Archive for September, 2009

Tsunami Death Toll Rises; Major Sumatran Killer Quake ; Philippines Typhoon
September 30, 2009

Portion of Town is Gone

Portion of Town is Gone

Waves Approach Samoan Airport

Waves Approach Samoan Airport

The huge undersea earthquake near  Samoa produced not one but 4 tsunami waves shortly after the 8.0 earthquake struck. Video from Samoa and American Samoa shows the devastation shortly after the waves hit.   Click here for details on the earthquake and the preliminary report. Initially it was reported a single wave of 5 feet struck American Samoa.  Now, reports say that 4 waves of 15-20 feet high crashed through the islands and that the death toll is at least 119.  Because of the extreme distance from the US mainland and even Hawaii, logistics make it difficult to get supplies and a full relief effort into motion.

Meanwhile, another earthquake struck near Sumatra, Indonesia this morning. Video from shortly after the quake shows the confusion and turmoil following the quake.   The USGS data suggest a 7.6 magnitude earthquake struck at 10:16 UTC today and was centered pretty deep at nearly 50 miles below the surface.  That would be at 6:16 am EDT.   Here is the summary from the USGS.

QUAKE-INDONESIA/Tectonic Summary

The magnitude 7.6 southern Sumatra earthquake of September 30, 2009 occurred as a result of oblique-thrust faulting near the subduction interface plate boundary between the Australian and Sunda plates. At the location of this earthquake, the Australian Plate moves northeast with respect to the Sunda plate at a velocity of approximately 65 mm/yr.

On the basis of the currently available fault mechanism information and earthquake depth of 80 km, it is likely that this earthquake occurred within the subducting Australian Plate rather than on the plate interface itself. The recent earthquake was deeper than typical subduction thrust earthquakes that generally occur at depths less than 50 km.

The subduction zone surrounding the immediate region of this event has not witnessed a megathrust earthquake in the recent past, rupturing last in an earthquake of M 8.5 or larger in 1833. Approximately 350 km to the south, a 250 km section of the plate boundary slipped during an Mw 8.4 earthquake in September 2007, while approximately 300 km to the north, a 350 km section slipped during the Mw 8.7 earthquake of March 2005. In early 2008, the plate boundary updip of today’s earthquake was active in a sequence of Mw 5-6 earthquakes. It is not clear how today’s earthquake is related to the sequence of megathrust subduction zone events on the shallower section of the plate boundary.

This earthquake was near to the same area of a 9.1 magnitude quake in December 2004 that killed 232, 000 people following a devastating tsunami that affected coastal nations far away from the quake.  The difference here is that 7.6 quake produces far less energy than a 9.1 quake and I believe that it was about 18 miles below the surface. So far, there have been no reports of a tsunami but 75 deaths have been reported from the Indonesian quake so far, but with the collapse of buildings and rescue efforts continuing, the number is sure to rise.

Typhoon Parma Could Be Philippines Problem

Typhoon Parma Could Be Philippines Problem

Conditions In Philippines

Conditions In Philippines

Whenever there is a natural disaster, there is often a fear for disease in the aftermath.  Often, the disease following the event kills more people than the event itself.  That may be a problem in the Philippines where at least one report came in describing a Philippine disaster center with one toilet for 3000 people.   A report from Reuter’s regarding the post flooding disaster in the Philippines says there are “hundreds of thousands of Filipinos displaced, survival is now a daily struggle in squalid, makeshift evacuation centres.”

Typhoon Parma 1130Z 09.30.09

Typhoon Parma 1130Z 09.30.09

Meanwhile, fears of another tropical cyclone are being raised, and justifiably so.  First off, Tropical Storm Parma is expected to become a Typhoon and perhaps a Super Typhoon.  Current forecasts run the winds up to 130 kts…that’s cat 4 status.  Perhaps more troubling is that the forecast track is much closer to the Philippines as the storm makes its way toward Taiwan.  If this track and strength holds true, then there will be strong winds and very heavy rains in parts of the northern Philippines. Manila will be affected.   The closest the storm comes to the island is on Friday with winds offshore near the center of 115 to 120 kts.  I kinda pooh-poohed this yesterday but this track is getting a little too close for comfort.  It will be a problem for Taiwan and could be extremely problematic for the Philippines.

The Joint Typhoon Warning Center is providing data regarding the forecast and the reasoning behind the forecast.

Wed AM Temps Not Quite to 30's

Wed AM Temps Not Quite to 30's

Weather Bottom Line: So much for my fearless forecast…no one got to the 30’s this morning!  Missed it by  a few degrees as clouds hung around a little longer than I thought that they would.  It did get down to 41 in Bloomington and 43 in Huntingburg, which is about equal to other minimums in the area.  Its still going to be cool but I think we missed our chance to get to the 30’s is probably gone for the time being.   Meanwhile, look at the map below:

Places with 1st Freezes So Far This Season

Places with 1st Freezes So Far This Season

Fall is on the way.  We are still on track for storms on Friday.  Thursday looks great after a cool start with a nice mild afternoon.  We have  a return flow with a storm system ejecting our way.  Now, it does not appear as if there will be enough time to load up the atmosphere sufficiently to produce severe storms but its still worth keeping an eye on.  Look for rain and t’storms though on Friday followed by another round of the type of weather we’ve seen the last few days with highs in the 60’s and lows in the low to mid 40’s for the weekend.

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Tsunami Claims At Least 34; Philippines Death Toll Rises; US General killed by fellow officer
September 29, 2009

Tropical Storm Parma Will Miss Philippines

Tropical Storm Parma Will Miss Philippines

Update Found HERE

NEWS-US-ASIA-TYPHOONTropical Storm Ketsana dropped some 17 inches of rain in 12 hours on one of the most populous cities on earth, Manila.  The Philippines is not a wealthy country and there are reports that international aid is pouring in.  But, as of Sept 29, the big donor has been Japan at about $220,000.  The US has pledged $100,000.  We have ballplayers who make more than that in one day.  I suppose its good to wait and see what is needed but it seems to me that much more will be needed.  The US Navy is assisting in search and rescue operations.  There are numerous sources for flooding photos from the Philippines.   Stories are flying across the wires that the Philippines will get hit by another tropical cyclone.  Well, that’s a bit of hyperbole.  Yes, there is a tropical storm.  Yes, it is expected to become a typhoon.  Yes, it is moving in the general direction of the Philippines.  But, the latest forecast calls for it to turn and head toward Taiwan.  Now, with this course, the northern Philippines can expect unwanted rain in the form of bands passing through, but don’t believe the headlines just yet that imply the Philippines will be struck dead on with another tropical cyclone in a few days.

samoaphotoElsewhere in the Pacific, there was a lot of shaking going on and frayed nerves.  Ever since the tsunami in Thailand, the press has become tuned in, acting as if its a new phenomena.  Video and the internet clued in ignorant journalists to what pacific rim folks have known for centuries, that tsunamis can be extremely devastating.  While there have not been world wide reports regarding deaths, there was a 5 foot tsunami in American Samoa that occured following a giant quake  that has been reported as 7.9, 8.3 and 8.0 and was moderately shallow at 11.2 miles depth.  It was known for quite sometime that at least one village was washed away but CBS now reports at least 14 have died on American SamoaLater reports have the death toll up to 34.   Here are the details from the USGS.

Earthquake Details

Magnitude 8.0
Date-Time
Location 15.558°S, 172.073°W
Depth 18 km (11.2 miles) set by location program
Region SAMOA ISLANDS REGION
Distances 185 km (115 miles) ENE of Hihifo, Tonga
195 km (125 miles) S of APIA, Samoa
705 km (435 miles) NNE of NUKU’ALOFA, Tonga
2700 km (1670 miles) NNE of Auckland, New Zealand
Location Uncertainty horizontal +/- 6.6 km (4.1 miles); depth fixed by location program
Parameters NST=293, Nph=293, Dmin=>999 km, Rmss=1.07 sec, Gp= 32°,
M-type=teleseismic moment magnitude (Mw), Version=8
Source
  • USGS NEIC (WDCS-D)
Event ID us2009mdbi

The USGS also has a summary regarding the plate tectonics involved specifically with the event:

neic_mdbi_wTectonic Summary

The broad-scale tectonics of the Tonga region are dominated by the relative convergence of the Pacific and Australia plates, with the Pacific plate subducting westward beneath the Australia plate at the Tonga trench. At the latitude of the earthquake of September 29, 2009, the Pacific plate moves westward with respect to the interior of the Australia plate at a velocity of about 86 mm/year. The earthquake occurred near the northern end of a 3,000 km long segment of the Pacific/Australia plate boundary that trends north-northeast.; farther north of the earthquake’s source region, the plate boundary trends northwest and then west. The eastern edge of the broad Australia plate may be viewed as a collection of small plates or microplates that move with respect to each other and with respect to the Pacific plate and the Australia plate interior.

On the basis of currently available location and fault mechanism information, we infer that the September 29 earthquake occurred as a normal fault rupture on or near the outer rise of the subducting Pacific plate.

The broad-scale Australia/Pacific plate boundary is one of the most active earthquake regions in the world. Earthquakes occur on the thrust-fault boundary between the Australia and Pacific plates, within the Pacific plate on both sides of the trench, and within and on the boundaries of the small plates that compose the eastern edge of the overall Australia plate.

Bull Nelson Before Demise

Bull Nelson Before Demise

On This Date in History: Union General William “Bull” Nelson got his name from being a big, bearish man who used his physical size to intimidate others. He had initially been an officer in the navy and somehow became a general in the army. But the Bull was butchered in the Galt House in Louisville on this date in 1862. Not only was he murdered by another Union General named Jefferson Davis, he met his demise in the presence of the Governor of Indiana.

NY Illustrated News Captured the Moment

NY Illustrated News Captured the Moment

In the summer of 1862, while General Don Carlos Buell was wandering around Tennessee with his Louisville based Army of the Ohio building railroads following the battle of Shiloh, the contingent of men left to defend Louisville was left to one of Buell’s subordinates, Nelson. Confederate General Braxton Bragg began a campaign into Kentucky and the fear was he would get to Louisville before Buell could return. So, while Buell was plodding along back to Louisville, Nelson started putting cannon on the Indiana side of the river so he could shell the city if the Confederates ever invaded. For some reason, Bragg didn’t come to Louisville…probably a blunder…though he was probably fearful of the reception he would get from the populous. So, as Buell’s army trickled back in, Nelson spied Gen. Jeff Davis of Indiana ordering his men to dig in. Bull didn’t think much of that and let Davis know.

Jefferson C Davis Didn't Man Up

Jefferson C Davis Didn't Man Up

Davis wasn’t pleased but instead of manning up and facing Bull, he ran back to Indianapolis and fetched Indiana Governor Oliver Morton and on the evening of September 29 1862 in the stairwell of the Galt House in Louisville, tough guy Davis confronted Nelson. He challenged the powerful Nelson to a duel who, in front of Morton, rebuffed Davis with a scoff and then with the back of his hand when pressed. Nelson went up the stairs and our hero Davis grabbed a pistol, ran up the stairs and shot General Nelson dead. Before he died, Nelson tried to cover all of his bases by getting baptized but that didn’t help with the post mortem scales of justice. See, Buell had Davis arrested but Buell got fired about two months later following the battle of Perryville. With Buell out of the way and the main witness being a good Republican Governor from a Union State, Davis never faced trial and so the murder of a Union General in front of several witnesses was never “solved.” And so ends another tale of courage and justice during the Civil War and it all happened at the Galt House.

No word on whether or not Davis spent the rest of his life looking on golf courses for the real killer.

Louisville NWS Wed AM Forecast Temps

Louisville NWS Wed AM Forecast Temps

Weather Bottom Line:  You can tell that I didn’t look at the stuff too much because I missed a feature that I should have caught.  It was a vort lobe swinging around the main low.  Very common with winter systems and this is a winter-like system.  So, we had wrap around clouds and many people never got to the 60’s.  Now, the trofiness associated with the lobe should continue to pinwheel around and we will clear out.  I suspsect that the winds will also decrease so I still think overnight lows in the 30’s for the northern 1/3 of the area is reasonable to expect.  We had temps in the mid 40’s last night and I think that the low to mid 40’s will be popular.  Wednesday will be a better day with plenty of sunshine and the mercury in the mid 60’s.  Low 70’s on Thursday and then Friday is a bit in the air.  We’ll be in a situation where we have a front approaching that will try to drag up warm moist air before it gets replaced by another round of cooler air.  Its possible that we get some strong storms…but I gotta believe that everything has to come together at the right time for that to occur. So, we’ll see how it unfolds.

Hitler Could Have Been Killed Long Before WWII, But a Kind Heart Intervened
September 28, 2009

Death and Destruction of WWII May Have Been Averted If For A Single Shot in World War I

Death and Destruction of WWII May Have Been Averted If For A Single Shot in World War I

Kirk Saves The Day But Misses Out on More Scenes with Joan Collins

Kirk Saves The Day But Misses Out on More Scenes with Joan Collins

On This Date in History:  Have you ever seen one of those Star Trek episodes that deals with time travel?  In one Kirk is in the 1920’s and if he knows a woman (Joan Collins) will be killed in a car accident and he has the ability to save her life. But Spock tells him that if he does save her, then all of history will be changed and that even the world that they know in the 23rd century would be altered, perhaps negavtively.  But Kirk is not the only one hot for Joan.  Bones has his eye on her and for once he gets a chance to be the hero in the show.   There is no way that Kirk is going to allow the writers to make McCoy the hero of any show so he  keeps the good doctor from saving the woman.  In the end, it’s Kirk who is the hero to millions…again.  Too bad he wasn’t around in 1918.

What Seemed So Right Turned Out So Wrong

What Seemed So Right Turned Out So Wrong

British Private Henry Tandey was serving in the 5th Duke of Wellington Regiment near the French village of Marcoing.  On this date in 1918, toward the end of a battle, the Germans were in retreat and a wounded German soldier came into his line of fire.  Tandey later said he just couldn’t bring himself to shoot a wounded man.   The German soldier nodded in thanks for Tandey’s kindness and disappeared.  A photograph that appeared in London newspapers of Tandey carrying a wounded soldier at the the First Battle of Ypres in 1914 was later put on canvas by Italian artist Fortunino Matania that glorified the Allied war effort.  Move ahead a couple of decades.

Hitler Recognized The Man Carrying the Wounded Soldier

In 1938, British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain traveled to Germany to meet with German Chancellor Adolph Hitler as part of his effort to prevent another war.  Hitler took Chamberlain to his country retreat in Bavaria where he showed the British Prime Minister a copy of the painting by Matania.  Now, it was odd that Hitler would have such a painting because his motivation for building the Nazi party and gaining control of Germany was due to the humiliating defeat and armistice following World War I.  Some evidence suggests that Hitler did indeed have the copy of the painting as early as 1937.  Why would he have a painting that depicted the defeat over Germany?  When Hitler showed the painting to Chamberlain, he said, “That’s the man who nearly shot me.”

Had Tandy Not Been So Righteous, This Picture May Not Have Ever May Never Have Been Seen

Had Tandy Not Been So Righteous, This Picture May Not Have Ever May Never Have Been Seen

Now, this tale cannot be totally verified and is generally chalked up as legend.  There is no way to actually prove that the man whose life Tandey spared in an act of compassion was really Hitler.  But, I think its safe to say that Hitler thought it was the case.  And if it was so, then think of how many millions of lives might have been saved and how history may have been altered if the man who confronted the young German soldier on the battlefield had been a mean, hard-ass soldier instead of one of humanity and compassion.  Had Hitler not lived, then there not only may not have been World War II, but also the rise of the Soviet Union may not have come about and then no Cold War.  Would the atomic bomb have become a reality?  Would the post war economic boom in the US taken place?  With no Soviet Union, then perhaps there would have been no drive to put a man on the moon.  Who knows.  It’s a kinda fun exercise to think of such things but largely not relevant and an exercise in futility.  It’s best to look forward because in our individual lives and our large-scale collective lives, we live in the world in which we are given left to play the hand which we are dealt.  Here is a full rendition of the story.

Louisville NWS Forecast Monday Night

Louisville NWS Forecast Monday Night

Weather Bottom Line:  I’ve been telling you since last week that we may not see the 70’s for part of this week. Well, we’re not going to see the 70’s until Thursday.  And, I added that I wouldn’t be surprised to see some 30’s on Tuesday or Wednesday morning in the northern part of the viewing area.  We will probably be too windy overnight for 30’s on Tuesday morning as high pressure continues to settle in.  But, Wednesday morning the 30’s may go beyond just the northern fringes…how about the northern half?  Could very well shake out that way.  This little cool snap with the wet summer we’ve had and it may be setting the stage for a great fall color season….certainly I’d expect something better than the crappy colors we’ve seen the past two years.

You Don’t Know Uncle Tom-He Was the Opposite of What Many Americans Think
September 27, 2009

 

This Image of Uncle Tom More Closely Resembles Stowe's Tom Than Modern Convention

This Image of Uncle Tom More Closely Resembles Stowe's Tom Than Modern Convention

 

Stowe: Anti-Slavery

Stowe: Anti-Slavery

On This Date in History: On this date in 1852, the first successful stage dramatization of Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin took place in Troy, NY. The key word here is “successful.” Stowe herself had tried to bring the novel to the stage but it failed. How could that be? The book sold over 300,000 copies in the first year. Well, if you have read the novel, then you know that it was a huge attack on the slave culture. President Lincoln, upon meeting Stowe said, “so this is the little woman who made this big war.” Obviously that was a bit of an overstatement and unfair to put that war on her head. But, it did play a role. While she had only seen one plantation, Stowe went to former slave Frederick Douglass for help in detailing slave life. Stowe was inspired by the passage of the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 that allowed for slaves who had escaped to non-slave states in the north to be returned to slavery. Hers was the first glimpse of what slave life was really like. It brought to the attention of northerners of the brutality of many plantations and the inhuman condition brought to the slaves. This stands in sharp contrast to modern ideas.

Abolitionist Frederick Douglass Consulted With Stowe

Abolitionist Frederick Douglass Consulted With Stowe

Often in popular culture you hear the phrase “I’m no Uncle Tom” or a reference to someone as “an Uncle Tom” in derisive terms alluding to someone who knuckles under and does the white man’s bidding. But, the character of Uncle Tom in Stowe’s novel was anything but the modern vision. He was a strong figure described by many reviewers as a “Christlike figure” who was actually killed by his owner, Simon LeGree. So, how did we get such a different, opposite view of Uncle Tom? I am speculating here but I suspect that the reason Stowe’s version of Uncle Tom failed is because it followed her novel. Uncle Tom was portrayed as the strong, proud man that she had created. But the versions of the book that came to stage, and later film, that were successful presented a Tom who was a shuffling, subservient old man. My guess is that audiences, even those who opposed slavery, did not want to see a strong black man opposing and standing up to authority. That feeling remained prevalent well into the early 20th century and thus, films followed the same recipe. So, when someone is called an “Uncle Tom” it should signify characterstics of strength of characater, integrity and self-worth. Instead, due to stage and film adaptations, being called an “Uncle Tom” holds an extremely negative connotation.

Novel's Meaning Destroyed by Stage/Film

Novel's Meaning Destroyed by Stage/Film

It’s a shame because the novel held such significance. Stowe was attacked in print and vilified by the pro-slavery crowd and received “mountains of threatening mail.” One package was sent to her containing the severed ear of a slave! But, it’s nothing new. Today films that are supposedly based on history are often fudged, altered and fictionalized. There are other movies that make one think that they are historical when, in fact, they are largely nonsense. Do not depend on popular culture, films, TV or even the internet for your history. Read published works instead. Go to the primary source. The sad story of the evolution of Uncle Tom is a great example of how popular culture can distort or even destroy the truth.

Louisville NWS Sunday Night Forecast

Louisville NWS Sunday Night Forecast

Weather Bottom Line:  The humid, wet pattern we’ve been in all week is gone.  If you are looking for fall, your wait is over.  The bulk of the heaviest rain Saturday night showed up in Central Kentucky causing some serious flooding.  All in all, the HPC forecast outlined in previous days was on the money.   Now, we have a secondary front coming through.  After a pretty nice day on Sunday, we’ll have a chance for rain and t’storms overnight, though nothing serious.  The wind will pick up though as the main batch of high pressure builds in. Temperatures will fall to the 50’s.  As I’ve been saying for days now, it will be tough for us to get to the 70’s over the next 3 days.  Look for mid to upper 60’s through Wednesday with overnight lows in the 40’s.  I would not be surprised to see some upper 30’s on Tuesday morning and maybe Wednesday morning in the extreme northern parts of the viewing area about half way between Louisville and Indianapolis.

Health Care Bill: Congress won’t pledge to read it, won’t allow people to read or hear about it
September 26, 2009

computer_smash

Don't Get Mad Because You Can't Read the Healthcare Bill Yourself

Some people may want to know about the pending health care legislation.  Well, don’t expect your healthcare provider to tell you what it thinks.  According to the Democrat House Majority Leader,  don’t expect your elected official to read the bill before they vote on it.  And after a recent Senate Finance Committee vote, don’t expect to be able to read the bill yourself before its voted on.

People in Humana Building Not Allowed to Opine to Customers

People in Humana Building Not Allowed to Opine to Customers

Recently, Humana sent out a letter to many of its elderly customers that included the following statement: “While these programs need to be made more efficient, if the proposed funding cut levels become law, millions of seniors and disabled individuals could lose many of the important benefits and services that make Medicare Advantage health plans so valuable.”   Needless to say, the US Department of Housing and Human Services wasn’t happy and HHS sent out a letter to Humana and other insurance carriers demanding that they stop sending such letters, claiming that it was misleading.  The letter threatened legal action.  So, the insurance company says that the bill in question would cut services to Senior Citizens and that charge has been made publically by many people.  HHS and others disagree.  But, the Republicans view the letter as a “gag order” and object on the grounds that it is violating the constitutional right to free speech. The GOP is threatening to block any appointments to HHS until the “gag order” is lifted

Hoyer Laughed At Suggestion Lawmakers Be Required to Read Bills Before Voting

Hoyer Laughed At Suggestion Lawmakers Be Required to Read Bills Before Voting

President Obama had pledged a transparent government and said while campaigning that his administration would post any bill before Congress on the internet for at least 5 days so that the American people could read it.   It’s called the “sunlight pledge” and many critics say that the pledge was broken just weeks after the administration took office.   After the bailout vote in 2008 when it was learned that members of Congress did not have time to read the legislation, many Americans thought that lawmakers should at least read a bill before they vote for or against it.  Recently, a reported asked House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer if Congress would make a pledge to read the health care reform bill before they signed it.  Hoyer laughed at the idea of members of Congress pledging to read a bill before it is voted upon.   He said that,  “If every member pledged to not vote for it if they hadn’t read it in its entirety, I think we would have very few votes,”  Ask yourself what that says about our elected officials. 

Snowe: What's the Rush?

Snowe: What's the Rush?

The Republicans have been offering several amendments to the bill.   The Democrats on the Senate Finance Committee have voted against the GOP amendments might saying that they would delay a vote on the proposal which is not scheduled to even take effect until 2012.  One of Maine’s Republican Senators is Olympia Snowe and she is one who often breaks party ranks in her voting record.  However, she questioned why there was such a rush to vote on the bill saying, “If it takes two more weeks, it takes two more weeks.  We’re talking about trillions of dollars in the final analysis. What is the rush?” 

 One of the amendments that was defeated would have required that the bill be posted on the internet 72 hours prior to a vote.  I suppose that since Hoyer says that most in Congress won’t read the bill before they vote that they don’t want any Americans reading the bill before its voted on either.    However, a bi-partisan effort is going on in the House that would require all legislation to be posted on the internet 3 days prior to a vote.

Can’t hear about it, can’t read it and no one else will read it, but it will get voted on.  Just exactly what it is they are voting on seems to be destined to remain a mystery to everyone.

day1otlk_1300

Weather Bottom Line:  When you have low clouds and fog, its a very stable atmosphere.  On paper, the data claims that there will be some sunshine this afternoon.  That would help to stir things up a bit.  Now, the GFS and the NAM both do not advertise any rain until the evening and overnight period and even then, its not much.  But, the SPC has observed a shortwave rotating around the flow ahead of a frontal system and so they have put a small area for a slight risk of severe weather from Louisville to the bootheel of Missouri.  So, I’d say that there will be more clouds more often than sunshine and the rain chances really don’t go up until the evening and carry until early Sunday morning.  We should see plenty of sunshine with pleasant temperatures and relatively low humidity on Sunday.  A second push of cooler, drier air comes through early Monday morning.  Both the NAM and the GFS advertise another round of showers.  Then it would appear that most forecast outlets are coming around to what I’ve been saying all along with highs for the first part of the week probably not making  it to the low 70’s and the overnight lows finding the 40’s to be a very popular number.  Upper 30’s for the northern part of the viewing area will not be out of the question by Tuesday morning.  Fall is here.

America’s First Woman President
September 25, 2009

First Woman US President?

First Woman US President?

The Happy Couple

The Happy Couple

On This Date in History:  In the most recent presidential election cycle, Hillary Clinton was considered the front runner for the nominee of the Democratic Party until she was bested by Barack Obama who eventually won the election as President of the United States.  It was seen a race for the potential for firsts.  If Obama won the election, he would be the first African American president in the nation’s history.  If Clinton won, she would be the first female  president in the nation’s history.  Or would she?  Certainly Ms. Clinton would have been the first elected president of the United States but there are those who say we’ve already had a de facto female president.   The sequence of events that led to that conclusion began on this date in 1919.

President Woodrow Wilson was making a public speaking engagement in Pueblo, Colorado when he suddenly collapsed.  The president had suffered a serious stroke.  Now, the president’s wife was Edith.  She was a descendant of Pocahontas who had little formal education which contrasted greatly with Wilson, who had a PhD.  Edith was a political neophyte as she was not his wife when he was first elected in 1912.  In fact, she couldn’t even remember who she voted for in the 1912 election.    One thing that she had in common with the president was that each one had suffered the death of a spouse.  It was but a quirk of fate that Edith met the bereaved president and they soon married.  Apparently, Wilson needed female companionship greatly and when Edith Bolling Galt became Edith Bolling Galt Wilson, she became a very close confidante.

Working on a Crossword Puzzle of Reviewing Policy?

Working on a Crossword Puzzle of Reviewing Policy?

So, when Wilson became disabled by his stroke, she was able to quickly pick up the reigns and then some.  She barred everyone from seeing the ailing president.  Cabinet officers and trusted aides alike were kept from seeing Wilson.   Edith insisted that she had no role in executive decisions saying, “the only decision that was mine was what was important and…when to present matters to my husband.”  Well, even if her role was limted to what she admitted, then she was still a key figure because it was up to her what the president saw and when he saw it.  She was the sole arbitor of what was important and what he needed to consider.  It’s unclear whether she was behind the public reports regarding Wilson’s health, but the public was told that the president was recovering.  The truth as that he was partially paralyzed and nearly blind.  That would mean that he was probably unable to read any documents or correspondence and so Edith would be in charge of the content of just about anything that he heard.  The Washington Post in 2007 revealed the new information has come to light that confirms both Edith and the doctors conspired to cover-up the severity of Wilson’s medical condition.

Edith Handled Correspondence But Her Signature is rarely found by collectors

Edith Handled Correspondence But Her Signature is rarely found by collectors

She became known as the “Iron Queen,”  “Presidentress” and “The Regent” with one senator referring to the situation as the “Petticoat Government.”  When there was a presidential address to Congress scheduled, the message was sent  in the form of a patchworks of reports from Cabinet members.  Those reports included penciled in corrections by Edith, as if she was grading the school work of a child.  Lawmakers were convinced that Wilson never knew nothing about the message to Congress or much of anything else that was coming from his office.  The last year’s of his presidency are largely seen a ineffective and many suggest that the government was tightlycontrolled by the First Lady.  Here is an excerpt from an Edith Wilson biography that illustrates the level of her control:

Lansing: Fired by Edith?

Lansing: Fired by Edith?

“When the Secretary of State Robert Lansing conducted a series of Cabinet meeting without the President, the first being in October 1919, Edith Wilson considered it an act of disloyalty and pushed for his replacement with the more acquiescent Bainbridge Colby. Wilson requested Lansing’s resignation in February 1920. As her husband began partially to recover, she also guarded access to him from advisors and other political figures. When Republican Senator Albert Fall was sent to investigate the President’s true condition, Edith Wilson helped arrange Wilson in bed to be presentable and sat through the brief meeting, taking verbatim notes.

In September 1919, Edith Wilson refused to have the U.S. accept the credentials of British representative Edward Grey who had been sent by his government to aid in the push for ratification of Wilson’s League of Nations unless Grey dismissed one of his aides who was known to have made demeaning jokes at her expense.”

Wilson died in 1924.  He is buried at the National Cathedral in Washington DC.  Actually, I believe I saw his place of final rest in the Washington National Cathedral.   Edith carefully preserved memorabilia and managed his legacy.  At the age of 89, she attended the inauguration of President John F. Kennedy.  Shortly thereafter, Edith Wilson died and, as part of her obituary, the New York Times observed that “some went so far as to characterize her as the first woman president of the United State.”  There are those today who agree that, without the title, sympathetically Edith Wilson was indeed the first woman president of the United States

SPC Severe Probability Sat AM to Sun AM

SPC Severe Probability Sat AM to Sun AM

Weather Bottom Line:   There was a flash flood watch for our area through Saturday but since no wide spread rain materialized in the Friday’s gloom, it was cancelled.  The concern was the amount of rain we had received and the amount expected.  There is a cold front moving our way which will take us from a warm, moist airmass to one that is dry and coolish.  From tropical maritime to polar continental.  I had suggested some days ago that it was in this transition on Saturday that we may have some strong storms.  As it is, the SPC does not feel the threat warrants a designation of a slight risk for severe thunderstorms, but it does put parts of our area under the dreaded 5% risk of severe storms.  So, my assertion of the potential for strong storms remains, but the probability of any of those storms turning technically severe is minimal.  Here’s what the SPC has to say about our region:

UPPER LOW THAT HAS MEANDERED ABOUT THE CNTRL PLAINS REGION FOR THE
   LAST FEW DAYS WILL FINALLY BE KICKED EWD AS UPSTREAM HEIGHTS BEGIN
   TO FALL IN RESPONSE TO STRONG SPEED MAX ALONG THE U.S./CANADIAN
   BORDER.  IN FACT LATEST MODEL GUIDANCE SUGGEST UPPER LOW WILL OPEN
   UP ACROSS ERN KS/MO EARLY IN THE PERIOD THEN QUICKLY EJECT INTO ERN
   OH/WRN PA BY THE END OF THE PERIOD.  AS THIS OCCURS A POCKET OF
   FAIRLY COLD MID LEVEL TEMPERATURES…H5 ON THE ORDER OF MINUS
   16-18C…WILL OVERSPREAD MUCH OF MO/IL BY MID DAY…THEN INTO IND BY
   MID AFTERNOON.  ALTHOUGH MOISTURE IS SOMEWHAT LIMITED ACROSS THIS
   REGION IT APPEARS FOCUSED ASCENT WITHIN THE EXIT REGION OF UPPER JET
   SHOULD ENHANCE THE PROSPECT FOR ROBUST CONVECTION CAPABLE OF
   GENERATING HAIL.  A FEW STORMS COULD PRODUCE MARGINALLY SEVERE HAIL
   WITHIN STEEPER LAPSE RATE ENVIRONMENT…PRIMARILY BETWEEN 18-00Z
   TIME FRAME NORTH OF MID LEVEL JET CORE.

Rain Total Forecast For Saturday and Sunday

Rain Total Forecast For Saturday and Sunday

We will have a round of heavy rain with some accumulation totals of 1-2 inches but the SPC and Hydrometeorological Prediction Center (HPC) don’t look for particularly nasty weather or excessive rainfall.  But, the sliver of the rain totals of greater than 3 inches has expanded since the last forecast and remains just to our east, encompassing most of east Kentucky.  So, it’s worth keeping up on.  Once the front moves through, we turn drier on Sunday…should be a great day.  Then we get the follow-up shot of cooler air.  I still suspect that on Monday night, there will be several temperature reports in the 40’s and Tuesday afternoon some folks may not get out of the 60’s.  Fall is here.

Is Proposal to Shoot Down Israeli Planes a Sound Nuke Arms Control Policy?
September 24, 2009

npro

"Oppie" Knew

"Oppie" Knew

When Dr. Robert Oppenheimer witnessed the Trinity test, the first explosion of an atomic weapon, he is quoted as saying, “I am become death, the destroyer of worlds.”  However, that is a bit of a misnomer as the line became part of the public lexicon after a 1965 interview when he was asked about his initial reaction to seeing the test.  He said that he thought of the Hindu scripture the Bhagavad Gita.  So, it was a thought that has now been altered to being his quote.  Anyway,  he later went on to say that  “The atomic bomb made the prospect of future war unendurable. It has led us up those last few steps to the mountain pass; and beyond there is a different country.”

So, Oppenheimer had observed first hand the destructive potential of nuclear weapons.  The world saw the true impact of just a relatively small nuclear weapon at both Hiroshima and Nagasaki.  Oppenheimer, like many others suggest that the nuclear age might make war extinct..that the destruction wrought was not worth any potential gain.  Alfred Nobel thought that his invention of dynamite would make war obsolete.  Wars have certainly gone on after dynamite and there have been many since the first atomic explosion. But, we have not seen any more world wars, of which there have been many with the most horrific in history being World War I and World War II.  Some would argue that nuclear weapons have made such large scale violence obsolete.  Fear of someone going nuclear has always been on the minds of nations and in particular, the Soviet Union and the United States who took on the MAD policy of Mutually Assured Destruction.  If one side used nukes, the other would do the same and everyone would lose.

no-nukes-logoBut, in the 1970’s 1980’s in particular,  a movement to ban nuclear weapons world wide really got going in some circles.  Arms limitations agreements arose that called for the reduction in nuclear weapons on the part of the Soviets and Americans.   But, others had nuclear weapons and now still more nations have them with others trying to get them.  So, with the proliferation of technology and nations desiring to have the ultimate deterrent  for security, how does one really think that the world can be “rid” of nuclear weapons.  Does anyone really think that a terrorist who gets his hands on one would give it up because no one else has them or would he be more likely to use one?  Would India really trust Pakistan, and vice-versa enough to give up their weapons?  If there have been no world wars since the nuclear age, is it really a good idea to go back to a world without the nuclear deterrence…to the time when there were global conflicts, including the two biggest in the first half of the 20th century?

Nuclear Issue No Day at the Beach

Nuclear Issue No Day at the Beach

Apparently, President Obama’s remarks to the United Nations regarding disarmament and non-proliferation suggest that he thinks its the way to go.  In June of 2009, President Obama warned Iran against developing nuclear weapons, which seems to be consistent with the position of global disarmament and non-proliferation.  But,  Iran continues to defy UN sanctions and threats and continues to develop its nuclear program and many feel threatened in the region, particularly Israel.  At some point in time, if Iran getsa  nuclear weapon, that very fact will be a deterrent from anyone attacking Iran so if one needs to stop the nuclear program by force,then it must be done before it is complete.  An pre-emptive strike by Israel might be described as an act of self preservation, an act of war or an act of enforcement of the ideals of a non-proliferation policy. 

Brzeznski Wants to Provide Aircover?

Brzeznski Wants to Provide Aircover?

The former security advisor to President Carter seems to suggest now that the US should consider shooting down any Israeli aircraft that might fly over Iraqi airspace if they tried to attack Iran in an effort to stop them from completing their program that is said to be one of weapons aspiration.  So, in effect what Zbigniew Brzezinski is saying is that the US should be the last line of defense for Iran.  If Iran is indeed developign nuclear weapons and the “world” does not want Iran to have nuclear weapons but has not been able to stop it, then wouldn’t  such action proposed by Brzenski mean that the US would be using force against an allie in order to allow Iran to complete its desire to develop a nuclear weapon, which would go against the Obama adminstration stance regaring disarmament and non-proliferation? 

Is the disarmament policy of the US or the west in general a good idea and should the US use force, if necesary, to prevent Israel from preventing further proliferation and also to maintain its own security?  Is Brzezinski’s statement contradictory to the Obama stance as outlined to the UN or is it consistent?  Is it dangerous for a former security advisor to be even making such a public suggestion?  My guess is that you probably are not a diplomat, but I’d wager that you do have an opinion.

On This Date In History: This date in 1861 was not a good day for flying. At 3:30 AM on April 20, 1861 Thaddeus S C Lowe decided it was a good time to test his new 20,000 cubic foot balloon called Enterprise. I’m not sure if the balloon was shown in the Star Trek movie that showed all of the previous vessels called Enterprise. I don’t think that I recall that being the case. Anyway, he takes off from Cincinnati before the sun comes up and his little test mission turned into a misadventure. He got whisked away by 100 mph winds aloft that sent him to South Carolina. He thought he’d get welcomed like a crowned prince like the Wizard of Oz. Instead he was arrested as a spy. Apparently the professor was absent minded as he had no clue that 6 days before Fort Sumnter had fallen and the Civil War had begun. Fellow academics convinced the state authorities that Lowe was on a scientific mission and they let him go.

I’m not sure if Lowe was ticked at being arrested or if his buddies were

Lowe's Intrepid

wrong because Lowe promptly went north and became the leader of the Union’s Army of the Potomac Aeronautic Corps of balloonists. Lowe designed and built several balloons for a whole Union fleet with the largest being the 32,000 cubic foot Intrepid that required 1200 yards of silk. This was a group of mainly civilians who made some 3000 flights in the first two years of the war. They would tether up and view the battlefield from aloft and then use a telegraph to wire down the enemy position and direct artillery fire. It was the forerunner to aerial reconnaissance. In fact, later in WWI, the airplane was used initially for that purpose until it was discovered you could drop bombs from planes or put machine guns on the plane and shoot down enemy planes and blimps. Anyway, on this date in 1861 Lowe himself was shot down. Somehow he ended up behind enemy lines. I don’t know if he got caught up in another 100 mph wind or enemy fire cut his tether or if he was just going on another “scientific excursion” but down he went and he was captured again. His wife Leontine was a witness to the whole thing. Did she sit and cry? Did she hope that academics would again get her husband set free? Nope. Instead, she personally led a raid of nighttime commandos who moved in and rescued the professor.

Before the war, Lowe had established a reputation for new theories and study in Chemistry, Meteorology and Aviation. He had a dream of a transatlantic balloon flight. I guess he got rich because after the war, he moved to Pasadena, CA and built a 24,000 foot house. He established a railroad to Mount Wilson and tinkered in all sorts of things. They’ve named a Mountain for him and the Lowe Observatory among other things. Funny thing is the guy ended up living with his daughter in her Pasadena home as he lost his fortune. Makes you wonder if now California will rename its mountains something like Mount AIG or Mount Lehman Brothers.

HPC rain totals Thu PM to Sun PM

HPC rain totals Thu PM to Sun PM

Weather Bottom Line:  The forecast is holding on track. That is for more of the same.  More clouds than sunshine with rain chances through Saturday.  The Hydrological Prediction Center has rainfall totals for Friday Through Sunday the greatest just to our east/northeast.  We are in the inch to inch and a half range with the maximum of 3.26″ at the conjunction of Ohio, West Virginia and Kentucky borders.  That’s close enough to ponder whether or not we may get a bit more than currently advertised.  The risk for strong storms will be greates with an initial front late Saturday.  Sunday should be pretty nice with drier air and sunshine then cooler air for the first part of the week comes in.  Look for upper 60’s and low 70’s on Monday with Tuesday probably a little cooler. In fact, overnight lows in the 40’s Tuesday morning will probably be fairly common.  You could tell last night that we’d be cloudy with rain today…there was a channel of moisture streaming up from the Gulf to our west that extended into Iowa. It was fairly predictable that would shift over the Ohio Valley…and sure enough…we got it this morning and the clouds stuck around all day.

You Can Balance an Egg Any Day; World’s Oldest Living Man and Oldest Rodeo
September 23, 2009

00003420-SPY-005

1928 Poster

1928 Poster

On This Date in History:

Colonel E. A. Slack was the publisher of Wyoming’s Daily Sun-Leader, the predecessor to today’s Wyoming Tribune-Eagle . Slack was not feeling too chipper as he made his way back to Cheyenne from Greeley, Colorado where that town held its Potato Day Festival. He wondered why in the wide wide world of sports that Cheyenne couldn’t do something to celebrate its heritage. Around the same time, railroad agent F.W. Angier was watching cowboys go through their work and thought it would make a great show.

The two somehow put their heads together and combined their thoughts. Slack used his influence to get the fine folks of Cheyenne to pony up $562 to support the worlds first professional rodeo on this date in 1897. People came from as far away as Denver to see cowboys compete in events that simply mimicked the very thing they did every day for a living. Of the 11 events held that day, 5 are still part of a typical modern day rodeo. But the awarding of prizes has evolved a little differently. See, originally the guy who was the best bronc rider won $25. The horse that judges determined was the meanest and bucked the best was also given a prize. The owner of the baddest bronc received $100…Four times as much as the guy who took the beating the best!

mr-potato-head

Today, the Cheyenne Frontier Days festival is a huge event and continues….but I think the meanest horse just gets a big bag of oats and a reprieve from the Glue Factory. And it’s all because a newspaperman was jealous of Mr. Potato Head. 

Walter keeps chugging along

Walter keeps chugging along

This guy was no Mr. Potatohead when he celebrated his 112th birthday on this date in 2008. Check this video out…He looks like he could give me a challenge in a row on the river.  Last year, he was considered the oldest American.  Now, at 113, Walter Breunig is called the oldest living person in the world.  He received $10,000 as one birthday gift but promptly gave it away.  Walter took the title as the world’s oldest living person at the beginning of 2009 when the former record holder passed away. Here’s to hoping Wally is around for 114.

Fall began at 5:19 PM EDT on Tuesday, though some sources claim it was 5:18 PM EDT. I once brought this bit of information to Young Mr. Lincoln, aka Matt Milosevich, hepondered aloud whether or not there was some guy at the equator measuring the sun’s angle to determine exactly at which second the Autumnal Equinox was upon us. That question is beyond my paygrade but let’s just accept that Fall has begun. But, one thing I do know is that it is utter nonsense that it’s easier to stand an egg on its end on the spring or autumn equinox. Typically, its foolish TV weather guys who try to push this off as fact when it is just a myth. Here’s a guy from a “bad astronomy” website that explains fully and even shows photos with dates to prove it. So, if you hear your local(or national) weatherman try to push this on you, I would question his credibility because if he’s so foolish as to fall for this one, then who knows what else is roaming around his head. Nevertheless, You’d never know it was

You can do this any time of year

You can balance an egg any day of the year

Weather Bottom Line:  Everything is running along was anticipated.  We had some sunshine yesterday and rain overnight.  Today clouds will dominate with a few showers. Rain will continue to be in the picture through the weekend.  Severe or strong storms are possible either Friday or Saturday with the approach of a cold front.  By next week, all of this humidity will be gone, the rain will be gone and afternoon highs held down by rain and clouds in the upper 70’s and low 80’s will be replaced by upper 60’s and low 70’s.

Recent Bank Bailout Just One of Many-Uncle Sam Doing Work That JP Morgan Did
September 22, 2009

Banks Have Been Bailed Out Many Times in US History

Banks Have Been Bailed Out Many Times in US History

Dow Jones Since 1900-It Took Until the 1950's for the Dow to reach Pre-Depression levels
Dow Jones Since 1900

On This Date in History  In 1906, San Francisco had a great earthquake.  The effects of that quake led to a financial trouble spot that turned into a full-blown economic crisis.  At that time, there was no central bank or Federal Reserve. With the system stretched by the stress of the San Francisco quake, some doofus tried to corner the copper market and when that failed, all of the banks who made loans to back the scheme were in trouble.  started calling other loans.  People lost confidence in the banks as several failed. A bailout was needed.   President Theodore Roosevelt was claiming that everything was in great shape and was threatening a federal takeover of all trusts if the bankers and financial gurus couldn’t get thier houses in order. Who comes to the rescue?  None other than  J. Pierpont Morgan was the savior the same JP Morgan who had bailed out the system in 1871 and 1895 and the same JP Morgan that is related to JP Morgan Chase who bailed out Bear Stearns last year. He got together with his banking brethren and convinced them that they needed to work together to salvage the system in order to save all of their hides and the future of the nation. He also convinced the Secretary of the Treasury to pony up $25 million to the effort. The recession did not turn into a depression and the 1907 Panic led directly to the eventual establishment of the Federal Reserve in 1913.

JP Morgan May Have Looked Like a Wild Old Man But He Saved Uncle Sam Bailed Out the Nation Several Times

JP Morgan May Have Looked Like a Wild Old Man But He Saved Uncle Sam Bailed Out the Nation Several Times

While the numbers are not as large…not the $700 billion to $800 Biillion that the banking bailout became in 2008-09, the other numbers are not as large either. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 39% in 1907.   On this date in 2008, the market had  lost and gained about two  percent  over the previous month and politicians ran around making comparisons to the Great Depression when a comparison to 1907 might have been a better barometer . In order to equal the fall of the 1907 panic, then a Dow that was around 11,015 on September 22, 2008 would have had to fall to 7000 and it was on this date in 2008 that the Dow fell some 300 points and arguably didn’t stop falling until  March 9, 2009, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down to 6547.   So, while it was, and in some measure still is, an extremely difficult and potentially catostrophic situation, it was not totally unprecedented and it wasn’t necessarily a good match with the Great Depression.  It’s just that’s all the general public and certainly most people in the media know about.  Before it was JP Morgan engineering a bailout with some government help and this time its the Federal Reserve and Uncle Sam engineering a bailout with some other private help. When you hear also of rumors that today’s problem was a plot by those who stand to profit, keep in mind that in 1907 it was rumored that the banks had caused the whole panic just to line their pockets.   Aside from the Great Depression, there were a bunch of “panics” in financial circles and the resultant recessions or depressions came fairly regularly…in fact to regularly.  The Dow is now knocking back at the 10,00o door and while it is by no means a guarantee that it won’t go back down, it’s certainly at a different place than anyone in March could have foreseen.  If something happens that causes a big drop again, then maybe we can start to refer to the Great Depression as it relates to the stock market, which is but one indicator.  Unemployment is bad but its more like the late 1970s and early 1980’s, not the 1930’s. 

No Hoovervilles Today Like in 1930

No Hoovervilles Today Like in 1930

The big thing about the Great Depression is that its depths were so far reaching that it led to new regulation by the government into financial markets than had ever been contemplated by the founders or anyone else in an effort to try to control the economy such that these setbacks wouldn’t be so deep or so frequent.  To a large degree, it has worked pretty well but to expect these things to never happen or think its some sinister plot just is to not accept reality.

Sometimes, news people say they need to give commentary to “give perspective” or a particular news event. Dan Rather used to defend journalists providing analysis instead of just reporting for that specific reason. Yet, it helps if those giving “analysis and perspective” had some perspective in the first place.  It’s probably hyperbole and just outright ignorance that media types or politicians trot out the Great Depression comparison.  It’s probably best to leave that moniker on the shelf until its truly warranted. Let’s hope it can stay on the shelf and we can call this the great recovery.  Some of us need a job, not panic.

Pattern Conducive for Heavy Rain Threat in SE US

Pattern Conducive for Heavy Rain Threat in SE US

Weather Bottom Line: The pattern has set up as expected.  That is with almost a cutoff low in the west as part of a big trof that dug out in the west.  The long wave pattern is such that with the low to our west and a surface high in the extreme southeast, there is a very strong southerly flow into the Southeastern quadrant of the country.  That has resulted in the expected influx of deep Gulf moisture.  With the trof situated as it is, little disturbances rotate around anywhere from going through the Ohio Valley to going through the Dixie states.  With abundant deep moisture, this sets the stage for potential flooding events anywhere in the region.  It was our turn on Sunday and then parts of Georgia took a hit on Monday.  This pattern will remain in place for the rest of the week.  The result for us will be muggy nights with fog potential each morning.  We will be cloudy quite often than not with any sunshine that comes about to create convection in the afternoons producing at least scattered t’storms.  Afternoon highs should be held in the lower 80’s by the time of year, cloud cover, rain and the moisture content.  Rain chances will remain in the picture through the week with the potential of any situation that develops to produce very heavy rain.  The pattern will shift over the weekend.  The trof out west will move east and lift somewhat with a push of colder air behind.  I would think that any strong storms would be most likely on Sunday or Saturday night with the front.  The expected cooler weather will get here for next week.

No Bucks, No Buck Rodgers-US Could Have Had the 1st Satellite Before Sputnik
September 21, 2009

Redstone Rocket took Americans into Space and Could have taken first satellite into orbit had the funding been provided

Redstone Rocket took Americans into Space and Could have taken first satellite into orbit had the funding been provided

Soviets were 1st, But Uncle Sam Could have been

Soviets were 1st, But Uncle Sam Could have been

This Date in History:  On October 4, 1957 the Soviet Union blasted a 184 pound “baby moon” into orbit ushering in the space age.  The small satellite was called Sputnik was a round sphere that emitted a weak radio signal to prove its existance and whereabouts.  It put panic in the hearts of all Americans at the thought that the Soviets had the abiliity to put something into space that could perhaps drop bombs on our unsuspecting nation.  One guy who was really not enthused was Werner Von Braun.  He was the german whiz kid who had developed Hitler’s rocket program during World War II.   Now, Von Braun was basically a science nerd who went along with the Third Reich out of expediency.  He needed funding to prove his great ideas about rocketry and the government gave it to him.  He probably didn’t like that it was being used  to kill people, but it didn’t bother  him so much that he denied to chance to try out new toys and experiments.  So, when the war was over and the United States captured him, he jumped at the chance to make more rockets and experiments for the United States.  He even eventually became a US citizen. It was Von Braun who led the American effort to put a man on the moon.  He was behind the ingenuity for the giant Saturn V rocket.

Von Braun Not Happy in September 1956

Von Braun Not Happy in September 1956

Von Braun Happy Being Captured by Americans

Von Braun Happy Being Captured by Americans

But, Von Braun was angry in October 1957, as he probably was on this date in 1956.  Nearly a full year before Sputnik, Von Braun had demostrated the ability of his Redstone rocket by blasting it about 3000 miles over the Atlantic to a height of 600 miles.  Had the rocket had fuel in the upper stages instead of sand, he could have acheived orbit.  But, the folks holding the purse strings in Washington wanted military missles and refused to provide funding.  And so on September 21, 1956 Verner Von Braun sat disappointed that the previous day he was denied his chance to put a satellite into orbit.  About a year later, the Soviets became the first and apparent leaders in the space race, even though Von Braun had the ability long before.  After Sputnik, that all changed and so, with the funding and support, it is not surprising that it was Von Braun and the United States became the first to put a man on the moon and return him safely to earth.

From NWS Louisville

From NWS Louisville

Weather Bottom Line: At my house, my rain guage said I had a total of about 3.75 inches of rain. The airport reported a record rainfall total of 3.95 inches.   Radar estimates in Southern Indiana were way higher than that.  I had decent rain in the early hours of Monday yet the rain gauges that you see below really didn’t record much more than what you see below through 11:50pm.  It had looked like places west of I-65 were going to get more rain than the rest of us but that was a little much.  The long wave pattern just is moving very slowly and so when you get instability as we had yesterday, it stays in one place.  Now, the trof that will develop to our west will be slow to move.  So, from a sensible standpoint, it would seem that the Ohio Valley being on the front side of the trof will set us up for a rather unsettled pattern for much of the week ahead with lots of moisture streaming up from the southwest and perhaps little disturbances flowing through the pattern to trigger showers now and again until the whole long wave pattern moves and we get cooler air as the trof traverses eastward.  That is what I think will happen.  I suspect that what we will see is numerous clouds with maybe some breaks now and then with off and on rain and the heaviest rain with the highest probability of rain and t’storms coming over the weekend with the passage of a coldfront and the trof transition.  The GFS seems to advertise this quite nicely with about 3/4 of an inch of rain through Saturday with a little bit falling each day.  Then we get decidedly cooler and drier come Sunday.  But, the NAM is not so bullish with rain, keeping today completely dry and only a little bit on Tuesday.  The GFS had a much much better handle on Sunday’s weather with the heavy rain.  Given that it did a pretty good job and it makes sense, I think its the better part of valor to accept its findings.  The only wrinkle would be if the trof retrogrades but I just dont think that it would move so far west as to make us dry for the week ahead.  Expect cloud and rain induced limitations on high temperatures and muggy and mild nights.
rainmap7

Rainfall midnight Sun to 11:50pm Sun

TR01 West County WWTP 0.00 2.71
TR02 PRP Fire Station Training Facility 0.00 2.36
TR03 Shively PS 0.00 2.58
TR04 Morris Forman WWTP 0.00 2.66
TR05 Beargrass Creek PS 0.00 3.72
TR06 Hite Creek WWTP 0.12 2.05
TR07 Floyds Fork WWTP 0.00 1.85
TR08 Fern Creek Fire Station #3 0.00 2.13
TR09 Cedar Creek WWTP 0.00 2.24
TR10 Camp Horine (Jefferson Co. Forest) 0.00 2.73
TR11 Northern Ditch PS 0.00 2.73
TR12 Nightingale PS 0.00 3.40
TR13 St. Matthews Elementary School 0.00 2.13
TR14 Lea Ann Way PS 0.00 2.32
TR15 Jeffersontown WWTP 0.00 2.19
TR17 Mt. St. Francis 0.12 4.77
TR18 IVY Tech 0.00 2.55