Tag: Weather

This is a Vintage Month for Schadenfraude

The confederate general has fallen pic.twitter.com/vbrd7MrjE5

— Davante Lewis (@davantelewis) August 27, 2020


Calcasieu Parish refused to remove the Confederate “South’s Defenders Monument” when activists demanded that the tribute to to slavery be taken down. Hurricane Laura did the job anyway:

As Hurricane Laura made landfall along the Gulf Coast early Thursday morning, it brought down a Confederate monument in southern Louisiana that community members pushed to remove earlier this summer. Despite requests from residents and support from a local mayor, the government in Calcasieu Parish, where the monument is located, voted to keep it in its place during a meeting held two weeks ago.

On Thursday morning, photos shared to social media showed the Confederate statue, known as the South’s Defenders Monument, incurred significant damages overnight as a result of the hurricane.

“Lake Charles and Calcasieu Parish has been filled with controversy and tension after our parish government by a vote of 10–5 refused to take down the Confederate South’s Defenders Monument,” wrote Davante Lewis, director of public affairs at The Louisiana Budget Project, alongside pictures of the toppled structure.


In subsequent comments to Newsweek, Lewis noted that only a few Black members belong to the Calcasieu Parish Police Jury—similar to a board of commissioners—and said the governing body’s vote to maintain the South’s Defenders statue was divided along racial lines. Although Lewis himself is not currently a resident of Calcasieu Parish, his family lives there and father Eddie Lewis is a representative on the Police Jury.

I am amused.

The Worst Member of the Trump Administration

I know that this is a target rich environment, but Wilbur Ross, who just threatened to fire people at NOAA for reporting the weather accurately, is high up on any list:

The Secretary of Commerce threatened to fire top employees at the federal scientific agency responsible for weather forecasts last Friday after the agency’s Birmingham office contradicted President Trump’s claim that Hurricane Dorian might hit Alabama, according to three people familiar with the discussion.

That threat led to an unusual, unsigned statement later that Friday by the agency, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, disavowing the National Weather Service’s position that Alabama was not at risk. The reversal caused widespread anger within the agency and drew accusations from the scientific community that the National Weather Service, which is part of NOAA, had been bent to political purposes.

NOAA’s statement on Friday is now being examined by the Commerce Department’s Office of Inspector General, according to documents reviewed by The New York Times, and employees have been asked to preserve their files. NOAA is a division of the Commerce Department.


The Commerce Department disputed the account on behalf of the Secretary of Commerce, Wilbur L. Ross Jr. “Secretary Ross did not threaten to fire any NOAA staff over forecasting and public statements about Hurricane Dorian,” the department said in a statement issued by a spokesman.


The accusations against Mr. Ross are the latest developments in a political imbroglio that began more than a week ago, when Dorian was bearing down on the Bahamas and Mr. Trump wrote on Twitter that Alabama would be hit “harder than anticipated.” A few minutes later, the National Weather Service in Birmingham, Ala., posted on Twitter that “Alabama will NOT see any impacts from Dorian. We repeat, no impacts from Hurricane Dorian will be felt across Alabama.”


Mr. Ross, the commerce secretary, intervened two days later, early last Friday, according to the three people familiar with his actions. Mr. Ross phoned Neil Jacobs, the acting administrator of NOAA, from Greece where the secretary was traveling for meetings and instructed Dr. Jacobs to fix the agency’s perceived contradiction of the president.

Dr. Jacobs objected to the demand and was told that the political staff at NOAA would be fired if the situation was not fixed, according to the three individuals, who requested anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the episode.


Craig N. McLean, NOAA’s acting chief scientist, sent an email to staff members Monday notifying the agency that he was looking into “potential violations” in the agency’s decision to ultimately back Mr. Trump’s statements rather than those of its own scientists. He called the agency’s action “a danger to public health and safety.”


Richard Hirn, general counsel for the National Weather Service Employees Organization, said what made the NOAA episode extraordinary, though, was that it was not part of an overarching policy dispute on a contentious topic like climate change. “This is just to cover up an embarrassing mistake the president made,” he said.

Mr. Hirn, who said he has worked with the agency through six administrations, added that, “Never before has anybody tried to politicize the weather in all the administrations I’ve worked with.”

Seriously, impeach Ross, and then go after Donald Trump.

F%$# that, just impeach Trump.

Ivanka’s Two Cones of Shame

Ivanka is such a disgrace she has to wear TWO cones of shame. pic.twitter.com/ug3SnJcoPN

— The Volatile Mermaid (@OhNoSheTwitnt) September 4, 2019

It’s an “Up” Reference

Ivanka Trump went to Columbia and had a wardrobe malfunction caused by the forces of nature.

This warning should be taken seriously:

Ivanka wanted to wear something that would show off her toned biceps and shoulders. The wind had other ideas.

That’s a $1650 dress, by the way.

The elements are conspiring against you.

Time to go.

“Spring” in Maryland

1PM: Snow Squall

2 hours later: Sunny and 60 degrees

2 hours after that: Sleeting

It’s March 25.

It’s officially been Spring for days.

It started snowing a little bit after noon.

By 1 pm we had a full snow squall.

And then, it was followed by warmer temperatures and clear skies, which was in turn followed by a frozen mix.

Enough already!!!!!

It’s Called a Windshield Wiper

I saw an article talking about how Silicon Valley is a terrible place for testing self driving cars because the weather there is too good.

Of course there is not a whole bunch of snow there, but there are ski resorts about 100 miles away, and mountains, etc.

They also make the point that this is a tremendously difficult problem.

The truth is that it is not a big problem.  The solution is called a windshield wiper.

In fact, I spent nearly a year working on a windshield wiper system for the LIDAR sensor clear on the US Army’s now canceled MULE (Multifunction Utility/Logistics and Equipment ) program.

The windshield wiper was complex, because the sensor covered about 200 degrees, and the windows were faceted with sharp edges, and I had to design a linkage to make the wiper follow the profile, and EMI/RFI shielded cabling, and gas tight seals, etc. ………

This is not trivial, but the solutions are straightforward, and California can accommodate pretty much all of the environmental conditions with the exceptions of tropical rain forest and tundra.

The real problem with the self-driving cars being developed in Silicon Valley is that the Silicon Valley ethos simply does not work for things that have to work outside of a computer.

The debacles at Theranos and Juicero are classic examples as to what happens Silicon Valley tries to conquer the real world, it turns to complete sh%$.

There may be self-driving vehicles capable of driving on any road before I die, but they will not come from the minds of Google, or Tesla, or Uber.

It might come from the NSA, it might come from Detroit, but truly autonomous cars are not cute cat GIFs, so I don’t expect them to come from the Randian supermen of Silicon Valley.

Another Sign of the Apocalypse

In Ottowa, a New Year’s concert was canceled, and a hockey game was moved indoors because it was too cold for Canadians.

“Too cold for Canadians,” there was a phrase I never expected to say:

First no hockey, now no music. Ottawa has declared that it’s officially too cold – even for Canadians.

Heritage Canada has announced that a New Year’s Eve concert planned for Ottawa has been cancelled because of an extreme cold weather warning.

The party’s cancellation on Friday came after the federal government also moved an outdoor hockey tournament indoors and away from a C$5.6m (£3.3m) temporary ice rink installed on Parliament Hill.

The forecast overnight low for the nation’s capital on Sunday is -29C [-20°F] , nearly 20 degrees [36°F] colder than the seasonal average. Public skating and a fireworks show on the city’s Parliament Hill will go ahead as planned on Sunday night, but Heritage Canada warned revellers have been warned to dress for the weather and “prepare accordingly to prevent frostbite and other injuries”.

My suggestion would be for Canadians to watch the fireworks on TV.

Nope, No Anthropogenic Climate Change Here

Yep, a Hurricane, hitting Ireland

A hurricane is hitting Ireland.

You heard that right, Ireland

This is the furthest east time ever that a hurricane has been observed in the modern era:

The system formerly known as Hurricane Ophelia is moving into Ireland on Monday, bringing “status red” weather throughout the day to the island. The Irish National Meteorological Service, Met Éireann, has warned that, “Violent and destructive gusts of 120 to 150km/h are forecast countrywide, and in excess of these values in some very exposed and hilly areas. There is a danger to life and property.”

Ophelia transitioned from a hurricane to an extra-tropical system on Sunday, but that only marginally diminished its threat to Ireland and the United Kingdom on Monday, before it likely dissipates near Norway on Tuesday. The primary threat from the system was high winds, with heavy rains.

Forecasters marveled at the intensification of Ophelia on Saturday, as it reached Category 3 status on the Saffir-Simpson scale and became a major hurricane. For a storm in the Atlantic basin, this is the farthest east that a major hurricane has been recorded during the satellite era of observations. Additionally, it was the farthest north, at 35.9 degrees north, that an Atlantic major hurricane has existed this late in the year since 1939.

“Ophelia is breaking new ground for a major hurricane,” National Hurricane Center scientist Eric Blake wrote on Twitter. “Typically those waters much too cool for anything this strong.” He also added, “I really can’t believe I’m seeing a major just south of the Azores.” Seas near where Ophelia intensified Saturday were 1-2 degrees Celsius above normal.

It goes without saying that we are in for some serious hurt over the next few years.

It also follows that climate change deniers are full of crap.

I Have Had It with These Motherf%##Ing Sharks on This Motherf%$#Ing Freeway

It’s actually a Photoshop hoax, which is depressing, but it’s probably actually a good thing that soulless cold blooded predators are not swimming the streets of Houston.

The cold blooded soulless predators were in Austin, but the special session of the legislature ended about 2 weeks ago, so they are scattered all over the state now.

Rule #1 of Giving Disaster Aid Is Not to Give to the American Red Cross

Rule #2 is to refer to rule #1.

Pro Publica has some quick tips for donating after a disaster in response to the massive flooding in the Houston area from hurricane Harvey, and the lede paragraph mentions the American Red Cross mismanagement in Haiti.

The comments mention their mismanagement of the super storm Sandy.

On a more personal level, I was in the Good Friday earthquake in Anchorage in 1964 (No memories, I was less than 2), and my father has vivid recollections of the general uselessness of the Red Cross, he was involved on some of the (ultimately ignored) after incident analysis and recommendations.

He recalls that the Salvation Army did a much better job than the ARC.

Just don’t give to them.  It will end up going to new carpets in their Washington, DC offices.

Non-Existent Global Warming Strikes Again

We are completely f%$#ed

Breakup of Larsen B in 2002

An ice shelf ¼ the side of Wales is set to break off from the Larsen C ice shelf in Antarctica:

An iceberg expected to be one of the 10 largest ever recorded is ready to break away from Antarctica, scientists say.

A long-running rift in the Larsen C ice shelf grew suddenly in December and now just 20km of ice is keeping the 5,000 sq km piece from floating away.

Larsen C is the most northern major ice shelf in Antarctica.

Researchers based in Swansea say the loss of a piece a quarter of the size of Wales will leave the whole shelf vulnerable to future break-up.

Larsen C is about 350m thick and floats on the seas at the edge of West Antarctica, holding back the flow of glaciers that feed into it.

Researchers have been tracking the rift in Larsen C for many years, watching it with some trepidation after the collapse of Larsen A ice shelf in 1995 and the sudden break-up of the Larsen B shelf in 2002.


But in December the speed of the rift went into overdrive, growing by a further 18km in just a couple of weeks. What will become a massive iceberg now hangs on to the shelf by a thread just 20km long.

“If it doesn’t go in the next few months, I’ll be amazed,” project leader Prof Adrian Luckman, from Swansea University, told BBC News.


It is believed that climate warming has brought forward the likely separation of the iceberg but the scientists say they have no direct evidence to support this.

However, they are concerned about how any break-off will impact the rest of the ice shelf, given that its neighbour, Larsen B, disintegrated spectacularly in 2002 following a similar large calving event.

“We are convinced, although others are not, that the remaining ice shelf will be less stable than the present one,” said Prof Luckman.

“We would expect in the ensuing months to years further calving events, and maybe an eventual collapse – but it’s a very hard thing to predict, and our models say it will be less stable; not that it will immediately collapse or anything like that.”

As it floats on the sea, the resulting iceberg from the shelf will not raise sea levels. But if the shelf breaks up even more, it could result in glaciers that flow off the land behind it to speed up their passage towards the ocean. This non-floating ice would have an impact on sea levels.

According to estimates, if all the ice that the Larsen C shelf currently holds back entered the sea, global waters would rise by 10cm.

2½ inches (10 cm) may not sound like a lot, but this is just one incident.

There are dozens, if not hundreds, of similar developments around the world, and indicate that the current rate of sea level rise (1.8 mm/year) could be just a prelude.