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Archive for September 11th, 2008

Know Which Way the Wind Blows

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National Weather Service
Hurricane Local Statement WTUS84 KHGX

To paraphrase Bob, you don’t need an actuary to calculate them risks.

[Intriguing Update: The above-quoted text was copied-and-pasted directly late 9/11, no edits made here. But go to the source document on Friday, 9/12, and one word has been changed: “WILL” is now “MAY”. Still reads rather strong (although the actuary might debate the inconsistency of pairing the uncertainty of “may” with the apparent absolute of “certain”), but one does wonder why the change.]

[An Even More Intriguing Update: Government censors strike, just one of countless times they will do so during Ike and its aftermath! The post-Ike version of this NWS alert completely drops the above quote, which nevertheless did appear in the uncensored version!!]

bumper sticker [] - mother nature

Written by macheide

11 September 2008 at 9:45 pm

Posted in Mother Nature

TV Programming Worth Watching

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After using the Weather Channel as our TV’s home base for most of the early part of the week, this morning I turned to Houston’s ABC 13 channel for some local insights on Hurricane Ike. Then wound up just leaving 13 on most of the day, with only brief digressions to check on the market and to watch some of our usual weekday afternoon line-up. (No, that afternoon lineup did not include Cash Cab. The Discovery Channel has made it quite clear they don’t care to have viewers turn Cash Cab into a habit.)

Which gave me wall-to-wall coverage of Hurricane Ike. No soap operas or any of the other usual junk. No obnoxious commercials, whether political or not. Amazingly, not a single word about the 7th anniversary that today was. Just Ike. Finally, TV programming that isn’t just bland background noise!

But I won’t bother giving a link to ABC 13’s website. For one thing, their pages are poorly designed bandwidth hogs. I’m not interested in waiting forever until all their overhead for each and every page has to completely reload before I can follow any link to a story or whatnot. More so than that, though, I have a serious beef with a website that hasn’t a clue about the need for some degree of permanence to it. Seriously, if I were to give any link to ABC 13 content about Ike, I have a much lower expectation that the link would still be working after Ike has vanished over the horizon than the survival rate I might expect of a western Galveston beachhouse surviving Ike’s storm surge.

Still, good TV coverage on the storm. The kind of TV we’ll sorely miss after Ike has departed.

bumper sticker [] - television

Written by macheide

11 September 2008 at 9:05 pm

Posted in television

Ike, Meet Lowell?

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About 4:30pm CDT here south of Houston, we just went through a brief but rather steady downpour.

A rain band coming in from Hurricane Ike this early on??

Back inside, I check out the satellite images and find a possible surprise. Which can be seen from this snapshot of a series of moving satellite images – not the best one of the set for showing the entire connection I’ll point to, but perhaps the best snapshot for showing the strength of a second system: Pacific Tropical Depression Lowell, currently coming in on the west coast of Mexico. As a named tropical system, Lowell will die on Mexico’s west coast before dark tonight. But what is all that precipitation stretching up from Lowell across Mexico deep into Texas. Is that junk spit out by Lowell before it made landfall? Or just something else that came in from the western U.S. to merge with a leading edge of Lowell?

Because what we saw here this afternoon seems to have come in at us from the west, from a stray strand leaning east from that large Mexican system. The only connection with Ike seems to maybe have come from a ultra-long spiral that reaches from Ike clear down through Guatemaula and back up, but reaching back as far as Houston only after connecting up with that main Mexican system. (Ignore what are probably Ike-related gray splotches near Houston in the image given in this post. Although this pic seemed the best for pointing to Lowell, it represents conditions about 3 hours before our little downpour. Around the time of the downpour, the only stuff overhead here was coming in a band stretching up from our southwest.)

More importantly, where is that stuff currently in western Texas headed? And if it connects up with Ike, what does that do? I’m sure the meteorologists have looked at all this; and it must amount to nothing, since we’ve heard nary a word about anything coming into Houston through our back door. Only Ike knocking on the front door. Still, tell me where our 4:30pm rain came from this afternoon, eh?

And I’m smirking a little at all any evacuees who decided against driving up to Dallas because of Ike’s projected northern bearing, choosing instead to head west to San Antonio . . . perhaps only to face drenching rain coming up at them from the southwest.

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Written by macheide

11 September 2008 at 4:45 pm

Posted in Mother Nature

Missing Memphis

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Seven years ago today, I had a full day scheduled ahead of me, starting with an early doctor’s visit for bloodwork before I was to catch a flight to Memphis for a company meeting. I was awaiting the needle when a call came through to my cell phone from my mother, who was worried that I might be traveling. She’d just heard that a plane had just crashed into the World Trade Center. A small plane, it was thought at that time. Perhaps a freak accident, it was hoped.

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Written by macheide

11 September 2008 at 2:54 pm

Posted in DRAM