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Weather in Focus

By Chris DeWeese
Senior Editorial Writer
Good Morning. It’s been a scary hot weekend, not just in this country (where Reno, Nevada, tied its all-time high at 108 degrees Fahrenheit and Death Valley topped out at 128), but around the globe as well. Although it needs to be officially confirmed, Sanbao, China, reportedly hit 126 degrees, which would set not just China’s all time heat record, but a record for anywhere in the world north of 40 degrees north latitude.

We’d like to hear from you. What did the heat in your area feel like this weekend, and what did you do to get through it? Let us know, and we’ll feature some of your answers in a future Brief.

Weather In Focus

a photo of mountains with a large piece of land art showing a elderly woman and child.
(Piero Cruciatti/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
An elderly woman and a young child look out at the Italian Alps in a gigantic, eco-friendly artwork made this month by French land artist Saype, who used natural and biodegradable charcoal, chalk and milk protein that will disappear as the grass grows.

What We’re Tracking


The line, “Blow, winds, and crack your cheeks! Rage! Blow!” comes from which Shakespeare play?

  1. Hamlet
  2. King Lear
  3. Richard III
  4. The Tempest
See the answer at the end of this newsletter.

This Caught My Eye

Photograph of smiling meteorologist Jon Erdman wearing a button up shirt. Jonathan Erdman
Senior Digital Meteorologist
This infrared satellite loop shows Calvin weakening from a Category 3 hurricane last Friday to a tropical storm Sunday.
Watch A Former Hurricane Wind Down

Rapid intensification of tropical storms and hurricanes often gets the most attention from meteorologists, for good reason. When that happens near land, it can be a nightmare for emergency managers and the public to react to and prepare for ahead of the storm.

Fortunately, we have a story of a weakening former hurricane today. Calvin topped out at Category 3 strength Friday, but weakened to a tropical storm Sunday, and is forecast to be either a tropical storm or tropical depression by the time it reaches Hawaii late tomorrow night or early Wednesday, local time.

You can see the weakening in the satellite loop above. First the eye became less distinct, then the spiral bands of rain became less organized and smaller.

Cooler water, and drier, more stable air weakened Calvin. It’s a scenario that often happens with hurricanes that approach Hawaii from the east. Hawaii’s rare hurricane strikes usually happen from storms that first form closer to the islands, then curl north.

So, Calvin was an example of a hurricane to love, if you’re a weather geek. It became strong in the middle of the ocean, was beautiful to look at in satellite imagery, but has weakened considerably as it is drawing closer to land. If only the rest of the hurricanes this season would do that or simply curl harmlessly out to sea.


Weather Words

‘When The Wind Blows, The Barrel-Makers Profit’
An antique illustration of a Japanese busker playing a shamisen.
An antique illustration of a Japanese busker playing a shamisen. (ilbusca via Getty Images)
Today’s weather words take us back to 16th-century Japan, and an old proverb that states Kaze ga fukeba, okeya ga moukaru, which literally translates to “when the wind blows, the barrel-makers profit.” This proverb is used to mean that something relatively innocent can have far-reaching and unanticipated consequences.

According to multiple sources, the proverb stems from the following unlikely (and almost certainly imaginary) chain of events. Ready? Here goes:

First, the wind blows, whirling up dust. This dust gets into peoples’ eyes, blinding a few of them. Many blind people in Japan made a living as musicians, and one instrument they used was a shamisen, which featured a cat skin soundbox. If there was a sudden demand for more shamisen, the proverb supposes, there would suddenly be fewer cats around. This would lead to an increase in rats and mice, creating demand for barrels to store food in, and, thus, a healthy profit for barrel-makers.


How To Improve Your Hot Dogs

two hot dogs with bacon and chives.
Two improved hot dogs. (bhofack2 via Getty Images)
Listen, National Hot Dog Day is just two days away (it falls on the third Wednesday of July each year, and has done so since 1991), which means it’s time to up our hot dog toppings game. Sure, just squirting some ketchup and mustard on your hot dog is always one way to go, but the right topping can transform this summer classic from nostalgic-but-meh to more, please. Here are a few ideas to deck your dog with.
  • Grilled Pineapple And Teriyaki Mayo

    The Endless Meal’s recipe for Hawaiian hot dogs with grilled pineapple and teriyaki mayo is a great place to start. Sweet, smoky and spicy, these hot dogs pack so much flavor that each bite is like reading a chapter of a novel.

  • BLT Dogs

    If you fall into the “bacon makes anything better” school of thought, this recipe from Delish is for you. A hot dog wrapped in bacon shares space with chopped romaine, tomato and chives. Happiness ensues.

  • Hot Dog Cubans

    Why feel tied to the old-fashioned hot dog bun? This hot dog Cubans recipe from Delish plants your dog firmly on the incredibly soft surface of Cuban bread, which, when pressed, fries into a delicious sandwich. Enjoy!


709 BC: Earliest Total Eclipse Recorded
a photograph of a total solar eclipse.
A total solar eclipse photographed in 1871. (Wellcome Collection)
Well, humans have been around a long time, and eclipses have been around even longer. On this date 2,732 years ago, we have the earliest extant record of a confirmed total solar eclipse.

The celestial event was recorded in the ancient Lu capital of Qufu, China, in what is now Shandong province. In the chronicles called the Chunqui, or the Annals of Spring and Autumn, an astronomer wrote: “The sun was eclipsed; it was total.”

B. King Lear
It’s taken from a memorable speech given by Lear in Act II, Scene II.

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