Be Snow Emergency Street Smart

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We all want the snowplows to do their job tomorrow so remember, if you're heading out of town, don't leave your vehicles parked on residential streets. The City's Snow Website goes live during snow emergencies. There's even a page for general snow removal info. The Snow Desk Hotline is 734.994.2959.

Save Energy at Home

The weather is getting colder, and it is becoming more and more apparent that my house is not very energy efficient. This concerns me because I am interested in environmental issues. And more importantly, I want my utilities bills to be cheap. So what is one to do? Well, one should go to the library and find some handy books on how to save energy (and money) at home. Here’s what I’m reading:

The Energy Saving House
Fun book from French authors who work with the eco-centre Terre Vivante. Very technical at times, but very interesting. Do you know what a negawatt is?

Consumer Guide to Home Energy Savings
This tried and true best-seller has several editions. The 9th is the most recent. The book has lots of practical advice, and a lot of the fixes are quick and relatively cheap and easy. Just my style.

Katrina remembered

On August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf coast. It is classified as one of the most devastating storms in American history, destroying communities in Louisiana and causing the break in the levies in New Orleans. Within two days, 80% of the city was underwater, trapping thousands of people. The death toll was more than 1,300 people.

I'm Thirsty

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If your trees could talk, they'd tell you they need a lot of watering right now. The bright sunny days and lack of rain are testing the timber of Tree Town trees ~ even mature trees will nees some help this year. The city's Tree Planting Guide has a good review on watering trees. When you mulch, remember to keep the mulch from touching the tree trunk or piling too high.

Rain Drops Keep Falling On My Head

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When the weather turns blustery and sometimes severe, do you know what to do to protect yourself? Learn more about storms and what to do in storm-related emergencies by going to the Washtenaw County MSU Extension web site’s Emergency Management page. Their Natural Disaster information includes a Disaster Response notebook with advice on what to do as soon as the power goes out after a storm, the safe use of dry ice, maintaining an emergency food supply and more. Don't forget to check AADL's favorite weather sites for more weather related information. The next time the sky turns dark and raindrops begin to fall you'll know what to do if the weather becomes severe.

Tornado Outbreak!

This year’s tornado season may be one for the record books. By June 10 at least 1,520 tornadoes had been reported. This, of course, was before the June 11th tornado that hit an Iowa Boy Scout camp killing four scouts.

To learn more about tornadoes and their impact read, F5: Devastation, Survival, and the Most Violent Tornado Outbreak of the Twentieth Century that tells of a 1974 tornado outbreak covering 13 states. Big Weather: Chasing Tornadoes in the Heart of America spotlight the people who chase tornadoes. View Tornado Intercept to see what happens when a meteorologist and an IMAX filmmaker drive into the heart of a tornado in a specially designed 8,000-pound vehicle of steel plating and bullet proof glass.

Flood Facts from FEMA

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Local governments throughout Washtenaw County, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality and FEMA will host a Flood Risk Information Open House for residents on Wednesday, April 30, 4:30 - 6:30 p.m. at the Ypsilanti Township Board Room. County residents will have an opportunity to review a recently completed preliminary Flood Insurance Study (FIS) and its accompanying preliminary Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs). Take advantage of this opportunity to learn more about flood risk and hazard mitigation.

What Way Will Woody Wander in the Weather?

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Local celeb Woody the Woodchuck will give us her annual Groundhog Day weather prediction this Saturday, Feb. 2nd, at the Howell Nature Center promptly at 8:15 a.m. Woody boasts a 7 out of 9 record on predicting whether the weather will stay wintery for six more weeks. Come for Woody and stay for the pancake breakfast and celeb photo op with Woody. We know Jamie will be there!

Snowflakes, snowflakes, everywhere!

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Sure, they’re in the air, but they’re also in books and films right here at the library. Local artist Thomas L. Clark, aka Dr. Snowflake, makes the loveliest snowflakes! Check out his books to see intricate examples of the magic you can create with just paper and scissors: The Tree in the Garden, A Twinkling on the Roof, and Of Gifts and Days, among others. He also has a video with demonstrations.

For instructions there’s Paper Snowflakes For All Ages, and for the science oriented there’s Snowflakes, Sugar and Salt: Crystals Up Close and Snowflake Bentley (also on dvd), the story of a scientist who photographed snowflakes to study their formation. Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

Climate Change Report

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The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has released a summary of the Climate Change 2007 report. The report details how climate change will affect every region of the earth. The full 1,572-page report will be available on the IPCC web site.

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