LORE OF THE LINE STORM (Hurricane Jose–Updated)

Irma 1 peakofseason(8)

In the lore of New England the “line storm” was a storm expected to occur near the equinox. Because, as the above graph shows, the first peak in hurricanes occurs ten days too early, and the second, minor peak doesn’t occur until October, people who never get outside, and instead dither about indoors looking at graphs, can scorn the idea of the “line storm” as being a mere superstition.

But….(cue the twilight zone music)….I once didn’t dither about indoors as I do now. I once was young and went out on the water. To be blunt, those who haven’t been out on the water, (even in a small boat on a lake), when the winds start to rise and the sky darkens and life laughs at insurance adjusters, are missing something.

We would laugh at a person who thought he had a grasp of the weather who had never heard of a thermometer. A thermometer is vital, we think. But stepping outside?

Do not tell me you are wise when only
Books advise your eyes. Action speaks louder
Than words, and an island standing lonely
Needs another, if it is to proudly
Utter truths about Love. You must get out
Into the wind to know about weather.
Otherwise our intellect struts about
Like a peacock with a lone tail feather.
Even a small child, who hasn’t yet learned
The sky talks back, goes out and faces sky
And his face is lit up, with shadows spurned
As poetry fills each innocent eye.
Children worship best: They look up and lack
The ways we argue when skies talk back.

Americans once knew far more about the out of doors. More than half owned a farm and worked the soil, and a lot of the others sailed seas on small craft that would make OSHA cringe. To go to sea and never be heard of again was not all that uncommon, and, considering we all must eventually die, I’m not entirely sure I would not have preferred to die going “Yeee-Ha!” as my craft met a mighty wave, to surviving and eventually festering in a bed with tubes in my arms, with cancer, which we call “progress.”

I wasn’t too smart at age 18, and headed out to sea in 1971 on a voyage from Boston to Jamaica (don’t ask what for). In 1971 the “line storm” happened to be a hurricane called Ginger, which also headed out to sea, way out onto the mid Atlantic. And if you had studied books at that time you knew no storm so far out to sea could ever represent a threat to Cape Hatteras. But…

Hurricane Ginger 1971 220px-Ginger_1971_track

As chief (and only) meteorologist on the small craft I am proud to state we hesitated to the north and avoided Ginger, however a cold front absorbed what was left, and then that front just lay along the coast. I advocated further hesitation, fearing a nor’easter might brew up on the stationary front, but the captain was sick and tired of hesitation, and so we sailed south, smack dab into the nor’easter that brewed up.

Nor’easters are also considered “line storms”. After the summer quiet, when seas tend to be slack in New England, they first start to brew up when the first chilly cold-fronts come south in September. You would have to include them in your data, along with hurricanes, before you could accurately determine “line storms” were “superstition”. (Also you would have to narrow your focus to the waters near New England, where the lore was focused.)

In any case, at age 18 I experienced a reality that is somewhat different than what you experience indoors at computers. Entitlement? Yes, I was entitled to die, if I didn’t make an effort to do otherwise, (though I was so seasick the prospect of death wasn’t entirely unappealing.)

I’m not sure the nor’easter was particularly bad, but the small yacht was forty miles out to sea, and both the mainsail and jib halyards broke. Sails crashed flapping to the deck, and the engine quit, and we had no radio, and GPS hadn’t been invented. In other words, we were in the position which was not all that uncommon to find yourself in, back before engines and radios, in the age of sail. My ancestors likely would have gone, “Ho hum. Get the storm jib up.” I was disgracefully and utterly freaked out, and only functioning because I didn’t want to die.  Besides doing things I had no idea I was capable of, (such as climbing a whipping mast to thread a new halyard in the pulley atop a mast when the craft isn’t quiet in a harbor,) I also took meteorological observations. After all, once you’ve fixed what you can fix, there’s nothing to do but go up and up and up a big swell, and down and down and down the other side, over and over and over, so what else are you suppose to do at the helm, but observe? However those observations are through eyes that see differently than you see at a computer. (You are going to have to trust me about this, if you think virtual sailing’s the same.) For one thing, you can’t click to a new site when you get bored. You must observe, and observe, and observe…

For me this was a once in a lifetime experience. However for my ancestors it was far more everyday. It makes their lore a bit more credible, as, if they lived long enough, their experience included something scientists make a big deal about, called “replication.”

One interesting thing about the line-storm lore is that such storms were not seen as markers of the solstice. Heck, any calendar could do that. Rather they gave clues about the weather of the following autumn.  One was suppose to pay attention to how the line-storm ended. If it ended with warm weather it meant a different autumn lay ahead than if it ended with crisp, cold breezes from the north.

To some this might indicate they were sensible to storm tracks and weather patterns, in their own way. But to others it is just superstition.

In any case, with September 20 approaching a superstition named Jose is creeping towards New England.

11:00 PM AST Thu Sep 14
Location: 25.5°N 68.0°W
Moving: WNW at 8 mph
Min pressure: 989 mb
Max sustained: 70 mph

Hurricane Jose 1 025306_wind_historyHurricane Jose 2 025306

Hurricane Jose 3 vis0-lalo

5:00 AM AST Fri Sep 15
Location: 25.9°N 68.7°W
Moving: WNW at 8 mph
Min pressure: 989 mb
Max sustained: 70 mph

Hurricane Jose 4 vis0-lalo

11:00 PM EDT Fri Sep 15
Location: 27.4°N 71.0°W
Moving: NW at 9 mph
Min pressure: 983 mb
Max sustained: 80 mph

Hurricane Jose 5 vis0-lalo

I am having some sort of problem with WordPress wherein it fails to keep my updates. This is a test to see if it happens again.

8:00 AM EDT Mon Sep 18
Location: 33.5°N 71.2°W
Moving: N at 9 mph
Min pressure: 976 mb
Max sustained: 85 mph

Hurricane Jose 11 vis0-lalo


ARCTIC SEA ICE –Demanding Accountability For Failed Forecasts–

Extent 20170913 SIE_seasonal_n

Well, here we are again. The Pole is not “ice-free” at the minimum, once again. Once again the voices that were so adamant have gone silent. In fact the silence is deafening.

Instead the uproar has switched over to hurricanes, which is patently absurd,  because anyone who has studied history knows Harvey and Irma are not out of the ordinary. In 1886 a hurricane wiped out the city of Indianola, Texas, and it was one of seven. I repeat, seven. Seven hurricanes clouted the coast of the Gulf of Mexico in a single season.

1886 Hurricane Season 800px-1886_Atlantic_hurricane_season_map

Not that it will do the slightest bit of good. The far left not only refuses to look at the past, but goes further. They suggest that people like myself, who bring up what they fail to mention, should be “jailed for crimes against humanity”.

Hate on display – climate activists go bonkers over #Irma and nonexistent climate connection

As if jailing a person like myself isn’t threatening enough, prominent people such as Eric Idle (of “Monty Python” fame) suggests I should be “put down.”

Kill Skepics Screenshot-2017-03-17-at-10.33.58

Formerly my response has been to reply as if the “put down” was not a threat, and to respond with a “put down” of my own because, after all, it often is easy to reduce Alarmist’s arguments to absurdity:


However, though the meteorological facts wielded by Alarmists are not alarming, there comes a point when their behavior does become alarming.  A threat is a threat. After all, I do run a Childcare, and the last thing I need is some crazy person arriving with a gun. And, even if the people speaking the threats insist they are only utilizing hyperbole as a form of rhetoric, there are nuts who take them at their word, and show up at softball fields in Washington DC and start blasting away at congressmen.

It would only be natural for me to be intimidated, and to close this blog and creep off and hope to go unnoticed. However I have been putting up with this sort of crap for ten years now. My courage, and the courage of all who dare to be Skeptics, has already passed the test. The simple fact is that such nonsense demands a reply:

These nasty screechers need to be reminded that Freedom of Speech has limits. Beyond a certain point a peaceful protest becomes “disorderly conduct” and is called a “riot”. In like manner, to urge murder, mayhem, and destruction is called “inciting a riot”.

A good way to remind people, and to clarify this distinction, would be to arrest someone in a state that has sane judges. Have a so-called “test case”, and if necessary bring it all the way to the Supreme Court.

I sometimes think the far-left is resorting to what Mao resorted to when his “Great Leap Forward” proved an abject failure and resulted in China becoming economically backward. How did Mao then respond? Mao then incited a horrible nation-wide riot called the “Cultural Revolution.” Perhaps some young fools see themselves as American versions of China’s “Red Guard”, and see their uncivil procedures as part of some sort of “glorious purge.”

Hopefully cooler heads will prevail and our nation will pass this test of our character. “Now are the times that try men’s souls.”

I never would have believed this state of affairs could have evolved, when I first began observing sea-ice. It originally was an escape from my problems, a view of blue skies and cobalt waters and white and turquoise snow and ice. Now the scene has shifted to battleship gray.

Obuoy 14 0913 webcam

And also, by the way, the sea-ice hasn’t melted, yet again.

I am the last to state there should be punishment for failed forecasts, considering how many I myself have blown. However there should be accountability. When you blow a forecast you should admit it. However there is an amazing lack of humbleness among many Alarmists, and at times it seems to involve a complete disconnect from reality.

It is no fun to be a party-pooper, but the simple fact of the matter is that some have to do that job.  Otherwise the night of ignorance never knows the cool light of dawn, and hypocrisy reaches levels so extreme people wind up hurt.

One example is the simple fact Trump donated a million dollars to help Texas after Harvey, and rather than admiration he earned sneers from those who said it was nothing but ” a sleazy tax deduction.” Yet there is nothing but silence from such people after millions upon millions were raised to help the people of Haiti after the 2010 earthquake, and little of the money made it to the people who needed it, due to how Hillary handled that money. To excuse such a glaring difference in how politicians handle money as “mere politics” is a level of heartlessness which crosses the boundary of humanity into the wasteland of inhumanity, and any who accept it need to know the eyes of Haiti (if not God) are watching them.

These are not times men should remain silent.


LOCAL VIEW –Resisting Progress and the Purge

I’ve been spending a lot of time this past summer thinking about what I should teach youth. What have I learned that will be lost, when I die? Of this learning, what is worth saving? What is best forgotten?

After devoting considerable thought to the subject I decided people spend far too much time remembering what they should forget, and forgetting what they should remember. (Which was which?  I forget.)

This may sound odd, from a person who loves to study the past, but amnesia is an important part of growth. We need to forgive and forget, or we get stuck in the ruts of various grudges we never drop. Life is full of indignities, and if we don’t drop them then we are doomed to walk around all the time being indignant. Wearing an outraged expression all the time makes your face hurt. (Try it for five minutes, if you don’t believe me.)

I think one reason it is difficult to remember much of early childhood is because it is full of indignities and embarrassments. If you had to remember all of them all the time you might have trouble getting out of bed in the morning. Rather we absorb a sort of conclusion, a lesson, a moral-of-the-story.

As a consequence of this amnesia we walk without needing to think of all the falls that went into learning to balance. What good would it be, to remember teetering backwards and sitting abruptly down onto a diaper full of poop? It is far better simply remembering how not to.

The only ones who want to figure out all the individual events that go into our habits are psychologists, who are curious about our motives, and, as a person who became deeply engrossed in psychology as a youth, I have discovered a danger of psychology is that it makes it difficult to get out of bed in the morning. If you have to figure everything out before you begin, it is unlikely you’ll begin. Talk is cheap, and action speaks louder than words, and it is through failures that a sincere seeker finds right. No man became a saint without first blundering his way through a long series of moral failures.

It is these “good habits”, the crystallized essence of experience, that come down to us as various cultural commandments, the rules that saints pass down through the ages to guide and instruct the young.

We tend to resent these rules, especially when young, because they seem to impinge upon our freedom, our ability to to go out and learn for ourselves. The saints, and even ordinary parents, want us to avoid “learning things the hard way”,  but when young we want to rattle the bars of our cages, to bust out and “raise some wild oats.” Then we (hopefully) learn rules do not exist without reason, nor do they exist merely to oppress us.

Mark Twain’s father died when he was eleven, and he himself died in 1910, yet in 1915 Fred N. Ringe wrote,

“It reminds one of something Mark Twain said to the effect that when he was seventeen he couldn’t bear to have his Father around while they were discussing important questions but when he was twenty-five it was wonderful how the old man had improved. “

This quote, which Mark Twain may never have spoken,  is used by many who have come to understand how respect for elders is acquired, and is in itself an example of how an elder like Mark Twain is so respected that the words of a complete unknown like Fred N. Ringe can be remembered and respected a century after he wrote them, if we think they were written by Mark Twain.

I would like to have my words remembered and respected, a century from now. Perhaps I should say, “Mark Twain said, ‘I would like to have my words remembered and respected…’ “. But first I thought I’d turn to the culture of China, where ancestors have long been held in great reverence, to see if I could get any pointers on how to sell my words.

Maos little red book Weng-Naiqiang-1966-China-Conference-2016-1170x655

Wow! That Mao fellow sure did know how to sell a book! And I will confess that when I was young I wanted to be a rock star, and have crowds, like the one seen above, treating my every moan and groan as if they were Shakespearean sonnets.  That being said, there is something about the above crowd that utterly repels me.

I suppose what repels me it is the uniformity seen in Mao’s idea of “collective good.” It is strongly opposed to the idea diversity is a good thing, and that each person has a God-given gift as unique as their fingerprint. Instead, during Mao’s “Cultural Revolution”, individuality was seen as bad, as a “Western” concept that needed to be “purged” from society. How opposed is this to my liberal roots? Well, while the young in China were roaring about as militant members of the “Red Guard”, I was traipsing about humming Ray Stevens:

With twenty-twenty hindsight one thing apparent to me is that Mao wasn’t truly rebelling from capitalism. He was in fact acquiescing to it. How? He was subscribing to the capitalistic idea that increased production is better. Before the “Cultural Revolution” was “The Great Leap Forward”, which was all about increased production. Mao was frustrated by the fact China appeared backwards, “third world”, like it was living in the stone ages, and in his eagerness to be more capitalistic than capitalism he conceived the idea that traditions were an evil. Anything that seemed “old-fashioned” was labeled either “bourgeoisie” or “Western”. It must be “purged”,  even if it in fact was the heart of China’s spirit, and an attribute that made China unique and in some ways more civilized than the barbaric West.

Just as some psychologists think amnesia is the answer to the problems of the troubled, and shock-treat their brains, Mao felt the answer to China’s troubles was to subject the collective mind of China to shock, attempting to create an amnesia towards tradition, which would allow “reeducation”.

Meanwhile, traipsing about, back in America, young hippies felt production itself was the problem. They wanted to “get back to nature”. Indians, somewhat to their own astonishment, found themselves abruptly held in reverence rather than scorn, and coined the word “Wannabea” to describe young hippies who “want-to-be-a” Indian. In like manner, the Amish suddenly found ridicule was giving away to admiration. Where China was attempting to destroy its past, America was attempting resuscitation.

To some it seems hippies were simply spoiled, and ungrateful, and unaware how hard life had been in the Great Depression, and how lucky they were to live in a time of increased production. People who didn’t live back in the 1950’s and 1960’s don’t know that, in fact, production actually had gotten a little out of hand, and that pollution was so bad smog made eyes sting in Los Angeles, and a river in Cleveland actually caught on fire.

Listing ingredients on the side of packages of food began with the “Fair Packaging and Labeling Act” of 1966, and I can remember scrutinizing the sides of packages with other youths in wonderment, amazed by the exotic chemicals used to color and preserve our food.

I can actually remember the day it sunk in to me that producers might need to be watched. I was hanging out on a hot summer day with a bunch of teens, and we had the “munchies”, and dumped an entire half-gallon of ice-cream onto a platter, with the ice-cream retaining the rectangular shape of the cardboard container it came in. Just then there was an uproar outside, and we rushed out to some sort of hilarity so engrossing that we utterly forgot the ice-cream. Hours later we walked back inside and, while some of the ice-cream had melted into a puddle, the additives still retained a rectangular shape, on the platter. One of my friends poked at it and wondered, “What the hell sort of crap are they feeding us?”

That was beginning of an interesting time, when there were all sorts of interesting battles in Congress, where producers fought for fewer regulations, because they didn’t want the expense, while “consumer advocates” fought for “protections.” It was also the beginning of a time when people turned more to yogurt and granola and other natural foods. For the most part I couldn’t be bothered with such stuff, (though now that I’ve experienced cancer I wonder if I should have bothered). Not that bothering would have done much good. One cause of modern cancers is likely the pesticides used back then, and producers were not required to list those on the side of containers of yogurt and granola. (The “organic” movement was just starting then, but hadn’t reached the levels it now has assumed.)

What my focus was back then wasn’t the pollution and destruction of forests or rivers or the air or even the very food I was ingesting, but rather of the home. I was from a broken home, and witnessed the divorce-rate in my little town soar from 2% to 50%. I also witnessed the change of my town from a Norman Rockwell New England village to a bedroom suburb where there were far more newcomers than old-timers, and people stopped knowing who their neighbors were.

The instinctive American response was to simply move further out into the wilderness and form a new town. This was the idea of a hippie “commune”, which was in some ways the old American concept of creating a Utopia, and in some ways was a newer and more socialistic idea, but was seldom true, pure communism. Nor did most hippie communes work or last very long. “Free love” was fine in theory, but in fact people got pissed off when lovers were less than faithful. Also drugs didn’t lead to clear thinking, and people had trouble being responsible, (as responsibility seemed an affront to freedom). I was still a teenager when I lost faith in the hippy communes, and began thinking more deeply about what made a home and a community strong.

Such thought led me to contemplating what was attacking homes and strong communities, and at first the culprit was “progress”, and therefore in some ways “producers”. There seemed to be a mindless greed and desire to have-more and get-more that overrode saner thoughts which might think there were situations wherein “less” could be better.  People chased superficiality. A suburb itself was a superficiality, for it pretended to be “in the country”, though suburbs completely lacked the family and community of a true farm homestead.  Where a child on a farm had the mother at home and the father working out the window, a suburban home echoed during the days and outside the home’s picture windows was a vacuum. In some suburbs growing corn or opening a shop was outlawed, as if honest work was repulsive. Peter Townsend was correct when he described such a society as a “Teenage Wasteland.”

Though originally it was producers, and therefore “capitalists”, who were destructive to communities and homes, more recently it has become the far-left as well, which returns us to Mao, and the idea of a “purge”.

The far-left has no love of the two-party system, as the far-left’s concept of “collectivism” seeks an enforced “unity” wherein “the party” controls the population, and the population had better accept what the governing elite decide “for their own good”, or they will be labeled “bourgeoisie” or “counter-revolutionary” or “Western” and sent off to a Gulag for “reeducation”.  (I’m not making this up, as a personal, paranoid conspiracy. Read the far-left’s own words.)

Much of the current “Resist” movement, which has appeared following the election of Trump, is an attempt to copy China’s “Cultural Revolution”, and to create a sort of American “Red Guard” that will overpower more traditional forces, (who are in fact a truer “resistance”). This movement is having less luck than it had in China, for there is still a large percentage of Americans who don’t want uniformity, and who still believe diversity is a good thing.

The fact the people who call themselves “liberal” have shifted all the way from claiming they would fight for my right to have a dissenting opinion, to saying dissent must be crushed, reminds me of the statement, “I didn’t leave the Democrat party; the Democrat Party left me.”  There is a huge difference between a Harry Truman Democrat, who stood for the working class family, and modern extremists.

When I looked up the source of the quote I discovered it originated from Ronald Reagan. Nor was it his mere wit; it was a fact of his life.

In some ways I find this embarrassing, for I can recall being a young Liberal and despising President Reagan. I deemed Reagan a rich fat cat, and never bothered read a word he wrote, preferring to bad mouth him for his advanced age and his success. Now I poke through his speeches and see him saying “my” thoughts, way back in 1976.

One thing that makes me shake my head is how often he said the Democrat Party had changed, from what it was back when he was a Democrat. One time a somewhat snide person asked him if he had attended the Republican convention when Abraham Lincoln was nominated, and he replied, “Of course not; I was a Democrat back then.”

In conclusion, I’ve come to the same conclusion as Reagan. Perhaps I am merely reaffirming the old Churchill quote:

Churchill quote-anyone-who-is-not-a-liberal-in-his-youth-has-no-heart-anyone-who-remains-so-as-he-matures-winston-churchill-120-51-10

When I gather together my thoughts, what is it have I decided it is important to teach the young?

One thing I’ve done this summer is to study what I’ve learned from three cultural branches of my family tree: The Yankee; The Abenaki; and The Huguenot. And one thing that saddened me is to what degree all three cultures have been destroyed.

The modern world, with all its gizmos and gadgets and plastic and video, can’t compare to a single old man I knew, who died last winter, and what he knew about weather and trees, and also what he knew about being a faithful husband and having a home. He’s been erased. In a sense progress has been a purge, erasing the wisdom of the past as thoroughly as Mao.

But that old man did pass one thing on, though I cannot claim to have learned a hair of what he held in his head. It was his attitude. Basically it stated, “All men are created equal.”

It seems to me that there is something inherent in that attitude that demands we love our neighbors. It whispers of a better way, where it doesn’t really matter if your neighbor is richer or poorer, white or black, capitalist or communist, Christian or Jewish or Muslim or Atheist.

In the scriptures a man asked Jesus, “Who is my neighbor?” Jesus then told the tale of the Good Samaritan, which has become a concept so ingrained in our culture that people, who would not otherwise touch a Bible with a ten-foot-pole, can evoke the concept while speaking of laws involving “good Samaritans.” For example, in many states, if you stop to try to stop the bleeding of a person laying on a highway after a crash, the bleeding person cannot later sue you for malpractice, due to clauses in the law protecting “good Samaritans.”

It is not a merely American idea that “all men are created equal”. It involves “loving your neighbor”, with origins in Old Testament Law over 3000 years old. Such a concept does not allow purges. It does not allow capitalistic profit to override humanity. It actually, if you take it to the limit, does not even allow war.

At this point you can cue the violins, and put on a recording of John Lennon singing :”Imagine“. For, though many deride him now, John Lennon was no fan of the extreme left. He stated (in song),

But if you go carrying pictures of Chairman Mao
You ain’t going to make it with anyone anyhow.

Lennon was actually of the old-school of Democrats, and if fate had allowed him to live past age 40 to the age of 77, (which he would be today), he very well might now be saying, “I did not leave the Democrat party; the Democrat party left me.” And if he stated this in a truly communistic nation he’d be slapped into a Gulag so fast his head would spin.

As a second conclusion, I’ll simply state that it takes guts to believe “all men are created equal” these days, for you will catch it from both sides. The extreme right will attack you for getting in the way of production and profits, and the extreme left will want to purge you for getting in the way of their (supposedly bigger and more fairly distributed) production and profits.

However a neighbor is not a production. A neighbor is not a profit.

Who is your neighbor? Well, your closest neighbor is your spouse. Love your neighbor. Next closest are your children. Love your neighbor. Next closest is your neighborhood. Love your neighbor. Next closest is your county and state. Love your neighbor. Last on the list are the big-shots of the Federal Government, and it doesn’t matter a hoot in hell if they are communist or capitalist. Love them as well, but love them last. Charity begins at home.

This is the attitude which was handed down to me. It may infuriate certain big-shots, who feel they should be higher up on the list, but if you study the American Constitution you see they should not be tyrants, but servants.

This is the attitude we should try to pass on to the young. Progress is not evil, when it walks hand in hand with this attitude. Great powers are attempting to destroy this attitude, but if you stand by the Truth it will stand by you, and furthermore Truth transforms all it touches.

The Truth is that the Yankee, Abenaki  and Huguenot of New England were once enemies, and none thought there could ever be peace. Now all three bloods flow in my veins, and peace has blessed the landscape of New England for 200 years. The feuds are forgotten, and amnesia is a good thing in that respect, but the attitude that was merged and coalesced is not forgotten.

Truth is no candle that the ignorant winds of darkness can blow out, and in the end huge darkness cannot stand up to the littlest light.

LOCAL VIEW –Hurricane Irma…Yikes!

Irma 14 vis_lalo-animated

As Irma spares poor Haiti, which was so clobbered by Matthew last year, Florida is not spared by the fact the mountains of Hispaniola often rip the guts out of super-hurricanes, so they are afterwards greatly weakened heading north, as Matthew was. Instead Irma is “threading the needle.” If it veered further south, it would be weakened by mountains, and if it hooked further north it would likely head out to sea. But instead it is taking a path that is a sort of Worst Case Scenario for Florida.

There is still the hope it will hook out to sea. As I watch the film loop above I notice the eye wobbles, and I think each wobble north makes the computer models inclined to a track more to the east, while each wobble west makes computer models inclined to a track more to the west and smack dab into Florida.

I wonder about the power behind these wobbles. At the very start of the above loop we are seeing the very end of a time when the eye became oblong and distorted and even filled with clouds. My scientific side seeks physical causes, but, before I get to them, I should probably confess I am a mad poet, and also consider other, non-scientific causes, such as the power of prayer, both loving prayer and less-loving prayer.

Consider the following as, in terms of science, a brief and temporary state of insanity. Or perhaps the bawling of a bleeding heart liberal. Or perhaps the disgust of a voter over the corruption in Washington that has given Americans a bad name. It involves the nation of Haiti.

In 2010 a big earthquake hit Haiti, and huge amounts of money were raised to assist that nation, but very little reached Haiti. In a manner which, (if the mainstream media was not bought-out), would disgrace the United States, much of the money was grabbed by the corrupt and used to buy-out (in other words further corrupt) the main-stream media and other Americans,  who thought they could then take the money and run, and retire to nice tropical paradises such as Florida, and islands in the Caribbean, where they could live in comfort and sneer at the people of Haiti as being less intelligent,  and even roll their eyes that the poor nation was unprepared for Matthew last year, and say, “What is the use of helping those losers”, (when the fact is, if truth be known, all such people know about “helping” involves helping themselves, to other people’s money.)

After being treated like this, I wonder how many people in Haiti are praying Florida is spared? Versus how many are praying Florida gets treated like they were? And if prayer has power, can it make a hurricane wobble?

There are laws that mad poets know about that scientists won’t touch, though they involve actions having reactions. They are called “Karma” in the east and “Reaping what you sow” in the west, and in the bars of Boston they say “what goes around comes around.”

Enough said. I will put my scientist hat back on, after my usual sonnet:

Our worldly heavens have their hurricanes.
Our tropical-paradise palms get flattened.
We suffer, strive and strain for worldly gain,
And resemble sleek calves being fattened
For a sacrifice, for though wealth is nice
There comes a time you cannot buy a breath.
Billions cannot warm a heart gone cold as ice.
You wheel and deal islands, and purchase death.
It’s then you think back to the hell you left
And strangely see lost eyes still imploring
That you return to those you left bereft.
Stranger, you see those eyes more adoring
Than any eyes our worldly heavens own
As hurricanes make paradises groan

Putting my scientific hat back firmly on my head, I should say I’ve been expecting hurricanes like we are now seeing since back in 1990, when the AMO became warm. In some senses this expectation has made me look like a laughing stock, and like “Chicken Little Crying Wolf”. I was far too simplistic, and simply expected a thirty-year “Quiescent” period to be followed by a thirty year period as loaded with super-hurricanes as the period 1931-1961 was. I was perhaps unduly encouraged by the fact 2005 had a record number of hurricanes, just as 1935 had. Because the 1938 hurricane clobbered New England three years later, I confidently awaited a clobbering hurricane in New England in 2008. FAIL.

Because I have been, and continue to be, such a simpleton, I have mercy towards the simpletons who think CO2 influences hurricanes, and furthermore, think that because man produces CO2, conclude man controls the production of such storms. (I wouldn’t mind it so much if they made this claim as mad poets, but they insist they are scientists.)  My general conclusion is that science has a way of slapping simpletons about, and making them aware of how vast and subtle even the most elemental parts of physical Creation are. The slapping-down involved the simple fact the 2005 season was followed by an amazing drought in the number of hurricanes that hit the USA.

This disproved the simplistic CO2-will-cause-more-hurricanes theory, but it also made my own predictions equally laughable. I wondered to myself, “Why is this warm AMO so different from the last warm AMO?”

The answer seems to in the often heard statement, “It’s the sun, stupid.” The two periods of warm AMO have seen vastly different solar conditions, ranging from the current (mostly) “Quiet Sun” to the past’s (mostly) “Super-energetic Sun.”

When trying to see how these changes effect hurricanes, I seem to see that when the Pole is colder and the Tropics are warmer, the planet’s need to create an equilibrium uses hurricanes, and also big gales, as a way of “transporting heat north.” This counter Al Gore’s assumption, which was that more heat would generate more hurricanes. In actual fact various proxies (for what their worth) tend to suggest our planet’s warm times, such as the Medieval Warm Period were less stormy, while times such as the Little Ice Age were more stormy. Therefore, as counter-intuitive as it may seem, less heat (especially at the Pole) should create more hurricanes.

The current activity seems a sort of verification, or at least a sign I shouldn’t abandon my simpleton line-of-logic. Irma is looking a lot like the terrible 1935 hurricane that hit the Florida Keys, and there are other signs like signs of the forgotten past.

Fortunately we are far better able to warn people to get out of the path of the storm. The tales of what befell those trapped on the Keys in the 1935 storm are horrific. Perhaps the most incredible story I read about involved corpses found miles from where they, when alive, had tried to hide from the winds, and these corpses were apparently moved not by water, but airlifted by unimaginable gusts.

I don’t wish that on any man, and pray the damn hurricane is whisked out to sea.

There are three hurricanes currently strung across the Atlantic, with a tropical wave that might become a fourth.

Irma 13 xxirg8bbm(13)

Irma 15 two_atl_0d0

Irma 8:00 PM EDT Thu Sep 7
Location: 21.1°N 71.8°W
Moving: WNW at 16 mph
Min pressure: 919 mb
Max sustained: 175 mph

Jose 8:10 PM AST Thu Sep 7
Location: 15.6°N 53.2°W
Moving: WNW at 18 mph
Min pressure: 966 mb
Max sustained: 120 mph

Katia 7:00 PM CDT Thu Sep 7
Location: 21.6°N 94.7°W
Moving: Stationary
Min pressure: 980 mb
Max sustained: 80 mph

Irma 16 035421

One of the most worrisome aspects of Irma is that she has only lost 10 mph brushing by the islands, and is headed for waters that are even warmer than the waters that fed her growth. Joe Bastardi is stating that, if Irma continues to “thread the needle”, she should get even stronger, in the waters just south of the Florida Keys.




Above it all, I ride a soaring satellite
And see below a hurricane’s symmetry,
And wonder over the awe and delight
I get, seeing chaos create, so clearly,
An order, like stars in a galaxy
                    Surely the Creator’s might
Is seen in such art lifted from what, (to me),
Was a mess. Surely He can also make right
All our distress.
                                Yet I also know beneath
Those white curves is grief; families afraid
And huddled; roofs ripped off. A clean white wreath
Hides shrieking winds and shrieking men. What’s made
By the Creator then? It seems so odd
That down there they are also are thinking of God.

9:00 PM AST Wed Sep 6
Location: 19.2°N 66.3°W
Moving: WNW at 16 mph
Min pressure: 916 mb
Max sustained: 185 mph

Irma 8 vis0-laloIrma 9 avn0-laloIrma 10 wv0-lalo

From the “Guardian”:  “In Barbuda, where the monster storm first made landfall at 1.47am on Wednesday, according to the US National Weather Service (NWS), 90% of structures were destroyed. The report came from Gaston Browne, prime minister of Antigua and Barbuda, in an afternoon press conference after he witnessed the damage first-hand. His visit followed a 12-hour communications shutdown from the island.”

So far there are no pictures I can find from Barbuda. I hate to admit I am slightly skeptical of Gaston Browne, who may be fishing for free funds. But the eye of the storm did pass directly over his island.  St. Kitts was to the south, at the edge of the hurricane force winds, but received the “storm surge”.

Irma 11 Hurricane-Irma-floods-damage-283040

People forget that even away from the eye of a super-hurricane, where winds are only at the strength of a “minimal” hurricane, you are talking about winds stronger than many have ever experienced. (Drive at 75 mph and then stick your hand out the window, for a rough idea.) Even without the flooding rains that made Harvey so devastating, the “Surge” can lift boats from safe anchorages, if their ropes are too short. Here’s another picture from St. Kitts. (Solar power didn’t save them.)

Irma 12 282942

Nothing to take for granted. Stay tuned.


LOCAL VIEW –Hurricane Irma–

I saw a comment on the WUWT site by an Alarmist who, caught up in his enthusiasm, stated that because Irma was so large, now we must see Global Warming was a reality. Using the newspaper “The Guardian” as his source, he attempted sarcasm and stated,

“No, no, no, climate change is having no impact on the environment. It is just a figment of the imagination, a bunch of hocus pocus.

Strange that this Irma just happens to be most powerful Atlantic Ocean hurricane in recorded history – now, why could that be? Let me think …”

Another person then inquired whether he had considered other possible causes, such as the fact the “Quiet Sun” has abruptly become “noisy.”

Sunspots 20170906 latest_512_HMIIC

I myself was more inclined to simply roll my eyes and consider the fact, and it is a fact, that the hurricane was not the “worst ever”. I don’t understand why newspapers are so quick to leap on sensationalism to sell copies. Surely a major hurricane is quite dangerous and deadly enough without being the “worst ever.”

Simply looking back, I can recall Hugo in 1989 and Andrew in 1992, that came straight in to the coasts of South Carolina and Florida, and, in the eye-wall just north of their tracks, the devastation resembled a strong tornado’s. The important point is that the storms came in directly from open ocean. You cannot estimate how damaging a storm’s surge and winds will be when it is still out to sea. For example, Floyd in 1999 was twice the size of Andrew:

Irma 2 Andrew-Floyd

Also there is the simple fact that storms usually are at their strongest when out to sea, over warm water and unaffected by land. Wilma in 2005 had winds of 185 mph like Irma, but far lower pressure. Pressures were still falling when the record Atlantic low pressure of  884 mbar (26.10 inHg) was measured by a Hurricane Hunter aircraft, so pressures may have been even lower than we know. At that point the eye was only two miles across, and winds had increased from 70 mph to 185 mph in only 24 hours, which demonstrates how swiftly these storms can ramp up.

Irma 3 Wilma 1024px-Wilma1315z-051019-1kg12

It also should be noted that, if not even a modern Hurricane Hunter could measure the lowest pressure, there is small chance we have an accurate record of how low the pressures were or how strong the winds were back in the days when measurements were land based, or measured from ships. When winds get over a hundred, sailing ships of yore simply vanished, and were never heard from again. Even in the current case of Irma, NOAA reports, “A NOAA National Ocean Service station on Barbuda reported sustained winds of 118 mph (190 km/h) with a gust to 155 mph (249 km/h) before the instrument failed earlier this morning.”

In conclusion, considering we know so little, it is a bit foolish to speak of a storm being “The worst ever.” It is even more foolish to state it proves a trace gas is causing a change in how hurricanes behave.

The simple fact of the matter is that every year these storms develop, and we are right at the heart of the season.

Irma 1 peakofseason(8)

Besides Irma there are two other storms:

Irma 5 Slide04(162)

Here is Irma, this morning:

Irma 4 vis0-lalo

8:00 AM AST Wed Sep 6
Location: 18.1°N 63.3°W
Moving: WNW at 16 mph
Min pressure: 918 mb
Max sustained: 185 mph

A nice collection of videos from satellites can be found in the comments after this post at WUWT:

The most fantastic eyewall video of a hurricane I’ve ever seen – #Irma

I keep my eye on the smaller storms as well. Here’s a picture of Jose, far out to sea.

Irma 6 Jose vis0-lalo

5:00 AM AST Wed Sep 6
Location: 12.5°N 42.8°W
Moving: W at 13 mph
Min pressure: 1002 mb
Max sustained: 60 mph

And here’s a picture of Katia (infrared, as the sun is not up off the east coast of Mexico yet.)

Irma 7 Katia vis0-lalo

4:00 AM CDT Wed Sep 6
Location: 22.1°N 96.3°W
Moving: ESE at 2 mph
Min pressure: 1006 mb
Max sustained: 40 mph

I keep track of these storms due to an Alarmism all of my own, which does not involve Global Warming at all. Once in a very long while, around once every 40-100 years, these storm utterly clobber New England, where I live. I once hoped to see one, but those days have past. Now I hope for the best and prepare for the worst. However I have written about this before, with my first post printed at Accuweather in 2006, and perhaps the best post appearing on WUWT in 2012, before I’d started this blog:

Hurricane Warning; McKibben Alert

The people in charge also have to prepare for the worst, even if they risk looking foolish. They had to prepare for Hurricane Matthew to hit Florida last year, though, by the grace of God, it curved north and kept its worst winds just offshore.

I personally think Irma will do the same thing this year, (cut up the east coast of Florida), but will make a landfall in the Carolina’s, likely weakened but still strong, a Category 2 or 3 storm. But it is a very difficult forecast, where fifty miles will make the difference between strong breezes and devastating winds. Anyone concerned should listen to the experts, and keep a bag packed and be ready to leave in a hurry.

My favorite forecasters are Joe Batardi and Joseph D’Aleo at the Weatherbell “Premium” site. You can get a taste of Joe’s forecasting on their public site, where he is kind enough to supply a for-free video:




LOCAL VIEW –One Wheeled Wagon–

One Wheeled Wagon FullSizeRender

At my Childcare I often see children don’t need the junk parents buy them, (likely out of guilt for abandoning their little ones to strangers like myself.) At my place the most popular toy is the common stick found on the floor of any forest, and you would not believe the ferocious arguments I have had to arbitrate about certain sticks.

Children don’t need stuff. We all know this, and have all heard a hundred times the story of a parent who buys a child an expensive present, only to see the child gets more joy from playing in the cardboard box the expensive toy came in.

Children need Mom and Dad more than any toy a trillion dollars could buy.

Lately I seem to spend more and more time attempting to put myself out of business. I try to convince parents it is better to stay at home with their children. I haven’t had much luck, for it is a terrible sort of isolation to be a stay-at-home parent. I think one reason women “went back to work” and refused to be the sort of stay-at-home Moms seen in old 1950’s sitcoms like Leave It To Beaver was because the isolation was enough to drive the most staid person mad. Suburbs were and still are a sort of vacuum.

Suburban women don’t do laundry by gathering in a chattering group to pound the clothes on a flat rock by a river; instead they go down to a machine in a spooky basement all alone. It is said, “It takes a village to raise a child”, but what happened to the village? In modern suburbs people often don’t even know their neighbors, and commute to jobs far away, and need a place to park their children for nine to twelve hours. All that time their house is an empty box, hollow and echoing, and about as far from the traditional farm homestead as you can get. Traditionally both the mother and father worked at home, and the child spent only six hours at school.

Nearly thirty years ago my wife and I decided to fight the destruction of families, but it wasn’t easy. I could have made $100.000/year in Kuwait, but made $8,000/year working in my immediate neighborhood. Even working so close to home, there were days I’d come home and see my wife was going stir-crazy. We adjusted by getting her out to work some, with me as a stay-at-home-Dad some of the time, but then we made things even more difficult. We became aware the local school’s principle was failing to control the kids, yet adopting a the-parents-are-the-problem attitude. So we made our life much harder by choosing Home Schooling. At first this was hugely draining, but then my wife became a part of a group of “Home-School-Moms,” which was in some ways the equivalent of women going to a river to pound laundry on a rock as a happy group. Unfortunately there was no place I found for men to go. For the most part my road has been a lonely one.

When we opened our Childcare ten years ago it was with the idea that there was something good in the traditional farm homestead that children needed. Children didn’t need plastic toys made by people more interested in promoting Micky Mouse than in actually helping children. Children didn’t need for-profit daycare incarceration. They needed to be out in the fresh air, and to learn the lessons nature teaches. They needed to see carrots and potatoes come from filthy dirt, and eggs come from the filthy butts of filthy chickens, and milk comes from the washed udders of manure-producing cows and goats. They needed to walk the woods and see nature is not always harmed by mankind, and a pond is not hurt if you throw a rock at it.

We were so successful it nearly killed us. We immediately won an award, and had a waiting list, and were working from six in the morning to six at night. We had no business-experience, and it took us a while to figure out how to hire a staff, and comply with the hundreds of rules and regulations politicians burden a business owner with. Surely we have bungled, and bureaucrats likely look down their noses at us in high dudgeon, but we have done our best. And parents applaud us.

But, even after ten years, I can’t applaud myself. Why? It is because at times I feel like an enabler. I am the fellow allowing parents to abdicate from the responsibility of raising their own children.

Father’s only see their kids a half-hour in the morning, and a tired three hours in the evening, and I get them all day long. Is it any wonder children often suffer the embarrassment of accidentally calling me “Dad”?

But worst is the week they first arrive. They weep. The little boy in the picture at the start of this post cried for days, and I took the picture to reassure the mother he was at last resigned to the situation, and playing with a one-wheeled-wagon.

But I am not resigned to the situation. I am the guy who had to hold the poor child in my arms as he told me, quite clearly, he wanted to be with his very-loving parents. His doting parents, among other things, had taught him some sign language before he could talk. “Please” was to tap his chest. He kept sobbing and telling me, “Mommy. Daddy. Please.Please. Please. Please…”

This part of my job utterly sucks. I have to get it across to a two-year-old that their parents are loving by going to work. And it is loving of the parents to work. However it is not loving of our society to put parents in such a situation. It simply should not be.

After a week I have usually reassured the child life is still worth living, and this reassures parents who are a third my age and, compared to me, are children as well. But I have not reassured myself. I am aware something in my situation is wrong. I can fool the child and fool the parent, but I cannot fool myself. I am an One Wheeled Wagon.

Like a tired comedian, on the road
Too long, the roar of the crowd at my jokes
Is as loud, but I’m jaded. Overload
Has me faded. The sweetest sweet chokes
The glutted. I just want to go back home.

But where is that? In my haste to depart
I burned too many bridges, and now I roam
With no idea of what tugs my compass heart.

There comes a time when wealth seems futility.
All the wealth, wives and wisdom of Solomon
Didn’t make him happy, for he could see
That in the end he was a hollow man.

My heart tugs me on, with an ache too real
And no clear-cut goal, unless it’s to kneel.