Cape Town Lunar Eclipse – touch and go

There’s a Lunar Eclipse – a BLOOD MOON! eclipse, nogal [audience gasps] – later this week: the longest lunar eclipse THIS CENTURY! [audience gasps again] (so far, anyway) and Cape Town is one of the best places to see it from.

If the weather plays ball, that is.

I was aware of this and had set a reminder on my calendar some time ago (for Wednesday: 54 hours apparently being my warning period of choice), but that was preempted by an email from my Dad. He’ll also be able to see the eclipse from the UK, but he’ll have a shorter window in which to view it because of the time of the moonrise and he’ll also face some daylight issues: it’s still light at 21:21 there, which is the time of the maximum eclipse.

But back to South Africa… Here’s what you need to know about Friday night’s happenings for Cape Town:

So basically, if you’re here in the Mother City, you need to be somewhere with a fairly clear sight of the sky to the east. Go elevated: think Rhodes Mem, Rustenberg Pavillion, anywhere looking across the Cape Flats towards the mountains of the Winelands for your photographic delectation.

The weather is looking a little iffy though. Touch and go.

Google says cloud.
Flowx says not.
Windguru says maybe.

Borderline.

The moon is all of 385,000km from earth. It would be frustrating if clouds just 1km from earth blocked our view of this phenomenon. But it’s five days away – so let’s just cross our fingers and keep an eye on developments.

I’ll post an update here later in the week.

Your Wednesday Thursday storm briefing

(Following on from your Monday Thursday storm warning and your Tuesday Thursday storm update.)

Hello, Thursday Storm fans (I’m looking at you, UtianG).
Another day, another lot of isobars.

It’s still coming; it’s still fairly large: there’s been no further relief on the pressure side of things since yesterday’s post. It has been slightly delayed by the traffic from the stop/go system for the roadworks near Tristan da Cunha, and thus we should only expect the worst of the rain late morning tomorrow.

Looking out of my lab window at the cloudless , windless Cape skies this morning, it’s hard to believe that we’re all going to die horribly there’s a cold front just 24 hours away. It’s all so calm and peaceful. And dry.

Here’s the latest synoptic chart, and while we’re all looking at what’s approaching the Western Cape tomorrow, it would be foolish to ignore that second low pressure area behind it which is making its way eastwards across the South Atlantic. At the moment, it looks like that’s going to hit the Cape overnight on Sunday and into Monday, ruining what was already going to be a pretty crappy morning for us all anyway. It’s not going to be as big as tomorrow’s excitement, but it’s a long way off and it does have the potential to change track and give us a proper battering.

But let’s get through tomorrow first, with Windguru predicting almost 40mm of rain over 24 hours for the Mother City, followed by an entirely dark, damp and dreary Friday.

Stay safe, drink red wine, toast a beagle on your log fire and do a crossword. Look after those who don’t have your luxuries: you can donate a bed for 5 nights at The Haven Night Shelter for just R60 without even leaving your chair. Click here and do your bit. I have. Or use Snapscan:

And please share this post (use the buttons below) and get others to do their bit as well.

And then come back for tomorrow’s post entitled:

Damp Squib: What Was All The Fuss About?

or:

Sweet Baby Jesus. We Are Actually All Going To Die!

depending on the prevailing meteorological conditions.

Thursday storm update

Windguru is still shouting about TONNES of rain and 80kph gusts of northwesterly air in Cape Town on Thursday morning, but a quick look at the synoptic charts for the South Atlantic actually indicate that things have calmed down just a little out there [points westsouthwest].

Now, I’m not doubting Windguru. It is, after all, the self-proclaimed guru on these sort of things. But there’s no doubt that the centre of that low pressure area is more diffuse and not as deep as it was yesterday.

If I was a betting man (I’m not), I’d be wondering about whether (no pun intended) this one is not going to pass a little further south than the original forecasts originally forecasted. That would mean that we’d just catch the tail end of the cold front, and that it might not be quite as bad as we were expecting.

I am going to add a couple of provisos here though: firstly, I’m not a professional weather forecaster. Some would say I’m not professional at all, and there are times when I’d find it difficult to argue with them. Secondly, “not quite as bad as we were expecting” is relative, as we were actually expecting it to be really, really bad. So even if I’m right, it might still be really bad.

Of course, the closer the actual event, the more accurate the forecast can be. And that’s why we’ll be having another look at this tomorrow. Follow on Facebook here and don’t miss this (possibly) incisive commentary on the approach of (possibly) the biggest storm of the year.

Got wood?

(Firewood, that is…)

We’ve covered this before, but after this weekend, I feel that it needs covering again.

And before we go ANY further, this ISN’T a paid-for post.
Not in cash, not in kind, not in… well… wood. Otherwise it would be utterly pointless in you reading it, because of course I’m going to say that [Company] is amazing, when [Company] has paid me to tell you that they’re amazing.

This isn’t like that. Although this company is amazing.

Given the cold snap, we’ve been burning a lot of wood and we needed a new supply. And given the fact that Cape Town can also be ridiculously warm on some days, I needed some braai wood too.

Step forward, metaphorically at least, The Fireman.

I ordered 16 bags of Bluegum and 10 bags of Rooikrans (other woods are available) on Friday evening, and was offered delivery on Saturday lunchtime, but we had plans.
No problem: how about a delivery slot at 4:30pm on Monday?

Perfect.

They arrived at 4:27pm. You can’t fault that. Much, anyway.
And I will judge you if you do.

When I came home last night from a busy day in the lab killing TB, my wood was stacked neatly in bags, exactly as I asked, exactly where I asked. It’s good wood, too. (Not Goodwood, I don’t live there – I mean that it’s well-seasoned, dry wood, ready to serve purpose.)

Good service is getting harder and harder to find in Cape Town. Rather than just constantly whining about the bad stuff (although that is a completely legitimate approach), we should celebrate and support those companies which are doing things right, doing things well.

So, if you need braai wood or firewood (or both) delivered free of charge to your home address and stacked to your liking (T&Cs apply), then please support The Fireman. And please share this post.

 

M: 021 712 2251 | E: firemanjack1@gmail.com

 

And please just remember that this isn’t a paid for post. If anyone pays me to blog about their product, I’ll tell you very clearly that they have done. And then I’ll spend that money on beer.

Monday mornings

It’s Monday. Your alarm sounds at 5:30am. Ugh.

The last seven days have been the coldest and wettest (yay!) of the year so far. It’s been one of those weeks that Cape Town housing really isn’t set up for. The ambient temperature of the water in the shower is noticeably lower than usual. It’s going to be a battle to emerge from beneath the heavy winter duvet. The beagle has written a surprisingly good motivation for the immediate construction of an indoor dog loo. We’re all in this together.

The sun rose this morning at a lazy 7:45, by which time the kids were at school and I was negotiating the tricky Claremont rush hour. We’re fewer than three weeks away from June 21st – Cape Town’s shortest day of the year:

Sunrise: 07:51 Sunset: 17:44
Day length:9:53:32

…but because of the tilt of the earth’s axis and the unchanging nature of the solar day, sunrise will continue to be later and later until July 1st, at which point we will only begin daylight at a seemingly ridiculous 7:52am.

What’s more, the boy is in the middle of his first real set of exams (first set of real exams?), and we’re knee deep in revision timetables and the associated stress. No-one wants to even be awake, let alone going to school. I had to employ some pretty radical parenting skills to get the family moving this morning.

I’ve still got nothing on this guy though:

The sun is out today, slowly wandering across the pale blue, cloudless sky. But all I can think about is an early return to the warmth of my bed.

Ready to do it all again tomorrow.