State Of The Geoff Report

I was unemployed for a while. Possibly you heard?

Here we are at the conclusion of 2011. It’s been a pretty momentous year for me. It ended well. I’d rather not repeat it.

I was unemployed for a while. Possibly you heard?

To say my blog traffic responded is an understatement! 301,208 of you visited 688,809 times viewing 1,187,555 pages in 2011.

I got another job. I’m working in Hartford now for people who like me. The feeling is mutual.

I am a middle aged example of the power of social media. Debra Masulli Ducoff, a total stranger to me, started a support page on my behalf. It caught fire!

Between comments on this blog, Twitter and especially Facebook you established my worth in the market. Even if I live a million years I will never be able to properly express my gratitude to all of you.

Few people get to be eulogized while still alive, but that’s what happened to me. You made the most difficult part of my life bearable.

My significant 2011 takeaway was learning I am a significant piece of your life. I heard hundreds, maybe thousands, of individual stories where our paths crossed. It astounded me to learn how many of you vividly remember those moments.

Like I said, no repeats please. Still, 2011 sure ended a whole lot differently than it began… and that doesn’t even include the weather.

The Pre-Snow Waiting Game

Until this dry air is saturated evaporation will pull the temperature down. That’s a confirming sign we will see that powdery/fluffy snow I expect.

pre snow skew-t.png“I love this weather,” Helaine yelled as I ambled downstairs. Not really. She loves snow like Sully loves geese! Helaine was pre-frustrating, the new family fun game being played at the Fox house this weekend.

We are now in anguish mode. My last forecast has been made. People have already used (or not used) my forecast to make their plans. Now it has to come true or I become the goat!

Speaking of forecast, there’s an article (more like an interview with me) on the front page of today’s New Haven Register. It was written before I upped my totals. The facts are good, but the forecast now looks underdone.

CTCapitolReport, a Drudgereport lookalike, has also quoted me prominently on their homepage. In stark non-proportional Courier type, “Geoff Fox: Storms seldom live up to these massive forecasts.”

I did say that, but here’s the full quote:

Storms seldom live up to these massive forecasts. There are so many things that can change and nearly each of them will mean less snow. Still, 8-15″ on the shore (which is what I’ll say) seems reasonable right now. I’ll go for 5-10″ for most inland sections.

Was the ‘pull’ a little out-of-context? Yeah, I think so.

There’s nothing I can do to change the weather. However, I will still try and will it to conform. It’s like the uncontrollable way I move my legs during NFL football or Helaine steps on the imaginary brake while I’m driving.

My friend Farrell just sent a text from Palm Springs:

“Is the forecast living up to your expectations?

A little early for that. It certainly hasn’t disappointed down south. You actual mileage may vary.

So, what can I tell you now? I’m impressed by how dry the atmosphere is.

I’m looking at a skew-t plot from this morning. Skew-t displays temperature and dew point vertically through the atmosphere. As dry as it was at ground level it was crazily dry up to around 4-5,000 feet.

Until this dry air is saturated evaporation will pull the temperature down. That’s a confirming sign we will see the powdery/fluffy snow forecast.

The most obvious confirmation of the skew-t’s data are the echoes showing overhead on the radar. My friend Bob at FSU in Tallahassee said:

“Indeed this is the longest period of virga i can recall.”

The 12Z GFS model is in reasonable agreement with last night’s run. If I was forecasting now I’d probably leave my numbers intact. I guess that’s as good as it can be for me right now.

I’ll check back later as the snow flies.

The Post’s Snow Lover Hates Me

Does seeing what he wrote upset me? Of course it does.

I got a mention in Jim Shay’s blog from the Connecticut Post&#185. The entry is called, “Weathering the anti-snow people.”

I tried to respond there, but the website fired off an error message saying it couldn’t connect to its database.

“[A] promising period of snow and cold temperatures are in the forecast.

No you won’t get that from the snow haters on Connecticut television stations. At the top of the list is Geoff Fox on WTNH whose anti-snow bias is enough to turn off the channel as soon as you see him. Sorry, Geoff, I’m tired of hearing that B.S. of the time you spent in snowy Buffalo. Why don’t you just tell the forecast instead of your shaking your head and have that condensending smug on your face when there’s snow in the forecast.”

fluffy-snow-deck-chairs.jpgWe’ve got to get Jim a spell checker. Actually, even if it was spelled right, what’s a condescending smug?

He’s mostly right though. I’m not exactly anti-snow (can one actually be anti-snow?), but I am a snow hater. Not Jim. His blog is named “Snow Zone.” Duh.

He’s unhappy with me. I suspect he thinks my admitted bias affects my forecast.

If it were only that simple.

He probably prefers those who predicted 100 of the last 25 inches of snow! To them hope springs eternal. All potential Nor’easters become Nor’easters. That’s not real life. That’s not me.

My forecast doesn’t make the snow come. As Dr. Mel says, “We’re in prediction, not production.” The snow is a passive observer. It does what it wants.

My job is to be as accurate as possible. Bias be damned. There’s no upside to being wrong. I’ve been wrong enough times over 25 years to know I want to avoid it (and to avoid humanity in general after I’ve been wrong).

Does seeing what he wrote upset me? Of course it does. No one wants to read along as the author tries to put you down (though, as hinted at earlier, it would be more effective if the Assistant Managing Editor of the Connecticut Post properly spelled his words and structured his sentences).

Stuff like this comes with the territory. I do a better job dealing with it than I once did. Anyway, the posting is not as bad as it looks because he wrote enough specifics to realize he does watch!

The blogger doth protest too much.

&#185 – The Connecticut Post was the Bridgeport Post. Like many papers attached to a downtrodden urban center with wealthier suburbs (Newark Star-Ledger, Camden Courier-Post to name two) it changed its name. That might be good for the paper while simultaneously demoralizing for the formerly named city.

Ballot Follow-Up

Still it’s eating at me. I sent a note to Connecticut’s Secretary of State, who I do not know personally.

I spoke to a few people after yesterday’s posting about my town’s ballot. Some people saw my point–not everyone. No one felt it was as serious a problem as I did.

Still it’s eating at me. I sent a note to Connecticut’s Secretary of State, who I do not know personally.

Dear Secretary Bysiewicz,

I am writing to ask about yesterday’s ballot. I live in Hamden, but I suspect my concern is statewide.

In our vote for council-at-large and school board there were eight candidates for four positions. The demarcation of individual columns and numbering (9a, 9b, 10a, 10b not 9,10,11,12) imply you may not vote for a candidate directly above or below another candidate you’ve already voted for. Even though the ballot said “Vote for any four” the implication is otherwise and I suspect many people were confused as I originally was.

A simple statistical analysis of the ballots will show if I am correct. On ballots with split ticket voting in multiple candidate offices did the candidate above or below a candidate who received a vote get a statistically equal proportion of the vote? I suspect they did not. I’d be willing to bet they did not.

This is a non-partisan issue. I don’t believe either party benefited. However, a candidate running directly above or below someone with strong name recognition would be unfairly penalized. That would be wrong.

Thank you for your time in considering this. I hope to hear your thoughts.

Sincerely,

Geoff Fox

I guessed at her email address. It hasn’t come bouncing back to me so I’ll hope it was received.

I’ll update as/if necessary.

I’ll Be Flying Under A New Name Now

Really–“gender at time of booking?” Is this really that common a problem?

mh_logo_southwest.gifI got a note from Southwest Airlines this morning asking me to update my personal information. The TSA has requested mandated I make all future reservations under my name as it appears on my drivers license. Geoff Fox won’t be flying anymore. Geoffrey J. Fox will.

More interesting than the TSA’s new hassle program security procedure is the text on Southwest’s site.

Secure Flight was recently introduced by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), which now requires Customers to provide full name (including middle name as it appears on your government issued photo ID that will be presented at the airport), date of birth, and gender at time of booking. To ensure you receive credit for your flights automatically, Southwest Airlines is providing you with a one time update to your account.

Really–“gender at time of booking?” Is this really that common a problem? And shouldn’t it be gender at time of flight? It doesn’t seem to matter what you were as much as what you are.

Damn–now they’ve got me playing their silly game.

I went to make these changes as I was typing this entry.

Temporarily Unavailable

This Southwest Airlines feature is unavailable. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

I always knew procrastination paid. I’ll try again… later.

Really? Did I Say That?

It wasn’t until today I saw the story… and I was actually clever in print.

Last Friday I was called by Susan Misur at the New Haven Register. She was writing a story about Hurricane Bill and was looking for some meteorological help. No problem. I like ink!

It wasn’t until today I saw the story… and I was actually clever in print.

“I think this cold front will stand between us and the storm like a bouncer stands at the door to a club. Hopefully, it will protect us,” said WTNH meteorologist Geoff Fox.

Do you really have to be a meteorologist to say stuff like that?