Friday Funny…Update Pending
May 30, 2008

Hey, I  see I’ve had a whole bunch of hits and I suspect that you are more likely looking for stuff on thunderstorm potential.  I can ususally tell when some outlet is hyping our weather by the number of hits I get and where they come from. In this case, not too many are looking for the Nudist Prophet…though it is quite popular.

Look, I’m evaluating the data.   I’ll get back with you later on.  Friday during the day should be fine.  So, I’ll get back with you.  I’ve got to go and visit a friend in the hospital and when I get back, then I’ll deal with it.  That should give you a clue as to my concern at this point.  For me, this situation is more of an academic interest than fear for the safety of my kitty cats and Snow White. But, I’ll bring you up to date soon.

In the meantime…amuse yourself.  This is a post from another blogger named Anthony Watts. who loves going after the Global Warming Debate….it’s about an Ice-Breaker-turned-Arctic Tour Boat that got stuck in the ice while showing a tour group that the ice sheet is disappearing.  I’ve never met this Watts fellow but it’s a pretty good story.

Ice Breaker Stuck In Ice

Memorial Day Late Day Forecast Update
May 26, 2008

We had a little wave move through during the early afternoon as most of the models had forecast.  It really weakened over most of the area as our atmosphere was really not conducive to maintaining the storms. The storms were much more robust though south of the viewing area into Tennessee.  They still have us in the slight risk but the chances will be minimal in my view. There is another shortwave expected to move across Monday night but it remains to be seen if we will be able to support anything that develops to our west. I suspect that anything that develops to our west overnight will be minimal and it’s not a real good shot that anything of significance would hold together.  On Tuesday, the boundary slips down and we get a little wave in the afternoon that may produce some thunderstorms but scattered showers are the most likely result of Tuesday’s action.  Wednesday the clouds hang tough for much of the day before improving late followed by a nice latter half of the week.

Memorial Day wasn’t spectacular, but it wasn’t a total bust either.  Hope you enjoyed it. Naturally, we will monitor the situation overnight. 

Here’s the SPC Discussion

Memorial Day Weather Looks A Bit Unsettled
May 26, 2008

The story is pretty much the same though there is a little more clarity.  Morning dewpoints moved into the 60’s and will continue to climb somewhat.  Temperatures Monday morning heated up and a short wave was moving toward the area.  Models agree that it will move through the area in the mid afternoon.  There is a second stronger shortwave (upper low) that will come through Monday late day or evening.  There is a little descrepency in the track with some data suggesting that it moves to our north and some a little closer to us. 

If you notice, the SPC doesn’t have an appreciably high risk anywhere in our region.  This is due to the track of the shortwaves proceeding more from a westerly direction than southwest as they round over the flattening ridge.  As they round over the ridge they would tend to weaken a bit.  However, the second short is looking reasonably formidable and there will be a fair amount of energy available.  I suspect this is why the boys at the SPC have continued the slight risk as previously outlined, with it sticking down just to our south.

Bottom line is scattered showers and thunderstorms on tap for Monday afternoon and then again in the evening.  Initiation of strong storms is not a huge probability in our area but instead they would develop west of here  and anything out of hand would be storms maintaining themselves as they move our way. In other words, we’d probably have to import trouble.  The biggest and most wide spread storms will probably be to our west with the main concern being one or two that can hold together as they move our way and the primary threat would be gusty winds and small hail.

We’ll keep you updated. Don’t get too worked up but keep an eye on the weather as you proceed with your Memorial Day weather. Make sure you follow your safety precautions in the event of thunderstorms, particularly lightning.  And make sure you take a moment to remember our fallen heroes who make days  like this possible.

Here’s the Link to the SPC report

Memorial Day T’Storm Chances Increase Somewhat
May 25, 2008

The chances for afternoon thunderstorms is a bit more likely than previously suggested.  It will continue to be hot and humid but there are indications that a little upper low will migrate around the top of the ridge that will be collapsing.  There remains general agreement on the feature affecting the area late Monday except that the GFS seems to want to bring it in earlier in the afternoon.  I would say that the forecast is generally persistent but that the prospects for t’storms in the afternoon for Memorial Day would go from isolated to perhaps scattered.  Still, the potential will exist for one or two of the storms getting out of hand with the heat of the day with gusty winds and small hail the biggest threat.  The SPC has expanded the Slight Risk area farther south as on Tuesday, the boundary will be sagging across the area and another short wave, or upper low, moves across in the afternoon during the time of maximum heating. If you look at the percentage outlook map, you notice the 30% area to our north. That tells me that the boys at the SPC feel like the short moving across would be a tad north of the area and that is consistent with much of the modeling data. However, a little wiggle in the flow either way would cause that area to be shifted. It is for this reason that, I suspect, that they altered the previous slight risk area slightly farther south to include much of the viewing area. Still on the fringe, but a slightly more encompassing.  The following is the link to the Day 2 Outlook if you want more details.

SPC Day Two Outlook

Memorial Day Weather Forecast Update; Big Baseball Trade!
May 25, 2008

Here is the SPC guidance for the severe outlook for Monday morning until Tuesday morning.  It’s pretty much as I outlined previously.  Our ridge breaks down as a front approaches.  We will have heating to the upper 80’s Monday afternoon producing friendly white puffies.  But, as we get into the late afternoon and evening, some of those puffies may get bigger and fatter and be not so friendly as isolated t’storms pop up.  As the front approaches Monday evening, our rain/t’storm chances will be enhanced.  Even though the boundary is coming through at night, out ahead of it with the heating and elevated humidity levels, the storms may become more scattered in nature.  It would not be out of the question for a couple of the storms to be rather strong in the evening and overnight.  I wouldn’t fret about any activities for most of Monday and certainly not Sunday.  Just keep in mind their may be a couple of guys on the prowl late Monday if you have any late Memorial Day plans.  Tuesday the boundary slowly moves through and doesn’t get too far south so rain and t’storms will be in the cards. But by then, the Holiday Weekend will be in the books.  We’ll keep you up to date on the Monday night situation as it unfolds. 

It’s Graduation Time:  Congratulations to all of the high school and college graduates.  Especially for Hillary and also the Great Professor’s Queen, who made it through law school with flying colors.  Good luck to all. Now, Hillary…get a job!…and Queen Kelly…pass the Bar Exam!

I saw Gasoline Prices were over $4.00 in many places Saturday as Snow White and I did our part to conserve fuel by doing our sculling on the river.  Not too many boats out there and I’m not sure if it’s due to high gas prices or because the river’s been so high or it’s been cool but there were many empty boat slips.  But the river is falling, the debris is clearing up and the temperatures are rising.  I suspect that the boaters will be out in force soon, if they can afford it.  If you want to see a breakdown of where the cost of a gasoline comes from, I’ve got a couple of sources in the previous post.

How is this For a Trade?  When I lived in Greenville, Mississippi there was a minor league baseball team called the Greenville Bluesman.  I don’t think they even exist any more.  There was maybe 20 people at any given game.  Well, they traded a player for a box of pheasant.  That was the ultimate trade. How’d you like to be that guy.  Well, on Friday, a guy got traded from a team in Canada to a team in Laredo, Texas for a box of ten bats.  It’s bad enough for a team to think your value is a few baseball bats but then to add insult to injury….they trade you to the streets of Laredo!!  Turns out his value to the Canadian team was inhibited by the fact that the player had a criminal record that prevented him from even entering the country. So, it’s off to Laredo where the history is rich with outlaws….though I’m not so sure Laredo has a rich baseball tradition.

Player traded for 10 Bats

Isn’t this a great logo?

Memorial Day Weather Forecast Update; The Cost of Gasoline
May 24, 2008

As of late night Friday, the forecast looks right on the money.  Good looking Saturday with mid to upper 70’s.  Sunday we jump to the mid 80’s and Monday to the upper 80’s.  With temperatures pushing towards 90, its not out of the question to see a few afternoon guys popping up with the heat. However, we will continue to be dominated by a ridge of high pressure, which is sinking air.  I haven’t looked at the calculations because it’s so far out, but whether or not we reach the convective temperature will be questionable.  The sinking of the air under the ridge may be such that the convective temperature will not be acheived.  I had a question about severe weather after that and what I see is that our ridge is scheduled to squash a bit and move east. 

A little upper low will be allowed to wander through Monday night. With the heat of the day this may be sufficient to trigger t’storms.  Then on Tuesday, the ridge will have shifted and squashed enough to allow for a frontal boundary to slip down across the area. It will be a slow mover and typically there would be little waves moving across the boundary.  So, Tuesday would have a risk for storms as well.  At this juncture, there is nothing from a general scan that jumps out at me that would suggest a general bad weather situation other than thunderstorms. My best guess at this early time would be that perhaps a few storms may get tumultuous enough to cause some trouble.

But the story remains the same..don’t worry about that now.  Enjoy the Holiday Weekend and take time to remember why it is a holiday.  Brave, Patriotic, Americans from the Revolutionary War to the current conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq have paid the ultimate sacrifice so that we may have such a weekend.  The least we can do is pause to remember.

Gasoline Prices:

So much has been written about the price of gasoline.  We hear cries of price gouging by the oil companies and such.  Under that line of thinking, then in 1999 when the price of oil was somewhere between 10 and 20 dollars a barrel and our gas was about a dollar a gallon, one would have to surmise that the oil companies didn’t feel like making money.  Truth is, the oil companies almost always have a profit margin of between 5 and 10 percent.  ExxonMobil is a shade above that but the industry average right now is about 8 percent.  It’s just the dollars have gotten so large that such a small percentage creates huge profits that are mind boggling.  However, most of the retail outlets of gasoline are not owned by the large oil companies.  An exception I can think of is Speedway, owned by Ashland and I think Marathon owned by Maraton. But those companies typically aren’t thought of as the big guys. They got out because teh margins were too small and they didn’t want to get into the convenience store business.  Most of the gas stations are not operated or owned by the major oil companies. So…where does our money go to a gallon of gas?

This is interesting. It’s a link to the California Energy Commission.  One would think that the state of California was not colluding with anyone with these numbers.  It shows charts regarding where each of our pennies go when we fill up.  The latest on this chart as of this print is May 19.  It’s a little short of detail because it combines profits and cost for refining and also for marketing and distribution.  But, even so, according the the state of California, branded gasoline of profit and costs in these areas only make up $.25 of the final retail price of $3.95.  It’s even less for unbranded gas.  They claim that there is actually a $.03 loss for marketing and distribution cost and profit and a total of that combined with refining costs and profits of $.25.  I’m curious as to why the refining profits and costs are just $.19 for branded gas but 50% higher for unbranded gas at $.28.

Anyway, it’s an interesting look and, unless you think that the state of California is cooking the books, may be eye-opening and counter intuitive. 

Hey, before I provide the link…I’d give my advice. Stay here in town, enjoy all of the resources of Louisville and spend quality time with your friends and family. Enjoy the weather. All of those things don’t cost a thing yet are priceless.

Cost of Gasoline in California 

Here is an interesting article with different numbers but the same conclusion. It also verifies much of what I mentioned:

What Makes Up the Cost of Gasoline?

Memorial Day Weekend Weather Forecast
May 23, 2008

For Friday a weak upper low will zip down in the northwesterly flow.  There is just a hint of moisture and clouds should thicken from the top down.  There may be a chance for a few light sprinkles or showers late. The biggest deal is that the temperatures will be held down a bit from our fine conditions Thursday.  But,  long awaited ridge of high pressure will build in taking us to the upper 70’s to near 80 on Saturday. Sunday it will be in the mid to upper 80’s and Monday will be in the upper 80’s.  Notice I said nothing about rain. Any big storms you see out in the plains over the weekend, do not worry, they should ride up and over the ridge, leaving us high and dry with lots of sun.

In other words, Don’t worry about the Weather and have a great weekend with friends and family.


But…do yourself a favor….take a moment at some time and pause and reflect what Memorial Day is all about.  The people for whom the day is for are the reason that we are able to have such a great holiday.

Happy Birthday Dad; George Says NO; Senator Almost Beaten to Death
May 22, 2008

Weather is on track.  Clouds on Friday will hold the mercury down a bit and produce perhaps some generally inconsequential showers.  Memorial Day Weekend looks great.  Lots of sun. Mid to upper 70’s Saturday, Mid 80’s on Sunday. Upper 80’s on Memorial Day.  Enjoy the weekend and don’t complain if you get hot. It’s getting toward summer.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD  On this  date a long long time ago, Robert B. Symon, Sr. was introduced to the world.  And the world has been a better place for it.  I’m hoping to one day live up to the old man but I haven’t quite gotten there.  When I was a kid and he helped coach my football or baseball teams. the other guys on the team always told me that my dad was their favorite coach.  They said he was nice.  Today, I realize that is true.  I think we all wish that we could be a person whom about people would say, “you know, I’m a better person for having known him” or “I’m just a little happier for having known him.  My dad is one of the few people I know in life that I think that is the case.  Come to think of it, Snow White is too.   One would think that if I am surrounded and influenced by such people, some of it would rub off on me.  Well, there’s always tomorrow.

On This Date In History: In 1782, there was some chaos in the new nation.  There was a shortage of funds to pay foreign debts and Congress was arguing about what to do.  There was a proposal afoot from officers in the army to settle the situation by proclaiming George Washington as King George I.  The General quickly dispatched such notions when he said that no such occurrence in the war gave him “…more painful sensations…” than such talk.  The word of General Washington was formidable, thus saving the Democracy before it even really got started. The Constitution was adopted in 1787 and the General became the first President in 1789.

On this date in 1856, abolitionist Massachusetts Senator Charles Sumner insulted South Carolina Senator Andrew Butler in a rant against slavery.  Well, Butler’s nephew, Representative Preston Brooks decided to defend the honor of his uncle, and presumably slavery.  He later entered the Senate chamber and beat Sumner so severely that he could not return to the Senate for 3 years!  How’s that for civility in government.  Turns out that Brooks had considered challenging Sumner to a duel but a South Carolina House colleague suggested that dueling was for men of social standing and that Sumner’s coarse language used toward Butler indicated his standing was that of a drunkard.  In other words, “he’s not worth it.”  Well, Brooks decided that if he was such a low life, that a beating was the proper coarse of action.  South Carolinians sent Brooks a bunch of new canes and told him to “beat him again.”  Brooks was not expelled from the House, but instead resigned.  The beating was seen in the North as a sign of southern cowardice and newspaper drawings like the one above ensued.  Brooks gave a interesting defense of his action as he resigned. If you are interested, it’s linked below.  Once again, we complain about the lack of civility in Congress these days but, fear not, it’s been worse.

“If I desired to kill the Senator, why did I not do it?”

Flights of Fancy and Tokyo-No to Greenhouse Reduction
May 21, 2008

Our weather will be on the upswing. Wednesday will still be cool with a number of clouds but a sunny start. Then we get to the mid 70’s to end up the week and head into the Memorial Day Weekend. Sunday we get to the low 80’s and the mid 80’s on Memorial Day. Monday night perhaps some thunderstorms.



On This Date In History:  Remember the story about De Soto and his pigs from a few days ago? Well, he died on this date in 1542 and the pigs he was saving got auctioned off.
Pig Brigade


But it was a day for flying.  On this date in 1927, Charles Lindbergh became the first person to fly solo across the Atlantic when he landed in Paris.  But, I think it was the 22ndin Paris while it was the 21st in the US.  Anyway, less celebrated but significant nonetheless was on the same date in 1932, Amelia Earhart became the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic when she landed in Ireland.  Now, she flew from New Foundland and it was just under 2000 miles.  Lindbergh flew from New York to Paris which was nearly twice as far and he had to stay awake for over 33 hours while Earhart’s flight lasted but 15 hours.  He won a prize of $25,000 and she got the Distinguished Flying Cross from the US Congress.

The photo of Earhart is interesting because most of the photos of her are somewhat unflattering but do indicate the potential for beauty.  This photo verifies….she was a hottie.

Whether it’s 15 or 33.5 hours, that’s a long time to be driving, or flying.  Perhaps they could have used the help of Jacob German, who on this date in 1899 became the first person ever arrested for speeding.  He had been spotted driving a taxi for the Electric Vehicle Company at the “breakneck” speed of 12 miles per hour.    The cops grabbed him and threw him in the clink but they didn’t take his driver’s license.  That’s because New York didn’t issue driver’s licenses until 1901. 

On The Not-So-Green Front:  You’ve probably heard of the Kyoto Protocol which is the international treaty signed in Kyoto, Japan where all the signature nations agree to work toward reduction of Greenhouse Gases.  The US didn’t sign because it felt that the agreement was destined to unfairly penalize the United States.  That has drawn much criticism.  But, it seems that many of the people of Tokyo, Japan have a kindred spirit with the United States and reject their brethren in Kyoto. A recent poll indicates that over 41% of the citizens of Tokyo are not willing to sacrifice anything to fight global warming.  They’d rather maintain their lifestyles and convenience.  Do they know something that so many other’s do not?  Here’s the story.

Tokyoites least ecologically minded

Prince Charles Says The World is Doomed Plus More Global Warming News
May 20, 2008

The general pattern should persist for the balance of the week and that means our weather should stay about the same.  The ridge of high pressure responsible for the heat in the west is not exactly going to be moving eastward or expand.  The eastern extend will remain just to our west and southwest and the flow over us will remain from the northwest.  An upper low from the northwest will move through late Tuesday providing an opportunity for scattered showers at that time.  The rain for Thursday suddenly dissappered from the data and it now looks like the rest of the week and we will be near seasonal levels.  There will be warmer conditions for the weekend but not the massive heat-up that would occur if the whole ridge shifted or expanded east.  There is a possibility of t’storms late Memorial Day, at this point.

WE’RE DOOMED! Britain’s Prince Charles says in a recent article in the London Telegraph that the earth has just 18 months to act to prevent the destruction of the rain forest or environmental results will be a catastrophe.  His solution is to pay billions of dollars for years.  Here’s part of the problem.  First off, there is no way to support that time-frame.  Then there is the issue of pragmatism.  The rain forest is in the tropical regions and largely is occupied by third world or developing nations.  Those people want to exploit their natural resourses just like this country did.  They don’t react very well when others tell them that they can’t do something that developed countries already have done.  The notion that the rest of the world can simply give them money to not use their natural resources seems nonsensical.  Now, it’s not in anyone’s long term interests to exploit the rain forest with clear cutting as it doesn’t grow back like other forests.  But, the guess here is that they would take the money and then continue to do as they please. 

Prince Charles in the London Telegraph


Hurricane Increase Not Caused By Global Warming-new study  Note the person mentioned at the top, Tom Knutson.  He has been a propenent of anthropegenic global warming and he is pooh-poohing the notion that climate change is affecting tropical weather.  That leads us to the next section….

The Global Warming Issue is raising it’s head some more.  There are more and more reports coming out that suggest that the notion that man can alter the climate significantly has more detractors than Al Gore  or the UN have documented as fact.  Recently the Oregon Institution of Science and Medicine issued a report that was signed by over 31,000 experts, including over 9,000 PhD’s, who say the data does not suggest what An Inconvenient Truth or the UN says it does and the fact that the number of backers of this report far outnumber the folks who signed off on the UN report indicates that there is not a consensus in the scientific community.  It’s another example of why that when someone says that the debate is over and that everyone who has a different view should be quiet and the official view should be accepted as fact, then its a red flag.

Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine


Here are other sites and reports to refute findings shown as “fact,” including the idea that the Atlantic ocean is warming due to climate change and  including more on the idea that there will be more numerous and more dangerous hurricanes in the future due to global warming.  The bottom line is that there is no consensus on what the public has been fed as fact and there are many variables that have to be considered before reaching a conclusion.  Evidence has been hidden and points of view have been quashed from people and organizations that claim to champion tolerance and openess to debate.

Energy Tribune