Showing posts from July, 2018

President Trump: You Have Made an Outstanding Choice for Your White House Science Advisor

The news came out a few minutes ago that President Trump has named Dr. Kelvin Droegemeier of the University of Oklahoma to be the White House Science Advisor. The President has made an outstanding choice. I have known Kelvin for decades and he is one of the most innovative scientists in our nation. He understands how to take science theory and turn it into something useful. The Administration will be well-served by this addition. Dr. Droegemeier's nomination will have to be confirmed by the Senate. The Democrats need to stop holding up Barry Myers' nomination to be the head of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and they need to confirm Kelvin quickly. Both will provide excellent service to our nation. 

Beauty Under a Gust Front

Gust Front Passing Over the Smith House As a result of the Duck Boats sinking at Table Rock Lake and the loss of seventeen precious lives, we've talked a lot about gust fronts the past ten days. A gust front just passed my home in Wichita (dot). You can see the radar image below. So, I took my camera to the back yard, pointed it south southeast and grabbed some rather nice images. The sun was setting and the diffused lighting produced an orangish tinge to the turbulent underside of the gust front. The photos below are my two favorites. Enjoy!

Climate Alarmists: Be Careful What You Wish For!

Ripening Kansas Wheat  Right now, the world's farmers are producing enough food to feed the entire world*. That may not continue if Big Climate gets its way. From a new peer-reviewed paper in Nature : click to enlarge "A robust finding is that by 2050, stringent climate mitigation policy, if implemented evenly across all sectors and regions, would have a greater negative impact on global hunger and food consumption than the direct effects of climate change." Much of what is advocated by Big Climate is about political power rather than helping ordinary people. They keep putting the cart before the horse:  climate science does not know the ideal average global temperature for humanity. There is a very good chance that current or even warmer temperatures are better for humanity when the good and bad effects are netted out. *Yes, there are hungry people but that is due to corrupt politics or faulty distribution.

Worst Floods in U.S. History

Up until now, I've never seen a list of U.S. floods ranked by number of fatalities. USA Today has created a list and here it is .

Sunday Snake Story

Timber rattlesnakes are quite dangerous. However, snakes cannot hear so shouting at them does no good. Based on my Boy Scouts experience, I would have used a paddle to divert the snake as it approached. I also would have not have stood up on what appeared to be a small boat. If you capsize the boat, you have two big problems!

The 2011 Joplin Tornado - Another Southwest Missouri Catastrophe

For the last ten days, America has focused its attention on Table Rock Lake in southwest Missouri. The Duck Boat tragedy could easily have been prevented by heeding the severe thunderstorm warning that was issued 30-minutes before the sinking. Seventeen precious lives would have been saved. But, what if the warning system didn't exist or worked poorly? How many boats would sink each year? How many people would be killed by hurricanes and tornadoes? Seven years ago, again in southwest Missouri, the warning system failed to work as designed as a tornado approached the City of Joplin. The result was a catastrophic 161 deaths -- the worst single-tornado death toll since the civilian warning system began in the 1950's. I wrote When the Sirens Were Silent  to document that tragedy in hopes it would never happen again. Here are excepts of two recent reviews, both written by meteorologists who are knowledgeable about the warning system: ’Silent” is a must have for all people

Outrage! We Are Being Tracked By the TSA

Here's No Surprise: We're all being tracked by the TSA. click to enlarge Here's some of the 'suspicious' behavior they track: Which, of course, makes my wife a terrorist. Sheesh. Thanks to the Boston Globe  for publishing this story. As I have said many times, while President Bush made a bunch of mistakes, his biggest was going along with Congressional Democrats and setting up the Department of Homeland (I hate the name "homeland") Security and the TSA. While President Trump has government more conservatively than I expected, he is not giving much indication he is concerned about the privacy of the public and this clearly unconstitutional program.

NTSB Confirms: Someone With the Duck Boat Company Was Looking at Weather Radar

Yesterday, the NTSB released information from the voice recorded on the duck boat that sunk. Here is the pertinent passage: click to enlarge I believe the gust front, which doesn't show up on most non-professional radar displays, played a role in this disaster. Details were posted last week. Click here to read my story about gust fronts .

An Interesting Point


Tragedy From the Northern California Fire

click to enlarge

"Russiagate Explained"

I have spent a lot  of time on this issue. The above cartoon is essentially correct.

NTSB on the Table Rock Lake Duck Boat Tragedy

The NTSB has confirmed what we strongly suspected. The crew of the sunken duck boat knew of the dangerous weather approach before they put out for the lake. Details are here .

So Much For Global Warming Making Hurricanes Worse

As world temperatures have risen, the number of hurricanes hitting the United States has decreased. You may recall that, after Katrina (2005), we heard over and over how hurricanes were going to get worse. Another global warming theory shot down.

So Much For Global Warming Causing Tornadoes to Get Worse

click to enlarge A number of scientists, for years, have believed that global warming would cause tornadoes to worsen . Here is the latest data (2018) is incomplete. While tornado season is over, a strong tornado or two could still occur. That said, ≥EF-3 tornadoes are the worst; the most violent tornadoes. Yet, they have been declining since the 1950's. The decline has accelerated since the 1970's.

Fetch Bistro

If you watched Gordon Ramsay's 24 Hours to Hell and Back  this evening, it was about Fetch Bistro in my neighborhood in Wichita. I dined with a friend there for lunch Saturday. It was the first visit for both of us. I had the bistro burger (which Ramsay taught them to make) and my friend had the chicken, biscuits and gravy. I loved my burger and he liked his meal. Unfortunately, that is where the good things ended. The service was terrible. The dogs were so scattered throughout the restaurant, you couldn't walk directly to your table. Stranger's dogs were pushing their snouts on top of the table and watched while we ate. While I am, admittedly, not a "dog person" that was not appetizing to either of us. They also have Pepsi products. Neither of us plan to return. Perhaps if you are a "dog person" you'd enjoy it.

There Was "Reportedly" a Storm Warning??

[Bumped] I don't understand why the news media is having such trouble wrapping its collective head around the fact the National Weather Service did a fine job on the watch and warning applicable to Table Rock Lake at the time of the Duck Boat sinking. For example, today's Wichita Eagle  states, "So are questions about decisions to take the boat into the water despite reported warnings from the National Weather Service of an impending storm." The Kansas City Star  used the same wording. There is nothing "reported" about it. Here is the watch, issued more than seven and a half hours before, calling for 75 mph winds. And, here is the warning issued more than 35 minutes before: and please note that both Table Rock Lake and Branson are explicitly mentioned as are winds of 60 mph. A few minutes later, before the tragedy, the forecast winds were upped to 70 mph. According to the National Transportation Safety Board, the wind on the lake was 73 mph. T

No One Cares About Global Warming

[Bumped] I get in big trouble with my fellow atmospheric scientists every time I say that, "No one cares about global warming. Some used to care but they don't anymore because because the issue has been 'oversold'." There is a new Gallup survey, taken this month, indicates exactly that: no one cares about global warming. Details are here . Addition: I've bumped this because of MSNBC's Chris Hayes' comments yesterday about global warming coverage. I'll post those for you to view and then make a few more comments below.  "Ratings killer" to MSNBC's liberal-leaning audience = no one cares about global warming. As I have previously written, it might be that global warming is a dire problem.  However, the people who have been hectoring us for the last quarter century have been so dishonest and unethical that the rest of us have been completely turned off to the subject. My personal opinion is that it is a mild to modera

What Sea Level Rise?

More papers are being published that cast doubt on global warming-related sea level rise. In this case, beaches are growing, not shrinking . This is a fiercely contested area of global warming science. I am unconvinced that either side has convincing argument.

You Can Tell It Is Political Season....

...because our landline is ringing off the wall. We have Nomorobo (I highly recommend it) which stops the 785-area code calls (Topeka) and the 202-area code calls (Washington, DC) as well as the vast majority of scam calls. Nevertheless, the phone still rings one time before Nomorobo cuts it off. Why? "I thought there was a national Do Not Call List that keeps those calls from getting through?", you say. Politicians have exempted themselves from the "Do Not Call" list (of course). If 785/202 area codes are accurate measures, we had eight political calls in a single day last week. I wonder why politicians believe p-ssing people off in their homes is a good way to get votes? Just did a little research: While President Trump has recorded calls for others this election season, a search of "Donald Trump robo calls during 2016 campaign" on Google and Duck Duck Go reveals that few of those calls were made by the Trump campaign. At our home, I believe we go

If You Have Found The Coverage of the Table Rock Disaster...

Image have been interesting and informative, I'd like to modestly recommend my book, Warnings: The True Story of How Science Tamed the Weather .  I believe the reviews at the Amazon site (at link, above) speak for themselves. A Kansas emergency manager contacted me this morning to talk about the recent disasters and wrote, Unrelated note. I received your Warnings book on my birthday last Friday. My chores went unfinished, but the book wasn't. Amazing work.  There is a bit of a glitch at Amazon in that one of the third party sellers has put its name above the "buy" buttons. I'm nearly certain that if you use the "1-Click" button it will come from Amazon and it will receive free "Prime" shipping. Or, you can order from Barnes & Noble, here . Or, you can buy it from your local bookseller. Book sales are always appreciated! This blog has no advertising because I want our readers to focus on the content and not be distracted b

The Family of Nine That Survived and Survivor's Guilt

The Kansas City Star  has a story tonight about a family of nine that survived the duck boat disaster . The article mentions that the family is suffering from survivor's guilt. I strongly suspect the other survivors are, as well. It is difficult not to in a catastrophe like Thursday evening's. While those who made it off the Stretch Boat 07  alive are obvious candidates for survivor's guilt, there are others: all of the first responders and perhaps those who were on duty at the Springfield office of the National Weather Service. The NWS did a great job. No need for guilt. But, that is not the way it usually works. After the 1991 Wichita-Andover Tornado, the meteorologists on-duty at WeatherData, Inc. had terrible cases of survivor's guilt, myself included. There was no reason for it; we did our job to near-perfection (including a national award from the American Meteorological Society). But, there was a strong sense of, "if I'd have gone on the air just o

Sunday Photo: Amazing Photo of Rotating Thunderstorm

For the eleven years of this blog, we have tried to lighten the mood on Sundays. After the Thursday tornadoes in Iowa and the derecho in Kansas and Missouri (the latter which led to the Table Rock Lake tragedy) let's write about something else. Via Twitter, this is one of the most amazing thunderstorm photos I have ever seen. Click to enlarge it.

Nautical and Aviation Malpractice?

On June 5, I wrote about an American Airlines crew that flew into a hailstorm over New Mexico. Their action put their passengers in serious jeopardy. That posting, titled "Aeronautical Malpractice?", is here . I believe it is pertinent to repost that report in light of what happened at Table Rock Lake Thursday. Why aren't indications of dangerous storms being taken seriously?

"No Weather Advisories Interrupted the Program"

I have been reading R. A. Scotti's wonderful book, Sudden Sea: The Great Hurricane of 1938, which is the story of the devastating hurricane that struck New England completely without warning. From pages 85 and 86, In inland towns and cities, where the weather did not dictate the day’s activities, radios were tuned into  CBS Studio Nine.  Correspondent William Shirer was reporting from Berlin that Hitler had just won his first slice of Czechoslovakia. At eleven o’clock, under intense pressure from Britain and France to concede or fight alone, the Czechs had capitulated. Was it “peace in our time,” or “base betrayal”? CBS correspondent Ed Murrow was standing by in London for a live broadcast with Anthony Eden. No weather advisories interrupted the program.  The exact death toll from that storm is not known but it is believed to be around 800. The hurricane's storm surge caused water in downtown Providence, Rhode Island, to rise to a depth of 17 feet. I imagine the gri

A "Gust Front" Kills Again

I cannot say this strongly enough: Non-meteorologists should never  use radar for mission critical purposes. And, yes, this includes law enforcement officials,  emergency management  and others. While we certainly do not yet have all of the facts, we know the winds behind a "gust front" played a role in yesterday's tragedy on Table Rock Lake in which 17 perished. We also know that a gust front played a major role in the collapse of the stage at the Indianapolis State Fair on August 13, 2011, in which seven were killed and 58 injured. Some of those injuries were catastrophic. I want to take a moment to review the similarities between the two tragedies to help illustrate why non-meteorologists should never use radar for mission-critical purposes. The Appearance of a Gust Front The appearance of the Indianapolis and Table Rock gust fronts were very similar. Indianapolis Table Rock Lake As a gust front (a/k/a squall line or shelf cloud) approaches it wil

What Is the Hottest Time of Year Where You Live?

In southwest Texas, the hottest time of year is early June. In California? September. click to enlarge

Tragedy at Table Rock Lake

Updated at 11:10am CDT Friday Late Evening Photo of the Search and Rescue Operation at Table Rock Lake Photo: Springfield "News-Leader" Seventeen people have been killed and seven injured (two in critical condition) after a boat capsized at Table Rock Lake between 7 and 7:20 Thursday evening. This information is according to the Springfield News-Leader . There were 31 passengers on a "Ride the Ducks" tourist boat. Table Rock Lake is near Branson, Missouri. Below is a video of conditions on the lake. It shows boats in the high winds and waves. It does not show the sinking. There is poor contrast because they are shooting through a window. However, at the beginning of the video you can see an image of the cloud base. That is the gust front (see radar image below). That is further confirmed by the fact it is not raining heavily. It appears the video was looking west because of the bright skies (the sun would have been in the W to WNW sky at that time). T