Moon Dust, Sahara Dust, Storms and Air Quality Problems. And, Bring the Heat for the East.

With the 50th anniversary of the first landing on the moon coming up, everyone’s talking about the Moon. Including me at the Greenburgh Public Library in Elmsford, New York, tonight at 7pm. Come and find out the many (less mentioned) ways we almost never landed on the moon and how they worked around those problems.

Today’s national weather map has the remains of tropical system Barry bringing moisture to the northeastern quadrant of the USA. Watches are posted for heavy rain.

National Weather Service Weather Prediction Center Forecast Weather Map for Wed July 17.

Also watch out for the intense weather forecasted for Iowa and Wisconsin today.

A classic high ozone day for the northeast yesterday. Emissions of nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds cooked in the summer sun peaked downwind of major urban areas.

State agencies report ozone air quality from Tuesday, July 16th.

Highest concentrations, over the 85 parts per billion code red limit, unhealthy for everyone, were at the end of the northeast corridor in Connecticut.

Wind direction and speed analysis for 3pm Tues July 16. Shows winds in the northeastern urban corridor from the southwest and west-southwest moving emissions from urban centers down the urban corridor.

Waves from Africa bring tropical moisture, and later in the year, hurricanes, to Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. At this time of year, trailing the waves are areas of dry air and dust from the Sahara Desert.

Analysis of dry air and dust (yellow, orange and red) from satellite data.

The National Weather Service says the next wave will have enough moisture to give the islands much needed rain, but will be followed by a large area of dry and maybe dusty air.

Last, and not least, Wednesday’s heat and humidity will be a practice run for the extensive area of extreme temperatures to occur over much of the USA this upcoming weekend. Remember that sometimes the worst heat problems are when the temperature remains high at night. Go to the maps.

Heat waves can give us clear, if haze, but steady skies for watching the planets. Jupiter and Saturn are low in the southern sky after sunset. See Sky and Telescope’s Sky at a Glance for weekly updates.

In the meantime, use this chart to find Jupiter and Saturn. The moon has moved on, rising later in the evening, but the chart will be good for the planets and stars for July.

Click on the links to get the latest updates.

And, as always, sorry for the gross ads that wordpress uses to pay the bills.

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