It’s too wet! It’s too dry! I might never see a proper Fall the way this is going.


So it’s been a really dry summer and that might diminish the Fall colors[1] yet again. This after the torrential storms of last year diminished those colors.[2] Now, we’re getting torrential rainfall (figure 1), in part due to Laura, but coming from California, I’m all too well aware that a sudden torrent is no substitute for a steadier pace of lighter rain.ecan.gif

Fig. 1. 72-hour gif of satellite imagery for eastern Canada, as of August 29, 2020, at 4:01 am.

I’m expecting the remnants of the central part of Laura to pass over Pittsburgh today, but there’s been a flow across the northern tier of states that’s also been affecting us—this is probably not quite done yet.


I keep hearing how children can’t transmit the novel coronavirus,[3] mainly from folks with some form of interest in getting them back in school, even as schools themselves have been cautious.[4] It’s pretty clear kids can carry the virus.[5] And older kids might transmit it as much as adults do.[6] But I’m starting to suspect that proper science is not being done here while self-interested folks spin what evidence there is to support their own hopes. Because for all the hue and cry, this should be a lot more clear cut.

What I keep hearing from parents is that kids are notorious “germ factories,” spreading disease to entire families, and no one seems to offer an adequate answer for why it should be any different with the coronavirus.

Jacqueline Howard and Sandee LaMotte, “Kids can carry coronavirus in respiratory tract for weeks, study suggests,” CNN, August 28, 2020,

  1. [1]Marcus Schneck, “Fall foliage expert offers bleak outlook for some of Pennsylvania this fall,” Harrisburg Patriot-News, August 28, 2020,
  2. [2]Mary Ann Thomas, “Leaf peeper season in full swing in the Laurel Highlands; Pittsburgh, Alle-Kiski Valley must wait,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, October 20, 2019,
  3. [3]Benjamin Lee and William V. Raszka, “COVID-19 Transmission and Children: The Child Is Not to Blame,” Pediatrics 146, no. 1 (2020), doi: 10.1542/peds.2020-004879
  4. [4]Justin Lahart, “Kids at Home Could Put the Economy in Detention,” Wall Street Journal, July 24, 2020,; Laura Meckler, “With pressure and threats, Trump pushes to fully reopen schools. Schools say: Not so fast,” Washington Post, July 8, 2020,
  5. [5]Jacqueline Howard and Sandee LaMotte, “Kids can carry coronavirus in respiratory tract for weeks, study suggests,” CNN, August 28, 2020,; Apoorva Mandavilli, “Children May Carry Coronavirus at High Levels, Study Finds,” New York Times, July 30, 2020,
  6. [6]Peter Dockrill, “Older Kids May Transmit COVID-19 as Much as Adults Do, New Evidence Shows,” Science Alert, July 20, 2020,

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