Sunday Update: A Few Showers, Dry Time Too

August 17th, 2014 at 9:15 am by under Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

Good morning! When I was on the air this morning, there were a few showers passing through around 6AM.  But after that, we cleared to partly cloudy skies and we ended up with a decent morning.  That being said, a front still has to clear the area this afternoon, so the chance of a shower or thunderstorms will still be with us.  Overall, there will be more dry time than shower time.  Sun will mix with clouds off and on today….we should get a pretty good sunset as dry winds from the west should help clear out our skies.  I will leave you with a breakdown of the shower threat.  Have a good Sunday! -Pete Mangione


Watch Newsmakers: Frank Ferri; Matt Fecteau

August 17th, 2014 at 5:00 am by under Nesi's Notes

Planetary Conjunction Monday Morning

August 17th, 2014 at 12:04 am by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

There’s going to be an spectacular astronomical phenomenon called a planetary conjunction in the early morning sky Monday morning.  A conjunction is when planets (or any celestial bodies) appear to join together (as seen from Earth).   Earth, Venus and Jupiter will make a near perfect line in space, and this will create a unique show just before sunrise. 

After the sun and the moon, these two planets are the brightest objects in our sky.   Venus and Jupiter will look like a double star as they will appear less then 1/2° apart from each other.  That’s a very small piece of the sky.  The distance between the two will be about the size of a coffee stirrer held at arm’s length!


Despite their close appearance in our sky, the two planets will be very far apart. 

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Sunday’s Outlook

August 16th, 2014 at 8:49 pm by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

We are expecting some rain showers on Sunday, but we are not looking at a washout.  In fact, many people won’t even be seeing any rain.  There are two time periods for showers that we are watching– early morning and afternoon.

Early Sunday morning we could see some rain showers move in off of the ocean.  They’ll be moving northeastward and areas to the south and east of Providence could be clipped with a few showers.  The Cape and Islands could hear a rumble of thunder, too, as the air will be pretty unstable there.  Below is the computer model HRRR for midnight.   These showers are expected in Southeast New England between midnight and 8am.


Another batch of showers will move into Southern New England from New York…similar timing here as well — midnight to 8am.

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The Saturday Morning Post: Quick hits on politics & more in RI

August 16th, 2014 at 5:00 am by under Nesi's Notes, On the Main Site, The Saturday Morning Post

Happy Saturday! Here’s another edition of my weekend column here on – as always, send your takes, tips and trial balloons to, and follow @tednesi on Twitter.

1. Mark your calendars: WPRI 12 and The Providence Journal will release a new exclusive Campaign 2014 poll next week. We asked Democratic primary voters whether they support Angel Taveras, Gina Raimondo, Clay Pell or Todd Giroux for governor, whether they could still change their minds, and how they plan to vote in the other statewide primary races. We’ll release the first results live on WPRI 12 and Tuesday at 5 p.m. Tune in!

2. It’s safe to say this was not the best week of the campaign for Republican gubernatorial candidate Allan Fung. Filming a TV ad in Ohio is a rational decision even if it opens you up to attacks; refusing to answer a reporter’s phone calls for 48 hours after he finds out you did so is just silly. Also interesting is the controversial Ohio consulting firm Fung is using: Strategy Group for Media, which BuzzFeed’s McKay Coppins described in 2013 as “a campaign and strategy clearing house for the uncompromisingly conservative wing” of the House GOP. Indeed, nine Strategy Group employees – including founder Rex Elsass – donated a combined $6,850 to Fung’s campaign between May 29 and June 3, which will boost the candidate’s state matching funds if he makes it to the general election. (Fung allies were quick to point out that his rival Ken Block is using New Jersey-based Jamestown Associates, another controversial firm in Republican circles, but they’ve filmed Block’s ads locally.) Block criticized Fung as well for backing out of a cable-access debate scheduled for this week, which Fung’s campaign attributed to the candidate’s initial plans to attend the Asian American Journalists Association conference in Washington. (In the end, though, Fung decided to stay in Rhode Island.) These sorts of stories are hardly fatal to Fung’s campaign in and of themselves – few if any voters are going to pick a candidate based on his TV ad locations. But the negative headlines are an unwelcome distraction just three weeks before the primary. Plenty of Republicans seem open to Block despite his previous apostasies – he is, after all, a fiscally conservative businessman who rails against the Democratic General Assembly and played an instrumental role in killing the master lever. The result could come down to how high Fung can drive his vote totals in Cranston and Warwick.

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Little League World Series Forecast

August 15th, 2014 at 3:12 pm by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

Congratulations to the players, coaches and parents from the Cumberland American team!  They’ll be representing New England in the Little League World Series in Williamsport, PA Friday evening.   It’s a tremendous accomplishment to make it this far and Rhode Island is proud.

Weather-wise for the game, it looks good Friday evening.


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As of 3pm, there were some clumpy clouds that developed here in Rhode Island and over central Pennsylvania.  These clouds are in response to a batch of cool air above our heads and the heating of the day.  As the sun gets lower in the sky this evening, skies should be clearing out both here in RI and in PA.

Here’s what the forecast looks like for Williamsport, PA…


Go Rhode Island!

-Meteorologist T.J. Del Santo


Judge: RI cities, towns must join pension lawsuit

August 14th, 2014 at 7:08 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – The Rhode Island judge handling organized labor’s sprawling challenge to the state’s landmark 2011 pension law has ordered that an unknown number of municipalities be added as defendants in the case.

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Festival gets taxpayer-funded grants; still owes Providence $17K

August 14th, 2014 at 6:26 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan and Walt Buteau

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – The head of the Providence police union is criticizing the city’s decision to help fund a weekend festival despite its organizers owing the city more than $17,000 from previous events.

The Puerto Rican Cultural Festival, which begins this weekend in Roger Williams Park, has received at least $10,000 in taxpayer-funded grants from city officials this year even though it carries a past-due balance of $17,588 for police details, according to records reviewed by Target 12.

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Mayoral candidates Elorza, Smiley rip Solomon over car tax plan

August 14th, 2014 at 5:18 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – The swipes keep coming in the Providence mayor’s race.

A day after City Council President Michael Solomon released a plan to raise the city’s car tax exemption from $1,000 to $2,000, Democratic opponents Jorge Elorza and Brett Smiley took Solomon to task for voting to reduce the exemption in 2010.

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Taveras knocks Pell again for lack of experience

August 13th, 2014 at 6:34 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Democratic gubernatorial candidate Angel Taveras doubled down on his criticism of rival Clay Pell on Wednesday, citing a newly published examination of Pell’s background to suggest the 32-year-old isn’t ready to lead Rhode Island.

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Wild Wednesday: Morning Recap, Afternoon Outlook

August 13th, 2014 at 3:10 pm by under Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

Heavy rain moved in this morning creating problems on many of our roads.  The heaviest of the rain ran along and to the west of I-95.  There were many reports of street flooding, especially in Cranston, Coventry, and Providence.  Here are a few pictures sent via our ReportIt feature.


 Coventry Flooding: Courtesy Shannon Moore




Cranston Flooding


Our rainfall amounts ranged from about 1 to 4.5 inches.  Here are some totals as of Wednesday afternoon:



I put in the Islip (Long Island, NY)  number because it is such an incredible amount of rain! The Long Island Expressway was not a good place to be this morning!



While the rain won’t be nearly as steady and as widespread as this morning, there will still be a threat of showers and thunderstorms this afternoon and early evening.  A few of the storms could be strong with a small chance of damaging wind.  The threat of showers and rain should be gone by midnight (possibly a few hours sooner).

Our weather improves tomorrow and Friday with low humidity and comfortable temperatures. Have a good afternoon and evening! -Pete Mangione





Heavy Rain, Flash Flood Threat This Morning

August 13th, 2014 at 9:35 am by under Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

Heavy rain has moved into a good part of our viewing area.  A Flash Flood Warning is in place for much of Providence and Kent County.  These warning are in effect until 1:15 this afternoon.

I just looked at the observations at TF Green airport….between 8AM and 9AM 0.91 inches of rain fell, that is almost an inch per hour.

Here are some initial reports coming in courtesy of SKYWARN from the National Weather Service:

East Lyme, CT: 3.90″

Montville, CT: 4.84″

Canterbury, CT: 2.94″

Willimantic, CT: 2.04″

Cranston, RI: 1.56″

East Lyme, CT: 4.15″

Hebron, CT: 2.05″

Hampton, CT: 2.05″

Cranston, RI: 1.61″


Rainfall Reports (1″ or more):

Providence, RI: 1.38″

Coventry, RI:: 1.24″


Flood Reports:

924 AM: Cranston, RI: Cranston Street between Batcheller Avenue and Cavalry Street closed due to the flooding


Once we get into this afternoon, there will still be a threat of showers and downpours but there will likely be some lulls in the rain as well.  The Flash Flood Watch extends through this evening to account for the “potential” of additional flash flooding, even though it will not be raining the entire time.

Please do NOT drive through flooded intersections! -Pete Mangione


Heavy Rain Moves Across RI /SE MA This Morning

August 13th, 2014 at 7:52 am by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

We’ve been watching an incredible flash flood event developing over parts of LI and CT this morning, with more than a foot of rain in Islip, NY on Long Island…. flash flooding has shut down numerous streets and lead to water rescues there.  Check out this photo from the Weather Channel’s Stephanie Abrams:

temp 2

Islip, NY

That band of heavy rain will continue to lift northeast across RI and southeastern MA through the morning and early afternoon.  Our computer models are still indicating the potential for 1-3″ of rain in our area, with isolated higher amounts possible.  Here’s one look at potential rainfall totals from the RPM model this morning.  temp 3

$3.5M spent by RI governor candidates since July 1

August 13th, 2014 at 1:25 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – The top five candidates for Rhode Island governor spent a whopping $3.5 million on their campaigns in the six weeks since the start of July, with Democrats Gina Raimondo and Clay Pell shelling out well over $1 million each.

Here’s how the money race played out through Monday for statewide offices on the ballot this year in Rhode Island.

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Mayoral candidates spend big on consultants, mailers

August 13th, 2014 at 12:21 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – The three leading Democratic candidates for mayor of Providence spent more than $330,000 between July 1 and Aug. 11, mostly on consultants and direct mail as they near the finish line of next month’s primary.

All told, City Council President Michael Solomon, Jorge Elorza and Brett Smiley reported spending $333,279 over the last six weeks, according to a review of campaign finance reports filed Tuesday with the Rhode Island Board of Elections. Only candidates running in the Sept. 9 primaries were required to submit reports.

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Elorza wants school contracts tied to performance

August 13th, 2014 at 12:15 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Contracts awarded by the Providence school department would be tied to performance and the city would move quickly to turn over control of hiring, budgets and instruction to school principals, under a proposal released Tuesday by mayoral candidate Jorge Elorza.

The Democrat making his first run for public office also pledged to improve professional development for teachers and have the school department focus more on grant writing so it can “aggressively pursue” outside funding to support many of the initiatives he has proposed.

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Periods Of Heavy Rain, Thunder Wednesday

August 12th, 2014 at 7:23 pm by under Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

Good Evening from chief meteorologist Tony Petrarca….

High resolution satellite photo from this evening shows storm over Great Lakes with a secondary storm forming off the Mid Atlantic coast. Both will play a part in our weather for Wednesday….

Wednesday Outlook:

. Heavy Rain: Confidence High

. Minor Coastal Flooding: Confidence High, but does not look to be major

. Thunderstorms: Confidence High

. “Severe” Thunderstorms/Damaging WindConfidence Low to Moderate (stay tuned for updates regarding this)



Flash Flood Watch Expanded

August 12th, 2014 at 12:49 pm by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

The National Weather Service has expanded the Flash Flood Watch to include all of RI and southeastern MA except for the Cape and Islands as our computer models continue to show the potential for heavy rain and embedded thunderstorms with a potent storm system moving through New England on Wednesday.

temp 1

We are still forecasting 1-3″ of rain for most of our area, though isolated higher amounts are possible.  Here’s the 12z RPM model precipitation forecast for rainfall totals:  temp 2

In addition, our coastline is now under a “Coastal Flood Advisory” for the potential for minor flooding during tomorrow mornings high tide around 10am-11am.  The combination of an astronomical high tide and a strong southeast wind could cause minor splash over at south and east facing coastlines. temp 3

Clay Pell’s résumé comes under closer scrutiny

August 12th, 2014 at 10:40 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Clay Pell has compiled a lengthy résumé in the nine years since he received his bachelor’s degree from Harvard University, an employment history that is drawing more scrutiny as it comes under fire from one of his rivals.

Pell has actually had only two full-time permanent jobs since finishing law school, according to a review of public information, statements made by Pell and details provided by his campaign.

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Wednesday Storm Update

August 12th, 2014 at 9:47 am by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

We’ll squeeze in one more dry day before a storm system moves in and brings heavy rain and embedded thunderstorms to our area starting later tonight and into Wednesday.  We could certainly use the rainfall as parts of our area have been abnormally dry; however, the rain could be heavy enough to overwhelm storm drains leading to localized street and poor drainage flooding along with smaller stream flooding.

The highest risk of seeing flash flooding is across inland parts of southern New England, where rainfall rates of up to 2″/hr are possible. As of this morning, northwest RI and the Boston suburbs were included in a “Flash Flood Watch” for late tonight through Wednesday evening.  temp 1It looks like our best shot of getting widespread rain and thunder will be from mid-morning through late afternoon. In addition, there’s the risk–though small–for some severe thunderstorms.  This morning, the Storm Prediction Center highlighted southern RI and SE MA as an area that could see severe weather tomorrow–with damaging wind gusts and even an isolated tornado possible. temp 1

Finally, we could see some minor flooding along the coast and bay during tomorrow morning’s high tide. High tide in Newport Harbor is at around 10:30am.  The astronomically high tide due to the nearly full moon, combined with a stiff southeast wind may lead to minor flooding.  temp 2

Stormy Weather Late Tuesday Night Into Wednesday

August 11th, 2014 at 4:30 pm by under Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

Good afternoon from chief meteorologist Tony Petrarca…our weather  dept continues to monitior the potential for severe weather late Tuesday Night into Wednesday…the following items we continue to track along the National Weather Service In Taunton Mass…

       Heavy Rain/Flooding Potential:

  • Flash Flood Watch for late Tuesday night through Wednesday afternoon. The watch includes the following areas:
  •      Cheshire County in southwest New Hampshire
  •      Western and central Massachusetts
  •      Northern Connecticut
  •      Northwest Rhode Island
  • Bands of heavy rainfall with some embedded thunderstorms may cause localized urban/poor drainage flash flooding as well as a risk of flash flooding along a few small streams.
  • In coastal areas, any urban flooding may be exacerbated during high tide, which may inhibit drainage.  High tides in association with the “super moon” will be astronomically high during Wednesday.
  • Widespread river flooding is not expected.  Main stem river flows are quite low going into this event.
  • Potential  widespread 1 to 3 inches of rainfall across southern New England Tuesday night into Wednesday with pockets of 3 to 5 inches possible.

        Severe Weather:

  • Localized strong gusty winds are possible especially during the daylight hours Wednesday.
  • A brief tornado is also possible. This is a low probability event, but the expected weather pattern on Wednesday is a type that could produce a short track tornado.  Timing on any such occurrence during the day remains uncertain, with low confidence at this time of any one area more at risk than another. 

         Coastal Flooding:

  • The combination of high spring tides and fairly significant onshore winds may result in pockets of minor coastal flooding around the times of high tide on Wednesday.
  • Highest risk for any coastal flooding along the south coast will be around the time of the Wednesday mid morning high tide. 

             Highest risk for any coastal flooding along the east coast will be around the time of the Wednesday afternoon high tide…….

           ……”National Weather Service  Taunton, Mass.

Stormy Day on Wednesday

August 11th, 2014 at 11:21 am by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

As Pete Mangione mentioned  in the previous blog, the ingredients are coming together for a potentially stormy day on Wednesday.  An area of low pressure currently over the Great Lakes will drag a cold front through New England by Wednesday with a new storm developing along the front.

Surface Map valid at 8am Wednesday

Forecast Surface Map for 8am Wednesday

The set up gives us the potential for periods of heavy rain with embedded thunderstorms.  Right now the forecast is for as much as 1-2.5″ of rain in New England.

Forecast Rainfall Amounts for Wednesday

Forecast Rainfall Amounts for Wednesday

Heavy rain could lead to localized street and poor drainage flooding, and potentially some dangerous flash flooding.  In addition, any embedded thunderstorms will bring torrential downpours and possibly damaging winds.  Timing of the heaviest rainfall in Rhode Island and southeastern Massachusetts looks to be Wednesday morning and afternoon…. tapering off in the evening.  Stay tuned for more updates as we continue to monitor this potential severe weather day.

Watch Executive Suite: Blount Fine Foods; Lisa Ranglin

August 11th, 2014 at 5:00 am by under Nesi's Notes

It’s Victory Day, an only-in-Rhode Island institution since 1975

August 11th, 2014 at 12:01 am by under Nesi's Notes, On the Main Site

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Like Del’s, Victory Day is a uniquely Rhode Island tradition.

Rhode Island is the only state that still observes an official holiday marking Japan’s surrender at the end of World War II. It’s been that way since 1975, when Arkansas dropped the holiday – having already rechristened it “World War II Memorial Day” – and reportedly gave state workers their birthdays off as a consolation.

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Watching Wednesday for Strong Storms

August 10th, 2014 at 9:25 pm by under Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

There is a threat of some severe thunderstorms on Wednesday.  Here is a breakdown of what we know, and what we need to fine tune:


-A humid air mass will move in during the middle of the week.

-Low pressure, series of fronts , and an active jet stream will also move in during the same time period.

-When you combine the above ingredients, severe weather becomes a possibility.

-Torrential downpours, lightning, damaging winds, and even isolated tornadoes are possible.



-How well do the storm ingredients come together? This will make the difference between a very active weather day and a day with just a few non-severe thunderstorms and rain showers.

-What is the timing? It looks like there is a threat of severe weather anytime from early Wednesday morning to Wednesday evening.  As we get closer to Wednesday, we should be able to determine which commute (morning or evening) is at a higher risk of being affected.


Tony, Michelle, TJ, and I will be looking at more data this week.  Tune in for our on-air and online coverage to get more specifics.   Have a good week! -Pete Mangione





De Ramel mostly mum on why he hired Gordon Fox

August 10th, 2014 at 12:57 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Guillaume de Ramel, a Democratic candidate for secretary of state, isn’t saying much when it comes to why a business he helped to start briefly employed former House Speaker Gordon Fox to do legal work back in 2011.

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Super Weather This Evening for the Super Moon

August 10th, 2014 at 9:15 am by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

Today will be beautiful here in Southern New England — lots of warm sunshine with low humidity.

Once you’re home from the beach or out of the pool, you might want to check out the “Super Moon” — the closest the moon will be to the Earth this year.  I think the weather will cooperate, too.

There will be a piece of energy dropping down from Northern New England today. You can see it in the image below (yellow, orange and red).



This will help create some rain showers for parts of New Hampshire, Maine and northeastern Massachusetts, but that’s about it.   Any showers should be isolated up there, and they’ll likely stay out of our area.

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Cloud-wise for RI and nearby MA, there will be some clouds especially east of Providence.  Our computer models indicate there will be some moisture in the atmosphere at 850mb and 725mb (approximately 5,000 to 8,000feet up).   This will translate into partly cloudy skies this evening.  Below is the relative humidity in the atmosphere all the way up to about 40,000feet.  Notice the pinkish area this evening…that’s high relative humidity over Providence.  I think dry air aloft will help keep our skies in good enough condition to see the moon, especially as it rises.  Times run from left to right on the graph…UTC is Greenwich Mean Time (4hours difference from us).


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Watch Newsmakers: Catherine Taylor; John Carlevale

August 10th, 2014 at 5:00 am by under Nesi's Notes

Another Nice Day on Sunday

August 9th, 2014 at 10:50 pm by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

Saturday’s weather was fantastic, and we’ll get another great day on Sunday.

An area of high pressure will be sliding overhead through the day.  High pressure promotes sinking air, and it’s tougher to make the clouds and therefore tougher to get precipitation.   There will be a little piece of energy in the upper-levels moving southward from Maine/New Hamphire.  This may scare up a few extra clouds across eastern parts of our area, but that’s about it.   We’ll be staying dry.


Winds will start from the north as the high center builds into New England, but those winds will become more onshore during the afternoon with a developing sea breeze.   Temperatures will be a little cooler at the coast, but it will be nice everywhere with low humidity.  The weather looks good for seeing the “Super Moon” Sunday evening and for Perseid Meteor watching early Monday morning.


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The nice weather will continue through Monday and into Tuesday.  We could potentially see a washout on Wednesday.  If you picked this week for vacation, you did pretty good.  Wednesday may be a book-reading, chore-doing, movie-watching kind of day though.

-Meteorologist T.J. Del Santo

Perseid Meteors Peak Next Few Nights

August 9th, 2014 at 9:40 pm by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

One of the best meteor showers of the year will peak August 9-14 — the Perseid Meteor Shower.   They are best seen after midnight and during this time of the summer, it’s comfortable to be outside and stargaze.  In a dark sky, you could see 50 meteors per hour.  This year, we’ll have the full “Super Moon” and waning gibbous moon to dim some of the meteors.

Sometimes you can see a few after 9pm as the constellation Perseus rises over the horizon, but the best show always arrives after midnight.

What are the Perseid Meteors?

Meteors are tiny bits of rock, usually the size of a piece of dust or as large as a pebble, that burn up in the atmosphere as the Earth plows through the debris in space.  They get their name because of the constellation they appear to come from — Perseus.  This debris is actually from a comet, Comet Swift-Tuttle.

Courtesy: NASA

Courtesy: NASA

The comet passes through the inner solar system once every 134 years.  It spends most of its time hanging out past the orbit of Pluto in an area known as the Kuiper Belt — an area of space filled with many pieces of rock, likely left over from the development of the Solar System.  The last visit was in 1992.  During each passage, the comet sheds gases and debris as it gets closer to the sun.  That debris is left floating in space.

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From August 9-14th, the Earth passes through this debris field, and the tiny bits of rock light up in the atmosphere.


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