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Are our skies getting worse

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36 replies to this topic

#1 starman876

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Posted 22 July 2019 - 03:28 PM

I have never seen so much rain in all the years I have lived in the DC area.    And if it is not raining it is cloudy.   Only a few real clear nights this year.  How has it been in your neck of the woods?



#2 SeattleScott

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Posted 22 July 2019 - 03:33 PM

Rain all the time is unusual for you? Well the last month or so kind of sucked but summer finally arrived a few days ago. Overall I can’t say stargazing weather has been clearly trending better or worse in recent years.

Scott

#3 starryhtx

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Posted 22 July 2019 - 03:35 PM

A bi product of climate change, warming oceans, especially on the east coast. The west coast doesn't really have that issue given the cold oceans and the flow from Alaska down. 



#4 star drop

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Posted 22 July 2019 - 03:47 PM

Yes, the skies are getting worse. There has been a significant increase in air travel resulting in a plethora of contrails.



#5 Astrojensen

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Posted 22 July 2019 - 03:54 PM

Yes, the skies are getting worse. There has been a significant increase in air travel resulting in a plethora of contrails.

Extremely oddly, I am seeing far fewer contrails, than I did some years ago. I still see a lot of planes, but they produce much fewer contrails and the contrails seem to evaporate quicker, generally. I wonder, if they are using cleaner fuel now, with less sulphur in it? Or a newer generation jet engines, with better performance and hence produces fewer soot particles? A combination? 

 

 

Clear skies!

Thomas, Denmark


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#6 Cali

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Posted 22 July 2019 - 04:06 PM

 El Niño Update from the National Weather Service Climate Prediction Center.

 

-Cal


Edited by Cali, 22 July 2019 - 04:06 PM.


#7 Cali

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Posted 22 July 2019 - 04:08 PM

A bi product of climate change, warming oceans, especially on the east coast. The west coast doesn't really have that issue given the cold oceans and the flow from Alaska down. 

No issue for the West Coast? Really???

 

- Cal


Edited by Cali, 22 July 2019 - 04:09 PM.

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#8 barbie

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Posted 22 July 2019 - 04:09 PM

I know my skies have gotten worse since I started out in the hobby just over 50 years ago. It's usually cloudy or raining. I only get a handful of clear nights and usually during the Summer months. This past Spring was lousy!

#9 Martin

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Posted 22 July 2019 - 04:12 PM

In South Dakota we used to get these beautiful sunsets, clear with a clear blue sky in the west. When you saw that you knew you were going to have some good viewing that night. I haven't seen that in awhile now. I get home from work and the sky is clear or mostly clear. I get the scope ready to go and my eyepieces. Then, about the time its getting dark the clouds move in. Or sometimes it starts raining around 7pm or so. I take every advantage I can to view. Sometimes there is a small break in the clouds and I take the scope out and do some viewing. Sometimes its only for 15 minutes but I do it anyway. I have gone out 10 minutes after it stopped raining and there is some slight clearing. Or I go out 15 or 20 minutes before it starts raining.  I started noticing last year that the clouds were getting bad and this year is just worse. Way to much moisture in the air and our humidity, which, in the past was always considered low is now much higher. Not Florida high but more than we are used to. Also, living on the eastern side of a mountain range is not the best place for stable air, so our seeing was never great here but there were exceptions some nights and the skies were generally very clear.  But our seeing conditions have worsened as well.

Today has been fairly nice, mostly clear skies and comfortable temps. I am hoping I can get out tonight for a session. Its hard on work nights but like I said. You have to take any opportunity that you can, even if its just 10 or 15 minutes. One thing that helps with that is having smaller scopes that you can move out and in quickly. For me its the C5 or the C102ED or the Tasco 10te. All of these move in and out in one trip and fairly easy.

 

Here's hoping that maybe our weather will improve for us for the rest of the summer and fall.

 

Martin



#10 Crow Haven

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Posted 22 July 2019 - 04:33 PM

I have never seen so much rain in all the years I have lived in the DC area.    And if it is not raining it is cloudy.   Only a few real clear nights this year.  How has it been in your neck of the woods?

Evenings here are the pits. bawling.gif



#11 Cpk133

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Posted 22 July 2019 - 04:37 PM

This is upside down world we're living in.  I can't wait for the winter, it should be clear nearly every night.


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#12 dscarpa

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Posted 22 July 2019 - 04:57 PM

 Way too much dreaded marine layer here.  May and June were very bad with many days of no or minimal sunshine.  July's a lot  better but more like May and June usually are.  I'm about 3-4 miles from the Pacific. Clear days with clouds building  in at night.  At least there's sucker holes and thin spots to observe through early in the evening and the seeings good for L&P.   My C9.25  extra light grasp over my WO ZS110 and IM715D comes in handy here  Glad I decided to get a bigger HA scope instead of a larger night refractor.  David


Edited by dscarpa, 22 July 2019 - 05:22 PM.

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#13 Tyson M

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Posted 22 July 2019 - 05:03 PM

Our hot summer weather has basically just started yesterday. Been raining for basically 2 months with little reprieve.

Normally May and June are good...

Edited by Tyson M, 22 July 2019 - 05:03 PM.


#14 Bomber Bob

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Posted 22 July 2019 - 05:06 PM

This is upside down world we're living in.  I can't wait for the winter, it should be clear nearly every night.

I've been at The Swamp 26 years, and the seasonal patterns here have definitely changed.  I used to count on mid-FEB to mid-MAY as my Winter Prime Time with mostly clear & comfortable nights that made up for our 7 months of hot, humid, cloudy nights.  The last year I had some of that was 2016, and that season was shorter, wetter, & colder than usual.  We've become a Deep South Seattle pretty much year-round now.


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#15 frankreed45

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Posted 22 July 2019 - 05:18 PM

This topic was brought up not long ago by someone . I commented on it then and I will comment on it again. I've been into amateur astronomy since late 1957 . I've lived in central and north central Kentucky all my 73.5 years. I can say without reservation that atmospheric conditions have changed enormously and especially in the last 10 years or so. A clear night here is a rare event . Lots of clouds and lots of rain - it hasn't been that way in the past. Very discouraging to say the least. Throw this in with the light pollution problem and it's almost enough to make one give up the hobby. 

 

Frank



#16 bobhen

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Posted 22 July 2019 - 05:18 PM

I’ve been observing in and around Philadelphia, PA for 40-years. Yes. The weather (more rain which of course also means more clouds) has been getting worse. I wrote a note in my log saying as much 4 years ago. And 2018 was the second rainiest in recorded history.

 

Here is a quote from the Philadelphia Inquirer from August 2018…

 

“Philadelphia keeps breaking weather records: Biggest snowstorms, most 90-degree days and wettest months. The extremes could be a sign of things to come. Climate change is contributing to weather transformations in Philadelphia and other Cities across the globe. A look at historical data shows how changes have accelerated locally.”

 

This means a wetter, cloudier east coast and a drier west coast with more fires and smoke, just what scientists predicted.

 

I used to think that growing light pollution would really hamper amateur astronomy and discourage younger enthusiasts but technology including; EAA, astro video camaras and image intensifiers have helped lessen light pollution’s impact. But there is no technology that will save amateaure astronomy from climate change.

 

Bob



#17 chrisg

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Posted 22 July 2019 - 05:21 PM

The oceans are boiling because the earth is getting hotter, simple as that.



#18 punk35

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Posted 22 July 2019 - 05:29 PM

Where I am winter seems like the best time to view. The jet stream usually hates us in the other three seasons.



#19 Migwan

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Posted 22 July 2019 - 05:39 PM

 Definitely the cloudiest weather this spring/summer period that I can remember here in central Michigan.  jd



#20 chemisted

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Posted 22 July 2019 - 05:56 PM

According to published work by Henrik Svensmark low solar activity, which leads to an increase in cosmic ray bombardment of the earth, causes increased cloud formation.  We are currently at solar minimum.  Furthermore, Cycle 24 which just ended was the weakest in 100 years as was predicted by Leif Svaalgard prior to its beginning.  He has now predicted that Cycle 25 will be pretty much the same as Cycle 24.  Overall this means there will probably continue to be cloudier skies than average for quite some time to come.


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#21 CHASLX200

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Posted 22 July 2019 - 06:01 PM

Many summers i can go weeks with no rain while just inland they get rain all the time. But from June till mid Sept my skies are cloudy at sundown thanks to the blow off from T- storms far away from me. I have not had a good nice since May, but early AM can be very clear, but now the planets are gone after 5am. Back in April i was viewing the planet a good bit with the SW150ED and other scopes.  I have not had a winter since 2010, and our normal summertime pattern changed in the mid 80's from our normal southeast windflow to what i call a reverse west windflow. 

 

Don't want to get too deep into it and take it off topic, but for sure my weather has changed since i started keeping records in the 70's...


Edited by CHASLX200, 22 July 2019 - 06:04 PM.


#22 ris242

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Posted 22 July 2019 - 06:24 PM

I didn't think I had many clear nights..........till I came in here and saw all the complaining.

So I should be thankful for what I have.

 

My big winter issue at the moment is seeing a blue sky when leaving work, going home to my suburb which is like a basin surrounded by hills [a couple of miles away on each side so my horizons are up at about 8-10 degrees]......its cold so everyone lights fires and theres a bit of smoke......and due to lack of wind, frosts come down and turns the whole place into a thick fog.

The fog brightens everything with the street lights nearby.......so its not exactly dark though its midwinter but one night when I was already outside viewing Jupiter - the fog didn't stop my viewing night.

So if the object is bright its way more viewable in fog vs clouds.....where you see nothing.



#23 starman876

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Posted 22 July 2019 - 07:02 PM

seems we all have seen a change in our usual weather and our observing chances.  I am sure this will also change our habits on buying scopes.   I remember night after night of clear nights around here.  Now I keep seeing alarms to head for an interior room in the house.   



#24 starryhtx

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Posted 22 July 2019 - 08:46 PM

No issue for the West Coast? Really???

 

- Cal

When was the last time you got a hurricane? Point made. 



#25 Allan Wade

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Posted 22 July 2019 - 08:54 PM

Climate change is leading to fatal levels of rainfall in parts of the world, and the most severe droughts ever seen in others. My state of New South Wales is living through its worst drought in recorded history. My astro dark site is in a farming area, and I feel terrible for the pain everyone who lives there is going through. On the flip side, astronomy can be tiring work out there during a new moon week as there’s regularly not a cloud to be seen.

 

Generally the hotter atmosphere means it can retain more moisture, which equals more clouds. So while it seems more folks are negatively impacted by climate change, there are some of us who are seeing much better conditions.




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