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Long to rain over us

My great escape from Houston floodsI’m SO tired of the storms and floods we are are getting around the Houston area and so it was with pleasure, that I snagged a short notice business trip to Munich starting tomorrow.

Ah, Europe in the summertime. I can picture myself sitting in a beer garden with Hendl, a Maß of Helles while watching the sun go down around 9 pm.

It was with dismay that I look at the weather forecast and see the weather is as bad in Europe as it is in Texas.

They also have their floods where 5 died in Bavaria recently. Paris is also flooded which just adds to the misery of having to face all the strikes.

My second week I plan to go to UK where the weather there is being reported as being colder than christmas day.

Oh Bugger it. Perhaps I’ll be substituting that helles for glühwein.

Farmer’s Alamanac prediction: bloody freezing again.

A very poor original Roaman joke about the weather.

A very poor but original Roaman joke about the weather.

I think we’d all agree that US 2014/15 winter was a harsh one.

Well start looking for your warm clothing again as Farmer’s Almanac is saying 2015/16 is going to be more of the same and even places like Pacific NW is going to be hit hard with snow.

California will get some rains but later in the winter it will revert to being dry.

Another reason why if you are flying, to go through Southern airports in the winter but come to think of it, it didn’t matter for some airports like Dallas or even Atlanta were hit by winter storms.

Maybe you should just stay in doors and read Roads-2-Roam.com articles moaning about the weather.



Weather you like it or not

A large tree rests on the RM 12 bridge over the Blanco River in Wimberley after a flood on Sunday May 24, 2015. JAY JANNER / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

The weather in Texas has been wet. Very wet. Yesterday we had a tornado warning at 6 am that thankfully, was just a storm.

However, that same large weather front caused a flash flood of the Blanco River at Wimberly and San Marcos. Many are homeless and a family from Corpus Christi are missing after their vacation rental house was swept off it’s base. The San Marcos river came so high, it flooded over I35 which is elevated above the river.  In Wimberly, the flood was reported as being as high as 41.5 feet, 30 feet above flood level.

The Blanco River at Wimberly Texas in calmer times. Copyright Mikesluxurytransports.com

For those not familiar with either places, these are in the Texas Hill Country, one of my favorite parts of the Texas. Wimberly itself is small town, well known for it’s bed and breakfasts and touristy shops. It also has some outdoor swimming places, Jacob’s well and Blue Hole.

San Marcos is just off I35 about 40 minutes from Austin and has a campus for UT San Marcos. It also has a tubing on the San Marcos River.

While the Hill Country is very picturesque, it’s rocky landscape makes it susceptible to flash floods. Whenever you drive in the Hill Country, you see many warning on smaller roads about not crossing rivers in floods.

In North Texas, they’ve also had some of the wettest periods where the River River has topped the Lake Texoma Spillway: The 4th time in 58 years. A year  ago, the same lake was in a drought.

So what is the weather projection for this summer: Due to the El Nino in the Central Pacific, we can expect more of the same. California can expect to continue it’s drought.

US Weather forecast for summer 2015 (copyright: weather.com)


Groundhog day : six weeks of more freezing ahead

Feb 2nd Groundhog day.

Dahlings, Feb 2nd is Groundhog day at Gobbler’s Knob* PA , a tradition that has been going on since 1887. Since Punxsutawney Phil saw his own shadow this year, six more weeks of winter is the prediction.

According to AccuWeather, it says Phil and his ancestors has an 80 percent accuracy rate. More accurate than the recent NY National weather forecasters.

It is good to see there is no mention about Phil coming to bodily harm unlike Feb 2nd 2014, where Bill DeBlassio, Mayor of NYC, dropped a groundhog in Staten Island Zoo.

The poor rodent died from injuries and a cover up ensured. First cover up was that it died. The second cover up was that he was really a she which come to think of it in New York, is pretty common.

Staten Island Zoo officials went to great lengths to hide the death from the public — and keep secret the fact that “Chuck” was actually “Charlotte,” a female impostor, sources said Wednesday.

The zoo told a few Staten Island Zoo supporters, but claimed the groundhog died of natural causes.
The stand-in was found dead in her enclosure at the Staten Island Zoo on Feb. 9 — and a necropsy determined she died from “acute internal injuries,” sources said.

She had fallen nearly 6 feet when the mayor lost his grip during the Groundhog Day photo op. Sources said her injuries were consistent with a fall.

Wait a minute. What was the song that in the movie Groundhog day that Bill Murray character would wake up to everyday? Oh yes, it was “I got you Babe”. Bill Dahling, you really should have paid more attention to what Sonny and Cher was telling you.

Ciao for now,

* By the way, if you ever visit Britain, don’t expect to say you’ve visited Gobbler’s Knob without people bursting out laughing. Like your “Fanny”, it will not have the same meaning the other side of the Atlantic.

A snow cloud has a silver lining

WISN weather alert for South Wisconnsin

WISN weather alert for South Wisconnsin

I awoke to hear the Mrs Caesar’s lunchtime flight from Houston Bush  to Green Bay was cancelled. No reason was given in her TripCase email. Just cancelled.

Mrs Caesar has business up North for the next 3 weeks and my plan was to drop her off at the airport around 11 am.

While she called AA, I wondered what is going on. I look up flights via google.com/flights and see no flights into Green Bay. However, there were options to Milwaukee.

After 20 minutes, she gave up and called the corporate travel agent who booked her trip. She got voice mail and amazingly, there is no emergency number to them. Business hours only. What is the point of using an agent then for Corporate travel if you have to do all the re-arranging but that is for another discussion.

Eventually AA called back and told her all flights through Chicago are cancelled due to the Blizzard. Apparently there are over 1,000 flights cancelled. As Trajan mentioned Chicago is the worst US airport for winter travel so this is not surprising.

The only options available for AA is to go into Milwaukee (a bout 108 miles south of Green Bay). Since this would get her into MKE very late at night (after 11 pm) and then having another 3 hour drive ahead in potentially winter conditions, she told them to postpone it until tomorrow. Even getting to MKE may not be the end of the story as there is weather warnings of snow fall for South Wisconsin.

However, Mrs Caesar’s travel problem is a unexpected bonus in that I get to spend another day with her. She was only back for 3 day weekend and only yesterday, we said that 3 days was too short a time.

Now what to do? I think we will enjoy to Texas sunshine and later go to the movies where Patricious Caesar wants to see Paddington at Santikos Paladium. Another benefit is this Cinema serves food and drinks to the seats so solving the minor problem of what to make for dinner. Oh happy day.

It’s snow joke: the historic storm that wasn’t.

NOT the Weather forecast for NYC

So the historic winter storm that was to cover New York City in a few feet of snow, didn’t happen. While it blanketed New England further up North, the storm changed course only dusting NYC instead.

However, only in New York would people moan about missing such a weather event and they cast scorn on the weather forecasters who in turn, issued a public apology.


Niziol suspects he was not to blame: earlier in the weekend, he was on the Weather Channel predicting between 12 to 18 inches of snow for the city, half that of the NWS’s direst warnings. Meteorologists, including Niziol, generally make their predictions based on the same data and a half-dozen or so internationally shared computer models.

On Monday afternoon, not long before Cuomo announced the subway would close to riders for the first time ever because of a snowstorm, Niziol rolled his prediction back to between 8 and 12 inches: snowy, but not one for the ages.

The NWS, which has the gravitas of a federal agency and whose officials directly brief civic decision-makers, continued to stand firm on a prediction of three feet.

Events would show that Niziol’s revised estimate was close enough. Most of the city got no more than 8 inches, De Blasio said on Tuesday, although some areas of Queens got 10.

As with the NWS and other meteorologists interviewed on Tuesday, Niziol also pointed out that the far end of Long Island, east of New York City, and swathes of Massachusetts and other neighboring states were grappling with an actual blizzard, more or less as predicted.

“There is no pleasure in getting the forecast right over the guy at the next desk,” Niziol said, “because, you know what, next time I’ll get it wrong and that guy will get it right.”

Louis Uccellini, the NWS director, was by turns defensive and remorseful in a conference call with reporters on Tuesday afternoon.

“What we learned from the storm is we all need to improve how we communicate forecast uncertainty,” he said, after citing a list of places besides New York City where the NWS accurately predicted a disruptive amount of snow.

He said he was still “tracing” who wrote the service’s “CRIPPLING” and “POTENTIALLY HISTORIC” advisory, whose language was widely echoed by civic leaders as they declared states of emergencies.

Individual NWS offices are responsible for what they publish, he said. The chief meteorologist at the NWS station in the Long Island town of Upton, which is responsible for New York City, did not respond to a request for comment.

The preferred meteorologists of Cuomo and de Blasio, who both continued to cite the scarier forecasts on Tuesday as they defended their transport shutdowns, could not immediately be determined.

Cuomo’s office said his officials rely on the regular briefing services that the NWS offers to city officials. De Blasio’s office did not respond to questions on the matter.

Let the blames begin.

Would you like Ice with that delay? Flying in the winter

The forecast for Winter Storm Juno Copyright Weather.com

Weather.com’s forecast for Storm Juno Weather.com

January 26: Last time I  looked 5740 flights were cancelled due to the ‘Historic’ winter storm Juno that is hitting the North East today. There are all sorts of advisories about not going out where three feet of snow are expected.

I am not sure if three feet of snow is really ‘historic’ or ‘histrionic’ but as usual with the press, they just love aweather story that fills up the column inches and provide some nice videos to demonstrate how bad winter is. The Daily Mail is in it’s element over this

So why is is historic? According to weather.com

“Historic” is not a precisely defined term, but generally meteorologists reserve it for weather events of exceptional strength or magnitude. A hallmark of such events is their ability to break all-time records. For instance, Winter Storm Nemo broke the all-time 24-hour snowfall record for the entire state of Connecticut when it dumped 36 inches of snow near Ansonia on Feb. 8-9, 2013.

That said, Northeast blizzards aren’t just snowfall amounts: They’re high winds, they’re storm surge, they’re epic traffic jams, they’re days-long power outages. Arguably a storm doesn’t have to break all-time records to have historic impacts if it brings a crippling combination of disruption and destruction.

This had us thinking about which airports are ones rated for worst for flying in winter. One measurement is the number of flights delayed. Note that for all Continental US airports analysed by Hooper, all were over 20%. For the mathematically challenged, at least 1 in 5 flights were delayed in over 20 airports.

So what happens if you are delayed? Time.com has 5 Strategies for Dealing With Your Flight Cancellation.

  1. Check in Early: This avoids you being bumped.
  2. Stay informed in real-time : be ahead of the crowd and not wait for airline to rebook you)
  3. Know your options: Understand the airlines policy with respect to weather cancellations as there are no federal requirements.
  4. Photograph your valuables: Just in case your luggage disappears and you need evidence in a claim. [good advice anyhow]
  5. Turn on your charm: In other words, don’t be an a-hole if things go wrong. You aren’t the only person put out.


PS: Juno is a Roman goddess. Daughter of Saturn, Wife of Jupiter and mom to Mars and Vulcan.

top 10 worst US airports during winter

ORD 42% delay
NWR 37% delay
DEN 37% delay
DFW 32% delay
TPA 32% delay
LGA 31% delay
MCO 31% delay
JFK 30% delay
LAS 30% delay
% delay

Thunderbolt and Lightning, Very Very frightening me : Lightening strikes and outdoor travel

1975 picture of Michael McQuilken (right) and his little brother Sean moments before lightening struck them

1975 picture of Michael McQuilken (right) and his little brother Sean moments before lightening struck them

Sunday 13th July:  Roads-2-Roam read about a second death in only 2 days from lightning strike in Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado. Both had occurred on Trail Ridge road near or at Ute Crossing Trail. The one on Saturday impacted 13 people whereas 7 people were injured on Friday.

Per the usatoday article:

Park officials are reminding visitors of the dangers associated with being above tree line — or more than 10,000 feet. That area is very exposed and there are few places to take cover.

Park rangers say visitors should head to lower ground by 12 p.m. to avoid being caught in a dangerous storm.

Prior to this, the last fatality due to lightening in Rocky Mountain National Park happened in 2000 so this seems like a statistical anomaly.

Reading around for information on this we found a stupid CBS article claiming this happened during “heavy monsoon rains”. Oh for crying out loud: The US does not have monsoons. What the US does have is instead is morons,usually lazy reporters.

Now back to the topic of lightning. Years ago, Augustus remembers one of an Irish friend tell us about a time hiking in the Rockies when a storm hit. He said “It started as fun but the scary thing was there was nowhere to shelter. There was blinding white flashes and I ducked as low as possible and was glad to make it out alive”. Continue reading..