Sunday, August 22, 2010

Random Thoughts for the Weekend

America's Cup On the Air
Friday morning, San Francisco's NPR station KQED spent their 9AM hour talking America's Cup Racing on San Francisco Bay.

You can listen to KQED's Forum podcast here: KQED Forum: San Francisco's America's Cup Bid

The racing on the Bay would be the most exciting sailing races ever broadcast on television. San Francisco Bay forms a huge natural amphitheater where hordes of spectators could watch the big high tech yachts race in the big afternoon winds, with all the iconic SF Bay scenery as a backdrop. This Regatta on TV would surpass ESPN's 1987 coverage from Fremantle by lightyears. Think HDTV.

Such media exposure would be a huge shot in the arm for San Francisco tourism and America's Cup Racing.

Our elected representatives need to hear from all of us. They're all in Sacramento now...sandbagging their constitutional duty to pass the State's Budget. Drop 'em a line, fax or email them. This Regatta must be held on the Bay!

All Quiet on the Eastern Front
The Hurricane Season has been pretty quiet so far this year. I was curious because I've been reading about Sea Surface Temperatures rapidly falling, while over much of Russia there's record heat. I started looking into it all at The National Hurricane Center's Atlantic Tropical Weather Discussion page. Not much there. SSTs are running a little below average over much of the Atlantic, and most of the Gulf of Mexico. The discussion cites the dry air aloft, and unfavorable high level wind patterns.

I found some Big Picture info on Russia's Heat Wave, and it seems the heat wave is local over Moscow, while much of the rest of the old Soviet Union is cooler than average. NOAA says the blistering heat is caused by a "Blocking High", not Global Warming.

The Sun Goes Quiet Again
Our star is quiet again after some impressive flares and Coronal Mass Ejections. Saturday the face of the Sun is sunspot free. A huge Coronal Hole that dominated the northern hemisphere of the Sun for most of the week has rotated to the backside, taking it's streams of solar wind with it.

Clearly the measurements of solar activity point to the ramp-up of Cycle 24...more that 400 days later than average. The Sun is coming out of it's most quiet period in a hundred years. I have to wonder if the quiet Sun over the past two years is part of the rapid cooling of our Sea Surface Temps, and the onset of our new La Niña.

The long Solar Minimum may be implicated in the record cold Winter the Southern Hemisphere is's the same cooling that's kept Hurricane Season on the back burner.

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