Galveston County is partnering with the Texas General Land Office and Texas Parks and Wildlife to offer FREE Vessel Turn.*Space is limited and spots need to be reserved by January 26th, 20221. To reserve a spot, call 409-766-4516 or 409-766-4512.
You stay up late wrapping presents in secret and make a show of setting out cookies and milk, but there’s one more thing you can do to prove Santa is real. This year, take the classic letter to Santa to a new level by not only sending it but making sure your kiddos receive a response from the Jolly Old Elf himself. The USPS has an awesome program in place and if you’ve never done it before, this is your year. Here’s what you need to know:
Step 1: Write the letter!
Have them put their letter in an envelope, addressed to:
Try to avoid sealing this envelope without being too obvious.
Step 2: Write a response to your child.
Okay, here’s the spoiler part! Using your stealth parenting-in-the-night skills, the same ones that power you to wrap presents and fill stockings undetected, you will need to write out the response from Santa (disguise your writing if you think necessary) and place it in an envelope addressed to your child with a return address of Santa Claus, North Pole.
Make sure you put a stamp on this envelope: The current rate is 58 cents, or use a Forever stamp.
Tip: USPS suggests writing the response from Santa on the back of your child’s letter to save space and to make sure your kiddo will remember what they wrote (plus this way you get to keep it without giving anything away!).
Step 3: Mail it.
Place everything into a larger envelope (like a Priority Mail Flat Rate or manilla envelope) and make sure there is adequate postage. A flat rate is great because you can buy the postage online and print the label, saving you a trip to the post office.
Remember, in your envelope, you will have:
1 letter to Santa in an envelope addressed to Santa
1 response from Santa in an envelope addressed to a child with an actual postage stamp (and Santa’s return address)
Address this larger envelope to:
North Pole Postmark
4141 Postmark Dr.
Anchorage, Ak 99530-9998
The rest is up to Santa’s busy elves at the Postal Service.
Important: The USPS recommends having the letters sent no later than Dec. 10 so that they can arrive at the Anchorage, AK office in time.
Learn more here.
Good to Know
The USPS also operates Operation Santa, a letter-writing program for any kid in need. Children can write to a specific address and make requests. They even have a letter-writing kit. To learn more about this program, or to answer letters and donate for kids in need, click here.
The active 2021 Atlantic hurricane season officially concludes today having produced 21 named storms (winds of 39 mph or greater), including seven hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or greater) of which four were major hurricanes (winds of 111 mph or greater). This above-average hurricane season was accurately predicted by NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, a division of the National Weather Service, in their May and August outlooks.
“NOAA provided the science and services necessary to protect life and property before, during and after storms all season long,” said NOAA Administrator, Rick Spinrad, Ph.D. “From essential observations to advanced warnings to critical response actions, NOAA supports communities so they are ready, responsive and resilient to the impact of tropical cyclones each and every hurricane season.”
This year was the third most active year on record in terms of named storms, it marks the sixth consecutive above-normal Atlantic hurricane season, and this was the first time on record that two consecutive hurricane seasons exhausted the list of 21 storm names.
Scientists attribute the heightened hurricane activity in recent years to the warm phase of the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation that began in 1995 and favors more, stronger and longer-lasting storms. The Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation is thought to be driven by a combination of internal climate variability and changes over time in small airborne particles, often referred to as aerosols, over the North Atlantic. However, the relative contributions of internal variability and aerosols to the observed Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation remain uncertain. Additionally, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Sixth Assessment Reportoffsite link, released in August 2021, projects with high confidence that the global proportion of tropical cyclones that reach very intense (category 4-5) levels, along with their peak winds and rainfall rates, are expected to increase with climate warming at the global scale.
“The hard-working forecasters at NOAA’s National Weather Service weather and water forecast offices and national centers, along with the National Hurricane Center, provided reliable forecasts and advanced warnings around the clock to safeguard communities in the pathway of destructive storms throughout this active hurricane season,” said National Weather Service Director Louis W. Uccellini, Ph.D. “Their dedication and service are a recognized asset to the nation’s resilience to these extreme events.”
This season’s storm activity started early and quickly ramped up, as it was the seventh consecutive year with a named storm forming before the official start to the season on June 1, and held the earliest fifth named storm on record. As to why, Matthew Rosencrans, lead seasonal hurricane forecaster at NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center says, “Climate factors, which include La Niña, above-normal sea surface temperatures earlier in the season, and above-average West African Monsoon rainfall were the primary contributors for this above-average hurricane season.”
NOAA’s hurricane research and observations
Scientists at NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory successfully deployed five new extreme weather Saildrones to collect data at the ocean and atmosphere interface in the Caribbean and western tropical Atlantic. One uncrewed Saildrone captured the first ever video and measurements at the surface of the ocean during a major hurricane, withstanding 125-mph winds and 50-foot waves during Hurricane Sam. This data combined with data from other Saildrones, ocean gliders and aircraft-released sensors is helping NOAA to better represent the conditions that drive hurricanes within forecast models.
NOAA aircraft flew more than 462 mission hours to support hurricane forecasting and research. Data collected by these high-flying meteorological laboratories help forecasters make accurate storm predictions and allow hurricane researchers to achieve a better understanding of storm processes, which ultimately improves their forecast models. Thanks to data from these aircraft, NOAA satellites, and other sources, the National Hurricane Center accurately forecasted Hurricane Ida — which is tied for the fifth strongest hurricane to ever make landfall in the United States — hitting Louisiana as a major hurricane.
Since the launch of the storm surge warning and new inundation mapping in 2017, there have been 16 U.S hurricane landfalls, of which seven were major hurricanes. During this period, there are only seven known direct fatalities attributed to storm surge in the United States. In 2021, only one life was lost due to the storm surge accompanying the eight landfalling storms. Additionally, the delivery of Impact-Based Decision Support Services to NOAA’s core partners throughout the season helped communities better prepare for and respond to landfalling hurricanes.
In the aftermath of Hurricane Ida, NOAA Aircraft flew 32 mission hours collecting aerial damage assessment images to support emergency response efforts at NOAA’s National Ocean Service. NOAA’s aerial imagery aids safe navigation and is a critical tool in determining the extent of damage inflicted by flooding and assessing damage to major ports and waterways, coastlines, critical infrastructure and coastal communities.
The 2022 hurricane season will officially begin on June 1. NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center will issue its initial seasonal outlook in May, but now is the time to make sure your family is Weather-Ready by preparing for the season ahead.
November 15, 2021 – The park will conduct controlled burns at Galveston Island State Park Bay Side Areas Tuesday the 16th and possibly and Wednesday the 17th. There will be time of heavy smoke and some areas will be closed off temporarily while crews work with fire.
Prescribed burns are scheduled for the week of Monday, Nov. 15 through Friday, Nov. 16, 2021. During this time, when conditions are optimal, our trained team will be conducting burns in the park. There may be times of heavy smoke, and there may be a need for campers or visitors to move equipment or vehicles. There will be areas of the park with restricted access, during these dates.