Paul's Perilous Prognostications

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Paul's Perilous Prognostications is where you will find a semi-regular discussion on whatever is on my agenda.
When I see or have an issue that I have a strong opinion on, I will let you know. If I see something that in my opinion is incredible stupid I will express my opinion. I will try my best to keep it on topic or at least somewhat weather related, but I make no guarantees..
And just so were all on the same page here, parody and satire are protected by the Constitution, I'll have to check on sarcasm. It has been many years since I took a spelling test, so I'm not going to worry about it as long as my point gets across.
For kudos, cash donations, high praise or Dave bashing send your email to Paul
For complaints, problems or other general whineyness, send your email to Dave

I believe the quote is "Those who can't change their mind, cannot change anythng"
So all that being said, here goes

Posted: 2006-08-06 21:36:06

Why Science and Crack Don't Mix

I really think Dave sends me articles like this Jersey scientists try to put brakes on hurricanes to set me off, I had whole rant about the media hype surrounding TS Chris, maybe next storm.
The article is about a couple of New Jersey Scientists that have a plan to deploy 1.6 million pumps over an area twice the size of New Jersey, these pumps would then pump colder water from a depth of 400 feet to the surface in an effort to cool the surface temperature of the water, which in theory would temper the storm to a lower level. My basic belief is that anytime you mess with nature, you get smacked up-side the head HARD. I am not even going to go into the environmental issues here, but my basic belief is that Hurricanes exist for a reason, moving water or heat or both, a Hurricane sucks up huge amounts of water and energy from the ocean and transports it elsewhere.
What we are going to look at here is the basic logistics and economics of a plan of this scale, and I am going to make a lot of assumptions here. From the article the pumps are described as tubes 3 feet in diameter and 400 feet long. Now lets add some type of floatation ring around this thing, so lets call it 4 feet by 4 feet, now we need a 400 foot suction tube that is going to need to be somewhat rigid like ducting for a dryer, so lets say in stored mode it is 8 feet tall. so were looking at something that measures 4 x 4 x 8 or 128 cubic feet. Now lets take a look at a Nimitz class aircraft carrier (Stick with me here, it will make sense) 1,097 feet long, we'll split the difference between hull and flight deck width/beam and call it 200 feet wide and 18 stories or 180 feet tall, so lets take that carrier and put it in a box, that box would be 1097 x 200 x 180 or 39.5 million cubic feet, pretty big box. So lets take the pumps at 128 cubic feet and multiply that by 1.6 million and we get 204,800,000 cubic feet required to contain all these pumps.
Now lets look at deployment the article stated an area twice the size of New Jersey, or 13 Rhode Islands, or 16,000 square miles, this comes out to 100 per square mile or roughly 1 pump every 500 feet. Now lets just assume the pattern is something like 80 miles by 200 miles, you are going to need 800 ships carrying 2,000 pumps moving at 20 miles per hour (in rough seas), dropping a pump every 30 seconds, and it will take them 10 hours to deploy this array. The United States Navy currently has 281 deployable ships, Ronald Reagan wanted a 600 ship Navy, and it was to expensive. So now we have a 16,000 square mile mine field littered with these pumps, so I am guessing it would take a week or so to gather up the surviving pumps, which would be a complete nightmare, unless each one had a tracking beacon, which would still be a nightmare, and how many of these things are going to wash up on beaches, injuring people and or marine life in the process.
Now lets look at the economics the total price tag was quoted at 1 billion dollars, which is not even close in my estimate, wont even cover the cost of the fleet of ships to deploy the pumps, or the cost of the pumps, my guess would be in the neighborhood of $100 each so $1.6 Billion, maybe they can bring them in for less, quantity discount. Now you have to figure certain loss of units per storm lets say 10% or 160,000, and then the time to refurbish the pumps, and repackage for the next storm.
So what happens if the next storm is coming in a few days and its bigger and coming faster...
The other big question is who makes the call on deployment, the President, the DHS, or the NHC, and where and when do you deploy, last time I looked 72 hour track errors are in the neighborhood 150 nautical miles.
Instead of giving this plan a penny, why not gave more money to the tropical prediction...

Posted: 2006-03-21 21:24:46

HYPE-U-WEATHER

HYPE-U-WEATHER So here we are on the first day of spring 2006, and our friends at HYPE-U=WEATHER have decided that 3 months before the start of the tropical storm season to come out with a prediction of a "Major Hurricane" hitting the U.S. Northeast this year. They make comparisons to weather patterns and sea surface temperature anomalies of the 1930's 40's and 50's to support their theory. There are a lot of factors to consider here, first is the fact that were talking about a season that is 3 months away, and the patterns that govern the development and movement of tropical systems haven't fully started in motion yet, the second is that the tracking of storms has changed a lot since these patterns they are talking about as measurements then we either land based or from ships trying to avoid the storm. There were no weather satellites, hurricane hunter aircraft, computer models etc... All of this coming from an organization that essentially missed all but 1 winter storm prediction in the winter of 2005/6. I do love that their "Chief" Hurricane Forecaster is going out on a limb and predicting that the 2006 tropical season "COULD" be less active then the 2005 season, I think there is a very high probability the 2006 season WILL be less active then the record breaking 2005 season.

Posted: 2006-01-06 20:28:21

Farewell to the 2005 Atlantic Hurricane Season....

As of 4pm EST January 6th 2006 the 2005 Atlantic Hurricane season has "OFFICIALLY" ended. The season started off interestingly enough, with initial projections of of 12 named storms, with I believe the forecast was 4 making landfall. I believe the final count of tropical systems is 30 with 27 named storms and 16 of those making landfall in Central or North America. The season started off on a record pace, with Arlene kicking it off just 8 days into the season, ending with Zeta, the latest forming Tropical Storm on record. on the second to last day of the year. If you do the math, that is 27 named storms over 27 weeks, and all you can say is dang! I hope the guys at the NHC get a performance bonus.

Watching the media after Katrina, stumble over themselves trying to hype every occurrence of convection over the Atlantic as the next possible Hurricane, and then trying to find a model projection that would have landfall in U.S. was almost humorous if it wasn't so disturbing.

A lot of lessons were learned this year, the lesson that I hope remains etched in everyone's mind the lives in a threat area, is that when something that big is coming your way Get out of the way. I remember as a child when my grandparents went to Mardi Gras in 1970, they passed through Gulfport and Biloxi 6 months after the storm had devastated the area. They brought back a book of pictures and accounts of survivors of the storm, and the 2 things that have stuck in my mind all these years, were the photographs of the ships that were driven high and dry, and the story and photos of the ill-fated Richeliu Apartments "Hurricane Party". There are several reasons I bring this up, the first being the impression that it put in my young mind that stays with me to this day, and the interviews I saw and read of Katrina survivors that had survived Camille, and the fact that a life lesson such as that didn't last a lifetime. If you want a history lesson on the destructive power of a hurricane take a look at NOAA/NWS Photo Archive.

Below is the "Final" Tropical Discussion For the 2005 Atlantic Hurricane Season. Lets hope that 2006 brings a calmer Atlantic. Big kudo's to the staff of the National Hurricane Center, for all there hard work in keeping the public informed.

000
WTNT45 KNHC 062031
TCDAT5
TROPICAL DEPRESSION ZETA DISCUSSION NUMBER 30
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
4 PM EST FRI JAN 06 2006

SHOWER ACTIVITY HAS CONTINUED TO DECREASE AND IS NOW LIMITED TO JUST A FEW SKINNY BANDS OF SHALLOW CONVECTION WELL TO THE EAST OF THE CENTER. AS SUCH... ZETA NO LONGER MEETS THE CRITERIA OF A TROPICAL CYCLONE... WHICH MEANS THAT BOTH IT AND THE 2005 ATLANTIC HURRICANE SEASON HAVE ENDED.

THE INITIAL MOTION ESTIMATE IS 285/6. ZETA HAS MADE A JOG BACK TO THE NORTHWEST... BUT THE AVERAGE MOTION OVER THE PAST 18 HOURS HAS BEEN WEST-NORTHWESTERLY AT ABOUT 06 KT. THE REMNANT CIRCULATION OF ZETA IS FORECAST TO MOVE IN A WEST-NORTHWEST OR NORTHWESTWARD DIRECTION FOR THE NEXT 24-36 HOURS... AND TURN NORTHWARD AFTERWARDS AS THE REMNANT LOW COMES UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF INCREASING SOUTHERLY LOW-LEVEL FLOW AHEAD OF A STRONG COLD FRONT CURRENTLY MOVING EASTWARD ACROSS THE BAHAMAS. BY 72 HOURS... THE SKELETAL REMAINS OF ZETA ARE EXPECTED TO DISSIPATE OR BE ABSORBED BY THE FRONTAL SYSTEM.

I SUPPOSE IT IS ONLY FITTING THAT THE RECORD-BREAKING 2005 ATLANTIC HURRICANE SEASON ENDS WITH A RECORD BREAKING STORM. TODAY... ZETA SURPASSED 1954 ALICE #2 AS THE LONGEST-LIVED TROPICAL CYCLONE TO FORM IN DECEMBER AND CROSS OVER INTO THE NEXT YEAR. ZETA WAS ALSO THE LONGEST-LIVED JANUARY TROPICAL CYCLONE. IN ADDITION...ZETA RESULTED IN THE 2005 SEASON HAVING THE LARGEST ACCUMULATED CYCLONE ENERGY...OR ACE... SURPASSING THE 1950 SEASON. SO... UNTIL THE 2006 SEASON BEGINS... UNLESS ZETA SOMEHOW MAKES AN UNLIKELY MIRACLE COMEBACK... THIS IS THE NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER SIGNING OFF FOR 2005... FINALLY.

FORECASTER STEWART

Posted: 2005-11-30 22:16:11

There's No Weather Out There, and We Can Prove It...

Okay, I know TV weather guys are infatuated with their super dooper Doppler X thousand radar, but why do they feel compelled to not only show the local radar when there is absolutely no precipitation for hundreds of miles, but they also feel it is important to show the animated version with the little computer generated sweep going around of nothingness. Tonight was one of those rare instances (very rare) where I happened to be in the same room when the local news was on, and it was the weather segment. So being as there is nothing of note in our forecast that the current radar can see I think the closest weather coming our way is in the neighborhood of Iowa, but this guy felt compelled to point out that there was nothing on the radar over each and every county in the area, when a quick hey look its clear and nothing to worry about until Saturday night, back to you Jane would have sufficed, or at least going to a national map to discuss the potential for Saturday night. It was one of those instances that he was trying real hard to make something of nothing...
So what I am wondering is... Are the viewers that cynical, that they have to be shown not only nothing, but animated nothingness, or do the TV stations have to justify the cost of the "radar" so they feel compelled to use it...
PS Have you ever noticed that when the local NWS radar goes down, many TV stations radars also have problems....

Apologies to the few TV meteorologists that actually know what they are talking about...

Posted: 2005-11-18 21:46:42

Tropical Weather Up's And Downs

As this years record breaking tropical storm season comes to an end, and as remnants of Tropical Depression 27 have regenerated and been upgraded to Tropical Storm Gamma, all the media whores in an effort to pump up their ratings start jumping on the global warming band wagon it is good to find some good common sense science. Dr William Gray in a statement to the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment & Public Works brought to light that this activity is cyclical, not a result of global warming.
The basic problem is that no one looks at the big picture, we have only been able to observe the weather and climate on a global scale since 1960, with the launch of the first weather satellite (TIROS 1), and it wasn't until the 1970's that the brought the GOES satellites online, and the ability to gather and process weather and climate information on a consistent basis 24 hours a day. So what was the method of gathering information prior to age of space based observation, it was land and ship based observation, and how much of the globe could be observed on a daily, weekly or monthly basis? Then there was the issue of putting all that data together, which was a daunting task in itself.
So now we are in the age of instant information, with the ability observe all the earth's phenomena with a few clicks of a mouse, and because most of us weren't around during the last phase of high tropical activity and we have this cool term "global warming" to blame things on, because as we all know global warming is the fault of greedy corporate America, we instantly believe what the talking heads on TV tell us. For example El NiŅo, how much of the world's woes are now blamed on El NiŅo?

Here are the plain and simple facts:
Global Warming happens on a regular basis, and has happened for a very long time, tree rings will tell you that.
There wasn't a hole in the ozone, until somebody looked.
El NiŅo happens about every 7 years.
Tropical Storms are a natural phenomena, not manufactured by a subsidiary of Halliburton.

Does a tree falling alone in the forest, make any sound?

Posted: 2005-10-28 18:48:46

Fear Mongering....

The question was posed to me today by a recovering Internet weather service subscriber, who has just canceled his subscription:

"what a year this has been! I wonder what this means for the winter. JB probably thinks big snow storms are on the way!"

To which I replied:

Glaciers led by al queda coming down the hudson, was the quote I heard from DT-Risk on the easternWx forums... I'm sure they have it as doom and gloom, that's what sells papers (or Internet subscriptions)...

And he replied with:

The future is always ominous according to JB...I don't think that his extended outlook ever said that there is no potential for storms...even in the quietest of times.

Which kind of set me off, I had just finished a discussion with someone about the weather and how one of the local TV weather morons was a moron

Exactly, is anyone going to pay if the long term winter forecast is for a mild winter with average temps, and normal snow fall??? Then when the doom and gloom doesn't show up, they'll start picking out the isolated freak stuff that always happens, but only affects one zipcode, and say how they were the first to pick up on that in their long range forecast...

CrapuWX used to be a really good service, and carried a lot of pull with the commodities markets. Now a lot the firms large and small have their own meteo(s) on staff, partly because of CrapuWX rates increasing and the accuracy decreasing, and by having their own staff they could focus on the exact market they are in... Corn, Wheat, Oil, pork Bellies... This is also one of the reasons the the commercial firms like CrapuWX are supporting SB786, restricting the data especially NCEP data, would make there service more attractive to commercial(big) customers, and what they do for the public is pure profit...

Just think do you ever hear on those 11pm news teasers during prime time TV, everything's fine, and we'll show you how good things are at 11, in fact everything is so good you don't even need to stay up... Nope it is always doom and gloom, and it is always made to sound like it is a local event... When usually it is a localized event hundreds if not thousands of miles away that will have a near zero impact on the viewers lives, except to cause some level of panic and to cause them to watch that station that night...

A perfect example IRAQ, have you seen any positive coverage of the war in IRAQ or Afghanistan... They don't cover the fact that girls are going to school for the first time in 30 years in Afghanistan, not that 90%+ of the people in those countries are happy with the changes. I know a lot of people that have been there and they tell me that the media has it all wrong...

You are being told what the people that control the media want you to hear... Perfect example... When gas prices were rising due to Katrina, CNBC's Squawk Box show was talking about all the local media at the gas station across from their office covering the long lines... What they also brought up was the gas station 5 blocks away had gas at they same price and no lines, as they said the simple fact was that the station across the street always had 10+ cars in line, 6 months before Katrina they had lines for gas it is on a main road and its easy to get to, the is the local news (fear mongers) knew that there were going to be lines there...

Posted: 2005-10-24 20:42:51

Dave made me do it...

I don't have a problem lurking in the background writing code, making all this work, and generally debating Dave on this and that, but Dave has been on me for the last couple of weeks about posting my own column of stuff...
To that I say be careful what you ask for... :-)


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