Desierto norte de Chile

Friday, July 29, 2011

Who's to blame for this $14 trillion debt?

A very interesting graphic from the NY Times showing what debt accumulated under which presidents. Of the $13 trillion debt incurred since 1980, 30% was accumulated under Democratic presidents (Clinton and Obama) and 70% under Republican presidents (Reagan, Bush, and Bush). That ratio isn't askew, though, because you'll note that Democratic presidents have been in office 10 out of those 30 yrs, indicating that each party is contributing equally to debt. However, this makes me wonder why Republicans are so hell-bent on the austerity measures now, in 2011. Where in the heck have they been since 1980? Only voting in (and/or signing) 70% of the nation's national debt, that's where. What the heck has changed in 2011, that was different from 2005 or 1985? Is it that the country is *worse* off now than then? That we're fighting 2 foreign wars? Economic growth is critical to job creation - quite important to the ~10% of unemployed folk out there now. So the idea is to slice some of the spending that currently contributes to 39% of our country's GDP? (Did any of you realize that nearly 40% of this country's economy is government spending? 40%!! That's a shocking number to me, and I consider myself well-informed). Anyway, we'll see how the next 72 hrs shake out, but in my opinion the attitude down Hwy50 is vitriolic not patriotic, me- or party-first not country-first. And that goes for all 535 of them.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Interesting weather records for Norman, Okla

I was browsing around yesterday on the Mesonet web site and uncovered an interesting observation. The temperature records for Norman, which go back to 1994 (17 yrs now) and span two sites (in reasonable proximity, NORM and NRMN), show that the all-time record high AND all-time record low for Norman both occurred this year!

Record high: 109F, on 09/July/2011
Record low : -4F , on 10/Febr/2011

(The old site, NORM, recorded 108F in 1998).

What an interesting weather year you've had, Norman! Enjoy the rest of it.

**Edit: Thanks, Karen, for pointing out that Norman has a much longer temperature record than 17 years. I meant just that the Mesonet records start in 1994.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Maybe the first US landfalling tropical cyclone of 2011?

A tropical wave has been slowly marching westward the past week, now (Tuesday) located south of western Cuba. Convection in the wave has waxed (late last week) and waned (over the weekend), and is now back up again. There also appears to be a mid-level vorticity center co-located (visible satellite imagery hints at rotation) with the disturbance. The dynamical models take it WNW over the next 48-72 hrs and into Texas. Regardless whether it develops, I imagine Texans of all sorts would welcome the rainfall, as they are in serious drought.

Friday, July 22, 2011

What heat we have!

The last two observations from KNAK, 97/80 and 99/79, have been amazing! The heat index of 118F is probably closest to the highest I've personally experienced... while maximum temperatures in Death Valley in 2003 were higher (over 105F), the dry air made the apparent temperature much lower. This is impressive - and o See the last 72 hr trend in temperature, dew point, and heat index for Annapolis KNAK.

*Note: Heat index and relative humidity equations were adapted from the Humidity Formula web site and are appended below.

HI = -42.379 + 2.04901523(Tf) + 10.14333127(RH) - 0.22475541(Tf)(RH) - 6.83783x10**(-3)*(Tf**(2)) - 5.481717x10**(-2)*(RH**(2)) + 1.22874x10**(-3)*(Tf**(2))*(RH) + 8.5282x10**(-4)*(Tf)*(RH**(2)) - 1.99x10**(-6)*(Tf**(2))*(RH**(2)), where

Tf = temperature in Fahrenheit
and RH = relative humidity, given by

E/Es*100, where

Es=6.11*10.0**(7.5*Tc/(237.7+Tc)), and

where Tc and Tdc are temperature and dew point temperature in degrees Celsius, respectively.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

A nice-looking storm!

Hurricane Dora, which formed a few days ago south of Guatemala, is now nearly Category 5 intensity. Its satellite presentation today is impressive, so I'm including it here.

The t-storms list had some discussion recently about lower-than-average sea level pressures in the Atlantic Main Development Region, which often favors active seasons. We'll see how the season shapes up- heck, we're already in the throes of a strong heat wave in the mid-Atlantic, so it sure feels like summer.


Today has been amazingly oppressive (heat wise)! Our morning low didn't go below 80F, and dew point temperatures have been 75-80F all day. Heat indices, as a result, are rocketing up through the 100s, sitting at 109F now in Annapolis. 92/79 will do it to you. Ridiculous. Tomorrow is predicted to be worse, with air temperatures over 95F and similar dew point temps. Here's hoping for an early fall.

Monday, July 04, 2011

Two roadtrips northward, and 25 new counties

This past weekend, CG, Kim, and I drove to Niagara Falls, then onward to Toronto, returning through northern NY after traveling along the north shore of Lake Ontario. Last weekend, Casi, Jose, Factor, and I went to West New York and then on into Manhattan. Lots of miles on my car, and lots of great memories. Here are two pictures now, as well as my "counties visited" map updated for these trips.

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