Hope Your Heater Works: As expected we had a much cooler day than we’ve seen in quite some time. An upper low will work its way through overnight bringing some light showers and clouds but the showers will probably not be that signficant and will end shortly after sunrise. The clouds won’t stick around long thereafter and the sun will be dominant by Saturday afternoon but area highs won’t get out of the low 60’s. Saturday night, the mercury will fall to the 30’s area wide with some places in the low 30’s. Hope your heaters work and be careful if you haven’t used yours yet this year. Check it out prior to use. Then get ready for your bill. I had figured that my gas rate had increased by 39%. LG & E corrected me. They claim its 65%!! Apparently I missed an interim increase. Natural gas prices have fallen quite a bit since they adjusted the rates in July. Hopefully when they readjust in November, they will come back down because I don’t want to have heating bills this winter like I had a few years ago…nor do you.
Tropical Storm Omar is useless but if you want to read about it, check out below. But, at least you can find it now on the satellite imagery and is certainly much better looking that it was. It is moving over much colder water and as it continues northeast it will run into frontal zones. In short, Omar’s days are numbered. I think its still going to be interesting to see if it eventually affects Europe in whatever shape or form it is in. Remember, the role of tropical cyclones in nature is to transport heat and moisture from the tropical regions to the polar regions. They are not trying to melt the polar ice caps, they are just doing what they are supposed to do and this year, in the Atlantic Basin, they have done a very good job with several storms making it into the northern latitudes.
Governor Palin’s Path is Set: Had it not been for the dogged determination of Secretary of State William H. Seward, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin may be be the Vice-Presidential nominee of the Republican Party.
In the 19th Century, Russia laid claim to the Alaskan territory with the establishment of the fur-trading Russian-American Company. The company was quite profitable for awhile but by the 1860’s, business wasn’t too good. In order for the company to remain viable, the Tsar would have to heavily subsidize operations. Only a few hundred Russians had emigrated to Alaska and the Russians had no way of defending the vast region. The Tsar and his ministers thought it was in their best interest to sell the land to the Americans rather than lose it in battle to one of the world powers, like Great Britain.
In 1867. Secretary of State William Seward began negotiations to acquire the territory. Now, Seward was a hold-over from the Lincoln administration and was serving under President Andrew Johnson at the time. Johnson became quite unpopular due to his Reconstruction policies and some in the public derisively called the plan “Seward’s Folly”, “Seward’s Ice Box” or “Andrew Johnson’s Polar Bear Garden.” There were also facticious calls for the opening of the “Polar Bear Bureau” and the establishment of the “Superintendent of Walruses.” At the time, it was seen as a vast, empty wilderness. But, some histories now suggest that most of the general public thought it was a shrewd deal. Political opponents in Congress who were trying to figure out how to impeach Johnson delayed approval of the $7.2 million needed to complete the deal. But, perhaps because public opposition wasn’t as great as has been advertised, Congress ratified the deal on April 9, 1867 to acquire an area about twice the size of Texas being purchased for $7.2 million, or about 2 cents an acre. Funny thing is, Congress didn’t appropriate the money until July 1868. If you notice the Check above is dated August 1868. Guess the Tsar didn’t care too much about the slow payment but I suppose any Americans in Alaska before the check cleared could be considered to be squatters. Anyway, the public
remained generally non-plussed about the deal until gold was discovered in 1896 and suddenly the acquisition wasn’t such a folly after all. As time went on, the deal became to be on par with buying Manhattan for $24.
Today, 25% of America’s oil comes from Alaska and about half of the seafood. It also produces a huge amount of natural gas, timber and other natural resources. Today, it has produced “Sarah Barracuda”, the first female Republican nominee for Vice-President. Alaska became a state in 1959 and there are two state
holidays marking its heritage. One is “Seward’s Day” which is in March every year to mark the day that William Seward signed the treaty (Mar 30, 1867) and the other is on October 18, which commemorates This date in History when on October 18, 1867, the United States formally took possession of the 586, 412 square miles of Alaska. If this Global Warming caper goes the way that Mr. Gore suggests, then “Andrew Johnson’s Polar Bear Garden” will have to find a new name…perhaps “Andrew Johnson’s Polar Bear Swimming Pool” would be more appropriate.
Turn out the Lights: On this date in 1931, perhaps the greatest single inventor in the history of the world died. Thomas Alva Edison died in West Orange, New Jersey at the age of 84. Upon his death, President Hoover asked all americans to turn out the lights for one minute. He had considered having all power plants across the nation be shut down but his advisors reminded him that electricity had become such a part of the American fabric that doing so would place many people at extreme risk. So, Hoover took the Republican approach of asking for a volunteer effort. Too bad he didn’t take a Republican view of taxes as, in the wake of the stock market crash, Hoover raised taxes and most economic historians point to his raising of taxes and tariffs that led to the Great Depression, not the stock market crash….anyway….
Thomas Edison’s 1093 US patents is a record that will probably never be even remotely challenged. There are a couple of links of Edison to Louisville. For a brief period of time when he was young, Edison lived in a small house in Louisville near Butchertown. (you can visit the home) One of his most famous inventions was the first practical incandescent light
bulb in 1879. In 1883, the Southern Exposition opened in Louisville with a display of 20,000 incandescent lights making it the largest display in this history of the world at that time. The number of lights in Louisville at that time was more than the entire city of New York. Please take the time to READ THIS EDISON BIOGRAPHY as it does a far better justice than I could do to bring to the attention one of the most influential people in the history of the United States, and even the world, not just in the 19th and 20th century and far beyond. While it was not patented, Edison actually invented the modern method of invention…a footnote that is often lost in most history lessons.
TROPICAL STORM OMAR DISCUSSION NUMBER 19
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL152008
1100 PM EDT FRI OCT 17 2008
THE CONVECTION ASSOCIATED WITH OMAR HAS DECREASED AGAIN THIS EVENING…WITH THE REMAINING CONVECTION IN A RAGGED BAND WELL SOUTHEAST OF THE CENTER. HOWEVER…AN AMSU OVERPASS NEAR 20Z SHOWS THAT THE CYCLONE HAS A DEEP-LAYER WARM CORE…WHICH SSM/I IMAGERY SHOWS IS SURROUNDED BY MID/UPPER-LEVEL DRY/COOL AIR. A QUIKSCAT OVERPASS NEAR 22Z SHOWS A SIGNIFICANT DECREASE IN THE WINDS FROM THE EARLIER OVERPASS…WITH NO RELIABLE-LOOKING VECTORS SHOWING WINDS OF MORE THAN 45 TO 50 KT. AMSU INTENSITY ESTIMATES AT 20Z WERE 55 TO 60 KT…WHILE REGULAR SATELLITE INTENSITY ESTIMATES WERE TROPICAL 65 KT FROM TAFB AND SUBTROPICAL 35-40 KT FROM SAB. THE INITIAL INTENSITY IS DECREASED TO 55 KT BASED ON AN AVERAGE OF THESE ESTIMATES…AND THIS MIGHT BE A BIT GENEROUS. THE INITIAL WIND RADII HAVE BEEN REVISED BASED ON THE QUIKSCAT DATA. OMAR HAS SLOWED ITS FORWARD MOTION DURING THE PAST FEW HOURS AND THE INITIAL MOTION IS NOW 040/14. IN THE SHORT TERM…OMAR SHOULD CONTINUE A GENERAL NORTHEASTWARD MOTION BETWEEN A DEEP-LAYER RIDGE OVER THE EAST CENTRAL ATLANTIC AND THE MID-LATITUDE WESTERLIES TO THE NORTH. THE FIRST 48 HR OF THE FORECAST IS DOWN THE MIDDLE OF THE FAIRLY TIGHTLY CLUSTERED GUIDANCE. AFTER 48 HR…THE GFS… ECMWF…UKMET..AND HWRF SHOW OMAR BEING ABSORBED INTO A BAROCLINIC LOW MOVING EASTWARD FROM THE WESTERN ATLANTIC…THIS AFTER OMAR TURNS MORE NORTHWARD IN ADVANCE OF THE LOW. THE NOGAPS…THE BAMD…THE BAMM…AND THE LBAR FORECAST OMAR TO TURN EASTWARD AND EVENTUALLY SOUTHWARD AROUND THE EASTERN ATLANTIC RIDGE. THE NEW FORECAST TRACK WILL LEAN MORE TOWARD THE GFS/UKMET/ECMWF/HWRF SOLUTION…CALLING FOR OMAR TO TURN MORE NORTHWARD AFTER 72 HR. HOWEVER…OUT OF DEFERENCE TO THE OTHER MODELS AND THE PREVIOUS FORECAST…THE NEW FORECAST IS NOT AS FAR NORTH AS THAT OF THOSE MODELS. OMAR IS MOVING OVER SEA SURFACE TEMPERATURES OF LESS THAN 26C…AND IS LIKELY TO ENCOUNTER INCREASING WESTERLY VERTICAL WIND SHEAR AFTER 24 HR. WHILE ANOTHER CONVECTIVE FLARE-UP CANNOT BE RULED OUT…THESE CONDITIONS INDICATE THE STORM SHOULD GENERALLY WEAKEN THROUGH THE FORECAST PERIOD. THIS IS SUPPORTED BY ALL THE INTENSITY GUIDANCE. OMAR SHOULD BECOME EXTRATROPICAL IN 48-72 HR AS IT MERGES WITH A FRONTAL SYSTEM OVER THE NORTH ATLANTIC. IF THE GFS/UKMET/ECMWF/HWRF SCENARIO VERIFIES…OMAR WILL BE ABSORBED BY THE WARM FRONT OF THE ONCOMING BAROCLINIC LOW…WITH THE FORMER TROPICAL CYCLONE SHOWING LITTLE RE-INTENSIFICATION AS AN EXTRATROPICAL LOW. THIS IS REFLECTED IN THE 48-96 HR PORTION OF THE INTENSITY FORECAST.
FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS
INITIAL 18/0300Z 31.5N 52.8W 55 KT
12HR VT 18/1200Z 33.3N 51.1W 50 KT
24HR VT 19/0000Z 35.1N 48.7W 45 KT
36HR VT 19/1200Z 36.7N 46.2W 40 KT
48HR VT 20/0000Z 38.3N 43.2W 35 KT…BECOMING EXTRATROPICAL
72HR VT 21/0000Z 39.5N 39.0W 35 KT…EXTRATROPICAL
96HR VT 22/0000Z 42.0N 36.0W 35 KT…EXTRATROPICAL
120HR VT 23/0000Z…ABSORBED BY FRONTAL SYSTEM
$$ FORECASTER BEVEN