Here we are at the end of May. Typically we are still talking about severe weather threats and such. This year we have hardly done so at all. The long wave pattern (i.e. the big picture) set up several weeks ago such that the storm track stayed to our west and we are almost in a summer pattern. A big fat ridge has been over our heads more or less for a month now, limiting rain and elevating temperatures and making things quite mundane in the weather department. Now we are talking about rainfall deficits. Its way too soon to be speaking of such things but it appears that is in the cards. Also, we’ve been looking at the potential for air stagnation. Now, last week, I made sport of the folks who make such declarations as we were going to be stirred up enough to keep things reasonable. This weekend it became apparent that this week would be more soupy and so yesterday the APCD decided at midday it was a good idea to put out an Air Quality Alert since it was already in the unhealthy for sensitive groups range. Today is the same thing and this time its legit so try and do your part and don’t call me to complain. It is what it is. I wonder if the state lawn mowers will pay heed this time. I will talk more about the upcoming hurricane season when it starts but if this pattern is the shape of things to come, it may very well be active for the US.
On This Date In History: Don’t Mess With Old Hickory
Some time in 1806, Andrew Jackson felt his wife had been slandered by a Kentucky lawyer. Seems there was some paperwork foul up on her first divorce in 1791 so this chap called her a bigamist! Andy would have none of it and demanded satisfaction. Charles Dickinson, who was considered an excellent shot, and Jackson stood apart 24 paces in Logan County Kentucky in a traditional duel on this date in 1806. Dickinson did not live up to his reputation as he fired first and just grazed Old Hickory, who took careful aim and killed Dickinson with a return volley. Though not recorded in history, rumors suggest that Jackson participated in numerous duels which derived from questions regarding his wife’s honor. Its not clear if Jackson began to wonder the veracity of his wife’s honor after the allegations piled up. I mean….where there’s smoke there’s fire, right? No matter, Jackson was elected President in 1828 and as he took the oath of office in 1829, his wife promptly died, perhaps relieving the nation of the prospect of having a dueling President. If you recall America’s first duelist in the Executive branch had been Aaron Burr who as Vice-President killed Alexander Hamilton who also missed on the first shot. Burr subsequently suffered the death of his political career while Hamilton became the face of the 10 dollar bill and Jackson’s mug found its way on the twenty. Which raises the question: If Millard Fillmore had participated in a duel, would he have been placed on the fifty?
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