic content. I must remind everyone with digital cable that they can revisit the old “Late Night With David Letterman” NBC shows, weeknights at 10 p.m. EST/9 p.m. CST, and again three hours later on the TRIO network. The cable channel is currently running episodes from 1985 as it moves through 80 episodes from the 1982-1993 NBC years. Tonight’s ep. includes Johnny Carson. A must see! Tuesday night’s ep. included a visit by TV’s Jay Leno. As always, the current Late Show comedy clips archive is a must see on the ‘Net! It goes back to the beginning of the CBS era.

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February 19, 2003

Circle Your Calendars!

Welcome to the WXnation Weblog…

Well, it took me more than six years to get into this “blogging” thing.

To begin the weblog, which will likely be comprised of entries about weather and webcams (and whatnot), I will break the rule and reminisce about 1993 and my early computer experiences (editing out the “Commodore Vic 20” years, which began in 1984). For, it was exactly 10 years ago that I discovered the then-referred-to-as “Information Superhighway” in a Computer 101 class. I turned to USENET to download music lyrics from my favorite music artists, and things progressed from there. I was reintroduced to the Internet four years later via a WebTV (now MSN TV), followed by a long line of Compaq PCs.

Blogging is new to me. I was used to the trusty message board, and attempted one here at WXnation, only to (understandably) see no posts come in. One visitor did set up an account (Whoever you are, you are deeply appreciated), but only took it that far, neglecting to actually post in the board. Part of the problem: only a handful of posts by yours truly existed. So, I have moved on — to the blog. For those looking for very active message boards, they can be found in WXnation’s National page, not far down the right column.

Circle your calendars … this weblog has begun!

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February 2003
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