I Still Look At The Weather

The more interesting weather is in the Northeast. I guess all the TV people are talking about the potential for a storm Wednesday? I would be.

The 00Z GFS starts precipitation early Wednesday and continues through the day, heavy at times.

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Learning to forecast was fun. I still find it enjoyable, looking at weather maps and charts. California weather is currently very stable. Days in the 70s, nights 50s. Passing clouds.

Nowadays I use weather.cod.edu for most of my raw and mapped data. It is a nerd-o-riffic weather site run by the College of DuPage in Illinois.

Our next chance for rain comes a week from today. Everyone, including me, will tell you we need it. Southern California must maintain a delicate balance. Even in a drought, nearly all rainstorms here are potentially flooding rainstorms! It doesn’t take much.

The more interesting weather is in the Northeast. I guess all the TV people are talking about the potential for a storm Wednesday? I would be.

The 00Z GFS starts precipitation early Wednesday and continues through the day, heavy at times. It’s the heaviest travel day of the year and this system will impact DCA, PHL, NYC, BOS and everyone inbetween.

Judging by the 850mb temperatures, I’d favor mostly snow in Connecticut–though mixed precip isn’t out of the question. Windy. Stormy. Crappy.

The spaghetti plots through early Thursday are reasonably tight, signifying the model is impressed with its results.

Hey, it’s Sunday. Maybe your decisions can wait. Please, wait as long as possible.

If your options are limited, it might be time to think of alternatives.

No weather forecast is infallible. The ones for SoCal are easier.

The Sound Of My Neighborhood

I now know the “F” word works in Mandarin.

IMAG1578_1There’s a moving truck out back. A neighbor is leaving. I’m not used to seeing this kind of action. My neighbors were farther away in Connecticut. Everything happened discretely. Shhh. New England.

I’m more connected with the outside here. That makes little sense since I’ve got a lot less outside to play with.

The four windows in my office are wide open. I’m on the patio daily. There are sounds. In Connecticut we spent 23 years hearing nothing but nature.

I like hearing the kids playing. They ride their bikes and generally have fun below my window.

Sometimes I hear kids crying. I have a child. I have that experience. It still upsets me.

At night I’ve heard loud family fights somewhere in the extended neighborhood. I now know the “F” word works in Mandarin.

Mostly, the night is quiet. This is an early-to-bed area.

When I cut audio tracks in my former closet “studio” the windows go down. Blinds too. I’d wake the neighborhood.

Once or twice a month cars let loose on Irvine Blvd, over a half mile away. The speed limit is conservatively sixty, but it’s an inviting few miles of sparsely traveled open road to test your ride. In some cases they’re also testing their tires.

We are the next to last home before a farm owned by UC Irvine. We are separated by a high berm, fence and lots of flowers and shrubbery.

Pack behavior howling from coyotes happens nightly. There’s a bunny population explosion every spring. Bunnies are scarce in October.

We hear the Disneyland fireworks. Anaheim is 14 miles north. They’re in the background here, noticeable at 9:30 sharp. You can set your watch to Disney.

In the summer they’re nightly. This time of year, just a few times a week. I don’t think I’ll ever tire of the sound.

The Illustrated: How Does My Garden Grow?

Back in Connecticut there was a rush of color as plants flowered over a short period. Here, something’s blooming year round.

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Steffie picked a lemon earlier today. It came from one of the two little lemon trees (very pretty) near the patio. Wow! We grew that.

We have a small outdoor space. I’m the plant wrangler. Most of our plants are thriving. A few are suspect. We need more flowers!

Back in Connecticut there was a rush of color as plants flowered over a short period. Here, something’s blooming year round.

The flowers attached to this entry are in bloom now. In most cases photography makes them look larger than actual size. They’re all clickable for a larger view.

Facebook And Birthdays

Because of Facebook I’ve heard from lots of friends and viewers in Connecticut. Facebook’s great reminding you of upcoming events. It fails pretty badly when it comes to managing that influx!

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Let me back up for a moment. Most people assume their friends stream by on the Facebook timeline. Yes… but!

I stopped using my “Fox on Fox” page because Facebook was only showing my posts to 5-10% of the people who liked me. Some meteorologists and TV stations who steered viewers to Facebook pages now find Watches and Warnings are poorly distributed.

facebook-logoFacebook assigns values to your friendships. If Facebook thinks two people really don’t engage it lowers the frequency they see each other. Overall, it probably works fine. That doesn’t mean it’s great every time. And, since the users are not Facebook’s real customers (advertisers are), our problems aren’t that important.

For my birthday I’ve gotten hundreds of greetings. Counting private messages, wall posts and folks who weren’t allowed to post (Facebook rules), but wished me Happy Birthday in a reply to something else, the total will be north of 500 and south of 1,000 by Sunday. I want to acknowledge each one.

If you think they’d be displayed on my wall one-after-another you’d be wrong. Only the last half dozen or so appear. Beyond that you have to navigate to a page of links. Then you open a page for each in order to reply. Finally, you navigate back to the page of links.

It takes three times longer than it should!

So, I’m working on it. It might take a while. Worth it. I am very appreciative of each one of you who has taken the time to write.

I miss you too.

John Rowland, Alan Freed and CBS

Once at Brass Mills Center he was mistaken for me. He gave her the autograph anyway.

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Oh, John Rowland. You never cease to amaze me.

Governor John Rowland was a moderate Republican from Connecticut. He went to prison for his thievery in office.

I met him a few times. He was charming. Worked crowds well. Likable.

Once at Brass Mills Center he was mistaken for me. He gave her the autograph anyway.

I’m not in Connecticut to really hear about this, but from what I’ve read (especially the excellent piece by Ed Mahony and Jon Lender in the Courant) he was selling his opinion and access to his radio show.

There’s nothing wrong with espousing your opinion. There’s nothing wrong with selling access and support. What’s wrong is doing it secretly.

We allow commercials. We allow infomercials. They must be disclosed as such.

Here’s why Alan Freed’s in the title. Back in the 50’s Freed was hugely influential as one of the first rock and roll disk jockeys.

Freed’s career ended when it was shown that he had accepted payola (payments from record companies to play specific records), a practice that was highly controversial at the time. There was also a conflict of interest, that he had taken songwriting co-credits (most notably on Chuck Berry’s “Maybellene”), which entitled him to receive part of a song’s royalties, which he could help increase by heavily promoting the record on his own program. However, Harvey Fuqua of The Moonglows insisted Freed co-wrote “Sincerely”.

Freed lost his own show on the radio station WABC; then he was fired from the station altogether on November 21, 1959. He also was fired from his television show (which for a time continued with a different host). In 1960, payola was made illegal. In 1962, Freed pleaded guilty to two charges of commercial bribery, for which he received a fine and a suspended sentence.- Wikipedia

Freed was the whipping boy in the payola scandal. He was destroyed. New laws and rules were implemented.

From the FCC:

Federal law and FCC rules require that employees of broadcast stations, program producers, program suppliers and others who, in exchange for airing material, have accepted or agreed to receive payments, services or other valuable consideration must disclose this fact. Disclosure of compensation provides broadcasters the information they need to let their audiences know if material was paid for, and by whom.

Rowland is responsible, but so is CBS. Guarding the public airways is part of the licensee’s responsibility. It was they who entrusted WTIC to him every day.

CBS actually signed a consent decree in a payola case in 2007. They should know the rules. They are on the hook.

This will be very complex. I hope it’s well reported. I want to follow along.

Now It’s Tropical Storm Arthur

After grazing the North Carolina coast Arthur will be picked up by a midlatitude front and ushered to sea. Friday’s New England rain will be enhanced (intensified) by Arthur’s moisture. That’s especially true in Eastern Connecticut and more so in Rhode Island and the Cape.

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Invest 91 became Tropical Depression 1, which is now Tropical Storm Arthur. I can’t not look!

Early season storms are usually wimps. Not always. Remember Andrew!

Intensity guidance, among the poorest prediction guesses we make, says Arthur will briefly become a hurricane on Friday. I expect no hurricane force winds onshore.

The spaghetti strands continue to be tightly clustered. A good sign, especially since the impact to Connecticut (where many of my friends still live) should be minimal, but still significant.

After grazing the North Carolina coast Arthur will be picked up by a midlatitude front and ushered to sea. Friday’s New England rain will be enhanced (intensified) by Arthur’s moisture. That’s especially true in Eastern Connecticut and more so in Rhode Island and the Cape.

By Saturday Arthur’s east of Cape Cod and steaming away. The weekend is saved in New England and elsewhere!

Remember: Though I do follow tropical systems and post when I can, you should depend on a meteorologist who works fulltime watching your weather. I am flattered people still value my opinion, but I shouldn’t be your ‘final answer.’ – Geoff