Thursday, September 24, 2020

The Biden's Family Corruption

I rarely write political pieces on the blog. When I do they are usually about hypocrisy or corruption. One year ago I wrote this piece on corruption in the Democratic party relating to impeachment. Part of the reason for that piece is the media's often incorrect foci on Trump ("Russia, Russia, Russia" which was proven incorrect) and contrasted to almost the complete lack of the media examining the extensive corruption in the Biden family. This just changed. 

Regarding the Biden family's corruption, the report released from Congress Wednesday is devastating. Joe Biden's response has been to deny it. I thought this tweet sums Biden's dissembling well. 

We, unfortunately, have two highly flawed candidates from which to choose in 2020. 

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Increasing Concern About Drought

The severe drought over parts of the West could worsen and spread east over the next month and, perhaps, into winter. These forecasts are important for agricultural and water management purposes. 

Current Drought Conditions

Here is the current status of drought in the United States. The first map should be considered valid everywhere except along the West Coast.

The Palmer Index (above) methodology does not work well along the West Coast. The map below should be used in the far West.

Rainfall Forecasts

With the La Nina (area of cold water in the equatorial Pacific west of South America), the Northwest is typically wet while the southern half of the U.S.A. is dry in late autumn and winter. Here is the rainfall forecast for the next seven days. Note that much of the west half of the nation is dry.

The 8 to 14 day rainfall outlook continues the dryness and expands it. 
And, while I am not generally a fan of the 3 to 4 week outlook, it is more of the same with below normal precipitation over most of the nation (brown). There are reasons to believe it is correct, unfortunately. 

While monthly and seasonal precipitation forecasts have limited to no skill, with a La Nina in place, this forecast for the month of October has a better than average chance of being correct.

Will the current drought will east in the Northwest, I'm concerned this pattern will last into winter and with serious effects, especially in the High Plains and West. 

Why Forecasting Should Be Left to Meteorologists

 If psychics were any good.....

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Rest in Peace, Tommy DeVito

I have been a huge fan of the Four Seasons since I heard "Rag Doll" for the first time in the summer of 1964. So, this news hit me hard. The full article is here

As explained in the smash hit musical, Jersey Boys, Tommy was the founding member of the group. The other three were Nick Massi (deceased), Bob Gaudio, and Frankie Valli. Below is a kinescope from 1964 with a medley of their early hits. 
From left, Bob Gaudio, Tommy DeVito, Frankie Valli, Nick Massi

If you wish to hear a 1964 live concert (audio only), click here

Rest in Peace, Tommy. Thanks for starting the Four Seasons and for all of the great music!

Monday, September 21, 2020

Best Laugh I've Had This Month



Congratulations, Dr. Ryan Maue

                                                                          Cato Institute

According to media reports, Dr. Ryan Maue has been appointed to the position of chief scientist of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). This is a brilliant appointment.

Dr. Maue has a PhD in tropical meteorology from Florida State University. From where I sit, NOAA's hurricane forecasts -- particularly involving storm intensity -- need a fresh approach. The National Weather Service's issues (aging radars, stagnant forecast accuracy, etc.) are growing. Again, this is in Ryan's wheelhouse. The NWS is part of NOAA.

The Washington Post quotes the University of Washington's Dr. Cliff Mass as saying,

“I have respected his independent voice,” said Cliff Mass, professor of atmospheric sciences at University of Washington. “He has a good technical background, and I do appreciate he’s been willing to be very frank and honest on everything from synoptic meteorology to climate change. I think he is a very solid person to be appointed to NOAA.”

I couldn't agree more. Congratulations. 

Heavy Rains in the South

Here is the 5-day rainfall amount forecast. Tropical Storm Beta will cause heavy rain in many parts of the region.


Sunday, September 20, 2020

Tropical Storm Beta, 10:25am Sunday

The storm is forecast to remain at tropical storm strength ("S") before weakening to a tropical depression (D). The winds of 40 to 70 mph are tinted in amber. 

The primary problem with Beta will be flooding.

"Blessed are the Peacemakers"

When did you think you would ever see this?
Associated Press photo of the U.S., Israeli, Emerati and Baharani flags displayed on Jerusalem's old wall. 

President Trump deserves a Nobel Prize for this accomplishment. 

I like this cartoon.

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