Which March 1 was most "lion-like? in Chicago"

Dear Tom,
Which March 1 was most “lion-like?”

Pepper Roberts, Park Forest

Dear Pepper,
You pose an interesting but hard question to answer. March 1 has produced its fair share of inclement weather and it is difficult to select any one as being the worst. In 2007, thunderstorms produced 1.09 inches of rain, including some freezing rain. In 1948, 4 inches of snow fell. In 1947, 4.6 inches of snow fell at the opening of a two-day storm that put down 7.4 inches of snow. In 1962, the mercury plunged to 5 degrees below zero. And in 1890, the high for the day was only 14 degrees.

On the lamb side, there have been some delightful March openings, the most noteworthy being in 1992 when gusty southwest winds and plenty of sunshine boosted the temperature to a record high 71 degrees.

Tim's Weather World: Earth Says "Cheese"

William Anders snapped a picture of earth during the Apollo 8 mission in 1968 that went on to become one of the most iconic images ever made.  Life Magazine included it in their list of 100 Photographs That Changed the WorldThe picture is referred to as “earthrise” and it shows the nearly half illuminated planet appearing to rise above the lunar landscape.

earthrise.jpgNow NASA has released some stunning images
of earth from the satellite Terra which is orbiting our planet around 435 miles above earth’s surface.  The image is composed of a mosaic of satellite data with such fine resolution that it reveals details as small as a third of a mile across.  These images are the most detailed to date of earth. The amazing pictures come at a price though.  It is estimated the Terra satellite cost about 1.3 billion dollars.  It is hoped the information gathered by this school bus-sized satellite will give scientists a better understanding of long-term climate change.

earth2.jpgSatellite imagery began in the 1960s and was one of the significant breakthroughs in weather forecasting.




Days slowly get milder, but no heat wave

A warming trend is under way, but the chilly air that has dominated the Chicago area for several days is only reluctantly yielding to higher temperatures. Each day’s afternoon temperatures will climb a few degrees higher until readings reach the upper 40s this weekend. Sunshine returns Thursday and Friday, but more clouds arrive Saturday in advance of the next weather system that promises rain by Sunday.

Chilean quake shortens day

According to Richard Gross at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Saturday’s earthquake has speeded the Earth’s axial rotation and shortened the days by 1.26 millionths of a second. Some of the planet’s mass shifted slightly closer to the planet’s axis and its rotation quickened, just as ice skaters spin more rapidly 8when they pull in their arms.