I was in Las Vegas last weekend, celebrating the imminent 60th birthday of a dear friend. No, I didn't gamble. I gamble with the weather and business on a daily basis - I have no desire to do it "for fun".
We did stop at The Minus5 Ice Bar, where drinks are served in glasses made of ice, and everyone huddles around in heavy coats and boots, complaining about how cold it is. Wait... I could just fly home for the very same experience, which costs nothing to attend. It dawned on me that the temperature inside was -5 C, or about 23F.
By late January we call that a 'warm front'. If I want to enjoy 23F I can just go out and have a beer in my garage. There's no cover charge there.
As I tell new recruits ad nauseum: our coldest days are often sunny, which helps to remove some of the sting. Nothing worse that really cold AND really gray.
Under a blue sky the mercury fights its way into the teens today; outlying suburbs may flirt with 0F late tonight. A lack of snow on the ground will limit just how low the mercury can tumble.
This is as cold as it's going to get into early December; 30s return next week - close to average for Thanksgiving week, with no major storms close to home. Travelers catch a big break.
An ice storm is brewing for Dallas and a soaking rain storm sloshes up the east coast next Wednesday, complicating travel plans from Boston to D.C. to Atlanta. Travel weather updates on the weather blog.
* Coldest air of the season so far will spin up a major snow and ice storm for the Southern Plains, capable of plowable snowfall amounts over much of northern, western and central Texas, with a potential for severe icing Sunday into Monday in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
* Major coastal storm brewing for east coast and New England next Wednesday: mostly rain and high winds with minor coastal flooding possible at high tide. This system may impact Thanksgiving travel plans and retail operations.
* Significant storm to dump heavy snow on southern France, Switzerland and much of the Alps next 72+ hours.
Summary: the greatest short-term concern is heavy snow from New Mexico and northern/western Texas into western and southern Oklahoma. Traffic will be impacted - so will facilities. I'm even more concerned about a potential for a MAJOR ice storm impacting Dallas - Fort Worth and Waco, with some half inch accumulations of glaze ice on some roads, trees and powerlines. The greatest window of concern is Sunday afternoon into midday Monday.
A major east coast storm will push heavy rain and a few T-storms from the Carolinas into New England next Wednesday. This looks like primarily a rain storm (with some coastal flooding and beach erosion possible), a brief period of wet snow possible at the tail-end of the system, but probably no major accumulation from Boston to New York to Washington D.C. We'll be watching this system very carefull in the coming days. Stay tuned for more updates.
Paul Douglas - Senior Meteorologist - Alerts Broadcaster
Why The Philippines Shouldn't Rebuild Storm-Ravaged Tacloban. I fear we'll be having similar discussions for other coastal communities in the years ahead, as rising sea levels combine with increasingly severe typhoons, hurricanes and nor'easters. When do you just throw up your hands and admit that it doesn't make dollars and sense to keep rebuilding in the same vulnerable areas? Here's an excerpt from Quartz: "...Rebuilding “needs to be done urgently and differently for the Philippines,” Vinod Thomas, director general for independent evaluation at the Asian Development Bank, told Quartz. “There is clearly a big lesson to be learned in not relocating in a highly vulnerable area,” he said. “Tacloban is like a poster child. You can’t imagine a more vulnerable area than Tacloban.” All of the Philippines is vulnerable to rising seas and intense storms caused by climate change, but Tacloban—situated at the mouth of a bay and with major portions of the city well below sea level—is in a uniquely precarious position..."
Photo credit above: "Locals clean up debris on a street in Tacloban, Philippines, Nov. 22, 2013. Typhoon Haiyan, which cut a destructive path across the Philippines, is believed by some climatologists to be the strongest storm to make landfall in recorded history, with some 13 million people affected by the storm." (Jes Aznar/The New York Times).
Jimmy Breslin On JFK's Assassination: Two Classic Column. I think it's hard for most of us to wrap our brains around how traumatic it must have been in this nation 50 years ago. I was 5, and I vaguely remember sitting in my kid-size rocking chair, crying, because my parents were crying. But I couldn't really comprehend what had happened. Here's an excerpt from a couple of must-read columns at The Daily Beast: "In the days after President Kennedy’s assassination, the legendary columnist Jimmy Breslin set the standard for literary journalism written in the wake of tragedy. His columns for the New York Herald Tribune became instant classics, precisely because he chose to cover the unexpected human stories at the heart, but on the periphery, of the breaking news. Published here with Breslin’s permission are two of his iconic columns from those tumultuous days. “A Death in Emergency Room One” chronicles Nov. 22, 1963, from the attending emergency-room surgeon in Dallas. “It’s an Honor” has become a staple of journalism schools because Breslin sidestepped the media circus and covered the president’s burial from the perspective of the gravedigger at Arlington National Cemetery. Taken together, these two columns are true short stories, history written in the present tense..."
Photo credit above: "Members of the U.S. Naval Academy Men's Glee Club sing at the "The 50th: Honoring the Memory of President John F. Kennedy" event in Dallas on the 50th anniversary of the president's assassination, Friday, Nov. 22, 2013." (Rodger Mallison/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/MCT)
File Photo credit: AP Photo/Wally Santana
Michael Jordan's North Shore Mansion Goes Under The Auction. The auction took place yesterday, but I thought some of you might want to see the details of Air Jordan's pad, which is pretty amazing, in a wretched-excess sort of way. Here's an excerpt from The Chicago Tribune: "Michael Jordan’s 56,000-square-foot mansion in Highland Park — complete with an NBA regulation-size basketball court — will be put up for sale during a live auction Friday. No minimum bid has been set for the basketball superstar’s 7.4-acre estate at 2700 Point Lane, but prospective buyers are required to put down a $250,000 deposit just to participate in the bidding, said Laura Brady, president of New York-based Concierge Auctions..."
Photo credit above: "The living room inside Michael Jordan's 56,000-square foot Highland Park estate." (John S. Eckert Photography, John S. Eckert).
Pentagon Releases Strategy For Arctic. A rapidly melting arctic ice cap is pretty hard to ignore (or deny), yet many of the same professional climate deniers are happy to point out the advantages of less ice and more water - more economical shipping, and more exploration for oil and gas. Of course it's all that burning of oil and gas that's melting the polar ice cap in the first place. Oh, the irony. Here's a clip from The New York Times: "...While “climate change does not directly cause conflict,” Mr. Hagel said, it may “significantly add to the challenges of global instability, hunger, poverty and conflict.” He cited “food and water shortages, pandemic disease, disputes over refugees and resources, and more severe natural disasters.” The Pentagon’s Arctic strategy places a priority on preparations to detect, deter, prevent and defeat threats to the United States even as the nation “will continue to exercise U.S. sovereignty in and around Alaska,” Mr. Hagel said..."
Photograph by Claire Martin for Bloomberg Businessweek.
Photo credit above: Catholic News Service photo. "A view of a glacial lake is seen in Juascaran National Park in Peru in late September."