Saturday, June 25, 2016

Really Quiet

For those of you that read the obits daily to see if any friends have passed on, no the Breckster is still here and doing quite well.  I haven’t posted much since not much has been going on locally.  This is the time of the year that would challenge me as to what to say.  I mean…how many times can you say or show hot temperatures, the high heat index and graphics that are the same day after day?   That’s why I NEVER used the “hour by hour” or planner forecast.   They serve zero purpose during the summer, yet that’s what you see weathercasters using day after day.   I would prefer to explain the minute features on satellite pictures, tiny swirls, sea breezes, clouds moving in different directions.   I hardly ever see that by anyone.   The weathercasters don’t interpret satellite and radar loops very much, instead just standing in front of them saying …”as you can see”.  No I can’t see.  That’s why you are there to show me what YOU see and explain what impact it might have on our weather.  This week I addressed the New Orleans’ chapter of the University of Michigan Alumni Club and several comments repeat what folks have told me since I retired.  “We miss your storytelling,…you explained things to us…we didn’t just know the forecast, we knew the whys”.   That’s because I had excellent mentors.  Roy Leep in Tampa exposed me to the Bermuda High/ Atlantic Ridge concept of southern weather.     He showed me that the “axis” of the ridge would shift back and forth (north & south) depending on how far south frontal boundaries would reach.   I always used that during the summer months to show wind direction (Axis to the north, our surface winds would be ESE, ridge to the south would mean winds from the WSW etc).   I haven’t heard anyone talk about that “axis” since I left broadcasting.    Too many just take the National Weather Service discussion and repeat it.   Nothing wrong with that except I don’t need to watch TV to hear it.   With all weather information now available via the internet, one would think local weathercasters would be creative in their storytelling to encourage viewers to watch.   Summer time is boring outside of tropical activity.  Look at the various local weathercasts and see if you can tell much difference between them.   It is a challenge during the summer to be interesting.  Repeating daily information about the heat doesn’t cut it for me.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Wins of My Father...

I lost my Dad 15 years ago to a brain tumor at age 80.  It was difficult to say goodbye, but my memories of Pop were mostly good ones.   From early on, I remember Dad being “The Coach” in little league.   His teams always won championships because he instilled an attitude of trying, not being afraid to fail.  Never strike out with the bat on your shoulder, be aggressive, think you can hit the ball.  Play the game with passion and give it everything you’ve got.   Dad’s teams were winners because Coach Bernie wouldn’t let them lose.    My older brother Jim was always on Dad’s team.  I envied him, but finally in Babe Ruth I was able to be coached by my Dad.  The pride I had, to be one of Bernie’s kids was exceptional.  The regret to this day is I never told him so.   Being from a Slovak/Polish (Slo-Pol !) background, expressing feelings was something you didn’t do.  I think Dad just knew, like when I rounded 3rd base after hitting a home run, Dad said…”never thought you could hit it that far son.”  Yep, Dad knew.     But why have regrets?  If your Dad is still around, go tell him how proud you are to be his son or daughter.  Don’t assume he knows.  Thank him for giving you life.    Happy Father’s Dad Pop.


NHC has a hurricane hunter flying into low pressure over the southern Gulf.  Based on satellite pictures of a well-defined circulation, they probably will make it a TD or maybe even T.S. Danielle later today.  It will bring some heavy rains into Mexico tonight and on Monday.  The rest of the Tropics are quiet as the frontal boundary over the northern Gulf has dissipated.


Opened the paper to see the headline…” Obama says climate change already damaging national parks.”   Huh?  Has the President not been to a National Park before?  Has he not seen the different layers of rock formations deposited during various climate cycles of the past.   Has he not seen how past climate change has “damaged” (better word is changed) the face of our Planet?  It’s an ongoing process.  We cannot stop the Earth’s climate from changing.   If the President wants better air quality (less CO2), then say so.  To mislead the public to believe we have the power to control climate is not factual.   Kind of like…”you can keep your own doctors”.     I agree, it is about power to control.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Hottest May Ever...

That’s what the headlines blared, until you read the fine print indicating this May broke the old record by .02 of a degree Celsius.  That’s 2 hundreds not 2 tenths of a degree.   These are the same folks who want you to believe their climate models 50-100 years from now are accurate.   I know for a fact there are so many siting issues with temperature gages worldwide that .02 of a degree is meaningless, considering the margin of error of the data.   Here’s a better one.   With the current warming CYCLE peaking with El Nino gone, one would think tropical activity would be active what with all the warm water.  Stunningly, WORLDWIDE, there are no named storms again today anywhere.   Remember, hurricanes are Nature’s way of keeping the heat balance of our Planet.  If we have all this building heat, where are the storms?  Just me thinking.


NHC has raised the probability of storm development over the southern Gulf to 40% for tomorrow.  Based on what I’m seeing off the Yucatan, a well-defined rotation moving into the Gulf, I’d expect NHC to raise that to 60-70% later today and/or just make it a TD later this evening.  Regardless, it will not affect the northern Gulf and will head west into Mexico.   However, I’m always nervous about old frontal boundaries that drift off our coast into the northern Gulf at this time of the year.    Such is the case today as T-Storms have brought us welcomed cooling storms.   I am seeing a well-defined circulation over the Florida panhandle near Apalachicola.  If this were to move off the coast, it might develop some storms around it  later tonight or on Sunday.  Just something to keep an eye on the next 2-3 days.  Stay tuned!

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Gawd Awful Heat Has Arrived...

Usually during the summer months there is not much to talk about except the tropics & the heat.  Since the Tropics remain quiet, let’s complain about da heat.   Once into mid-June, our normal highs top 90 and the heat index approaches 100 EVERY DAY.   It’s no big deal for our heat index to be above 100.  If you look at the heat index chart, you’ll see we are always in the extreme caution range.  It’s only when we top 105 do we enter the danger area.  However, the southern states can handle the heat much better than the northern folks ( for the same reason they handle the cold better)because once it’s here, it stays for months and we get acclimated to it.   I found the summer heat in Chicago much worse than here because it never stayed hot.  There would be relief after a week of heat with temps in the 70s & 80s so when the 90s returned, I wasn’t acclimated to it.   It felt much hotter.   Frankly, I loved the summers up north for that very reason, you got cooling relief every so often.  But I can handle our heat much better than I could handle their cold so dealing with 3-4 months of 90s beats dealing with 5 months of freezing temps and wearing coats.    The trick here during our long, hot summer is to stay hydrated when outside fishing, golfing , playing tennis or running.   In other words, use common sense & take breaks.