Archive for August, 2012

This morning at 5:30 the eye of TS Isaac (now a depression) passed over my home. We have had only 1.25 inches of rain since last evening. I still expect bands of rain and storms through Saturday noon; leaving about another inch of rainfall in the area. It has never rained hard, so most has broken the hard baked surface and is now soaking into the earth. The largest rain-field in now up in central Missouri. The low pressure center now near the Missouri border and still moving Northwards. The wide and ragged eye is in NW Arkansas:


The storm center


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All of Arkansas, except the extreme NW is now covered in TS Isaac’s clouds and rain has just crept north of the Arkansas River; heavy rains to begin tonight and continue tomorrow:

cloud cover at 3 PM CDT on 8/30

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Tropical Storm Isaac is moving slowly into SE Arkansas but bearing NW towards the mountain region of Arkansas. Early outer band clouds have reaches well into Arkansas. This is a large and rain-filled storm. Flash Flood Watches have been issued in advance of the coming storm. At this point in time (10:00 AM Thursday) it would appear that some out bands will begin reach us by late tonight; Friday (Isaac will be upon Harrison, AR) by 2:00 PM Friday. This will be a big rain event with gusty winds and Saturday will still bring Thunderstorms due to un stable air. The total rain expected will be generally 3-5 inches with locally higher amounts of 6+ inches in localized areas. See maps below:

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Confidence is growing that this storm will track west of yesterday’s projections. Isaac will, by today’s update pass over Fayetteville and Joplin and then turn NE towards the Great Lakes:


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Isaac is now has sustained winds of  75 MPH with gusts to 85 MPH. It’s greatest potential is a huge rainmaker. See below for rainfall projections; NW Arkansas is slated for 1-2 inches of rain on this path, much more in eastern Arkansas:

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Tropical Storm Isaac (soon to become Hurricane Issac) has, in the last 24 hours, made a westward jog. The current course will move it through Louisiana and into Arkansas. This will not end the drought but is capable of dropping 2-5 inches of rain across most of Arkansas over next weekend. I will keep this BLOG up to date on its progress. Of course, I hope it does not do much damage along the gulf coast:

The computer models almost all converge on Arkansas:

current path

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This a picture of a red-tail hawk on a Telephone a utility pole near Highway 327 and County Road 20; right as the sun went down yesterday:

This is probably the most common hawk in North America. If you’ve got sharp eyes you’ll see several individuals on almost any long car ride, anywhere. Red-tailed Hawks soar above open fields, slowly turning circles on their broad, rounded wings. Other times you’ll see them atop telephone poles, eyes fixed on the ground to catch the movements of a vole or a rabbit, or simply waiting out cold weather before climbing a thermal updraft into the sky.

  • Size & Shape

    Red-tailed Hawks are large hawks with typical Buteo proportions: very broad, rounded wings and a short, wide tail. Large females seen from a distance might fool you into thinking you’re seeing an eagle. (Until an actual eagle comes along.)

  • Color Pattern

    Most Red-tailed Hawks are rich brown above and pale below, with a streaked belly and, on the wing underside, a dark bar between shoulder and wrist. The tail is usually pale below and cinnamon-red above, though in young birds it’s brown and banded. “Dark-phase” birds are all chocolate-brown with a warm red tail. “Rufous-phase” birds are reddish-brown on the chest with a dark belly.

  • Behavior

    You’ll most likely see Red-tailed Hawks soaring in wide circles high over a field. When flapping, their wingbeats are heavy. In high winds they may face into the wind and hover without flapping, eyes fixed on the ground. They attack in a slow, controlled dive with legs outstretched – much different from a falcon’s stoop.

  • Habitat

    The Red-tailed Hawk is a bird of open country. Look for it along fields and perched on telephones poles, fenceposts, or trees standing alone or along edges of fields.



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I have seen several Yellow Warblers, Hooded, Black Throated Greens, Yellow Throated, and Chestnut Sided warblers in the last few days, migrating in a group; but was unable to capture even one of them in decent photo; however my local resident Common Yellow Throat Warbler was been available for photos; she is a female:


Common Yellowthroat warbler female



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Saw this beautiful bird at 8 AM; photo taken with a Canon 7D and a Canon 400 Lens. they seem more spread out; but there are more than usual.

This year’s unusually dry weather has hampered the growth of crops planted for doves. That means fewer high-quality dove fields in a year of peak participation. In addition, the drought has resulted in an early corn harvest, which will likely spread out the birds instead of concentrating them on a few fields.

I was on Murray Road about 4 miles west of Parthenon:

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LITTLE ROCK, AR -(WMC-TV) – The Arkansas Department of Health confirms the first death of the year caused by the West Nile Virus.

In Arkansas, there have been 15 reports of the virus. Five cases have been reported in Tennessee. And Mississippi has seen 64 cases.

The virus is transmitted by infected mosquitoes. The number of infections usually peaks in mid-August.

“It is not clear why we are seeing more activity than in recent years,” said Susan Weinstein, DVM, MPH, state public health veterinarian at the Arkansas Department of Health. “Regardless of the reasons for the increase, people should be aware we have West Nile virus in our state and take action to protect themselves and their family from mosquitoes.”

Here are some tips from the health department to prevent the virus:

  • Wear DEET-containing mosquito repellants according to label directions
  •  Eliminate standing water where mosquitoes can lay eggs. Check properties for objects – including old tires, flower pots and drip plates, tin cans, buckets, and children’s toys – that collect rainwater and either drain or dispose of the water
  • Install or repair windows and door screens
  • Empty, clean and refill birdbaths and small wading pools weekly
  • Empty and refill pets’ water bowls every few days
  • Repair failed septic systems
  • Repair leaky outside faucets
  • Clean rain gutters and down spouts
  • Secure swimming pool covers tightly and remove any standing water after rainfall
  • Store wheelbarrows, canoes and boats upside down
  • Stock ornamental lawn ponds with fish (Gambusia) that eat mosquito larvae (Gambusia fish are available FREE from the Vector Control Program)

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