Good morning! Yeah, it’s Friday! Two weeks to St. Patrick’s Day. Partly sunny and 23 degrees in Delmar. There is a west-northwest breeze at 11 mph. The current wind chill is 12. With the sun it doesn’t feel nearly that cold, at least when you are moving.

Today will be scattered snow showers, mainly after 2pm. Partly sunny, with a high of 32 degrees at 2pm. Seven degrees below normal. West wind 10 to 15 mph. Chance of precipitation is 50%. Total daytime snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible. A year ago, we had snow and a high of 29 degrees. The record high of 64 was set in 2002. 10.9 inches of snow fell back in 1994.

Cold day especially with that wind, but warmer then the weather we had back in 2016. Still those bright blue skies are a nice way to kick off the weekend. Warmer temperatures with spring around the corner is a good thing. Still a fair bit of snow in the Adirondacks but it looks like the snowmobile trails are rapidly turning to mud and closing or are already closed. We might get one more big snow storm but I think winter is mostly dead.

The sun will set at 5:48 pm with dusk around 6:16 pm, which is 1 minutes and 13 seconds later than yesterday. Today will have 11 hours and 22 minutes of daylight, an increase of 2 minutes and 52 seconds over yesterday.

Tonight will be scattered snow showers, mainly before 11pm. Mostly cloudy, with a low of 10 degrees at 6am. 12 degrees below normal. Wind chill values as low as -5. Northwest wind 14 to 17 mph, with gusts as high as 29 mph. Chance of precipitation is 30%. New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible. In 2016, it got down to 18 degrees with periods of snow. The record low of -20 occurred back in 1950.

Back in 1972, an airplane crashes in suburban Albany, off Holmesdale Ave in Albany (near Colvin Avenue and Washington Ave). A regional carrier, Mohawk Airlines Flight 405 crashes as a result of a control malfunction and insufficient training in emergency procedures. Also today in 1873, U.S. Congress enacts the Comstock Law, making it illegal to send any “obscene, lewd, or lascivious” books through the mail. And in 1991, an amateur video captures the beating of Rodney King by Los Angeles police officers. That was novel back then but much too common now with cellphone cameras.

I was thinking half seriously about getting a snowmobile this year, but I don’t see it as something I would get much use out of because locally in the Heldeberg Mountains we don’t get much snow anymore and I don’t want to have to drive all the way to the Adirondacks to ride. The local trails have been all but abandoned over the past five years due to the lack of snow. We could once again have a cold and snowy winter but that point they seem increasingly rare. I don’t like driving on snow-covered roads, and wouldn’t want to stay at some motel in the Adirondacks or Tug Hill. I have too much money in a savings account that isn’t barring enough interest to be worthwhile, so I’m thinking of buying a certificate of deposit instead of a sled. By autumn, I should have money replenished as additional savings that I bought as a C.D. that I could buy the sled, if I think winter looks good. Spring is better time though to buy. I could buy more stocks but I think that the market is due for a correction and I don’t want to tie up further funds while the market recovers. A higher fed rate would help.

I am thinking about building that box for storing my solar panel again. In 2014, I almost bought the plywood to build it, but I couldn’t decide if I wanted to get a water-resistant floorboard treated with chemicals, plywood or chipboard. I think I’m going to go with plywood — which is the middle range of toxicity and cost — and I think it will hold up find for the occasional dampness the solar panel might be exposed too. It’s not going to be left out except when camping, and in heavy rain I would pull it under the tarp. While I would have to find the diagrams I sketched out, basically it would fold out like a pizza box on hinges, but provide safety for the panel when being hauled out to camp in my truck. It would also provide a secure place to tie it to a tree when I away from camp. Maybe build in some handles to make it handle better. I would use quick releases to unplug it quickly from the solar controller mounted in the truck.

This weekend I want to study the low-voltage disconnect and figure out where I have space under the hood of my truck to mount it. That’s easier to say then done, but I think I will find somewhere. Then I need to get a high-amperage battery-grade cable to connect between the accessory marine battery on the voltage disconnect. Then I will connect all the accessory loads to that. I also got to run a ground wire, and the two or three wires that will connect the override/voltage switch into the cab. I think I will remove the battery isolator override switch, which I never use, and was only instead to help with providing additional voltage to the starting battery with cold starting — but that has proven unnecessary. That will allow me to use two of those wires, so I will only have to run one more wire to control module.

As previously noted, there are 2 weeks until St. Patrick’s Day when the sun will be setting at 7:05 pm with dusk at 7:33 pm (Daylight Savings Time). On that day in 2016, we had fog, rain, thunderstorm and temperatures between 61 and 38 degrees. Typically, the high temperature is 45 degrees. We hit a record high of 75 back in 1990. Let’s hope that the luck of the Irish means we have nice weather that day.

Albany, NY Plane Crashes Into Houses On Landing Attempt, Mar 3, 1972

Today on March 3, 1972 in Albany ...

"Mohawk Airlines Flight 405, on a landing path for Albany County Airport, hit one house and crashed through another house in Albany Friday night, killing at least 17 persons of the 47 aboard the flight."

"The plane was making its final approach to the east-west runway when it hit the house at 48 Edgewood Ave., spun and crashed through the front of the house at 50 Edgewood Ave."

"The force of the crash twisted the house off its foundation, dropping the front of the house into the basement and lifting the rear section about four to five feet off the ground."

Map: Perch River Wildlife Management Area

Map: Perch River Wildlife Management Area

This 7862-acre WMA is located in central Jefferson County five miles northwest of the City of Watertown. State Route #12 runs through the lower third of the Perch River marsh and has a parking area. The primary access points for recreationists are along the Vaadi, Dog Hill, and Allen roads (see map for additional access).

Perch River is dominated by its wetland and open water habitats but also offers woodland, early succession, and grassland habitats. The area is well known for its waterfowl and furbearer populations and also supports deer, upland small game, and variety of unique non-game species. The grasslands are mowed periodically in late summer to inhibit brush growth and maintain the diversity of habitat that make Perch River so attractive to wildlife. Water levels in the impoundments are managed to provide stable open water and emergent marsh habitat for the waterfowl and other water-dependent bird and furbearer species found on the area.

Year of the Record High Temperature

The climate in Albany is most quickly warming in the winter and spring. Very few recent high temperature record exist for meteorological summer -- the months of June, July August.

As of March 3, 2017, there are:
20 record highs in meteorological winter (December/January/February), dating from 2000 or later
26 record highs in meteorological spring (March/April/May), dating from 2000 or later
3 record highs in meteorological summer (June/July/August), dating from 2000 or later
10 record highs in meteorological autumn (September/October/November), dating from 2000 or later