Sunday, September 22, 2019

Sunday Fun: As Milton Friedman Would Point Out


Sunday Fun: Woman Eats Nine Pounds of Meat (And More) at the Big Texan

The Big Texan is known for its understated decor
While I visited the Big Texan during a business trip to Amarillo in 1998 no one was attempting to eat the gargantuan meal. But, I saw the size of the 72-ounce steak. Eating two of those meals (with shrimp cocktail, baked potato, salad and roll for each meal) back-to-back seems impossible for a man, let alone for a trim woman. The entire story, and photo of the 'winner,' is here.

Saturday, September 21, 2019

Update on Tornado, Hail and Flood Threat

It will be a busy 36 hours for much of Kansas and Missouri.


Flooding

Let's begin with the flash flood outlook. Some areas will have more than five inches of rain between now and 8pm Sunday. Please remember: Turn around, don't drown if you encounter flooding.


Tornadoes and Hail 

The first of the severe thunderstorms should develop between 4 and 5pm.

The brown areas have a significant risk of tornadoes.

And, there is a significant risk of 1" or large hail in the yellow areas with hail larger than 2" in the hatched area.


Baltimore Ravens v. Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead at Noon
TripAdvisor
Rain is especially likely the first half with the probability lessening in the second half. Total rainfall at Arrowhead during the game will mostly likely be 1/4" to 1/2 inches.

Warren Buffet: Steath Profits First. Environment Second

Unfortunately, this story is apparently correct.
Here is the story. I dislike the headline because I don't care who makes whom richer as long as they are honest about it. That stipulated, I believe the story is essentially correct because it tracks with my experience pertaining to 350.org . 

The Dakota Access Pipeline, which recently began carrying oil from the Bakken oil field in North Dakota to a refinery in Illinois, was threatened and delayed by a series of professional and well-funded protests. Much of the anti-Dakota Access Pipeline activities were part of a campaign orchestrated by 350.org, an extremist organization that receives major funding from the Tides Foundation – which gets a large portion of its financial support from Buffett’s NoVo Foundation.
It appears NoVo’s interest in blocking the construction of the pipeline had more to do with protecting Berkshire Hathaway’s railroad interests than protecting the environment. Berkshire Hathaway owns Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railway, a railroad with existing infrastructure capable of delivering oil and natural gas from North Dakota to oil terminals in the Midwest.
If 350.org and the other well-funded anti-pipeline protesters supported by the NoVo Foundation had succeeded in killing the Dakota Access Pipeline, Berkshire Hathaway would have been positioned to make hundreds of millions of dollars transporting the oil – even though shipping oil by rail is much more dangerous for the environment than moving it via pipeline.

When I had my conversations with 350.org, I found them not to be respectful of science and I found them to be extremists. I would never give them money. It is indicative of Buffet's character that he does and does so without up-front disclosure. 

While I am a huge fan of railroads and, especially, BNSF, it is also a fact that pipelines can be a better alternative for moving fossil fuels. So, Warren Buffet -- a 'good' progressive was willing to sacrifice the environment in order to make more money. And, yes, he takes private jets. 

I'd call him a hypocrite but that seems par for the course for the global warming movement. 

Friday, September 20, 2019

Yeah, Global Warming Alarmism Is About 'Science'

No comment necessary.

Flash Flood, Hail and Tornado Risk

I am concerned about the potential for flash flooding from Saturday afternoon through Sunday evening in the area depicted below.
Some areas could receive more than five inches of rain.

In addition, tomorrow afternoon and evening, there is a possibility of very large hail and a couple of tornadoes in the yellow, and especially, the yellow/hatched area.
So, this weekend will be a good time to keep up on the weather if you live in these areas.

Measuring Temperature 101

This is correct: there are many ways a properly calibrated thermometer can read too high but none where they can read too low. In this case, ASOS is the weather station where the official Baltimore thermometer resides.

- IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT -

I am delighted to announce that I have donated my meteorological and professional files to Wichita State University. 

You can read the details from Wichita State's announcement, here.
It is my hope that the data, the journals, and files will be used by future generations to advance atmospheric science and understanding.

Update: Flash Flood Threat

I continue to be concerned about the threat of flash flooding in the Great Plains and lower Missouri Valley. I'll be updated on this and the threat of severe thunderstorms in the Great Plains later today when more data is available.

Thursday, September 19, 2019

AMS: Nothing Like Keeping Those Carbon Footprints Small

The American Meteorological Society's official statement on global warming states:

It is clear from extensive scientific evidence that the dominant cause of the rapid change in climate of the past half century is human-induced increases in the amount of atmospheric greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide (CO2), ...  

...The observed warming will be irreversible for many years into the future, and even larger temperature increases will occur as greenhouse gases continue to accumulate in the atmosphere. Avoiding this future warming will require a large and rapid reduction in global greenhouse gas emissions... 

So, if the American Meteorological Society believes global warming is major huge problem and that carbon emissions need to be cut, why is it holding its annual conference on radar meteorology -- [drum roll] -- in Japan. 
Notice that these meetings are never held in Toledo or Youngstown (cities which could really use the economic boost) but in Japan, Cancun, Bali, Paris, Copenhagen, etc., which gives climate practitioners a great excuse to generate greenhouse gases and boost the size of their carbon footprints. 

As Glenn Reynolds says, I'll believe global warming is a crisis when the people telling me it is a crisis start acting like it is a crisis. 
UPDATE:  Published this afternoon, Dr. Roger Pielke, Jr., also notes the difference between words and actions with these and others.

UPDATE II: From the satire site, Babylon Bee, 
The 'story' is here.

UPDATE III: I never thought this story would get three updates. The AMS has adopted a new, "soak the rich" structure for membership dues which will result in more income for the Society. I'm certain this is needed to pay for trips to Japan and other carbon-increasing activities.
For "equality" and "inclusivity," of course. 

Flash Flooding: Texas Threat Decreasing; Great Plains Increasing

Unfortunately, yesterday's forecasts of flash flooding in southeast Texas and adjacent parts of Louisiana turned out to correct. Three-day totals there, up until noon, have passed 40 inches near Winnie and a couple of other locations.
Hat tip: Dr. Ryan Maue
Some are saying this flooding, in the Beaumont area, is worse than Hurricane Harvey's.

Now, our attention must be refocused. Below is the 3-day rainfall forecast through 7pm Sunday.
The remains of Imelda are going slacken in southeast Texas but will produce locally heavy rain near the Oklahoma-Texas border. 

The big threat is a stalling front over Kansas and Missouri. Based on comparing patterns with past events, the 5+" over northeast Kansas is likely too conservative. I believe some spots will receive more than 7", especially if we were to extend this forecast to noon Monday. Flash flooding, at least on a localized basis, is quite likely. 

UPDATE: 9/19, 5:25pm.. The seven-day rainfall forecast (with almost all of it falling in five days) has a small seven inch area in northeast Kansas. 
click to enlarge

I Wonder How This Guy, With Family ISIS Ties, Was Able to Slip Past Our Crack TSA??

Nine days ago, I posted this piece about the absurdities of the TSA.

So, now, we have a genuine terrorist attack at a major American airport. And, shock, the TSA had no deterrent effect, let alone catching the guy before the plane left the gate. 
Of course, as has occurred elsewhere, we were initially told this wasn't terrorism. From the Miami Herald on September 5:

The reason, according to a criminal complaint filed in Miami federal court: Abdul-Majeed Marouf Ahmed Alani, a veteran employee, was upset over stalled union contract negotiations.

R-i-g-h-t. Alani was charged with sabotaging the plane's navigation system. Fortunately, the flight crew aborted the takeoff when something was amiss. Here is the - ahem - revised story today.
AMERICAN AIRLINES MECHANIC HAS POSSIBLE ISIS TIES, PROSECUTORS SAY: “Prosecutors presented evidence in court that defendant Abdul-Majeed Marouf Ahmed Alani has a brother in Iraq with potential ties to ISIS and lied about visiting him in the country in March. A search of Alani’s phone by prosecutors turned up a “disturbing” ISIS video of someone being shot in the head. Alani allegedly sent the video to someone along with a message that Allah should take revenge against non-Muslims, but it’s unclear if the video was texted, emailed or transmitted by another electronic method.”
At the beginning of the month, the story was framed as Alani being arrested “on a sabotage charge accusing him of disabling a navigation system on a flight with 150 people aboard before it was scheduled to take off from Miami International Airport earlier this summer. The reason, according to a criminal complaint affidavit filed in Miami federal court: Abdul-Majeed Marouf Ahmed Alani, a veteran employee, was upset over stalled union contract negotiations.”

It is long past time to abolish the TSA and go back to non-governmental screening. Why?
Some airports that opted out of TSA-staffed screening did so in part because airport officials did not believe the nation’s transport security regulator should also be the one providing that service, viewing the dual roles as an inherent conflict. “You’re essentially regulating yourself,” Fredrick Piccolo, president and chief executive of Sarasota-Bradenton International, said of TSA-staffed checkpoints. “When you run into issues, how do you criticize yourself?” The Bozeman airport also saw that arrangement as problematic, Sprenger said.

Airports like San Francisco and Kansas City have never had TSA screening. They have private contractors. Feel any less safe flying through there? I don't. But, I have noticed the screeners are more friendly and less arrogant. 

TSA example, Huntsville, September 12:

Screener 1 to me (inside the nude-o-matic): Put your feet on the orange footprints. 

Me: They are (put a jiggled them a little to make her happy).

Screener 1 to me:  No, put them on the orange footprints. 

Me: They are (I couldn't see any orange sticking out but I jiggled them again). 

Screener 1 to me (I had, per their request, taken off my belt): Pull your pants up to your waist.

Me: They are (and, they were). 

Screener 2 to me (still inside the nude-o-matic): No, we don't want your feet on the orange footprints, spread your legs apart as far as possible. And, don't keep your pants on your waist, pull them up as far as possible. 

Me: Oh-kay. 

The nude-o-matic showed I had 'something' improper just above my naval. Really. I was wearing a t-shirt without an undershirt. One visual glance could show there was nothing there. Still, I qualified for a pat-down. 

They were doing this, I noticed, to every male who went through the machine, including the three in front of me. It is harassment, nothing more. What could this possibly have to do with keeping flights secure?

It is fine with me if the TSA were to get serious and monitor the people actually conducting airport security. But, their "security theatre" has got to go. 

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

NBC: Confessing Climate Crimes

Now, NBC wants us to confess (to whom I don't know) our climate crimes.
Does this strike you as "news"?

It is all part of a propaganda campaign , organized by Big Climate at great expense, for this week. All of this is designed to create momentum for a United Nations' climate meeting in NYC next week.

H/T: Victory Girls Blog

We Are Getting Into A Flash Flood Period

More than 20" of rain has fallen south of Houston and more heavy rain is expected with the move of Tropical Storm Imelda into Texas.
There are three areas of serious concern:
  • Continuation of the Imelda threat in Texas and far west Louisiana.
  • Arizona. Late monsoon moisture and an upper atmospheric low moving into California will set off the threat of flash floods. 
  • Kansas, Missouri and Illinois. Note the forecast of more than 7" around Kansas City. Don't take that location literally. However, very heavy rains are possible in this area during the next six days. 
Please keep an eye on the weather over the next week if you live in these areas. 

Someone Better Tell the Banks and Credit Unions!

Representative Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez says "Miami will not exist in a few years."

In my dictionary, a "few" means a "small number" and most interpret that to be three or four. Whatever the exact number of years, someone better tell the Miami banks that are offering 30 year mortgages! After all, the city won't exist "in a few years."

Keep in mind, these low rates are directly correlated with the fact that both hurricanes and sea level rise are judged by the smart money to be very low risk over the next three decades (remember, if the property is destroyed, the loan likely cannot be repaid).
Or, are they still offering these very low rates (which implies very low risk) mortgages because no one truly believes the catastrophic global warming nonsense? I think you know the answer. It is the same answer that is fueling the hotel boom in the Maldives.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

It Is Time to Cancel the EBS Tests

I don't know about your location but in Wichita the emergency broadcast system tests have gotten out of hand. They have become daily 'events' between the tests generated by the cable systems and the tests generated by the local stations.

The fact is that the emergency broadcast system isn't needed. It is a jobs program. 

Remember: the EBS was not activated on September 11, 2001, because it was a 'regional' disaster (really!). So, the premise is that we need the government to let us know about something even bigger than September 11. Do you really believe that the TV networks and local stations won't cover something bigger than September 11?!

Here in Wichita, the tornado sirens are tested every Monday at noon. We have these near daily tests of the EBS. The National Weather Service's report on the Joplin Tornado found that people didn't respond, in part, because they heard this stuff all the time and didn't think it was important.

If they want to test it once a month, I suppose that is okay. But, we now have 'test overload' in many cities. It needs to stop.

Latest News From Science

The feather-raising story is here.

Monday, September 16, 2019

The Latest Review of "When the Sirens Were Silent"

A current, straightforward treatise on tornado safety. Smith brought to life the inherent errors that occurred with the warning process during the Joplin tornado. This book would be a great read for meteorologists, forecasters, weather enthusiasts, storm chasers, weather spotters and emergency managers. Sometimes these errors need to be discussed in order for people to learn from the past and become more award during severe weather. This was a good, and sometimes unpleasant, rad but well worth the money. I feel much safer having read this myself. 

You can purchase the Kindle version for $2.99.

Scott Adams Must Have Been Visiting Delta Airlines Last Week

I just finished a magical week in all aspects except one: Delta Air Lines.
You'll recall (per my Tweets) that I decided to give Delta another try after a five-year absence. That five-year absence was due to several consecutive bad experiences.

Because of the extremely special occasion, I went ahead and purchased first class tickets for Kathleen and me. They were $200 extra. One of the reasons was because our flight left at 11:10am (arrived in Atlanta at 2:20pm) and it said they served "lunch" in first class.

Here's how it worked out:
  • Dirty, sticky tray table. It required both wet napkins and a wet wipe to clean. It is amazing that Delta expects its customers to clean its tray tables. 
  • Broken seat. My seat kept 'reclining' even though I didn't want it to. 
  • Sat on the tarmac in ATL for 45 minutes even though the weather was fine throughout the region.
  • Mis-installed seat belt. I rang the flight attendant call button: no response. I flagged down a flight attendant to give me an extender and to tell them to write up the problem so it could be fixed. Even though she said she would, she did not bring me an extender nor did respond in any other way. Told a second flight attendant. No response. So, I flew from Huntsville to Atlanta without being able to fasten my seat belt. I knew the weather was okay, so I didn't worry too much about it. 
And, best of all, this was 'lunch.'
So, Delta, it will be at least another five years before I hand you my hard-earned money. 

Update, 9/19, 5:20pm: Delta has had a bad week

Amen!