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Today’s Almanac – August 19, 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 rest of August and early September:
  • Tuesday, 8/20 – Full moon.
  • Wednesday, 8/28 – Last quarter moon.
  • Thursday, 9/5 – New moon.
  • Sunday, 9/8 – The moon passes less than a degree from Spica and less than a half degree from Venus just after sunset, with Saturn a little to the left and above the moon.
  • Thursday, 9/12 – First 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 that this listing represents only initial daily forecasts. Click on this link for a full-sized map showing these hazards:
  • Red flag warnings – Northern California, western Montana, and part of Idaho.
  • Flashflood watches and warnings – Most of Utah in the West, most of Georgia and parts of Florida and Alabama in the Southeast.

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

Tropical Cyclones

The National Hurricane Center is not tracking any tropical systems at present.

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

In Memoriam

On August 18, 1980, William Birdsell, 51, superintendent at Cuyahoga Valley, died of a heart attack at desk.

On August 19, 1959, George Sholly, superintendent at Badlands, died of a heart attack while working at his desk.

Click here for a full listing.

From The Morning Report Archives

Today’s incident from the Morning Report archives:

Mount Rainier NP – A small plane carrying six people crashed on the south slope of Mount Rainier on July 2, 1990, killing all aboard. Search planes found the wreckage near the mountain's 12,000-foot level about five hours after it disappeared from air traffic radar. The Cessna 210 was owned by Aerowest Aviation and had been chartered by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association; the passengers were all cowboys flying from Oregon to a rodeo in Alberta.


Ruby on RailsRuby: 1.8.7, Rails: 1.1.6