April 19, 2010

Weather Postponing Discovery Landing

Showers and scattered thunderstorms crossing Cape Canaveral, Fla. early Monday have postponed the first scheduled landing of the Space Shuttle Discovery.

A second and final attempt for Monday will be made at 10:23 a.m. (EDT).

Astronauts will be forced to remain in orbit an extra day if weather conditions do not improve.

The next landing opportunity will be on Tuesday morning.

AccuWeather.com meteorologists forecast a continuance of overcast skies, widespread showers and light northwest winds through the day on Monday across the Florida Peninsula.

Orlando, Tampa and Miami will be inundated with isolated, but soaking, showers. Lightning cannot be ruled out.

On Sunday, 2.62 inches of rain doused Miami, bringing the rainfall total so far this month to a whopping 5.90 inches.

The average total monthly rainfall in April for this city is 3.36 inches.

The likelihood the second Monday attempt will be postponed remains very high, as thunderstorms will stay in the forecast through Wednesday afternoon in Florida.

Showers and thunderstorms will gradually taper off this evening, but linger for much of the night along the eastern coast of the Sunshine State.

Tuesday, the forecast is more promising for a morning landing, as mainly afternoon scattered showers and storms will move over the area, while showers with a few torrential downpours roam over Georgia and the Carolinas.

Edwards Air Force Base, California, can be used as a backup landing site if a Tuesday landing is scrubbed, but this costly alternative would necessitate a piggyback return flight of the spacecraft, via jet, to Florida.

The Associated Press reported that the shuttle has enough supplies to remain in orbit until Wednesday.

The first attempt to land was scheduled for 8:48 a.m., and the second attempt will have the shuttle's streaking tail visible from the ground as it passes above Washington state and descends over the nation's heartland.

Story by Accuweather.com

No comments:

Post a Comment