Government Continues Attack on Civil Liberty
July 31, 2008

The remnant of Dolly will be moving across the region on Wednesday night. A few strong storms are possible but not necessarily probable. The updated SPC OUTLOOK has a slight risk just to our west. There will probably be a fair amount of lightning and some of the storms coming out of Missouri have had a history of hail and they were rambunctious enough for the SPC to issue a Tornado Watch well to our west. However, it’s not enough for me to come in to work as we suspect the greatest problem with this may be the amount of rain we get. You can just feel the heavy moisture content. This morning it reminded me of my grandparents house on Mobile Bay. Sorta had the same smell…but maybe that was the barn. Nevertheless, it was enough for me to put the goats, the horses and the donkey in the barn for the night. I can’t afford to get those guys mad at me and I don’t think they take too well to lightning and I’m sure they wouldn’t appreciate getting dumped on with rain. I hope the rain helps my baby tree named Horton. I’m sure kelsaroo the hydrangia wil be happy too.

LA Considers Banning Fast Food Establishments in Lower Income Neighborhood. While it’s often unpopular, I have from time to time opined about how we are relinquishing our freedoms under the guise of good intentions. I suppose it’s the Libertarian in me that flares up from time to time. No, I’m not talking about Federal efforts to fight terrorism and work toward better security for the nation. I”m talking about little things…and those little things are now becoming big things and may even get bigger and more intrusive. Already we’ve had governments taking people’s homes so that they can increase the tax revenues. If the government thinks that your home would make a good place for a shopping mall, they can take it. All of this starts with our willingness to allow restrictive laws on relatively minor issues and nos the government is grabbing for more. So far, we have let them and soon we may not be able to stop them.

Many states have made it mandatory to wear a helmet when riding a motorcycle. The excuse from most people is that they don’t want to pay for, or have their insurance premiums go up, when some gets in a wreck when they aren’t wearing a helmet. I suspect though that people who don’t wear helmets probably result in lower hospital costs because they are more likely to die and not be in the hospital at all. Same thing for seatbelts.

I’ve always worn a seatbelt and always will. I think it’s stupid not to wear a helmet on a motorcycle or go seatbeltless in a car. If you don’t wear a seatbelt, the odds increase that you die and stay off the healthcare roles altogether. But, it’s a small infringement on our freedoms under the shroud of public good. Same thing with smoking.

All of the bans go up all over the place. I don’t smoke and never have. But, if an owner of a bar wants to allow adults to use a legal product in his establishment, then he should not be forced to prevent his patrons from using the product. If it is so dangerous and so unhealthful, then the government should ban them altogether. But…they don’t. Why? Because so many states rely on taxes from the tobacco industry. It’s such hypocrisy. On the one hand, they sue the tobacco companies but on the other, they welcome the tax revenue. They prevent law abiding bar owners from allowing people to use a legal product and also require them to enforce the law. Yet, they still need desperately the taxes collected. If the public is so in favor of a smoke-free environment, then they could let the free market decide. My guess is that the smoke free bars would go out of business and the smoking bars would flourish. Just imagine if the tobacco companies decided the cost of doing business was too high in the US and they stopped selling their products in the United States. Then the states would be suing to force them to sell those products because every state would have a huge budget shortfall…and a substantially large angry portion of the electorate. Oh..by the way, statistics show that smokers have more health related issues…but they also show that they die younger…again…off the healthcare rolls altogether.

I think that all of these relatively minor surrenderings of our liberty will lead the government to reach even farther. There have been some localities that have tried to make it illegal for someone to smoke in the privacy of his own home! Remember a couple of years ago when New London, CT used eminent domain to toss people from their perfectly good and safe homes to make way for a commercial establishment? The Connecticut Supreme Court said it was for the public good because it would stimulate the local economy. It seems like a clear violation of the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution. These guys didn’t search, they just seized law abiding private homeowners property altogether. And once New London was able to ge away with it, other cities soon followed. This story got the attention of 60 Minutes , but the American people remain silent.

Now, Los Angeles will vote soon on a measure that would ban any further construction of fast food establishments in a neighborhood that is largely less affluent. The rich neighborhoods can continue to welcome new business with open arms whereas the poor are deemed unworthy of making choices on their own. What is next?

You know, if you really want to get down to it, the Global Warming issue has its base in population. If there were still about 2 billion people on the planet instead of the over 6 billion today, then the pollution and carbon emissions would be greatly reduced. If we keep on this path, then is it not totally unreasonable for one to think that some day the government would limit the number of babies a family could have? Sound far fetched? China does it today and here is a student from the University of Pittsburgh that thinks China’s one child per family rule is “sensible.”

Just some things to think about. For the record, I think the greatest danger to our losing our liberty is through the prism of good intentions and I think we are closer than many people care to think.

Here is the LA Times Story

Saved By Underwear! Bertha No Problem, No Buts
July 8, 2008

We got snookered Monday morning. An MCS blew up to the northwest along the upper low I spoke about Sunday. That MCS just kept propagating to the southeast and the result was something more than isolated t’storms for the northern half of the viewing area….and even some rain and t’storms for some of the southern and southwestern parts of the viewing area too. Otherwise, things look on track. The above is the SPC outlook for Tuesday into Wednesday morning from Monday afternoon. The green line ends northwest of Louisville. The front will be slow to get here and will most likely be nocturnal for us. Our threat will be minimal unless it moves a bit faster. But, the SPC has given themselves a pretty wide berth with the slight risk area for that eventuality and they still don’t have Louisville in the slight risk. In the discussion that has to do with the Ohio Valley, you will note that they say the best chance is from Kansas to Northern Ohio…or where the front is likely to be during daytime heating. It bears watching and we will do so. Here’s their stuff:

…MID MS AND OH VALLEYS… MAIN BAND OF MID LEVEL WESTERLIES WILL EXTEND ACROSS THE NORTHERN TIER OF STATES ON TUESDAY…WITH SHORTWAVE TROUGH FORECAST TO MOVE ACROSS THE GREAT LAKES REGION. THE ASSOCIATED COLD FRONT WILL SAG SOUTHWARD ACROSS THE OH AND MID MS VALLEYS DURING THE AFTERNOON…PROVIDING THE FOCUS FOR SCATTERED THUNDERSTORM DEVELOPMENT. EXTENT OF DAY1 CONVECTION WILL LIKELY DICTATE SOUTHWARD MOVEMENT OF FRONT BY TUESDAY AFTERNOON. HOWEVER…CURRENT OPERATIONAL MODELS AND SREF GUIDANCE INDICATE REGION OF MOST LIKELY CONVECTIVE ACTIVITY WILL LIE FROM CENTRAL KS INTO PARTS OF LOWER MI/NORTHERN OH. SURFACE DEWPOINTS IN THE 60S TO LOWER 70S ALONG THIS AXIS…COUPLED WITH POCKETS OF STRONG DAYTIME HEATING…WILL YIELD AFTERNOON MLCAPE VALUES AROUND 2000 J/KG. WESTERLY FLOW ALOFT AND CONVERGENCE ALONG FRONT WILL HELP ORGANIZE CONVECTION INTO MULTICELL LINES AND CLUSTERS CAPABLE OF DAMAGING WINDS AND HAIL. THREAT WILL LIKELY WEAKEN IN MOST AREAS BY 03Z

On This Date in History: THIS MAN WAS SAVED BY ANOTHER MAN’S UNDERWEAR!!! John Wesley Powell was a self-taught geologist and naturalist who had lost his right arm at the Battle of Shiloh. He is credited with charting the Grand Canyon and went on to lead the US Geological Survey and Bureau of American Ethnology. When making what would be the first trip through the Grand Canyon with a 9 man party down the Colorado River, they stopped to do some surveys. On July 8, 1869 the one armed Powell and George Bradley gingerly moved along a shear cliff when Powell made a short leap and found himself stuck with no where to go. Bradley was above him and tried to find a branch or something to extend to Powell, whose legs and one hand were giving out. Quick thinking ensued. Bradley stripped off his long underwear and lowered them down. Bravely, Powell let loose with his hand and quickly grabbed the dangling drawers. The fabric held, Powell was pulled to safety and he lived to tell about it and map the Grand Canyon. If this story happened today, can you imagine the commercials? “Acme Longjohns….So tough it saves lives!”

Hurricane Bertha: I’m not putting up a map or anything. Track forecast is about the same. Data is about the same. Storm holds something close to the current intensity, moves around the ridge towards Bermuda or somewhere either side. It weakens as it moves toward Bermuda as per shearing idea, though I suspect cooler waters will also play a role. No problem for anyone unless you are maritime interests, an academic or going to Bermuda. So, let’s see. We have a volcano in Hawaii and a volcano under the North pole. We have wildfires in California and tornadoes in the Midwest. What gives? It’s called life. I’m guessing that media foofs have been peppering the NHC with questions as exemplified by the final line from senior forecaster Lexion Avila with tonight’s discussion prior to the forecast intensity and plots:

BERTHA IS CERTAINLY NOT THE ONLY MAJOR HURRICANE THAT HAS FORMED IN THE MONTH OF JULY. THE LAST OCCURRENCES WERE HURRICANES DENNIS AND EMILY IN 2005.

FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS

INITIAL 08/0300Z 20.8N 52.8W 105 KT 12HR VT 08/

1200Z 21.5N 54.2W 100 KT

24HR VT 09/0000Z 22.5N 56.0W 100 KT

36HR VT 09/1200Z 23.5N 58.0W 95 KT

48HR VT 10/0000Z 25.0N 59.5W 85 KT

72HR VT 11/0000Z 27.5N 61.5W 80 KT

96HR VT 12/0000Z 30.0N 62.0W 75 KT

120HR VT 13/0000Z 32.0N 62.0W 75 KT

$$ FORECASTER AVILA

Storm Outlook; Britney Snubbed!
July 7, 2008

The shortwave that was forecast to pass by this afternoon is not running on my train schedule and moved across a few hours early. Rain and t’storms will be in the area for the first part of the day. May be a good thing because, given it’s strength, had it come through in the heat of the day storms may have been more interesting.

Same story. Above is the SPC Outlook for Tuesday. I’ve got the discussion linked, followed by the SPC Day 3 part of the discussion that pertains to the Ohio Valley. There are no risk areas at this time for Wednesday.

07/08 8am to 07/09 8 am discussion

Day Three outlook regarding Ohio Valley

…SYNOPSIS… PROGRESSIVE NRN STREAM PATTERN FCST TO CONTINUE THROUGH DAY-3. SHORTWAVE TROUGH — NOW EVIDENT IN MOISTURE CHANNEL IMAGERY OVER AB — IS EXPECTED TO DIG ESEWD THROUGH DAY-2 PERIOD TO VICINITY LS. DURING THIS PERIOD…TROUGH SHOULD MOVE EWD AND DEAMPLIFY SOMEWHAT AMIDST LARGER BELT OF CYCLONIC FLOW ASSOCIATED WITH STRONGER TROUGH OVER JAMES BAY REGION. WEAK TROUGHING ALOFT — NOW OVER SRN ROCKIES AND 4-CORNERS REGION –SHOULD SHIFT EWD SLOWLY THROUGH PERIOD…WITH MOST PROGS REASONABLY INDICATING POSITIVELY TILTED STREAMER OF MAXIMIZED VORTICITY FROM LOWER OH VALLEY TO ERN/NERN NM BY 10/00Z. FARTHER E…UPPER LOW NOW OVER KY/WV BORDER REGION SHOULD DRIFT OFFSHORE MID ATLANTIC/TIDEWATER REGION DAY-2.

Find Out Why Britney Spears was snubbed for an Emmy Award. Call your Congressman! It’s an outrage!!

Britney Spears Rejected

California Wildfires In Pictures; Hoover or Boulder?
July 7, 2008

Click Here for a National Interactive Radar that you can use to zoom in to street level, track and see analysis for any part of the country.

The above is the July 6th version of the severe outlook for Tuesday July 8.

Our weather looks pretty good to start the week. An upper disturbance will wander through the flow across the lower Great Lakes and an appendage of instability may be far enough southto work with afternoon heating to kick off a few Monday afternoon isolated t’storms. If they do go, they’ll most likely be confined to the northern half of the viewing area. Tuesday night a front will slowly plod our way and rain chances will go up accordingly. Note the severe threat is well to our northwest where the boundary will be moving during the heat of the day. There may be some late day renegade t’storms but primarily the threat will be for Tuesday night into Wednesday morning. We should see improvement by Wednesday afternoon that will translate to a good Thursday. The front comes back as a warm front Friday morning marking the return of heat and humidity for much of the weekend. Another front comes down for late Sunday…or so it seems right now.

California Wild Fires: The map to the left is for Tuesday afternoon and evening. In our area you see rain moving with a cold front that doesn’t have great prospects for severe weather but will have the potential to bring some decent rain. Out west though, you see the way the contour lines are oriented is for a general offshore flow, which means dry and hot air coming down out of the mountains. Not really a Santa Anna wind which typically comes from the southwest but the end result is the same. No real help in the near term.

Here is a slide show from KTAR which is in the Phoenix area. I suppose since that region has numerous links to California that they decided to enhance their coverage. I’m not sure how long this link will be good, but I would think that it would be good for the near term. It has well over 100 shots.

California Wildfires Slide Show KTAR

Here is a slideshow from the NYTimes. Not as many shots but they have an artistic edge to them.

NYTimes California Wildfire Slide Show

Here are some more from the Big Sur Fire.

NYTimes Big Sur Wildfire Slide Show

On This Date In History: This is a tale filled with politics so it’s confusing. Back in 1902, Arthur Powell Davis, an engineer with the Bureau of Reclamation, came up with an idea for a dam along the Colorado River at a place called Boulder Canyon. Herbert Hoover, an engineer by education himself, was Secretary of Commerce in 1921 and he made it a priority to support a high dam at Boulder Canyon. Plans were set for the project to be begun in 1922. Well, there was Congress to contend with and water rights and states rights…lots of politicians. So the project didn’t get started until This Date in 1930. By that time, coincidentally, Herbert Hoover was the 31st President. It was also the beginning of the Great Depression and Hoover wanted to be re-elected. While work started on July 7, the official ceremony commemorating the beginning wasn’t until September when Hoover’s Secretary of the Interior, Ray Wilbur, declared the project would be known as the Hoover Dam. It was appropriate since Hoover had been instrumental over the years in getting the project going. But, Hoover also wanted the project to bear his name to remind people of all the jobs he had created. It didn’t work. Hoover lost badly to Franklin D. Roosevelt.

As the project was getting started, it was determined that geologically it was better suited down the river in Black Canyon. Nevertheless, it was still called the Boulder Canyon Project and on May 8, 1933, Secretary of the Interior Harold Ickes(father of the current Democrat politician with the same name) declared that the name of the project would no longer be known as Hoover Dam, but instead Boulder Dam. FDR had been in office for a few months and erasing any mention of Hoover perhaps was high on the priority list of helping the US to be fearless against “fear itself.” This of course even though the dam was being built in Black Canyon. In 1947, President Harry Truman signed a resolution of the Congress changing the name back to Hoover Dam….but the town built for all of the workers is still Boulder City. When I was a kid we stayed in a motel in Boulder City that looked like it was from the set of National Lampoon’s Vacation. Christie Brinkley didn’t show up though.

Here’s a link to all sorts of stuff about Hoover Dam including a bunch of photos from the 1930’s. Notice that it is called the Boulder Dam Project..AKA Hoover Dam. There are some things of which some people will not let go, Congressional resolution and Presidential signature or not!

Limited Monday Through Monday Night Storm Threat
June 23, 2008

Their graphic update for Monday is pretty much on the same thinking as my previous discussion except that the big low is already on the move.  This morning we had some showers and t’storms in the east and southeastern part of the viewing area.  So the morning risk panned out to an extent.  If you notice, they have the convective t’storm area a shade west and south of Louisville and points to the east and south.  This shift is a reflection of the earlier than anticipated shift of the big upper low.  Our lapse rates Monday afternoon are good but the air aloft is pretty dry so rain/storm chances appear marginal.

Here is what the SPC says about  the Ohio Valley:

…OH VALLEY/APPALACHIANS TO THE EAST COAST…
   PERSISTENT UPPER TROUGH OVER THE GREAT LAKES AND OH/TN VALLEY
   REGIONS THIS MORNING IS ALREADY BEGINNING TO ACCELERATE/MOVE
   EWD…AND MODELS BRING TROUGH ACROSS THE LOWER LAKES/APPALACHIANS
   THIS EVENING.  AS HAS BEEN THE CASE THE PAST FEW DAYS…A LARGE AREA
   OF SEVERE THUNDERSTORM POTENTIAL WILL DEVELOP AHEAD OF THIS FEATURE
   FROM THE CAROLINAS NWD INTO THE UPPER OH RIVER VALLEY/NEW ENGLAND
   TODAY.  ACTIVITY WILL ONCE AGAIN DEVELOP IN SEVERAL EPISODES AS
   HEATING AND DEEP ASCENT/COOLING ALOFT PROVIDE INCREASING INSTABILITY
   THROUGH THE AFTERNOON…DESPITE WIDESPREAD AREA OF MOIST
   CONVECTION/CLOUDS ALREADY IN PLACE OVER THE REGION.  LOW LEVEL FLOW
   WILL REMAIN FAIRLY WEAK…ALTHOUGH MODERATE SWLY WINDS ALOFT WILL
   SUSTAIN 25-35 KT DEEP LAYER SHEAR.  THIS WILL SUPPORT ORGANIZATION
   INTO LINES/CLUSTERS AND POSSIBLY A SUPERCELL OR TWO…PRODUCING
   LARGE HAIL AND DAMAGING WINDS.

Weekend T’Storm Outlook For June 21-22
June 21, 2008

At midday, I am observing a shortwave trof rotating through the upper Midwest.  The storms that have developed in association are primarily in northern Illinois and Northern Indiana.  The trof extends down through St. Louis.  I suspect that as this trof swings through during the afternoon heating, we will see storms popping up.  Any individual storm may have the prospect of small hail or gusty winds.  It is this shortwave trof that caused the SPC to extend the slight risk down to the Louisville Metro Area.  At the time of this here posting…you will see a computer’s idea of the rain chances (top graphic) with the 40 plus pop extending down from the northeast, roughly the area that one would expect the trof to be moving through during the afternoon and evening.

Aside from the observation, which is pretty much what you have to do in these situations, the computers didn’t really give much to hang your hat on for today.  But, Sunday the general consensus is for a much stronger shortwave to move through in the late day or evening.  It seems more problematic.  I wouldn’t expect tornadoes or anything like that but just know that the prospects for strong afternoon and nighttime t’storms will be elevated on Sunday.  We’ll see if this materializes but its been pretty consistent over the past few days worth of model runs.  Besides that, Matt Milosevich returned from nearly a week in Cabo and promptly declared Sunday as troublesome.  I hope that it doesn’t materialize for two reasons.  First, we don’t want to spoil Sunday activities.  Second, and perhaps more important to all of mankind, Young Mr. Lincoln will be difficult to live with for several days.

Severe Threat Overnight Possible, Not Probable
May 10, 2008

Here’s the 4PM updated map from the SPC and it’s not much different from the last one.  The reason that they have us in the slight risk is because big storms blowing up well west and southwest of here could possibly hold together as they move into our area. But there are several inhibiting factors that will make it difficult to sustain the storms at a high level in our area.  First off, we have big time dry air. Our dewpoint at 6 pm was 45 while down in Arkansas it was in the 70’s.  The mid 50 dewpoints though were only down in Owensboro so we will have moisture moving into our area, its just questionable if the associated potential energy(CAPE) will be sufficient to support big storms.  Probably not.  Then there is the dynamic which far and away will be best  to our south and southwest.  That is the strong wind energy associated with the jet stream as well as winds changing wind speed and or direction over a given distance, vertical or horizontal. That is what is known as shear and its not the great around here.  Then, of course, the timing of the system is well after midnight…probably around 4AM and Mr. Sun will still be in bed so he won’t be any help.  Still, if the storms initiate strong enough and there is enough support, its possible, not probable that a couple may hold together and cause some monkey business. If they did it would probably be gusty winds and maybe small hail.  Overall I’m not that worked up about this but I will be here all night should these big guys become troublemakers around here.  I think the Ozarks or say, southern Missouri through Arkansas, maybe northern Mississippi or even west Tennessee may have a worrisome night…again.

As before, here is the day one outlook from the SPC. It will give you access to the text data from the SPC as well as the probability maps associated with the general map shown above.  This link will automatically to change to reflect the latest day one outlook, so if you check it on another day, it will have changed to whatever is current that particular day.

Day One Storm Prediction Center Outlook

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