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Update on weather/nav course


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We're trying for January 7th and 21st as dates for the weather/nav course at the Topsfield Barn. I'm awaiting word on the availability from Suzanne Hutchinson.

There is now a list of people who have expressed interest in this - it's about 15+ people.

No special equipment is required. If you have a barometer, this could add a bit of fun. An assignment will be to create a weather diary between the 7th and 21st to record conditions and we'll discuss what you saw at the second meeting.

Here's a "teaser" for the course (taken from "Weather Forecasting" by Michael Hodgson":


Grizzled outdoorspeople swear by the bubbles-in-the coffee method of forecasting. Perhaps this explains why so many of the them spend hours staring into a steaming mug of java. Remarkably, this method does seem to work, and is attributed to the way pressure affects the meniscus, or surface tension, of the coffee. In high pressure the surface is rounded, like a globe. In low pressure the surface is concave, so naturally bubbles head to the highest point on the coffee's surface, the edges of the cup. For coffee forecasting to work, the brewed coffee must be strong. Instant coffee won't do the job, since there aren't enough oils to create satisfacotry surface tension. Pour the coffee into a mug (vertical sides work best; venerable Sierra cups don't work as well). Give the coffee a good stir or two and watch the bubbles form. If they scatter this way and that and then form near the center, fair weather. If they cling to the sides of the cup, a low-pressure system is setting in, and rain is possible."

Coffee prognostication is fair game for a weather diary.

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