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News Roundup - Lunar eclipse on the horizon/That wet can be deceiving
Lunar eclipse on the horizon
The earth will slide between the sun and moon Wednesday night, aligning for a full lunar eclipse.
But the visibility of the celestial phenomenon will depend entirely on cloud-cover, which could obscure the night sky.
If the weather is clear, watch for a shadow to edge across the moon beginning early Wednesday evening with full eclipse lasting from 7 to 8 p.m. The Battle Point Astronomical Association will have the observatory open with several small telescopes available, though BPAA President Harry Colvin said eclipses are best viewed through binoculars.
He advises arriving at the park by at least 6:45 p.m. when the moon should be above the trees.
If a clouds mar the moment, islanders will have another chance to see a full lunar eclipse...in 2010.
That wet can be deceiving
Despite a drenching 11.62 inches of precipitation in December, 2007 was a relatively dry year compared to the last 15.
Thats according to Sakai Intermediate School science teacher and meteorologist Doug Olson, who has used his weather station to track a decade and a half of island weather.
December accounted for nearly one-third of the 35.97 inches of precipitation in 2007. The wettest day came Dec. 3 when 4.33 inches fell, the peak of a three-day downpour that swamped the island with 7.04 inches from Dec. 2-4.
June was the islands driest month with .84 inches of rain.
But 2007 was downright arid compared to 1997, when 61.79 inches of precipitation made it the wettest year of the last 15. Olsons data shows the 15-year average precipitation at 43.71, but the totals fluctuate dramatically from year to year. In 1999 5.106 inches of precipitation was fell but just 29.97 inches were recorded in 2000.
The average temperature for 2007 was 51.6 degrees, putting it just under the 15-year average of 52.48.
July 11 was the hottest day of the year at 94 degrees, contrasted with a low of 21 degrees recorded Jan. 12.
Like precipitation, Olson noted substantial temperature swings over the last 15 years. From 1993 to 1998 average temperatures ranged in the low to mid 50s with a high average of 55.5 degrees in 1999.
But in 2000 and 2001 the average temperature tumbled to 49.6 degrees and the highest average recorded since was 52.1 degrees in 2006.