This animation shows the NOAA Center for Tsunami Research's wave height estimation for the March 11, 2011 tsunami that started off the coast of Japan and has placed the entire Pacific basin on alert.
On March 19, the moon's orbit will make its closest approach to Earth in 18 years while at the same time be in full phase. Such a coincidence has been named a "SuperMoon" by astrologer Richard Nolle. As entertainingly chronicled by John Metcalfe over at TBD, Nolle predicts all kinds of weather and natural hazard mayhem, including strong earthquakes, in conjunction with the Supermoon. So the questions that emerge are: 1) Is there any legitimate science linking the Supermoon and extreme natural hazards? and, 2) Did the upcoming Supermoon play a role in this morning's horrific earthquake in Japan?
The extraordinary earthquake that devastated parts of coastal Japan this morning has triggered tsunami activity currently propagating across the Pacific ocean. At the same time, a flood of information is pushing through cyberspace that could easily overwhelm anyone seeking the basic facts. Let's break down what we know based on information from sources we trust.
Notwithstanding the current and recent deluges, planting time is fast approaching. I always like to keep an eye on the map of average temperatures over the past several weeks. It is a good rule of thumb for monitoring soil temperatures in the garden. We have risen above the 40 degree mark and that signals the beginning of plant awakening in our area.
The mid-Atlantic is not an area I would consider hard to garden in, especially after growing up in the Plains. The climate here is reasonably moderate and rainfall is unusually evenly distributed throughout the year. In fact, this region is one of the very few in the U.S. or even in most of the world that has such regular moisture. However, this winter has presented more than a few challenges to we garden enthusiasts. Probably the one least noticed has been the significant deficits in precipitation over the past 3 months.
Weather has mostly been ruled out as the cause of the massive bird kill in central Arkansas (now suspected to be fireworks), but chances are good it was behind the death of more than two million fish in the Chesapeake Bay this past week.