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Christmas Comet and Calm Weather for Awhile

Good Saturday bloggers,

We have a calm weather pattern through around Tuesday. Then, a more active pattern is likely. We will look at that below. The calm weather is timed well to view some interesting astronomical events this weekend.

CHRISTMAS COMET, AKA 46P:

To get a good look at Comet 46P, you’ll want to find the darkest possible viewing area, where the night sky is free of bright city lights.

It will appear just above the eastern horizon on the 16th, soaring between the V-shaped ‘horns’ of the constellation Taurus, EarthSky says.

At its closest point, Comet 46P will be just 7.1 million miles away (11.5 million kilometers) – or, about 30 times the distance between Earth and the moon, according to the University of Maryland.

While that might sound far away, researchers say it will be the 10th closest approach of a comet in modern history.

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GEMINID METEOR SHOWER:

We are past peak on this, but you can still see some meteors the next couple of nights. Although, tonight will be a bit tough as high clouds move overhead.

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We had a gorgeous sunrise as there was a deck of high clouds on the eastern horizon. Those clouds were due to a storm that almost brought rain to the Thursday Chiefs game and was bringing rain to eastern Missouri this morning. It is amazing how different the weather is on the other side of Missouri. This storm will spin away, leaving all locations with some great weekend weather. Highs will be 50°-55° with sunshine and a light wind. Tonight we will see more clouds as a weak system moves by. These clouds will keep lows up to 30°-35°.

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MONDAY-TUESDAY: The jet stream will be split in to two streams. The northern branch will be mostly west to east along the USA-Canadian border. This keeps the cold air bottled up in Canada along with no major storm systems. There will be a weak southern branch that has a weak system over the Southern Plains. This weak system will bring a a few showers to the southern Plains. Our area will be dry and mild.

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WEDNESDAY-FRIDAY: The main jet stream will take a major dive south, gobbling up the southern branch. This will form a major storm in the eastern 1/2 of the USA. Our area will be on the western edge of this storm with wind, some rain and perhaps some wet snow. This storm is not really tapping the cold air, so it will be mostly a rain storm. We could see some snowflakes with rain showers. If the storm forms a bit faster, we could see more rain and perhaps snow. We will be following this through the week.

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Have a great weekend.

Jeff Penner

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