Did you Forget that on This date in History, the World Trade Center was bombed? Everyone remembers where they were and what they were doing on Sept. 11, 2001…but the first attempt to bring down the towers happened on February 26, 1993. The above photo is from the ATF files of the incident. Nice hole, huh? I suspect the bad guys got closer to undermining the integrity of the substructure than we were led to believe. No matter, they came back again 8 years later after we forgot about their intentions. While everyone remembers Sept. 11, 2001 and the events of the day I sometimes wonder if we remember enough that we take seriously the possibility that they will come back again, just as they did following their near-miss of February 26, 1993. With all of the justified pre-occupation with the economy, how certain are you that the new administration is as vigilante as it can be to thwart any more attacks? Or perhaps, do you think that there will be no more attacks?
On This Date in 1972 a cascade of water funnelled down Buffalo Creek in Logan County, West Virginia. 4000 homes and buildings in 17 towns were washed away and at least 118 people lost their lives. The culprit was a rather ironic foe. The irony lay in that the killer was also the lifeline to many of those who died. (Photo Gallery-Huntington Herald-Dispatch)
The Buffalo Mining Company was one of a number of companies exploiting West Virginia’s greatest natural asset (aside from its beauty) which is coal. Much of the state’s wealth and economy is based on coal. But a problem with coal mining is what to do with the wastes. If you put them on a mountain, you get landslides and if you put them in a valley, you spoil the creek or river. The great idea of the Buffalo group was to build a dam. Actually, it was a series of three dams. Because of the type of dam they were, they weren’t really regulated much. There really wasn’t much of an engineering study done or anything. The waste from coal mining is inherently unstable and makes for a lousy dam. The first dam gave way, putting pressure on the second dam which failed and the huge amount of water spilling down caused the main dam to collapse.
When you look at the steep terrain of West Virginia, it makes you wonder, “what were they thinking?” It’s one of those things in which it seems so obvious that using unstable material in such an area that a three-year-old could figure it out that it wouldn’t work. To say that its an example of corporate greed is probably a bit over-the-top as I’m sure those with the company didn’t want that to happen. Even if you have cynical view of the corporation, from their fiscal standpoint, it cost them a huge amount of money. However, the company was a subsidiary of the Pittston Mining Company and that company had a history of shabby safety practices. So, it would be fair to say that it appears that the company’s saving money on safety issues was the root cause of the disaster. But, given what it cost them from lawsuits, lost revenues, fines and other costs it seems that a greedy fellow would have prevented that from happening in order that they may keep more of their money. The result was from short sighted, stupid business practices and its a shame that we have to have government watch dogs to force some businesses to do what is not only smart from a corporate standpoint, but the right thing to do from a human perspective and for a business that relies on the efforts of their fellow citizens of the United States of America for their success.
a potentially pretty significant snow storm in the northeast. The severity willl depend on how far off the New England coast it is. I’m sure you’ll be hearing about this on the national news this weekend. That is for early next week. The Canadian model makes that low so intense it still drags down pretty cold air…the European goes along with this for Sunday into Monday before becoming milder by Tuesday. The Canadian wants to extend the cold air for an extra day. What I suspect we will see is not just below normal temperatures from Friday afternoon through Tuesday with 30’s on Sunday and possibly Monday for highs. There will be a chance for most likely light snow on Sunday morning. Maybe something similar to what we had last
Saturday. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a morning start on Monday in the teens at least. It’s still possible that it may in fact be somewhat colder as some of the data wants to bring 850 temperatures as low as -14. But, the colder weather will not be especially long lasting. As I said yesterday, my guess is that the numbers will be somewhere between the extreme cold and the somewhat warmer, but still below average, numbers showing up still on several tv outlets. Either way, we do warm up by midweek and it may stick around for a few days after that.
DAY 2 CONVECTIVE OUTLOOK
NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK
1156 PM CST WED FEB 25 2009
VALID 271200Z – 281200Z
…THERE IS A SLGT RISK OF SVR TSTMS FROM THE LWR MS VLY INTO THE
BROAD…LOW AMPLITUDE…MULTI-STREAM CYCLONIC FLOW WILL EVOLVE OVER
THE SERN QUARTER OF THE NATION OVER THE NEXT TWO DAYS AS A SERIES OF
DISTURBANCES NOW OVER THE WRN AND N CNTRL U.S. CONTINUE GENERALLY
ESE. BY 12Z FRI/27…LEAD IMPULSE NOW OVER THE DAKOTAS EXPECTED TO
HAVE REACHED MI/IL…WITH ASSOCIATED COLD FRONT TRAILING SW THROUGH
WRN KY/TN AND BECOMING STATIONARY OVER SRN AR/NRN LA AND NE TX.
AS THIS OCCURS…CURRENT SATELLITE DATA SUPPORT GFS AND ECMWF FCSTS
SHOWING THAT A SEPARATE DISTURBANCE WILL EMERGE IN BRANCH OF FLOW
ROUNDING BASE OF STRONG UPR LOW NOW OVER THE PACIFIC NW. AS THIS
FEATURE AND ITS ASSOCIATED UPR DIFLUENCE APPROACH THE SRN PLNS EARLY
SAT/28…IT APPEARS PROBABLE THAT A WAVE WILL EVOLVE OVER STALLED
FRONT IN NRN LA. THIS WAVE SHOULD MOVE ENE TO NEAR BHM BY 12Z SAT.
…LWR MS VLY TO SRN APLCNS…
EXPECT ONGOING CONVECTIVE BAND LINGERING FROM DAY 1 WILL PERSIST
THROUGH AT LEAST LATE MORNING ALONG/AHEAD OF AFOREMENTIONED COLD
FRONT OVER PARTS OF THE TN VLY. SLIGHTLY ELEVATED WAA/MOISTURE
TRANSPORT…AND 40-50 KT CLOUD LAYER SHEAR…SHOULD BE SUFFICIENT
FOR AT LEAST SCTD SUSTAINED/POSSIBLY SVR STORMS. HAIL SHOULD BE THE
MAIN THREAT…WITH WIND POTENTIAL LIKELY REMAINING ISOLD GIVEN
EXPECTED PERSISTENCE OF NEAR-SFC STABLE LAYER.
DURING THE DAY FRI…EXPECT ADDITIONAL DEVELOPMENT WITH SFC HEATING
ALONG OUTFLOW BOUNDARY AND/OR STALLING FRONT ASSOCIATED WITH MORNING
ACTIVITY. A FEW SFC-BASED STORMS WILL BE POSSIBLE.
RESIDUAL/ELEVATED MIXED LAYER WILL MAINTAIN CONSIDERABLE CIN DURING
THIS PERIOD. THIS SHOULD RESULT IN A FAIRLY SHARP SRN AND WRN
CUT-OFF TO THE STORMS. BUT AMPLE /50 KT/ DEEP WLY SHEAR…MOISTURE
/MID 60S F SFC DEWPOINTS/…AND LOW LVL CONVERGENCE SHOULD BE
PRESENT TO SUPPORT SUSTAINED SUPERCELLS. DEEP FORCING FOR ASCENT
WILL…HOWEVER…REMAIN WEAK UNTIL UPR IMPULSE APPROACHES LATE IN
DEEP UVV AND LOW LVL CONVERGENCE SHOULD INCREASE ACROSS THE LWR MS
VLY E INTO AL AND GA FRI NIGHT/EARLY SAT AS CYCLOGENESIS OCCURS OVER
NRN LA. COMBINATION OF INCREASING ASCENT WITH CONTINUED SFC-BASED
MOISTURE INFLOW AND STRENGTHENING SWLY LLJ MAY SUPPORT OVERNIGHT
STRENGTHENING OF STORMS…AND POSSIBLE DEVELOPMENT OF ONE OR TWO
CONVECTIVE CLUSTERS. THESE SYSTEMS SHOULD MOVE GENERALLY E…WITH
EMBEDDED STORMS POSING A THREAT FOR SVR HAIL…WIND AND ISOLD