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.
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 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.
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.