Kevin Orpurt’s Blog

Watch the Lunar Eclipse LIVE tonight!

April 14th, 2014 at 5:48 pm by under Kevin Orpurt's Blog, Weather, WTHI Blog

The Lunar Eclipse begins at about 2am, but coverage starts earlier.  Go here: http://www.space.com/19195-night-sky-planets-asteroids-webcasts.html


SO, YOU THINK IT’S BEEN COLD…..

March 4th, 2014 at 8:58 pm by under Kevin Orpurt's Blog

As of March 4th, there have been 63 days in the year.

 

25 of those days had a temperature in the single digits or below 0.

47 days had temperatures that were below average.


GEORGE’S DAY…SORT OF

February 21st, 2014 at 10:42 pm by under Kevin Orpurt's Blog

February 22nd  is historically the day George Washington was born.  Except in 1731, when he was born, it was actually February 11th!  What? It all boils down to the fact that, in some years, February has 29 days. That’s using the current Gregorian calendar, which was put into effect in 1752, twenty years after Mr. Washington was born.  The Gregorian calendar was adopted because the previous Julian calendar, under which Mr. Washington was born, had become completely distorted in regard to seasons and Easter.  As a result, September 2, 1752 was followed immediately by September 14!!  The new calendar added 11 days and one year to George Washington’s birthday, making it February 22nd, 1732! Confusing?  You bet!  I’m still not sure which day should officially be Washington’s birthday.  Some history I’ve read about Mr. Washington suggests he continued to regard February 11th as his real birthday.


ARE THE BOOMS CRYOSEISMS?

February 3rd, 2014 at 9:15 pm by under Kevin Orpurt's Blog

I’m still getting lots of reports about those mystery booms.  I really appreciate everyone’s input.  One possible answer is that they could be CRYOSEISMS.  A cryoseism can occur when water in the ground freezes, then expands with force.  The result can be a booming sound and shaking of the surrounding ground.  Certainly, temperatures have been cold, but I’m not sure it’s been cold enough to freeze deeply enough to freeze water under the ground.  Still, in many parts of the area, one doesn’t have to go very far underground to reach water.  Also, it’s possible the ground itself, saturated with water, is expanding and cracking.  Research has indicated that CRYOSEISMS make a booming sound and produce similar effects to regular earthquakes, but sometimes don’t register on seismographs.  Recently, some officials have gone on record saying that the booms we’re hearing might be CRYOSEISMS.

People are undoubtedly hearing something. Maybe CRYOSEISMS account for some of the mysterious booms we’re hearing, but I’m not totally convinced they account for all the booms.  The best test will be to keep listening and if the booms continue as the temperature warms, we’ll have to turn our attention to another possibility.

In the meantime, please keep your reports coming.  kevin.orpurt@wthitv.com

Stay tuned!

 


WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY

January 31st, 2014 at 5:44 pm by under Kevin Orpurt's Blog, Weather, WTHI Blog

A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY is in effect until midday Saturday for the Indiana counties of:  Parke, Putnam and Vermillion.  In Illinois, Edgar, Coles and Vermilion.  Snow, sleet and freezing rain will combine to make travel difficult.  By Saturday midday, the precipitation should change to all rain, with a high of 45.winter


THOSE MYSTERY BOOMS

January 28th, 2014 at 8:46 pm by under Kevin Orpurt's Blog, Uncategorized

I’ve been getting several reports lately about people hearing loud, mysterious booms.  There is no apparent source and the booms are strong enough and loud enough to shake houses, rattle windows, upset animals and create overall confusion.  Many of the reports I’ve had are from southeast Illinois.  Lawrence County, Richland County and Crawford County have been among the most frequent reporting locations.  There are two aspects of these booms that are of interest.  The first is that they are being heard all over the globe, and the second is that NOBODY seems to know what is causing them.

One name given to these booms is, “Seneca Guns”.  It’s a word first used to describe them in a short story written by James Fennimore Cooper in the 1800s.  Yes, these booms have been heard for more than a century and probably longer.

Some scientists believe they might be caused by shallow earthquakes that are too weak to be registered on seismographs.  Others think the booms may have an atmospheric origin similar to thunder, but the sounds have been heard when no clouds or storms are around.  Some speculate they might be caused by meteors entering the atmosphere, but a meteor big enough to cause a boom would likely be large enough to be seen.  There is a faction that believes that the booms are being caused by cloaked UFOs or secret military aircraft.  It is true that some of these booms have been admittidley caused by the military, but those are few and far between. One interesting point is that similar booms were reportedly heard in the months prior to the Great New Madrid Earthquakes of 1811-1812.

So, the question remains whether these booms come from the earth, the sky or some other unknown source.  The bottom line is that they are heard all over the globe, have been heard for a long time and nobody knows where they come from.  The booms, for now, remain a true mystery.

If you’ve experience these booms, I’d like to know about it.  Let me know when and where and also what you think might be going on.  Perhaps together we can find an answer.  Contact me at:  kevin.orpurt@wthitv.com

 


A WIND CHILL ADVISORY

January 22nd, 2014 at 4:20 pm by under Kevin Orpurt's Blog, Weather, WTHI Blog

A wind chill advisory is in effect through tonight.chill


SNOW, WIND AND COLD

January 20th, 2014 at 5:36 pm by under Kevin Orpurt's Blog, Weather, WTHI Blog

A strong cold front will bring snow to the region Monday night and Tuesday.  Temperatures will drop into the single digits by Tuesday afternoon.  Wind gusts could be near 30 mph.  Wind chill Factors will be well below zero.  Travel should be done with caution Monday night and Tuesday.  Storm Team 10 will continue to track this system.snow


SNOW ROLLERS RETURN!

January 16th, 2014 at 10:54 pm by under Kevin Orpurt's Blog, Weather, WTHI Blog

A rare weather event occurred Thursday afternoon in Edgar County, Illinois near Twin Lakes.  Called, “Snow Rollers”, these cotton-candy like rolls of snow are formed under the most ideal conditions.  Here are the things that need to happen. 1.)  They must occur on ice or hard-packed snow.  2.)  The snow must be loose and near the freezing point.  3.)  There must be a breezy, but it cannot be too windy.

The wind rolls the loose snow over the hard surface and into a roll of snow!  This occurs very rarely, especially around here.  The last time it happened was on February 12, 2003.  Here is a picture.  Enjoy the beauty of nature!snow rollers-web1


MOONBEAMED

January 10th, 2014 at 9:05 pm by under Kevin Orpurt's Blog

It was on this day in 1946 at 11:58 am, that the Army Signal Corps in Belmar, New Jersey pointed a radar at the Moon and shot a beam in its direction.  Called Project Diana, after the Roman Moon Goddess Diana, it was the first successful attempt at bouncing a radar signal off an object that wasn’t on this planet.  This event might well be considered both the birth of the U.S. space program and radar astronomy.  Project Diana was also the beginning of the tradition of naming U. S. space projects after Roman gods deities.