Showing posts from June, 2010

Jacksonville Review

Warnings  has received a favorable review from the Jacksonville, Fla., newspaper.

Visit to Greensburg

Kari Kyle and her staff at the Green Bean Coffee Shop in Greensburg were great hosts for the book signing yesterday evening. Greensburg is transforming itself into a gem of a town and I'll post some photos later today or tomorrow.

From the Fields to Your Table

Earlier today, I took these photos in Summerfield, Kansas (background) which is on the Nebraska border. After a week of favorable weather, the wheat harvest is making fast progress. This photo was taken just south of Summerfield showing a combine working the fields: Closeup of combine on a warm, dry day -- perfect cutting weather.

Alex Will Likely Become a Hurricane

As with tornadoes, it is not my intention to routinely blog about tropical storms and hurricanes. My colleagues at AccuWeather have a terrific web resource for tropical storms here .  That said, folks in Texas should start paying attention to Tropical Storm Alex.

See You in Greensburg!

Kim and I will be in Greensburg for a book sale and signing Tuesday evening. It will take place at the Green Bean Coffee Shop from 6 until 7:30pm. Hope to see you there!

Misplaced Priorities

Monday, I offered some thoughts on what seems to be the poor response by the federal government with regard to the Gulf oil spill. Here are is an article that will have you scratching your head in bewilderment.  My take: There are far too many U.S. agencies that are too worried about their bureaucratic perquisites to meld into an effective team with a genuine sense of urgency. We need to bring every resource to bear to mitigate this problem.

Haiti Tents and Hurricane Season

Photo: National Council of Black Mayors At yesterday's American Meteorological Society luncheon in Miami, Bill Reed, the director of the National Hurricane Center, explained to us that more than 1,000,000 in Haiti living in tents. Some of these are in valleys that are flood-prone. Should a hurricane, with its damaging winds and flash flood-producing rains occur this season, the lost of life could be higher than the earthquake's estimated 250,000 .

"They Can See That He's Just a Fool..."

Those Paul McCartney lyrics came to mind when I read this : “Sadly we need disasters like this to show people,” McCartney said in an exclusive interview with The Sun. “Some people don’t believe in climate warning — like those who don’t believe there was a Holocaust.” It is sad to see how 'global warming science' has lead so many people to so many wrong impressions and foolish statements. Hat Tip: Watts Up With That

Climate Model Uncertainty

For those who have seen my global warming presentation, I discuss the high-level of uncertainty associated with climate models. If we can't forecast weather in a consistently accurate manner ten days in the future, there is no basis to believe we can do so ten years  in the future. For those who would like to learn a little more about model uncertainty, go to this lightly technical article . The quote below sums things up nicely. But for all that was controverted, the basic physical uncertainties were not disputed. It turns out that uncertainties in the energetic responses of Earth climate systems are more than 10 times larger than the entire energetic effect of increased CO 2 . 15  If the uncertainty is larger than the effect, the effect itself becomes moot. If the effect itself is debatable, then what is the IPCC talking about? And from where comes the certainty of a large CO 2  impact on climate?

Higher Education, the Next Bubble?

I vote yes. So does Professor Glenn Reynolds .

Amber Waves of Grain

UPDATE: A great article about the harvest from The Wichita Eagle . Click to enlarge photo. Kansas wheat ready for the 2010 harvest. 

“McCarthyism – it’s only wrong when the other guys do it.”

...from the comments at Watts Up With That's article about the new climate blacklist published by the National Academy of Science based - in part - on belief in the ' consensus ' on 'global warming.'  Here is Roger Pielke, Jr.'s reaction. Roger Pielke, Sr.'s reaction is here . Tom Fuller's is here . Tom goes on to say, Just when you think things can't sink any lower, the National Academy of Sciences has now published a list compiled by a non-academic weblogger that attempts to rank scientists by expertise, credibility and (oh!) belief in the consensus position on global warming. I am flummoxed that the U.S. National Academy of Science (should it change its name to National Academy of Propaganda?) would stoop so low to publish this garbage. UPDATE: Dr. Roy Spencer calls it an inquisition . With that in mind, I offer a photo of Mel Brooks in his classic "The Inquisition" number in The History of the World Part I. Perhaps, if he ever ma

Energy-Independent Future?

John Stewart's montage of the last eight Presidents promising to get the U.S. off foreign oil is hilarious. He expresses (like so many others) shock that we have not been able to achieve that goal. Let me offer a non-political thought: Maybe it is difficult to get off oil because fossil fuels are the best source of energy for mobile use.  Yes, we could greatly improve gas mileage (using less foreign oil) by switching to diesel. Modern diesel engines are clean and can nearly double  the mileage over gasoline (bet you didn't know that). But, diesel has a "bad name" in the U.S. Or, we could greatly  reduce our dependence on foreign oil by switching to natural gas to run our automobiles and trucks. Either of those would pay huge dividends -- but they are still fossil fuels. What about electric cars?  Given the present technology, they will play only a small role. Too expensive, range too limited, and too long to recharge (I just read an estimate that a filling st

Speaking of Hurricanes...

... AccuWeather's Joe Bastardi has uppe d   his forecast of hurricanes for the 2010 season . The graphic below is the latest forecast. Note the seven storms expected in the area that includes the gushing oil well. And, the longer range computer models indicate that the first tropical storm or hurricane of the season might -- emphasis might  -- affect the Gulf sometime next week.  

Some Sobering Thoughts

UPDATE:  A BP-supplied tape describing how the relief well operation is expected work can be viewed here . ORIGINAL POST: According to news reports, BP has abandoned any attempts to "cap" the leaking well and is relying on "relief" wells which are scheduled to be completed in August. Here is the latest information pertaining to the relief wells. Now, I would like to offer a sobering thought: The relief wells may not be finished in August and, even if they are, they may not work. Please keep in mind my "day job" is risk mitigation. Since you can't manage risks you don't anticipate, lets think through some scenarios. Lets start with the first problem, a delayed completion of a relief well(s). That's easy: A hurricane or even a tropical storm. These offshore platforms must be evacuated at the slightest risk of a hurricane or tropical storm. It is easy to envision scenarios where the operation runs weeks behind because of actual or threate

One Sweet Place

Bethany, Missouri:  A Sonic and Russell Stover across the street from each other, next door to a filling station selling gas for $2.45/gallon -- the least we saw on our trip!

Another Day to Pay Attention to the Weather

As you know, I do not attempt to blog about current weather. My colleagues at AccuWeather do a great job of that. However, I do blog when I see something threatening and/or unusual... Today looks like the third day in a row of destructive weather. The moderate risk area will feature very large hail, damaging winds and, in a few areas, tornadoes. Things are already getting started (image from just a few minutes ago): This cluster of storms is moving southeast through the Missouri Valley area. The white echo is very large hail. Please pay attention to the weather if you live in these areas.

A Father and A Tornado

Caution, it does not have a happy ending. But, it is what fathers are all about. Story here .

Attention Sirius Subscribers

I heard the most extraordinary program on "Siriusly Sinatra" yesterday. Recorded 45 years ago this week in St. Louis, Johnny Carson hosted a benefit performance by Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis, Jr. The quality of the recording and the performances are terrific. It will be repeated at 8pm Central tonight. More information here .

Happy Father's Day!

Happy Father's Day to all fathers! So, here are a few photos that I enjoyed taking. Blogging will be light today. 

Heads Up Central U.S.

UPDATE 9:30pm... Here come the damaging winds. The band of storms approaching Manhattan, KS has winds gusting to 70 mph with 80 mph winds near Tuttle Creek Res. They will move southeast toward Topeka, Lawrence, and Kansas City. This is the last update for the night. Severe thunderstorm watch until 3am... UPDATE 8:07PM: An area of thunderstorms in northern Kansas has produced a couple of tornadoes, torrential rains and very large hail. The line of storms may begin moving SE during the night and produce very strong winds in northeast Kansas. Severe thunderstorm watches, with damaging winds a possibility, are already in effect in Illinois, Missouri and far eastern Kansas. In addition, a second round of violent thunderstorms may develop farther west in Kansas and in Nebraska later today. Here is the problem: The situation is conducive to widespread damaging winds, similar to what occurred yesterday (blue symbols denote damaging winds). Currently, 168,000 homes and businesses are

"Warnings" Available at Great Plains Nature Center

Warnings  is now available at the gift shop of the Great Plains Nature Center .

In a Nutshell

A fundamental problem with the entire issue here is that climate science is  not a classic, experimental science.  As an emerging science of a complex,  chaotic climate system, it is plagued by uncertainty and ambiguity in both  observations and theory.  Lacking classic, laboratory results, it easily  becomes hostage to opinion, groupthink, arguments-from-authority,  overstatement of confidence, and even Hollywood movies.  When climate  scientists are placed in the limelight because this issue can generate  compelling disaster scenarios, we simply don’t want to say, “We just don’t  know.”   -- Distinguished Professor of Atmospheric Science, John R. Christy, University of Alabama, Huntsville, Montreal, June 15. Hat tip:   Roger Pielke, Sr.  

Thank You!

For most of the time since April, Warning s  has been the number one book in the "Forecasting" category at Amazon. I am deeply humbled and appreciative of all of the great reviews and support. Thank you!

Tornado near Winterset

There is a tornado warning in effect for eastern Madison Co., Iowa, home of the famous bridges and of the birthplace of John Wayne, where I was yesterday (see below).  The tornado located near the inverted purple triangle and Winterset is where U.S. 169 (thin gray north-south line) just northwest of the tornado.

"A Man's Gotta Visit Where a Man's Gotta Visit"

Last month, I posted regarding regarding the birthday of John Wayne. Thursday, Kathleen and I visited Winterset, Iowa, the birthplace of John Wayne: The gift shop is next door: Winterset is an attractive town in the middle of Madison County (of "Bridges" fame).

Chicago Tonight? Think Twice About It!

All flights bound for O'Hare are grounded until at least 4:45pm Central and likely longer than that. A tremendous line of thunderstorms with winds of 80+mph is just west of O'Hare and will sweep through all of Chicagoland.  Midway will have problems, as well.  The FAA is predicting average delays of 1.5 hours. However, I don't think they are giving enough weight to the lightning that will following the winds for at least another hour.  Ramp people cannot work with lightning in the area. So, if you can route yourself around O'Hare, tonight would be a good time to do so. UPDATE: 6:49PM:  Chicago Tribune has this photo of the storm (with 77 mph winds) approaching downtown. The Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower, tallest building in U.S.) had windows blown out. More than 300,000 homes and businesses are without power in Chicago.

"The Sirens Went Off 36 Minutes Before the Tornado Arrived"

Yesterday, the state of Minnesota suffered the worst tornado outbreak in its history. Sixty-two twisters were reported in Iowa, Minnesota, and eastern North Dakota with the worst of the storms in Minnesota. Damage is reported all over the state. More here . While a number of towns are in ruins, the death toll was three. While tragic, that number is amazingly low. Prior to the warning system, a single tornado in Minnesota killed 72 ! The warning system continues to have amazing results, month in and month out. UPDATE:  Spectacular photography of the tornadoes here . There are great examples of the "green sky."

The Bureaucracy Out of Control

One of the most shocking passages in Warnings  is the story of the Katrina rescuers being sent to Atlanta to take a mandatory sexual harassment course rather than to New Orleans to rescue the people dying the in the post-Katrina floods. I was reminded of this when I read the story this morning about the barges being shut down by the Coast Guard. Eight days ago, Governor Jindal of Louisiana ordered barges to begin vacuuming the oil from the Gulf. Yesterday, they were shut down by the U.S. Coast Guard: The Coast Guard needed to confirm that there were fire extinguishers and life vests on board, and then it had trouble contacting the people who built the barges. I am OK with them checking each boat to make sure it has the proper safety equipment. We don't want anyone hurt while they deal with the flammable oil. But, that takes ten minutes per boat. There was no reason to shut down the entire fleet and there was no reason to contact the people who built the barges. Either each bo

Arkansas Floods, Texas Temperatures, and Global Warming

People ask me all the time, as recently as last week, why I don't write more about 'global warming.' It is because I dislike the topic. There is so much bad science involved with global warming and I prefer to write positive things about good science (such as Warnings ). I suppose it was inevitable that someone would try to use the flash flood tragedy in Arkansas last week to advance the argument for global warming.  Sure enough, from The Washington Post:  However, the question of whether to raise climate change in discussions of flash floods (and other extreme events) constitutes more than a quibble over semantics. The media has a responsibility to report what the science says, even in the context of a breaking news story, such as a flood event or heat wave. The science has become  clearer , although by no means certain, that local precipitation extremes may be connected to climate change. The author, Andrew Freedman, wants us to believe that last week's flash flo

Storms in Iowa and Minnesota

Mike is traveling in Iowa and shot this photo east of Des Moines on I-80. There is a chance of tornadoes and high winds in Iowa and Minnesota this afternoon and evening. If you live in this area, keep updated with weather information. UPDATE: 7:49PM. A tornado outbreak is in progress in Minnesota and northern Iowa, as indicated by AccuWeather's radar: The red symbols are the locations of tornado touchdowns. At two have been killed by the storms.

Weather Radios

"Before they go out camping to always check our forecasts from the national weather service," Lawrence said. He also said you should pack a NOAA weather radio if you want to stay informed on your trip." Numerous news stories in the wake of the Arkansas flood tragedy last week have advised people to obtain and carry NOAA Weather Radios. Examples here , here , and here .  Only one problem:  The weather radio channel that served the campground was out of service that night and a radio wouldn't have gone off.  Details here .  This isn't the first time this has happened. In November, 2005, a tornado struck Evansville, IN at 1:50 am. Immediately, the "buy a weather radio" news stories began. But, in that case, like the Arkansas floods, the weather radios didn't go off .  Twenty-five people died.  In both the Arkansas flash floods and the Evansville tornado, the local NWS issued timely, outstanding warnings that could have saved lives. But, the NWS tec

Still Time for Father's Day

To make it easy, we have posted links Warnings  at all the major booksellers here .  Just scroll down after the reviews.

"A $1 a Day to Cool the Earth"

That headline is all over the internet tonight. For example, here and here , along with numerous other locations. It's nonsense. China and other nations are building new fossil fuel power plants that will emit greenhouse gasses at a far faster rate than the U.S.'s greenhouse gasses will decrease. So, even if global warming proponents' theory that CO2 is the driving force in climate is correct (a dubious proposition*), since the net concentration of greenhouse gasses will continue to rise the earth will not cool as a result of their bill  if it becomes law. More importantly, solar and terrestrial conditions point toward cooling -- perhaps significant cooling -- over the next five years even if we do nothing. The very low level of sunspots, the very long solar cycle, the Pacific Decadal Oscillation entering its cold phase and El Nino flipping to La Nina all indicate we are in for major cooling. As I have said and written a number of times, if, by 2013-2015, significant

Quad Cities

Beautiful day for the drive from Wichita to the Quad Cities where I will be doing some training tomorrow at WQAD TV and they will be interviewing me about Warnings . The interview will likely run on tomorrow evening's newscasts.

The Phony Consensus

While consensus has nothing to do with science (science is about what can be proven ), it is gratifying to see independent confirmation -- from one of the leading global warming proponents -- that the "consensus" about 'global warming' was phony. Hat tip:   Watts Up With That .

Behind the Scenes at the Symphony

I want to introduce you to two of the hardest working people around, Emily Hunter (left), the executive director of Symphony in the Flint Hills and Linda Craighead the site manager of the event. While everyone was having a great time, these two were in constant motion behind the scenes to insure everything went well.  From 9 o’clock Saturday morning through 10:45pm, the three of us worked together, along with the meteorologists at WeatherData’s forecast center, to insure the 7,200 people (a complete sell-out) were safe in the remote location. Lightning, hail, high winds, tornadoes and flash floods were all possible the day of the event because of a stationary front right over the site and extremely unstable air to the south.  I spent virtually the entire day glued to the computer because of volatility of the weather situation. At 10:30am, when we had the official weather meeting, things looked grim at first glance: There were thunderstorms 9 miles to the southeast and 12 miles nort

Stormy Evening in Kansas

Lightning approaches the Smith House from the west about an hour ago. Most all of Kansas, except the far west counties, are under flood watches or warnings.  Our power has gone on and off and Wichita 9-1-1 reports several water rescues.  

"And the Skies Are Not Cloudy All Day"

Yesterday was the annual Symphony in the Flint Hills and it was simply stunning. As guest artist Lyle Lovett said, "once you have seen the Flint Hills you are changed forever." My teammates at WeatherData were doing the forecasting and storm warnings and I was the on-site meteorologist for the event (the subject of a posting tomorrow). The weather was quite cloudy at the time the gates opened.  However, I was confident the sky would not be "cloudy all day." As background, please go to my posting of ten days ago to see the site before the tents and other structures were constructed. One of the goals of the organizers is to give people the opportunity to get deep into the Flint Hills to see their incredible beauty. Because the weather was quite questionable during the morning, I was extremely busy until I took a quick lunch break. Before you is the view from the food tent before the gates opened. The atmosphere is quite a bit different from most symphonic con