Science world ignores politics, preps for lunar space station

Published: Monday, October 16, 2017 @ 2:52 PM

NASA and other space agencies around the world are planning to build an outpost near the moon.
NASA and other space agencies around the world are planning to build an outpost near the moon.(Zak GHM)

Working in the news business, it is easy to get distracted by the unsettling chaos of the day and the uneasy political climate.

»MORE: What to know about sky events

Most days, I tune out a lot of the bad news and try to focus on the weather and what good is happening. Yes, there are some good things. Despite our political discourse and the unnecessary politicization of science, the science community continues to work together for a better and brighter world with new, exciting adventures for exploration and study. This gives me great optimism for the future.

International Space Station flyover Kettering

One great example is the announcement of a new multi-national quest to build a lunar space station. Late last month, the Russian Space Agency, Roscosmos announced they would join a NASA-led effort to build an international human outpost near the moon. The Russians will now join the European Space Agency (ESA), Japanese (JAXA) and Canadian space agencies (CSA) who are already working with NASA, on a plan to construct a modular habitat to be known as Deep-Space Gateway. The habitat will be built in orbit around the moon, and will become a primary destination for astronauts, extending the presence of humans beyond earth’s orbit for the first time since 1972 when Apollo missions ended.

»WEATHER: Get the latest Storm Center 7 forecast

The Deep-Space Gateway, if funded, is expected to be launched on NASA’s giant SLS rocket and serviced by the crews of NASA’s new Orion spacecraft. Once operational, the outpost is expected to pave the way for mission to Mars in the 2030s with the construction of a Deep Space Transport. It is also possible that Deep-Space Gateway will allow for future missions to the moon’s surface and perhaps even a lunar habitat. While some may think that such an undertaking could be a waste of money, it is important to realize the amazing discoveries that occur in space that significantly advance technology and research right here on earth. You can thank the space program for inventions like hand-held vacuum cleaners, breathing apparatus for firefighters, lasers that assist with heart surgery, satellite television, lightning detection systems and so much more.

The International Space Station (ISS) is the primary destination for astronauts and cosmonauts. The ISS is supported by NASA, Roscosmos, JAXA, ESA, and CSA. The ownership and use of the space station is established by intergovernmental treaties and agreements. Interestingly, the station is divided into two sections, the Russian Orbital Segment (ROS) and the United States Orbital Segment (USOS), which is shared by many nations. Currently, the American portion of ISS is being funded until 2024.

The lunar station, Deep-Space Gateway is expected to go under construction in the mid-2020s according to Roscosmos with both US and Russian rockets being used to launch the modules into space.

Now - if we could just get political leaders across the world to learn from the scientific community - and look beyond petty differences, greed and infighting. Working together with other nations can only help the advancement of science and technology, and perhaps someday, develop cures to diseases and famine. Despite our differences and beliefs, we are and will always be a tiny speck of something much, much bigger. The only question is - what will our contribution be?

Eric Elwell is WHIO StormCenter 7 Chief Meteorologist. Contact him at or follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

Rip Rap Road remains closed in Huber Heights due to high water

Published: Saturday, November 18, 2017 @ 7:17 PM
Updated: Monday, November 20, 2017 @ 4:05 AM

Over 3 inches of rain brings the Stillwater River and the Great Miami River out of its banks in the usual areas over the weekend.

UPDATE @4 a.m. (Nov. 20):

Rip Rap Road near Chambersburg is closed due to high water.

Covington-Bradford Road north of Covington also remains closed due to high water at the Stillwater River, according to officials.

>> RELATED: Cool and sunny today, rain/snow mix possible Tuesday evening

UPDATE @ 3:25 p.m. (Nov. 19):

High water remains in several spots across the region following the heavy rain and storms on Saturday. 

Over three inches of rain brought the Stillwater River and the Great Miami River in Miami County out of its banks in the usual areas Saturday. 

RELATED: Hundreds remain without power from Saturday’s storms, high winds

The Covington-Bradford Road North of Covington is closed due to high water at the Stillwater River.

North of Troy, the Knoop Jr. Baseball Complex is about 5’ deep.

In Troy, the newly renovated Treasure Island along the Great Miami River has flooded.The Boat House Restaurant is unaffected, as the flood waters are up to the back of the amphitheater.

Flood Warnings remain in effect for Auglaize and Darke counties through Sunday afternoon. The Great Miami River at Sidney is under a Flood Warning until 8 p.m. Sunday and the Great Miami River at Troy is also under a Flood Warning until 6 a.m. Monday.

VIDEO shows flooding in Park Layne


Strong storms brought heavy rains that continue to threaten the northern parts of the Miami Valley.

Nearly 3 inches of rain fell by this evening in Greenville, Troy and Urbana, and rain exceeded 3 inches across Logan County.

Rain Totals(Graphic by Storm Center 7 Meteorologist Kirstie Zontini)

>> Cold air, snow flurries move in

There were numerous reports of high water, including on roadways in Dayton.

Shelby and Auglaize counties remain under an Arial Flood Warning until 8:15 a.m., while those living in Darke County remain under the same warning until 10:45 a.m. Arial Flood Warnings have also been issued for Champaign and Logan counties until 11 a.m.

In Sidney, there is a flood warning until 10:30 p.m. Sunday for the Great Miami River, which is expected to rise to 10.5 feet, higher than the 10-feet flood stage. It is expected to fall below flood stage by Sunday night.

Contributed by Sheila Gibbons in Sidney.

Cool and sunny today, rain/snow mix possible Tuesday evening

Published: Monday, November 20, 2017 @ 3:57 AM

Darke County remains under a flood warning until 8:45 a.m. today.


  • Frigid morning
  • Few showers Tuesday with rain/snow mix possible
  • Quiet for Thanksgiving

>> WHIO Doppler 7 Interactive Radar


Today: It will be a bitter cold morning with temperatures in the 20s, said Storm Center 7 Meteorologist Kirstie Zontini. Skies will be clear with plenty of sunshine through the afternoon. Highs will climb to the mid-40s, which is a little cooler than normal. It will be clear and chilly tonight with temperatures in the low 30s.

Tuesday: It will be a dry start to the day with sunshine. Clouds will increase into the afternoon and highs will reach around 50. A weak front will pass into the night. Some passing light rain showers are possible for the evening. A rain/snow mix is possible and showers will end quickly overnight.

>> County-by-County Weather

Wednesday: It will be cold again with temperatures in the morning in the 20s. A slick spot or two on bridges and overpasses can’t be ruled out where there were showers. There will be sunshine and a few clouds. Highs will only reach the upper 30s, which is about 10 degrees colder than normal.

>> Winter Weather Awareness: What to have in your car kit

Thanksgiving: We’ll have beautiful weather for Thanksgiving this year. It will be cool and sunny with highs in the low 40s and dry from start to finish.

Friday: It will be a frigid morning for Black Friday shoppers as temperatures will start in the upper 20s. Skies will be sunny, so it will warm to the mid-40s. It will stay dry.

WPAFB Monday Weather: Temps will warm to upper 40s after cold start

Published: Monday, November 20, 2017 @ 2:35 AM

A cold start to our workweek is expected as temperatures will hover in the middle 20s as we start the day.

Skies will be mostly sunny with winds switching out of the southeast. Milder air will be pushed northward allowing temperatures, while cool, to push into the upper 40s.

Clear skies return tonight with some increasing in clouds and wind gusts on Tuesday.

>> WHIO Doppler 7 Interactive Radar

A cold front will bring the threat for a few passing light showers Tuesday evening. As colder air moves back in, a few flurries will be possible Tuesday night before the precipitation ends.

>> 5-day forecast

Dry and chilly conditions are expected for midweek into Thanksgiving Day.

Blustery, cold night ahead; nice outlook for Thanksgiving

Published: Sunday, November 19, 2017 @ 12:54 PM
Updated: Sunday, November 19, 2017 @ 11:45 PM

Cold weather at Welcome Stadium for the Springboro vs Miamisburg 3rd grade playoff football game

Clear and cold conditions are expected through the overnight, according to Storm Center 7 Chief Meteorologist Eric Elwell. 

RELATED: Hundreds remain without power from Saturday’s storms, high winds

A Flood Warning remains in effect for parts of Darke County until 1:45 a.m. Monday.

A Flood Warning also remains in effect for the Great Miami River in Sidney until 7 a.m. Monday. 

RELATED: Track the latest conditions with Live WHIO Doppler 7 Radar

RELATED: Stay up to date with conditions on your mobile device with the WHIO Weather App


  • Gradual clearing, cold overnight
  • Warming trend begins Monday
  • Quiet weather, but chilly for Thanksgiving travel

5 Day Forecast with Chief Meteorologist Eric Elwell


OVERNIGHT: Mainly clear and cold. Winds will diminish with temperatures falling into the lower 20s by morning. 

RELATED: Saturday’s heavy rain brings flooding and high water

MONDAY: Skies will become mostly sunny. Temperatures will rebound into the middle to upper 40s by afternoon.

TUESDAY: Expect partly cloudy skies with increasing clouds late in the day. There is a chance for a passing shower in the evening and perhaps a few flurries at night. Temperatures will reach into the upper 40s then fall late in the day through the evening with breezy conditions.

WEDNESDAY: Partly cloudy skies, chilly temperatures, and breezy with highs holding in the upper 30s

THANKSGIVING DAY: A nice day expected for the holiday with sun and a mix of clouds and highs around 40 degrees. 

FRIDAY: Mostly sunny skies with highs in the middle 40s.