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Today’s Almanac – August 2, 2013

National Park News

The Skies

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.

Night Skies

An update on the moon, planets and night skies for the month of August:

  • Venus – The planet shines brilliantly (- 3.9 magnitude) in the evening sky at twilight.
  • Jupiter – The planet is bright in the morning sky in the constellation Gemini.
  • Mars – Mars appears only a few degrees from Jupiter in the pre-dawn sky in early August.
  • Mercury – The planet will be about ten degrees above the horizon in the east-northeast at the beginning of the month and will be at its brightest (- 1.0 magnitude).
  • Saturn – The planet is in the constellation Virgo in the evening sky.
  • Meteors – The Perseid meteor shower, which runs from July 17th to August 24th, will be at its peak (about 100 meteors per hour) on August 12th. The moon won’t be in the sky, so viewing should be good.

Calendar of celestial events for the month of August:
  • Saturday, 8/3 – The waning crescent moon appears with Jupiter, Mars and Mercury in the pre-dawn sky.
  • Tuesday, 8/6 – The moon is new (dark).
  • Friday, 8/9 – A thin crescent moon will pass to the lower left of Venus at dusk.
  • Monday, 8/12 – Peak day for Perseid meteor shower. The crescent moon will be between Saturn and the bright star Spica about an hour after sunset, with Venus not far away.
  • Wednesday, 8/14 – First quarter moon.
  • Tuesday, 8/20 – Full moon.
  • Wednesday, 8/28 – Last quarter 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

The Weather

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:
  • Red flag warnings – East central Alaska, southwest Utah.
  • Heat advisories and excessive heat warnings – A large area centered on the Texas-Louisiana border.
  • Flashflood watches and warnings – Southeast Kansas and southwest Missouri, central Colorado, northwest Montana.

For additional information on severe weather, go to the NOAA Storm Prediction Center at .

Tropical Cyclones

The National Hurricane Center is tracking one tropical cyclone:
  • Hurricane Gil – The hurricane, with winds of 85 mph, is in the Pacific Ocean and moving west. It does not threaten any land areas.

For additional information on tropical cyclones, go to the National Hurricane Center web page at

In Memoriam

On August 2, 1950, Theodore McCarrel, 50, a fire control aide at Dinosaur, died of pneumonia stemming from overexerting himself while fighting a forest fire a month earlier.

On August 2, 2008, Jack Sweitzer, 70, a trails VIP at Chattahoochee River, died of a heart attack while clearing a trail of downed trees.

Click here for a full listing.

From The Morning Report Archives

Today’s incident from the Morning Report archives:

Delaware Water Gap NRA – On the evening of April 28, 1990, rangers learned that a 30-year-old Georgia woman had fallen about 150 feet down a steep slope along one of the larger falls on Adams Creek. The park’s search and rescue team reached the area around 8 p.m. and found the woman in a bowl-like area at the bottom of a steep vertical cliff. She was suffering from hypothermia after over four hours in cold water and had two broken vertebrae, a fractured ankle, and numerous lacerations. Rescue efforts were hampered by the terrain and the woman’s medical condition, but she was finally extricated and brought out six hours later following a very difficult rope rescue. Local paramedics transported her by ambulance and helicopter to a hospital in Allentown. Team members were cited for their “sheer determination and skill” in bringing the rescue to a successful conclusion.


Ruby on RailsRuby: 1.8.7, Rails: 1.1.6