Saturday, September 19, 2020

Tropical Storm Beta Update, 10:10am Saturday

Please allow me to break down the graphic for you.
  • Blue = tropical storm warning.
  • Pink = hurricane watch.
  • Yellow = tropical storm watch.
  • Amber = area experiencing winds tropical storm force (40 - 74 mph).
  • H = forecast strength is hurricane (sustained winds 75 mph or higher).
  • S = tropical storm force winds are forecast (40 to 74 mph).
Flooding is the biggest threat from Beta. 
                                   

Friday, September 18, 2020

Justice Ginsburg: Rest in Peace

 Associate Justice Ginsburg lead an amazing life. Condolences to her family and the many that loved her.

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Update on My Third Book

I have been asked, many times, as to the status of my third book. 

I’m happy to report that, as of today, the first draft of the manuscript is complete. My editor and I will do a second edit for style and consistency next week. Then, I will begin the search for someone to represent the work. I’m reasonably confident it will be published based on the feedback I am receiving. 


However, if I cannot find a publisher in a reasonable period of time, I will self-publish the work. 


Thank you for your patience and good wishes. I have learned that writing fiction is much more difficult that writing non-fiction.

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Video of a Train Derailing in Kansas City

Here's something you don't see every day: A Union Pacific train derailing yesterday in Kansas City. The trainwas hauling new cars as it traveled west on the Missouri River bridge. The video is below.
As far as I know, no one was hurt. The camera is run by Virtual Railfan. You can view cleanup in progress here.

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

The Extreme Bias of the MSM

The Babylon Bee is a fantastic satire site -- better than the Onion (was when it was a satire site). Here is an item from an hour ago.

More and more, the Babylon Bee seems to predict the future. I was watching ABC Evening News to see my friend, Ginger Zee, report on Hurricane Sally. Her reporting well great, as usual. But, what should have been the lead story -- the historic peace agreement in the Middle East -- didn't run until 17 minutes in. And, when it finally did, listen to this "mask" zinger from Martha Raddatz* at the start of the report.
Not only did the Babylon Bee forecast this bias, ABC News didn't help itself. How? They went to a commercial after the report on the Middle East. After the commercial, the first story was the ineffectiveness of masks! You can't make this up!
It is no wonder 86% of Americans believe the MSM is biased.


*Martha cried on air when President Trump was declared the winner of the 2016 election. The crying came after Martha speculated -- without any evidence -- that Trump would be a failure when it came to Mideast strategy. The irony is amazing, especially in view of President Obama shoveling our money at Iran.

Hurricane Sally Update: 4:55pm Tuesday

Sally is attempting to make one last try at intensification before landfall. The pressure has dropped 4mb (to 975mb) in the last hour. 

Here are the latest storm surge forecasts. If the eye passes just west of Mobile Bay, the 4-6' forecast might be slightly low.

Record flooding is likely inland.

9am Update on Hurricane Sally

Sally weakened a bit overnight. Here is the storm as it appeared on radar at 8:55am.
Maximum winds at this time are 85mph.

The storm will likely be known for historic flooding.
The bright yellow is a forecast of more than 15 inches of rain. The amber, extending into South Carolina, is 7-10 inches. Here is the timing from my friends at AccuWeather.


Tornadoes are possible today and through the night.

Monday, September 14, 2020

Noon Monday - Hurricane Sally Update

Noon Update: Sally Has Strengthened into a Hurricane
Sustained Winds are now 90 mph. Pressure 986 millibars

Hurricane Warning Issued for the Entire Alabama Coast. Still looks like landfall will occur along the coast of Mississippi or near the MS-AL border.
I still believe the storm will reach sustained winds of 100 m.p.h. before landfall. Sally is reorganizing today and the latest data indicates pressures are falling -- down to 991 mb as of noon, the pressure has dropped rapidly to 986mb.

Major Storm Surge
This does not include waves or astronomical tides. It is possible the surge will be higher than forecast along the Mississippi coast -- a very dangerous situation.

Major Flooding Likely!
The peach color from the City of New Orleans to just off the coast of Mississippi is a forecast of 20 inches of rain. Major flooding will occur in eastern Louisiana and southern Mississippi.

Safety Recommendations With COVID Factored In:
  • Make a hotel/motel reservation well inland. There is no point to getting on the road and finding everything already sold out. Be sure and cancel if you do not need the room. In this case, I would go west (e.g., Lake Charles, Beaumont) to stay away from both winds and flooding. 
  • Make provisions for infirm friends/relatives well in advance. 
  • Get prescriptions filled before you evacuate. 
  • Put an app like AccuWeather's on your smartphone. It will keep track of your location and automatically provide the latest emergency warnings. 
  • Your "Go-Kit" should include at least two masks per person, soap, hand sanitizers, disinfectant wipes and, if available, disinfectant spray. 
  • Fill your car with fuel. I still recommend a road atlas or map in addition to whatever navigation system you might have. 
  • Power failures are likely. If you have a generator, fill it with fuel. If you wish to purchase a portable generator, do not put it in the garage, indoors, or anywhere near an air intake. Carbon monoxide is a danger. Nearly half of the fatalities from Hurricane Laura were from carbon monoxide after the storm. 
  • Consider taking your passport or putting it in your safe deposit box. If the worst happens, you'll need it to prove identity for disaster documents. It will be difficult to recover in a ruined home.
  • Take at least two large bottles of water for each family member along with protein bars or other easy-to-carry food. 
  • If you decide to stay home, make sure you have a working fire extinguisher, non-electric can opener, and a first aid kit. 
As always, I promise there will be no hyping of the storms. 

If you wish to learn more about how hurricane warnings are made, go here

Sunday, September 13, 2020

11:40pm Sally Update

There is a newer forecast higher up on the blog. 

A quick update: Below is the 11:30pm satellite image with a considerable amount of lightning occurring (circled; colored dots = lightning) near the developing eye.
The cites of New Orleans (NO), Gulfport (G), Mobile (M) and
Tampa (T) are marked for reference
If you compare with the satellite images in the posting below, it is obvious the storm has become better organized and is strengthening. Those in the hurricane warning area (red in the path image in the posting below) should complete their preparations by noon Monday.

The rest of the info in the posting below is still valid.

Goodnight.

Hurricane Sally Trying to Intensify

There is a newer forecast higher up on the blog. 

-----
The change in weather satellite images over the past two hours is rather dramatic.

Sally at 8pm.

Sally at 10pm.
The large black area with gray in the middle is known at a "central dense overcast" and its formation is a sign of tropical storm intensification.

Forecast Path of the Eye of Sally
The Hurricane Center and I now agree on the path, although it could be ± 20 miles east or west. I believe the sustained winds at landfall will be in the 100 to 110 mph range with stronger gusts. This will set up a serious storm surge threat.

Storm Surge Forecast
This does not include waves or astronomical tides. It is possible the surge will be higher than forecast along the Mississippi coast -- a very dangerous situation.

Major Flooding Likely!
The peach color from the City of New Orleans to just off the coast is a forecast of 20 inches of rain. Major flooding will occur in eastern Louisiana and southern Mississippi.

Safety Recommendations With COVID Factored In:
  • Make a hotel/motel reservation well inland. There is no point to getting on the road and finding everything already sold out. Be sure and cancel if you do not need the room. In this case, I would go west (e.g., Lake Charles, Beaumont) to stay away from both winds and flooding. 
  • Make provisions for infirm friends/relatives well in advance. 
  • Get prescriptions filled before you evacuate. 
  • Put an app like AccuWeather's on your smartphone. It will keep track of your location and automatically provide the latest emergency warnings. 
  • Your "Go-Kit" should include at least two masks per person, soap, hand sanitizers, disinfectant wipes and, if available, disinfectant spray. 
  • Fill your car with fuel. I still recommend a road atlas or map in addition to whatever navigation system you might have. 
  • Power failures are likely. If you have a generator, fill it with fuel. If you wish to purchase a portable generator, do not put it in the garage, indoors, or anywhere near an air intake. Carbon monoxide is a danger. Nearly half of the fatalities from Hurricane Laura were from carbon monoxide after the storm. 
  • Consider taking your passport or putting it in your safe deposit box. If the worst happens, you'll need it to prove identity for disaster documents. It will be difficult to recover in a ruined home.
  • Take at least two large bottles of water for each family member along with protein bars or other easy-to-carry food. 
  • If you decide to stay home, make sure you have a working fire extinguisher, non-electric can opener, and a first aid kit. 
As always, I promise there will be no hyping of the storms. 

If you wish to learn more about how hurricane warnings are made, go here

The Smoke Boundary Over Kansas

Smoke boundary over north Wichita.
Smoke to the south (left); blue sky to the right (north)

We've had milky skies over Wichita for much of the last 45 days due to the wildfires to our west. It is unusual that we have the boundary over the city.

The 3pm satellite image shows the sharp boundary over the north part of our city (below). 


H/T: Cat Taylor

Dangerous Hurricane Headed for Southeast Louisiana and Southern Mississippi

There is a newer forecast higher up on the blog. 


-----

Note: As of 5pm, the information below is still correct.
-----
Charles Peek
Charles Peek
Unfortunately, Tropical Storm Sally is expected take a path on its way inland that will cause a dangerous storm surge. Sally, like Laura before it, may undergo rapid intensification before it comes ashore. There is also a serious flood risk inland.
Path Forecast
Please allow me to break down the graphic for you.
  • Red = hurricane warning.
  • Pink = hurricane watch.
  • Yellow = tropical storm watch.
  • Amber = area experiencing winds tropical storm force (40 - 74 mph).
  • H = forecast strength is hurricane (sustained winds 75 mph or higher).
  • S = tropical storm force winds are forecast (40 to 74 mph).
Maximum sustained winds with the storm will most likely be in the 100 mph range.
Storm Surge
Please keep in mind that the storm surge forecast does not include waves or astronomical tides. The 7 - 11 foot surge forecast for southeast Louisiana and the southwest Mississippi coast is serious, indeed.
Flood Risk
This particular model (courtesy Pivotal Weather) is forecasting as much as 20 inches of rain. Severe flooding will result if that forecast is correct.

Safety Procedures
Here is a list of recommended safety precautions and procedures that factors in the situation with COVID-19:
  • Make a hotel/motel reservation well inland. There is no point to getting on the road and finding everything already sold out. Be sure and cancel if you do not need the room.
  • Make provisions for infirm friends/relatives well in advance. 
  • Get prescriptions filled before you evacuate. 
  • Put an app like AccuWeather's on your smartphone. It will keep track of your location and automatically provide the latest emergency warnings. 
  • Your "Go-Kit" should include at least two masks per person, soap, hand sanitizers, disinfectant wipes and, if available, disinfectant spray. 
  • Fill your car with fuel. I still recommend a road atlas or map in addition to whatever navigation system you might have. 
  • Power failures are likely. If you have a generator, fill it with fuel. If you wish to purchase a portable generator, do not put it in the garage, indoors, or anywhere near an air intake. Carbon monoxide is a danger. Nearly half of the fatalities from Hurricane Laura were from carbon monoxide after the storm. 
  • Consider taking your passport or putting it in your safe deposit box. If the worst happens, you'll need it to prove identity for disaster documents. It will be difficult to recover in a ruined home.
  • Take at least two large bottles of water for each family member along with protein bars or other easy-to-carry food. 
  • If you decide to stay home, make sure you have a working fire extinguisher, non-electric can opener, and a first aid kit. 
As always, I promise there will be no hyping of the storms. 

If you wish to learn more about how hurricane warnings are made, go here

Good News About California Forests

We talked about this last week. While a warmer climate may be affecting California's fires, the bigger factor is the abandonment of modern forest management techniques. 

Saturday, September 12, 2020

Someone, Anyone, Please Get Joe Biden to Resign the Nomination

This is not a partisan comment: Joe Biden is seriously ill. He has no business running for president. 

If you disagree, please see this exchange from yesterday involving a scripted question and scripted answer (the "move that up" refers to the TeleAPrompter screen, allowing him to read his answer).


From last week, also reading from a TeleAPrompter...


For comparison, here is President Ronald Reagan's farewell address --  delivered after the strain of eight years in office. Reagan was a few days short of his 78th birthday when he made these remarks. He was slightly older than Joe Biden is now.

Judge for yourself but I am afraid Mr. Biden is going to literally drop dead on the campaign trail. Then, what? For the good of our nation, Mrs. Biden should step in and ask the Democrats to nominate someone else. Now. 

Updated, Sept. 12: I don't know if this is a true or a planted hoax. The final comment, pertaining to Mrs. Biden, would explain a lot

Hurricane Threat For North Central Gulf

1pm Update: The storm has organized into Tropical Storm Sally.


Here we go again. 

Here is a first estimate of where hurricane may occur in the northern Gulf region. The yellow is a tropical storm watch. There are no hurricane watches or warnings out as yet. 

Radar Maps the Towns of Southern Kansas

This is an unusual radar image from Thursday evening that represents a map of the towns of south central Kansas. Each of the little blotches is a town.

Here is a portion of the image along with the names of the towns.

I've never seen this clear an image of towns before and I thought you would like to see it.

Friday, September 11, 2020

Thoughts About September 11

Today is the commemoration of one of the saddest days in American history. What makes this sad day especially poignant is the lost of so many innocent civilian lives.

The weather in NYC the day before featured severe thunderstorms. A short film about the weather of September 10 captured the World Trade Center's final hours.

Among the flights diverted to Wichita
While we've written previously about September 11, we've never talked about what happened in Wichita and at our old airport that day. When the "all land immediately" order was dispatched to all planes in America's airspace, among the planes that landed here was an El Al flight full of Israeli citizens. They were terrified that Wichitans would somehow blame them for the attack and, at first, refused to get off the plane. A local rabbi was called to calm them and by the end of their visit they went line dancing. The full story is here.


H/T: Cat Taylor

Thursday, September 10, 2020

Additional Rave Reviews of "Warnings"

From "Goodreads.com" on Thursday.
I received an email from another reader Friday. It said, in part,

As a regular to your blog, I took the bait and ordered Warnings. I am well into the book at the moment and really enjoying it. Who would think weather could be so interesting to a non-weather professional like me? It is very well done. Congratulations.

Hurricane Laura's exceptionally low death toll is evidence meteorologists have tamed (not "conquered") the weather.

If you enjoy this blog, I'm confident you will enjoy Warnings: The True Story of How Science Tamed the Weather

Vital Rain For Wheat Planting

Unlike other crops, "winter" wheat is planted in September and early October in the primary wheat belt. Most of the area was suffering from dry conditions until the last two days. This rain will allow farmers to do their planting on schedule.

Yes, We Know How to Mitigate California's Wildfires

From the (hardly conservative) Pro Publica,
The problem can be stated in two words: Big Environment. It has long been said that extreme environmentalists love the environment -- it is humans they hate.

“Meanwhile, our firefighters are completely at the breaking point,” said Kolden, and there’s little they can do to stop a megafire once one starts. “And after a while you start to see breakdowns and interruptions in other critical pieces, like our food systems, our transportation systems.” It doesn’t need to be this way. We didn’t need to get here. We are not suffering from a lack of knowledge. “We can produce all the science in the world, and we largely understand why fires are the way they are,” said Eric Knapp, a U.S. Forest Service research ecologist based in Redding, California. “It’s just that other social political realities get in the way of doing a lot of what we need to do.”

Well said. I recommend the entire article.