Thursday, January 18, 2018

Accountability, Personal Responsibility...

It’s always easy to look back after a game and be the “Monday Morning Quarterback” knowing what you should have done.   Seeing all the inconvenience created by our recent ice/snow storm (interstates shut down for 2 days, low water pressure closing school, businesses) makes me angry for several reasons.  1)  In both Orleans & Jefferson, water leaks are common & have been known for days, weeks sometimes even months.  The excuse has been “we have a backlog of leaks, we don’t have enough manpower to keep up, we get to the major leaks first – translation, minor leaks don’t get repaired.  There is no accountability for this lack of urgency on government by us, the folks who pay the taxes.  We just shrug our shoulders and complain “that’s government”.  Shame on us!   We need to get more involved in the whys of government…why doesn’t the grass get mowed, why aren’t potholes fixed,  why are leaks allowed to exist until a crisis strikes?  Why is crime so bad?   Yada, yada, yada.  “We had to close the interstates since we have so many elevated roadways & bridges”   Hey, I lived in my youth in Hammond, Indiana that was connected to the Dan Ryan (southside expressway to the Loop) by an elevated toll road called the Chicago Skyway.  I can never, ever remember that road closed for anything except the great blizzard of 1967 (25-30”).   Sure they are better equipped with salt truck and snow plows, however, I believe the biggest difference is DRIVER EXPERIENCE in ice & snow.   What I saw here was folks  driving like the roadways are only wet.  This ice & snow came as no surprise.  Drivers should have known to slow down, but they didn’t.   That’s where personal responsibility comes in.   Most of us care.  Most of us protect our property BEFORE  the freeze.  But what I saw in videos were uncovered faucets frozen by ice, faucets covered with a small rag held on by string, pipes exposed with no insulation.   No wonder we end up with leaks.  Was it Forrest Gump who said, “Stupid is what Stupid does?” or something like that?   So what do we end up with?   Businesses closed, workers facing smaller paychecks, major conventions downtown cancelling, thousands of tourist’s tax dollars gone.  In a way, we are all to blame.  The real question is…what are we going to do about it so it doesn’t happen again?   I can assure you, I will get more involved in being a watchdog for Jefferson Parish.    There are no excuses for what happened in the past 2 days.  Don’t blame it all on the weather.  Get involved!


And our weather is finally changing for the better.  After tonight’s freeze (don’t run the water until late, check with David at 10 PM) which looks to be minor, no more freezes are in sight for the rest of this month.   It doesn’t mean we’re going back to shorts and tank tops, but rather closer to our “normal” which are in the 60s for highs and 40s for lows.  Our next front early Monday will be from the Pacific so the cool down won’t be drastic.  I will get all my potted plants back out of the shed in the morning and uncover my other pots so the flowers can get some sunshine again. Clouds will be on the increase this weekend and we may have to deal with sea fog Saturday & Sunday nights?    The Lake water is down into the low to mid 40s and once the south winds return with Gulf moisture, walla, sea fog will become a real issue.  Stay tuned!

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Even Bailey Didn’t Want to Stay Outside

After a record-breaking 20 this morning and the same Thursday morning, I am way over wanting cold weather after a long hot summer. Even our dog Bailey didn't know what to make of the white stuff. It's time to move on to Spring and that will happen this weekend as we'll be back into the 60s by Saturday and 70+ on Sunday. With local water temps back down into the mid 40s, dense sea fog is possible for Saturday night as the warmer, moist air returns. A Pacific front is coming for Monday but next week looks much milder. We'll need to run water again tonight, but that should be the last for, hopefully, the rest of this season. Don't start dripping until you go to sleep around 10-11 pm. As David pointed out this evening, we haven't been this cold since 1996. I hope we go another 20+ years/Winters before this stuff comes back. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Oh the Weather Outside is Frightful...

At least to me this weather is frightful as the South is not equipped to deal with ice & snow.   Hopefully most of you are already home with no need to get back in a car to travel until after sunrise.  Radar is indicating a mixture of rain, sleet & snow approaching from the west at 7 PM and since temperatures have reached freezing, I expect roads to quickly ice over making for dangerous road conditions for the rest of tonight.    Please do not allow your teenagers to have the car keys tonight!   This Arctic blast is colder than the one in December and we’ll see many hours below the 28 degree mark requiring you to run your water (both hot & cold) tonight and again tomorrow night.  No need to start that until you go to sleep and then turn it off once temps get back to freezing tomorrow.  That may not happen much before noon time despite the fact the sun will be out.   Thursday morning could be equally as cold with a slow warm up beginning Thursday PM.  The real thaw arrives on Friday when we could top 60 with Saturday & Sunday near 70+.   That should mean we’re likely to see lots of sea fog for Saturday night into Monday.  But of course the main excitement is tonight as some snow should whiten the ground on the North Shore with even some south of Lake P. between 8-midnight.   After this cold spell we’ll enjoy a milder stretch for most of next week.  However, Winter is long from over as February could see several more blasts from da north.   Stay tuned!

Monday, January 15, 2018

Cold Enough, but Limited Moisture...

As I mentioned last night, we’ll be cold enough for some frozen precip. Late Tuesday PM into early on Wednesday.   However, we’re more likely to see some sleet (ice pellets) than snow flakes.   Chances appear greatest north of the Lake, but even there it doesn’t look very likely.  What is likely is the coldest air of this winter will spread all the way down to the coast so that Wed. & Thursday mornings will require full precautions (running water) to prevent busted pipes.   I will re-cover my potted plants that stay outside while I’ll leave the others in my heated shed.    RIGHT NOW, my projections haven’t changed from last night, which were 15-20 across the North Shore and 23-28 South of Lake P.    Since the water temperatures in Lake Pontchartrain are back in the mid to upper 40s, the “lake effect” will not be that great.   As David pointed out this evening, this Arctic blast will be as strong as our earlier ones, but it shouldn’t  last as long with a marked warm up coming for this weekend.   In fact, beginning Saturday into most of next week, it will be much milder.  These cold outbreaks are nothing new as we are about to enter the coldest  time of the year, historically.   Most of the record lows for the next 3 weeks are in the teens, so this next outbreak is far from record breaking.   We have no issues tonight so do not run any water.  We’ll revisit tomorrow night, but it appears most of us will have many hours (6-10) below 28 degrees south of the Lake with the North Shore much colder.    Saw a picture of John Snell vacationing at West Yellowstone dressed like Na Nook of the North.  If you choose to be cold, I have no problem with that.   But Please John, DO NOT bring back the cold to Louisiana!   Meteorological Spring (March 1st) is only six weeks away.  Stay tuned!