Okay, that's only partially true...Me, Hubby, and Baby went, but Grandma and Grandpa didn't make it. Here's what happened...
It started with a call (or text, I'm not sure, but some type of communication) from my sister, bringing my parents' attention to an impending snow storm in New Jersey, preparing to strike at noon on Monday. Well, the trouble was, that is when their flight home was scheduled for! This "alert" from my sister came on Sunday morning, sometime around 10, I think. Now, my parents had been watching the situation. As my dad said during this trip--"It wouldn't be vacation if I wasn't watching the weather channel!"--which is how all of our family vacations went when I was a kid. We didn't watch cartoons on Nickelodeon or the Disney Channel, oh no, we woke up and fell asleep to the Weather Channel. So, without further adieu, here is what the Weather Channel is saying about the weather right now:
Before I knew it my dad was getting the flight moved to just a few hours away, 2:30 in the afternoon on Sunday. And the nice lady at the airline was going to waive the change fee because of the weather. I was irate! I know, that sounds kind of crazy, but I was seriously mad. See, the last time my parents visited, they had left early needing to get back to work, and I felt like they were just leaving early to get back to things at home. Why wouldn't they want to stay in Houston a few extra days?! Look at our forecast for the week:
I get it, but I was still very sad to have them leave a day early! It felt like we didn't get to do anything! (Although 7 hours at NASA is nothing to ignore!) So, they came over to our apartment, they kissed Baby and Hubby goodbye, and I drove them up to the airport to head home. And I told them I hoped it snowed at least a foot or else I would really feel mad...
And today when I talked to them it was merely flurrying. Now, that was before the strong snow was supposed to hit around 4pm (of course things got bumped all around, like they do with weather forecasts--and don't go slinging mud at the forecasters; they do their best with current models, which are only getting better as technology and data get better!) So....I guess we'll see what the tally is tomorrow. Hopefully, it's a lot so I feel like their trip was worth it!! But I do understand the feeling of needing to get home...I just wanted one more day to relax and hang out with them, you know?!
So, Hubby, Baby and I went to the zoo anyway, and had a good time. But we were missing our travel buddies. I know they'll be back soon! And I promise we will make it to the Museum of Natural Science and the Zoo then! Hopefully they are warm and safe...and their power stays on.... Another story for another time! :)
We had a Houston highway primer yesterday--today let's learn about weather!
As you can see, there is cool air over Canada, and the air over the Atlantic Ocean is quite warm comparatively. This creates something of a vacuum when it comes to what the air will do in this situation. Warm air wants to move up, and cool air wants to fill in the area that the warm air has just vacated. With me so far?... This is called convection and you can see it happen when you boil water on the stove and pour in your pasta--it sort of makes a circle in the pot from top to bottom in the water. When the pasta gets warm, it rises to the surface of the water; then, once it cools a little, it drops back to the bottom, and this continues in a "circle, in a hoop that never ends." (Catch that one, Disney fans?)
Now, in our case, the cold air from Canada is pushing its way over to the ocean as that warmer air rises up. This creates what is called a low pressure system. The air starts rising into the upper parts of the atmosphere where any moisture that was in the air starts to condense (as it cools off, it goes from being water vapor--a gas--to liquid water). It condenses like water condenses on a cold glass on hot, humid summer day, except in the sky it condenses on tiny particles of dust or salt that have managed to get swept up in the air. When the water vapor condenses on these particles (scientifically called "condensation nuclei") they form clouds! And if enough moisture/water vapor is pulled up in the convection currents from the air masses that are different temperatures, you can get precipitation. If the air mass is cold enough, it can be snow, like they're seeing in the northeast today.
This storm (so-named Juno by the Weather Channel) is pulling in a ton of moisture and heat from the ocean water--mainly the Gulf Stream--and cold air from Canada, making it a very strong (as you can see from those white lines) low pressure system. It is strong and big because of just the right conditions.
Does that all make sense? If you haven't learned about weather before, that's a lot to take in, but it is so interesting to learn about if you're wondering what is making it a blah rainy day or what causes thunder and lightning! Let me know if you need clarification in the comments! I love talking about this stuff!