Showing posts from September, 2020

The Real America at Work

After the humiliating spectacle of last night's debate, I thought everyone might enjoy a taste of the real America at work. It is an outstanding video of the 2020 wheat harvest in northern Kansas. The video is highly entertaining and well worth your time.  A couple of thoughts: Kansas is the #1 state for wheat production. When the storm moves in (about eight minutes into the video) as an advocate for weather safety, I would have preferred it if they had taken shelter just a bit sooner. Before we judge too harshly, keep in mind that if the storm had contained hail, their wheat could have been wiped out. 

America Should Be Ashamed

 I watched the first half-hour of tonight's 'debate' and couldn't watch it any longer. All three men on the stage should be ashamed. And, America should be ashamed.  Chris Wallace  clearly favored Joe Biden and bailed him out twice during that period. Wallace used to be the best, and fairest, interviewer in Washington but apparently the Mike Wallace DNA favoring Democrats seems to have kicked in as he has aged. His performance was a disgrace to journalism. Chris is 72.  Donald Trump.  While I wasn't expecting much from him, he performed below my expectations. He was a bully and wouldn't allow either Biden or Wallace to speak. President Trump had a couple of pertinent achievements about which he could have clearly spoken but blustered instead. Trump is 74.  Joe Biden.  Also, awful. None of the questions posted to him while I was watching were answered. In fact, he deflected. He also spoke one clear untruth. I wondered if his refusal to allow his ears to be examin

This Is Snake Season

At least in Kansas, snakes seem to be out in early autumn more than during any other time of year. Monday, my friend David Finfrock, a Dallas TV meteorologist, was bitten by a rattler. Fortunately, it was a "dry" (no venom) or nearly dry bite. There is more on the story here .  Please be careful around brush and rocks until winter sets in. 

Big Environment at the Federal Trough Again

What started as a good idea in Washington (those are always short-lived) has turned into a monstrous mess that will ladle out even more of our hard-earned dollars to the wind and solar lobbies. It is Senate Bill S.2657. An analysis is here .  Solar and, especially, wind energy destabilize the electrical grid and are very expensive. The stories you hear about them being comparable to coal or natural gas don't include: Running expensive transmission lines to the windmill farms.  Disposal of obsolete windmills. The little-known fact that fossil-fuel generators are always  running in the background because wind and solar are unreliable.  The high human cost of mining rare-earth minerals that have much  better uses. All of the tax money that subsidizes their installation and use.  Of course, there is the non-monetary cost of all of birds killed by the windmills' blades. The federal subsidies for windmills began in the Carter  Administration. I didn't oppose them at that time bec

Sunday Fun: Life In Dubai

 If you have a lot of money and a bit of wanderlust, you might want check out Dubai . 

Supreme Court Nominee Judge Amy Barrett

The Barrett Family Earlier this week the Fox TV network debuted a prime-time program called Filthy Rich  -- a story of religious hypocrites. It seems that Hollywood cannot depict religious faith without hypocrisy being the primary focus.  Mr. Hatch's comment is right on the money. Most all of the criticisms of presumptive Supreme Court nominee Amy Barrett are stupid. Not accurate. Not "over-the-top." Just stupid. To cite just one: How could it be that a woman who has had a distinguished professional career allegedly believes women should not work outside the home? Stupid.  How can it be that a woman who has adopted two children from Haiti -- children in desperate circumstances -- "doesn't believe in taking care of children after  they are born" (emphasis in original)? Stupid.  Then, there is this putrid criticism: The one criticism that surprises me the most is "she didn't graduate from an Ivy League law school." You mean that eight  Ivy League

Bottom News Story of the Year


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. 

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 ov

Election 2020: I've Made My Decision

I don't like Donald Trump as a person. Not at all. I didn't like him on The Apprentice.  At the polling place in November, 2016, I attempted to vote for candidate Carly Fiorina. I was told that Kansas law only allows write-ins for people who have paid a write-in fee. So, I asked if I could vote for the Republican Presidential Electors. I was told I could not. Since I would never vote for Hillary Clinton as I was and am sure she is utterly corrupt and a threat to the Constitution, I voted for Donald Trump with a sick feeling to my stomach. I was surprised that he won. Since he was sworn in, this email pretty well sums up my feelings. While the man is a total jerk, his administration has done a great deal of good. Consider this (items in dark blue courtesy of Dr. Victor D Hansen): Until COVID, an amazing economy that especially benefited minorities.  Less unnecessary regulation. Grounding the Boeing 737-MAX over the objections of some in the FAA. Disengaging from unnecessa

Why Forecasting Should Be Left to Meteorologists

 If psychics were any good.....

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!

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 c

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.

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.

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.                                     

Justice Ginsburg: Rest in Peace

 Associate Justice Ginsburg lead an amazing life. Condolences to her family and the many that loved her.

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.

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 .

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 ca

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.

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

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 southe