Saturday, September 19, 2009


What a nice way to wake up! In my own messy bed, surrounded by the chaos that is the DaveCave!

It's a cool overcast morning here in Truckee, and it's cool out at Stead Field too, according to the Streaming Audio from the Reno Air Races.

I just listened to the Unlimited Bronze Heat 3C. The race featured a P-40 Warhawk (better known as a Flying Tiger by non-aviation buffs)

I'll be there in person this afternoon for the Unlimited Heats, once I get the camera and camcorder batteries charged, and make a COSTCO run. Air Race Announcers are reminding the crowd that the afternoon winds will be 15-25 knots, so tie down all potential airborne items. It's gonna be a Sunburn Day out there, with the high cloud cover and some exposed skin cooling wind.

A quick scan of the last two NWS-Reno Forecast Discussions shows a trough moving through today. The high clouds are associated with the trough and by sundown the wind will have turned Northerly...perfect for heating California up going into Fall. This bears out the Heatwave forecasts that I've been hearing the last few days. This explains the Lake Wind Advisories. I checked some Local Mountaintop Stations and the winds are 42mph from the WSW atop Slide Mountain.

I'm outta here...Keep 'Em Flying!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Blockbuster Heatwave

Here it comes, it's Fall-like weather coming early to the Bay Area's Inland Valley. The dreaded Triple Digit Heat. Time for me to skedaddle up the Hill for the weekend! I feel the Need For Speed, not to mention some sleep-friendly overnight temps! Once I get the Ancestral Digs irrigated Friday, I'm on the road to the 46th National Championship Air Races near Reno, NV!

Air Racing!
Held in the High Desert North of Reno at Stead Field, it's the best place to hear "The Sound of Freedom"! High Horsepower Warbirds dueling wingtip to wingtip less than 100 feet above the desert floor! Did I mention they're going 450 MPH? Telephone Pole High?

Squadrons of P-51 Mustangs race against Hawker Sea Furies, F8F Bearcats, a Russian Yak or two, and maybe a P-38 Lightning! There's nothing else like it in the World. This is Unlimited Class Air Racing. The Reno Air Races feature several classes of Race Planes, but the real show, the reason I've been a regular since 1981, is the Unlimited Class. Prop-driven Romance served Straight Up!

There's Jets racing at Reno now, and plenty of the latest Military Jets doing Demo Flights. The big F-18 Hornets of The Blue Angels make the new Sound Of Freedom, and it is awe inspiring, but it's all brute force, all powerful...deadly serious. Today's Jets mean business, but they lack the romance of the propeller and piston era.

Beatin' The Heat
The San Francisco Weather Woman on CBS-TV's 11 O'Clock News warned of 90F temps Sunday for San Francisco, and promised 100's for the Inland Valleys. I'm outta here! A quick look at the Reno NWS forecast says I'm going to save 10-20 degrees at Stead, and maybe 30F in Truckee overnight! Even though Stead is the High Desert, the winds look promising too...less wind at Stead means greater speed, lower flying and better racing all around! I'm stoked! I missed last year altogether, and in 2007 I only watched the Sunday Unlimited Gold Race. I'll get all the Saturday Unlimited Heats in, and be back for the whole day Sunday. This year, I'm bringing my camcorder batteries!

Another Paper on the Sun and it's recent behavior is up at Watts Up With That This one's from NCAR, the National Center for Atmospheric Research. Scientists have found that even though the Sun's been devoid of sunspot activity for months, the Solar Wind has been full of High Energy Streams that carry Turbulent Magnetic Fields that excite the earth's Outer Radiation Belts, warm and expand the Upper atmosphere, and impact the Satellites in High Earth Orbit.

They're talking about a whole lot of Solar Energy entering the Atmosphere at a time when the Sun seems almost docile! It all adds up. I'm still going with my Normal or Above Normal Precipitation Prediction for Winter 2009/2010

As long as I'm diligent applying the SPF30 Sunscreen out at Stead, I won't give the Sun much thought this weekend! Beatin' the Heat in Style...Unlimited Style!

Don't look at my Goofy Pirate Sun Hat please...there's no style there at all...arrrgh!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Blockbuster Winter?

It's getting to be that time of year, and my friends are starting to ask: What's this winter gonna be like, TruckeeDave? Is it going to be a big winter? Are we going to have an early winter?

Odds are, we'll see normal or above normal precipitation, given the three sub-par winters preceding this one. You'll recall that last year I opined: "I've never seen three dry winters in a row..." I enjoyed my Crow served with a fine Cabernet...

Granted, I'm only banking on three Decades of Observations. That's really not enough data points to resolve trends, but common sense says I'll hit the mark this year.

The NWS is saying an El Niño is building for Winter 2009/2010, even as they are reporting the PDO is shifting to the Negative Phase (the cooling side)

I thought I'd check the Climate Prediction Center's newest 90 Day Climate Outlook Discussion. I set my alarm for a half hour after publication, and checked the site. Not yet...Now it's over six hours late.

I get it...I'm a couple hours late as I type this sentence, events conspire...yada, yada...

So I returned to Anthony Watts' Climate Blog to see if anything was brewing with the latest Pacific Climate Regime. Yesterday Tony cited many articles about the Sea Surface Temperature Record NASA claims was set in August 2009. A few minutes after posting, the first rebuttal came in, and there's more yet again today. NASA isn't corroborating it's own data with any of it's own Satellite Data! Now I don't throw in with most Conspiracy Theories, and I have been a total NASA Fan since I was 10 years old, but isn't NASA still known as "The Space Agency"? Doesn't NASA own and fly a whole constellation of Weather Satellites, that gather the data for everyone who makes or uses weather forecast products? Curious to say the least.

Back at Tony's Blog, there are new posts on the August SST Data Massage It looks like NASA is Politicizing the Data to this observer. I get it, NASA just wants to keep the Tax Dollars flowing into the Agency in these times of Record Deficits and Big Government Growth. There's already been talk of scrapping the new Moon Program, and NASA has the Shuttle Replacement Program to husband through Congress and the Contractors.

In the Ski Industry we call this Marketing. In Washington DC this is known as Business As Usual. Big Government Programs need Big Piles of Tax Dollars just to survive. Huge sums are needed to Grow Big Programs, and Americans are beginning to chafe under the yoke of Runaway Government Spending.

Maybe you saw the 1.7 Million Americans in Washington DC demonstrating against Big Government's Profligate Spending on Saturday September 12th. After the unprecedented growth in Government spending beginning in the final months of the Bush Administration, Taxpayers are starting to pay attention, and have decided that Enough is Enough!

Forgive me for allowing Politics into our Insular World of Snow Sports, Grooming and Weather, but I'm only the Messenger. Washington DC seems like a bear just awakening from hibernation, with only hunger on it's mind. NASA is just a cog in the bigger machine, and it's feeding time, damn the torpedoes.

OK, the CPC's new 90 Day Climate Outlook Discussion is up, it's fairly non-committal about our area's Precipitation Outlook, though I did see the footprint of their SST Massage. Next month's Discussion covers the All-Important Nov/Dec/Jan period, and is scheduled to post October 15th

All politics aside, I need to include NASA's Bias into my overview of NWS Forecasts now. That's just part of the overall story going forward. Man-Caused Global Warming has now made it to the US Congress, and they're looking to spend Trillions more of our Tax Dollars to "Mitigate Climate Change" How much are you willing to spend to help Congress Change The Weather?

Before you dig out your pocket books, take a look at Anthony Watts' other Climate Website, This site is home to Anthony's Census of America's Weather Stations that provide the Data Sets used to Model Global Warming. With roughly 80% of the Official Weather Stations surveyed, 80% show built-in errors that report Warmer than Actual Temperature Data. Remember the Old Axiom: "Garbage In-Garbage Out" when Global Warming Alarmists cite Computer Modeling as the basis for Climate Action.

In the Real World, nobody thinks we can Change The Weather. Heck, we can't even Forecast the Weather more than Eight Hours Ahead with any reliability!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Making Movies

After awaking from my unexpected nap this afternoon, I found an avalanche of interesting articles on Anthony Watts' Climate Blog. Taken together, these read like a Disaster Movie Script:

1) An El Niño may be building going into Winter 2009/2010
2) Russia's Shiveluch Volcano on the Kamchatka Peninsula has large eruption
3) Texas A&M Study cites Possible Linkage of 1918
El Niño with deadly 1918 Flu Pandemic
4) A Significant Sunspot may be growing on the far side of the Sun

Wow, that's a lot to digest so I looked at the Climate Prediction Center's Aug 20th Discussion to get a feel of what the weathermen were modeling. They're saying "weak to moderate
El Niño" brewing, but no prediction of note yet. The next Seasonal Climate Outlook Discussion will post on September 17th, 2009. Interestingly, there doesn't seem to be an archive of previous Discussions as there are for Local Forecast Discussions.

One thing that perked me right up was the A&M Press Release saying:

"The research also raises questions about El Niño and mortality from the influenza pandemic of 1918. By mid-1918, a flu outbreak – which we now know was the H1N1 strain that is of great concern today – was sweeping the world, and the resulting fatalities were catastrophic: At least 25 million people died worldwide, with some estimates as high as 100 million deaths. India was particularly hard hit by the influenza." (Italics by CorduroyPlanet)

The Texas A&M News Release makes no attribution to the Author of the italicized above. The quotes are CorduroyPlanet's, so I think it's the uncredited writer of the release, not the Study's Author that made the assertion. Dynamite statement to be sure! We'll see if this item makes the News, and if a clarification is issued.

Back to our Disaster Movie Scenario...the dominoes are lining up:

1) Extra wet winter ala
El Niño
2) Extra atmospheric particulates from Shiveluch eruptions provide extra nuclei for precipitation formation.
3) H1N1 Pandemic in waiting.
4) Late arriving Solar Cycle 24 provides Solar Flares sufficient to blind Weather Satellites.

So we have Biblical-Class rainfall, Apocalyptic Disease (haven't found my Pestilence yet, but I'm still looking) Mankind is helpless without StarWars Style Satellite Surveillance.

I think I've got the framework of a nice little B-Movie here! Pulled from Today's headlines, I've got the makings of a Mega Summer Blockbuster here...just add an A-List Director, Megan Fox, Fast Food Tie-Ins, and $100 Million in Computer Generated Images!

Let's do Lunch!

Have "Your People" call "My People"

Sunday, September 13, 2009

It's OK Now

What a good day today has been. I heard rumbling thunder as I drifted off to sleep. The streets around the Ancestral Digs were wet when I woke up. Over at the Farmer's Market, at half past noon, the sun burned through the overcast. Another week's worth of vine-ripe tomatoes, some lovely yellow pear tomatoes for tonight's dinner salad, and some more yellow freestone peaches.

We have family in town this weekend. The daughter of my cousin and her boyfriend are visiting from Cincinnati. They've been touring California for a week or so, and they're off to the City tomorrow to visit more cousins and some of their college friends. Family is always fun, it's always great to hear famous family legends as told by another generation of the clan.

I made a nice dinner. When I asked Jessica if they had any special dietary needs, she replied "We're vegetarians, but we eat fish"
Cool...any excuse to grill Wild King Salmon is fine by me!
At the grocery's produce department, I found some really nice asparagus tips, and the most beautiful Eggplant. My menu was set. BBQ Salmon with habanero/pineapple butter, steamed asparagus, and Grilled Eggplant Parmigiana. We were expecting the Siskiyou County Wing of the family, but they couldn't make the long drive this time around, so I used their homegrown garlic in the Eggplant.

Now, I'm the most Fearless Cook I know. I'll cook anything for the first time...even with company coming over...and yes, that includes family! Tonight was my first ever Parmigiana, so I called the GrillMaster, SturgeUrge for a quick how-to. Not a recipe, mind you...just pointers. I made the eggplant around noon, and put more cheese on top before re-heating it for dinner...think: "lasagna's always better the second day" I got away with the time crunching...that was good Parmigiana! Grilling the thinly sliced eggplant is the trick.

After dinner, everyone settled in for some stupor. Jessica's boyfriend wanted to watch the USC vs Ohio State game, and I clicked back and forth to the Giants vs Dodgers during lulls in the action. We both backed losers tonight. We looked at some ancient family videos, and a brand new DVD of Jessica's latest Modern Dance Show, before I began to wonder if the Coma was contagious.

I made the time to watch this morning's Formula One Qualifying from Monza, too. It was a good day anyway you slice it.

A quick scan of the Blogosphere revealed that the 9/12 March On Washington was larger than anyone could have imagined. Estimates run from 300K (DC Police) to over 1 Million (Great Britain's Daily Mail) Tons of Handmade signs and placards...Astroturf you can believe in!

The renewed Spirit of September 12th America warmed my heart back the eggplant. I felt so refreshed, that I didn't even look at the NWS Discussion, Forecast, or any weather at all.

Sure they missed by several miles yet again, but hey...I'm starting my weekend and don't want to harsh my own mellow.