Let’s Look At Clouds From Both Sides Now


We seldom get the big picture of what’s on the radar by just looking at the sky. Not today. Today is different in SoCal.

The atmosphere is unstable on the the other side of the Santa Ana Mountains, around 30 miles east of me. That’s where the radar (at the top of this entry) shows strong thunderstorms.

What’s striking in the time lapse below are the mid and upper levels of the clouds producing the storms. There are no clouds in the way blocking my view.

If it looks like the clouds are boiling, just like a pot of water on the stove, it’s because the dynamics are very similar. Heat is being transferred upward through convection.

The heavy rain and lightning bolts are out-of-sight behind the mountains. Here, I only see the signs. Everything is moving north and will soon be gone.

The Sky Was Pink

I sit right alongside one of the four windows in my office. I look to the right to get tipped off on the sunset. Some are spectacular.

Tonight’s was dominated by pink. Even clouds in the east benefited from the glow.

Here’s a sample of what I saw.





My Favorite Don Pardo Video

pardoWord has just come down, Don Pardo has passed away. He was the announcer on Saturday Night Live since day one.

I’ve known his voice and face since I was a little kid. He worked on the NBC network and also Channel 4. In the fifties and sixties he was on my TV all the time.

I think this Live at Five intro best exemplifies who Don Pardo was and why he was so damned cool.

End of an era. Last of the staff announcers. Gone.

Problem Solving Day. I’m Only One For Three!

fridgeWe’ve got three accounts that have become pains-in-the-ass (Pain-in-the-asses? I never know). For two the problem stems from our wanting to pay! The other has to do with a refrigerator warranty and a receipt.

I have a moment to write while I await Anthem Blue Cross’s reply to my tweet. That’s what it’s come to. I’m tweeting for insurance help. There must be something in HIPPA that makes me a law breaker by now.

I have been attempting to get an autopay account set up for my insurance plan. The form asks for an account number. There is none on my card. There is none on my bill. The numbers on the card that aren’t called account number don’t work either!

Marquis, an Anthem CSR, told me there was a problem with the way my account was set up. He called back and left a number. The recorded voice answered as Blue Cross of Georgia. None of the options lead to him or his department. Well played.

I tweeted for help and was pointed to help@anthem.com. So far no response. Not even an automated ‘thumb sucker’ note acknowledging my message.

The second call went to my county’s tax collector. I spent thirteen minutes listening to mind numbing music and being reminded my call is very important. Important alone wasn’t enough to truly convey their feelings.

A tax bill I never received has gone past due. Life was so much easier where I could call and say, “Look… see how we’ve never missed a payment in 23 years?”

Now it’s paid plus a penalty. Great.

Finally there’s our refrigerator, a lovely LG. It’s started making noise and the freezer isn’t staying defrosted as it should. We’ve had it 13 months.

LG has agreed to extend the warranty (I sense this is a systemic problem they know about) with proof-of-purchase. In the tumult of moving we lost the receipt from Lowes.

After a dreadful time getting nowhere with the local store, I finally spoke to someone at the home office. The next morning received a receipt (with prices, but no specific items listed) via email.

I have enclosed copies of your purchase records as requested. It is sufficient for warranty and tax purposes.

When I presented it to Rick from LG he typed,

If I submit your case with this document this will be reject by upper management.

More emails will be sent. More calls to come. Why is it so difficult to make things right?

I’m one for three and that’s the one I paid with a penalty!

The Weather Websites I Use

I’ve been forecasting the weather over thirty years. There have been a boatload of changes and improvements. We used to spend a fortune acquiring data at Channel 8. Now it’s all online and free.

This is my every once-in-a-while weather website recommendations. These are not the only sites with this data, just the ones I favor.

HRRR Model Fields   ExperimentalI use a lot of government data and government sites. They are not the splashiest, but they’ve got just about everything.

For models like the GFS or NAM.

For the short term, high res HRRR. The user facing side of this site is awful, but the HRRR is worth using.

NWS EDDFor greatly customizable maps on the fly, it’s EDD, again from NOAA. EDD has the feel of a freight elevator hung on a building under construction. Nearly everything works, but you’ve got to watch your step. EDD often requires a page reload to clear its foggy head.

A lot of what EDD does Wundermap does too, plus it has the European model! Wundermap is from Wunderground, weather geeks online since the Internet was young. They’re now owned by the Weather Channel’s parent company.

Severe Weather, SPC. The mesoscale analysis section of the site is crazy. You can delicately slice and dice the atmosphere looking for the signs of severe weather.

An admission. I don’t understand the significance of everything they make available.

For tropical weather I hit Dr. Bob Hart’s site at Florida State for individual models and Wisconsin for spaghetti plots.

The most valuable item from the Hurricane Center is the tech discussion. The lead forecaster describes the factors weighed making the forecast. It’s a different url for each storm, but you can find the discussion from their home.

By the way, for anything… and I mean anything that comes from the weather service in text form, I run to the Iowa Environmental Mesonet site.

I wish stuff would come faster. I wish maps would get larger. So many are still sized for a world where 800 pixels across was wide.

Tonight In Ferguson

The “fog of battle” is in evidence here. What was reported as tear gas is now corrected to smoke.

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Always Use The Right Tool

I’ve been a bad boy recently when it comes to chores. Today was a day to make up time. On the list, a trip to Home Depot. We want to replace a few plants. Some aren’t healthy. Others, let’s just say they didn’t make the cut. There were other odds and ends as well. There’s […]

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The End Of The Bathroom Photo

One of my Facebook friends just posted a selfie which floated by on my timeline. The shot is tight, but there’s a reflection in her glasses — bathroom! The bathroom is currently the most photographed room in the house. I suspect as big hair or wide lapels can date a photo from the 80s, soon […]

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Matt Drudge Is A Slimy Weasel

Matt Drudge is a slimy weasel and the poster child for why America’s so damned angry. The screengrab above is from Drudgereport.com, Thursday evening, 8:08 PM PDT. His headline, “‘HOPE AND CHANGE’ TURNS TO RAGE” As is normally the case, Drudge isn’t promoting his own story, but one published elsewhere. His link is to Britain’s […]

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A SoCal Story

I went to pick up some Chinese food a little while ago. It’s a small place in a nearby shopping center. As is often the case here, there a a few restaurants clustered together and outdoor seating available. I walked out and toward an older couple with a beautiful collie. As we were about to […]

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