Sun and Moon Data
To find sun and moon rising and setting times for your park or office, go to the U.S. Naval Observatory’s Complete Sun and Moon Data for One Day webpage.
An update on the moon, planets and night skies for the next few weeks. Visible planets during the period:
- Mercury climbs higher and higher in the evening sky just after dusk and is at its greatest elongation on February 16th. It then drops back toward the horizon.
- Mars is low in the southwest after sunset until about mid-February, when it begins fading slowly from view.
- Jupiter is high and bright in the evening sky – a magnitude –2.4 it shines brighter than any other point of light in the sky.
- Venus is visible before dawn in early February but soon disappears into the pre-dawn twilight.
- Saturn rises shortly before midnight by mid-February and appears highest in the south as morning twilight begins.
Calendar of upcoming celestial events:
- Saturday, 1/26 – Full moon.
- Sunday, 2/3 – Last quarter moon.
- Friday, 2/8 – Mercury passes less than a half degree north of Mars.
- Sunday, 2/10 – The moon is new (dark).
- Monday, 2/11 – Mercury appears between the crescent moon (above) and Mars (below) about a half hour after sunset.
- Saturday, 2/16 – Mercury appears at its 2013 best in the evening sky.
- Sunday, 2/17 – First quarter moon.
- Monday, 2/18 – The moon passes a degree south of Jupiter.
- Monday, 2/25 – Full moon.
For more information on stars, planets and other night sky phenomena, go to “The Sky This Week” page at the U.S. Naval Observatory page at http://www.usno.navy.mil/USNO/tours-events/sky-this-week
Watches and Warnings
The principal watches and warnings posted as of early this morning were as follows. Note that these change over the course of a day and represent only initial daily forecasts. Click on this link for a full-sized map showing these hazards:
- Winter storm and lake effect snow watches, warnings and advisories – Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, western New York and northwestern Pennsylvania.
- Freezing rain advisories – Western Oregon, southwestern Washington and northern California.
- Flood watches, warnings and advisories – Areas in Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee and along the middle Mississippi River, lower Ohio River and Wabash River corridors. Also along the Salmon River in Idaho and Montana due to an ice jam.
- High wind watches, warnings and advisories – Areas in Montana, Wyoming and Oregon.
For additional information on severe weather, go to the NOAA Storm Prediction Center at http://www.spc.noaa.gov/ .
There were no NPS line of duty deaths on this date. Click here for a full list of on-duty deaths.
From The Morning Report Archives
Today’s incident from the Morning Report archives:
Denali NP&P – A search was begun in early March, 1989, for a Japanese climbing team on Mount McKinley that had not been heard from in more than a week. They were believed to be near the summit and holed up in a snow cave due to the extreme winds buffeting the mountain. The National Weather Service reported sustained winds of 60 to 100 mph in the area, and it was estimated that they reached 90 to 200 mph where they funneled through passes in the mountains. Efforts to survey the area from the air initially proved impossible due to the intense winds, but a plane was eventually able to fly over their location on March 10th and spotted three orange objects in the snow, possibly bodies, just above their last known location. Rangers speculated that the climbers might have been ‘blown right out of the pass’; if that happened, they would have fallen several hundred vertical feet. On March 11th, two Army Chinooks attempted to get closer to the area, but were blocked by turbulence and severe downdrafts – even at full power the helicopters were losing 2,000 feet per minute. Search efforts were suspended on March 12th. On March 17th, a team of 17 experienced Japanese mountaineers was flown to the mountain to begin an effort to recover the bodies; it was expected that the operation would take about three weeks.