Archive for November, 2007

Dusty Roads
November 30, 2007

The forecast still looks on track and like we’ve had it pegged since last weekend: a roller-coaster. Chilly through the end of the week then a warm up on Sunday with rain followed by another sharp dip in the temperatures for the first part of next week.

I was the MC for Light Up Jeffersonville tonight. It’s a real honor and privilege to do that every year and I thank the good folks on the other side of the river for allowing me to join them. Mayor Rob Waiz was on hand for the last time as his term expires early next year and I will miss him should they invite me back. He’s a real quality guy and we have a lot of fun. From my perspective he did a fine job as mayor. If you get a chance to do some Christmas shopping this year across the river, it will be worth your while because they have some unique shops down in the Spring Street area and besides that, the traffic usually isn’t too bad.

On This Date In History: My grandfather used to tell me that if I met man named Rhodes, I should call him Dusty. Well, they certainly had a dusty road on this date in 1991 in California along Interstate 5. That year, the San Joaquin Valley had suffered from a drought and many farmers decided not to plant crops that season. That a lot of parched, dry earth along the freeway. A big ole wind of nearly 40 mph began whipping up and dust started blowing across the highway, blinding the drivers. A 104 vehicle pile up resulted that led to 17 fatalities and 150 serious injuries. Thousands of people in traffic for many miles were trapped in their cars for nearly the entire day until a clear path through the carnage could be found

Dust storms are caused by generally two types of phenomena. One would be pretty localized from micro-bursts from thunderstorms. Those typically last for a few minutes to a few hours. The other type is caused by large scale, non-convective type situations in which there is a steep pressure gradient that results in strong surface winds. I suspect that is the situation they had in this case. Large scale induced dust storms can last anywhere from a few hours to a few days.

This wasn’t the first time in modern history for Interstate 5 to get hit by a dust storm. A storm in 1978 resulted in another big pile up that caused 7 deaths and 47 fatalities. The year before in the San Joaquin Valley concluded with many residents getting sick from breathing in a bunch of dust. They call it Valley fever. This is not a good chamber or commerce matter for San Joaquin Valley and it makes one wonder if perhaps they called the wrong low spot between mountains Death Valley.

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Big Roller Coaster Ride Ahead
November 28, 2007

I’ve read some place that colds are not caused by cold weather. But, we have “cold and flu season” showing up on commercials all the time. So, I don’t know if its perception or reality that the advertisers base their verbiage, but its out there nonetheless. We often attribute maladies to rapid changes in weather conditions, specifically, changes in temperatures. Well, if that’s the case, then break out the aspirin, salt water, Kleenex and sore throat lozenges. We’re set to ride up and down and up and down for the next week or so. We will move toward 60 on Wednesday, then we fall into the low to mid 40’s for the end of the week into the first part of the weekend. Then back toward 60 on Sunday before we end up with highs in the mid 30’s to start off the week. I know that many forecasts out there have not advertised the warm up on Sunday but we’ve seen it since the weekend and now most data has come into general agreement and we feel pretty confident in it coming about. As for the “s’ word…its always a big deal when it first shows up. At this point, it would appear that there will be abundant moisture for Sunday but polar air that moves in chases it out before conditions become right for “s”. As it appears now, only a flurry or two early Monday would be in the cards and it wouldn’t be significant except for people to shout about it.

On This Date In History: From the “is it global warming” department. On this date in 1703, a major storm wound down over England. This is the type of storm that some say will be the result of anthropogenic global warming. Trouble is, the industrial revolution didn’t come about for over a hundred years after the event. So, it was a storm. Big deal, right. This was a two week storm that blew in on November 14 and stayed over the British Isles for nearly two weeks! It had near hurricane force winds. Buildings were destroyed, towns flooded and even the Thames River near London caused waves that caused water levels 6 feet higher than ever previously recorded. The Royal Navy had some 300 ships anchored offshore. They all sunk. When it was all over, between 10,000 and 30,000 Brits lost their lives.

Just goes to show that big, unusual, “freak” storms occurred well before anyone accused man of altering the weather.

Adios Jorge Rex
November 26, 2007

First off, say good-bye to the sun for awhile. It poked through enough on Sunday to get us to the low 50’s but a storm system from the South will invade overnight and bring a steady rain throughout the day on Monday. The late computer model runs claim anywhere from .76″ to 1.83″ of additional rain before it all comes to an end early Tuesday morning. My suspicion is that it will be closer to the latter. No cause for alarm as flooding won’t be a problem…except in extreme localized situations…like your driveway or back yard. That would come about if you haven’t cleared the drains or gutters from leaves. A lot of them have fallen in the last 10 days.

On This Date In History: On this date in 1783, the last British troops left the city of New York. Remember, the battle of Yorktown that sealed the Colonial victory was settled in 1781 but it took a couple of years for the treaty to be signed in Paris. And it took time in those days to move troops and supplies back across the Atlantic. About 3 months prior to the final evacuation of New York, the treaty was signed but the final redcoats hanging around New York didn’t leave until Nov. 25, 1783. Tradition says that the departing forces left the Union Jack hoisted up a flag pole…nailed to the top with the pole greased. A young colonist though managed to scale the slippery pole, yank down the British flag and replace it with the Colonial flag in time for the departing British on the ships to be able to see it, much to their chagrin.

I was on Long Island this summer and an old timer told me the story and said that it was known as Patriot Day in New York for years until recently. However, I find nothing in a brief search to support that. Patriot Day in Boston has been held on April 19 in honor of Lexington and Concord and most recently, President Bush designated September 11 as Patriot Day.

Beware of Growths on Trees
November 24, 2007

Don’t look for a big warm up any time soon. After a cold night, clouds will move in for the weekend and prevent temperatures from getting too balmy but it will be warmer than Friday.

Men Beware: Snow White and I take to riding bikes and walking when its too cold to scull. Just a word of caution for you men out there. With the leaves falling from the trees, the mistletoe is far more visible than during the summer. Snow White has noticed and she tends to steer me under an unsuspecting branch that is adorned with the romantic foliage. Hence, my exercise gets interrupted with kisses. So, unless you want your efforts to put yourself into fine health to be foiled, avoid long walks through the canopied streets of Louisville. If you are in need of a smooch from your sweety…then get those walkin’ shoes on!

Think about This
November 22, 2007

Snow White and I went to her sister’s house for Thanksgiving. I did the traditional nap thing while I “watched” football. I awoke to find my fingernails painted pink, courtesy of her sister’s son, Trey. After getting the stuff off, I was instructed to write down five things that I was thankful for. At first I thought it was a silly game, but then actually took the time to do so.

I hope you and your family had a good Thanksgiving. Take the time to play the game….five things of which you are thankful. In doing this, it forces you to be reflective and perhaps give you more insight into yourself and your life….that is unless you participate like my brother-in-law who said he was thankful for “slow gin and fast women!”

That didn’t help, so don’t try it.

Happy Thanksgiving….

OH..by the way…those of you who may have seen a report about snow and icy roads today, don’t be disappointed, just learn to change the channel. It’s gonna be chilly tonight and in the morning for people doing shopping before sunrise, but not for sane people like me who will be under warm blankets (something to be thankful for). It won’t warm up much for Friday afternoon either. My recommendation is to not go shopping and stay home to watch football.

Whale Tale Before Turkey Day
November 20, 2007

A couple of notes….after a fine Tuesday afternoon…we go into the tank. Rain on Wednesday and a few t’storms. The Boys at the Severe Storms Center have us barely in a slight risk for severe weather. Data I see at this point doesn’t support that too strongly. It would appear to me that we are at the extreme periphery of the region most likely to get some action because of the very fact that the data is not strong. However, it will be worth while to monitor and you know we will. Big chill on Thanksgiving Day. Flurry or two possible Thursday night but it won’t be significant. I saw a local tv station promoting the possibility. That is just plain silly and you shouldn’t be suckered in. I’ll let you know when its a big deal. For that matter…any time you think there may be something significant, come and check my blog and I’ll give you the real low down. Our regular forecast is mainly just the facts man and no promotion induced hype. But I try to give other details that we may not have space or time to do elsewhere. In this case, you can tell that because I didn’t post the NWS maps, I’m not too enthused….instead I have Gregory Peck…


On This Date in History: In 1820, the US whaling ship Essex got attacked by an 80 ton sperm whale 2000 miles west of South America. The 238 ton vessel sunk and all died except for 5 men who survived in an open boats for 83 days before rescue….thing is….originally there were 20 survivors….as the 15 died off from exposure and such, the remaining men had a little meal at their comrades expense, if you know what I mean. Not sure that if someone died, someone rang the dinner bell.


Anyway, this story inspired the tale written by Herman Melville called Moby Dick. Melville’s work was written in 1851 but Hermie didn’t do too well at the book stores. After some early success as a writer, he died in 1891 relatively unknown and not very wealthy. It wasn’t until the 20th century that Melville’s genius and talent came to be known. Nowadays, many academics consider Moby Dick to be one of America’s greatest novels. Melville lived near Nathaniel Hawthorne and dedicated his whale tale to his friend and famous writer. But the book only sold 3000 copies.


The photo above is of course from the famous 1956 movie with Gregory Peck starring as Captain Ahab. It also has Richard Basehart and a cameo by Orson Welles as Father Maple. Another guy who shows up is Royal Dano who plays “Elijah” who was a drifter kinda guy who is pretty scary and prophesies to Basehart the the ship would be doomed by a great white whale. Later, Dano in the early 1980’s is the preacher in The Right Stuff who seems to represent death as he shows up at all of the funerals, test flights and space shots. One other interesting aspect of the movie: the screen play was written by Ray Bradbury and John Huston. Huston also directed.
On a related note…on this day at this very moment, a small fleet of ships in a Japanese whaling expedition is on its way to the Arctic regions to hunt whales. They want to get 90 sperm whales among other specimens. I say specimens because whaling is banned world wide under an international treaty. But they can be hunted for research. The official mission of the fleet is for research. Yet, when they left port they left to great fanfare and people of small villages in northern Japan claiming they need to whaling so that they may carry on their thousands of years old culture. Greenpeace isn’t buying the scientific aspect and will attempt to thwart the harpooning of the great mammals. Perhaps Moby Dick will resurface and get a bit of revenge.

Tis The Season
November 17, 2007

Okay, so it’s not Halloween, but the leaves have finally changed colors and it looks like they will mostly be on the ground by Thanksgiving. We’ve been chilly for the last few days and then we are going to warm up…until we get chilly again for Thanksgiving. This is when you start hearing commercials on TV for the “cold and flu” season, which seems to be only topped in length by the baseball season. But, this leads me to the tombstone…..

Snow White and I went about feeding the animals today. We stopped by Henry’s Ark to give our favorite llamas and the cute burros and all of the others critters carrots. We also went to Cave Hill to visit our ducks. I say “our” because we have names for them. Now, we fed them cracked corn, which is okay. But, the curators of the cemetary really don’t encourage feeding the ducks, especially in the winter months because they are concerned that it discourages them from migrating like they are supposed to. Also, the population tends to get pretty big, especially in the spring, and then they get into an ecological problem with an increasing number of birds in a closed ecosystem. You fill in the blanks or ask your mom if you don’t get it. But, if you must feed them (like we do) then make sure you don’t feed them processed stuff. I see people with salted potato chips and crackers and that is just awful.

Anyway…..so we gave the ducks a bunch of cracked corn and they loved it until the Canadian geese came around and chased them off and they loved it until the Swans came around and booted them out. See, there’s a societal pecking order in the pond…survival of the fittest. Well, being fit is what we apparently are not.

One of the staff told us that this time of year tends to be their busiest. Its because people who are out of shape will start to rake leaves or shovel snow or struggle in icy situations. They over eat or drink too much during the holidays. They drive alot and sometimes drive when they should not be behind the wheel. All of these things contributes to more over-nighters at Cave Hill. Now, its a nice place to visit but you wouldn’t want to stay there too soon. If you want to make your final trip there, the folks on staff can help you out. But, let’s not get too excited to have an extended stay. Leave that to the ducks. Make sure to be careful this holiday and “cold and flu” season. And if you do have a brief visit to Cave Hill, make sure that you don’t feed the ducks human food and be sure to say hello to Nebuchadnezzar.

Burn the Weather Heretic At the Stake!!
November 14, 2007

At the beginning of the year, The Weather Channel’s Dr. Heidi Cullen started a blog. One of her first comments was to suggest that anyone with a Broadcast Seal from the American Meteorological Society should have that seal revoked if they did not support the idea of anthropogenic (man induced) global warming. She is now up for election as an officer of the AMS….I wonder how many votes she will get?

Anyway, recently The Weather Channel founder, John Coleman, published on a website his comments concerning global warming. I will post the entire text below but you can find its original source:

http://icecap.us/index.php/go/joes-blog/comments_about_global_warming/

Here is a comment by another blogger regarding the source, ICECAP:

http://back-spin.blogspot.com/2007/11/john-coleman-global-warming-and-icecap.html

If Dr. Cullen is elected to an officer’s position with the AMS, I wonder if she will personally send a squad of enforcers with slide rules to Mr. Coleman’s house to confiscate his AMS Seal since he is not part of the groupthink. That would be very ironic since Dr. Cullen is employed by the company that was the brainchild of Coleman. After you read his remarks, then perhaps you too will find that he may not just find himself without his seal, but perhaps he would be spirited to Salem, MA (not far from AMS Headquarters) where he would be treated like some other infamous heretics if yesteryear!

Before I post Coleman’s words…..you wanna know what I think? I think those with dissenting opinions on the subject should given an opportunity to participate in the public debate… how about any public debate because from the major media sources, I have generally seen just one side. From public appearances I have made, I have noted that the majority of people with whom I interact have only heard one side of the story. A society in which dissent is not tolerated nor given an open and equal public forum cannot truly be called free and it certainly is vulnerable to becoming an oligarchy or worse. Here’s Mr. Coleman’s unedited comments. Feel free to make your own opinion known.

COMMENTS ABOUT GLOBAL WARMING By John Coleman
jcoleman@kusi.com

it is the greatest scam in history. I am amazed, appalled and highly offended by it. Global Warming; It is a SCAM.

Some dastardly scientists with environmental and political motives manipulated long term scientific data back in the late 1990’s to create an allusion of rapid global warming. Other scientists of the same environmental wacko type jumped into the circle to support and broaden the “research” to further enhance the totally slanted, bogus global warming claims. Their friends in government steered huge research grants their way to keep the movement going. Soon they claimed to be a consensus.

Environmental extremist, notable politicians among them then teamed up with movie, media and other liberal, environmentalist journalists to create this wild “scientific” scenario of the civilization threatening environmental consequences from Global Warming unless we adhere to their radical agenda.

Now their ridicules manipulated science has been accepted as fact and become a cornerstone issue for CNN, CBS, NBC, the Democratic Political Party, the Governor of California, school teachers and, in many cases, well informed but very gullible environmental conscientious citizens. Only one reporter at ABC has been allowed to counter the Global Warming frenzy with one 15 minutes documentary segment.

I do not oppose environmentalism. I do not oppose the political positions of either party.

However, Global Warming, i.e. Climate Change, is not about environmentalism or politics. It is not a religion. It is not something you “believe in.” It is science; the science of meteorology. This is my field of life-long expertise. And I am telling you Global Warming is a nonevent, a manufactured crisis and a total scam. I say this knowing you probably won’t believe me, a mere TV weatherman, challenging a Nobel Prize, Academy Award and Emmy Award winning former Vice President of United States. So be it.

I suspect you might like to say to me, “John, look the research that supports the case for global warming was done by research scientists; people with PH D’s in Meteorology. They are employed by major universities and important research institutions. Their work has been reviewed by other scientists with PH D’s. They have to know a lot more about it than you do. Come on, John, get with it. The experts say our pollution has created an strong and increasing greenhouse effect and a rapid, out of control global warming is underway that will sky rocket temperatures, destroy agriculture, melt the ice caps, flood the coastlines and end life as we know it. How can you dissent from this crisis? You must be a bit nutty.

Allow me, please, to explain how I think this all came about. Our universities have become somewhat isolated from the rest of us. There is a culture and attitudes and values and pressures on campus that are very different. I know this group well. My father and my older brother were both PHD-University types. I was raised in the university culture. Any person who spends a decade at a university obtaining a PHD in Meteorology and become a research scientist, more likely than not, becomes a part of that single minded culture. They all look askance at the rest of us, certain of their superiority. They respect government and disrespect business, particularly big business. They are environmentalists above all else.

And, there is something else. These scientists know that if they do research and results are in no way alarming, their research will gather dust on the shelf and their research careers will languish. But if they do research that sounds alarms, they will become well known and respected and receive scholarly awards and, very importantly, more research dollars will come flooding their way.

So when these researchers did climate change studies in the late 90’s they were eager to produce findings that would be important and be widely noticed and trigger more research funding. It was easy for them to manipulate the data to come up with the results they wanted to make headlines and at the same time drive their environmental agendas. Then their like minded PHD colleagues reviewed their work and hastened to endorse it without question.

There were a few who didn’t fit the mold. They did ask questions and raised objections. They did research with contradictory results. The environmental elitists berated them brushed their studies aside.

I have learned since the Ice Age is coming scare in the 1970’s to always be a skeptic about research. In the case of global warming, I didn’t accept media accounts. Instead I read dozens of the scientific papers. I have talked with numerous scientists. I have studied. I have thought about it. I know I am correct when I assure you there is no run away climate change. The impact of humans on climate is not catastrophic. Our planet is not in peril. It is all a scam, the result of bad science.

I am not alone in this assessment. There are hundreds of other meteorologists, many of them PH D’s, who are as certain as I am that this global warming frenzy is based on bad science and is not valid.

I am incensed by the incredible media glamour, the politically correct silliness and rude dismal of counter arguments by the high priest of Global Warming.

In time, a decade or two, the outrageous scam will be obvious. As the temperature rises, polar ice cap melting, coastal flooding and super storm pattern all fail to occur as predicted everyone will come to realize we have been duped.

The sky is not falling. And, natural cycles and drifts in climate are as much if not more responsible for any climate changes underway. I strongly believe that the next twenty years are equally as likely to see a cooling trend as they are to see a warming trend.

Thank You
November 12, 2007

To all who have served our nation with the nobility of purpose that is our armed forces: Thank You. The nobility that comes from making sacrifices, just as those who have gone before us, for the benefit of those unknown and those yet to be is what defines our men and women in uniform.
I know that its because of people like our veterans that people like me have the quality of life that I have or even the ability to write whatever I wish on the Internet or an TV.
Thank you to those who have served for all that you have done. And thank you to those who serve today for all that you have done and all that you will do.

Boom Boom…Out Go the Lights
November 9, 2007


Look for a nice warm up this weekend. The prospects for shower activity will increase early to middle next week. I think I’ll have to scull…if I can get rid of this cold.

By the way….I was in my first fashion show on Tuesday. It was the annual Cardinal Dames affair at Big Spring Country Club. No word on if I will be invited back as it’s questionable if I have the runway “strut” down. Next week I bowl against the Mayor in a charity event. When I was in a league years ago, my scores were anywhere from 76 to 286. I wonder which bowler will show up. If I bowl a bunch of 76’s against the Mayor, they may invite me back. If its 286, then I suspect this will be my only appearance.

On This Date In History: On this date in 1965 someone turned out the lights for the Great Northeast Blackout. It all started with a malfunction at a station in Ontario Canada. The grid is all connected so it tripped out all of the Northeast before they could stop it. I was a little kid in Connecticut and remember my dad didn’t come home. He was stuck in the RCA building. The moon was huge and we couldn’t figure out what it was…so we sent my older sister out to investigate. I’ll never forget her creeping ever so slowly across the front yard until she determined it was in fact the moon rising. Nine months after the event, area hospitals reported a disproportionate number of births.

This type of thing happened again in 2003…and it could happen again. The way I understand it is that the nation is divided into 4 grids so the whole USA wouldn’t all go dark at once but significant portions I suppose. I think its divided into east, central, west and Texas. I know that Texas’ deal for entering the Union allowed it to secede anytime it wanted and become an independent nation as it was before it became a state. I don’t think its the reason why but it might. I figure that its probably because Texans want to show everyone else that their power grid is better than everyone elses. Hey, the lights never went out in Houston, but have at least twice in New York. So maybe there’s something to it.