Archive for July, 2011

What The Cone Represents
July 29, 2011

According to a national study, most people believe that the cone represents where the winds from a tropical storm or hurricane will impact.  It actually represents the probable track of the center of a tropical cyclone based on the errors of the past five years.  The National Hurricane Center plots where it thinks the storm will be in 12, 24, 36 hours etc. and places those dots on a map.

This image is of Tropical Storm Don on Friday morning.  The dots are the forecast from the NHC, but the cone represents the how far the center of the storm can be away from the forecast point.

Notice the circles in this image.  The size of each circle is set so that two-thirds of the five-year historical forecast centers fall within the circle.  The red dots out of the track are the past position of Hurricane Danielle in 2010.  The cone is created by connecting the circles.  In the cone, you can see how the 12- and 24-hour forecasts were just a touch off.  The center of Danielle was faster and to the right of the circles, but still in the cone.  But the forecast was off big time four and five days out.  The center of the storm wasn’t anywhere near the cone because the storm went a lot faster than expected.  What I always tell people is the forecast cone is good three days out, but four or five days a lot can change.  Danielle is a good example of the 1/3 of the time being outside the forecast cone.


Where Is Tropical Storm Don Going?
July 28, 2011

Where is Tropical Storm Don going? Click the image below to see a video from 11:15 a.m. Thursday of what areas are potentially in its path and its possible impact on the Houston/Galveston area.

Hottest Temperature Ever Recorded
July 22, 2011

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Last Time in the Sky Together
July 19, 2011

This was sent to me from Mark Singletary:

“Space Shuttle Atlantis and the International Space Station will appear together in the sky for the last time Wednesday morning.

The shuttle will appear to lead the space station across the sky by about 30 or 40 seconds.

From 5:43-5:44 a.m. Central Daylight Time, both spacecraft will be moving northeast over the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico and then out over the Gulf of Mexico. Those situated near and along the Gulf Coast will be able to see this if the clouds aren’t too thick with the two space craft emerging above the south-southeast horizon.”

California Hurricanes
July 11, 2011

Only one tropical storm has ever hit the California coast. It hit near Long Beach in September 1939 with 50-mph winds. The rest of the tropical systems that near California die before making land because the water temperatures off the coast are too cold to support tropical growth. Tropical systems need the ocean to be at least 80 degrees, otherwise the storm will weaken. Southern California has received some good rain from dying tropical storms, but only one has made a direct hit.

This is an image from the National Hurricane Center.  Notice how active storms are in the Gulf, Florida, and the Carolina’s.  Most storms that form in the Eastern Pacific Ocean move west and if they do curve north they quickly weaken in the colder waters.   

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Chuck Norris Didn’t Like My Joke
July 6, 2011

Chuck Norris can kill two stones with one bird and can make me disappear.  Click image to view what Chuck Norris can do at home watching our show.

A Hot Problem for Galveston
July 1, 2011


This is a quote from the National Weather Service, “We’ve been informed that concrete was put in at the ASOS site in Galveston a few days ago, which may be affecting the records that have been set there since June 26th. For now the records will count until we determine otherwise.”  The problem with concrete with it absorbs heat and probably is adding a few degrees to the recording station.  The NWS has strict rules that official recording sites must have grass surrounding the station. 

This is the follow up I received from Patrick Blood at the NWS: 

“As of this past month, the KGLS ASOS site has been moved and new sensors installed.  The site, while still on airport grounds, is now more representative of the local soil/radiative properties that before…and it should not be as influenced by local asphalt.”

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