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New satellite measures rain & snow around the world

WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- A new satellite called "global precipitation measurement", or GPM, is leaving NASA Goddard this weekend and heading for Japan. 

Building the satellite was a joint effort between the two countries, and the satellite will make it easier to predict the weather all around the world. 

The GPM is the biggest satellite ever built at NASA Goddard, but it's also the most advanced satellite for measuring precipitation. It can see differences in precipitation over a 5 kilometer radius, or just about 3 miles. And it can see all kinds of precipitation- rain, snow and ice- covering about 90% of the Earth's land and ocean. It is a huge improvement over the 8 precipitation satellites that currently orbit Earth, including our own precipitation satellite, TRMM, which can only measure rain over tropical regions. 

Power Companies Gearing Up for Thursday Storms

WASHINGTON, D.C. (WUSA9) -- Myra Oppel was sitting in her office at Pepco's Headquarters when the Derecho of 2012 hit. 

She watched as the power company's outages jumped from a few thousand to almost half a million. By the time it was all over, more than two-million people in Virginia, Maryland, and the District were in the dark, and it would take nearly two weeks before all the power was restored.

Almost a year later, Oppel met with WUSA9 to discuss what Pepco's doing to prepare for this latest round of storms. 

This Morning's Solar Eclipse in Australia

COLLEGE PARK, Md. (WUSA9) -- A dramatic ring of fire appeared in the Australian sky this morning. This was an annular eclipse. It happens when the moon blocks most of the sun's light from our view. 

Elizabeth Warner is a Faculty Research Assistant at the University of Maryland Observatory. She says, "The moon in its orbit is sometimes closer and sometimes further away from the Earth. This time, the moon was further away, and looked smaller than the sun. And it didn't completely block the sun's disk". 

Avoiding the Derecho's Autumn Harvest

On June 29th, like so many in the path of the Derecho, my power went out around 10PM. For roughly two days. Almost immediately I felt an itchiness arising from my carpet. By Sunday, since my apartment faces West and catches the afternoon Sun, I sought shelter in a hotel, as the temperature in my unit was fast approaching 90 degrees. I'm originally from upstate New York. Growing up, Summer was six weeks. I don't do heat, let alone this!

When I swung by my abode Monday morning, I had power, so I checked out of my temporary digs. The A/C was on; the apartment was cooling; but the scratchiness remained.

Pool Admission Fees Reduced To Help Residents Beat The Heat

Pool Admission Fees Reduced To Help Residents Beat The Heat

A heat advisory is in effect for much of the DMV area on June 29 from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. For this reason, the Charles County Department of Community Services is offering reduced admission at all pool locations to help residents cool down.

The discounted price for open swim will go into effect at 3 p.m. until closing. All visitors will be admitted for $2.00 during these times.

Outdoor Pools (Open 12 p.m. - 8 p.m.; reduced admission 3 p.m. - 8 p.m.)

  • La Plata High School
  • McDonough High School
  • Thomas Stone High School

Indoor Pools (Open 12 p.m. - 5 p.m., reduced admission 3 p.m.- 5 p.m.)

  • North Point High School
  • Lackey High School

For more information, contact the Dept. of Community Services at 301-934-9305. Citizens with special needs may contact the Maryland Relay Service at 711, or Relay Service TDD: 800-735-2258.

Landslide Threatens Homes in Indian Head, Md.

Correction: The properties on Kearney Way in Indian Head where a landslide occurred are not in an area where a local town allowed construction to go forward without the appropriate state approvals and in violation of Maryland's Critical Area law. In fact, the properties affected by the landslide are on a neighboring parcel known as Riverwatch Commons which did not require approvals from Maryland's Critical Areas Commission before it was built.

The state does not allege that the landslide is related to the planning dispute on neighboring property known as Riverwatch.

The developer of Riverwatch Commons is acting quickly to stabilize and repair the landslide at no cost to the affected homeowners


INDIAN HEAD, Md (WUSA) -- A landslide is threatening at least 5 homes on Kearney Way, and homeowners are not laying all the blame on Mother Nature and record-setting rain.