A warm and nice Thanksgiving is upon us. While we all have something to be thankful for, don’t forget about the weather. It’s been lousy until Wednesday and with highs in the upper 50′s to near 60, its the best day we’ve seen in weeks and maybe for several days to come. We start to get some clouds in here on Friday and subsequently cooler air. Saturday also will be on the cool side but keep in mind, that neither day will be too terribly cold. Now, I”ve been telling you for days that the second half of the weekend will be chilly again but what I have kept from you is what happens after that. While I said we stay cold into early next week, some of the data is trying to develop something interesting. There is no clear consensus as the data is not just inconsistent between sources, but also within each source itself. It will be a rain turning to snow event and it will take another couple of days to show itself. The elements are in place. The question is if they come together properly…in conjunction if you will…which leads us to…
Conjunction Junction: We have a conjunction of planets going on. Not totally unusual but this one is a bit
different in that the moon is going to cooperate. It’s going to be in a down phase. Not so sure that the weather will cooperate though because we’ve got that system coming in. But, if you have been wondering about those two “stars” that have been pretty close together in the sky the last few nights, you’ll want to read this little tidbit, courtesy of the folks at the Louisville National Weather Service:
Are you wondering what those two bright objects are in the Southwest sky during the evening? It is a conjunction of the planets Venus and Jupiter. A planetary conjunction refers to two planets that share the same right ascension in the sky’s dome.
With the exception of the sun and moon, Venus is the brightest light in the heavens and Jupiter is the second brightest.
During previous recent conjunctions a bright moon nearby has washed out the
brightness. For this conjunction only a waxing crescent moon will be nearby. A conjunction of the two brightest planets will not happen again until March of 2012.
On Sunday and Monday evening the two planets will only be 2 degrees apart. This is about the same width of the Moon or about the width of your finger at an arms length away.
In case you are wondering it is possible for two planets to appear to merge into a single point of light. This is called an occultation. The last one occured in 1818. The next one will not occur until 2065.
The weather during the next several evenings looks fairly favorable for viewing this event. Just look where the sun has set. You will not be able to miss it.
On This Date In History: We’ve all enjoyed Thanksgiving Dinner and we all probably learned in grade school that the first Thanksgiving involved the Pilgirms and the native Indians of North America. But, the real first official Thanksgiving Holiday was proclaimed on October 3,1863 by President Lincoln, calling for an annual day of national Thanksgiving on the fourth Thursday of November. The president used the opportunity to thank the Union Army for the reversal of fortune in the Union effort by the victory at Gettysburg. President Washington had declared a “national day of thanksgiving and prayer” in 1789, but it didn’t become an annual event. In fact, Thomas Jefferson thought that such national events of demonstration towards a deity was not appropriate. Other presidents agreed until President Lincoln’s decree. President Franklin Roosevelt tried what I call a political move in 1939 when he moved the holiday to the third Thursday. However, I suppose its plausible to argue that Lincoln’s initial declaration was rooted in politics. Anyway, FDR was hoping to extend the Christmas shopping season. I guess he thought that by moving Thanksgiving he could pull the wool over American’s eyes and use the psychology of calling a different day Thanksgiving to get them to spend more money. Anyway, Congress had enough of the foolishness and in 1941 put the national holiday back to where President Lincoln put it in the first place.
Hope you enjoyed yours and the nicest weather in weeks…and perhaps days to come.