On This Date in History:
In 1649, there was a bit of a revolution going on in England. Oliver Cromwell had led a revolt against the monarchy and, on this date in 1649, 59 people signed the death warrant for King Charles I who was later executed. Now, the little turnabout didn’t last long and by 1660, the House of Stuart returned to the throne in the form of King Charles II. The second Chuck called for an amnesty for all who had played a role in his father losing his head except for three men. Edward Whalley was the cousin of Oliver Cromwell and he led an army during the uprising. He and two of his officers, John Dixwell and William Goffe, signed the document with the other 56 signers. Sensing that there was a new sherrif in town, the trio decided it was best to get out of Dodge. Dixwell went to Prussia while Goffe and Whalley set sail for Boston in the New World. Goffe and Whalley did nothing to disguise themselves and made no apologies for their actions when they landed in America.
Chuck the younger was pretty non-plussed at the prospects of the men hiding out in the colonies and mocking his authority so he posted a pretty hefty reward for their capture. By the time an arrest warrant had made its way through the formalities, Goffe and Whalley had lit out. Off to New Haven they went where they were welcomed with open arms as they had been in Boston. But, hot on their trails was a pair of gumshoes who were loyal to the king. Even at this early time in America’s history, there was some resistance to the crown as the deputy governor of the colony was slow and was uncooperative in keeping the matter a secret. I suppose the outlaws got tipped off because they used the time bought by the authorities fumbling to escape again, this time to a cave where a farmer quietly left food for them every day.
Seems Whalley and Goffe had lots of helpers who were sympathetic to their cause and they continued to get assistance wherever they went. At one point, they wanted to surrender but their advocates would not hear of it. After 4 years of futility, Charles II had enough and he sent troops to Boston to try and grab the boys on the lam. But they had moved again to Hadley, Massachusetts. While they lived in freedom in Hadley, their comrad Dixwell had left Prussia and moved to Connecticut where he disguised himself as a retired merchant. He died there in 1688. Meanwhile. Goffe and Whalley continued to live openly but did use subterfuge to communicate with their families back in the home country. Whalley never was caught and, like Dixwell, died peacefully and free in 1674.
Goffe was another matter. The story is that while the citizenry of Hadley, including some of the king’s men, were attending church when Indians attacked. From out of nowhere, a old bearded man showed up. He organized and led the town’s defense. When the danger had passed, the senior citizen disappeared as mysteriously as he had appeared. Some good loyalists spotted Goffe in Hartford and promptly reported it to authorities who refused to arrest him. Goffe died in 1679.
Seems old Chuck never did get satisfaction for his father’s death and I suppose the “bad guys” ended up getting the last laugh. This perhaps illustrates that America’s independent streak had begun almost as soon as the Pilgrims landed on Plymouth Rock. One hundred years after the death of the last elusive signer of the death warrant of King Charles I, the American colonies were in full revolt and revolution against the King George III…who was about as successful with America as Chuck the Second.
Weather Bottom Line: I’ve been warning of the potential of getting nothing out of this. I said it was possible, not necessarily probable and I’ve been sticking with the 4 inch forecast I came up with about 4 days ago. Well, what seemed not probable somehow has gone to the possible and maybe even close to probable. I noticed today that our dewpoint was 8 degrees. That is extremely dry. I also noticed our wind was out of the northeast with a storm approaching from the west. Ordinarily, one might think of winds with a southerly component. Well, what we have is a big fat ridge to our northwest that is driving in dry air. That is what is keeping the freezing line or critical temperature lines to our south. But, it also means that as moisture gets shoved up over the top of the cold airmass, then it will take a long time to saturate the column. In other words, anything that falls will evaporate. The system is so far to the south and the moisture expected to be tossed up so minimal that the 00Z Friday NAM has zero snow. At 9 pm on Friday, at about 6000 feet, the model claims that the dewpoint will still be about 35 below zero. That is bone dry. It is suggesting that there simply isn’t enough moisture to saturate the column. The 00Z GFS is very similar though it does toss out something less than a quarter inch…probably closer to a tenth of an inch. I still don’t see how we get above freezing on Sunday either.
So, is this a slam dunk? No, but its getting pretty close. Time is running out and there is sufficient real observable evidence to support this lame scenario. We do have low level northeasterly winds and we do have low surface dewpoints. Those are facts. It seems to me that the only thing that can overcome those obstacles will be if the low tracks farther north. So, I’d say we’re left with the possible, not probable scenario for the low tracking farther north and therefore, any decent snow chances in Louisville being possible not probable. Now, we must keep in mind that this is a pretty dramatic shift from model runs of just 12 hours prior but it has been part of a trend of decreasing snow amounts. What makes me believe this is real is that we have physical evidence right now that is actually going on and not just on some computer that supports the lesser snow solution. From where I sit early Friday morning…we may not get much of anything in the Metro area. Farther south? Sure. Louisville though is not looking too promising. I bet we don’t get nothing, but I’m afraid my 4 inch stake in the sand needs to be yanked out and put away for another time. It’s still a tough call but evidence is mounting. We’ll see.
(EDIT FRIDAY MIDDAY) The NWS has 1-3 inches areawide for Friday night through early afternoon on Saturday for area. Specificlaly for Louisville they are calling for less than an inch on Friday night and then a 30% chance of snow on Saturday. Hmmm…seems like to me that they get to have it both ways…pretty smart because they can claim victory more easily that way. Anyway, the 12Z GFS still has nothing. The 12Z NAM went back to its old ways and claims something like 2.5 inches. Two things this does is illustrate how difficult this forecast is and how tight the snow gradient will be. With the dry air in place and the northeasterly flow, I still think we won’t get nothing in Louisville but probably wont’ get a huge amount of snow either…lets say .75 inches to 1.5 inches. I do hope I’m wrong though and somehow the column gets saturated and we get a whole bunch…but it just seems to be a pretty tough situation for that to unfold.