Thursday, November 23, 2017

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!

Hope you have a wonderful day. We all have a lot to be thankful for.

Below is a movie that illustrates what it was like to take a Thanksgiving road trip in the 50's. The only thing it doesn't say is to, "Watch out for dinosaurs!"

Monday, November 20, 2017

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Big News: "Warnings" Back in Stock at Amazon!!

Very pleased to report that Warnings is back in stock at Amazon. How we found more copies is a long story that we'll save for now.

If you live in south central Kansas, it is also on sale and in stock at Watermark Books.

It is a great book (reviews here) that you will enjoy if you have any interest in weather or science. If you enjoy this blog, please consider it for the holidays.

Hurricane Harvey Lawsuits

The article I recommended has been taken down.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

The National Hurricane Center's Accuracy Was Excellent This Year

While AccuWeather Enterprise Solutions issues its own hurricane forecasts for our clientele, the National Hurricane Center is the source for hurricane and tropical storm forecasts for the public.

I'm pleased to link to this story from the Washington Post documenting that the Hurricane Center had a very good year in terms of the accuracy of its forecasts.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Sutherland Springs: The Ultimate Reason to Pray


USA Today
Last Sunday’s atrocity at the First Baptist of Sutherland Springs, Texas, brought about an extraordinarily disappointing and even repulsive reaction from many prominent people in politics and entertainment. Instead of statements of empathy, support, or even the good taste to stay silent, there were too many reactions like this sampling:
Or, from a U.S. Congressman,

Or, from the Speaker of the House and a cast member of The Big Bang Theory,
There were many more along these lines but this sample should be sufficient to illustrate the issue.

"If prayers did anything, they'd still be alive."

That is an astonishing misunderstanding of the purpose of prayer. I'd like to try to assist Mr. Wheaton and others as to what my fellow Christians were doing in Church one week ago this morning. 

Jesus declared, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it. 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' All the Law and the Prophets depend on these two commandments."

The people in the Sutherland Springs Baptist Church were also observing the third of the Ten Commandments of the Old Testament: "Remember to keep holy the Sabbath Day."

Jesus told us, over and over, of the necessity of prayer. With that in mind, what was the ultimate purpose of the First Baptist's congregations' prayers and their fidelity to Jesus' commandments? To attain eternal salvation in Heaven. I believe those martyred souls are there now, enjoying a blissful existence far beyond what we on earth can begin to conceive. 
Headline from the "Friendly Atheist"blog
What about the rest of us? What is the point of us praying for the remaining wounded victims and the people of Sutherland Springs as Speaker Ryan suggested? 

Well, think about the second half Jesus' statement above, "And the second is like it. 'Love your neighbor as yourself'." Those of us outside of Sutherland Springs, as an act of love, can and should pray to the Lord to bring his healing grace to the people left behind, to the first responders who had to deal with the horror of the Church shooting, and, yes, for the troubled soul of the shooter, Devin Patrick Kelley. The last one may be surprising, but Jesus further told us, You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.

If, as people of faith, we view life's most imperative goal to be the attainment of Heaven, then prayer is the very best thing we can do for each other as every one of us needs God's grace and comfort. 

Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and our God and Father, who has loved us and given us everlasting consolation and good hope by grace, comfort your hearts and establish you in every good word and work.

Finally, to clear up another point of confusion that seems common among my atheist and indifferent to religion friends: when we pray for you or for anyone else, it is solely an act of love. Please understand we pray not because we think you are a 'sinner' (even though all of us are) or are deficient in some other way. We pray for you out of a sense of love and because we want nothing but the best for you. 

I realize this topic is far from my usual topics about weather, climate and science. With regard to the latter, as I have written on a number of occasions, I see no conflict between science and religion. I sincerely hope this posting is helpful to those who misunderstand why Christians pray as we do. I will be back with my regular topics tomorrow. 

May God be with all of us. 

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Saturday Fun: A Free Apple Fritter? Okay, Then!

At lower left we have our thief courteously bringing a apple fritter, complete with wax paper to people in a donut store at whom he pointed a gun earlier in the tape. Nice to know gun-toting criminals are polite, and sanitary, in Texas.

The video is here.

Puerto Rico: Congratulations AccuWeather Colleagues!

Photo by AccuWeather's Aira Nelson
I want to let you know about our company's relief efforts in Puerto Rico. Our State College team filled an entire shipping container with essential supplies -- especially generators -- needed for the town of Patillas, where, unfortunately, it appears Hurricane Maria "hit yesterday." Four members of our team went to PR to insure the supplies got to those in need. I'll let our team members on the scene take over the story,

The circumstances are unfortunate, but the community– especially in the humble town of Patillas- are extremely hopeful and full of energy.  Patillas welcomed AccuWeather with open arms.  No one we met complained, not even the people who lost their homes.  One family in particular had an enormous impact on me. This family of three – a husband who lost his legs, his wife, and her 102-year-old mother, who has to be on a feeding tube – had come into town extremely early, seeking a generator to help with the feeding tube. But the generators were still not ready to be distributed, so we asked the family to give us their home address, so we could deliver one.  When we arrived at their home, it was extremely late – but the wife’s reaction was overwhelming. She cried, “Is this real?  I had lost hope that the generator would come!” She then invited us in to meet the rest of her family.  Her mother said, “Gracias, no me queria morir!” which means “Thank you, I didn’t want to die.” 

If you would like to see a video of the supply delivery, click here.

I am so proud to be part AccuWeather, an organization full of dedicated, passionate people. We saves lives and property during storms like Maria and, while doing so, provide outstanding customer service to our clients. There aren't many jobs that give a person that level of satisfaction these days.

Friday, November 10, 2017

That's Hedy!

One of the world's most fascinating people was the late Hedy Lamarr. Why? Because the Austrian and American film actress was not only successful in MGM films, she was the inventor (yes, has the patents to show it) of spread spectrum technology, a form of radio communications that would help defeat the Nazi's.

You know we call that invention today? Wi-Fi and Bluetooth!

Today would have been her 103rd birthday. There is a one-woman show about her life playing in Chicago.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

How Much Warming Has Actually Occurred in the United States?

With great fanfare (at least in meteorological circles) the United States unveiled a state-of-the-art climatological network so that we could actually measure climatological change in the United States. The network has been operating since 2004.

You may also remember the report issued last week that forecast future gloom and doom but that also observed none of this has occurred to this date. Perhaps the reason the gloom and doom has not yet occurred is because United States temperatures have not risen.
Above is the data: there is little, if any, significant warming depicted during the almost 13 years the network has been in existence.

One can, of course, correctly accurately point out that 13 years is a short period of time in climatological terms. But, given the sometimes ridiculous reporting about [global] warming in the United States one would expect to see....warming.


Hat tip: WattsUpWithThat


Monday, November 6, 2017

How Well Have Past "Climate Catastrophe" Reports Aged?

Friday, Dr. Roger Pielke, Jr. and I took a look at the latest in a seemingly never-ending series of reports calling for climate catastrophes. In it, I stated,

I tend to focus on what is occurring now and compare it to past IPCC/US Climate Project projections. Obviously, the current climate in the United States is not as bad as was forecast. 

Let's take a look (hat tip: Dr. Ross McKittrick) at how well one of these comprehensive reports, thirteen years ago, has aged in the past 13 years:

...Major European cities will be sunk beneath rising seas as Britain is plunged into a 'Siberian' climate by 2020. Nuclear conflict, mega-droughts, famine and widespread rioting will erupt across the world. 
The document predicts that abrupt climate change could bring the planet to the edge of anarchy as countries develop a nuclear threat to defend and secure dwindling food, water and energy supplies. The threat to global stability vastly eclipses that of terrorism, say the few experts privy to its contents. 
'Disruption and conflict will be endemic features of life,' concludes the Pentagon analysis. 'Once again, warfare would define human life.' ...
Already [2004], according to Randall and Schwartz, the planet is carrying a higher population than it can sustain. By 2020 'catastrophic' shortages of water and energy supply will become increasingly harder to overcome, plunging the planet into war. They warn that 8,200 years ago climatic conditions brought widespread crop failure, famine, disease and mass migration of populations that could soon be repeated. 
Randall told The Observer that the potential ramifications of rapid climate change would create global chaos. 'This is depressing stuff,' he said. 'It is a national security threat that is unique because there is no enemy to point your guns at and we have no control over the threat.' 
Randall added that it was already possibly too late to prevent a disaster happening. 'We don't know exactly where we are in the process. It could start tomorrow and we would not know for another five years,' he said. 
'The consequences for some nations of the climate change are unbelievable. It seems obvious that cutting the use of fossil fuels would be worthwhile.' 
So dramatic are the report's scenarios, Watson said, that they may prove vital in the US elections. Democratic frontrunner John Kerry is known to accept climate change as a real problem. Scientists disillusioned with Bush's stance are threatening to make sure Kerry uses the Pentagon report in his campaign. 
The entire story is here

So, when you see advocacy organizations that purport to be able to forecast the effects of global warming 33 years into the future (example below),
I wouldn't worry too much. Think about how poorly the "nuclear war" report (above) has worked out.

Of course, 2020 has not arrived. But there is no chance of global warming causing the laundry list of catastrophes in the next two years and two months. That is more than sufficient reason to chill out when these are reported in the media. 

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Two Tornado Watches in the Midwest

There are now two tornado watches in effect:

If you live in the areas under a tornado watch, please monitor the weather the rest of the afternoon and evening.



Significant Tornado Risk in the Midwest

An Out-of-Season Risk of Tornadoes
Any time of year a 5% (brown) risk of tornadoes is significant. A 10% elevated risk is quite significant. So, please make sure your family members and friends are aware that tornado watches may be needed later today along with the possibility of taking shelter during tornado warnings.

In addition, there is a rare (for this time of year) chance of very large hail in the hatched area. For hail, the significant threshold of 1" hail is 15%, the red area is where the chance is 30%. Hatching is where the two inch or larger hail is forecast.
I will update this once this afternoon but will not be able to live-blog storms later today.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

An Amazing "Thank You"

Tulane University, New Orleans, just sent a unique "thank you" to AccuWeather Enterprise Solutions for our service to them during the recent hurricane season.
Photo by Tom Bedard
Meteorologist Ali Davis is standing behind three New Orleans' King Cakes! They are a special delicacy of The Big Easy. What did Tulane have to say about our services?
If you aren't getting celebratory service to help you navigate extreme weather, contact sales@accuweather.com . We'd love to hear from you. 

Friday, November 3, 2017

The New Climate Report: Keep Cool!

The New York Times (headline above) reports as news something that meteorologists have definitively known for more than 40 years and that is that human beings affect the climate. This is not by any definition "news."

But, what does the report really say once you get past the silly headlines? My friend, Dr. Roger Pielke, Jr. took the time to break down what report says about current extreme weather conditions in the United States down into tweets. With his permission, I am reproducing them here.

In English, #2 is climatesciencese for "we do not have evidence for a change in TC=tropical cyclone (tropical storms and hurricanes) frequency or intensity over decades or the past century."

#3, if anything, the number of strong tornadoes is going down. #4, Winter storms have become more frequent and intense since 1950. #5 Regarding drought, there is "no detectable change" in drought (if anything, the statistics show the amount of drought going down)."

#6, In spite of what you have heard with regard to the terrible wildfires in the West, the scientific panel was not able to say that in Western North America droughts have increased. #7, Dr. Holdren was White House Science Advisor under President Obama. Holdren was a believer in catastrophic global warming. Time has proven Dr. Pielke correct. #8, The United Nations' International Panel on Climate Change [most recent comprehensive report] did not attribute changes in flood to "anthro[pogenic = human-caused] influence nor [did it report] detectable changes in flooding magnitude, duration or frequency.


#9, In the United States, there are areas of both increasing and decreasing flood frequency but there is no scientifically sufficient way to attribute them to human causes. #10-12, no human-driven effect on flooding in the USA.


#13 Any claims the report supports an increase in extremes in weather across the United States is just wrong. My comment: Yup!

#14. Roger correctly points out these are current observations. They may change in the future. Again, yup!

#15, Roger has the same high regard as I pertaining to the NYT's climate reporting.

Agree with Roger, including the slightly surprising backing off of some statements in previous reports that tended to support a human-caused tendency for flooding in some parts of the nation.

I am personally a bit concerned about some recent evidence toward slightly increasing rates of sea level rise. However, if one extrapolates the increased rate of rise to the year 2100, you get a rise of seven inches. We can adapt to that.

Now, the above will not be what you read in your newspaper or other media. These climate reports always come with an easy-to-read press release chock-full of scary predictions (valid 80 years from now!) that is written by the marketers and not the scientists. Because most media outlets do not have a scientist on staff, they will print the press release. This is especially true since Associated Press (used by almost every U.S. daily newspaper) and other outlets tend to gravitate toward catastrophic climate change stories.

The same thing occurs with the UN's IPCC reports: the press release reports that global warming is getting worse in breathless terms while the actual science in the report is very mild.

I tend to focus on what is occurring now and compare it to past IPCC/US Climate Project projections. Obviously, the current climate in the United States is not as bad as was forecast. That said, if you would like to read a series of tweets of the weather forecasts in the new climate report, go here.

Climate 'science' loves scare headlines, even if it means opening windows and turning off air-conditioning on the hottest July day in the District of Columbia to get them. Because of the prominence of these scare headlines, some, even in climate science, are calling this new report "deceptive."

My advice? Relax and don't take this report too seriously. As always, be a good steward of the environment (e.g., don't be a person telling us to cut our carbon foot prints while flying 8,000 nautical miles roundtrip in a private jet to pick up an global warming environmental award so as not to interrupt a week of partying more than necessary), be a good citizen, and take care of your family.

Everything else will take care of itself.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

World Temperature Update

Here are temperatures for the last twenty years through September.

Remember the media reports two years ago that 2015 was the hottest year ever? You don't hear that now because it was temporary; caused by the major El Nino. In between the El Ninos was "the pause" where temperatures did not rise, in spite of computer model forecasts they should have been rising.

Here is the important question: Will temperatures drop to near the levels of The Pause as they recover from the El Nino? Ask me in a year or so.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Holiday Book Idea: "Warnings"


Recent review at Goodreads.

rated it it was amazing
I was surprised to learn that the Weather Bureau (now the National Weather Service) refused to issue tornado warnings as late as the 1950s so as not to scare people unnecessarily. That seems ridiculous today with constant live reports from tv weathermen, upgraded polarization Dopplar radars, satellite imagery that can pinpoint a tornado's thought process and more.

But that was the case, and Mike Smith was on the forefront of changing that practice. His book is an excellent history of tornadoes and hurricanes and the mindset that accompanied them in those days. The book is almost three-fold. First, he describes with excellent clarity the actual storms. He also throws in science behind the storms, what causes them, et al. And he includes his personal memoirs on them.

Like most meteorologists, Smith got involved in weather forecasting because of a storm. He saw a devastating Kansas tornado that sparked his interest as a child and he writes of his career and that childhood wonder throughout the book.

I'm the weather reporter for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette newspaper, so this book is particular interesting to me. But I think anyone who is interested in weather, storm watching, history of storms or nature would find this book an excellent and entertaining read.

You can purchase it here

Monday, October 30, 2017

Why a Warm Climate is Better Than Cold

Recent discoveries of human skeletons confirm the revelation of the colony’s president, George Percy, that they also resorted to cannibalism: “Some adventuringe to seeke releife in the woods, dyed as they sought it, and weare eaten by others who found them dead.” When one man confessed under torture to having murdered and eaten his wife, Percy ordered his execution.

From a New York Times' review of "A Cold Welcome: The Little Ice Age and Europe's Encounter with North America."

I assure you: if the climate cooled significantly, there are be mass starvation (due to shorter growing seasons) across the world. The people who worry about global warming should really be more careful what they wish for.

Puerto Rico Is Burning Its Dead, And We May Never Know How Many People The Hurricane Really Killed

Buzzfeed has a sickening story that seems to confirm what many meteorologists believe: the death toll in Puerto Rico is much higher than the official numbers.

Nearly ninety years ago, a hurricane in Florida killed so many the dead were buried in mass graves.
I had hoped America had gotten past the era where we could properly bury people from weather-related disasters.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Major Storm: Northeast United States and Southeast Canada

Extreme winds are likely.

With a severe flash flood threat.
The red "moderate" is a serious threat. Please remember: Drive slowly as downed trees are likely and turn around, don't drown. Never drive into a flooded area.

Sunday Fun: Wichita State's Run for a National Championship

From USAToday. Everyone in town is super excited about the upcoming college basketball season.

Saturday Fun: Can You Guess Her Halloween Costume??

This actress is in Made in America. 

Can you guess what Sarah is "being" in her Halloween costume? If not, click here. If you want to go to a party or trick-or-treat in the same costume as the original, go here. I suspect the original cost less than the variant Sarah Wright is wearing.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Serious Flash Flood Risk

This forecast is valid from 8am Sunday through 8am Monday. The areas in yellow and, especially, in red have a serious risk of flash flooding. Please remember: Turn around, don't drown!


Friday, October 27, 2017

Why Climate Scientists Need to Understand Basic Meteorology

Over the summer, I had a rather lengthy discussion with an amateur climate scientist who insisted there was no reason that climate scientists needed to know basic meteorology. I recalled that conversation when I read this paper from Nature Communications. The paper tells us:
  • There was accelerated melting of glaciers when distant volcanoes erupted.
  • The soot could be carried considerable distances by upper atmospheric winds.
  • Because the glaciers were far away, the soot from those volcanoes could fall out of the atmosphere and onto the surface of glaciers. 
  • That soot darkened the bright while snow and ice cover of the glacier. Darkening a field of snow or ice will cause rapid melting even if temperatures stay the same. 
I don't mean to be harsh but any third year meteorology student would have know that darkening a snow cover rapidly accelerates melting. From this blog on December 5, 2009:

So, if temperatures in the Arctic are not warmer than normal during the melt season, what is causing the ice to melt? 

The answer is soot pollution, likely from China.  This isn't just my theory, there are multiple peer-reviewed paper that have come to the same conclusion.  Dark particles on a light snow cover absorb the sun's warmth and turn it to heat, then transfer that heat into the snow, melting it. Let me give you a backyard example. 

Under clear skies on December 24, 2007, I spread cold fireplace ash in two rows on a seven inch snow cover. 


After four hours, the ash-free area has 5.5 inches of snow (click on images to enlarge):

While the soot-covered areas experienced much faster snow melt, down to 2.5 inches!

It is fine to contend that loss of Arctic ice could have adverse environmental effects.  But, the cause of the ice melt isn't "global warming."   And, decreasing the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere will do nothing to stop the ice melt if the problem is soot. 

As to the soot raining down after being transported long distances, this is from January 11, 2011:

This image is a screen capture from yesterday evening's "NBC Nightly News" photographed from our television screen:

Notice any thing odd about the ice?  I'll give you a hint: There is no dirt or soot in the Arctic (just ice and, under the ice, water). Obviously, a foreign substance is on the ice. And, pollution causes ice to melt much faster, even if the temperature is below freezing, if the sun is out. For details, check here.

Where might the dirt/soot have come from? Here's another hint:
This satellite image shows the brownish pollution from China flowing northeast toward the Arctic.

There are multiple peer-reviewed papers attributing the recent summer ice melt in the Arctic to soot rather than 'global warming' as Arctic temperatures have been colder than normal each of the last three summers. Please be clear: I'm concerned about the melting ice. It may be the the melting ice could lead to other climate problems. But, attributing the melt to "global warming" when the problem is really soot accomplishes nothing and may lead to other problems.

The new paper is useful in terms determining when periods of heightened volcanic eruptions occurred and comparing them to the increased meltwater. That said, there is nothing new or novel about volcanic soot causing accelerated melting of glaciers.