NWS has requested ALERT activation from now until 8pm.
Hello everyone. I hope you had a good Thanksgiving & that you had no ill effects from being stuffed like the turkey you ate.
Christmas is just around the corner. And, if you want to buy your President ham gear or weather instruments, I will be gracious and accept.
Soon a New Year will be upon us & with this New Year will be some changes.
One change, which has already taken place, is Jody Aaron taking over for Darone Jones at the NWS.
We aggravated Darone so much that he went running and screaming to the hills under the pretense of being promoted to the NWS Western Regional Headquarters. Now we can “give the treatment” to Jody.
Congratulations to Darone. And, Jody – get ready.
Skywarn Recognition Day is Saturday December 6th and ALERT still needs volunteers to work the station. So far we have been under whelmed with volunteers.
This is a FUN event. There will be an Open House at the Forecast Office for Hams and their families and they can get a tour of the office from 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM on Saturday.
Please contact Russell if you can participate. We need you.
Unfortunately I’ll be out of town that day & will be missing it.
Now on to our favorite subjects – chatrooms.
It must be our favorite subject, since half of 2008’s meetings have had to deal with it.
On February 2, 2009, the IEMChat Project will be replaced with a National Weather Service administered project named ‘NWSChat’.
The IEMChat was always an experimental test project. Which is why I stressed over and over and over that it was not intended to replace RF modes or the 800 number for storm reports. It was experimental – always experimental and was an evolving technology.
The good news is that the chats have succeeded on both a local and national scale & will now be fully implemented under the new project.
The NWSChat will be comparable to the IEMChat with the identically named chatrooms, online tools, and automated chat bots.
The details on the transformation & account set up are still being worked out & will be ready before February 2 when the use of IEMChat will be discontinued.
One thing I will need to say and say clearly – THE RULES GOVERNING THE ACCESS TO THE MEDIA CHAT WILL NOT CHANGE.
The NWS policy is as follows:
The Media Chat be monitored by ALERT members only & those members have to be Members that respond to the NWS during callouts. In other words Operation Members.
Operational Members can and are highly encouraged to monitor Media and Spotter Chat from their homes.
Any Spotter reports on the Spotter Chat which seem of veracity & of importance should be “cut & pasted” on the Media Chat. ALERT has “filtering” authority to over reports submitted via Spotter Chat.
That is the NWS policy & that is the ALERT policy. And, it will not be changing.
Now, I realize that over the last few months some feelings have been hurt & some have been highly offended, for the various rules, restraints and qualifications that have been implemented governing the chats. Some offended even to the point of leaving the process.
It was never our intent or the intent of the NWS to offend anyone.
But, those are the rules that have been set forth by the NWS. There are reasons for these rules & as I said, they won’t be changing.
The reasoning for these rules has been much discussed at length for the last 5 meetings. Which is why you should come to the meetings or phone in. The mystery of it all will tend to disappear when you are there being part of the process.
And, again as I’ve said before. If you are relying on Chatrooms as your “weapon of choice” for storm reports, at times you will find yourself up the creek. Always, always, have more than one route for reports & don’t get too upset when one or the other route doesn’t work.
Because no matter who, what, where, when or why – and no matter the best of intentions – “things do happen” and always will.
We are all good folk. So lets be friends. Ok?
December, the tenth Roman Month, is the cloudiest month of the year, with only 40 to 60% of possible sunshine poking through the clouds. It is also the stormiest month of the year for the Continental US & the Gulf of Mexico. By “stormy” meaning large-scale storms, not necessarily the tornadic storms that they bring, even though we are still in the Second Tornado Season.
A region of heavy rainfall usually forms from Texas to Northwest Florida to Tennessee and Arkansas. Cold waves bringing rain, snow, ice and occasionally tornadoes, sweep across the region.
Hurricane season is now “officially” over, however Mother Nature sometimes throws a surprise in to make life interesting. In 120 years of records, from 1885 to 2005 there have been 5 December hurricanes. The last being Hurricane Epsilon during the 2005 season, the year in which we ran out of hurricane names.
Winter begins with Winter Solstice on St. Mary’s Day December 21 at 12:05 GMT.
December can be cloudy and cold, and, then it can swing into Spring like warmth, luring plants to bloom early, only to have the frosts and freezes to return and the plants be “nipped in the bud”.
Snow visits us in December, but we’ve never had a White Christmas.
In over 100 years of weather records, the closest we have gotten was in 1985. Flurries fell on Christmas Eve and early Christmas morning, lightly dusting some areas, but the snow was not measurable.
5.5 inches of snow fell December 22, 1929 & there was still 2.5 inches on the ground Christmas Eve. However, Christmas Day the temperature rose to 51 degrees and the snow mushed and melted away.
As my Granddad once said, “we don’t get the snow, just the cold.” Or as my Uncle said “There’s nothing seperating us from the North Pole except an old rickety barbed wire fence”.
December’s Full Moon is “Cold Moon” in Native American folklore.
Look west in the evening sky at sunset and you will see Venus and Jupiter passing close together. Two planets for the price of one!
The Geminid Meteor Shower peaks on December 13-14. Geminids are one of the year’s best meteor showers. It’s a consistent and prolific shower, and usually the most satisfying of all the annual showers, even surpassing the more widely recognized Perseids of August.
This shower typically produces 50 or more meteors an hour, or about one every minute. Although some meteors can be seen a couple of days before and after the peak date, you can expect the peak of the Geminid meteors to start flying through the sky around mid-evening.
This month’s meeting will be on December 9 at 7PM at the National Weather Service
Forecast office at the Shelby County Airport.
And, if there is a quorum present there will be a Board of Directors meeting after the regular meeting . If not, we will reschedule.
I will be unavailable December 9th & will miss the meeting for the first time in nearly two years.
My trusty VEEP Russell KV4S will be conducting the meeting.
Be sure to be rowdy.
From Mark & Teresa’s house we wish you a Merry Christmas and 73.
Mark / WD4NYL