What in the world can John Tyler, J. Paul Getty and Richard Petty have in common? They are part of this date in History!!! But the weather may prove even more interesting than the subject of today’s tale.
First off, Thursday’s sunshine will turn to rain for at least part of Friday. Saturday we’re dry but a little cool…somewhere in the neighborhood of the mid 40′s. That’s not bad considering what we’ve had. Hold on to your pacemakers though because Sunday looks great. Strong southerly winds blow in temperatures in the upper 50′s or maybe even low 60′s. Take advantage of the weekend while you can. We haven’t had back to back days like that in a while. This is where we may flip or flop. A cold front comes through bringing rain and chilling us a bit. Now, there is general agreement that cyclogenesis will occur on the bottom of the front near the gulf coast. What is that? It’s not unusual. The wind patter works with the differing temperatures on land and at sea to form an area of low pressure. Cyclo..as in cyclone or low pressure…and genesis..the beginning. So, the low will probably form. Question is where does it go? Some data suggests it goes across the SE to the East coast. That is typical. But other data suggests it runs generally up the Mississippi River Valley into our neck of the woods. Now, the latter scenario is what has been happening all winter. Should that happen, we get wet. If it’s cold enough we may even get a whole mess of snow. BUT…a problem with the snow scenario, provided everything moves as suggested, is if we have enough cold air.
Bottom line is if you hear before the weekend about a snowstorm next week, don’t get all worked up. Is it possible? Yes. BUT, there are many hurdles to overcome and many factors have to come into line exactly right and that is far from clear or imminent. I can tell you about “my feelings” on the subject but the truth is that atmospheric physics doesn’t take my feelings into account. My only feeling worth sharing is to enjoy the great weekend and as you do, we will see how it shakes out. The scenario won’t really show itself until Sunday or Monday. And keep this in mind…the model that first advertised this big event had it and then it completely made it disappear into fat air. Then magically, it reappeared. So…it’s possible but not necessarily probable…just enjoy the weekend.
On This Date In History: On this date in 1844, President John Tyler almost bought the farm. He was cruising on the USS Princeton the Navy’s newest and best warship that featured a 27 inch cannon. Trouble was, the cannon hadn’t been tested. Nevermind, the bigshots in Tyler’s cabinet wanted that sucker fired! So they fired it twice and it worked. The designer of the gun begged them not to tempt fate a third time to no avail. They fired it a third time and it exploded, killing a bunch of people. Now, Tyler had a wife when he took over for William Henry Harrison, whom had died after just several weeks in office. Tyler had 8 kids with the wife. No wonder she died. So, the then single President had taken a fancy to a 20 year old named Julia whom Tyler had asked to marry but she hadn’t answered. When the gun blew up, it killed her father. I don’t know if she wanted a new father or if it was a sign or what, but she then accepted Tyler’s proposal and she promptly delivered for Tyler, another 7 kids. Our most pro-creationist President went on to retire to his home in Virginia which had previously been owned by his former boss, President William Henry Harrison! Today, the home is still owned and lived in by the Tyler family. As of this writing one of Tyler’s grandsons is still alive. Snow White and I visited the home several years ago and the only other people there were a nice, attractive couple. The young lady turned to me and said, “aren’t you the weatherman in Louisville?” Small world.
On this Date in 1960, Richard Petty won his first Grand National race. It was the first of 200 NASCAR victories. Eight months earlier, he had been declared the winner of the race but he lost after the guy who came in second protested the finish successfully. So his first victory was snatched from him by….Lee Petty…his father! Talk about tough love…
On this date in 1982, the J. Paul Getty Museum was endowed. Getty had made a fortune in the oil business and he had developed a love of art so he left a third of his fortune to the museum when he died in 1976. At that time, that was about $700 million. By the time the courts got done with all of the legal wrangling involved in big estate cases, the economy was booming and the endowment grew to $1.2 billion. By 2000, the endowment had grown to $5 billion. Three of every 4 years, the law says that the trust must spend 4.25% in order to maintain tax-exempt status. The first year that was $54 million. Today it’s more like $200 million! The trust has a hard time finding places to spend it. They don’t want to look like they are greedily hoarding all of the world’s art but they have to spend it somewhere. Such problems. Steve Burgin thinks they should give it to him since so many people consider him a national treasure.