Desierto norte de Chile

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Flexibility parlayed into a $350 travel voucher!

This a.m. I and the 2 students traveling with me were able to turn our travel flexibility into a $350 travel voucher! We arrived on time in PHX from DCA on USAirways, and when I went to query the gate agent for a seat with more room (i.e., EXIT ROW!), she instead offered me $350 if I would take the next flight (leaving 3.5 hrs later). I said I was traveling with 2 others, and if the offer would be valid for all of us. She said she wasn't sure but we could see. So we put our names down and waited for the boarding to finish. Sure enough they needed 4 volunteers to give up seats, and so the 3 of us are spending a few extra hours in Phoenix but now with $350 travel vouchers. The only other time this happened to me also occurred on US Airways, a flight from CLT to PGV (I've volunteered maybe a dozen other times to be "bumped", but in each of those instances the flight ended up not being oversold). Now, where to go on US Airways' dime....

Flying by Earl, fraternizing with Fiona?

The Atlantic tropics are active again as we enter the 4-week-long climatological peak of the tropical season (late Aug-late Sept). Hurricane Danielle was the first of what looks like 3 consecutive tropical wave systems to develop (and she's now heading NE toward a watery grave south of Greenland). Earl is the next in line and he looks to brush past the northeastern Leeward Islands (Antigua, Virgin Island, maybe Puerto Rico) over the next 2 days. I'm a little worried that Earl won't recurve as fast as all of the models - and subsequently the NHC official forecast - are saying, and will end up close enough to the eastern seaboard to affect my return flight to DCA on Friday afternoon. As of today, about 5 days out, the closest point of approach is still over 500 miles to the east... we'll see what pans out. Finally the last wave, which looks to have a nice spiral surface circulation (but lacks deep thunderstorm clouds over the circulation), will probably develop into Fiona in the next day or two. This system is likely to track farthest south of the 3 waves, perhaps passing through the same northeastern Leeward islands 72 hrs after Earl, then heading in the general direction of the US. We'll wait and see - if anything it'll keep my attention during the AMS meeting this week.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

What was *your* grandmother doing 33 yrs 5 months ago?

Tonight I was reminded of what my grandma, my mom's mother, was doing 33 years and 5 months ago, on Feb. 9, 1977: she was opening a newly-received package from the Wear-Ever Aluminum Company, Inc. of Chillicothe, OH. And tonight, my roommate and I took advantage of her timely purchase, namely to replace the handle on one of my favorite pots, one that she had the foresight to order replacement parts for all those years ago. Whoever says that new is better obviously hasn't used anything from Wear-Ever, because while I don't know how much my grandma used that pot, I know I've used it a ton in the 9 years I've owned it. Here are some pics; thanks, MeMa, for ordering replacement handles for your pots (and for keeping them with the pots so they could be handed down to me), and also thanks for the trip down memory lane!

Saturday, August 07, 2010

A promising forecast!

After the threat of TS/Hurricane Colin has diminished to the point of only giving a us long-period wave swell, the forecast is looking promising! There's always the chance of afternoon/evening thunderstorms in summer, particularly when located < 5 m from a deep reservoir of heat (sea water >82F)! However, it's looking good for us -- sweaty, yes, but maybe there'll be a breeze!

A lovely summer's morning . . .

Here in Annapolis we have finally broken the heat and humidity that plagued much of July. The dew point temperature has falled into the upper 50sF and the overnight low was about 70F. Hopefully this will be a harbringer of a delightful autumn.

Not too far away, in either direction, the weather is another story. Mid-70sF dew point temperatures lurk down in North Carolina, and atop New England's highest peak, the latest ob reported 25kt winds, a temp of 32F, and freezing fog. Now that's a nice way to start a "dog day" of August!

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Colin forms and heads west

To follow-up from Sunday: Tropical Storm Colin has formed and indeed is heading west. Family and I are scheduled to arrive in Emerald Isle at 3 p.m. Sunday; should we pack an extra poncho and some flashlights & batteries? Will I once again be driving in the contraflow direction, like I did in September 1999 on my way east to Greenville to meet with Floyd?

That being said, the current satellite loop shows what I'd hardly argue was a tropical cyclone-- an open wave, for sure. We'll see what NHC says at 2100UTC.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Uninvited beach week guest?

As the Barretts prepare for our annual beach week in Emerald Isle, NC, the tropics seem to be "heating up" after a couple of weak July systems. We've vacationed together for probably 10 years now, but often it's been earlier in the summer (late May / early June, occassionally into July). That time is good for at least two reasons: one, the water (and air) are cooler (August is swelteringly hot!), and the risk of tropical cyclones is low.

So like any weather afficionado, I've been checking the long-range forecasts, esp. after the t-storms email list chatter up-ticked a few days ago with the 10-day prediction of a strong TC hitting the northern Leeward islands. Immediately after the chatter, the models backed off their predictions, but now it looks like the model consensus is to develop the tropical wave, currently a few hundred miles off Africa, into a pretty robust TC. At least 4 global models predict cyclogenesis and deepening, and their intensity solutions are similar: all develop it into a major hurricane. The spread between the models' track solutions, however, is very large: the Canadian Model takes the nascent TC and heads almost for Bermuda; the NOGAPS Model pushes it nearly due west across/just north of Barbados and into the central Caribbean; the GFS and ECMWF are remarkably similar, both heading to the east coast of Florida by next Sunday.

For our beach week, we need only worry about anything heading up the SE coast; right now, the entire north Atlantic is dominated by a huge and sprawling Azores-Bermuda high, anchored a few hundred miles off the west coast of Spain with an axis reaching nearly to Cuba. This ridge would steer any TCs mostly westward, and if it stays in place, coastal NC would be fine. Hopefully it will maintain itself, giving us a few days of nice swells from a TC that passes well to our south.

    Newer›  ‹Older