Saturday, December 14, 2019

UPDATED: Winter Storm Forecast, 4:20pm CST Saturday

The low pressure system in the upper atmosphere appears to be taking a slightly more southerly track than originally forecast. This means the band of snow needs to be moved to the south. 
Total Snow Sunday thru Monday Night

Amounts of Freezing Drizzle or Freezing Rain

"Richard Jewell"

I went into the theatre yesterday with moderate-to-high expectations for Richard Jewell. It exceeded them in every way. The actor that played Richard, Paul Walter Hauser, absolutely, positively deserves the Oscar for best actor. What a performance!

Five stars.


Friday, December 13, 2019

9:50pm Winter Storm Update

Predicted Snowfall
click to enlarge
Things are a bit better in focus this evening. The above map is the storm total predicted snowfall.

Freezing rain forecast. It ill be a band from about 50 mi west of Wichita through the Lake of the Ozarks and into St. Louis and southern Illinois. I do not believe the accumulations will be this great due to the recent warm weather.

My forecast below is too fast. I expect rain and snow to begin in Kansas between 3 and 7am Sunday and in Missouri afternoon. Note: There is a Chiefs game at Arrowhead Sunday afternoon.

Plan accordingly.

Preliminary Winter Storm Forecast

Update 6:30pm Friday. This forecast still looks go. I'll do a complete update late this evening.

--- Original Posting ---
click to enlarge
Here is my first approximation on the amounts and timing of the winter storm that will emerge from the Rockies Saturday. I am quite confident a band of snow will stretch from west to east across the region, of course, I am less confident as to amounts and placement (i.e., the band could shift north of south).

There could be a little freezing rain from near I-35 near the Kansas-Oklahoma border east into the Ozarks.

It is too soon to make a forecast for areas along and east of Interstate 57.

Please check back for updates.

The Reasons People Watch Local TV News?

It continues: Weather is the #1 reason, by far, that people watch local news.

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Speaking of Evil: The Global Warming Hypesters

Dr. Cliff Mass is a highly respected meteorologist. Like me, he believes global warming is a significant problem that requires mitigation. Like me, he is appalled as some of the recent fear-mongering. From his blog, here is a post from Monday.

As previously asserted, global warming is now almost completely about power and money.

Travel Advice

If you live in northern Oklahoma, Kansas or Missouri: Complete traveling you were planning to do this weekend by sunset Saturday. While we do not yet know the exact path of a major winter storm, it will be widespread enough that this is good advice.

That way, you can hunker down and watch the snow and (in a small area) freezing rain harmlessly fall on Sunday.

I'll have more specific forecasts later today.

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Thank You!

Shelley, Mindy and I had a great time this afternoon at their annual meeting in Topeka. I was a pleasure meeting everyone. 

Ridiculous Exxon Lawsuit is Over - Exxon Won

With regard to my comments in the posting immediately below, this suit was another example of how utterly corrupt government has become. 
In case you have not been keeping track, Exxon was sued over issues related to global warming by the attorney general of New York four years ago. They were just found not guilty. The judge wrote:

“The Office of the Attorney General failed to prove, by a preponderance of the evidence, that ExxonMobil made any material misstatements or omissions about its practices and procedures that misled any reasonable investor,” Judge Barry Ostrager of the trial-level state Supreme Court wrote in his ruling.

“The office of the Attorney General produced no testimony from any investor who claimed to have been misled by any disclosure, even though the Office of the Attorney General had previously represented it would call such individuals as trial witnesses,” he added...

The case was dismissed “with prejudice,” which means that “this case cannot be tried again on these facts in New York,” Columbia University Law Professor John Coffee said. He added that it could go to New York State Appellate Court and a federal case would be “very unlikely” and “ill-fated.”

Emphasis mine. No investor testimony. No investors defrauded. No material misstatements. No omissions.

For four years the State of New York spent millions and millions of taxpayer dollars in a completely frivolous lawsuit. It was so frivolous, the judge ruled NY cannot try again. Any wonder, among the public, hardly anyone 'believes' in catastrophic global warming?

You would think the attorney general of New York, if she had any ethics, would apologize to Exxon and the taxpayers You would be wrong. In fact, she says,

“Despite this decision, we will continue to fight to ensure companies are held responsible for actions that undermine and jeopardize the financial health and safety of Americans across our country, and we will continue to fight to end climate change,” Attorney General Letitia James said in a statement following the verdict.

Of course, she is spending other people's money on this misuse of the legal system. 

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

U.S. Government: Evil and Incompetent

At least one of those two words describe the vast majority of the activities of the United States government. I urge you to read this article pertaining to the Afghan War. It should be required reading for every voter. And, remember, the military is one of the few elements of the government that we cannot do without.

Combine the aforementioned history of the catastrophic Afghan War (documenting more than a trillion of our dollars wasted plus the far greater tragedy of all of the wasted lives) with the horrible joke of the impeachment going on in Washington and it makes me wonder what we can do to fix our government or if it is too far gone. I'm frightened for our nation.

While it is easy and accurate to blame government, I see the messes in our government as reflective of deeper issues in our society.
  • The education system has turned out students that simply aren't well educated and, especially, cannot think independently. That is the only reasonable explanation as to why anyone would think a broad "more government" is the solution to anything. 
  • The low level of ethics in our society. With Christianity passe,´ too many believe that what is moral = "what I want." Bill Clinton was convicted by a federal judge (that he, himself, appointed) of two felonies. Clear grounds for impeachment... yet he was not removed from office. While President Trump is a total jerk (especially by comparison to the charming Clinton), he is not accused of an actual crime (see, here, from a Democrat professor of law)
  • Global warming and/or socialism have become religion for people who think they are too smart for religion. That will not end well. 
I am an optimist by nature. I would very much like to offer a better outlook. At the moment, I don't have one. 

A Heads Up

If you live in, or plan to travel through, the Central Plains region between December 15 and Christmas Day, I recommend you keep up on weather forecasts and any winter storm warnings.

It is far to soon to get any more specific than that but it appears the recent period of relatively dry weather is going to come to an end.

Monday, December 9, 2019

Please Stay Away From Tracks During The Tour of Union Pacific #4014

Updated, December 9, 2019:
Like the horrible example below, the woman in the purple coat (above) was literally inches from losing her life. The engineer was frantically blowing the whistle but she didn't understand the message was for her. As the locomotive passed, she leaned backward a bit but the train was still close enough to rip fabric from her jacket.

I bring this up because bystanders in a similar incident looked at the camera after the train passed and it was set to wide angle, which makes objects appear more distant. This was my hypothesis (below) pertaining to the fatality involving Union Pacific's steam engine #844 (see below).

Because it is exciting to see these wonderful machines, I don't fault anyone for using a wide angle setting. I do fault people for being far too close to the tracks. If they stayed back the recommended 25', they would have seen it better. Don't believe me? Here is a screen capture from my sister's video of the Big Boy taken too close to the tracks.
And, that is about the best part of the video as the loco passed. It is too big to visualize so close.

The Big Boy tour is over. But, as shown above, there are other steam locomotives and, of course, operating trains across the United States. So, whatever you do, stay well away from railroad tracks at all times. 

 -- Original Posting -- 

As part of the 150th anniversary of the driving of the Golden Spike to create the U.S.'s first Transcontinental Railroad, Union Pacific's "Big Boy" #4014 is touring the western half of the nation the rest of the year. You can find its schedule here. The Big Boy is the largest locomotive (of any kind) ever produced and it is a truly thrilling sight.

That said, I want to provide this caution: Stay at least 25 feet from the track. In 2018, a woman was killed standing next to the track in Brighton, Colorado, while photographing Big Boy's sister #844.
Since witnesses said she was looking through the camera's viewfinder at the time, one could surmise she was using a wide-angle lens that made the train look farther way than it actually was. And, unfortunately, this was not an isolated incident. The headline below is also from 2018.

And, always assume every track is active. Big Boy is loud and you don't want to be struck by a train coming from the opposite direction. The picture below was taken Saturday evening.

So, please go out and enjoy #4014. It is an amazing sight. But, stay well away from the tracks. 

The Full Story on Climategate

While somewhat technical, Ross McKitrick and Steve McIntyre have written the definitive summary of Climategate and its aftermath.

Sunday, December 8, 2019

Am I Writing Another Book? Yes!

From a little while ago on Twitter:
The answer is, absolutely!

I am about six chapters into book #3 but both Kathleen and I have been dealing with some rather significant issues the last two months. While I cannot speak for other authors, I find I have to get into "writing mode" to do anything productive.

Hopefully, things will settle down by Christmas and I can get it finished in the first half of 2020.

Thank you for asking. I believe this book, which will be fiction, will be a lot of fun to read.

Speaking of my books (see post below), we've sold five in two days and they (as of 1:30pm CST Sunday) are back down to three.
So, while I know there are about 50 left in the warehouse (the very last 50 that will be sold at retail) given Amazon's recent issues (see here, among many others), I would recommend you get your order in as quickly as possible. In addition, it can be ordered from your local bookstore and should be available in a week or less.

Saturday, December 7, 2019

Amazon Has Restocked

Amazon was down to three copies earlier in the week, but they have restocked. 
A hardcover book makes a perfect Christmas gift and because of it's upbeat topic (no global warming!) this is an especially good choice.

You can order the book here. If you like this blog, you'll love the book!

Friday, December 6, 2019

While I Realize People in California Are Weather Wimps....

.... this attire, with a temperature of 62°, seems awfully extreme.
In Kansas, we wear a long, thick coat and stocking cap when it is 50°'s colder than it is tonight in Santa Clara.

"To Predict the Weather Could Save Hundreds of Thousands of Lives"

Finally: A movie about a heroic meteorologist.
It opens today.

I hope you are in one of the few cities where The Aeronauts is being shown in IMAX theaters. From the previews it looks wonderful. The critics say to watch it on the biggest possible screen.

This is one of those movies that gets a very limited theatrical release at the end of the year to make it eligible for the Oscars, the Golden Globes, et cetera. Its main purpose is to get you to sign up for Amazon Prime or to continue your subscription. It will be released on Amazon the 20th.

It is the story of British meteorologist James Glaisher who established the first network of weather stations in Great Britain and soared in a balloon to investigate the upper atmosphere. However, in real life, his co-pilot was Henry Coxwell. The part of the woman in the movie is fictional.

Still, it is nice to have the history of weather science and a meteorologist depicted in a positive manner as opposed to a dunce or a murderess.

Hell, No! #2

Can't believe I'm saying that twice in one week.
This is a complete joke. Taking "unnecessary flights" is not a sin.

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Jonathan Turley's Eloquent Impeachment Hearing Testimony Today

This is just amazing. Please spend just four minutes watching.

This melds nicely with comments made here in September.

A Man For All Seasons is one of the most powerful movies ever made. Here is the clip about which Professor Turley (a Democrat, by the way) referred.

See You in Topeka One Week From Today

Looking forward to seeing the members of the Kansas Society of Association Executives a week from today in Topeka. I'll be speaking at 1:30pm at the Capitol Plaza Hotel. 
See you there!