Another Look At Saturday’s East Coast Storm





I have been out-of-touch the past few weeks. My head has been buried deep within GrADS,

The Grid Analysis and Display System (GrADS) is an interactive desktop tool that is used for easy access, manipulation, and visualization of earth science data.

‘Easy’ would not be my adjective of choice.

I have been very lucky to receive expert GrADS help from former Action News Weather Watcher, Professor Bob Hart at FSU and Greg Senia in Shelton, Connecticut. Greg is a Facebook friend, a former viewer.

In an amazing piece of luck I stumbled upon a guy interested in the same arcane software on the same computer experimenter’s hardware, the $35 credit card size Raspberry Pi. And, Greg has skills!

Learning GrADS is allowing me to update last night’s forecast graphically with my modifying parameters unchanged. So, this is apples to apples. it is based heavily on the GFS.

My forecast also take compaction into account. I wrote about that last night.

Again this evening the system looks to be farther south than originally progged. My friend Peter Mokover in Ventnor Cty, NJ could get buried (Peter is reading this and saying, “Oy.”) with nearly a foot of snow.

If I was on TV in Connecticut tonight I’d be hedging my bet down just a little. From a practical standpoint four inches of snow and six inches of snow produce the same amount of grief. As a matter of pride I want to be right. This far out no one knows with any certainty — certainly not me.

This is why getting scared a week out makes no sense. This forecast isn’t yet stable.

Here’s what we know, a large system will be nearby. The most likely ‘go’ time is Saturday morning after sun up. Connecticut will get enough snow to keep most people inside, but not a back breaker crippling system. I wouldn’t want to be on a boat south of Long Island this weekend.

It’s a cause for concern, but don’t go nuts.

Why Do We Make Our Vets Beg?

Wounded_Warrior_Project_logo.svgA Wounded Warrior Project ad is running in the background. Trace Adkins is begging for money. The whole pitch is calculated to make you uncomfortable and guilty.

Why do we force our vets to beg for money? Where’s our strong moral obligation as a nation to do everything Wounded Warriors does and more? These men and women sacrificed their lives for our nation.

These are commercials, not PSAs. WWP pays to get on TV. They are a business with a noble purpose… but that are a business.

I am a pacifist, nearly always against conflict. The wounded vets in these commercials are a large part of my reason. We do a piss poor job estimating this ‘cost’ of war. Then we play deadbeat dad.

I am embarrassed there needs to be a Wounded Warrior Project.

Understand, my beef isn’t with them. They should be the quarterback on the sidelines with a clipboard taking care of the few cases that fall through the cracks. This is America’s obligation.

It would be nice if this was the sort of thing we considered before we went to war.

Saturday’s East Coast Storm

When it comes to snow, my forecasts are usually among the least aggressive. In other words, I call for less snow.

I can’t be sure why. Each forecaster approaches the number differently. The amount of data is overwhelming. The right answer is always there hidden inside the pile of wrong answers.

Anyway, it works. No one is perfect and I certainly sweat every flake all-the-way to the ground, but my snow calling is pretty good.

As it turns out I am helped by a factor I never considered until recently, compaction. As soon as a pile grows it also begins to shrink. Crystals splinter and break. The snow begins to play Tetris.

Snow piles are larger when storms build gradually and fall off quickly. The same amount of snow, the same fluffiness of snow, can produce wildly differing accumulations. Inches of light snow can disappear into a compacting pile.

There are equations. Calc is involved. Thanks, I’ll let the machines do the grunt work. But this is a big deal.

Weather Service observers start fresh every six hours. They count more snow than you see because of their technique.

The map above shows my call for the New England weekend storm. It seems most likely the bulk of the storm will pass out-to-sea. The Jersey Shore will get clobbered.

By wake-up time Saturday Connecticut will already see a few inches on the ground with moderate to heavy snow falling.

My friends in Connecticut will probably accumulate around six inches where the snow’s allowed to pile up. You’ll get a little more on the shoreline and a little less on the UCONN campus.

I’ll be on the patio if you need me.

The State Of The Harold Report

IMAG0250 (1)-w1200-h1200

We’re back. Stef and I have returned from Milwaukee. We spent the weekend visiting my father and the family.

IMAG0129-w1200-h1200First things first. My dad looks great. This is not what we or anyone expected. The state of the Harold is strong!

Tell me if you’ve heard this one before? My dad goes into the hospital for one thing and ends up with some sort of package deal from hell!

It was supposed to be one simple operation. Instead it became a string of procedures, removing organs (gallbladder) we didn’t know were in play when we started.

gallbladder stone.-w1200-h1200“The largest we’ve ever seen,” said the surgeon who extricated a single gallstone. Even this had demanded two trips to the hospital.

Anyway, it’s all done. My dad’s come through it well. But, he went through a few months of tsuris to get to this point.

With a walker for security he moves at a brisk pace. The shortness of breath that preceded his TAVR surgery is mainly gone.

We kept him busy this weekend. He stood up to the test, then crashed once he got home.

“I never even put on my pajamas.”

Stef and I visited him at his apartment in a senior living facility. He doesn’t need assisted living in the classic sense, but has someone who’s with him all day. We’re lucky he found LaTonya.

IMAG0138-w1200-h1200He keeps the place a little warm.

I mated his cellphone with his hearing aid. It worked well in my presence. I’ll lay 2:1 it’s not working within the week.

I have ten Milwaukee relatives. My sister and brother-in-law have been there over twenty years. Their two daughters have started families nearby. And now, of course, my father.

IMAG0173-COLLAGE-w1200-h1200Stef stayed at Cousin Melissa’s enjoying the company of Charlotte, aka Charlie. She is wide eyed and beautiful. I stayed with my sister and brother-in-law.

We got to spend time with all the family. It’s sad we’re such strangers to Trudi and Jeff’s grandchildren (Charlie, Judah and Gabby). A few thousand miles does that.

We watched the Packers lose in Wisconsin with Packers fans.

We found an airport store where cow shaped Wisconsin Cheddar can be bought.

We lived through this morning’s five below reading on the ‘carmometer.’

We spent lots of time with my dad.

Most of the way back America was a white, frozen tundra. There were plenty of snow capped mountains from the Rockies west, even here in SoCal.

We live in amazing times where you can sit in a chair and be transported through space to see loved ones far away. In four hours we traveled 1,753 miles, losing two hours and gaining 75º!

Richard Libertini — You’ll Know The Face

Richard LibertiniRichard Libertini died a few days ago. A character actor with a significant body of work, I remember him solely for his appearance in the In-Laws (1979 version) with Peter Falk and Alan Arkin.

He played General Garcia, the crazy South American dictator with a plan to topple the world’s currencies.

“I am a pacifist by nature with a deep Quaker belief in the sanctity of human life. I wish I had a choice but to kill you.”

I met Richard Libertini at least 25 years ago at Channel 8 in Connecticut. He was promoting something else, but I got a chance to tell him how he stole this scene. He did. Arkin and Falk were putty in his hands.

He was very gracious and it was obvious he knew this was his life’s most memorable work.

My Right Eye Is Closed

Well, I thought I was seeing the doctor. I actually saw a nurse practitioner. I’m not sure my minor eye tsuris deserved more. Of course I’m not a doctor. Come to think of it, neither was she.

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Mommy’s Home: Starring Doppler

Helaine was gone all day Friday. When she returned Doppler welcomed her as if she’d been stranded on a desert island! And, as it turned out, I was rolling video.

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It’s RAINING in SoCal

TV news helicopters hovered most of the day over submerged cars, closed freeways and threatened homes. You hear the phrase “burn scar areas” a lot on a day like today.

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I’m In Obsession Mode

GrADS is up and running. Until my Raspberry Pi can do the job I’ve dedicated another tiny computer, a Pipo X7S. The X7S is a totally silent, fanless Windows computer. It’s basically a Windows tablet without the screen or touchy stuff. Over the past few days I’ve spent at least 20 hours pecking away at […]

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I Am Super Nerdy Tonight

That’s best described as building your own software in kit form. And you have to supply a few of the parts, in the form of libraries, on your own.

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