This Date in History: On October 4, 1957 the Soviet Union blasted a 184 pound “baby moon” into orbit ushering in the space age. The small satellite was called Sputnik was a round sphere that emitted a weak radio signal to prove its existance and whereabouts. It put panic in the hearts of all Americans at the thought that the Soviets had the abiliity to put something into space that could perhaps drop bombs on our unsuspecting nation. One guy who was really not enthused was Werner Von Braun. He was the german whiz kid who had developed Hitler’s rocket program during World War II. Now, Von Braun was basically a science nerd who went along with the Third Reich out of expediency. He needed funding to prove his great ideas about rocketry and the government gave it to him. He probably didn’t like that it was being used to kill people, but it didn’t bother him so much that he denied to chance to try out new toys and experiments. So, when the war was over and the United States captured him, he jumped at the chance to make more rockets and experiments for the United States. He even eventually became a US citizen. It was Von Braun who led the American effort to put a man on the moon. He was behind the ingenuity for the giant Saturn V rocket.
But, Von Braun was angry in October 1957, as he probably was on this date in 1956. Nearly a full year before Sputnik, Von Braun had demostrated the ability of his Redstone rocket by blasting it about 3000 miles over the Atlantic to a height of 600 miles. Had the rocket had fuel in the upper stages instead of sand, he could have acheived orbit. But, the folks holding the purse strings in Washington wanted military missles and refused to provide funding. And so on September 21, 1956 Verner Von Braun sat disappointed that the previous day he was denied his chance to put a satellite into orbit. About a year later, the Soviets became the first and apparent leaders in the space race, even though Von Braun had the ability long before. After Sputnik, that all changed and so, with the funding and support, it is not surprising that it was Von Braun and the United States became the first to put a man on the moon and return him safely to earth.
Weather Bottom Line: At my house, my rain guage said I had a total of about 3.75 inches of rain. The airport reported a record rainfall total of 3.95 inches. Radar estimates in Southern Indiana were way higher than that. I had decent rain in the early hours of Monday yet the rain gauges that you see below really didn’t record much more than what you see below through 11:50pm. It had looked like places west of I-65 were going to get more rain than the rest of us but that was a little much. The long wave pattern just is moving very slowly and so when you get instability as we had yesterday, it stays in one place. Now, the trof that will develop to our west will be slow to move. So, from a sensible standpoint, it would seem that the Ohio Valley being on the front side of the trof will set us up for a rather unsettled pattern for much of the week ahead with lots of moisture streaming up from the southwest and perhaps little disturbances flowing through the pattern to trigger showers now and again until the whole long wave pattern moves and we get cooler air as the trof traverses eastward. That is what I think will happen. I suspect that what we will see is numerous clouds with maybe some breaks now and then with off and on rain and the heaviest rain with the highest probability of rain and t’storms coming over the weekend with the passage of a coldfront and the trof transition. The GFS seems to advertise this quite nicely with about 3/4 of an inch of rain through Saturday with a little bit falling each day. Then we get decidedly cooler and drier come Sunday. But, the NAM is not so bullish with rain, keeping today completely dry and only a little bit on Tuesday. The GFS had a much much better handle on Sunday’s weather with the heavy rain. Given that it did a pretty good job and it makes sense, I think its the better part of valor to accept its findings. The only wrinkle would be if the trof retrogrades but I just dont think that it would move so far west as to make us dry for the week ahead. Expect cloud and rain induced limitations on high temperatures and muggy and mild nights.
Rainfall midnight Sun to 11:50pm Sun
|TR01||West County WWTP||0.00||2.71|
|TR02||PRP Fire Station Training Facility||0.00||2.36|
|TR04||Morris Forman WWTP||0.00||2.66|
|TR05||Beargrass Creek PS||0.00||3.72|
|TR06||Hite Creek WWTP||0.12||2.05|
|TR07||Floyds Fork WWTP||0.00||1.85|
|TR08||Fern Creek Fire Station #3||0.00||2.13|
|TR09||Cedar Creek WWTP||0.00||2.24|
|TR10||Camp Horine (Jefferson Co. Forest)||0.00||2.73|
|TR11||Northern Ditch PS||0.00||2.73|
|TR13||St. Matthews Elementary School||0.00||2.13|
|TR14||Lea Ann Way PS||0.00||2.32|
|TR17||Mt. St. Francis||0.12||4.77|