Saturday, October 10, 2009

Playin' Hooky

That's not Hockey...the Canadian National Pastime...

Those "of a certain age" will remember the phrase "Playing Hooky" meaning "To avoid one's responsibilities" or more accurately, "To skip school".

Playing Hooky is the offence, and TruckeeDave is Guilty! No I didn't skip school, I missed my self-imposed deadline for yesterday's installment of CorduroyPlanet first Muff in 48 scheduled days all told.

I dropped the ball for many reasons. First off, I set the alarm for 04:20 and tried to watch NASA's LCROSS Probe strike the I predicted, overcast skies obscured the Moon from view here at the Ancestral Digs...I logged on to NASA TV and watched...nothing happened that any camera saw...One wag online wondered if the thing landed in Mud! No cloud of ejecta was seen, no ejecta cloud was illuminated, no show...period. I fell back asleep listening to excited NASA Space Geeks (Scientists) talk about all the data...blah, blah, blah...zzzz...

When I awoke a second time, I threw together a cooler with lunch and met up with SturgeUrge for a rare Friday Halibut Hunt.

We launched from Richmond as always, and motored South towards the SF-Oakland Bay Bridge to take a last for 2009 shot at the tasty flatfish. There was a good incoming tidal current, but very little wind so it was a glorious morning on San Francisco Bay. Our best chance of actually hooking into the halibut wasn't going to be until 4PM at the Top of the Tide, but halibut don't have back pockets to keep tide books in. Our local PBS Affiliate KQED is airing it's new "Saving The Bay", a four part documentary this week, so we had plenty of new Bay Stuff to chat about while we waited for the fish to cooperate.

We enjoyed a lazy day on the Bay drifting ever northward before SturgeUrge suggested that we "Pick 'em up" and we blasted back down to Point Blunt on the Southeast corner of Angel Island to watch the Navy's Blue Angels do their final dress rehearsal for the weekend's Fleet Week Airshow. We went to this spot because it's as close to the action as the brisk afternoon westerly winds would allow us to comfortably bob around in SturgeUrge's 17ft deep vee fishing boat.

The Aces in their FA-18 Hornet Jets did their usual awesome show, and we watched for the 40 minutes or so that they were flying over the Bay between Alcatraz and the San Francisco Waterfront. At one point, the Blue Angels flew right by us...maybe 500 feet west of our position and about 100ft above the Bay, silhouetted against Angel Island! This was closer than anyone watching from San Francisco will be Saturday or Sunday! I took my camera back out of it's case and snapped some pictures, but they only did the one "Beauty Pass"...There was one other boat nearby, another under-20ft ski-boat who flew a Big American Flag...4 by 6 feet, at least! I guess he was Flying the Colors for the Blue Angels...not for the SturgeUrge I'm sure!

We motored slowly back up the Bay before dropping our baits back to the bottom...finally, at almost 5PM we got bit! We didn't notice a thing, but drifted a few more baits before calling it a day, and a season.

Note: I read a report from another fisherman who watched the Blue Angels' show...that they hooked and landed a 45lb White Sea Bass on Southampton Shoals at about the same time that we got bit at the Northernmost end of Southampton Shoals! White Sea Bass have been on the rebound in and around San Francisco Bay over the last decade or so...needless to say, SturgeUrge and I both need a WSB to punch our Dance Cards!

So, that's CorduroyPlanet for today...I just couldn't talk about the weather again, besides there's weather coming into the Inland Valley and the Mountains in just a couple more days! Then everyone will be talking about The Weather...I'll fit right in.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Still Bearing Down

Man, oh Man! The Local TV Weatherfolks are so excited about their "Pattern Change" due next week! Every News Tease mentions the Rainy Weather Next Week. They're selling their broadcasts shamelessly to be sure.

This story is starting to feel like the Sword of Damocles to me...I shouldn't let it get to me, but in my Media Universe it's Everywhere All The Time. I know it's Marketing, and I'm usually pretty strong in my resistance to this stuff, but this story is aimed right at my wheelhouse...right where I live.

My Local NBC affiliate just ended their Noon News Hour saying "Watch out for that rain Tuesday!" They aren't helping...Tuesday is still five days out...but some of that Typhoon's clouds are starting to show on the Wide Pacific Satellite View that TV stations use as background during their Weather Forecast Segments.

My detailed perusal of the Reno NWS Discussion shows the trough coming into the Sierra Monday night now. The Forecaster goes on to reaffirm the High Snow Levels (8500-9500ft) and noting the model ensemble's precipitation guess is for one to two inches of rain well above the Pass Level...and mostly North of Interstate 80...OK so far for My Mountain...Boreal is going to lose their Marketing Patch, though...I must remember this is still Five Days Out...

Other things in my world are holding my attention too. Tomorrow morning at 04:31 PDT, NASA will crash the LCROSS Booster Rocket and the LCROSS Mothership Shephearding Probe into a crater on the Moon. This crater is on the very bottom of the Moon as seen from Earth. Their plan is to blast a plume of Moon debris up into the sunlight so the Sun's energy will help reveal to the instruments aboard the Shepard Probe the chemical make up of the stuff laying about in the perpetually dark and cold crater...They hope to find water. I hope they find water!

If water in useful amounts is found on the Moon, NASA stands a much better chance of sending Astronauts to Mars in my lifetime. NASA is pretty sure they'll find water in that crater. The plume will be visible from Earth, given a 10 inch or larger telescope, and our whole constellation of space telescopes, Lunar Orbiting Satellites, and Earth Based Telescopes will record the event.

I have my alarm set, but I'm pretty sure we'll have a marine layer providing cloud cover over the Ancestral Digs. Plan B is TV and the Internet.

The Space Weather Website has all the Resource Links.

The Other Skynews

The other bit of Weather Business that I follow regularly, is Climate Science. There's been quite the flood of Scientific Papers on Climate published lately, much of it citing the Sun's behavior and it's influence on Earth's Climate.

Remember "The Hockey Stick"? That's the graph featured by Al Gore in his Oscar winning movie "An Inconvenient Truth", and wielded like a Broadsword by the Climate Chicken Littles at the United Nation's IPCC to push massive changes to World Wide Markets to "Stave off Global Warming"

Did you know that the Hockey Stick was thoroughly debunked a few years ago? Did you know that the UN's IPCC abandoned it this week? I didn't think so. You see, the Mainstream Media across the Western World have committed the "Sin of Omission" on this story. It's not the only story on Climate Science that's MIA either.

The story of the Quiet Sun and the influence of Cosmic Rays on Cloud Formation is also getting overlooked. Interestingly, Iran's FARS News Agency has the story.

This study could mean that the Sun's diminished magnetic influence on Near Earth Space will allow increased cosmic ray activity to raise the Earth's cloud cover. More clouds reflect more Solar Power back into Space, Cooling our climate...good news if you're worried about Global Warming! Satellite data shows we've been cooling since 1998, further cooling is coming seems likely from the science cited in the Literature. Anthony Watts of course, had the story in real time on his Climate Blog.

Is it just me, or are the Big Media outlets missing yet another important story? Perhaps they're not the Impartial Reporters they tell us they are. Is it any wonder that their stocks' value are in the dumper, and their readers and viewers are deserting them in droves? I think not.

All thing must pass sang George Harrison, and all these stories will resolve eventually. I'm waiting...and I'm watching with half a smirk on my face.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Bearing Down

As I lay in bed this morning, enjoying the cool morning from beneath the covers, I heard a National News Broadcast trumpeting "The Earliest Colorado Ski Season In Forty Years!" A little later, the Local Talk Show's Newsman reports: "Boreal Ridge Opens Friday" Now, I'm awake! I recalled that BajaBabe called me Saturday evening, saying she was getting snow in Eastern Oregon...and KirkVallus reported scraping ice from his windshield Sunday morning...could this be a trend?

I looked at the Reno NWS 3:14PM Discussion last evening after another Bay Area News Tease touted a "Big Pattern Change Next Week". Now 12 hours later I looked again and found the models going forward are showing a trend to Divergence...not a trend in the making...

So I looked at this morning's Monterey NWS 3:24AM Discussion and found the nugget from whence all the buzz emanates: Typhoon Melor!

Typhoon Melor is Southwest of Tokyo moving Northeast, eventually to become Extratropical, where it should be entrained by the Westerlies and brought into NorCal next weekend. Oh my...let's just say: That's too far ahead to make awful lot of dominoes have to align to make good on a Pattern Change...even a lowly Event!

Relieved but vigilant, I surfed the story.
Loveland Colorado is the winner of the First Open Sweepstakes. Here's the story...Early cold temperatures allowed the Resort to make snow starting September 15th! They're selling a $44 ticket for their usual opening offering, 1000 vertical feet of "Easiest Way Down" The runs are named: "Catwalk", "Mambo", and "Homerun"
On Friday, Arapahoe Basin stages their "Earliest Opening in 64 Years" The Denver Post reports both resorts are offering 18 inches of ManMade Snow. OK, I get's that Global Warming workin' out for ya?

Closer to My Mountain, Boreal Ridge opens on ManMade Saturday, running their Castle Peak Quad chair...I see they've renamed Gunnar's Chair, now named Nugget. This will give TV News Crews a nice Remote for their Noon, 5PM, and 6PM Shows. Footage from Boreal is featured on Channel 2's Noon News her in the Inland Valley...they've got a ways to go to connect the dots...or, patches of ManMade if you will...

Elsewhere around the West, schoolkids in Idaho's Blaine County School District are enjoying the "Earliest Snow Day on Record", while outside Las Vegas, another Ski Hill is enjoying their Earliest Opening...again on ManMade, on a single trail and lift. Seven weeks earlier then ever! says their Marketing Department.

It is all about Marketing...all of these stories. It's the TV Marketing Guys who have their Talking Heads crowing Pattern Change based on the hope of Typhoon Moisture coming to the area...keep those eyeballs tuning in! The Resorts are opening expressly to get the Free Advertising value from the TV News exposure...the Vegas Resort closes Sunday night to go Weekends only, but not before getting time on the next 4-5 nights of Local TV News!

Looking closely into the Reno Discussion, their model runs are showing some T.Melor traces: "Models are also strongly favoring high snow levels at the onset of this system with some slow fall in the snow levels after day 7 (Tuesday)"

These are computer model days out. This time frame has eluded these models all summer this season. You can't deny observed data like the temperature records, but making bets based on the climate model ensembles would be a Fool's Errand. It's still too early to call the Season's Start...even the Pattern Change won't seal my fate...cold temperatures and the calendar will, unless Mother Nature throws a curve and moves earlier than in the past...again possible, not probable.

Thanksgiving with the Family at the Ancestral Digs could be in jeopardy, but we've preemptively dodged that bullet...we're doing the BirdFeast the weekend before the Traditional matter what Mother nature does.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Chain Controlled

Well the hits just keep on coming! Chain controls over US 5o this morning. I waited to catch the Sacramento TV AM Weather...there wasn't much to see on radar. I checked my mountain's webcams, and there were some flurries showing, but no accumulation. I went about my daily chores and didn't check in until after sundown. Now there was some snow piled a few inches deep showing on the webcams, but nothing falling from the sky anymore. As I write, I'm looking at Sac TV's 11PM News, and there's nothing to see on the radar again.

This afternoon, I chatted with my Mom about the snow reports, and thought about when I might head up the hill for the season. The past two seasons, I didn't start until the first or second week of December. Nine weeks, in round numbers. I've still got a few weeks to get the outdoor projects done at the Ancestral Digs, and over at SturgeUrge's place. The first snow always sets off a ticking clock, so to speak...days are getting shorter, nights longer.

I'm looking forward to the season...I'm hoping my prediction of a "normal" winter's precipitation will be proven accurate. I love my job, it's the most fun you can have with your clothes on, when it's going right. I'm a little nervous about the coming season because I'm paying more attention to the weather and the Sun this year than I have in the past two. Predicting the weather more than a few hours out is always a crapshoot. I always open my big's what I do.

As always, time will tell...I'm hoping the tale won't be told before Thanksgiving.