天气预报的重要性 The importance of weather prediction
World Meteorological Day
Did you check the weather forecast today? Does it look like rain? Will it turn colder? What's the outlook for the weekend? These may be some of the most frequently asked questions anywhere. Given our reliance on weather prediction, let's tip the rain hat to the world's weather experts on World Meteorological Day, celebrated each March 23 by the United Nation's World Meteorological Organization (WMO).
The 2022 theme for World Meteorological Day is 'Early Warning and Early Action. Hydrometeorological and Climate Information for Disaster Risk Reduction.' That's a mouthful, but it essentially boils down to the importance of predicting high-precipitation weather events and mitigating or preventing the damage caused by them.
Worldwide, floods cause more than $40 billion in damage each year. They're the most common type of natural disaster. In the United States flash floods claim more lives than tornadoes, hurricanes, or lightning. But with accurate predictions and appropriate warning systems, people living in an area likely to flood can know the severity of upcoming threats and plan accordingly. Thanks to the study of hydrometeorology, forecasts can predict the impact days and even weeks in advance. Long-term projections can even give an idea of what's coming several months from now. And we thought that weather app was just to tell us whether or not we'll need an umbrella.
Happy anniversary to the National Park Service!
On the National Park Service's Founders Day, we're here on the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona peering out at the stunning vista. Can you see the rectangular hole in the canyon wall near the top of the image? That's Angels Window. Brave hikers can make their way up to the trail above it, but the window itself is best viewed from various points along the North Rim. Far down below is the Colorado River. Beginning about 6 million years ago, it gradually carved downward through countless layers of sedimentary, igneous, and metamorphic rock. The Colorado and its tributary streams continue to deepen and widen the Grand Canyon even today.
The first national park, not only in the US, but also in the world, was Yellowstone, which was designated as a park in 1872. It was followed by Sequoia, Yosemite, and Mt. Rainier. While the Grand Canyon seems like an obvious choice for a national park, land and mining moguls kept it from becoming protected as a park for years. It finally became a national park in 1919, three years after the National Park Service was created on August 25, 1916. Each year on August 25, Founders Day is celebrated in all the national parks, where entrance fees are waived in honor of the occasion.
The last thing seen by Wile E. Coyote
We'd say, 'Don't look down,' but that'd kind of be missing the point: Verticality is what put Toroweap Overlook on the map. Situated on the Grand Canyon's elevated north rim, it offers an unmatched view down a sheer 3,000-foot drop straight to the Colorado riverbed.
It's just one of the payoffs for those who take the road less traveled to the remote North Rim—only about 10% of park visitors. Since the 'other side' is about 1,000 feet higher on average than the touristy South Rim, its climate is chillier and given to harsher weather, so it is typically open only from today, May 15, to October 15.