Mississippi River Flood Forecast; The Fastest Cat On Wheels! (not Toonces)

My kitty cats are sisters…they were born on President Lincoln’s birthday in Cajun country in South Louisiana. They both are black and white and have very pretty markings with little black beards. So, one got named Mary Todd because she was clearly the nut-case of the two. Even at age 12 she still chases her tail. The more serene, and now fat one, is Abee. Couldn’t name her Abe. They both have different personalities and now have other names. Most notably, Nit and Wit. I also called them Fat and Cat, Fatso and kitty cat, Barfette and Poopalot and other names that etiquette prevents me from presenting. They are good watch cats as they growl at any disturbance out of the ordinary and they are good weather cats as whenever the weather gets bad, they come and curl up around Snow White’s feet like house slippers. When it’s really bad, they go to their shelters in the interior of the house. I once found Mary Todd(Nit) in the small closet in the bathroom and Abee (Wit) was behind the toilet. They may be smart, but I don’t think that they can perform as well as a certain cat on this date in 1928.

The above graphic shows the flood outlook for the week of the 23rd. Not suprisingly, the reds are along the mid Mississippi River Valley. If you look at the yellows though in the region, there is concern that rain this week may be sufficient to cause river flooding problems in other parts of the basin. The flooding that is going on is generally not comparable to 1993. For some it is, but not most places. However, in 1993 there was an extended period of rain in the plains and, if this pattern doesn’t change, then its not totally out of the question that this story isn’t over yet.

As far as we are concerned, we are in the midst of a shift. The big upper low around the Great Lakes is shifting Northeast as a high comes over the top of us. That started on Monday which is why the rain chances shifted east as the day progresses with parts of the eastern portion of the viewing area getting rain and t’storms…South and East early…East and northeast in the afternoon. Tuesday will be great. Look for Snow White and I in the sculls on the river. Heat and humidity return with a warm front early Wednesday. Highs in the low 90’s, overnight lows in the low 70’s. A shortwave that was progged to come through on Wednesday night has now shifted north of the area and there is consensus with this. We are on the tail end of the vorticity axis but its probably not enough to produce anything but maybe some storms north toward Indy. There may be convective stuff on Thursday. Friday perhaps something more scattered with a little upper disturbance and then Saturday a front comes in that will produce t’storms. That is the beginning of a shift back to a nice pattern similar to what we’ve had. In short, the hot and humid conditions do not look like that they will last more than about 4 days. Then we get a ridge in the west and trof in the east type long wave pattern.

On This Date in History: Rocket technology has some roots in America with Robert Goddard and in Germany with Werner Von Braun. Those names are relatively well known. But also in Germany, Fritz Von Opel was into rockets. He did quite a few tests in 1928 but he was more into cars and transportation than such fanciful things that Goddard and Von Braun were into, namely getting into space. The Opel RAK 1 was a rocket powered car driven by Kurt C Volkhart to a speed of 75 mph. He later drove the RAK two, featuring two rocket boosters, to 143 mph. Opel then bought a sail plane, put a rocket on it created the first rocket plane. It exploded on the second test flight before Opel himself could pilot it. No word on who the lucky pilot was. But, Opel bought another plane and flew it successfully in September 1930. But, he wasn’t done with rocket cars…on this date in 1928, he tested the RAK 3.

It was a rocket powered car on a railroad track. Opel didn’t drive it though…he left that to a cat! The cat passenger rocketed to a new record 157 mph! He was the fastest cat alive. But the second half of the statement soon was left untrue. Opel again put the cat behind the wheel but this time, the rocket rail car malfunctioned and all of the rockets fired at once sending the feline flying down the track until the vehicle crashed. The cat did not survive. In spite of the pictures above…never let the cat get behind the wheel. Good thing for Opel PETA wasn’t around. I’m not sure why Opel volunteered a cat to be the brave driver, but at least he could have put him in the promotional photo.


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