On This Date in History: In 1607, Jamestown was founded in the Virginia Colony. It wasn’t an official venture of the crown but instead was a private enterprise operation with investors from both the upper and lower classes pooling their money to form the Virginia Company of London. These folks expected to make a bundle of money on a windfall from silver and gold that they figured was abundant in the New World. As it turns out they were right but were about 2000 miles short of the gold. The investors soon found out that Virginia was not the gold mine that they had hoped and the settlement almost vanished by 1617 after bouts with starvation, malaria and Indian attacks. They had no products to be sold anywhere except for a little tobacco and cedar board. The man responsible for the tobacco was John Rolfe, who began cultivating in 1613 what would later become a big crop for the colony.
So, the governor of Jamestown came up with an idea of shear brilliance. Send an exotic woman to England to promote the colony! Never mind there wasn’t much to promote…the woman would catch the attention of prospective investors! That seems to be a theme that has continued with modern advertisers and tv news…and weather. Anyway, the woman who was to make the journey would be none other than Pocahontas. She was the Indian Princess who had already acheived celebrity status by interceding to her father on behalf of Captain John Smith, who credited the young lady with convincing dad Chief Powhattan to spare his life in 1608. See, Pocahontas seemed fascinated by the colonists from almost the first time she saw them. She learned English, dressed like the strangers, converted to Christianity, changed her name to Rebecca and, to top it all off, on this date in 1614, she married the planter John Rolfe and had a son with him named Thomas. Who could be a better model to show what could be achieved in the New World by Englishmen?
Pocahontas left in 1616 with her husband, child and an entourage of a dozen fellow Indians in tow and the group was received by great fanfare and put up in one of the nicer inns in London, which later changed its name from the Bell Savage Inn to the La Belle Sauvage Inn in honor of the Indian Princess. Turns out, John Smith was already back in England and had done some promotional work ahead of time by writing to Queen Anne. In his letter he apparently hinted that maybe if the English did not receive Pocahontas well, that things may not go so well for colonists in the New World. Pocahontas gained an audience with Queen Anne and King James I but, John Rolfe was left off the invitation list since he was a commoner. In fact, Rolfe almost got thrown in jail for marrying royalty! Seems that the old King Jim was rather smitten with the young lady and she immediately became a smash hit with the upper classes of jolly old England.
While the promotional tour was going swimmingly, the London climate wasn’t doing much for the Indians nor was the pace of the whirlwind tour. Several of the Indians got sick and died. Pocahontas was feeling poorly when she boarded a ship for the long voyage home in March 1617. As the ship got set to sail, the Indian Princess died, most likely from pneumonia. She was buried in an unmarked grave under a church floor and her remains have never been found. Seems to me that all you need to do is pull up all the floorboards but maybe its more complicated than that. Besides that, who wants to dig up old bones in a church and disturb the dead? Didn’t those people see Poltergeist?
Anyway, Pocahontas may have been the first commercial promotional model in world history and she did a bang up job, even though she never lived to see it. After her promotional tour, so many people wanted to go to the New World where so many nearly died and faced such hardships, that the company changed its strategy to become a land company and gave each shareholder a 50 acre plot of land. The tobacco crop, first established by John Rolfe, soon flourished and was nearly turning a profit by 1622. I guess that Rolfe the widower was doing pretty well financially but it all came crashing down when later in that year, the uncle of Pocahontas led an Indian raid on the settlement and killed 347 colonists. That was the end of that. All plans were cancelled and the King promptly annulled the company charter. I guess that King Jim had been smitten with the Princess but not too enthused by her family. This is one of those interesting situations where we can speculate on what would have happened had Pocahontas not died and she returned to Jamestown. Given that the British ended up establishing the American Colonies, I don’t think it really makes a difference in the big picture. But, Pocahontas might have been a good catch for the William Morris Agency.
Weather Bottom Line: Okay, here’s the deal. We have the main short wave…or main storm that kicked out the piece of energy that affected us on Friday and produced at least 79 tornadoes, including 6 in Kentucky, that will be coming our way. But, there are some differences in the set up. First off, the air ahead of the system will be a bit cooler and drier. The warm front will be well to our South. Along that warm front, there will be an area of an enhanced threat for severe weather along the Gulf Coast portion of the Dixie States. My guess is that will provide the biggest threat for tornadoes. Now, the short wave is indeed going to be falling apart a bit. But, it will have a decent jetstream working with it and the storm center will have a pool of cold air aloft. So, even though our air will not be overly warm, the contrast between the temperatures at the surface and the upper conditions should be enough to provide at least marginal instability. Then you throw in some decent dynamics with the decent jet stream aloft and some veering sheer with the low itself and you get a threat for strong storms. My guess is that, after some morning showers, our threat maximises in the afternoon and evening on Monday with hail and strong winds the biggest threat. Perhaps a chance for an errant tornado but most likely it would be isolated and the trashcan variety. The low kinda gets hung up and its a big system so we can expect heavy rain at times and rain fall amounts for Monday through Tuesday to perhaps exceed two inches. Lightning will probably be prevalent with the storms considering the cold air aloft. All in all, I betcha the signature of this event will be the rainfall with a few incidents of severe hail and wind damage. Right now, it looks mild and dry for the rest of the week, warming toward the weekend and data now suggests that Thunder Saturday will be dry as storm system appears now for Sunday instead of Saturday…but we’ll have to keep an eye on it.
DAY 1 CONVECTIVE OUTLOOK
NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK
1257 AM CDT MON APR 13 2009
VALID 131200Z – 141200Z
…THERE IS A SLGT RISK OF SVR TSTMS FROM THE OH VALLEY/MID SOUTH
REGION SEWD ACROSS MUCH OF THE SOUTHEAST CONUS…
WHILE AN UPPER LOW VACATES NEW ENGLAND AND A SECOND DEVELOPS ESEWD
ACROSS THE WRN U.S. AND ADJACENT WRN CANADA…A THIRD LOW MOVING
SLOWLY ENEWD ACROSS THE LOWER MO/MID MS/LOWER OH VALLEYS WILL
CONTINUE TO SUPPORT WIDESPREAD CONVECTION.
WHILE THE PRIMARY SURFACE LOW ASSOCIATED WITH THIS CENTRAL U.S.
UPPER SYSTEM MOVES ENEWD ACROSS THE OH VALLEY…A SECONDARY LOW
SHOULD CROSS THE SOUTHEAST AND EVENTUALLY REACH THE COASTAL
…ERN GULF COAST REGION/SOUTHEAST CONUS…
THUNDERSTORMS — AND ASSOCIATED SEVERE THREAT — SHOULD BE ONGOING
AT THE START OF THE PERIOD WITHIN A ZONE EXTENDING FROM SRN AL/THE
FL PANHANDLE EWD INTO SRN GA. AS THIS ZONE OF CONVECTION SHIFTS
EWD…LIMITED HEATING OF THE MOIST BOUNDARY LAYER ALONG THE
FRINGE OF THE CLOUDS/PRECIPITATION SHOULD SUPPORT CONTINUED STORM
REGENERATION. WITH LOW-LEVEL SLYS/SELYS BENEATH VEERING/INCREASING
FLOW WITH HEIGHT THROUGH THE MID TROPOSPHERE…COMPLEX LINEAR
STRUCTURES AND/OR MORE ISOLATED SUPERCELL STORMS ARE ANTICIPATED.
ALONG WITH HAIL AND LOCALLY-DAMAGING WINDS…A FEW TORNADOES WILL
ALSO BE POSSIBLE.
CONVECTION MOVING ACROSS SRN GA THROUGH THE AFTERNOON/EVENING SHOULD
EVENTUALLY SPREAD ACROSS THE COASTAL CAROLINAS…ALONG WITH AN
ONGOING SEVERE/TORNADO THREAT. STORMS/SEVERE POTENTIAL MAY ALSO
LINGER ACROSS NRN FL OVERNIGHT…THROUGH VEERING LOW-LEVEL FLOW WITH
TIME SHOULD RESULT IN A DECREASE IN TORNADO THREAT THROUGH THE END
OF THE PERIOD.
…LOWER AND MID OH/TN VALLEY REGION…
CONVECTION SHOULD BE SPREADING NEWD ACROSS THE OH VALLEY REGION AT
THE START OF THE PERIOD…WITH STORM REDEVELOPMENT/REGENERATION
EXPECTED THROUGH THE DAY MAINLY E OF THE MS VALLEY…AS THE UPPER
LOW AND ASSOCIATED COLD POOL APPROACH FROM THE W. WHERE POCKETS OF
HEATING CAN OCCUR…MODERATE DESTABILIZATION SHOULD SUPPORT VIGOROUS
CELL GROWTH — AIDED BY FAVORABLE 0-6 KM SHEAR. COOL MID-LEVEL
TEMPERATURES WILL CONTRIBUTE TO A THREAT FOR HAIL…WHILE
LOCALLY-DAMAGING WINDS AND/OR ISOLATED TORNADOES WILL BE POSSIBLE
WITH A FEW STRONGER STORMS. THE THREAT SHOULD DIMINISH DURING THE
EVENING AS STORMS SHIFT ENEWD ACROSS THE OH VALLEY…IN CONJUNCTION
WITH DIURNAL COOLING/STABILIZATION OF THE LOWER TROPOSPHERE.