Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Sunday, December 29, 2019

Big Climate: Always Certain. Always Wrong.

February 21, 2004, the London Guardian. Forecast sinks. Cities fine.
None of the global warming alarmists' apocalyptic forecasts have come to pass. The global warming models continue to run too warm. While global warming is a problem, it is not catastrophic. My 2020 gift is: Stop worrying! The earth is doing just fine. 

Snow Continues in the Central and Northern Plains

Blizzard conditions continue in southeast North Dakota and parts of far NW Minnesota.

Sunday Fun: Criminal Mastermind

Details, if you wish to read them, are here. Makes you wonder if we need a better class of criminals. 

Saturday, December 28, 2019

Tornado Watch: Ozarks Until 10pm

Significant Tornado Risk: Ozarks

The NWS SPC is now forecasting a significant risk of a tornado or two in the Ozarks region.
This includes: Fayetteville, Joplin and Branson. Please keep up on the weather that area the rest of the day as any tornado will be fast moving and may develop quickly.

"Tsunami City"

Crescent City, California, is uniquely vulnerable to tsunamis. They are trying to attract tourists by marketing that fact in a manner somewhat akin to storm chasers visiting tornado alley. The Los Angeles Times has the story.

Friday, December 27, 2019

8:50am Friday Winter Storm Update

Update at 10:50am
A mix of freezing rain, sleet and snow is developing in the outlined area. This will affect I-70 by afternoon along with U.S. 400. Please follow Twitter for my updates @usweatherexpert. 

--- Original Posting 8:47am ---
Above is storm total snowfall. 

Pink = winter storm warning. 
Purple = winter weather advisory.
Gray/blue = winter weather watch. 

Essential Reading: U.S. Energy

This is just one of the fascinating sets of facts in the new Axios article about U.S. energy. It is not at all what was predicted (at least predicted by the "consensus") in 2010. I urge you to read the brief, but highly informative, article.

Thursday, December 26, 2019

UPDATE: 6:15pm Thursday Travel Update

Here is a map of winter weather and other advisories:
Blue-gray = winter storm watch.
Pink = winter storm warning.
Purple = winter weather advisory (lesser condition).
Free = flood advisory.

And, here is a rough second-guess of how much snow may fall with this next weather system.

Here is the AccuWeather snow amount forecast along with storm timing. Note: light snow will fall farther south than covered on the AW chart. 

From "Dave Barry's 2019 in Review"...

Conspiracy theories swirl in the wake of the death of millionaire pedophile Jeffrey Epstein, who committed suicide in a New York City federal prison cell despite supposedly being under the close supervision of an NFL officiating crew.

The rest of his hilarious piece is here.



...begins with President Trump facing a major crisis involving the crucial issue of whether Alabama was, or was not, ever actually threatened by Hurricane Dorian. The crisis erupts on September 1, when, with Dorian moving toward the U.S. mainland, the president tweets that Alabama is among the states “most likely be hit (much) harder than anticipated.” Minutes later the National Weather Service responds with a statement that “Alabama will NOT see any impacts from #Dorian.”

At this point the president acknowledges that he made a minor mistake, thus laying the issue to rest and freeing everyone to focus on more important matters.

Ha ha! That would never happen. Donald Trump did not get where he is by allowing himself to be corrected about the weather by any so-called “National Weather Service.” The president mounts an intensive, multi-day, multi-tweet offensive on the Alabama issue, highlighted by an Oval Office meeting with reporters during which he displays a week-old National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration map proving conclusively that Alabama was in fact threatened by a black line that was obviously added to the map by an inept amateur with a Sharpie.
The crisis continues for several more days, with the president refusing to back down or drop the subject, very much the way Winston Churchill, in the darkest hours of World War II, stood firm when England, alone, faced the menacing forces of the National Weather Service.

Is This The World In Which We Want to Live??

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Preliminary Weekend Travel Outlook

A very preliminary forecast of snowfall amounts for the weekend storm. 

Merry Christmas!!

We wish you and yours a 
wonderful, joyous Christmas.

As we look out this amazing universe and our wonderful home, we should be grateful each day for the gift of Faith and pray for those who have not yet achieved it.

Joy to the World!

And, here is a little Christmas humor. In case you are not a fan of The Big Bang Theory, Sheldon is both the chief nerd and a huge Star Trek fan. I think the rest speaks for itself. 

From the greatest alto voice of the 20th Century. Her performance of The Christmas Song is amazing. 

For some Christmas smiles, here is ultra nerd and ultra Star Trek fan Sheldon Cooper receiving a Christmas gift from their sweet neighbor, Penny. 

And, finally, Catholics will like this one.

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Weather Forecasting Explained

Courtesy: The Weather Channel
No kidding. This is how meteorology is taught because this is how the atmosphere works. A meteorology education is solid equations, math and physics.

On this Christmas Eve, meteorology students around the world are rubbing their eyes trying to deal with the eyestrain all of these equations cause.

Monday, December 23, 2019

Thank You, President Obama

While President Obama and I agree about almost nothing politically, I think he would be a fine friend and next door neighbor. I like what he says here.

Saturday, December 21, 2019

An Insightful Tweet

On the same theme as the posting below. 

While I would not characterize the MSM as "savvy" about civil liberties, I agree with the rest. 

Friday, December 20, 2019

A Correction About the Joplin Tornado

Around the internet there are several lists of "worst" tornadoes of the decade we are wrapping up.

I have seen comments on one list to the effect the Joplin Tornado's death toll (an incredible horror of 161) could have been "much worse" if the high school graduation had not ended before the tornado destroyed the school. This is factually incorrect.

Because of the huge crowd projected, the graduation ceremony had been moved to Missouri Southern University which was outside of the path of the tornado. The graduation ceremony's timing had no appreciable effect on the death toll. That story, and the entire story of the Joplin Tornado, is told here.

Washington Post's Article on the Business of Weather

[Update: December 20]

I am delighted to report that Mary Glackin, incoming President of the American Meteorological Society, and Dr. Joel Myers, founder of AccuWeather, have published a joint essay to refute the Washington Post's unfortunate article discussed below. Among the points they make:

recent Washington Post article mistakenly conflated warning services provided by NOAA with custom warning services provided to private clients.

In fact, with example after example, there is no doubt private companies, such as AccuWeather, which has received many AMS accolades for its warnings and expertise, can and do provide valuable warnings and services to private clients. It was unfortunate that a comment said on the fly was taken out of context. Both AccuWeather and AMS view the incident in this light and are continuing to build on their shared history of partnership. AccuWeather works closely with NOAA and NWS to make sure communities and businesses have the best information and warnings they need to stay safe. This partnership has never been stronger.
As I indicate below, Ms. Glackin has been a rival over the years. It is an unfortunate indication how bad the WaPo article was that the two have come together in this manner. That said, I hope to see more cooperation between the NWS+AMS+Private Sector Meteorology going forward. 

---- Original Posting ----

Today, the Washington Post published an article in its business section, written by a meteorologist, pertaining to commercial meteorology and its relationship to NOAA. It is an important subject that is rather complex. While I appreciate Andrew Freedman's expertise and efforts to make that complexity clear (and he did a generally good job), there are some rather unfortunate items in the piece. I'll comment on them one-by-one, with the story's words in italics. 
In 2016, AccuWeather Enterprise Solutions issued a
flash flood warning for the Union Pacific Railroad west of
Topeka, Kansas. The warnings may have prevented a
catastrophic derailment that could have killed the crew
and polluted drinking water. The National Weather
Service did not have a flood warning at the time.
The article states, multiple times, that disasters in the U.S. are worsening because of global warming. My first comment: Disasters are not increasing. I'm not going to reproduce the graphs for the umpteenth time. NOAA's figures, to which the article refers, are, unfortunately, hyping the situation.

Private weather forecasting is a $7 billion industry (and growing), according to a 2017 National Weather Service study. It’s also increasingly testing the federal government’s hold on weather data and warnings. 

Last time I checked, this is America, land of the free (although in Washington many would prefer it be otherwise). It isn't the NWS's job to have a "hold" on weather data and warnings. Let the person who can build a better meteorological mousetrap do so.

Until recently, AccuWeather, Earth Networks, the Weather Co. and other private weather providers relied on the fire hose of data from NOAA’s National Weather Service and satellite arm, as well as NASA and other agencies. Now companies are producing their own data and using analytics in business-savvy ways, tailoring their forecasts to specific real-world problems.

I can't speak for the others but WeatherData, Inc. (the company I founded in 1981) and AccuWeather (which was founded in 1967 and from which I retired in 2018) always "tailored forecasts to specific real-world problems." I have been granted more than 30 patents. The vast majority were weather-related innovations. As an example of cooperation, AccuWeather licensed two of my patents to the NWS -- at no charge -- so it could do its job of serving the public. The article is paints a too pessimistic picture in this regard. 

The oddest line in the story:
For now, NOAA is the only authorized issuer of severe weather watches and warnings in the country, and it still is widely viewed as the leader in accurate weather forecasts and lifesaving warnings.

There is no "authorization"or licensing as to who can issue storm warnings. The NWS must do it as part of its mission but anyone else can, too (see photo above). I don't know how things are "viewed" in the District of Columbia, but at WeatherData, Inc. and at AccuWeather Enterprise Solutions, statistics showed our client-specific storm warnings were much more accurate than the National Weather Service's. 

I agree 100% with this:
According to Mary Glackin, a veteran of senior-level positions at NOAA and IBM who is president-elect of the American Meteorological Society, the agency isn’t innovating quickly enough. 
“When you look at a flash-flood warning, it looks about the same as it did 25 years ago,” Glackin said. “You kind of know a whole lot more about where your Lyft or Uber driver is and when he’s going to get to you than you know about any flash flood in relation to your geography.”
The same is true with regard to tornado and other warnings. That is why WeatherData created, for example, the track-specific storm warnings mentioned early in the article. They have saved billions of dollars for the railroad industry not to mention the lives of train crews. 

“I don’t want to get into a world, frankly, where if you have more resources, you can get a better forecast,” [Scott] Rayder said. “There’s got to be a minimum level of warning and forecasts to protect life and property.”

“Governments are still going to be focused on protecting lives and property,” said ClimaCell’s Goffer. “A future where it costs you money to get a hurricane alert is a bad future, and we shouldn’t be aiming for that.”
This is a non-issue. No one, and I mean no one, is proposing the National Weather Service not issue storm warnings. Many of us, for years, have been urging improvements to NWS warnings to little avail. It seems the bureaucracy and inertia are strong forces in D.C. 

It also makes sense to leave the warning function with the government, she said.
“The NWS is one of the most trusted parts of the federal government, so would [citizens] trust a warning coming from AccuWeather? I think not, I don’t think it’s the same type of thing,” she said. “Abdicating this to a private company and their interests makes no sense to me.”
Mary has always been an outspoken defender of her employer (until very recently, IBM), so I'm not surprised she took an unwarranted shot at AccuWeather, especially since it has an excellent reputation for accurate storm warnings and IBM does not. All I can say in reply is that WeatherData, and now AES, have a couple hundred Fortune 500 companies and thousands of small clients paying to receive their superior storm warnings (again, see photo and caption at top). 

Very few people get their forecasts and warnings directly from the NWS. They get them from apps (like AccuWeather's) or television meteorologists, for example. 

My position is that the government should issue free storm warnings that improve as rapidly as the science will allow. But, if a commercial company can do better, great. Don't you like having a choice of physicians and home security companies? Why should there be a single source for storm warnings?

The article, while admirable in many aspects, is a bit of a lost opportunity. The author let his politics and personal point of view about global warming get in the way of what could have been an outstanding opportunity to explain important issues. Here are my final thoughts:
  • NOAA desperately needs to stop worrying about partnering with private sector companies. If a solid company can provide raw data that will improve their forecasts and will allow the forecasts resulting, in part, from that data, to be provided to the public at no charge -- do it!
  • NOAA needs to focus its storm warnings on saving lives for the public-at-large. 
  • The NWS's culture of trying to be all things to all people is killing it. That paralysis is why tornado and flash flood warnings will look like they did in the 1960's (no kidding). 
The U.S. storm warning warning system is a Nobel Prize-worthy endeavor but it needs updating. I hope that will occur soon. 

Astonishing: China Supplies 80% of Our Generic Drugs

I had no idea that China has a chokehold over our drug supply. Please read this article. Here is an excerpt:
The concentration of penicillin and other antibiotic production in a single country poses risks to our nation’s health security. Take the case of an antibiotic to treat life-threatening sepsis. One factory in China exploded and triggered a shortage in the U.S. and around the world.  
Chemotherapy to treat cancer isn’t immune to China’s cartel strategy. The FDA had to ban chemotherapy products from a plant in China that is a dominant global supplier. The agency had received many reports from commercial customers about products that didn’t have the right amount of active ingredient, the part of a medicine that provides therapeutic value. Too much can be overkill, too little can render it ineffective. Hospitals had to ration chemotherapies because of a shortage.   
Other essential medicines are ensnared in China’s cartels. A physician at a Boston hospital was quoted in the media recently saying he is concerned that his hospital won’t be able to perform cardiac surgery because of a shortage of a blood thinner, heparin. Once again, China is the dominant global supplier. 
As usual, our politicians and the international pharmaceutical companies (usually, benefitting from research funded by the American taxpayer) have let us down once again.

Thursday, December 19, 2019

Mariah Carey: Yet Another Global Warming Hypocrite

Do any of these people actually believe what they are saying?

Another global warming hypocrite who believes "we" (you and I) have to fix global warming...

...while she makes the situation worse by flying by private jet!

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

The Late Gary Shore

My friend, Gary Shore, passed away at far too young an age in 2008. As this and other news stories noted, he began his career with me in Wichita in 1977.

At the time, I was asked if I had any photos of him when he first started. I replied that if I ever found one, I would post it. Ran across one today and here it is for anyone who would like to see it.

Gary was passionate about weather and about saving lives. We all miss him.

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Why I Am So Critical of Climate 'Science'?

Let's begin by re-stating information about which we can be confident:
  • The earth is warmer than it was sixty years ago. Mostly unreported is the warmer climate has, on balance, been great for humanity. 
  • Humans affect the climate in many ways. 
  • Continued increases in greenhouse gases, other factors equal, will promote additional warming. However, many processes affect climate. CO2 concentration is absolutely not a  thermostat for earth's temperature, especially since ocean heat content is more important than atmospheric heat content. 
  • We know far less about the processes governing earth's climate than most climate practitioners would have you believe. In no way is the science settled. For example, we don't even know the optimum temperature of the earth's atmosphere. 
  • We have almost no ability to meaningfully forecast future climate. We can't even make climate forecasts for a year or two ahead let alone decades ahead. 
  • "Consensus" has no role in science. 
  • We should slow the rate of increase of greenhouse gas, primarily through the adoption of new-generation nuclear
  • Regardless of earth's temperature, we should build a more resilient society. 
I suspect most ordinary people and most scientists outside of the climate debate would find the above to be pretty reasonable. Unfortunately, many climate 'scientists' do not. I am constantly criticized (in some cases vehemently) by the global warming alarmists and advocates because I keep pointing out the occasional (large!) errors of science in general and climate 'science' in particular.

Saturday, I was strongly criticized by a Virginia "paleo"-climatologist because I did not agree that a perfectly accurate temperature reading was "noise." In no way is an accurate measurement of temperature "noise" when it comes to weather, the climate debate or any other purpose. But, he fancies himself an expert even though he neither understands atmospheric processes or instrumentation.

Why do I put up with this grief? 

Two reasons: The increasing despair among some about the future of our civilization and because, to the extent I can, I wish to limit the inevitable backlash against atmospheric science when these exaggerations become evident in future years. I've devoted my career to atmospheric science and am passionate about it. I don't wish to see all of the good we have accomplished put under a cloud by the global warming clique.

The mainstream media has almost completely bought in to global warming alarmism which, in turn, has been spread by global warming 'experts' (like the below) who know nothing about climate or how the atmosphere actually works. Below,  is a very recent example from the United Nations' climate meeting that ended in Europe last week. 
Why was her statement so absurd?

Let's use the Fahrenheit scale since that is the more familiar: Absolute zero is -460°F. The earth's current temperature is around +58°F. So, if the earth doubled its temperature, it would be over 1,000 degrees! Impossible.

Because politicians and other 'leaders' know nothing about the climate they believe the utter nonsense of Greta Thunberg and her ilk.

Now we probably don’t even have a future any more.
Because that future was sold so that a small number of people could make unimaginable amounts of money. 
It makes me sad to have to write Thunberg is what Vladimir Lenin called a "useful idiot." She is being used and exploited by the people who use climate alarmism as a tool to gain power and money. Big Climate doesn't like people very much.

The alarmists' work is facilitated by a media that has no interest in science other than reprinting press releases that agree with their "narrative." They give all types of science far too much credit. My single most interesting college course was History of Science. In it, I learned history, the Scientific Method, the many wonderful things science has accomplished, and the occasional things it has botched. That knowledge has allowed me to be more discerning of scientific claims throughout my adult life.

We've often talked about how the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 2005 was awarded to two obscure Australian physicians who discovered ulcers are caused by a bacterium rather than stress which had thought to be the cause. For decades, the medical journals would not even publish their experimental results because the "consensus" (there's that terribly un-scientific word) said, "stress." In desperation, one of them had to prove he didn't have an ulcer, swallow the bacterium and give himself an ulcer to get heard! In the meantime, millions were suffering and even dying due mis-treatment.

Medical science also told us for years that eating pasta was a great way to lose weight. Wrong! And, many knew it was wrong.

Medical science also told us the Sabin polio vaccine was better than the Salk vaccine even though, in rare cases, the Sabin vaccine could give innocent children polio -- the disease it was supposed to prevent! The Salk vaccine never gave anyone polio and was 100% effective. Sabin had the better PR.

For a provocative and gripping story about science's other major errors in recent times (beyond those of medicine), go here. And, yes, the story includes how climate science got on the wrong track and still hasn't recovered.

According to the scientific method, this should never be the case. Science is supposed to be self-correcting because it is supposed to rely on objective experimental truths. The problem is that scientists are human like the rest of us. A former science editor of a well-known publication told me, "If global warming isn't a catastrophe, I've wasted my career." What sort of incentive does he, for example, have to publish information -- no matter how solid -- that is skeptical of catastrophic global warming?

Global warming is, by far, the biggest financial gravy train in the history of atmospheric science. As a result, not only are individual researchers getting large grants, universities have spent and are spending millions building and staffing interdisciplinary 'centers' for climate research. If global warming isn't catastrophic, that funding will dry up overnight. Think about the peer pressure to prevent the loss of jobs. What sort of institutional research is there to disprove catastrophic global warming?

To keep the money flowing, the field of climate it has its own PR flacks!
Yale is one of several attempting to manipulate public opinion
Last time I checked, focus groups and "emotions" were not tools genuine physical science.

The purpose of the Yale group and the others? To keep things stirred up (which helps keep the money flowing) after storms and other weather "opportunities" as well as to use the tools of public relations -- the same tools used to sell you toothpaste --  to convince the public there is a crisis.
For many reasons it makes good sense to transition, as soon as possible, to next-generation nuclear and to use it as a tool to bring electricity to remote areas (many in Africa) so as to bring them out of poverty. There is a strong correlation between inexpensive energy and prosperity. Also, it makes incredibly good sense to build a more resilient society no matter what the future weather may bring.

The warmer climate has allowed the world's population to enjoy the most prosperity and the least privation in the entire history of the planet. The world is (relatively) at peace.

My Christmas Gift to You: Stop worrying about global warming. It is an issue but it is not a catastrophe by any measure. Allow your family to enjoy the holiday season. The earth will be here -- and will be livable -- in a decade, in five decades, and beyond. 

Monday, December 16, 2019

With Just Over a Week Until Christmas,

...a hard cover book is a great gift. Learn about how meteorologists save thousands of lives a year during tornado outbreaks like today's.
You can read the excellent reviews and purchase a copy, here.

Louisiana: This is Very Dangerous

There is a high risk of violent tornadoes in the purple hatched area. This includes Alexandria and Ft. Polk. Please closely monitor the weather and be prepared to take shelter at a moment's notice.

Safety suggestions immediately below. 

High Risk of Violent Tornadoes

The NWS SPC has ratcheted up the risk of violent tornadoes. Please make sure your family and friends are aware!
The brown area is a significant risk of tornadoes. The yellow is what I would call an enhanced risk and the red is a high risk. The hatching is where they are forecasting violent tornadoes.

In addition to alerting your family and friends, make sure you have at least two independent source of local storm warnings. For example, a weather radio and the AccuWeather App with location services enabled. Sirens don't count.

Plug in and charge phones and computers before thunderstorms approach. Lightning could cause a power surge that damages their electronics.

Insure your shelter area is in good shape with a couple of bottles of water. Make sure you wear shoes into your shelter and take your warning information system into the shelter with you.

UPDATE: 10:48am. The first tornado watch of the day. Note this includes far southeast Texas. 

Increasing Risk of Tornadoes

There is an increasing chance of tornadoes in the red hatched area. A strong tornado is possible. Please monitor the weather in this region the through early evening.

9am Radar Update

Significant Tornado Risk Monday and Monday Night

The brown shaded area has a significant tornado risk. The yellow area from Alexandria and Monroe to Jackson and Natchez has an enhanced risk. 

Please keep up on the weather in this region later today.

Sunday, December 15, 2019

9pm Radar Update

The second area of snow is now growing rapidly in size and moving east northeast.

Late data this evening indicates there is a chance of thunder-snow in south central Kansas or thunder-sleet in north central Oklahoma during the night. If so, a few areas could somewhat more accumulation than shown below in the 2:55pm update. However, it is impossible to make that forecast before thunder-snow develops.

Note: Last update of the night.

6:05pm Radar

Below is the forecast for additional snow starting now. As you can see, there are two rounds of snow with this storm.

2:55pm UPDATE: Forecast for Additional Snow

click to enlarge 
Above is my forecast for additional snowfall. This forecast starts at 6pm CST this evening and extends until 6am Tuesday. Note: That is the duration of the forecast; not the duration of the snow. For example, the snow in the Wichita area is not expected to redevelop until between midnight and 6am Monday

Below is a summary of National Weather Service "headlines" currently in effect.
The colors mean:
  • Pink, winter storm warning.
  • Green, flood watch.
  • Purple, winter weather advisory.
  • Brown, high wind. 
And, here is the regional radar as of 2:45pm. 

Note: Risk of Tornadoes on Monday

Especially if you live in the red area, monitor local weather information Monday and Monday night.

Winter Storm UPDATE, 11:40 CST Sunday

I have not updated the 9:40pm Saturday forecast because it still looks pretty good. Here is the radar at 11:35am Sunday:
11:35am Sunday
In northeast Wichita, the Sunday noon weather is 28°F with light freezing drizzle. There are accidents on bridges and freeways throughout the city, some victims in critical condition.

Based on this evening's data: if anything snowfall amounts in Missouri may be a touch low. I've added an area of light accumulating snow in the High Plains.

Almost forgot: The 4-8" area goes as far south as I-70 in Missouri. 
Total Snow Sunday thru Monday Night
Update = area in the Panhandles and SW Kansas 
Amounts of Freezing Drizzle or Freezing Rain

A Wider View of the Storm

Sunday Fun: Sounds About Right

Saturday, December 14, 2019

"Richard Jewell"

I went into the theatre yesterday with moderate-to-high expectations for Richard Jewell. It exceeded them in every way. The actor that played Richard, Paul Walter Hauser, absolutely, positively deserves the Oscar for best actor. What a performance!

Five stars.