Iraq Gains Independence, November Gets a Holiday and a Hurricane Season Forecast


Sea Surface Temperatures Oct 2, 2008

Sea Surface Temperatures Oct 2, 2008

No change in the forecast which means no rain but pretty good weather. Our cooldown, as previously indicated, will not be long lasting. As I had suggested several days ago, I was not surprised to see outlying areas in the upper 30’s to near 40 on Wednesday night. I was a bit surprised at temperatures near freezing in low lying lake areas, though. Thursday night, look for something similar and then we go into a warming phase. Mid 70’s Fri, Upper 70’s Sat, Low 80’s Sun, mid 80’s much of the week ahead.

2008 Hurricane Forecast-Revised Aug

2008 Hurricane Forecast-Revised Aug

2008 Hurricane Season: Hurricane season ends November 30 and began June 1. Those great prognosticators of hurricanes had suggested a season of well above average numbers of storms. In May the government forecast was for 12-16 storms and then in August, they bumped it up to 14-18 storms with 7-10 hurricanes and 3-6 major hurricanes. All I can say is that the currently quiet North Atlantic better hurry up. So far, there have been 12 named storms. Laura was a “sub-tropical” storm and then was a tropical storm for a cameo appearance and then it went away. But, it still counts. Six of the 12 have been classified as a hurricane with Ike and Gustav as major storms. For the record, there is an average of 11 named storms with six becoming hurricanes and 2 becoming major hurricanes. A major hurricane is a cat 3 or higher. There is nothing out there on the horizon except for an area of disturbed weather in the western Caribbean. However, sea surface temperatures are plenty warm enough to support tropical cyclone activity from Africa all the way to the Texas coast.

CLICK HERE for a very interesting loop of Hurricane Ike. It is a series of graphics showing the windfield as it moved across the Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico and inland through Texas. You can see the way the windfield expanded as it went into the Gulf. From this link, you will have access to other loops.

for a whole mess of photos and video relating to hurricane ike, CLICK HERE and scroll through the September 2008 archive.

Not the 1st Thanksgiving?

Not the 1st Thanksgiving?

On This Date In History: We’ve all enjoyed Thanksgiving Dinner and we all probably learned in grade school that the first Thanksgiving involved the Pilgirms and the native Indians of North America. But, the real first official Thanksgiving Holiday was proclaimed on this date in 1863 by President Lincoln, calling for an annual day of national Thanksgiving on the fourth Thursday of November. The president used the opportunity to thank the Union Army for the reversal of fortune in the Union effort by the victory at Gettysburg. President Washington had declared a “national day of thanksgiving and prayer” in 1789, but it didn’t become an annual event. In fact, Thomas Jefferson thought that such national events of demonstration towards a deity was not appropriate. Other presidents agreed until President Lincoln’s decree. President Franklin Roosevelt tried what I call a political move in 1939 when he moved the holiday to the third Thursday. However, I suppose its plausible to argue that Lincoln’s initial declaration was rooted in politics. Anyway, FDR was hoping to extend the Christmas shopping season. I guess he thought that by moving Thanksgiving he could pull the wool over American’s eyes and use the psychology of calling a different day Thanksgiving to get them to spend more money. Anyway, Congress had enough of the foolishness and in 1941 put the national holiday back to where President Lincoln put it in the first place.

A book on the Subject

A book on the Subject

On This Date in 1932 Iraq gained independence. The region had been ruled by the Ottoman Empire, which dissolved at the conclusion of World War I. Britain occupied the area and was given a League of Nations mandate to govern the region in 1920. They set up a monarchy and granted independence in 1932. That government maintained strong military and economic ties with Britain and that resulted in numerous protests. In 1941, a pro-Axis (Germany, Italy, Japan) movement took hold and the UK intervened causing the Iraqi government to agree to back the good guys in the war. The monarchy got over thrown in 1958 and for the next 20 years, Iraq was ruled by a series of civilian and military governments until Saddam Hussein became dictator in 1979….a position he held until 2003. Saddam has since left to try to rule another world. However, from its 20th century history, its easy to see why there are skeptics that a democracy can flourish in the region. But, the global political situation is not as it was nor is the politics of the region so one cannot use history as a prescription for the future.

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