The war of 1812 began on this date in historywhen Congress declared war and President James Madison signed the measure into law. Why we call it the War of 1812 is lost on me because it wasn’t over until Christmas of 1814 and the biggest victory for the United States occurred after the war was over. Seems Andy Jackson and his boys in New Orleans didn’t get the news and met the British in a famous battle around Lake Borgne. The battle took place in January of 1815….so officially, one cannot say there was a battle of New Orleans in the war of 1812 because it was 1815 and the war was over. But, since Cleveland had already taken the moniker “the mistake by the lake” I guess they had to call it something. Wouldn’t that be pretty bad luck if you fought and died for your country in a battle of a war that was already over?
Now, not long before the war was over, Washington DC was in big trouble. On August 24, 1814, soldiers were racing alongside the civilians out of town in a panic. The British had landed 8 days prior with some 4000 battle-hardened troops who had seen plenty of action in the wars with Napoleon. The Americans were not experienced, not well trained and not well led. The President of the United States, James Madison came galloping through on a horse shouting “Clear Out! Clear Out!” When the Commander-In-Chief is telling everyone to haul-ass, then everyone listens. One of America’s proudest moments. Before his wife, Dolley, left she grabbed a bunch of paintings including Gilbert Stuart’s famous painting of George Washington. Good thing she did.
The Redcoats came marching into Washington expecting a defense. Instead, they faced but a single volley of musket fire. But, it was enough to get their attention because it killed one guy, wounded three others and took out the horse from under the commanding general. The Brits moved on to the Capitol, where again they expected a last stand. So, they fired a few rockets through the windows and storm trooper busted down the doors only to find the chirping of crickets. So, they set the place on fire. Then they set the White House on fire as well as the Treasury building. Major General Robert Ross, the commander, stopped by the newspaper National Intelligencer to pick up the scribe’s final paper that assured the residents that the city was safe. Yup…the press was right on that story and have been as accurate ever since. Anyway, Ross couldn’t get the paper into his pocket as a souvenir because he had already filled his pockets with some of Madison’s personal papers. The general shouted, “Damn It! My pocket is full of old Madison’s love letters!” That’s what he gets for looting.
The next day, a single maniac named John Lewis came charging at the British Army. He was the grandnephew of George Washington and it seems he was upset over his impressment into the Royal Navy. So, he went on a revenge binge only to get himself shot to death. There was another, more successful defender though. Dr. William Thornton ran the Patent Office and just as the soldiers were set to torch the building, he told the perpetrators that they would be no better than the barbarians who had put ablaze the ancient library of Alexandria. I suppose in shame, the Redcoats backed off and the Patent Office was saved. The Divine Providence showed up.
The British tried to set fire to 150 barrels of gunpowder at an abandoned American fort. The nitwits ended up setting off the whole kit and kaboodle at once and killed 30 of their own men while wounding another 44. Seems these guys were their own worst enemy. Then the wind picked up and the rain started to fall in buckets. Just in the nick of time before the entire city was burned to the ground, a hurricane showed up. The fires were put out and Ross ordered a full scale retreat back to their ships. While the city was saved, the Patent Office that Dr. Thornton so skillfully saved wasn’t as lucky. The roof blew off. Perhaps Dr. Thornton missed church that week.
Weather Bottom Line: Look, it’s 2:22am on Thursday and I’ve got things to do, like go to bed. So this isnt going to be too detailed. We’re in an area of unsettled weather for the next few days. We’ve got a strong jet stream and there will be areas of short waves roaming through. On Thursday, the SPC seems to feel the best chance for things blowing up will be to our northwest. That is where the biggest threat, a moderate risk, is outlined. But the flow is right down over our area so the SPC seems to think that the storms will be winding down from big boppers with some super cells to probably a line of strong stuff. While our twister threat is just 2%, our hail and high wind threat is much higher. On Friday, the big blow up area is just to our north but we are on the fringe so look for your local tv stations to be breaking into your favorite programs on Thursday and Friday and possibly Saturday too. That’s it in a nutshell. Probably a good idea to pay attention the next few days. Despite the limited risk of tornadoes on Thursday put out by the SPC, don’t be surprised to see a tornado watch….maybe Friday too.
DAY 1 CONVECTIVE OUTLOOK
NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK
0101 AM CDT THU JUN 18 2009
VALID 181200Z – 191200Z
…THERE IS A MDT RISK OF SVR TSTMS FROM SRN MN…NRN AND CNTRL
IA…SWRN WI THROUGH NRN IL INTO NRN IND…
…THERE IS A SLGT RISK OF SVR TSTMS FROM THE CNTRL AND NRN PLAINS
THROUGH THE OH VALLEY…ERN TN VALLEY…CAROLINAS AND MID
LARGE SCALE PATTERN WILL UNDERGO LITTLE CHANGE THURSDAY. AN UPPER
RIDGE WILL PERSIST FROM THE CNTRL PLAINS THROUGH SERN STATES. AN
UPPER TROUGH WILL PREVAIL IN THE WEST…AND PRIMARY BELT OF WLYS
WILL REMAIN OVER THE NRN THIRD OF THE COUNTRY. SHORTWAVE TROUGH NOW
APPROACHING THE CNTRL ROCKIES WILL EJECT NEWD…SUPPRESSING THE
UPPER RIDGE OVER THE CNTRL PLAINS AND UPPER MS VALLEY.
AT THE SURFACE A WARM FRONT SHOULD LIFT NWD THROUGH THE UPPER MS
VALLEY AND INTO PORTIONS OF THE UPPER GREAT LAKES…THROUGH NWD
PROGRESS OF THIS BOUNDARY MAY BE SLOWED BY ONGOING CONVECTION. THE
EJECTING IMPULSE WILL PROVIDE IMPETUS FOR A COLD FRONT TO ADVANCE
SEWD THROUGH THE NRN PLAINS WILL ADVANCE SEWD THROUGH THE NRN/CNTRL
PLAINS…REACHING THE UPPER MS VALLEY TOWARD THE END OF THIS PERIOD.
A DRYLINE WILL PERSIST FROM WRN TX NWD THROUGH CNTRL KS AND SRN NEB.
…CNTRL PLAINS THROUGH UPPER MS VALLEY REGION…
STORMS WILL LIKELY BE ONGOING NORTH OF WARM FRONT EARLY
THURSDAY…PRIMARILY OVER A PORTION OF THE UPPER MS VALLEY AND
GREAT LAKES WHERE ISENTROPIC LIFT WILL BE MAXIMIZED WHERE LOW
JET INTERSECTS BAROCLINIC ZONE. THIS ACTIVITY WILL SHIFT EWD DURING
THE DAY. A RESERVOIR OF VERY UNSTABLE AIR WILL PERSIST IN WARM
SECTOR SOUTH OF THIS BOUNDARY WHERE A WARM EML WILL OVERSPREAD A
VERY MOIST BOUNDARY LAYER /LOW 70F BOUNDARY LAYER DEWPOINTS
RESULTING IN 4000+ J/KG MLCAPE.
IN WAKE OF EARLY ACTIVITY…A CAP RESULTING FROM THE WARM EML WILL
LIKELY SUPPRESS THUNDERSTORM DEVELOPMENT IN WARM SECTOR MUCH OF THE
DAY. HOWEVER…STORMS MAY DEVELOP ALONG PRE-FRONTAL TROUGH OVER THE
CNTRL PLAINS AS THE BOUNDARY LAYER DESTABILIZES AND AS DEEPER
FORCING FOR ASCENT INCREASES IN RESPONSE TO EJECTING SHORTWAVE
TROUGH. OTHER STORMS ARE EXPECTED TO INTENSIFY FARTHER EAST ALONG
AND NORTH OF THE WARM FRONT WHERE MOIST…UNSTABLE INFLOW FROM THE
WARM SECTOR WILL BE MAXIMIZED. BULK SHEAR OF 50+ KT WILL BE MORE
THAN SUFFICIENT TO SUPPORT SUPERCELLS…SOME OF WHICH COULD PRODUCE
VERY LARGE HAIL. TORNADO THREAT IS EXPECTED TO BE HIGHEST OVER THE
UPPER MS VALLEY. IN THIS REGION…HODOGRAPH SIZE WILL BE MAXIMIZED
WHERE THE STRENGTHENING LOW LEVEL JET INTERSECTS THE BAROCLINIC
ZONE FROM LATE AFTERNOON INTO THE EVENING. STORMS MAY EVOLVE INTO
ONE OR MORE MCSS DURING THE EVENING AND OVERNIGHT WITH AN INCREASING
THREAT OF SIGNIFICANT WIND DAMAGE.
…OH VALLEY THROUGH TN VALLEY AREA…
STORMS ARE EXPECTED TO INTENSIFY ALONG NW-SE ORIENTED BAROCLINIC
ZONE AS THE ATMOSPHERE DESTABILIZES DURING THE AFTERNOON. NWLY FLOW
ALOFT OF 40-50 KT WILL RESULT IN BULK SHEAR SUFFICIENT FOR ORGANIZED
STORM STRUCTURES INCLUDING SUPERCELLS AND BOWING SEGMENTS. STORMS
MAY EVOLVE INTO CLUSTERS AS THEY SPREAD SEWD ALONG INSTABILITY
GRADIENT. DAMAGING WIND AND LARGE HAIL ARE EXPECTED TO BE THE
…CAROLINAS THROUGH MID ATLANTIC…
DIABATIC HEATING OF THE MOIST BOUNDARY LAYER WILL RESULT IN MODERATE
INSTABILITY IN THIS REGION THURSDAY. STORMS ARE EXPECTED TO DEVELOP
OVER THE HIGHER TERRAIN AND IN VICINITY OF PRE-FRONTAL TROUGH.
ORGANIZED MULTICELL CLUSTERS CAPABLE OF PRODUCING ISOLATED DAMAGING
WIND AND HAIL WILL BE PROBABLE THROUGH MID EVENING.
…SRN HIGH PLAINS…
STORMS ARE EXPECTED TO DEVELOP IN VICINITY OF DRYLINE/LEE TROUGH
WHERE DEEP MIXING WILL WEAKEN CAP. THE THERMODYNAMIC ENVIRONMENT
WILL BE CHARACTERIZED BY STEEP LAPSE RATES AND MODERATE INSTABILITY
WITH LARGE BOUNDARY LAYER TEMPERATURE/DEWPOINT SPREADS. MODEST
UNIDIRECTIONAL VERTICAL SHEAR WITH WEAK FLOW IN THE SURFACE-700 MB
LAYER WILL SUPPORT ONLY LOOSELY ORGANIZED STORMS. HOWEVER…THE
THERMODYNAMIC ENVIRONMENT WILL SUPPORT ISOLATED DOWNBURSTS AND HAIL
WITH THE STRONGER STORMS.