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General Astronomy >> General Observing and Astronomy

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Peter10
member


Reged: 03/31/07

Summer Observing In US Northeast - Is it Possible?
      #5948242 - 06/30/13 03:28 PM

Is it just me, or has this spring and summer been unusually cloudy and hazy. I realize that warmer temperatures correlate with increased atmospheric moisture but is it typically this bad? Is there a database that shows historical data on cloud cover and transparency? It would be interesting to compare historical observing conditions to the current soup we call the night sky.

Peter


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Gil V
professor emeritus


Reged: 09/09/12

Re: Summer Observing In US Northeast - Is it Possible? new [Re: Peter10]
      #5948320 - 06/30/13 04:34 PM

You'll get your good nights here - usually when a late afternoon cold front has blown through.

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Greyhaven
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 05/11/04

Loc: Greater downtown Maine
Re: Summer Observing In US Northeast - Is it Possible? new [Re: Peter10]
      #5948339 - 06/30/13 04:50 PM

Peter' Blame the lousy N.E. skies on the ever present jet stream over head cold fronts from our neighbors to the north
hit the warm moist air riding up the coast. But when those beautiful dry Canadian highs are with us it just makes me want to blow up that bridge in Kittery and keep it all to myself.
Be Well
Grey


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amicus sidera
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 10/14/11

Loc: East of the Sun, West of the M...
Re: Summer Observing In US Northeast - Is it Possible? new [Re: Greyhaven]
      #5948437 - 06/30/13 06:00 PM

The cloud cover over the northeastern U.S. during the warmer weather has increased noticeably since the mid-1970's, and markedly so in the last half-decade, according to my observing logs. I put this increase down primarily to increased stratospheric jet traffic and government weather-modification attempts, with the excessive cloudiness of the last few years resulting from these factors combined with increased atmospheric water vapor; this due to the evaporation occurring over the large areas of open water exposed in the Arctic regions due to ice melt.

Fred


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azure1961p
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 01/17/09

Loc: USA
Re: Summer Observing In US Northeast - Is it Possible? new [Re: amicus sidera]
      #5948728 - 06/30/13 09:28 PM

Yes it's been unusually cloudy, hazy and rainy. Even winter was lousy with too much clouds and haze. Spring got a little better. Of course, July and August are the true hazy poor transparency months but the seeing can be just a hair short of perfect.

Pete


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bherv
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 03/10/06

Loc: WMass
Re: Summer Observing In US Northeast - Is it Possible? new [Re: azure1961p]
      #5948773 - 06/30/13 10:06 PM

There is a stalled weather pattern over the US. Huge ridge of high pressure out west bringing the intense heat. A trough in the middle of the country with the jet stream dipping to the south and then turning sharply north along the Appalachans bringing very warm moist air up the eastern seaboard resulting in the constant threat of showers of a storms. The dew points have been close to 70 for a week and there is no end in site. Usually by mid-August we get some periods of cooler drier air which brings improved transparency but poorer seeing conditions.
Barry


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Peter10
member


Reged: 03/31/07

Re: Summer Observing In US Northeast - Is it Possible? new [Re: bherv]
      #5948791 - 06/30/13 10:16 PM

I suppose I can wait until mid-August for this translucent sky to yield. The one good thing is that it has given me time to work on my equipment in preparation for better times.

Peter


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Pinbout
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 02/22/10

Loc: nj
Re: Summer Observing In US Northeast - Is it Possible? new [Re: Peter10]
      #5948803 - 06/30/13 10:23 PM

and when it is really nice its a full moon.

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Tony Flanders
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 05/18/06

Loc: Cambridge, MA, USA
Re: Summer Observing In US Northeast - Is it Possible? new [Re: Peter10]
      #5949201 - 07/01/13 07:34 AM

Quote:

Is it just me, or has this spring and summer been unusually cloudy and hazy.




There was some excellent weather in the early and mid spring, but the recent weather pattern is abnormally bad even by eastern U.S. standards. Hazy skies are the norm in the Northeast from mid-June to mid-August, but this is ridiculous ...


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BrooksObs
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/08/12

Re: Summer Observing In US Northeast - Is it Possible? new [Re: Tony Flanders]
      #5949258 - 07/01/13 08:46 AM

No, Peter, this year's spring and early summer have been no different from what is experienced on average in the northeastern U.S.

While over the last 10 days, as already noted here, the overall progress of weather systems across the country has stalled, I found June to have had more clear/usable nights than any June that I can recall in the past 25 years, although virtually all came before the 20th.

I just participated in a discussion re observing weather/lack of clear nights on another site's forum. I came away with the impression that many who today are complaining about a lack of clear skies actually take advantage of only a very small percentage of those that are available. Among this other site's posters most reported less than 25 nights ANNUALLY. When I checked my records I found that I had been out doing useful observing on 93 evenings! And this was from southeastern NY, long known as one of the least favorable locations for clear skies anywhere in the country.

This is not to say that the actual number of clear nights per year doesn't vary widely year to year, or that their average number hasn't declined with time. Certainly, there are far less clear nights now than I experienced 30 or 40 years back. Still, in any given year there would seem to be many more clear nights than most hobbyists are taking advantage of.

BrooksObs

Edited by BrooksObs (07/01/13 08:49 AM)


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REC
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 10/20/10

Loc: NC
Re: Summer Observing In US Northeast - Is it Possible? new [Re: BrooksObs]
      #5949335 - 07/01/13 09:36 AM

Same here in the SE, the whole month of June sucked! That is why I went on vacation out west! Blue sky and 72* everyday and now I come back to this soup

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Monadnock
sage


Reged: 04/24/12

Loc: SW NH
Re: Summer Observing In US Northeast - Is it Possible? new [Re: REC]
      #5949370 - 07/01/13 10:00 AM

I agree, RIDICULOUS! IMO, NOT having a telescope has a tendency to make the cloudy days pass by a bit more unnoticed, but none of us are "enjoying" that scenario, are we?

There's no doubt in my mind most of the summers in the last 10 years have been lees than kind. Last year, or the year before, June (I think) had 28 of 30 days filled with rain. Then long days with searing heat and drought fill in the spaces where it used to be nice.

Oh well


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star drop
contra contrail
*****

Reged: 02/02/08

Loc: Snow Plop, WNY
Re: Summer Observing In US Northeast - Is it Possible? new [Re: Monadnock]
      #5949500 - 07/01/13 11:37 AM

There has been a steep decline in the number of clear nights or clear days year round at my location in southwestern New York since late 2007. Precipitation has also increased. My rain gauge no longer functions due to its unfortunate use as a horse itching post but our pond's water level has not dropped during the summer from 2008 to the present as it had done every year from 2001-2007. It is about ready to overflow once again and carry the minnows down the spillway to their demise for the umpteenth time this year.

I do keep snow total records, and very precise ones after the 2008-09 snow job.
2001-02 90" A very mild winter indeed.
2002-2007 around 175-180" each winter - I'm in the lake effect snow belt so I just accept it.
2008-09 345" I figured out why mice tunnel under the snow pack instead of shoveling.
2009-10 215"
2010-11 261"
2011-12 161" Excessive amounts of rain kept the snow total down.
2012-13 232"

Don't get me started on the "would have been clear nights" lost to contrails caused by the excessive air traffic. Can't anyone stay at home?


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csrlice12
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: Summer Observing In US Northeast - Is it Possible? new [Re: star drop]
      #5949589 - 07/01/13 12:43 PM

Sure it is, all you got to do is wait two weeks for Winter!

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azure1961p
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 01/17/09

Loc: USA
Re: Summer Observing In US Northeast - Is it Possible? new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5949869 - 07/01/13 03:11 PM

Brooks,

I can't recall more clouded out evenings than I've had in the last four months. Late winter was awful. Trouble is where the recorded clear nights don't account for what's astronomically usefull. Partly cloudy can mean a sky exitnguished of virtually all star light and clear can have heavy high altitude haze making deepsky pointless. The statistics are not accurate enough to quantify what's truly useful for the astronomer.

It might be actually but I've never seen that kind of accuracy reported. Astronomy is very condition sensitive as you know. I'd not put much faith in the weather archives as useful records of what's suitae to the astronomer.

Pete


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csrlice12
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: Summer Observing In US Northeast - Is it Possible? new [Re: azure1961p]
      #5949970 - 07/01/13 04:04 PM

I've noticed here in Denver, while they say "clear", it's usually actually very hazy to partly cloudy. When the sky is grey, I hardly call that "clear".

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steveyo
super member


Reged: 03/13/12

Loc: Upstate NY
Re: Summer Observing In US Northeast - Is it Possible? new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5950035 - 07/01/13 05:03 PM

It's simple.

I live in Albany NY area, smack-dab in the middle of the Northeast. My Teeter Dob has been ready for a couple weeks, so the weather got lousy, just in case I took delivery. Sorry to tell you all this, but I just actually took possession of the scope Saturday, 6/29/2013, so that lousy weather is here to stay for a while longer.


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RedLionNJ
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 12/29/09

Loc: Red Lion, NJ, USA
Re: Summer Observing In US Northeast - Is it Possible? new [Re: steveyo]
      #5950063 - 07/01/13 05:35 PM

There is no doubt in my experience this has been the worst spring, astronomy-conditions-wise, in my part of New Jersey since I started record-keeping 8 years ago.

Since Jan 1, we have had NINE nights I would consider "good". My definition of "good" for this purpose is either great transparency (and no clouds!) or decent transparency with good seeing.

For the same Jan-June period in prior years, this number has been at least twenty.

Grant


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Kraus
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 03/10/12

Loc: Georgia.
Re: Summer Observing In US Northeast - Is it Possible? new [Re: Peter10]
      #5950123 - 07/01/13 06:17 PM


It's just you. My weather sucks big time.


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davebuechler
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 08/21/11

Loc: Red River Gorge Kentucky
Re: Summer Observing In US Northeast - Is it Possible? new [Re: Kraus]
      #5950269 - 07/01/13 07:58 PM

While Kentucky isn't the NE the weather pattern here this year has been especially bad the week or so before and during the new moon. I have had only a few months since last November that were clear a night or two around the new moon. So in lieu of viewing DSO's and doing AP, I have been observing more double and multiple stars and still having fun.

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