Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Summer Places

This list ranking states to spend the summer from best to worst — the higher your number, the better it is — is fun to look at but I don’t take it seriously because they rank New Mexico as #9, one notch below Florida at #8.  I’ve spent summers in both and I will tell you that there’s no way a summer in Albuquerque is just a tad better than one in Miami.

New Mexico is a big state with a huge variety of geography ranging from hellish deserts in the south to cool and crisp Rocky Mountains in the north.  The temperatures in Albuquerque get up into the high 90’s in summer, but there’s hardly any humidity, which is what makes all the difference.

Florida is basically one flat piece of land consisting of coral reefs and swamps until you get up north of Orlando where there are a couple of hills to break the spell and thrall of the subtropics, but they have no ocean breeze, so summer in Orlando is worse than down here.  Summers in Miami are cooler temperature-wise, but the humidity is usually above 70%.  (My opinion may be somewhat skewed by the fact that my air conditioning broke down yesterday morning and I’m schvitzing like a racehorse at 4:00 a.m.)

According to the list, the worst place for summer is Mississippi.  No comment.

PS: Yes, I know Washington state comes in at #50.  You win.  So there.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Short Takes

Otto Warmbier, sent home by North Korea after lapsing into a coma, dies.

Police identify London mosque attacker.

Russia not happy that U.S. downed Syrian jet.

Largest ever breach of U.S. voter data reported.

Supreme Court to rule on Wisconsin gerrymandering.

Tropical Update: Two storms form in the Gulf: PTC Three and TS Bret.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Potential Warning

The National Hurricane Center has a new product to help keep an eye on foul weather in the tropics.

The NOAA/NWS National Hurricane Center (NHC) issued its first-ever Potential Tropical Cyclone advisories Sunday afternoon, highlighting the threat from a strong tropical wave in the central Atlantic that is likely to affect the Windward Islands as a tropical storm. Another system in the northwest Caribbean remains on track to move into the Gulf of Mexico, where it could affect areas from Texas to Florida as a tropical storm later this week.

The new Potential Tropical Cyclone advisories will provide more detailed guidance on systems that are not yet at depression strength but that have a chance of intensifying and bringing tropical storm or hurricane conditions to land areas within 48 hours. In their announcement of this and other service changes for 2017, NHC said: “Under previous longstanding NWS policy, it has not been permitted to issue a hurricane or tropical storm watch or warning until after a tropical cyclone had formed.  Advances in forecasting over the past decade or so, however, now allow the confident prediction of tropical cyclone impacts while these systems are still in the developmental stage.  For these land-threatening ‘potential tropical cyclones’, NHC will now issue the full suite of text, graphical, and watch/warning products that previously has only been issued for ongoing tropical cyclones.”

Potential tropical cyclones will be assigned numbers as part of the same chronological list that includes tropical depressions. Thus, the current system is PTC 2, even though it is the first PTC ever to be classified, because it follows Subtropical Depression 1 (which later became Tropical Storm Arlene). A potential tropical cyclone will retain its PTC number should it intensify to TD strength.

So don’t say we haven’t been warned.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Monday, May 1, 2017

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Short Takes

Snow pummels Northeast.

Dutch vote puts populist support to the test.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson used an e-mail alias when he was head of ExxonMobil.

Female senators fiercely question Marine commandant over nude photos scandal.

Canadian Girl Guides cancel trips to U.S. because of Muslim ban.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Monday, March 13, 2017

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Monday, February 13, 2017

Friday, February 10, 2017

Short Takes

Appeals court rules unanimously against Trump’s executive order on immigration.

It’s a no-no: Conway gets schooled on hawking Ivanka merchandise.

Heavy winter storm cancels thousands of flights in the Northeast.

Russian airstrike kills Turkish soldiers.

Aretha Franklin announces her retirement.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Short Takes

Trump withdraws U.S. from TPP.  (The Senate never ratified it.)

Foreign aid for family planning nixed if there’s even a whiff of pro-choice.

Marco Rubio caves on Tillerson vote.

Clean-up underway after tornadoes touch down in Florida.

Rescue teams hold out hope for survivors of avalanche in Italy.