West Nile virus is back in the news.
Centre Daily Times – October 5, 2018
With the exceptional amount of rain over the summer in our local area (over 20 inches during the past 3 months), there are more hospitable environments for mosquitos, the main carriers of the virus. The West Nile virus is most commonly spread to people by the bite of an infected mosquito. Mosquitoes become infected when they feed on infected birds. Infected mosquitoes then spread West Nile virus to people and other animals by biting them.
West Nile is not spread:
- By coughing, sneezing, or touching.
- By touching live animals.
- From handling live or dead infected birds. Avoid bare-handed contact when handling any dead animal. If you are disposing of a dead bird, use gloves or double plastic bags to place the carcass in a garbage can.
- Through eating infected birds or animals. Always follow instructions for fully cooking meat from either birds or animals.
Most people infected with the West Nile virus have no signs or symptoms.
About 20 percent of people develop a mild infection called West Nile fever. Common signs and symptoms include:
- Body aches
- Skin rash
- Once a week, empty and scrub, turn over, cover, or throw out items that hold water, such as tires, buckets, planters, toys, pools, birdbaths, flowerpots, or trash containers.
- Use insect repellent with one of the active ingredients below. When used as directed, EPA-registered insect repellents are proven safe and effective.
- Picaridin (known as KBR 3023 and icaridin outside the US)
- Oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE)
- Para-menthane-diol (PMD)
September was above normal for temperature with a monthly mean of 3.7 deg. F above normal. There were only two daily maximums at or above 90 deg F. The high for the month was 90.7 deg. F recorded on September 5. The low for the month was 42.4 deg F, recorded on September 30. There were 93 heating degree days.
September was extremely rainy with over 8.2 inches of rainfall recorded. This was 4.22 inches above normal for September and has contributed to a 13.79 inch surplus for 2018. The maximum rainfall in a single day was 2.33 inches recorded on September 10. There were 14 days of rain >.01 in, 11 >.1 in and 2 >1 in.
September 2018 Data
The outlook for October.
Seasonable temperatures and slightly above normal rainfall for central Pennsylvania.
We have four dogs now. We call them The Oreos Double Stuff.
This is Toby, our male Scottish Terrier, and is 3-years-old. He’s a bit of a kleptomaniac. He likes to steal shoes, gloves, etc. just to be chased. His other past time is barking at rabbits. He loves belly rubs. His dislikes are thunder and fireworks, and going to the vet. He’s shown in his favorite spot, under a bench on his bed.
This is Tillie, our female Scottish Terrier, who is also 3-years-old. She is the spokesdog of the group. Tillie will remind us when it’s mealtime, when to put on their lighted collars, and when our younger dogs are getting in trouble. She also serves as my alarm clock in the morning. One of her past times is chasing rabbits.
This is Trixie, our female West Highland Terrier. She likes to play tug-of-war and chasing her younger sibling. She also likes playing with our older Scotties. Right now, she is dealing with being a middle child. At roughly 20-months-old, she’s still a puppy at heart.
This is Tripper, our newest member of the family. He is a male West Highland Terrier and a spitfire. At 11-weeks-old, he’s already climbing stairs. He’s quite the talker as well. He likes to untie shoelaces and chasing his older sibling, Trixie.
Warm temperatures and normal rainfall expected for this Autumn.
Meteorological Summer is officially over. Here is a brief summary of Jun 1-Aug 31 in Stormstown, PA:
Number of Days Max T >= 90 F: 6
Number of Days Max T >= 95 F: 0
Max T: 91.3 – July 3, 2018
Min T: 43.5.0 – June7, 2018
Jun Dep from Normal: -1.0
Jul Dep from Normal: -0.7
Aug Dep from Normal: 1.3
Heating Degree Days: 131
Cooling Degree Days: 590
Jun Precip: 4.70 “, 0.84” above normal
Jul Precip: 9.14″, 5.68″ above normal
Aug Precip: 5.52″, 1.38″ above normal
August was a slightly warm month for temperature. The monthly mean was 1.3 deg. F above normal. There were only two daily maximums at or above 90 deg F. The high for the month was 90.8 deg. F recorded on August 29. The low for the month was 49.0 deg F, recorded on August 24. There were 17 heating degree days.
August was rainy, but lower than July, with over 5 inches of rainfall recorded. This was over 1.38 inches above normal for August and has contributed to a 9 inch surplus for 2018. There were 13 days of rain >.01 in, 9 >.1 in and 1 >1 in. Highest single day’s rainfall was 2.01 inches.
July was a normal month for temperature. The monthly mean was 0.7 deg. F below normal. There were only three daily maximums at or above 90 deg F. The high for the month was 91.3 deg. F recorded on July 3. The low for the month was 49.1 deg F, recorded on July 8. There were 37.9 heating degree days.
July was very rainy with over 9 inches of rainfall recorded. This was over 5.5 inches above normal for July and has contributed to an 8 inch surplus for 2018. There were 15 days of rain >.01 in, 13 >.1 in and 3 >1 in. Highest single day’s rainfall was 1.23 inches.
Stormstown July 2018 Weather Data
During the past 5 days, it has rained 4.27 inches in Stormstown, PA. That is 0.81 inches above normal for the month of July. So far, it has rained 7.53 inches this month. That’s 4.07 inches above normal. More rain is forecast before the end of July.
There is more to amateur radio than exchanging callsigns, signal reports, and the weather. One popular segment of amateur radio is the digital modes.
Besides the high frequency (HF) radio, and a PC with a soundcard (most have them), the main piece of hardware is a sound card interface. I currently use The Rigblaster Blue (shown at the top right in the image below).
It uses Bluetooth rather than audio cables to connect to the sound card on a PC. The Rigblaster Blue has a through microphone cable so the regular microphone may be used when not using the digital modes. An audio cable is then connected between the line out of the radio to the line in on the Rigblaster Blue. The final connection is made by pairing Bluetooth on the PC to The Rigblaster Blue. Then changing the sound card settings to the Rigblaster for input and output audio. There are other sound card interfaces available such as the Signalink.
I first started with PSK31, which is a highly-efficient data mode that lets you work long distances, even when you can barely hear the signal. PSK31 stands for Phase Shift Keying 31 baud (or 31 bits per second/bps). The characters are formed by changing the phase of the sound wave, not by using different tones. Once I got my hardware setup, as well as configured one of the available software programs (I use DigiPan), I was making regular contacts with Asia and Australia.
I recently set up my station to us WinLink 2000 with the RMS Express software. As many of my friends know, I can send and receive e-mails and National Traffic System (NTS) radiogram messages over the air, rather than use The Internet.
During disasters or other emergencies, radiograms are used to communicate information critical to saving lives or property or to inquire about the health or welfare of a disaster victim. Routine messages are regularly sent to test the system and for operator practice.
Our Scotty, Toby Two, has had a rough few weeks. From June 24 until July 6, fireworks were launched almost every night. During the first few times, he would run to an enclosed space such as the laundry room, his crate, our dog’s toy box, or under a chair in my office. Now he looks for me and lies down in a dog bed next to me in my office or in the living room. Toby Two doesn’t like thunder either, and he exhibits the same behavior when a storm passes through.
Last October, The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania rewrote the 80-year-old fireworks law, making them easier to purchase. That is what made it worse this year as far as Toby Two is concerned.