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NW PACIFIC OCEAN *Full Update* NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP Satellite Sees Strong Wind Shear Tearing Tropical Depression Jangmi Apart. Jangmi encountered strong southeasterly vertical wind shear in the Sulu Sea and NPP captured a visible picture of the storm on Dec. 31. FULL UPDATE: http://www.nasa.gov/content/goddard/jangmi-south-china-sea
NO INDIAN OCEAN - System 95B Still has a low chance of becoming a tropical depression in the next 24 hours, according to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC). It is centered near 13.5 north and 84.5 east, about 280 nautical miles south of Visakhapatnam, India.
Recent animated multi-spectral satellite imagery shows fragmented bands of thunderstorms north of the ill-defined center . The JTWC gives this a low chance of development in the next 24 hours. NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellites captured this image of the storm today.
Aboard the International Space Station, Expedition 42 Commander Barry Wilmore of NASA and Flight Engineer Samantha Cristoforetti of the European Space Agency discussed their research activities aboard the laboratory and life away from Earth during the holiday season during a pair of in-flight interviews Dec. 30. Wilmore has been aboard the complex since late September while Cristoforetti has been living and working on the outpost since late November.
The Teton Park Road was groomed this morning, and should also be groomed every Friday for the rest of the winter season! For current conditions call our Road Conditions Hotline at 307.739.3682. And even though we never got above -2 degrees Fahrenheit today, people still got out to enjoy their beautiful park. What are some of your favorite memories of winter?
Could Joshua Tree soon look like this? The#NewYearsStorm is on its way, and there is a winter weather advisory for the area starting this afternoon. If you're visiting the park, be prepared for cold, snow, and the potential for treacherous driving conditions.
Roads and trails are VERY ICY throughout the park. The end of the Delicate Arch trail is 200 yards of solid ice; some folks (pictured) are crawling to avoid sliding off the trail. Do not attempt this hike without traction devices and/or trekking poles. Better bet = see Delicate Arch safely from the Viewpoint at the end of the road. (kh, photo by kt)
Watch Earth roll by from the perspective of European Space Agency astronaut Alexander Gerst in this six-minute time-lapse video. The video was made by combining 12,500 images Gerst took during his six-month mission on the International Space Station. Keep your eye out for auroras, sunrises, clouds, stars, oceans, lightning, cities at night, and the thin band of atmosphere that surrounds our planet. Video by the European Space Agency.
From the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA):
Brrrrrrrrr - it's cold in the Plains and snow is expected in the western United States and Great Lakes. Not surprising for this time of year, but did you know it "snows" in the ocean too? Here's more... http://oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/marinesnow.html
With consistent records of satellite observations that date back decades, it's possible to literally see Earth changing over time. Some changes are part of Earth's natural atmospheric and geologic rhythms. The responsibility for other changes, such as the shrinking of the Aral Sea and the Antarctic ozone hole, falls squarely on humanity’s shoulders. Our World of Change series documents how our planet’s land, oceans, atmosphere, and Sun are changing over time. See the World of Change galleries at http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/WorldOfChange/
Located at the crossroads of the Cascade, Klamath, and Siskiyou mountain ranges, scientists have long recognized the outstanding ecological values of the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument (CSNM). The convergence of three geologically distinct mountain ranges resulted in an area with remarkable biological diversity and a tremendously varied landscape. Many archaeological and historical sites are also found throughout the CSNM, providing clues to Native American use of the area and tracing portions of the historic Oregon/California Trail. One of the easiest ways to experience this unique landscape include hiking the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail which meanders some 19 miles through the Monument or reserving a campsite at the Monument's Hyatt Lake Recreation Area.
Megan Estrada and her children enjoy a swing on the porch of their new home financed by a USDA Rural Development home loan guarantee.
2014 will soon be in our collective rear view mirrors, and USDA Rural Development has had an incredibly productive year. This week we are looking back on stories from the year that illustrate the impact our programs have on rural communities. Here’s a story out of our Kansas State Office from June.
Megan Estrada and her three children are excited to spend time on their new home’s porch – a home they just moved into this summer. Prior to purchasing their own home, Estrada and her children had spent the last nine years in an apartment in Dodge City, Kansas.
Estrada tried to buy a home four years ago, but with no solid credit history was unable to secure a loan through conventional home financing. For the next four years Estrada built up her credit, then in May of this year she heard that USDA would be offering home loans in Dodge City and called her banker to see how to apply.
With the passage of the 2014 Farm Bill, Dodge City became eligible for USDA Housing Programs. The Farm Bill contained language that changed the definition of a rural area for USDA’s Housing Program; the new definition allowed areas with populations of up to 35,000 that are rural in character to be eligible for USDA Housing Programs – which made Dodge City eligible.
In June, Estrada was the first Dodge City resident to purchase a home by utilizing USDA’s Guaranteed Rural Housing Program. Landmark National Bank provided the loan on Estrada’s three-bedroom home, which is guaranteed by USDA Rural Development.
“I am prepared to accept the responsibility of homeownership, and am looking forward to it,” said Estrada. “The kids enjoy having a backyard to play in, and I like allowing them to play outside where I know they are safe.”
Since 2009, USDA Rural Development has helped more than 11,000 Kansas residents purchase a home.
As the new year begins, we in Rural Development look forward to a productive 2015 and the continued opportunity to promote, develop, and support the way of life in the rural communities that support agriculture across our nation.
Engineers from the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA), who joined NASA after its creation, tested, developed, and recommended one of the most vital technologies that the United States needed in order to successfully launch the Saturn rockets in the 1960s. These engineers had become experts in the field of high-energy propellants, particularly liquid hydrogen, and believed it should be used to power the upper stages of the Saturn rocket. Read more: http://1.usa.gov/1wYDxoB
From the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Headquarters:
Did you know….that our Mississippi Valley Division has 62 locks within its boundary: 29 on the Mississippi River; 8 on the Illinois River; 6 on the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway, La.; 5 on the Red River, La.; 4 on the Ouachita and Black rivers, Ark. & La.; 1 on the Kaskaskia River, Ill.; 1 on Old River, La.; 1 on Bayou Teche, La.; 3 in the Atchafalaya Basin, La.; 1 on Freshwater Bayou, La.; and 3 on the West Pearl River, La. (Photo of the Kaskaskia River L&D)