Archive for October, 2009

Typhoon Mirinae leaves flooding and death in Philippines as it heads to Vietnam
October 31, 2009

wpac

Click on Image for most recent loop of Typhoon Mirinae

For latest news on death,flooding in Philippines and Mirinae track to vietnam(including microwave imagery) CLICK HERE

TSMirinae

Click Image for latest Forecast Track of Typhoon Mirinae, now a tropical storm

Government run relief shelters in the Philippines are sure to swell in numbers from the effects of Typhoon Mirinae.   Typhoon Mirinae struck the main island of Luzon around 17 Z October 30 as the third typhoon to hit the Philippines in the past month.  Typhoon Lupit also brushed the northeast tip of the Philippines just a week ago.  Well over 100,000 Filipinos were still in shelters as a result of the flooding from Typhoon Ketsana and Typhoon Parma which struck back-to-back in late September and early October.  Many villages were still flooded from those two calamities that killed over 900.   The death toll in the Philippines from Typhoon Mirinae stands at a dozen and at least 15 villages are flooded with up to waist deep water.  This is on top of numerous villages that remained flooded from the previous storms.    The last report concerning Mount Mayon put the active volcano at a level two alert as just  prior to the landfall of Typhoon Mirnae, Mount Mayon had exhibited behaviour of increased activity.  Numerous earthquakes from the volcano accompanied minor eruptions of ash plumes but authorities had a dificult time making observations of a potential rising lava dome in the crater.

latest72hrs

Watch 72hr loop of Total Precipitable Water Showing Movement of Typhoon Mirinae

Typhoon Mirinae has been downgraded to a tropical storm as it moves away from the Philippines at about 20 kts.  It is expected to continue moving west-southwest toward South Central Vietnam.  The official forecast calls for a second landfall just after 00Z November 2 a couple of hundred miles north of Ho Chi Minh City and continue towards Phnom Penh in Cambodia, though some models still call for a landfall a bit farther south to the east of Ho Chi Minh City.   A second tropical system has developed to the east of the Philippines and, while it is not expected to become a typhoon, the current track would take it over the Philippines in the next couple of days and would bring the threat of additional rainfall.  The system will be monitored for development.

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Alleged hit-man murder caught on camera, shown on TV; Martian Invasion causes panic!
October 30, 2009

A MARTIAN INVASION!!!!

A MARTIAN INVASION!!!!

marlonbrando_godfatherIn the United States lately, there has been a discussion regarding the amount of violence being shown on TV.  Some groups allege that, in particular, images of violence against women have increased on prime-time tv shows.  The fear is that it may create a more violent society or cause kids to become more violent.  It’s an old argument.  30 years ago when I was in Journalism school at the University of Texas, that was one of the topics covered.  I recall a “true false” question asking if a child was exposed to violence on TV was he more likley to become a violent person.  I never studied for that class.  I don’t think I even came to class except for the tests.  Well, they’ve taken things a bit farther.  The murder of an alleged gangster in Italy, shot dead at point blank range, was captured on video cameras and the footage was shown on TV.  Wonder how that would suit anti-violence groups in the states?  The cops in Italy say they released the video in hopes of catching the shooter.  Imagine what a field day the cable networks would have with that in the US?  Would it create pandemonium on the streets?

Orson Welles did On This Date In History:

A Vicious Invader?

A Vicious Invader?

The Martians Invaded on this date in 1938…at least that’s what millions of Americans thought. A young 23 year old radio man named Orson Welles presented a show on CBS radio. He began by saying it was an adaptation of H.G. Wells’ War of the Worlds. It began at 8 pm. But a whole bunch of people were listening to Edgar Bergen and his dummy, Charlie McCarthy on NBC. Bergen’s routine ended at 8:12 and many switched to CBS. By then the radio-play was already going so they missed the opening disclaimer. Welles’ production had some sort of regular sounding broadcast with a weather report followed by some cheesy music that went on for some time before a reporter broke in with a report (I don’t think they called it “breaking news” then) and he said there were explosions on Mars. Then more music followed by another break in with a hysterical “reporter” describing ugly Martians getting into large machines that rose out of the ground with long tentacles. It reported that the machines fired heat rays and destroyed a national guard unit, dropped deadly gas bombs and they were destroying everything.

People thought it was real. Some went bananas and jammed the highways looking to get out of

Orson So Good He Caused Mayhem

Orson So Good He Caused Mayhem

town. CBS had Welles break in and remind everyone it was fiction, but no one listened. The panic was on. Reports of suicides came in but there was no confirmation. Congress naturally had to investigate and found nothing was wrong. Welles thought his career was over. Instead, he got a cinematic contract which led to his production of Citizen Kane which has regularly topped the list as the best movie ever made.

Like Welles, sometimes we create the worst in our mind when, in fact, the best is just around the corner. If you are discouraged or feeling that you’ve made a terrible mistake, keep your head up. You don’t know what the future holds and today’s set back may just be the foundation for tomorrow’s success.

qpffrisat

HPC calls for about 1.37" of rain

Weather Bottom Line:  I will dispense with the details.  Rain holds off until tonight. The amount is whatever its gonna be. I’m thinking about an inch, give or take a quarter inch. The HPC says about 1 and a third inches of rain.  We have windy and warm conditions prior to the slow-poke front’s arrival.  As I had explained previously, the main conversion zone is well to our south in the lower Mississippi Valley where they’ve had heavy rain and a few tornadoes.  With the abundant moisture, it seems likely that we will get a fair amount of rain Friday night through probably at least late morning on Saturday. This system is so slow as the parent low to the north winds down, that I might suggest that rain may still be in the area toward midday.  But, it should be dry and cooler for the afternoon and the UL game. Maybe a bit breezy as well.  The kids on Halloween should be dry but with temps in the lower 50’s, it will probably be a bit chilly for the ghosts and goblins…so give them another sheet.

Typhoon Mirinae Forecast: Philippines Landfall as Volcano Threatens Eruption
October 30, 2009

wpac

Typhoon Mirinae Will Stirke the Philippines

wgmsvis

Typhoon Mirinae 23:13Z Oct 29 Vis with low level wind barbs

Typhoon Mirinae will hit the Luzon province in the Philippines.  It’s possible that Mother Nature may also erupt a volcano at the same time.  The Typhoon Mirinae Forecast Track is very similar to that of Typhoon Ketsana.  The difference will be that it’s forward momentum will continue and therefore will not remain over the Philippines for an extended period of time. 

Mirinae00ZOct29

Typhoon Mirinae Forecast Track click for most recent map

The Typhoon Mirinae Forecast Track takes it into the Philippines almost due east of Manila and it re-emerges in the South China Sea almost due west of Manila.  There is some sense of continuity with the computer models.  The NOGAPS calls for a landfall at just around 12Z October 30 as a tropical cyclone with a central pressure a shade less than 992 mb.  The NOGAPS suggests that the center of circulation will be just west of Manila by 06Z October 31 with a pressure of something less than 1000 mb.  Now, the GFS is a bit different as it wants to weaken the storm prior to landfall to less than 1000 mb and has it exit as a 1004 mb low.  It too calls for a landfall in the neighborhood of 12Z October 30 with it moving offshore west of Manila by 6Z October 31.  A few days later, Mirinae is forecast to weaken somewhat over colder water in the South China Sea before making a second landfall in Vietnam before moving into Cambodia.   

latest72hrs

Watch 72hr loop of Total Precipitable Water Showing Movement of Typhoon Mirinae

The official forecast track as of 00Z October 30 from the Joint Typhoon Warning Center calls for Typhoon Mirinae to make landfall east of Manila sometime between 12z and 18Z on October 30 and has it offshore of Manila by about 02Z October 31.  Other models must call for the faster speed as the NOGAPS and GFS call for the storm to be over land for about 18 hours whereas the boys at the JTWC are thinking more along the lines of 12 hours.  The folks in the Philippines will be hoping that the JTWC is correct because the faster pace will reduce the time of heavy rain over the island.  Still, several hours of heavy rain will be in the cards and winds will initially be running around 90 kts (100 mph) at landfall with higher gusts.  The storm’s forward speed will also mean that typhoon strength winds will be felt by everyone in the path of the center of circulation because, though weakened, it will still be a minimal typhoon when it moves back offshore in all liklihood.  Over 100,000 Filipinos remain in evacuation shelters from the effects of Typhoon Ketsana and Typhoon Parma which collectively killed over 900 people.  Many have been affected by the rapid spread of the disease known as Leptospirosis.  The government is warning for the potential for flooding and landslides so more people have been evacuated from vulnerable locations. 

TRMM

Keep Up with latest 3 hour rainfall estimates from NASA's TRMM

If that is not enough for the Philippines….as Typhoon Mirinae makes landfall, Mount Mayon in the Philippines is making noises and there is a fear that Mount Mayon, the most active volcano in the Philippines may erupt while Mirinae is over the island or shortly thereafter.    The active volcano is one of many volcanic peaks in the Philippines and has been responsible for well over a dozen volcanic earthquakes and has begun spewing ash and sulpher dioxide into the air.  It last had an ash eruption on September 15.  Officials have been trying to get a look at the crater to determine if the dome forming there is indeed a lava dome or if its simply a case of magma below the surface pushing old rock to the surface.  Trouble is, they can’t make aerial examinations of the crater on top of Mount Mayon due to cloud cover and with the advance of Typhoon Mirinae, which the Philippines weather authorities designated as Typhoon Santi (why they have different names is a mystery to me), they won’t be able to make any observations.  So, Philippines Volcano Monitoring authorities  issued a level 2 alert warning the residents around the volcano and are enforcing a strict ban on people entering a zone around Mayon. 

Philippines-map5-volc

Mayon one of many volcanoes in the Philippines

If they issue a  level 3 alert, then some 30,000 residents around the volcano will have to be evacuated.  There is great concern here because Mayon’s crater holds over 200,000 cubic feet of rocks.  There is fear of an eruption with lava flows.  Even of greater concern is the threat of a Lahar,the fast moving flow of mud, water and perhaps lava that can sweep down from volcanoes.  Heavy rains may enhance that threat and official say that in a worst  case scenario, they may have to evacuate some 300,000 people from Lahar zones.   However, Mount Mayon is pretty far south of the forecast landfall location.  Should Mirinae make landfall as the JTWC suggests, then the greatest rainfall should be well north of Mount Mayon.

WDPN32 PGTW 300300
MSGID/GENADMIN/NAVMARFCSTCEN PEARL HARBOR HI/JTWC//
SUBJ/PROGNOSTIC REASONING FOR TYPHOON 23W (MIRINAE) WARNING NR 17//
RMKS/
1. FOR METEOROLOGISTS.
2. 12 HOUR SUMMARY AND ANALYSIS.
    A. TYPHOON MIRINAE HAS TRACKED WEST-SOUTHWESTWARD AT 17 KNOTS 
OVER THE PAST 12 HOURS AND SUSTAINED AN INTENSITY OF 90 KNOTS. 
THOUGH THE CYCLONE STILL HAS SOME WESTWARD BLOWING CONVECTION, 
INDICATING THE PRESENCE OF EASTERLY VERTICAL WIND SHEAR, A SMALL 
ANTICYCLONE ALOFT HAS ENABLED CONTINUED RADIAL OUTFLOW. WHILE 
MIRINAE WAS PREVIOUSLY MAINTAINING A CENTRAL DENSE OVERCAST PATTERN 
THAT MADE POSITIONING USING INFRARED AND VISIBLE IMAGERY DIFFICULT, 
IT HAS RECENTLY STARTED TO DEVELOP MORE OF A BANDING EYE FEATURE. 
THEREFORE, IN COMBINATION WITH THE 292259Z 37 GHZ SSMIS MICROWAVE 
IMAGE, THE CURRENT POSITION IS PLACED WITH GOOD CONFIDENCE. 
SIMILARLY, THE CURRENT INTENSITY IS BASED ON CONSISTENT DVORAK 
ESTIMATES FROM PGTW, RJTD AND KNES OF 90 KNOTS. 
3. FORECAST REASONING.
    A. THE FORECAST REASONING HAS NOT CHANGED SINCE THE PREVIOUS 
PROGNOSTIC REASONING BULLETIN. 
    B. TYPHOON MIRINAE WILL CONTINUE TRACKING WESTWARD ALONG THE 
SOUTHERN PERIPHERY OF THE WELL-ESTABLISHED SUBTROPICAL RIDGE. THE 
SYSTEM IS EXPECTED TO MAKE LANDFALL IN CENTRAL LUZON AROUND TAU 18 
AND SLOW SLIGHTLY (BY APPROXIMATELY 2-3 KNOTS) IN FORWARD TRACK 
SPEED WHILE DECREASING BY 15 TO 20 KNOTS IN INTENSITY. AFTER TAU 24, 
MIRINAE IS EXPECTED TO ENTER THE SOUTH CHINA SEA ON A WESTWARD TRACK 
AND CONTINUE TO STEADILY WEAKEN UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF INCREASINGLY 
UNFAVORABLE VERTICAL WIND SHEAR ASSOCIATED WITH THE COMBINATION OF 
EASTERLY FLOW SOUTH OF THE SUBTROPICAL RIDGE AXIS (MID-LEVELS) AND 
NORTHEASTERLY FLOW INDUCED BY AN EARLY-SEASON COLD SURGE.
    C. MIRINAE WILL MAKE LANDFALL IN SOUTH-CENTRAL VIETNAM JUST 
AFTER TAU 72 AND WILL DISSIPATE OVER LAND AS A SIGNIFICANT TROPICAL 
CYCLONE BY TAU 96. THE MODEL GUIDANCE IS IN GOOD AGREEMENT WITH A 
SOUTHWESTWARD TRACK THROUGH THE SOUTH CHINA SEA. HOWEVER, SOME OF 
THE MODEL AIDS, INCLUDING THE JAPANESE SOLUTION, TAKE THE SYSTEM 
JUST SOUTH OF MANILA, PHILIPPINES AND TOWARDS HO CHI MINH CITY, 
VIETNAM.//
NNNN

Stock Market Crashed in 1929; 80 years later some say we are in recovery
October 29, 2009

Brooklyn Newspaper Oct 30 1929

Brooklyn Newspaper Oct 30 1929

rabbitunemployed

Until you have a job, it's a depression, not a recession or recovery

The GDP numbers for the third quarter of this year came out today and after months of contraction in the economy, the US Gross Domestic Product rose by about 3.5%. How can that be? Some say we are in recovery while others say it can’t lastCritics point out that there was about a 23% increase in durable goods and that the overall increase cannot be sustained. They point to the US government’s “cash for clunkers” program and that created a one-time, artificial jump in new car sales. It is said that it is not sustainable. Then there was the real estate numbers which also rose about 23%. That too, critics say, was a result of another government program of giving several thousands of dollars in tax credits to first time home buyers. That too is seen as unsustainable. Interest rates have been near zero for a long time now and now there are fears that the Fed will raise interest rates, though others point out that a rise in interest rates would indicate that the economy can handle it and that the economy is indeed pulling out of the recession.  Then there is this oddity.  Edmunds.com is a site that is an advocate for car buyers.  Their analysis of the cash for clunkers program says the government spent $24,000 per car sold, which is about 6 times more than the actual allowance provided.  They say that only 125, 000 of the 691,000 cars sold were directly tied to cash for clunkers.  While that’s a criticism, is that not also an argument that car sales were indeed real and not a facade?  Yet, the government disputed their numbers as if to say, “hey…those car sales were too ginned up by our program and not a real indicator of growth!”    Of course, theI have yet to hear about this duplicity in the media.

Who knows?  No one predicted the big decline in the economy, yet we are supposed to believe that the sages know what will happen in the future.  If you look at the chart below, you see that after the crash of ’29, the markets rose several times over the next 3 years, only to fall farther.  So, who knows what will happen.  One thing that is for certain.  Millions remain without jobs and until those who want to work can get work, it matters little what the data shows or the experts say.  If you have a job, its been a recession.  If you are out of work, it’s a depression.  Which is what began 80 years ago.

1929 Wall Street Panic

1929 Wall Street Panic

On This Date in History: On this date in 1929, the stock market crashed. The Dow had been quite

Dow Chart Before & After 1929 Crash

Dow Chart Before & After 1929 Crash

volatile before suffering a sharp drop on Oct 24 and then again on Oct 28. On Tuesday October 29, 1929, a day that became known as “Black Tuesday,” The market collapsed. 16 million shares of stock were sold as prices tumbled with a loss estimated at $9 Billion, which was a lot of money back then. The decline continued and by mid-November losses totaled some $30 Billion. (Video from 1929)

Fortunes were lost and eventually jobs were lost

Panic at the Exchange 1929

Panic at the Exchange 1929

and then there was the Depression that followed. Many historians of economics suggest that it was not the stock market crash that caused the depression, but rather governmental action and reaction that caused the economic malaise. Congress passed the Smoot-Hawley Act that raised tarriffs on 3200 imports by 60% in late September. On October 21, Congress defeated an attempt to exempt agricultural goods. Three days later, the market began its decline. President Hoover could have vetoed the measure but instead signed it 7 months after its passage and the resulting market crash. Prices on many good rose. Taxes were also increased. This is why you hear politicians today say that now is not the time to raise taxes and not the time to be closing the global market place.

Why would they say this now?  Last year, we were  in a stock market decline with shares falling some 40% from the all time highs from the prior year. I have compared this with the panic of 1907.(Click Here) However, I must say that history is not prescriptive and what happened in the past does not necessarily repeat itself. The times and conditions are different on a number of levels.

A Long Recovery

Dow: A Long Recovery

Nevertheless, if you must look at history as a guide, you need to know the truth. In general if you bought stock at the highs in 1929, you did not see your portfolio back to even for 25 years. Some individual stocks took longer than that. The speculation running rampant in the “Roaring 20’s” was probably more comparable to the run up in the market in the 1990’s than this past run. The decline in the late 1920’s into the 1930’s was about 87%. An 87% of a drop from the Oct 2007 highs would be about 1700 which would take us back to the 1980’s. Last fall’s decline took us back to numbers we had in late 2001 and early 2002 then they fell even farther before bottoming out in March 2009.  Now, we have rebounded to near 10,000.  So, we’ve gone up and down and up and down again in the past 10 years, which is not comparable to the 1920’s, 30’s, 40’s and 50’s.

Anyway, with all that in mind, I offer you this. It is an excerpt of a letter written by Earnest Elmo Caulkins to

Confident Investor

Caulkins: Confident Investor

the New York Times on this date in 1929, the day after “Black Tuesday.” Caulkins was a successful advertising executive who had a rather extraordinary life story.(Click Here) He was deaf but was an achiever who did not let his disability get in his way. It’s really remarkable when you consider that he did this in the late 19th and early 20th century when it was particularly difficult for deaf individuals living in a hearing world.

He began by saying “I have a feeling that fewer persons are affected by the stock market drop than one would infer from the figures, just as fewer persons were affected by the previous rises.” That can be said today but not entirely. Today, millions of Americans have pension plans and 401K plans that are affected. For instance, I have a 401K but its decline does not affect my standard of living today.

He goes on to say that one day, the men on the market decide his AT&T stock is worth $310 and a few weeks later $232. He bought the stock at $98, so he is disappointed but he doesn’t consider it a loss. First off, he points out that its still more than twice as much as what he paid for it. So, to suggest that lumping he and other together and say that millions have been “lost” is a false implication. Compared to the previous day its a loss but compared to a few weeks before, he’s even and compared to prior to that, its a gain. I think what he is pointing to is the only difference is time. Millions of shares were NOT traded and for those who did not trade, what was a great position of happiness and wealth in September was being characterized as a position of gloom and despair in late October.

He went on to review his portfolio and said that his previous high profits were on paper and his recent losses were on paper and reasoned that the two cancel each other out. He concluded with a story of a farmer who told his friend that Mr. Stebbins offered him $200 for his horse. The friend replied, “But Stebbins ain’t got $200.” The farmer answered, “yes, but ain’t it a good offer?”

Much of what Caulkins says here is true today. The Dow at the end of Jan 1980 was at 874.40. Oct 28, 2008 it closed at over 9,000. Yet, in October 2007, the Dow hit 14,000. When I worked at Merrill Lynch, my office mate, Martin Feinberg, used to say “Stocks go up and stocks go down.” They do. The question here is time. We like it when stocks go up quickly but then get upset when they fall quickly, as if one is normal and the other is a crisis when, in fact, both signal volatility.

I have always reasoned that it is not wise to “play the market.” Over the past 30 years, people have entered the stock market like they are going into Churchill Downs to bet on the ponies. Men like Caulkins entered as investors.

Inspirational Quotes

Lombardi:Inspirational Quotes

I guess what I am saying is that it’s silly for people to claim this is 1929 all over again. I took a look at 1907 but I never suggested that this was 1907 all over again. That was then. This is now. The future has yet to be written. It is often said that it’s not whether we face adversity but how we react to adversity that counts. I’ve read a quote from Vince Lombardi(inspirational quotes) (origin probably elsewhere) that said “the greatest accomplishment is not in never failing, but rising again after you fail.” The past is the past and its how we conduct our future, whether it be governmental policy or personal actions, that really counts. With global intervention, coordination and new policies, this may be the beginning of a turnaround and, then again, it may be the beginning of a long fall. Who knows for certain? But, I do know that nothing lasts forever either way. If you believe that the sun rises every day and will again on this nation, this economy and the global economy, then invest in the future. If you do not, then stay out of the market. In my view, its as simple as that. Mr Caulkins overcame his disability and had great confidence in the future. You need to ask yourself if you have the same ideals.

QPFweekend

Rain but not as much as feared

Weather Bottom Line:  I made a mistake yesterday.  I thought that Halloween was on Friday. It’s on Saturday.  I never know what day it is.  I took a quick looksee at the models and I’ve got a bit of a dillema.  See, the GFS numerically claims that rain begins lightly on Friday morning then more in earnest by late Friday and then carries it through Sunday for a total of about 1.33″.  Yet, when you look at it graphically, it advertises all of the rain is out of here by Saturday afternoon.  Now, the NAM is a bit more consistent as the numbers reveal .77″ from Friday evening through midday on Saturday and the graphic presentation shows the same thing.  Either way, neither model is bullish on the big rain event that loomed in yesterday’s numbers and some folks on TV decided to take as Gospel.  It was never really forecast but, the area was reasonably close to keep an eye out for that possibility. 

Now the HPC rain forecast has come in line with what my contention was several days ago, which was that the convergence zone is really in the lower Mississippi Valley and I had reasoned that would be the area of big storms and that it might tend to cut off the moisture our way.  Well, now the 3-day total QPF from the HPC indicates over 4.5″ inches of rain in that convergence region and just about an inch around here.  All of that seems reasonable.  So, my bottom line is that it will be cool for the trick or treaters but probably dry.  Look for rain activity from say noon on Friday to noon on Saturday.

Typhoon Mirinae Forecast Track Points to Luzon, Philippines Landfall at end of week
October 29, 2009

Mirinaewindsat

Typhoon Mirinae Appears Certain to Strike the Philippines

For news of flooding, deaths in Philippines and Mirinae track to Vietnam CLICK HERE

Mirinae00ZOct29

Typhoon Mirinae Forecast Track click for most recent map

The Typhoon Mirinae Forecast Track remains generally unchanged as does the intensity.  It continues to move west at a pretty good clip and that may end up being a good thing for the Philippines.   The JTWC forecast track has been nudged a tad farther south than previous runs which would send the typhoon across the island closer to Manila.  While Luzon really can’t handle a lot of rain, it’s going to get it as well as winds along the coast perhaps as high as 105 to 110 mph or 95 kts with higher gusts.  With the forward momentum of Mirinae, I suspect that whatever the maximum storm surge in that area with this type of storm will be likely.  The biggest difference between the NOGAPS and GFS models is the timing.  Over 117,000 Filipinos remain in shelters as a result of Typhoon Parma and Tropical Storm Ketsana.  So, the government of the Philippines is warning the potential for  landslides and flooding.  The government is particularly concerned because All Saints Day, November 1, is traditionally a day when Filipinos visit cemeteries to remember ancestors.

wpac

Typhoon Mirinae Satellite Loop Click for most recent loop

The NOGAPS advertises a typhoon moving at a pretty good pace with a landfall outlined just prior to 12Z on Friday October 30.  It also favors a landfalling tropical cyclone with a central pressure a shade less than 996 mb.  The GFS on the other hand doesn’t come up with as robust a system as the NOGAPS.  The central pressure at landfall is something between 996 mb and 100 mb.  If that is verified, I find it hard to determine how a storm with that level of pressure could support the JTWC contention that a 95 kt typhoon will strike the Philippines.  My experience tells me that pressures that high generally does not support winds of 95 kts unless it was a major tropical cyclone that was winding down and even that is not evidence of support.  Falling winds mean that the pressure cannot support that wind level.    Other than that, the GFS is much slower than the NOGAPS with a landfall with a landfall not coming until just after 00Z on Saturday Oct 31.  That is a big difference because if Mirinae moves that slowly then it would be dropping heavy rain on the Philippines for many hours longer than the NOGAPS solution. 

wpacwv

Typhoon Mirinae Water Vapor Loop click for most recent loop

The typhoon has been moving at a steady speed and so unless something shows up to slow its forward speed then it seems reasonable that the JTWC forecast of having the core of the storm over Luzon for less than 24 hours is very plausible.  On the other hand, that also means that the fine folks of Manila and other parts of the Philippines will probably experience pretty decent winds….maybe even typhoon force…for the duration of the storm because Mirinae just wouldn’t have time to fall apart…but it will weaken.  This storm got stronger than anticipated due to a trof to the north that was enhancing the outflow to the north.  Interestingly, that trof was actually created from the remnant of Typhoon Lupit which moved northeast offshore of Japan, turned extratropical and created a front trailing off from it.  With that feature moving out,  there isn’t any real mechanism that would help enhance the intensity substantially.  The only thing that will help it get stronger is an increasing outflow aloft, but that will be offset somewhat by a little bit of vertical shear.  The JTWC notes that the shear has already messed up the visibility of the eye. 

latest72hrs

Watch 72hr loop of Total Precipitable Water Showing development of Typhoon Mirinae

If one assumes a rapid movement across the Philippines, then one might assume that the storm will not deteriorate that much over land and will emerge in the South China Sea in good shape.  So good that it may redevelop.  But, sea surface temperatures in the central South China Sea have dropped off a bit due to a recent shot of unseasonably cold air in the area.  So, the JTWC forecast reflects that situation by reducing the intensity of the storm as it approaches Vietnam.  Mirinae may fall to tropical storm status before landfall.  However, Vietnam also suffered from Typhoon Ketsana and Typhoon Parma, though Parma was closer to Hanoi.  In any event, the ground in Vietnam is pretty saturated so if they get a tropical storm instead of a typhoon, it is really immaterial as the forward motion will be the key for Vietnam.  Vietnam suffered over 3/4 of a billion US dollars just from Ketsana.   If the storm slows down once it’s inland over SE Asia, then excessive rainfall can be anticipated.  The thing that everyone wants is for the storm to keep moving. 

WDPN32 PGTW 290300
MSGID/GENADMIN/NAVMARFCSTCEN PEARL HARBOR HI/JTWC//
SUBJ/PROGNOSTIC REASONING FOR TYPHOON 23W (MIRINAE) WARNING NR 13//
RMKS/
1. FOR METEOROLOGISTS.
2. 12 HOUR SUMMARY AND ANALYSIS.
    A. TYPHOON (TY) 23W (MIRINAE) HAS INTENSIFIED TO 90 KNOTS AND
MAINTAINED A WESTWARD TRACK UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF THE SUBTROPICAL
STEERING RIDGE OVER THE PAST 12 HOURS. RECENT ANIMATED MULTISPECTRAL
IMAGERY SHOWS EVIDENCE OF EASTERLY VERTICAL WIND SHEAR THAT HAS
CAUSED MIRINAE TO LOSE ITS EYE-LIKE FEATURE OVER THE LAST 12 HOURS.
HOWEVER, THE SYSTEM STILL HAS GOOD POLEWARD OUTFLOW INTO THE MID-
LATITUDE WESTERLIES AS WELL AS ACCESS TO POLEWARD OUTFLOW INTO THE
TROPICAL UPPER TROPOSPHERIC TROUGH (TUTT) LOCATED APPROXIMATELY 15
TO 20 DEGREES EAST OF THE SYSTEM. THE CURRENT POSITION IS BASED WITH
HIGH CONDIFENCE ON POSITION FIXES BY RJTD AND PGTW AND IS SUPPORTED
BY A 282127Z SSMI MICROWAVE IMAGE. THE CURRENT INTENSITY IS BASED ON
DVORAK ESTIMATES OF 90 KNOTS FROM PGTW AND RJTD.
3. FORECAST REASONING.
    A. THE FORECAST REASONING HAS NOT CHANGED SINCE THE PREVIOUS
PROGNOSTIC REASONING BULLETIN.
    B. THE TYPHOON WILL CONTINUE TO TRACK WESTWARD THROUGH THE
FORECAST PERIOD AND WILL RETAIN RADIAL OUTFLOW, ENABLING EXHAUST
INTO THE MID-LATITUDES, AS IT TRACKS SOUTH OF A NARROW SUBTROPICAL
RIDGE. FURTHER INTENSIFICATION IS EXPECTED TO BE LIMITED, MAINLY DUE
TO THE LACK OF A STRONG (POLEWARD) OUTFLOW CHANNEL AS THE SYSTEM
TRACKS FURTHER AWAY FROM THE TUTT MENTIONED IN PARA 2.A. MIRINAE IS
EXPECTED TO MAKE LANDFALL IN THE PHILIPPINES AND WEAKEN JUST BEFORE
TAU 48.
C. BEFORE TAU 72 THE SYSTEM WILL EXIT LUZON INTO THE SOUTH CHINA SEA
AS A MUCH-WEAKENED TYPHOON. A COOLER POOL OF SEA SURFACE TEMP-
ERATURES IN THE CENTRAL SOUTH CHINA SEA, MINIMAL OCEAN HEAT CONTENT
VALUES AND DIMINISHED POLEWARD EXHAUST WILL PROMOTE STEADY
WEAKENING. AN EARLY SEASON COLD SURGE WILL ALSO AID IN WEAKENING THE
SYSTEM CLOSER TO TAU 96. THE MODEL GUIDANCE IS IN STRONG AGREEMENT
WITH THIS FORECAST SCENARIO. THEY ALSO SHOW A GROWING TREND TOWARDS
A MORE SOUTHWESTERN TRACK IN THE EXTENDED TAUS.//

blogarama.com

Massive Rock Slide Closes I-40 in Western North Carolina; Could Be Blocked for Months
October 29, 2009

rockslide1_t300

I-40 Could Be Closed For Months

I40_detour

A Long Way Around

If you have ever traveled between Knoxville and Asheville on Interstate 40, then you know of the approximately 24 miles stretch in which the interstate is very narrow and winding through a pretty steep gorge.  It is when you are driving on this winding road with two tunnels that you see the “Welcome to Tennessee” sign or the “Welcome to North Carolina” sign, depending on which direction you are going.  It can be a pretty tough drive as there are no real shoulders to speak of and there is a “trucks only” lane.  It’s four lanes but is divided by one of those concrete dividers which in some places is twice as tall as normal.  When it’s raining, its particularly difficult. 

pileofrocks

They need Fred Flintstone

Well, they blasted through rock to build this road along a creek and those rocks are subject to getting water in the cracks and also to extreme temperature changes.  That makes rock slides a problem.  Last year, they had a slide that took 3 months to clear.  Over the weekend they had the worst slide that they have had in over a decade.  The rock collapse took place around 2AM on Sunday near mile marker 3 on I-40 in North Carolina.  It is said to be 50 feet deep and 100 feet long. (slide show) The boulders involved are said to be the size of mobile homes.  That would explain why part of the plan is to blast those boulders to bits.  No one was hurt in the slide which originally was estimated to be clear in 3 months.  Now, reports are that the time to clear the Interstate for traffic appears to be longer as officials think the 3 month time frame is “unrealistic.”  No one knows for sure when it will be open again, but some say I-40 won’t be open until February.  Here is a detail of how North Carolina is planning to clear the debris and its kinda interesting.  Also, here is some  video of the scene.  This is some ground level video to give you some perspective.   Given the amount of traffic on that road and the tight turns that makes it tough to see far down the road, its amazing that no one was injured.  Potentially it could have been one of those awful mult-car pile ups. 

BailoutATM

Need Money? Go to Uncle Sam's ATM!

The early estimates is that it will cost about $10 million to set things right.  Even though it’s an interstate system, the states are generally charged with maintaining the portions of the freeways in their state.  But, North Carolina is looking for ways to come up with the cash and like so many others these days, the North Carolina governor wants money from the federal government…you know…the national ATM

Brits Selling “Imitation Liquor” to High School Kids in Maine? Keep Up with your Zipper!
October 28, 2009

DWI

No Drinking in Class!!

victorian-lemonade-test

Imitation Liquor?

No Booze for the Kids!  Seems that Fentimans has been selling lemonade in Great Britain for over 100 years.  It marketed their product as Fentiman’s Victorian Lemonade.  They say that its effervescent and” it’s not cloyantly sweet…you don’t even notice the sugar.”  Apparently, you also don’t notice the booze.  The company encourages one to “drink it straight”  or to “use it as a mixer with gin, vodka,  Pimm’s N0. 1 Cup or any other cocktail that uses bitter lemon.”    What they don’t say is to take it to school and apparently a school in Maine objected to a kid having a kid of Fentiman’s Victorian Lemonade with 0.5% alcohol.   Apparenlty, the kid in question had it in school and looked at the bottle’s label and noticed the alcohol content.  He didn’t want to get into trouble so he took it to the teacher. Since he had no intent to break school rules, he was not disciplined,which is a far cry from the case of the kid who got suspended for bringing a pocket knife to school.  End of story? No. That’s because according to the Bangor Daily News, “officials from the Aroostook Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition and the Maine Alliance to Prevent Substance Abuse recently learned that a Houlton High School student brought a bottle of Fentimans Victorian Lemonade to school that was purchased at a local store.”  In other words, another group of do-gooders can’t just leave well enough alone.  Perhaps this will start another War of 1812.

Who Invented It?

Who Invented It?

On This Date in History:

Back in the day, there were no zippers. Pants were fastened in the front with buttons. For some reason, some jean manufacturers have gone retro with buttons. But, zippers are everywhere. Quite handy, they are. There have been some attempts to improvement with the space age velcro but the original zipper just keeps zipping along. It has been described as one of industrial America’s “most successful products.” It’s one of those little items that, if you think about it, would make you a fortune if you owned the patent. But, the genesis of the device did not exactly slide along…there were hitches.

Whitcomb Judson-Quit Too Soon

Whitcomb Judson-Quit Too Soon

In 1891, Whitcomb Judson applied for a patent for “Clasp Locker or Un-Locker for Shoes.” The patent office had never heard of such a thing, he got the go ahead. He teamed up with the only person who saw any promise in the apparatus, Col. Lewis Walker. Walker set up the Universal Fastener Company in 1894 as a manufacturing source. Trouble was, they couldn’t develop a machine to make the contraption until 1905. Walker scheduled a demonstration, ordered a keg of beer and I guess everyone got drunk because the machine didn’t work. Back to the proverbial drawing board they went and Judson came up with a simpler version of the fastener. The called it the C-Curity fastener. They advertised with the slogan, “A pull and it’s done! No more open skirts…ask the girl!” Well, they should have asked the girl first because the fasteners tended to pop open at most unintended times. The whole campaign and the product became a joke and Judson quit in humiliation.

Sundbach's (Sundback) 1917 Patent

Sundback's Patent

Walker continued on working through meager personal financial times and came up with the prototype for the modern zipper in 1913. However, saying Walker was “working” on it is a bit of a misnomer. See, he was a entrepreneur and lawyer, not a tinkerer. Judson was the one who did all of the work. Walker’s company, the Universal Fastener Company, had hired Swedish

Gideon Sundbach-Not Left Out

Gideon Sundback-Not Left Out

engineer Gideon Sundback (aka Gideon Sundbach) who is the one who perfected the zipper and it worked wonderfully. But, memories were long and people remembered the garment opening experience with the C-Curity fastener. On This date in 1914, the first true zipper, the Hookless No. 2 was sold. But the sales mainly were for actors costumes and novelty items. The public relied on the trusty button…that is until 1917. That is when a tailor made money belts for sailors with zippers. The moniker “zipper” was attached by BF Goodrich…the tire guy. They made galoshes and put the fasteners on them, though I can’t imagine how practical that was since galoshes generally get wet and I bet the original zippers were made of steel that rusted. Anyway, BF Goodrich promoted the product by exclaiming “Zip’er Up, Zip’er down!” Zippers became the trademark for the galoshes. Even though the overshoes went out of style, the zipper carried on….and carried Colonel Lewis Walker all the way to the bank. He owned the company and got the money while Gideon, who was given the patent, got credit….hopefully that credit was not backed by sub-prime mortgages.

Clint+Black

Black a benificiary of the sage Hambright Advice

Unlike other stories in which the guy who does the work gets the shaft, Gideon Sundback also invented a good machine to mass produce the zippers. Zippers were mainly used in Tobacco pouches and boots until the 1930’s when the zipper came into widespread use in clothes. Sundback ran his own company, the Lightning Fastener Company…so everyone did well with the zipper…except for Judson whose fate reminds me of what my old Junior High Football Coach, Granville Hambright, used to say. “A quitter never wins and a winner never quits.”  One guy who learned under the tutelage of Coach Hambright and did not quit but perservered and it led to great success was none other than Clint Black, who sat next to me in Mrs. Wagner’s art class.  Maybe coach was on to something.

friAM

Friday Morning-Triple Point Near

HPC QPF (rain total forecast Wed Eve. thru Sat Evening)

HPC QPF (Forecast Rain Total Wed Eve. thru Sat Eve)

Weather Bottom Line:   Look for a period of excessive rain to end the week. In other words, Halloween looks like it will suck, which is fine with Snow White because she can’t stand the day.  Oh and by the way…these news people keep on referring to it as a holiday. It’s not a holiday!  Silly day maybe..but holiday NO! Anway,  as I had mentioned previously, we have a situation of strong convergence in the lower Mississippi Valley.  It is in this region that the SPC has the slight risk for Severe Thunderstorms for Thursday morning into Friday morning.  That is not so much the issue for us.  We had generally over an inch of rain on Tuesday night, which was a little bit of a victory for me considering that I had called for the main rain on Tuesday night but got bit on the backside with the light rain that fell from midday into the late afternoon on Tuesday.  Anyway, The main storm system is lifting up to the north into the northern plains.  As it does so, it is becoming a mature system which means it is developing an occluded front.  Typically, that means slowing down.  And that is the problem.

GFSrainthru18ZSat

GFS Rain Accumulation Thru Midday Sat

All of that convergence to our south is bringing in all sorts of Gulf of Mexico moisture.  As we go through Thursday, that moisture will be surging up the Mississippi River Valley into the Ohio River Valley over the top of a warm front  Boom…there is the rain.  Now, the occluded front extending down from the slow moving main low to the north will be crawling and the triple point of the occluded front, the warm front and the cold front will be quite near.  I would not be surprised to see a secondary low begin to develop just to our southwest at this triple point.   All of this means is that its gonna rain.  We may get too much rain or we may get way too much rain. 

NAMrainthru18ZSat

NAM Rain Accumulation Thru Midday Sat

The GFS is more bullish with rain totals of about 2.5 inches through midday on Saturday.  The NAM is more tame at about 1.25″ through midday on Saturday.  But, in both cases, the main channel of even more excessive rain is just to our west.  The Hydrological Prediction Center has its QPF total (quantitative precipitation forecast) for Wednesday night through Saturday night has Louisville getting about 1.5 inches of rain.  BUT…you only have to go to the western part of Southern Indiana…about half way between Louisville and St. Louis…to get to a forecast amount of around 4 inches.  Given that forecasts are not always that accurate this far out and with that type of certainty regarding coverage areas (which is understandable given that the earth is 25000 miles around so 100 miles is not that big of an error) then it is reasonable to assume that we at least have a risk for excessive rain.  The National Weather Service has made such a preliminary suggestion.  Given that it is not out of the question that a low could form on that triple point nearby, I would say that it is at least something worth considering.  In any event….you may want to find an alternative for trick or treaters or at least give them some sort of plastic covering…and maybe something warm as it will probably be fairly cool to go along with the dampness.

Typhoon Mirinae Forecast Track Toward Flood Plagued, Disease Infested Portion of Philippines
October 28, 2009

wpac

Typhoon Mirinae IR Color Satellite-Click image for most recent loop

Get most recent update on Typhoon Mirinae forecast track and latest on potential for volcano eruption as Mirinae strikes the Philippines, CLICK HERE

latest72hrs

Watch 72hr loop of Total Precipitable Water Showing development of Typhoon Mirinae

Typhoon Mirinae was born from the developing Tropical Storm 23W, as expected.  The storm has been moving along at a pretty good clip. So far it has tended to move faster than the general forecast.  I suspect that is why the Joint Typhoon Warning Center has gone along with the early forecast landing in the Philippines at around 12Z October 30 that is brought out by the NOGAPS model.  The GFS is remarkably similar to the NOGAPS in the track and intensity with both advertising a tropical cyclone with a central pressure somewhere between 992 and 1000 mb near the same location in the Luzon province that Typhoon Parma struck.  But, the GFS wants to take the storm into the Philippines somewhere between 12z and 18z October 31.  Given the persistent forward speed and little evidence that there is much out there to slow this guy down, the early forecast landfall is probably a fair bet. 

Mirinae18Z1027

Typhoon Mirinae Forecast Track Updates Regularly-Click on Image

Tropical Storm 23W not only has been moving faster than forecast, it also has developed faster than forecast.  It was not anticipated by the JTWC to become Typhoon Mirinae until 12Z October 28 but had done so by 18Z October 27.  That is not overly significant except that it is obviously in a upswing mode.   The risk here is that with the storm’s forward speed and the fact that its in an intensication process, odds are pretty high that the Philippines will be struck by a tropical cyclone that is intensifying, not weakening.  One thing that has been right on the money is the forecast track.  Typhoon Mirinae moved northwest south of Saipan near Andersen Air Force base  while it was still Tropical Storm 23W.  As anticipated,  the storm went a few hundred more miles on that course and now has taken a more westerly track.  The good news is that the forward speed that it is showing and that is forecast will mean that it would cross the Philippines in less than 24 hours.  That would tend to cut down on excessive rain, though very heavy rain in a short period of time can be expected. 

Mirinae Vis Satellite with Low Level Wind Barbs 23:13Z 10.27.09

Typhoon Mirinae Vis Sat w/low level wind barbs 23:13Z 10.27.09

The  bad news is that Luzon cannot handle much in the way of heavy rain.  The storm flow will be slamming into the same mountainous regions that experienced mudslides from Typhoon Parma and Tropical Storm Ketsana and those mountains will do nothing but enhance the rainfall rates.  If the forecast holds and verifies, then Typhoon Mirinae will hit in almost the exact same spot at Typhoon Parma and will track due west near Manila, similar to Tropical Storm Ketsana.  Also, the forward momentum and expected maximum winds of 100 kts would create a pretty good storm surge to the right of the center of the landfall, which is something that did not occur with either Typhoon Parma or Tropical Storm Ketsana.  The flood ravaged Philippines is no where close to recovering from Parma and Ketsana as disease has now broken out in Luzon.  The World Health Organization is helping to try and control an outbreak of  leptospirosis and if Mirinae does as expected, the situation will do nothing but get worse.

wpacwv

Typhoon Mirinae Water Vapor Loop-click image for most recent loop

There is one more bit of bad news that could prove to be the biggest factor in the saga of the Philippines.  When I looked beyond the landfall time of Typhoon Mirinae, I noticed that the typhoon moves across the South China Sea into Vietnam, which means the exact same areas that got hit by Ketsana in both the Philippines and Vietnam will get nailed again and some of the areas affected in Vietnam by Parma will also get heavy rains and wind from Mirinae.  But, maybe more importantly I noticed another tropical cyclone right on the heels of Typhoon Mirinae.  It is not that well developed at only about 1008 mb.  But, both the NOGAPS and the GFS show this feature and it is forecast to track right into Luzon.  Often, a weak tropical cyclone can bring extremely heavy rains.  Since they are not well developed, they don’t necessarily follow typical steering trends and often times will slow down and fall apart over one area, dropping a lot of rain.  This scenario is many days away if it were to occur, but it is showing up on at least two models. So, its’ worth noting.

WDPN32 PGTW 280300
MSGID/GENADMIN/NAVMARFCSTCEN PEARL HARBOR HI/JTWC//
SUBJ/PROGNOSTIC REASONING FOR TYPHOON 23W (MIRINAE) WARNING NR 09//
RMKS/
1. FOR METEOROLOGISTS.
2. 12 HOUR SUMMARY AND ANALYSIS.
    A. TYPHOON (TY) 23W (MIRINAE) IS TRACKING WESTWARD OVER THE PAST
12 HOURS AND HAS RAPIDLY INTENSIFIED TO 75 KNOTS. DVORAK ESTIMATES
FROM PGTW, KNES AND RJTD CURRENTLY SUPPORT INTENSITIES FROM 75 TO 90
KNOTS. THIS FORECAST IS PRIMARILY BASED ON THE PGTW AND RJTD
ESTIMATES. MICROWAVE IMAGERY OVER THE PAST 12 HOURS HAS SHOWN A WELL
DEFINED EYE HAS DEVELOPED, AND IS BEGINNING TO BE APPARENT IN
MULTISPECTRAL IMAGERY AS WELL. THE POLEWARD OUTFLOW CHANNEL HAS
REMAINED WELL ESTABLISHED OVER THE PAST 12 HOURS WITH THE MID-
LATITUDE TROUGH NORTH OF TY 23W THAT HAS STARTED TO LIFT OUT TO THE
NORTHEAST. STRONG ZONAL FLOW ACROSS SOUTHERN JAPAN IN THE UPPER
LEVEL HAS STARTED TO REPLACE THE TROUGH AS THE PRIMARY MECHANISM FOR
POLEWARD OUTFLOW. THE COMBINATION OF THE TROUGH AND DEVELOPING ZONAL
FLOW HAS SUPPORTED THE RECENT INTENSITY CHANGE OBSERVED. RADIAL
OUTFLOW, ASSOCIATED WITH AN UPPER LEVEL POINT SOURCE ANTI-CYCLONE
LOCATED TO THE EAST OF TY 23W, HAS MAINTAINED AN EQUATORWARD OUTFLOW
CHANNEL OVER THE PAST 12 HOURS.
3. FORECAST REASONING
    A. THE FORECAST REASONING HAS NOT CHANGED SINCE THE PREVIOUS
PROGNOSTIC REASONING BULLETIN.
    B. TY 23W WILL MAINTAIN A GENERAL WESTWARD TRACK TOWARDS LUZON
THROUGH TAU 72 UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF A WELL ESTABLISHED MID-LEVEL
SUBTROPICAL RIDGE (STR) LOCATED TO THE NORTH OF MIRINAE. OUTFLOW
FROM THE MID-LATITUDE TROUGH AND ZONAL FLOW WILL DIMINISH SLIGHTLY
OVER THE NEXT 24 HOURS, BUT CONTINUED RADIAL OUTFLOW WILL ALLOW FOR
STEADY INTENSIFICATION THROUGH TAU 72. THE INTENSIFICATION WILL BE
SUPPORTED BY LOW VERTICAL WIND SHEAR CONDITIONS PERSISTING THROUGH
THE ENTIRE FORECAST, ALONG WITH FAVORABLE SEA SURFACE TEMPERATURES
AND OCEAN HEAT CONTENT.
    C. BEYOND TAU 72 MIRINAE IS EXPECTED TO MAKE LANDFALL WITH
LUZON, WEAKEN AND SLOW SLIGHTLY DUE TO THE LAND INTERACTION, THEN
CROSS INTO THE SOUTH CHINA SEA AROUND TAU 96. AS THE SYSTEM RE-
CONSOLIDATES THE INTENSITY IS EXPECTED TO REMAIN STEADY THROUGH TAU
120. MODEL GUIDANCE IS IN GOOD AGREEMENT WITH THE FOLLOWING
FORECAST, EXCEPT WITH THE SPEED OF ADVANCE OVER LUZON. MODELS
SUGGEST LITTLE TO NO SLOW-DOWN AS TY 23W CROSSES OVER LUZON. THE
FORECAST INCORPORATES A DECREASE IN TRACK SPEED FROM TAU 72 THROUGH
120 BASED ON LAND INTERACTION WITH THE LOW LEVEL CIRCULATION.//
NNNN

McDonald’s is off the island; So much for free: religion, range, tv and from the bambino
October 27, 2009

no mcdonalds

icemac

Icelandic Menu Too Pricey?

Svo lengi mcdonalds kostar það of mikið að frábær stærð mig. That means “so long McDonalds. It costs too much to super size me.”  McDonald’s hasn’t been voted off the island, but it just simply can’t afford to stay there.  Seems that Mickey D’s has to import it’s materials from mainland Europe to supply its two franchises in Iceland.  Because of changing currency rates, that means that they would have to raise the price of the Big Mac to the dollar equivalent of $6.36 to turn a profit.  The Hamburglar must be doing pretty good in Iceland because that’s a crime.  And apparently the pooh-bahs at McDonald’s agree.  They are taking down the golden arches and leaving the island.  Ambrose Evans-Pritchard thinks Icelanders will survive quite well without Ronald and the gang.  But, how does he know?  I mean, Iceland now joins Albania, Armenia,Bosnia and Herzegovinia and Vatican City as the only countries in Europe that don’t have McDonalds and I dont think any of those places are exactly economic powerhouses, though Vatican City has revenues of between $300 million and $400 million.

A DAY OF FIRSTS ON THIS DATE IN HISTORY!!!

Mary Dyer Taking Her Turn At the Gallows

Mary Dyer Taking Her Turn At the Gallows

So much for religious freedom:

On this date in 1659, two men gained infamy in the Boston Commons as the first Quakers executed in the New World for their religious beliefs. Mary Dyer and William Leddra soon followed. After that, those who were sentenced to death had their sentences commuted to simply being whipped out of the colony. Marmaduke Stevenson and William Robinson had left England to seek freedom of religion. Their first mistake was to settle in the Massachusetts Colony where the Religious Society of Friends, the formal name of Quakers, was banned with the punishment of practicing their Faith being death by hanging. Seems that the Quakers opposed a central church authority and preferred to seek spiritual counseling through local Quaker meetings. They stood for a truely egalitarian society in which there was equality between men and women and they opposed the notion of slavery. Oh…such dastardly people those Quakers. Robinson and Stevenson left a legacy of staying out of Massachusetts as others who followed found refuge in Rhode Island and other colonies. But, the legacy of Massachusetts lives on. While we are taught in school that Massachusetts was the cradle of liberty, we must remember the fate of the Quakers, those who were to be bussed to get equal access to schools in the early 1970’s, the tax system in the Commonwealth and of course, all of the anti-global warming folks who opposed windmills off the coast of Cape Cod because the clean-energy devices spoiled their view. Yes, indeed. Quite a history of freedom in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Barbed Wire That Closed the Open Range

Barbed Wire That Closed the Open Range

So Much for the Free Range: On this date in 1873, Joseph Glidden applied for a patent on his version of barbed wire. He had seen the barbed wire of Henry Rose at the DeKalb County Illinois State Fair but he was not impressed. He came up with a new design that used two wires to hold the barbs firmly in place. His proved to be the first to be mass produced and his inexpensive wire fencing was up to 80 million pounds in production by 1880. By making it available to farmers en masse on the plains, it effectively brought to an end the big cattle drives because ranchers driving their cattle to market suddenly found their routes cut off by barbed wire fencing all across the plains.

If You Got Close Enough You Could See The Screen

If You Got Close Enough You Could See The Screen

So Much for Commercial Free TV

It all started on this date in 1946. Geographically Speaking debuted as a travel show on TV. It showed travel films. It was about as exciting to viewers then then as it would be today as it only ran until Dec. 1, 1946. Real clunker. But, it was the first TV show to have a sponsor, Bristol-Meyers. And we’ve had commercials on TV ever since.

 Today with everyone having a remote, advertisers have had to get more creative in order to keep us from changing channels during commercials. It’s called zapping. We see an ad and “zap” we change channels. That’s why so much money is spent on ads for TV in production. We need to be entertained as well as informed. It doesn’t work with me when there are various sports on.

Remember when cable TV first came out? It was initially promoted as the public paying for TV so we wouldn’t see commercials any more. Well, that quickly evaporated. Many of the original cable TV outlets were “superstations.” We thought it was so cool getting a New York station and a Chicago station and of course Ted Turner’s WTBS. But we quickly realized we were paying to see shows with other areas commercials. Now, we pay for cable networks so we can see more commercials. Some time when you have nothing better to do, look at the Weather Channel and count how many minutes in an hour are devoted to weather and how many to commercials. You’ll be surprised. Then you will get mad when you realize you are paying for the privilege of watching all of those commercials. At least ESPN commercials are funny.

So, now I have all of these “premium” channels that show no commercials and all movies. Of course it costs me another $15 a channel on top of the premium cable charge so I don’t have to watch commercials.
It all began on this date in 1946 on a crummy show. But, without advertisers, I’d be out of a job so by all means, frequent all of our advertisers and watch their messages. In fact, I’d recommend that, when you are tuned in to another channel and they show a commercial, zap over to channel 32. Odds are the commercial is just as good as the one you were watching and you know the news that follows will be much better…especially the weather!

Ruth Pitching 1918

Ruth Pitching 1914

So Much for the Curse of the Bambino:

On this date in 2004, the Boston Red Sox won that franchise’s first World Series since 1918. They had suffered from what is known as “the curse of the Bambino.” See, a young pitcher who was also developing as a slugger at the plate played for the Red Sox. His name was George Herman Ruth, known as Babe Ruth. He was a pretty good pitcher. He still shares the American League record for most shut outs by a left hander in a season with Ron Guidry with 9 white-washings. But, his hitting became apparent as he was hitting home runs when no one else was doing so at the time. By his 4th complete season, Ruth only pitched in 17 games but hit 29 home runs to lead the league…a new record at the time. The Sox won 4 world championships between 1903 and 1918. Ruth went to the Yankees in 1920. The story has always been that the owner, Harry Frazee sold him to finance a play. I think that is how all of the

Ruth Batting 1918

Ruth Batting 1918

movies have portrayed it. But, other sources claim that Ruth had demanded a double in his pay to $20,000 and the owner refused. When he tried to trade him, the league president supposedly wanted to mess up Frazee’s enterprise and force him to sell so he talked most of the owners out of dealing with him. The White Sox though supposedly offered Shoeless Joe Jackson and $60,000 but the Yankees, who were terrible at the time, offered $100,000. Imagine what might have happened if Frazee took the White Sox deal? As it was, Frazee took the bigger wad of cash and the Red Sox never won another World Series until 2004. So, the team was cursed. But that’s not as good as the Cubs’ curse.

Billy Goat Bellies Up To the Bar

Billy Goat Bellies Up To the Bar

I think it was in 1945, when the owner of a tavern tried to bring his lucky goat into Wrigley Field for the
World Series. He was denied and he put a curse on the Cubs, who have not won a World Series since 1908. You can visit the Billy Goat Tavern on Lower Michigan Avenue right by the Wendella Boat Tours in Chicago. Get a cheese burger and ask for a coke and see what happens. Snow White went there and asked for fries. Try that out too. BTW, I hope the curse is never broken…Go Astros.

fri12z

Friday Morning

Weather Bottom Line:  Okay…I took one on the chin.  I knew we’d get rain but I held out the prospect we wouldn’t see any until late in the day or the evening.  Only made it through midday and then the rain came. It was dreary.  The system will move out of the area leaving us with a good Wednesday and Thursday.  Thursday night, a system approaches and rain chances go up.  It still remains to be seen if we get any thunderstorms or possibly strong storms.   The convergence area is in the lower Mississippi Valley and will probably cut off any big stuff our way and the SPC outlook area goes that way with the severe risk area for Thursday night into Friday from around Memphis to the south.  Weekend looks good but with highs in the mid to upper 50’s on Saturday and near 60 on Sunday.

Three Killed in Celebrated Violence on American Street
October 26, 2009

caskets

Stories May Differ, but End Result the Same

wyatt_earp

I always Wanted a Moustache Like Wyatt Earp

On This Date In History:  In the silver boom town of Tombstone, Arizona an event occurred that would be etched in western lore: The Gunfight at the OK Corral. Trouble is many historians say it didn’t happen at the OK Corral and it wasn’t much of a gunfight (here is one account).  The main protagonist in most of the tales was Wyatt Earp (see photo gallery).  This may be because the main story teller ended up being Wyatt Earp.   There had been many disputes between the Earps (Wyatt, Virgil and Morgan) and a group of ruffians known as the Cowboys. Five of the group gathered on this date in 1881 on a vacant lot near the OK Corral. Virgil was the town Marshall with Wyatt and Morgan as his deputies. Their friend and gambler, John (Doc) Holliday joined the Earps and the quartet went down the street to greet the Cowboys. At about 3 pm the gunfight began. About 30 seconds and 30 gunshots later, it was over.

You Don't Find Too Many Pictures of Doc Holliday

You Don't Find Too Many Pictures of Doc Holliday

Unlike the movie versions, particularly Gunfight at the OK Corrall with Burt Lancaster and My Darling Clementine with Henry Fonda and Louisvillian Victor Mature, it apparently involved the Earps and Holliday walking up to the bad guys and gunfire breaking out. There is dispute about who fired the first shot but in the end, 3 of the 5 cowboys lay dead and all but Wyatt was injured, though one of the remaining Cowboys fled. There was a trial for the Earps but they were found not guilty with the judge saying they were “fully justified in committing these homicides.”

Wyatt Earp Later in Life

Wyatt Earp Later in Life

If you go and look this up, you will find all sorts of conflicting stories. The early movies were based almost solely on the reminiscences of Wyatt Earp, who spent his later years in Hollywood as a consultant to those making westerns. So, the stories tend to lean toward Wyatt’s heroics. Later films try to be more realistic. But there is no real clear cut truth. However, one interesting aspect to the Earp lore appears to be true. That is that Wyatt, through all of his gunfights and violent episodes never once was shot. The same can’t be said of those who rode with him or against him. Wyatt died in quietly in his sleep 1929 in Hollywood, CA. Many of the western movie stars of the day attended his funeral.

Great Fonda Waltz

Great Fonda Waltz

Which is your favorite portrayal of Wyatt Earp in film? I kinda liked My Darling Clementine…Henry Fonda does a great dance.   Aside from Gunfight at the OK Corral, AMC lists ten films depicting Wyatt Earp.  The AMC list notes that the portrayal of Erroll Flynn in Dodge City (1939)  was of the character Wade Hatton, but claims the role was “clearly based on the gunslinger.”  Why would they not just use the name Wyatt Earp? AMC doesn’t say but maybe it was to protect the innocent.  But, it may have had to do with the fact that Randolph Scott had the role of Wyatt Earp in Frontier Marshal from the same year.        So popular is the lore of Wyatt Earp, Colleen Coughlin has an article on the Law in Popular Culture collection at the University of Texas’ Jamail Center for Legal Research called Law at the OK Corrall: Reading Wyatt Earp films.   

A Very Weird Film

A Very Weird Film

One other thing about Victor Mature. He sorta retired in 1961 but he did appear in the Monkees last (and only) movie called Head. It was a really weird movie and was a sorta good-bye from the Monkees as their tv show either had been cancelled or if they made the film it would be cancelled. It’s really a psychedellic late 60’s film produced by Jack Nicholson and was totally un-Monkee like. Even Frank Zappa was in it. To give you an idea of how off the wall it was, the premise is that the Monkees are living in a world that is really a spot of dandruff on Victor Mature’s hair. See it if you can. There are really some pretty good songs(especially The Porpoise Song) that, again, are very un-Monkee-like.

Tuesday Evening

Tuesday Evening

Weather Bottom Line:  The upper level disturbance associated with a surface low to our south is still out there, it’s just behind schedule.  A few days ago I was looking toward Monday for the clouds and maybe a shower but I thought it would be generally dry.  Well, the disturbance is still going to come through and will still bring clouds but most likely on Tuesday and I still think most of Tuesday will be dry but now indications are that Tuesday night we may see some showers.  Now, a vigorous storm system will be swinging through toward the end of  the week with a pretty deep trof in association.  Seems to me that Friday we will probably see rain and possibly some thunderstorms.  The SPC is looking more at the lower Mississippi Valley for strong storms on Thursday but it will be interesting to see how it shakes out around here.  There is a lot of low level convergence down there and the disturbance moving through is pretty robust.  The big stuff will probably get cut off down that way but, it will be of interest to see if some of that action moves up our way.   I say that the trof is deep but its more accurate to say its very pronounced.  By the time it comes our way, its already lifting up and out and damping.  Hence, we will get coolish but not too terribly cold for the weekend behind the cold front.