Tag Archives: weather

Snow day

Today was a snow day here in Northern Virginia so I got the day off of school where I work.  We were supposed to get walloped with over a foot but it turned out to only be about 5 inches of very wet and heavy snow.  The daylight hours were above freezing so even though it came down fairly constantly it compacted and didn’t seem like we had as much as we probably did get or would have gotten had it been a drier snow.

This was our first big snow in two years so I decided it was time to create some more snow dyed fabric to add to my quilting stash.  I put a few yards of white fabric in soda ash to soak and mixed up some green and blue dyes.  I was thinking it would be nice to make something that looked like water for some underwater animals I want to applique.

Snow dyeing is a lot like making a giant snow cone.  In the bathtub I put a big plastic bin and on the rim I place a wooden frame with a piece of screen stretched over it.  Next comes the soaked fabric all bunched up and then an entire bucket of snow packed on top of the fabric.  On top of the snow I pour the mixed dye.  As the dye melts through the snow it hits the fabric at different rates and gives a tie dyed effect to the fabric.  It is a lot of fun because the results are so serendipitous.

After about 24 hours or long enough for the fabric to warm up (dye sets better in warmer temperatures) I rinse out the fabric until the dye no longer bleeds out and then wash it with some fixative in the washing machine and put it in the dryer.  I love taking it out of the dryer to iron the wrinkles out and see the final product.

blue and green dye

blue and green dye

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The weather in South Africa

I have already told you it is almost summer in South Africa.  Do you think it will be very hot there?

They use a different measure for temperature than we do in the USA.  They use Celsius where we use Fahrenheit to measure the temperature.

In Fahrenheit 32 degrees is considered “freezing” or when water freezes and 212 degrees is considered “boiling” or when water boils.  In Celsius zero is the degree used for freezing and 100 degrees is boiling.  In 1954 some scientists changed this definition, just a little bit, to “standardize” it around the world but for our purposes 0 and 100 work well.  See, standardizing things internationally is always happening in the scientific and geographic communities.  The USA is one of the few countries left that still uses the Fahrenheit measurements.  When I was a teenager the US Government tried to get everyone to change the standards of measurement but Americans did not want to do that.

There is a third way to measure temperature.  Do you know what it is called?  How would you use your computer to find out?  How do you know the computer is giving you the correct information?

I can look at the weather forecast for South Africa and see that the high temperature on Sunday it is supposed to be 31  degrees C. in Centurion, South Africa.  Can you find out how to change that into Fahrenheit?  How hot will it be?

The hemispheres and seasons

South Africa is a country in the Southern Hemisphere of the earth.  That means it is south of the equator which is the imaginary line that divides the earth in half around the middle.  The equator goes around the largest portion of the earth.

Another imaginary line runs through South Africa.  It is called the Tropic of Capricorn.  It is the spot on the earth where the sun is directly overhead at 12 noon on December 21 which is the beginning of summer in the Southern Hemisphere, that date is their summer solstice.  The Northern Hemisphere has a line where the sun is directly overhead on their summer solsitice which is June 21, it is called the Tropic of Cancer.  June 21 also happens to be Mrs. Gibson’s birthday, if you are taking notes 🙂

Do you know where to find a map of the earth? Can you find one on a computer?  How do you know the map is showing you the correct information?  Can anyone just draw a map and post it on the Internet?

Can you find the continent of Africa on the map?  Can you find the country of South Africa on the map?  How about finding the equator and the Tropic of Capricorn?

When it is winter in the USA it is summer in South Africa?

What would it be in South Africa if it was fall in the USA?

What season is it in South Africa right now?  Should Mrs. Gibson pack her suitcase with clothes for warm weather or clothes for cool weather?