I had a fun and productive weekend here in the Inland Valley. KirkVallus was in town and we spent some time working on SturgeUrge's boat Friday afternoon. Saturday, KV was off to the Big Valley for a Dog Race called "Lure Coursing" where he plays with his whippet Rose...or as KirkVallus told me with a straight face..."Rose, it's short for Rosy"
KirkVallus told me that his sister read my blog from time to time, and said: "I don't get it...he's always writing about the weather" and stuff. I looked at KV and said: "Well, duh..." We went back to riffin' and laughin'...
We always have a lot of laughs when we get together...we've earned the title: "The Kirk and Dave Show" over the years from our closest friends...so it came as no surprise Sunday evening, when we laughed ourselves into tears over at SturgeUrge's house. SturgeUrge is in sales, so he knows a joke or two as well...suffice it to say, hilarity ensued...in spades.
In a little lull in the laugh-track, I queried the boys on the phrase "Baggy Trough" Nothing but crickets...then back to the wholesale hijinx. KirkVallus was anxious to get home to work, so he was going to miss our Monday halibut trip. SturgeUrge and I decided we'd pass on Monday too, and go up to Tomales Bay for crab and halibut hunting on Friday instead.
I've been digging in the garden early...until the heat causes me to retreat. Today I called it a morning in time to catch the weather on the Noon News. While waiting for the weather segment to air, I scanned the 'Net for fishing reports, Marine Weather Forecasts, and I went back to the Reno AFD from last Friday to look again at the "Baggy Trough" reference. Still puzzled, I ran through the AFD Archive to see if I could get a clear idea of just what a baggy trough is. No such luck. I clicked on YellowPages.com and searched National Weather Service near Reno, NV and gave 'em a call.
After a fairly short computer phone triage, I pushed zero and got a human on the line.
I explained that I worked in the Ski Industry, and that I was a regular reader of their Area Forecast Discussion, and I was wondering what a Baggy Ridge was.
The guy on the phone was one of the forecasters, and was just like my Dad (and every engineer I've ever met) all business. He explained haltingly that a baggy trough was an elongated trough that wasn't well organized as opposed to a closed low which is an actual storm system. "Kinda like a Slacker Trough?" I asked...well, he allowed...maybe..."Sloppy?" I asked...yeah, kinda, let's just say it's weak and disorganized. Sounds like Slacker to me, I thought.
Once I recognized that I was "workin' a tough room", I started thanking him for his office's level-headed forecast work, especially in contrast to the Sacramento Office and their Chamber of Commerce style. I told him that I thought of the Reno guys as cowboys...not out to pasture, but realists, conservative with their forecasts, and thanked him for missing the snowfall predictions to the light side. He said: "We try to hit it right on the button"..."I know you do" I replied, and said you guys are conservative, not Pollyanna types. I told him that every time the Sacramento Office forecast the "End of the drought" for the weekend, and it turned out to be nice, it costs us a quarter million bucks. I could hear him smile when he volunteered that Sacramento has a "different threshold for warning criteria"
I reminded him that Sacramento posted a Winter Storm Warning the Friday night of Memorial Weekend, that it did snow, but the mess on the Interstate was due more to unsuspecting revelers caught in winter weather and chain controls for the first time, and not from copious snowfall. I said a Winter Storm Watch was more like it, and he said "We'd call an Advisory"
I smiled hearing the Engineer-Speak, and thanked him again, and asked: "how's the weather in Reno today?" Cheerfully he told me, and said it was the kind of day he'd rather be outside. In passing, I whined about the Spring-long North Wind Regime's effect on my fishing plans, and asked if it would return to normal any time soon. He said the winds should become onshore by this weekend!
We chatted about the Bay Area, the "Natural Air Conditioner" (they must have a chapter on Weather Cliches in meteorology school) and the prevailing coastal winds and their effect on upwelling. I tried to pry some La Niña intel from him, but he didn't have any other than the quick exit of El Niño conditions. I thanked him once more and told him to "keep up the good work" I could hear him smile as I hung up. I smiled too, knowing my opinion of the culture in the NWS Reno Office was spot-on.
I always smile when the World is spinning in greased grooves...