Archive for November, 2008

Complete Hurricane Ike Gallery-Season Over; Not Much Snow
November 30, 2008

Don't Mess With Texas

Don

 

Look for the local forecast below….

Seraching For Victims of Ike

Seraching For Victims of Ike

Today is the final day of the hurricane season in the North Atlantic.  This past year, there were 8 hurricanes and 16 named storms.  The forecast was about right on the named storms and short on the number of tropical cyclones that reached hurricane status.  Five of the hurricanes were considered “major” hurricanes, which is a high percentage.  So, the forecasters get a “B” in my book.  Here is a list of all of the storms with an archive of the advisories. 

I bet you didn’t know that Gustav was responsible for 46 deaths and $1.9 billion in damage.

The storm with the biggest impact on the US was Hurricane Ike.  Curiously, the press did not really give it

Hurricane Ike Radar Image At Landfall

Hurricane Ike Radar Image At Landfall

much coverage after the storm was over even though I believe current cost estimates ($8.1 Billion) would put it as the 3rd costliest hurricane in US history behind Katrina and Andrew, though I’m sure there will be quibbling about cost vs. inflation adjusted costs.   Ike also has so far been responsible for the deaths of 72 people with impacts far inland from its Galveston landfall.  There are still scores of people missing.  Yet, the press corps didn’t seem to think it was worth reporting.   You make the call as to why. Here’s a published story.  Anyway, over time, I had lots and lots of photos and videos associated with Ike from local video to NASA stuff.  Take a gander at it all below:

NYTIMES Slide show

AP SLIDE SHOW-via yahoo

Houston Chronicle

Houston Chronicle Reader’s Photo Gallery

More Photos from Houston

More Galveston Photos

Hurricane Ike Rescue photos

BBC Slide Show

CNN Link Video-Some Live shots(as of 4pm EDT 0914)

Louisville Wind Damage From Ike video

Louisville Wind Damage Slide Show

KHOU-Bolivar Peninsula Destroyed-Video

CNN photos 19

CNN Houston Photos 8

Austin American Statesman photos 265

Hurricane Ike Damage -Boston WCVB Slide Show 63 images

Crystal Beach Video-Before Hurricane Ike

Crystal Beach Family Photo Video-Before Hurricane Ike

Crystal Beach Video-After Hurricane Ike Destruction

LA Times slideshow

Boston Globe (28 photos)

some GREAT HD images

NWS (more photos) Louisville

aerial video including Valhalla Louisville

RAW VIDEO FROM SUNDAY Louisville 9/14 aerials

Guardian UK Hurricane Ike Aftermath Photos

WCVB  The Boston Channel

Spreadit photos

Here are USGS Before and After photos from Bolivar Peninsula.

(Graphical Map of Crystal Beach Detailing Devastation)

Numerous videos from Houston/Galveston Aftermath of Hurricane Ike

KRIV Hurricane Ike Damage Photos.

link to the NYTimes slide show Galvestonians return to island

18Z Sat Mesoeta 48 Hr Sfc Temps

18Z Sat Mesoeta 48 Hr Sfc Temps

No Snow: I”ve tried to find an excuse to get you folks excited about snow but it just isn’t there.  The 18Z

Sat 18Z Mesoeta 48 Hr. Precip

Sat 18Z Mesoeta 48 Hr. Precip

Sat 18Z Mesoeta 48 hr 900mb

Sat 18Z Mesoeta 48 hr 900mb

Meso-ETA is the model that I am using as an example and, while the GFS is a little colder, the Meso-ETA is pretty representative of the current thinking which is that the lower part of the atmosphere will be just too warm when the precipitation is falling.   I guess the biggest difference is that the GFS would put out about a quarter to half inch of snow Monday night that may accumulate but we’re thinking that most of the moisture will be out of here by then.  If you look at the 1PM Monday Meso-ETA precip, then compare it with the surface temperatures you will see that they are well above freezing.  Then, the 900 mb temperatures are just above -4C which is about 25F and is about 800 meters off the deck…2500 feet or so.  This is not a very good recipe for snow…maybe snow showers on Monday but accumulation will be tough and I wouldn’t be surprised to see some light rain mix in with any snow.  Kids, you’re going to school. The week ahead looks cold with Wednesday the exception with highs in the low to mid 50’s ahead of another cold front.

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Dusty Roads and Idiotic Shoppers
November 29, 2008

1935 Texas Dust Storm

1935 Texas Dust Storm

Absolute "Black Friday" Foolishness

Absolute "Black Friday" Foolishness

I’ve been busy today… But First…Can you believe that a WalMart Employee was Killed by Shoppers?!!! I always find that prices get cut the closer you get to Christmas so I cannot believe that people go crazy on “black Friday” (i hate that name) and insist on running to go shopping as if the stores will be empty. I thought the economy was in the tank and we were doomed. Nevertheless, I suppose that this can only happen in America but it shouldn’t. Some 2000 people all decided to pile into a Wal-Mart of all places at the store opening and an employee was crushed to death. The employee was just 34 years old. What could possibly be in Wal-Mart that would not be there tomorrow, or next week that 2000 people had to run in like a bunch of cattle? Any sale price will probably not change much. Absolute nonsense. Here’s the story with some video.

Anyway, as I said, I was busy. I washed the car and cleaned out a bunch of junk I had in there…it was an all day affair. That was a chore. Then Snow White and I visited friends and then hurried down to Light Up Louisville. Not quite as many lights or as many fireworks as years past, it seems to me. We visted with Stephanie Segretto, who was there on official business. Nice night. Anyway, I’ve only briefly snooped at the weather but I can say that from my glance, it would appear that those who ran the snow flag up the pole with gusto may be sorely disappointed. The model data is still a bit inconsistent but in general there would seem to be too much warm air working in the lower 2000 feet of the atmosphere. The GFS is somewhat colder but still not ideal and it is the coldest model. I’ll be more detailed on Saturday but, as I said before, it’s not time to break out the sleds just yet. Saturday look for clouds to increase with temps pushing into the upper 40’s to near 50. Some showers Saturday night represents the first push of colder air. Sunday will be chillier with the mercury barely getting into the 40’s with northern areas only the upper 30’s. My guess is that on Monday we get snow showers but the ground will not be cold enough to do anything and there may even be rain mixed in. I really didn’t see anything to get me too excited. So, tell the kids to get ready for school on Monday.

Think You Can Drive Safely Through This?

Think You Can Drive Safely Through This?

On This Date In History: My grandfather used to tell me that if I met man named Rhodes, I should call

Kansas Dust Storm 1935

Kansas Dust Storm 1935

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  left a lot of parched, dry earth along the freeway and throughout the valley. 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. (NYTimes Story Nov 30, 1991)

Dust storms are caused by generally two types of phenomena. One would be pretty localized from micro- burst 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.  I believe in the Mid-East such a long lasting storm is called a Haboob.  That’s one of my favorite weather terms.  Haboob Ranks right up there with a tropical cyclone off of Australia. A Willi Willi.

Dust Storm Kansas 2004...Look's Like the One in 1935

Dust Storm Kansas 2004...Looks Like 1935

Anyway, 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 concluded in the San Joaquin Valley 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.

Big Storm in Britain-London Devastated
November 28, 2008

Did CNBC Provide All of the Facts?

Did CNBC Provide All of the Facts?

I love this story because it illustrates one of my peeves with the press. I just want facts. During the recent campaign, it was widely reported on that Gov. Palin got some super wardrobe from the Republican Party. It struck me as odd that we never heard of what the political parties spent on wardrobes for Senators Obama, McCain and Biden. Couldn’t be because of her sex, eh? Well, this is one I did not expect, but does not surprise me. Turns out that one of Ms. Palin’s biggest critics, CNBC provided here with $300 worth of clothes for an appearance. They didn’t report it voluntarily either and certainly not during the campaign….no…it took a Freedom of Information Act request to find out the whole truth. The network thought nothing of it but the Governor reported it, following the law regarding gifts.

Fri. PM Last Day of 50's For A While

Fri. PM Last Day of 50

Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving. Regular reader Rick shared a view of his latest grandson. Congratulations sir. It was a fine day for showing off new grandkids and sharing time with family and I certainly hope that you took the opportunity to do so. Friday looks pretty good but not as warm and clouds will be rolling in. Saturday will be cooler still and more cloudy. Sunday, a system moves through that will bring rain late and it will be chilly. Really not a great weekend. Been warning you all week to enjoy Thanksgiving…anyway, I’m having a tough time finding evidence to support a good snow. We should change over to snow showers Sunday night that will carry into Monday. But, the ground temperatures will be above freezing and it may get tough to chill them to the point that we can get some decent accumulations. At this point, some accumulations on grassy areas perhaps on Monday but most of the data even indicates Monday temps above freezing here at the surface. There are still several days to go before this guy really shows itself but at this point, snow boards are probably not going to be needed.

Great Storm of 1703 By J.S. Miller

Great Storm of 1703 By J.S. Miller

Eddystone Lighthouse Before Storm

Eddystone Lighthouse Before 1703 Storm

On This Date in History: On this date in 1703, an unusual and powerful storm finally ended in England. In it’s wake, some 10,000 to 30,000 were dead, including about 8,000 sailors aboard part of the English fleet anchored just offshore the island nation. Winds were well over hurricane force and apparently the storm stuck around for about two weeks. Claims were that the Thames river had 6 foot waves and 5000 homes were destroyed along the river on which London is built. The author of Robinson Crusoe,

Last Glimpse of Eddystone Lighthouse 1703

Last Glimpse of Eddystone Lighthouse 1703

Daniel Defoe, reported a tornado that “snapped the body of an oak.” Henry Winstanley had designed and built the first Eddystone Lighthouse at Plymouth in 1696. Just a few weeks before the storm he expressed his desire that he be in his creation during the greatest storm of all time so he could see the effect on his tower. In the be-careful-what-you-wish-for department, he and those who resided there went down with the lighthouse when it was smashed to bits.

The details of the storm are varied. Some say the death toll was just 15,000 other 9000. The date can’t even be totally ascertained because of something about the switch between the Julian and Gregorian calenders. Either way, it was a huge storm; hurricane force winds, thousands dead, thousands of livestock dead, tornadoes, reports of a ship being lifted 800 feet inland by a waterspout and a cow getting lifted into a tree. Thousands of trees down across the country, monstrous waves….it was a doosey. Here is an account from The Weather Doctor Almanac. Seems just as reliable as other sources.

Can you imagine if that happened today? It happened 300 years ago, so it’s happened before. But, you can

Great Storm of 1987 Was Not Anything New For England

Great Storm of 1987 Was Not Anything New For England

bet that Global Warming would get the blame this time around. Never mind that this wild storm happened all by itself during what was called the “mini-ice age” which was a 300-400 year period of extremely cold global temperatures that was partly the primer for the emigration to the New World. Nope, you know that Global Warming would be the culprit. Why do I know this with a certainty? Because the press has already reported it. On the 300th anniversary in 2003, the BBC put out this report, pointing to a storm that was not as strong but still devastating in 1987 as proof. Proof as what? That a storm reported in 1703 was still possible today?

So Cal 1938 Storms...Would A Such A Storm Today Be Blamed on Global Warming Even Though Such an Event Occured 70 Years Ago?

So Cal 1938 Storms...Would A Such A Storm Today Be Blamed on Global Warming Even Though Such an Event Occured 70 Years Ago?

This is the type of nonsense that really hacks me as a meteorologist and historian. I think the anthropogenic global warming issue should be studied closely but, when the press and proponents put out this type of nonsense, it really hurts their credibility. Hurricane Katrina comes to mind. After that storm someone actually said that it was due to Global Warming. Never did the press point out that New Orleans did not get hit by a hurricane, Mississippi did. They did not point out that it was a strong 130 mph hurricane that had a huge storm surge but followed almost the exact same path as the incredibly powerful Hurricane Camille in 1969 with 200 mph winds. It was not unprecedented and, if one were to be basic and silly, one could draw the juvenile conclusion that Global Warming was making hurricanes weaker because Camille was was stronger than Katrina, followe the same path and was 36 years earlier. That is just as foolish a statement as claiming that Katrina was caused by Global Warming.

So, what does the Great 1703 Storm teach us? That large, powerful storms and unusual weather has been happening on the earth for a long, long time. Unexpectedly strong and severe situations will occur again, Global Warming or not. Beware of sources and media reports that try to offer such limited and simple evidence for climate changes of any kind and forever one should hold any reports from those sources with skepticism.

Thanksgiving Conjunction Junction
November 27, 2008

Will We Be Able To See The Conjunction Junction?

Will We Be Able To See The Conjunction Junction?

A warm and nice Thanksgiving is upon us. While we all have something to be thankful for, don’t forget aboutthx1127 the weather. It’s been lousy until Wednesday and with highs in the upper 50’s to near 60, its the best day we’ve seen in weeks and maybe for several days to come.  We start to get some clouds in here on Friday and subsequently cooler air.  Saturday also will be on the cool side but keep in mind, that neither day will be too terribly cold.  Now, I”ve been telling you for days that the second half of the weekend will be chilly again but what I have kept from you is what happens after that.  While I said we stay cold into early next week, some of the data is trying to develop something interesting. There is no clear consensus as the data is not just inconsistent between sources, but also within each source itself.  It will be a rain turning to snow event and it will take another couple of days to show itself.  The elements are in place.  The question is if they come together properly…in conjunction if you will…which leads us to…

 conjunctionwords

Conjunction Junction: We have a conjunction of planets going on. Not totally unusual but this one is a bit

Keep Your Eye to the Sky

Keep Your Eye to the Sky

 different in that the moon is going to cooperate. It’s going to be in a down phase. Not so sure that the weather will cooperate though because we’ve got that system coming in. But, if you have been wondering about those two “stars” that have been pretty close together in the sky the last few nights, you’ll want to read this little tidbit, courtesy of the folks at the Louisville National Weather Service:

Are you wondering what those two bright objects are in the Southwest sky during the evening? It is a conjunction of the planets Venus and Jupiter. A planetary conjunction refers to two planets that share the same right ascension in the sky’s dome.

With the exception of the sun and moon, Venus is the brightest light in the heavens and Jupiter is the second brightest.

Venus/Jupiter Will Be This Close

Venus/Jupiter Will Be This Close

During previous recent conjunctions a bright moon nearby has washed out the

We May Have More Clouds Than This

We May Have More Clouds Than This

brightness. For this conjunction only a waxing crescent moon will be nearby. A conjunction of the two brightest planets will not happen again until March of 2012.

On Sunday and Monday evening the two planets will only be 2 degrees apart. This is about the same width of the Moon or about the width of your finger at an arms length away.

Its Looked Like This in Recent Weeks

Its Looked Like This in Recent Weeks

In case you are wondering it is possible for two planets to appear to merge into a single point of light. This is called an occultation. The last one occured in 1818. The next one will not occur until 2065.

The weather during the next several evenings looks fairly favorable for viewing this event. Just look where the sun has set. You will not be able to miss it.

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 October 3,1863 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.

Hope you enjoyed yours and the nicest weather in weeks…and perhaps days to come.

The Great Diamond Hoax Hatched By Kentuckians
November 26, 2008

Midday Thanksgiving Surface NAM

Midday Thanksgiving Surface NAM

The weather forecast still is on track with a little bit of a wrinkle.  Look for lots of sun on

Midday Thanksgiving Rain Forecast NAM

Midday Thanksgiving Rain Forecast NAM

Wednesday and Thanksgiving with much more seasonal temperatures in the low to mid 50’s.  Here’s where the wrinkle comes in.  The data is not totally consistent but we feel like a front approaching for the weekend will help to draw up milder air.  The low that had been advertised to move by stays well south.  So, we still have chilly nights but afternoon highs on Friday and Saturday still get to the low 50’s.  Then, the front moves through on Saturday night and the chillier air gets in here for the second half of the weekend into early next week.  Bottom line is that we’re extending the mild air by a couple of days and Friday looks good for Light up Louisville.

Diamond Scam Pulled Off My Enterprising Kentuckians

Diamond Scam Pulled Off My Enterprising Kentuckians

On This Date in History:  In the second half of the 19th century, there was gold fever out west.  Lot’s of

Charles Tiffany Duped By Kentuckians

Charles Tiffany Duped By Kentuckians

swindling was going on.  A typical scam was for someone to “salt” a worthless mine by tossing out some gold dust or small nuggets so that somone else would think that there was lots of gold there and they would buy it for an exhorbitant sum. 

William C Ralston Duped By Kentuckians

William C Ralston Duped By Kentuckians

A man from LaRue County Kentucky, Philip Arnold, had gotten into the prospecting game for about 20 years without much success.  In 1870, the poorly educated Arnold got a job as an assistant bookkeeper in San Francisco for a drill maker that used industrial grade diamonds on drill bits.  No one seemed to notice but, for an accountant,  Arnold took quite an interest in the diamonds as he read many academic sources on the subject. 

In 1871,  San Francisco businessman George D. Roberts was sitting in his office one night when two dirty men entered carrying a bag.  They said what they had inside was something of great value but they could not deposit it in the bank due to the late hour.  At first, they were reluctant to say what it was but one of the men let slip that they were uncut diamonds.  Roberts tried, but they refused to say from where it came.  The two men were Philip Arnold and his cousin John Slack.  Arnold later told the Louisville Courier Journal that he told Roberts not to tell anyone.  Arnold knew that the best way to spread a tale was to tell someone not to tell anyone else.  As soon as the pair had left his office, Roberts was out the door to tell a big shot financier named William Ralston. 

This is a legnthy and interesting story (worth the read if you’ve got the time) but the long and short of

Asbury Harpending Duped By Kentuckians Then Wrote About It

Asbury Harpending Duped By Kentuckians Then Wrote About It

 it is that Ralston got together some other bigshots and started the New York Mining and Commercial Company with $10 million in investors money. Among the investors were prominent politicians, military leaders and businessmen, including Asbury Harpending  who wrote extensively of the story in his biography.  Arnold and Slack first took a blindfolded expert to the site in Colorado where the man “found” all sorts of diamonds..and rubies..and emeralds!  When they returned to San Francisco, Ralston offered to buy them out but the pair of Kentucky hoodwinkers weren’t as dumb as the city slickers thought.  They took $50,000 up front.  They then went to London where they bought a large volume of low end jewels…so crummy they were generally considered not jewels…for $20,000.  They returned to the states and salted the site a couple of more times to convince more experts.  The Ralston group even took 10% of the take to Tiffany’s in New York for appraisal and were told that the $20,000 worth of stuff bought by Arnold and Slack in London was worth $1.5 million.  So, they ended up paying Arnold and Slack $600,000 (1872 dollars).  They disappeared.  News of the big jewel find got out and piqued the attention of a young member of the geographical survey who was assigned to that region.  Clarence King and his crew were extremely skeptical and decided to investigate.  The found the site and determined that it was a fraud.  On This Date in 1872, Clarence King became an international celebrity when his story was printed in the San Francisco Evening Bulletin which dubbed it as The Great Diamond Hoax.  (Here is another version of the story along with evidence produced by King)

Clarence King Exposed Kentuckians But Died A Pauper

Clarence King Exposed Kentuckians But Died A Pauper

Arnold was tracked down in Elizabethtown where he had started a bank and was living the life of luxury.  The good old Commonwealth of Kentucky, for unknown reasons, decided to protect one of its boys and refused to extradite him.  Arnold paid $150,000 in exchange for no charges being filed but couldn’t enjoy the remaining part of his fortune for long because he died of pneumonia in 1878.  His cousin, John Slack, apparently was not the brains of the operation because he was last reported to be a coffin maker in New Mexico.  Then again, maybe he was smarter than I give him credit for because his fate is unknown…maybe he gave everyone the slip and lived like a king.

Speaking of King….Clarence became the first director of the US Geological Survey and became friends and hobknobbed with a host of international dignitaries, politicians and celebrities.  He became a celebrated author. He had it all, but apparently not enough.  He left the Geological Survey and tried getting rich in mining, ranching and even banking.  He lost all of his money, most of his friends and much of his reputation.  He died at the age of 60 in poverty and debt of tuberculosis in 1901 in Phoenix in a small brick house.

So, it would appear that the whistleblower who gained fame and prominence was the biggest loser in this tale.  He had it all and lost it all and more.  The brains of the caper, Arnold, did okay but didn’t get to enjoy his larceny for long.  History seems to suggest that John Slack was also a loser because the last thing they know about him was he was making coffins in New Mexico.  But, I would submit that its possible the nit-wit cousin may have been the big winner and the smartest of them all, pulling off one final scam before disappearing from view.  As Hank Williams, Jr sang, A Country Boy Can Survive.

“Christmas” Parade Name Change OK For Christians? What About Evacuation Day?
November 25, 2008

And Take Your King With You!!

And Take Your King With You!!

As expected, we had our rain on Monday. Most places got between a half inch and an 8th of an inch. A shade more than I had thought but my plants are happy. Its gong to be chilly on Tuesday then the sun breaks out on Wednesday and Thursday. Not out of the question that we have consecutive days in the 50’s on Wednesday and Thanksgiving. That’s a nice change. Last week, we averaged a low of 27 and a high of 44. The average high and low for February 7th are 44 and 27. Yes, it’s too cold so enjoy Thanksgiving while it lasts because chillier air returns at the end of the week and holds through the weekend into next week. We had rain in the forecast for Friday but this weekend the models were coming around to advertise a low coming out from the west would stay to our south so we took the chances out. Early Tuesday morning, that data continues to be coming more in the form of a consensus so Light Up Louisville still looks to be dry.

Christmas tales: We watched a story on TV Monday night regarding Patchogue, New York that changed the name of their Christmas Parade from the Christmas Boat Parade to the Holiday Boat Parade. Of

Patchogue Holiday Boat Parade?

Patchogue Holiday Boat Parade?

course, the interviews were all of people who objected for a variety of reasons. Most of the reasons had to do with the religious aspects of the day though some were more into the tradition angle. But, Snow White came up with an observation that I had never thought of before. The origin of the term comes from what was celebrated in the church, which was the Mass of Christ. Now, over the years, people have long complained about the commercialization of Christmas. It took Linus to explain the true meaning of Christmas to Charlie Brown. So, people didn’t like the Santa Claus and presents and decorations and stuff because it was overwhelming the meaning of the day, as

Linus Talks to Chuck

Linus Talks to Chuck

Charlie Brown found out. So, the question then arises, shouldn’t these folks be happy that they have taken Christmas off the title of these events? I mean, in doing so, they don’t take the commercialization of the season out of it but instead, takes out the religious reference involved in the commercialization. It seems to be a plausible discussion point that the term Christmas should be disconnected from the secular aspects of the season, thereby elevating the day back to one of Holy reverence. By insisting that the reference be included in parades that generally are filled with elves, candy canes and winter scenes but are generally absent of religious symbols it can be argued that doing so merely perpetuates the distraction of the meaning of Christmas. It could be considered wanting things both ways. Just some things to consider…

John Jay, John Adams, Ben Franklin, Henry Laurens, William T. Franklin...the rest were too Chicken to Show up

From Left To Right: John Jay, John Adams, Ben Franklin, Henry Laurens, William T. Franklin...the rest were too Chicken to Show up

On This Date In History: On September 3, 1783 the Treaty of Paris was signed by Ben Franklin and his

Van Arsdale Raises The Stars and Stripes

Van Arsdale Raises The Stars and Stripes

delegation as well as representatives of the English Crown. The Revolutionary War was officially over. On November 25 1783, the last of the British forces left the US on what is known as “Evacuation Day.” The Brits thought they’d get the last laugh by nailing the Union Jack atop a greased flag pole in New York. Much to their chagrin though, an American Patriot named John Van Arsdale put on spiked boots and climbed the pole, replacing the British Flag with an American Flag. The Brits on the ships leaving New York Harbor must have been very disappointed when they looked through their spy glass and saw old glory flapping in the breeze.

Apparently, there was a lady named Mrs. Day who got a little overzealous and whipped out the American flag on her flag pole before the redcoats had left. A British officer yelled at her so she pummeled his face with a broom stick.

Gen. Washington Entered New York After the Redcoats Left

Gen. Washington Entered New York After the Redcoats Left

There were really a bunch of Evacuation Days as various towns celebrated the day that the British troops left their particular town. I believe that there are still some towns that have holidays marking the day. But, in New York, after celebrating big time on the centennial of Evacuation Day in 1883, the celebratory atmosphere began to wind down. By the turn of the century, many New Yorkers didn’t even know what was evacuated or by whom. Following World War I, the day sorta fell by the wayside…I mean the English were our allies during that conflict.

Regardless of the public memories, the British memories at the time were quite scarred. They were sore losers. Prior to the shenanigans of the flag episode, a painter asked that the members of the peace delegations at the Treaty of Paris to pose for a painting of posterity to commemorate the occasion. Note that painting above by a man named Benjamin West. It is incomplete because the British delegation refused to pose like the sore losers they were.

Travel Weather Source
November 24, 2008

Taking The Family On A Vacation?

Taking The Family On A Vacation?

Just CLICK HERE for a great source for weather forecast designed to aid in travel. You will find real-time airport delays, road condtions for every state in the nation. You can even enter just about any major city in the world and get a forecast instantly. It should be an outstanding, one stop source for travel information this holiday season…useful any time of the year in any part of the USA.

To Get Back To The Full Symon Sez Blog, CLICK HERE

DB Cooper: Where Is He? Autumn: Where Is It?
November 24, 2008

QPF Rain Totals Monday 11.24.08

QPF Rain Totals Monday 11.24.08

this is an outstanding link for thanksgiving travel forecast. you get airport delays and road conditions for all 50 states, among other things

Someone stole Autumn: This past week, we had highs in the 40’s and Friday and Saturday only made it to 36. Keep in mind that our average high toward the end of January and early February, the coldest time of the year, is about 41 degrees. We had a nice reprieve on Sunday as we got to 51 but that is still a couple of degrees below the seasonal average. High pressure to the east is drawing up Gulf Moisture, the subtropical jet stream is bringing up energy and moisture from the Pacific. A cold front is also approaching. Bottom line: It’s going to rain on Monday. Tuesday looks lousy with clouds and highs in the low 40’s. The sun comes back on Wednesday and Thanksgiving looks like the pick of the week with highs in the low 50’s…before clouds and chillier conditions for next weekend.

Mystery Man Dead or Alive

DB Cooper: Mystery Man Dead or Alive

On This Date in History: On this date in 1971, one of the biggest law enforcement mysteries in US

Old 727 With Rear Stairs Extended

Old 727 With Rear Stairs Extended

history began. A man, commonly referred to as DB Cooper, hijacked a Northwest Orient Airlines Boeing 727. The Boeing 727 was a relatively small jet that featured a stairway that lowered from the rear of the plane near the tail and was often used for short hauls. This particular flight was to go from Portland to Seattle but this guy, wearing wrap around sunglasses showed a flight attendant a brief case filled with red sticks, some wires and a battery, said it was a bomb. He claimed it was a bomb and he wanted $200,000 and four parachutes. He got what he wanted and he let the 36 passengers on board off the plane while in the ground in Seattle. They took off again with Cooper and a flight attendant and he ordered the pilot to fly to Mexico City. At 8:13 pm, not long after take off, the pressure in the plane fell, indicating that the rear door had been opened. Cooper was gone. He had jumped over very very rough terrain, in the dark, at ten thousand feet, in a rain storm from a jet flying at nearly 200 mph. Survival of a jump like that would be difficult to say the least. Cooper’s remains nor Cooper have ever been found.

Cooper Ticket Receipt

Cooper Ticket Receipt

Many things have changed since then. First off, crooks are not going to go to all that risk and trouble for a lousy $200,000. I mean, ballplayers make more than that before the first pitch, the opening kickoff or before the ref tosses up the opening tip. Even the President makes twice as much as that. Northwest Orient is now Northwest Airlines. The Boeing 727 is not used much any more but you can’t open the rear door while its in flight any more. That changed not long after Cooper’s escape. Also security measures for air travel began escalating after Cooper’s achievement.

Remains Of Cooper Money

Remains Of Cooper Money

He also inspired some copy cats…though not very good ones. A guy named McCoy tried the same thing four months after Cooper but asked for $500,000 but still wanted the 4 parachutes. He got failed and went to prison. He was shot while trying a prison escape. Then a guy named Tripp boarded the same flight that Cooper did…but he only asked for $100,000 and 4 parachutes. The flight attendant slipped him 3 valiums. He reduced his demands to 3 cheeseburgers and a rental car. After being released on probation, Tripp tried again..same flight…same routine only this time his “bomb” was a shoebox instead of a briefcase. He wanted to be flown to Afghanistan. Instead, he was shot and killed by the FBI in a standoff. By this time, it sounds as if J. Edgar Hoover and the G-Men were getting pretty tired of the hijack stuff.

Was It the Purser?

Was It the Purser?

In 1980, a kid found $5800 in deteriorating bills along the Columbia River in Washington. It was in the form of a bunch of stacks of $20 bills that were in a state of deterioration. The bills were later identified as part of the loot. But, what happened to the rest of it? In March of 2008, the case got new life when a parachute was found when a guy plowing his field came upon it. As it turned out, the chute was later found to not be the one from Cooper. A couple of things have not changed. Reporters still get stuff wrong but don’t correct the record. Apparently, it was initially stated that the man in question was Dan Cooper, as was clearly printed on his ticket. But, a reporter somehow thought they said DB Cooper and so that moniker stuck. The other thing that remains the same is that no one knows what happened to DB Cooper. Below are some stories that have people claiming to be Cooper, but the FBI dismisses all reported leads.

In fact, it is kinda interesting that they have eliminated their original idea that he was an experienced

Mr Green Jeans or DB Cooper?

Alice Cooper: Mr Green Jeans or DB Cooper?

parachute expert. That is because that no expert would attempt such a jump under those circumstances or really any circumstance. Besides that…the man who jumped from the plane was wearing loafers. No self respecting parachutist jumps from 10,000 feet in the dark, in a thunderstorm from a plane doing 200 mph over some of the roughest geography in the country wearing penny loafers.

When I was a kid, there was a rumor going around that Alice Cooper was really Mr. Green Jeans from Captain Kangaroo. I think Alice Cooper just may be DB Cooper.

Here are some stories in which people claim that they know who Cooper was…including one that claims he was really a she who used to be a he…yes indeed…DB Cooper had a sex change to a woman before she hijacked the plane dressed as a man.

Time Line and Facts Regarding DB Cooper

Cooper and interesting sidelights and circumstance

DB Cooper was a woman posing as a man, whom she used to be before the operation

Duane Weber Kinda Looked like him

It Was the Purser!!

FBI Separates Facts From Fiction-Still Needs Help Finding a Real Suspect

40% Chance of Being Too Warm, 60% Not; Spectacular Canada Meteor Video; Young Man Tragically Commits Suicide Online
November 23, 2008

Rain Amount Forecast Monday

Rain Amount Forecast Monday

Well, I was right but wrong.  I had said that the airport would not really represent what you had in your backyard for Saturday morning, but I was looking for 20 or 21.  The airport had 19 while the weather service, the old official site, was 16.  Leitchfield got the booby prize with a low of 11.  Bradfordsville was 12 as was Taylorsville Lake.  Brandenburg was 13.  The other odd man out was the usual co-conspirator of the Louisville was Tell City with 19.  I’m not sure where the thermometer is in Tell City but its usually battling with Louisville’s airport for the warmest location and like the airport is often several degrees warmer than everyone else around it.  Anyway, with clouds over us much of the night, temps only in the mid low to mid 20’s are in the cards for Sunday morning, with the clouds breaking toward daybreak being the only reason we even get that cold.  Dewpoints in the mid teens are the reason why, if you looked at a radar on Saturday night and saw snow, you didn’t have it outside.  The snow falling basically disappeared before it hit the ground.  It’s called sublimation. When a liquid goes to a gas, its called evaporation.  When a solid goes straight to a gas, its called sublimation.  Dry ice sublimates….so did the snow Saturday night.  Sunshine Sunday takes us to the low to mid 50’s on Sunday then a frontal system approaches and Monday brings rain followed by a cold Tuesday.  Right now Thanksgiving still looks decent with partly cloudy skies and seasonal temperatures in the low to mid 50’s.

It Came From Outer Space

It Came From Outer Space

Big Meteor Caught on Tape:  Friday night the folks in western Canada got a big bright surprise.  A meteor came swooping from the sky and it was caught on this video from a cop car video camera.  My guess is that it was from the Leonid Meteor Shower, but if so, it would have been on the tail end of the annual event when the greatest activity was winding down.  This year was forecast to be a less than spectacular year for the Leonids but, it only takes one.  The story here says that officials are still trying to find the remains of the meteor for confirmation.  Maybe it was a UFO.

Couple Of Warm Spots Spoiled It For Everyone

Couple Of Warm Spots Spoiled It For Everyone

October Climate Report: The erroneous data from Russia got looked at again and the numbers are in from the University of Alabama at Huntsville.  Globally, the temperature was .167 above the 20 year average.  September was .161 warmer.  Essentially the same month to month but it’s still warming.  The Russian temperatures were still warmer than they should have been, just not as dramatic as the earlier report.  It was a pretty large area of warm temperatures with a secondary, smaller area northwest of Hudson Bay in Canada.

40% Chance Of Being Warmer...where Does that leave the other 60%?

40% Chance Of Being Warmer...where Does that leave the other 60%?

Update on Winter Forecast:  The Climate Prediction Center has shifted it’s blobs somewhat but we are still in the 40% chance of warmer than average conditions from December through February, which would be a nice change over the past couple of weeks.  It is interesting when you look at the discussion because they talk about no El Nino and La Nina so they are basing this simply on temperature trends.  Couple of problems here. One is the way that this information is typically reported.  You might here that we “are forecast to be warmer than normal.”  Clearly, these guys give statistical probabilities  and they dont have any area greater than 50%. It’s not the CPC’s fault that it gets misreported.  But, the other issue that I have is with relying on “trends.”  I’m not saying that they are wrong because they are experts at climate and I am not.  But, the support is rather thin and I”ve always had a problem with the old 50% forecast. What’s that? That means there is a 50% chance of it being normal or colder, right?   I have yet to see a climate forecast that was more than 55%.

Keep an Eye on your Kids and the internet:  I’m not going to elaborate on this story much because it is said.  This 19 year old in Florida had a live streaming video from his home and said he was going to kill himself.  Some people on the web cheered him on.  He did it for everyone to see. Some were concerned but not enough for someone to call the cops, who tracked down the IP address and found the kid dead.  I’ll leave you with your own thoughts as you watch the story from a Florida TV Station.

Mae West, Jack London, JFK, John Hanson…Ax Falls At The Weather Channel…Not a Good Day
November 22, 2008

NWS Forecast For Saturday Morning Lows..Betcha the Airport Ulitmately Reports Something Beside the Teens, Unlike Everyone Else

NWS Forecast For Saturday Morning Lows..Betcha the Airport Ulitmately Reports Something Beside the Teens, Unlike Everyone Else

Bad Things Happen to Good People

Bad Things Happen to Good People

the weather channel got bought by nbc by $3.5 billion. nbc has been in the midst of the of its “green week” and to celebrate, they have cut 10% of the jobs at the weather channel, including their “forecast earth” segment, which focuses on global warming. fan favorite dave schwartz also reportedly is out of a job. here are the details from the washington post.
i met dave scwartz a few weeks ago when he was in town for the national weather association conference. he was every bit of a good guy as he seems to be on tv. my guess is that viewers will not be happy. as for forecast earth, i suspect that viewers will be happy to get more weather and less special programs

1121 18Z mesoeta has low 20's for 12Z Saturday...probably not cold enough...except at the airport where no one lives

1121 18Z mesoeta has low 20s Sat. AM...probably not cold enough except at the airport where no one lives

Snow White and I went out to Henry’s Ark late in the day. It was cold (as forecast) and we

Zonk(Half Zebra Half Donkey)Denied Carrots By Bully Zebra Hopes to Stay Warm

Zonk(Half Zebra Half Donkey)Denied Carrots By Bully Zebra Hopes to Stay Warm

thought that the animals hadn’t had too many visitors. Sure enough, we were greeted warmly by the burros at the gate as we entered with our bags of carrots. The zebras are funny because there is one bully who stomps his foot, puts his ears back and bares his teeth, demanding a carrot. He also chases away the other guys but Snow White distracted the bad guy while I got carrots to the others. The porcupines have a baby and the three of them like their carrots as did the bunny rabbits and Lady Di, whom I think is a Bactrian Camel because she has two humps. There are lots of baby goats, two of which we saw climbed up on a downed tree limb. Goats in the trees…who’d of thunk it? Anyway, go and visit and support Henry’s Ark, it’s a great experience for the whole family. The animals get lonely in the winter. And this sure seems like winter. As a big fat high comes over us, look for the mercury to fall into the teens overnight. Saturday will have similar temperatures as Friday. While we warm up on Sunday to the low to mid 50’s, that is still a hair below the seasonal averages. The week ahead still is cool but not quite as cold as we’ve seen. Thanksgiving still looks to feature highs in the low 50’s. Rain Sunday night and Monday.

jfk

On This Date in History: This is a pretty lousy day in history. On November 22, 1963 President John F. Kennedy became the fourth American president to fall to an assassin. The first was Abraham Lincoln in 1865, followed by James A. Garfield in 1881 and then William McKinley in 1901. Let us hope that this list remains at four forever.

NOT the 1st President

NOT the 1st President

The man whom some consider the first President of the United States died on this day in 1783. John Hanson was the first president of the Continental Congress under the Articles of Confederation. The Articles of Confederation came into being while he was the President of the Congress in session from 1781 to 1782, during which time General Washington was defeating the British at Yorktown in October 1781. Calling Hanson the first president is pretty nonsensical. He was more like the prime minister. The separate, executive position of president didnt even exist until the Constitution in 1789. General Washington served as the nation’s first president from 1789 to 1797.

Socialist In Name Only?

Socialist In Name Only?

Novelist Jack London died on this date in 1916. He was just 40 years old and died of kidney disease derived from unknown origins. One fairly reliable source claims that reports that London was an alcoholic are unfounded. What is telling though about London is that he was an avowed socialist yet, he spent a huge wad of cash on a huge house in California. True socialist. The bourgeoisie gets all of the money and luxury while the peasants and proletariat share the rest. In theory thats not how socialism is supposed to work but in practice that’s usually the result. A small group of elite “haves” preaching hypocrisy to the masses, the “have-nots.”

Wild Outfit Even by Today's Standards

Wild Outfit Even by Today's Standards

Mae West died on this date in 1980. I normally don’t do this but I’m linking a page from Wikipedia for you to look at if you like. It’s usually not a reliable source of information but in this case, it will do. If the information is accurate, then you will find just how controversial that she was regarding the content of her career and early problems she caused for those who wanted to keep some moral limits in the entertainment business. Her famous line of “is that a pistol in your pocket or are you just happy to see me” was blurted out by her when she arrived at the LA train station and a policeman was there to escort her. Later, she used the line in a film but somehow the line got assigned to her way before that. She had other lines and a pretty risque reputation. Here is a list of supposed Mae West quotes. She died at age 87 after a series of strokes, but she earlier had hidden her true age. When she appeared with WC Fields in My LIttle Chickadee, she was 47, which was a surprise to me.

Let’s see…what other lousy things happened on this date…in 1972 the first B-52 was shot down in Vietnam and in 1950 there was a terrible collision of commuter trains in New York.

I don’t know about you, but November 22 seems like a day we should all climb in our beds and pull the cover over our heads.