|Violent New Hampshire Tornado Levels Homes and Kills One
The July 24, 2008 New Hampshire Tornado Dr. William Minsinger, President, Blue Hill Observatory
Early on July 24, 2008 a tornado
rated as strong as F2 with a width of upwards of 1/3 to 1/2 mile cut a 50 mile
path through 5 counties and 11 towns in southeastern New Hampshire resulting
in one fatality and damage to over 100 structures, some of which were completely
destroyed. The funnel was on the ground for upwards of one hour twenty
This E-F2 tornado, packing winds up
to 135 MPH, moved north-northeast out of Rockingham County, crossed into
Merrimack County near Route 202, and continued north-northeast for a little over 5
miles before entering Belknap County. The tornado crossed into Carroll County and finally dissipated in Freedom, NH. Homes and buildings sustained damage in the tornado's path, which was up to a half mile wide.
The super cell thunderstorm had
downed large branches in Candia, NH around 11:35 AM. At 11:38 AM, trees were reported down with homes damaged in Deerfield, NH and damage
was noted north of Northwood, NH, both in Rockingham County. The tornado first touched down
about 5 miles southwest of Northwood
Narrows and moved north-northeast for a
little over 5 miles before crossing into Merrimack County. Numerous trees were downed and as
many as 100 homes were damaged or destroyed in Epsom, NH in Merrimack County. A woman was killed there when the
house she was in collapsed; she was protecting her infant grandson who was
unhurt. Her husband was blown out of the house as he was descending the stair
case from the second floor. He was not seriously
To view damage
information for each town affected, follow this link:
text of this article along with maps, charts, and pictures will be distributed to members as a
Blue Hill Observatory Bulletin in May. If you are not yet a member
you may join by following this link: http://bluehill.org/join.html).
|Blue Hill Observatory on Facebook
| Please visit us on and become a fan of our page and join our groups.
The Blue Hill Observatory and Science Center Page has general information about the Observatory, including hours, programs, membership, special events, and contact information.
Follow this link to the BHOSC Page and and become a fan today!
There is also a Discussion group where you can go to let the Observatory staff know what you think. Follow this link to the BHOSC Discussion Group and join in the discussion.
Anyone who is interested in the Women in Natural Science (WINS) program can follow this link to join the BHOSC WINS Group to learn about WINS and get program updates.
would like to thank Blair Talcott Orloff, daughter of Executive
Director Charles Talcott Orloff, for creating the Facebook page and groups for the Observatory.
|Notes from the Observer's Office
2nd Sunniest January through March on Record
The combined sunshine total for the first three months of 2009 is the second greatest on our entire record. All three months have had well above average sunshine with an average of 59% of the possible. The combined total hours for the sunniest first three months of any year on record are:
(total hours of sunshine based on uncorrected card minutes)
1. 559.7 in 1978
2. 548.2 in 2009
3. 538.5 in 1964 (minus leap year day)
New Daily Records for March 2009
DAILY SNOWFALL 8.2 INCHES; surpasses previous record of 7.1 inches in 1948
DAILY MINIMUM TEMPERATURE 42 DEG F; ties record high minimum for the date previously set in 1974 and 1987
DAILY MINIMUM TEMPERATURE 42 DEG F; ties record high minimum for the date previously set in 1995
Houghton's and Ponkapoag Pond Thaw Dates
Both Houghton's Pond and Ponkapoag Pond to the southeast of the Observatory thawed during the month of March. Ponkapoag Pond was considered thawed on March 12 (the average thaw date for Ponkapoag is March 17). Houghton's Pond was considered thawed on
3/19 (the average thaw date for Houghton's is March 21). The ponds are considered thawed when less than 1/10th of the surface is covered with ice.
|Can You Name 5 Women Scientists?
|Stephanie Radner, WINS Program Mentor
I recently asked my friends on Facebook if they could name 5 scientists who are women. It was surprising to many of them how difficult it is to come up with just 5 names (think about how easy it is to answer the same question about scientists who are men). One wise guy even asked me if my question was an April Fool's Day joke! Almost all of the laws, theorems, principles, and techniques in science are named after men. Only 13 Nobel Prizes have been awarded to women in the sciences (Marie Curie received two of them). Can you name 5 women scientists? If you need help, here are a few female scientists that my friends were able to name: Marie Curie, Maria Mitchell, Elizabeth Blackwell, Dian Fossey, Jane Goodall, Admiral Grace Hopper, Phyllis R. Brown, Sally Ride, Amelia Earhart, Mish Michaels, and Rosalind Franklin.
The Women in Natural Science (WINS)
program is an educational
initiative of the Blue Hill Observatory geared toward middle- and
high-school-aged girls from Boston and surrounding communities. WINS
seeks to inspire girls to learn about math, science, and technology
using a natural science curriculum and "hands-on minds-on" learning
If your school, church, or community group would like to participate in the WINS program, please contact Stephanie Radner by phone (617) 696-1014 ext. 4 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
| From the Observatory Store
New Merchandise Arriving Every Day!
We have a lot of great new merchandise arriving every day in the Observatory store, including a wide range of
science kits, a collection of geology lessons and materials (including
several rocks and minerals kits), books, and fun toys including Whirl-o
Hurricanes. We also have a fresh supply of snacks and beverages for hungry hikers, including TerraPass certified Climate Change Chocolate from Bloomsberry & Co.
Gift Shop Buy One Get One Half Off (BOGOHO) Specials
Buy any book by Blackdog & Leventhal, Blue Hill
Observatory Publishing, Charlesbridge, Klutz Press, Storey, or Workman
Publishing and you can get any other book of equal or lesser value for 50% off.
The same special applies to all juggling equipment and yo-yos. You can
mix and match the merchandise. There is no limit to the number of BOGOHO specials you can buy.
Buy 2 Flying Discs, gliders or kite accessories, and get a
third (lowest priced item) for just $2.00.
Buy any fabric kite and get a plastic delta kite for free. Buy two Tyvek kites and get a plastic delta kite for free. Come and see or call about daily specials also!
The Observatory gift shop is open from 10:00 AM
until 4:00 PM on weekends and many holidays. You can arrange to visit
the gift shop by appointment 7 days a week. For more information, to
get a product list, place an order, or schedule a visit to the gift
shop, please contact Don McCasland by phone: (617) 696-0562 or email: email@example.com.
Help Wanted at the Observatory
Are you interested in the weather? Do you have
computer or office skills, or like to work outdoors? Do you share our goal of educating the public
about meteorology? Then you can help us! Paid and volunteer positions are
available at the Observatory for tour docents, greeters, sales associates and other help.
Things are very busy here at the Observatory as we continue to excite and enthrall people with the amazing history, exciting weather, high-flying kites and more. We have groups scheduled almost every day from now until early summer. During the week, we need help with school groups. This is an ideal opportunity for parents of school-aged children because our busiest hours are during the school day.
We especially need help on the weekends and holidays for greeting guests, leading tours, and staffing and stocking the gift shop. We have paid positions available for those who can commit to a regular schedule and we have a wide range of volunteer opportunities available for anyone who can spare even one or two hours a month.
If you or your group would like to be paid or to volunteer to help these efforts, then
please contact Don McCasland for more information by phone (617) 696-0562 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
|Monday April 20, 2009Patriot's Day Kite Fly and special kite tours of the Observatory.Hours: 10AM - 4 PMKite Tours: $5/adult, $3/youth (not recommended for age 6 or younger)
Regular Tours: $3/adult, $1.50/youth
Build and decorate your own kite for just $5. April is National Kite Month. BHOSC will be participating in most events. For a full list of events, please check the NKM website: http://www.nationalkitemonth.org
Saturday May 9, 2009
Astronomy Day at the Clay Center Observatory in Broookline
For more information:
Saturday May 16, 2009 Annual Blue Hill Observatory and Science Center Spring Open House.Hours: 10AM - 4 PMAdmission is free. There will be many activities throughout the day, including crafts, kite building, self-guided tours, and more. Enjoy lectures on the weather, make lightning with Mount Washington Observatory, and see exhibits from the National Weather Service, Neponset River Watershed Association (NepRWA), and more.
Visit the BHO Events page for updates: http://www.bluehill.org/events.html Monday May 25, 2009
Memorial Day Kite Fly and special kite tours
of the Observatory.
Hours: 10AM - 4PM
Kite Tours: $5/adults, $3/youth
Build and decorate your own kite for just $5.Saturday October 3, 2009
Annual Blue Hill Observatory and Science Center Fall Open House.
The gift shop, educational programs, and tours of the Observatory are available by appointment almost every day of the year. Please call ahead (617-696-0562) if there are questionable weather conditions.
About The Blue Hill Observatory
Blue Hill Meteorological
Observatory, located at the top of a scenic mountain range south of Boston, is a
unique American institution. Founded in 1885 by Abbott Lawrence Rotch as a
private scientific center for the study and measurement of the atmosphere, it
was the site of many pioneering weather experiments and discoveries. The earliest
kite soundings of the atmosphere in North America in the 1890s and the
development of the radiosonde in the 1930s occurred at this historic site.
Today, the Observatory is a National Historic Landmark and remains committed
to continuing its extensive, uninterrupted climate record with traditional
methods and instruments. The recently established Science Center expands
this mission by enhancing public understanding of atmospheric science.
We are grateful for the generous support of members, friends, and corporations who make it possible to continue our benchmark climate observations and educational outreach programs. Please contact Charles Orloff by phone: (508) 776-1879 or email: email@example.com if you would like to make a donation to the Observatory.
The Green Box
Do you have something that you don't want to throw away because you are sure that someone out there can use it? The Freecycle Network (TM) is a great resource for anyone who is looking to donate usable goods or find an item being offered by another member of the local community. You can join your local Freecycle network at http://www.freecycle.org/ and help reduce the amount of "stuff" that gets thrown into landfills.
The following statement is from the Freecycle FAQ page: The Freecycle Network (TM) is a grassroots and nonprofit community gifting movement made up of thousands of entirely local and individual city groups that promote reuse through local gifting among their members. Members have the opportunity to give and get items for free, in an effort to keep unnecessary waste out of landfills. Numerous local nonprofit organizations in each community are also members of local groups. Each group is run by a local moderator and membership is free.
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| Charles Orloff, Executive Director
Don McCasland, Program Director