On This Date in History: I suppose the cartoon at the top may prove irritating to some. I think it’s funny but not necessarily representative. But, what you see to the right is an artist’s rendering of ex-Confederate President Jefferson Davis in drag. The story was that Davis had fled at the end of the Civil War. After days of trying to track him down, Federal troops finally caught up with him and the word was that he was wearing a dress! That was totally at odds with the image of Southern Gentleman as chivalrous, heroic and manly. So, the northern papers ran with it and the myth that he was trying to dress like a woman, cowering behind petticoats, was created. Though it’s not clear what the truth is, the claim from the Confederate camp was that Davis grabbed his wife’s shawl as cover for the rain that was falling as he tried to escape as he saw the men in blue approaching. I believe the kinder story was pushed by his wife. That seems probably closer to the truth to me except…think about it…if you are trying to escape capture by soldiers….would you really worry about gettng wet? It’s a mystery as to whether he was dressed up like a woman or if he was worried about getting is coif wet. But, either way, the myth lives on because it was put in print and we know the press always gets things right and never has slanted coverage.
Well, On This Date In 1867, Jeff Davis was released from prison after serving two years in jail, under indictment for treason. He was never tried and he was never even offered bail until May 1867. He had gained much sympathy from his travails with reports of rough treatment and being chained to the walls in his prison at Fort Monroe.
One of his sureties was Horace Greeley, who had long been a political opponent. He had a northern lawyer volunteer his services of defense. The case was to come to trial in late 1868 as his lawyers first tried to have the case thrown out. It went to the Supreme Court but before it could be settled, a general amnesty was granted on Christmas Day and it was determined that the amnesty covered Davis. Davis later refused to accept a pardon and retired to his home, Beauvoir, on the Mississippi Coast which looked pretty good as a historic site until recently. It survived Hurricane Camille in 1969 fairly well but Hurricane Katrina did a number on it.
Anyway, Jeff Davis was held in prison for two years under indictment and he never was even tried. I believe it is the 6th Amendment that provides the right to a speedy trial but the definition of speed in the case of Davis is probably closer to what the courts call “speedy” today than what was more common in the 19th Century. I’m not certain though whether or not there was the delimma as today regarding a distinction between the treason charge being part of a military trial and the treason charge being in criminal court. I mean, if the Union didn’t recognize the Confederacy, then he had to be considered an American citizen. If they considered it as a war crime, then I suppose it would have been in a military tribunal. As it was, it was neither. But, as I’ve said before, next time you hear or read about something like this today, understand it’s happened before and the country didn’t fall apart.
Weather Bottom Line: Told you Tuesday would be good. Now for Wednesday, we have a little small wave approaching ahead of a warm front from the southwest. But, it would appear that this will probably bypass us just to the north. North of Louisville may get some rain and t’storms but from my chair, what I see going on is not too impressive. Now, the GFS gets a little aggressive as does the NAM on the index front so the machines say its possible and that is why you see it on your local forecast. Shouldn’t be that big of a deal. But, what it does suggest is that we are at the end of the line regarding good weather. The warm front comes through in the first part of the day along with the wave which is also a source for rain fears.
Now, the front lifts north and we get warm and soupy. That sets the stage for a cold front early Thursday. The biggest risk for severe weather will be to our west as the front moves through the plains in the heat of the day. The GFS still goes bonkers with dynamics and other factors but, given the time of day, I would think the less aggressive NAM is more likely. Look for rain and t’storms on late Wednesday night and early Thursday morning. The SPC has the slight risk just to our West, indicating the boundary’s approach during the overnight as well as the bulk of the energy to our west moving northeast. The one kink is that there may be some forcing to aid in storm continuance. I think it’s worth keeping and eye on but not worth losing sleep over.
The front gets hung up just to our South. That means rain and t’storm chances must be considered for Friday as waves run along the 850 level of the warm front…with the 850 level possibly being right over the top of us depending on the slope. The front retreats and makes for a soupy Saturday which sets the stage for frontal passage Saturday afternoon or evening which will bring back the rain and t’storm chances. Timing will determine the level of the severe threat.
DAY 1 CONVECTIVE OUTLOOK
NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK
0100 AM CDT WED MAY 13 2009
VALID 131200Z – 141200Z
…THERE IS A MDT RISK OF SVR TSTMS FROM THE MIDDLE MISSISSIPPI
VALLEY TO THE SOUTH CENTRAL PLAINS…
…THERE IS A SLGT RISK OF SVR TSTMS MUCH OF THE MIDWEST TO SOUTHERN
ON THE LARGE SCALE…PRIMARY IMPETUS FOR DEEP CONVECTIVE POTENTIAL
ACROSS THE CENTRAL STATES TODAY WILL BE TIED TO A POTENT UPPER
TROUGH WHICH WILL CROSS THE NORTHERN PLAINS TODAY…AND REACH THE
UPPER MISSISSIPPI VALLEY/WESTERN GREAT LAKES LATE TONIGHT AS IT
BEGINS TO TAKE ON MORE OF A NEGATIVE TILT. AHEAD OF THIS SYSTEM…A
RATHER MOIST AIRMASS WILL CONTINUE TO QUICKLY SURGE NORTHEASTWARD
INTO THE MIDWEST AHEAD OF AN EAST-SOUTHEAST MOVING COLD FRONT ACROSS
THE MIDWEST/SOUTH CENTRAL PLAINS.
…MIDWEST TO SOUTH CENTRAL PLAINS…
INITIALLY…ON THE NOSE OF A RATHER STRONG SOUTHWESTERLY LOW LEVEL
JET AND EASTERN FRINGE OF A PLAINS ELEVATED MIXED LAYER…SCATTERED
TO NUMEROUS TSTMS ARE LIKELY TO BE ONGOING AT THE BEGINNING OF THE
PERIOD ACROSS THE MIDWEST…INCLUDING PORTIONS OF IA/MO/IL/INDIANA.
AT LEAST SOME OF THESE ELEVATED TSTMS WILL BE CAPABLE OF SEVERE HAIL
THROUGH THE MORNING.
ALTHOUGH SOME QUESTIONS EXIST REGARDING THE TIMING/DEGREE OF DIURNAL
DESTABILIZATION WITH NORTHEASTWARD EXTENT ACROSS THE MIDDLE/UPPER
MISSISSIPPI VALLEY IN THE WAKE OF EARLY DAY ACTIVITY…RAPID
DESTABILIZATION IS EXPECTED TO OCCUR FROM THE SOUTHWEST…WITHIN A
NARROW PRE-COLD FRONTAL WARM/UNSTABLE SECTOR ACROSS MO/SOUTHEAST IA
INTO ADJACENT IL. PROVIDED SUFFICIENT DESTABILIZATION THROUGH THE
AFTERNOON/EARLY EVENING…STRONG/SEVERE TSTMS SHOULD QUICKLY
DEVELOP…WITH A MIXED MODE OF SUPERCELLS/BOWS POSSIBLE BENEATH 50
KT MID LEVEL FLOW. ASIDE FROM SEVERE HAIL…TORNADOES WILL BE
POSSIBLE GIVEN STRONG 40-50 KT FLOW IN THE LOWEST 1 KM AND AMPLE LOW
LEVEL SRH. THIS THREAT COULD BE HEIGHTENED IN VICINITY OF WARM FRONT
AND/OR ANY REMNANT MODIFIED OUTFLOW ACROSS THE MIDDLE MISSISSIPI
VALLEY INCLUDING PORTIONS OF MO/SOUTHEAST IA INTO IL.
OTHERWISE…DAMAGING WIND POTENTIAL MAY ULTIMATELY INCREASE THROUGH
THE EVENING AS STORMS CONGEAL/RACE EASTWARD ACROSS THE MIDWEST.
FARTHER SOUTHWEST…TSTMS SHOULD DEVELOP LATE THIS AFTERNOON/EARLY
EVENING ALONG/JUST BEHIND THE SOUTHEASTWARD ADVANCING SURFACE COLD
FRONT FROM MO/SOUTHEAST KS INTO OK…AND PERHAPS IN VICINITY OF THE
DEEPLY MIXED AIRMASS IN CLOSE PROXIMITY TO THE SURFACE LOW/DRYLINE
TRIPLE POINT NEAR THE WESTERN OK/TX PANHANDLE BORDER. EVEN WITH
WEAKER MID LEVEL FLOW AT THIS LATITUDE…VERY STEEP MID LAPSE
RATES/VEERING WIND PROFILES WILL BE FAVORABLE FOR LARGE/POTENTIALLY
SOME SIGNIFICANT HAIL WITH SUPERCELLS. A FEW TORNADOES MAY BE
POSSIBLE…ALONG WITH DAMAGING WINDS GIVEN THE STEEP LAPSE RATE
ENVIRONMENT. AS AN UPSWING IN TSTM COVERAGE CONTINUES THROUGH THE
EVENING ALONG THE FRONTAL ZONE…AND A SOUTH-SOUTHWESTERLY LOW LEVEL
JET NOCTURNALLY INCREASES ACROSS TX…THERE IS SOME POTENTIAL THAT
THESE TSTMS COULD CONSOLIDATE AND GROW UPSCALE INTO A FORWARD
PROPAGATING MCS…WITH HEIGHTENED DAMAGING WIND POTENTIAL ACROSS
OK/AR INTO THE ADJACENT ARKLATEX VICINITY.
…CENTRAL GULF COAST STATES AND FL…
MAINLY ISOLATED SEVERE TSTMS WILL BE POSSIBLE THIS AFTERNOON/EARLY
EVENING ALONG THE RESIDUAL FRONTAL ZONE AND MOISTURE/INSTABILITY
AXIS ACROSS THE GULF COAST STATES…AS WELL AS THE FL SEA BREEZE.