On This Date In History: On this date in 1867, Secretary of State William Seward basked while his detractors fumed. The day before, Congress showed a nose for looking to the future instead of votes for the day as it approved what was known as “Seward’s Folly”. That’s what they called his negotiated purchase of the Alaskan Terrirtory from Russia for $7 million. That was less than half of what Thomas Jefferson paid for Louisiana. Alaska became the 49th state in the 1950’s and has been proved to be anything but a folly. It has provided billions of barrels of oil and billions of cubic feet of natural gas. It is a strategic location for national defense, has great commercial fishing and has a vast frontier like wilderness.
The only folly was the pinhead shortsightedness of the members of Congress who opposed the purchase. So…when you get upset at elected officials who seemed more concerned about the next election rather than the future of the nation…when its easier to just go along with public sentament than to struggle to educate the electorate to support what is in the long term best interests of the country, our children and grandchildren…don’t feel too bad…Congress has been that way for a long time and we’ve managed to survive. Though this time, they seemed to have spent way more than $7 million….more like $7 Trillion and who knows where that will leave our children and grandchildren…or even us in a few years. But let us not cast stones…let us celebrate that on this date in 1867, Congress actually had something to celebrate, whether they knew it or not. And look at it this way…if it weren’t for Alaska, we wouldn’t have Sarah Palin!
But, the man who inexplicably adorns the top of this section did not. See, it’s Johnny Horton who was a rising rockabilly star in the 1950’s. He was influenced by Elvis and Hank Williams. Horton’s connection to Alaska is that he had a hit song called North to Alaska. Who can forget it? His connection to Hank Williams was even more interesting or even eerie. See, Williams had been married to the former Billie Jean Jones. Williams was killed in a car accident at the age of 29 after performing in Austin, Texas at the Skyline Club. A few months later, Billie Jean married Johnny Horton. For the second time, Billie Jean became a widow as Johnny was killed at the age of 31 at the hands of a drunk driver after performing in Austin, Texas at the Skyline Club.
Weather Bottom Line: Forecast still looks on track. Perhaps some early morning showers or maybe a t’storm or two as a warm front
lifts through on Friday morning. Then the cold front comes in Friday afternoon which will provide our best chance for strong storms. Guess here is that we’d be looking at high winds and possibly hail, though maybe a small chance for an isolated tornado. I’m thinking the the best twister chance will be to our south or southeast. Still worth watching. Cooler air slips in for the weekend but not terribly cold. Easter Sunday looks good…high perhaps in the low 60’s. Then on Monday another system comes through and I had thought previously that the main short would generate some action. Then the last couple of model runs did not show any evidence of that. I had speculated that it was worth seeing what really happened and now the SPC is putting us in the suspect area as there may be enough time to reload sufficiently to support some action as the short is really very strong and probably doesn’t need as much extra stuff. Still, probably won’t be too major but since the situation is in flux, it’s wise to keep an eye out. Generally seasonal temperatures it would appear for much of the week ahead if not a tad cooler for a day or so.
DAY 1 CONVECTIVE OUTLOOK
NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK
0746 AM CDT FRI APR 10 2009
VALID 101300Z – 111200Z
…THERE IS A MDT RISK OF SVR TSTMS OVER PARTS OF THE TN VLY/GULF
CST STATES/SRN APPALACHIANS…
…THERE IS A SLGT RISK OF SVR TSTMS SURROUNDING THE MDT RISK AREA
FROM MS AND THE LWR OH VLYS TO THE S ATLANTIC CST…
AMPLIFIED BUT PROGRESSIVE PATTERN WILL PERSIST ACROSS THE LWR 48
THIS PERIOD. MAIN FEATURE OF NOTE…POTENT UPR LOW NOW OVER SRN MO
…WILL CONTINUE E ACROSS SRN KY TODAY AND GRADUALLY DEVOLVE INTO AN
OPEN WAVE. THE SYSTEM SHOULD REACH SE VA BY 12Z SAT AS 80 KT MID
LVL SPEED MAX NOW ON ITS SW PERIPHERY /OVER THE ARKLATEX/ MOVES OFF
THE S ATLANTIC CST.
AT LWR LEVELS…SFC LOW NOW OVER SE MO SHOULD TRACK E ACROSS KY
TODAY/EARLY TONIGHT AS TRAILING COLD FRONT PROGRESSES STEADILY SE
ACROSS THE TN/LWR MS VLYS. AHEAD OF THE FRONT…SFC AND VWP DATA
SUGGEST PRESENCE OF A PRE-FRONTAL LOW LVL CONFLUENCE AXIS…POSSIBLY
RELATED TO SQLN OVER E TN/N GA…EXTENDING NE/SW FROM NRN AL INTO
SRN MS. FARTHER E…CURRENT OBSERVATIONS SUGGEST THAT WARM FRONT
OVER THE SRN APPALACHIANS/CAROLINAS WILL REMAIN DIFFUSE THROUGH MUCH
OF THE PERIOD. BUT SIGNIFICANT LOW LVL WARMING/MOISTENING SHOULD
SPREAD NE ALONG THE CAROLINA PIEDMONT/CSTL PLN WITH TIME AS SFC LOW
REACHES SRN VA EARLY SATURDAY.
…TN VLY INTO CNTRL GULF STATES…SRN APLCNS/CAROLINAS/SRN VA…
LATEST SFC OBSERVATIONS AND SATELLITE/GPS PW DATA SHOW FAIRLY
SUBSTANTIAL MOISTURE /WITH PW AOA 1 INCH/ IN PLACE FROM THE
WRN/CNTRL GULF CST NE INTO THE TN VLY AND SRN KY. A TONGUE OF DRIER
AIR REMAINS PRESENT FROM FL NWD INTO THE WRN CAROLINAS…BUT A
SECONDARY AREA OF ENHANCED MOISTURE LIES OFF THE NC CST. MOISTURE
SHOULD CONTINUE TO SPREAD NE ACROSS THE CNTRL/ERN GULF CST STATES
AND GA TODAY AS 40+ KT SWLY LLJ PERSISTS IN WARM SECTOR OF
PROGRESSIVE SFC LOW. SFC DEWPOINTS IN THE LOW/MID 60S F SHOULD
EXTEND FROM SRN LA INTO MUCH OF AL AND GA BY LATE TODAY.
COMBINATION OF INCREASING LOW LVL MOISTURE WITH COOL MID LVL
TEMPERATURES AND ASCENT ON SRN FRINGE OF UPR LOW SHOULD SUPPORT
INTENSE TSTM DEVELOPMENT LATER THIS MORNING THROUGH THIS AFTN
IN WEAKLY CAPPED ENVIRONMENT ALONG/AHEAD OF COLD FRONT FROM WRN
KY/TN SSW INTO MS. OTHER INTENSE STORMS SHOULD FORM NEARLY
SIMULTANEOUSLY…OR PERHAPS SLIGHTLY LATER…INVOF AFOREMENTIONED
CONFLUENCE ZONE OVER ERN MS/AL/GA.
ALONG THE COLD FRONT…STRONG…LARGELY UNIDIRECTIONAL DEEP FLOW
EXPECTED TO SUPPORT BROKEN BANDS OF SUSTAINED STORMS/SUPERCELLS WITH
HIGH WIND/LARGE HAIL AND ISOLD TORNADOES. FARTHER ESE…
WEAKLY CONFLUENT LOW LVL FLOW AND LONG…CLOCKWISE-TURNING
HODOGRAPHS WITH 60-70 KT WLY MID LVL FLOW COULD FOSTER NUMEROUS
DISCRETE OR SEMI-DISCRETE SUPERCELLS…ESPECIALLY IN AREAS WHERE
HEATING BOOSTS SFC TEMPERATURES TO NEAR 80 F. THESE STORMS COULD
YIELD A FEW STRONG TORNADOES…IN ADDITION TO VERY LARGE HAIL AND
HIGH WIND. THIS THREAT APPEARS GREATEST FROM CNTRL/NRN AL INTO
CNTRL/NRN GA…PERHAPS AS FAR E AS WARM FRONTAL SEGMENT INVOF THE
SAVANNAH RVR VLY THIS EVE.
LARGE SCALE UVV AHEAD OF UPR VORT SHOULD STRENGTHEN E OF THE SRN
APPALACHIANS AND THE REMAINDER OF THE CAROLINAS/SRN VA BY LATER
TONIGHT. BUT…WEAKER DESTABILIZATION…ASSOCIATED WITH A MORE
LIMITED LOW-LVL MOISTURE RETURN AND ONSET OF DIURNAL COOLING…MAY
MITIGATE SVR POTENTIAL. A LIMITED SVR THREAT
COULD…HOWEVER…LINGER THROUGH EARLY SAT…ESPECIALLY ALONG THE NC