Abraham Lincoln’s Bixby Letter; Ski Resorts Booming Despite Global Warming? Still Too Cold Here

00Z NAM 12Z Sat SFC

00Z NAM 12Z Sat SFC

Snow White and I went for a walk on Thursday evening because we like to walk in the snow. Okay, it was I

00Z Fri NAM 850mb

00Z Fri NAM 850mb

call getting “flurried to death” but they were decent sized flakes even though the ground was too warm for it to be called more than just flurries or “heavy flurries.” It was still fun. I caught a couple on my tongue after much effort. The NAM suggests that we could see more of that kind of stuff in the early morning hours on Friday before conditions change toward daybreak. If you look at the 00Z Fri 850mb NAM it indicates complete saturation over us but temperatures between -9 C and -12 C. The 06Z Fri 850mb NAM shows 90% saturation but the temps are below -12 C. It would seem to me that, while its possible we get some flurries earlier, the most likely time of getting some snow flurries squeezed out would be in the pre-dawn hours when the 850mb temps fall. The moisture is exiting by 12Z…so by sunrise its out. However, having said all of that, the moisture down below 850mb…down toward the surface, is pretty dry so I bet we’ve already seen the best snow.  I suspect we’ll be seeing dewpoints at the surface in the mid teens, which is so dry that it’s entirely not out of the question that we get sublimation…that’s when a solid turns to a gas…or snow disappearing into the dry air…before it gets to the ground.  I’m writing this at 9:30pm on Thursday so we’ll see how it shakes out.  Regardless, keep the snow shoes in the closet. After that, we don’t warm up much on Friday afternoon and then the temperature at the airport will fall to the low 20’s.

06Z Fri NAM 850mb

06Z Fri NAM 850mb

And remember, since the NWS decided to move the official site to the airport a couple of years ago, the official low will be the warmest in the area except for Tell City, which for some reason is typically even warmer than the airport. Anyway, in your backyard, upper teens will be likely and even the mid teens for many of you in outlying areas. Clouds on Saturday will prevent temperatures from getting out of the 30’s in the afternoon. The long wave trof (jet stream) will be lifting out by that time and on Sunday, we will have some sunshine and southwesterly winds will help take us to around 50. At this point, the next week looks cooler than average, but not as cold as we’ve seen. In fact, we may approach seasonal averages for Thanksgiving Day.

Be Careful With Global Warming Skepticism: You know that I have some skepticism regarding anthropogenic global warming. I’m pretty much sold on the global warming aspect but am not so certain

Big Early Snow in Alps Despite Global Warming

Big Early Snow in Alps Despite Global Warming

regarding the anthropogenic part. I do think though that there can be agreement that we should be working toward energy independence and renewable resources. I mean, those who think we are doomed due to man-made global warming will go for that and those who want to look for economy and national security interests should also be on board. Same goal from different perspectives. Anyway, I found this site that scoffed at the apparent contradiction in the following headlines. This first story (Ski Resorts Face Uncertain Future) was from 2006 claiming that the ski resorts in Europe were headed toward extinction due to lack of snow because of global warming. The second (Ski Industry Predicts Boom As Cold Sets In) is a recent article talking about the boom in ski resort business with early openings due to the heavy snows. On the surface, this seems to be a contradiction when, in fact, if you read the first article it says that in coming decades the ski resorts were doomed and that banks were refusing to extend credit to resorts below a certain level. In both instances, one season does not a trend make. I guess that my only issue here is to be making judgements based on headlines one way or another. Often, the writer of the article will show a bias either way, not necessarily by omission, but by placement. Pertinent facts and qualifiers to the opening paragraph are often found buried near the end of the article. The writer either didn’t think it was important or deliberately puts it at the bottom knowing that people tend to stop reading half way through.

Bixby Letter Fascimile of 1891 Sold By New York Huber Museum for $1

Bixby Letter Fascimile of 1891 Sold By New York Huber Museum for $1

On This Date in History: The story goes like this. A widow, Lydia Bixby was said to have lost 5 sonsLydia Bixby fighting for the Union in the Civil War and Massachusetts Governor John Andrew asked the president to write a letter of condolence. On this date in 1864, President Abraham Lincoln composed a letter to Mrs. Bixby. The letter was published in the Boston Evening Transcript on November 25, 1864. That letter, noted for its compassion and prose, has been hailed since that time and even made its way into Stephen Spielberg’s 1998 Saving Private Ryan with General Marshall reading from the letter and using the letter as the reason why they were going to find Private Ryan.

Historians though have doubts as to the authorship. Many suspect that it was really Lincoln’s secretary, John Hay, who wrote the letter. No original letter has ever been produced. Further, Mrs. Bixby 5 sons weren’t all killed in the war. Two lost their lives in the fighting, another was honorably discharged, another was dishonorably thrown from the ranks and the fifth’s fate is unknown, though some suggest that this means that he either deserted or died in a Confederate prisoner of war camp. How they come to those to limitations is beyond my own limited comprehension.

If Gen. Marshall in "Ryan" Had the Lincoln Letter, It was not an Original

If Gen. Marshall in

Ironically, on November 17, 2008 a report surfaced that the original Bixby letter may have been found. But, when you read this story, you find that is not necessarily the case and even suggests that analysis reveals that the signature on the new letter is not that of Lincoln. But, could it be the handwriting of Hay? I want to know how it found its way to Texas if it is…and why do they suggest that it is the original when at the top it says “copy.”

It is interesting to me, however, that in The Living Lincoln: The Man and His Times, in His Own Words by Paul M. Angle and Earl Schenck Miers, that they do not mention any question as to Lincoln being the author. They simply say, “Superbly eloquent as the letter that Lincoln wrote to Mr. Lydia Bixby of Boston. This message, published in the Boston Transcript, appealed to the heart of the nation.” I’m not sure if they are suggesting that it was written as a political piece of prose with that purpose in mind, or if its publication resulted in appealing to the heart of the nation. Either way, whoever was the author, it is quite a remarkable letter.

Executive Mansion,
Washington, Nov. 21, 1864.

Dear Madam,–

I have been shown in the files of the War Department a statement of the Adjutant General of Massachusetts that you are the mother of five sons who have died gloriously on the field of battle.

I feel how weak and fruitless must be any word of mine which should attempt to beguile you from the grief of a loss so overwhelming. But I cannot refrain from tendering you the consolation that may be found in the thanks of the Republic they died to save.

I pray that our Heavenly Father may assuage the anguish of your bereavement, and leave you only the cherished memory of the loved and lost, and the solemn pride that must be yours to have laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of freedom.

Yours, very sincerely and respectfully,

A. Lincoln


One Response

  1. The picture you used for Lydia Bixby is not the correct one. Lydia Parker Bixby was the woman the letter was written to. The image you have is Lydia Clark Bixby of New York.

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