Pat Shingleton: "Heat Bursts"
From the mid-west to the Ohio Valley, it’s the season for “heat-bursts.” A weather phenomena that generates 100 M.P.H. blasts of hot air. In Portugal on July 6, 1949 meteorological observers reported a temperature increase from 100 to 158 degrees F in two minutes. In the early evening of June 15, 1960 at Lake Whitney, Texas, the temperature rose to 140 degrees F in a few minutes with winds of 80 to 100 miles per hour. A nearby cotton field was completely scorched and car radiators boiled over. A heat burst traditionally forms after sunset as warm, moist air that feeds a thunderstorm cuts off and the storm collapses. The rain in the top of the thunderhead drops into cool, dry air becomes compressed and hits the ground as a hot dry wind. What makes the heat burst so unusual is the high rate of speed at which the downdraft travels. Concluding with a story related t o the heat... Carlo Carretto became a monk at age 44 and lived a life of prayer in the Arabian desert. His book, “Letters from the Desert” tells how he rediscovered God’s glory in the starry skies of Arabia. One excerpt notes: ”How dear the stars are to me, I know them by their names, I distinguish their color, size, position and beauty. I know my way around them and from them I calculate the time without a watch.” George Washington Carver wrote: “I love to think of nature as an unlimited broadcasting system through which God speaks to us every hour, if we only tune in.”
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