Thursday, October 16, 2008

National Weather Association Wraps/Matt Lavine Update/Southwest Airlines Rocks

Well we made it home no problem last night...the heavy rain had ended (although our plane was delayed in arriving in Birmingham due to the weather). After we got home, we had a few heavy downpours and rumbles of thunder. Southwest Airlines, we love you!

Omar is barely a hurricane and moving rapidly northeastward away from the Bahamas. It should weaken over the next several days. The area of disturbed weather in the western Caribbean is over Mexico.

Definitely a change to fall weather for much of the country. Houston area rain has tapered off and it will be cooler over the next few days. Friday will start out in the low 60s and highs will be in the upper 70s with skies clearing. The weekend will be spectacular--lows in the 50s and highs in the low 80s with sunshine and low humidity--make sure to check out St. Laurence's fall festival on Saturday evening and Sunday. St. Laurence is in Sugar Land at the intersection of Austin Parkway and Sweetwater. I'll be working the cake walk on Sunday.

Rain has moved east out of Louisville and it will be a chilly night with temperatures dropping into the 40s and skies clearing. Highs will be in the 70s on Friday. Enjoy! By the way, Louisville, your rain today was .11 inches.

Frontal boundary will move across the eastern U.S. over the next 24 hours bringing some showers (with some thunderstorms in the southern states). Looks like a pleasantly cooler weekend shaping up for much of the country.

I had to post the photo of Betsy Kling--it's just her. I like that adjective exuberant or exuberante in Spanish. That is pronounced aches-oo-bear-RAHN-tay. That's what we love about Betsy--she is so exuberante.

By the way it was thanks to Betsy's energy and dedication that (if I got that number right), more than $9000 were collected for NWA scholarships. Way to go Betsy and all the folks who participated in the golf tournament and raffle.

We have received our first one thousand copies of our English teaching DVD for spanish speakers. It's called Aprendamos Ingl├ęs con Frank y Paco, Volumen 1. I'll let you know when the Spanish web site will be up and running. Please tell your teacher friends, family and friends in Mexico etc. about it! I'll be uploading the information to our distributors and on Friday.

In the meantime, for Spanish learning and all of the benefits such as enhanced cognitive development in children, you can buy our award winning DVD, Let's Learn Spanish with Frank & Paco, Volume 1, a Dr. Toy Top 10 Educational Product of 2008, at,,,,,,, and

Dolo Publications is a wonderful web site with a variety of language teaching products. You can check it out at I just received one of their books with accompanying CD called Music That Teaches Spanish! It has a plethora of activities and of course the music on CD to encourage early language learning. They also have products for German and French.

I've gotten back to work and it has been busy, busy, busy. But I wanted to make sure and tell you about some more exciting talks at the National Weather Association annual meeting (which by the way, concluded today--so safe travels home everyone). Please know that I would love to speak about all of them, but I will be here all night if I do.

First of all, there was a fascinating series of talks about the "Super Tuesday" outbreak of tornadoes back in February of this year. I saw for myself the damage to Clinton, Arkansas as we drive through there every July on our annual trip to Table Rock Lake in southwest Missouri. I am no tornado damage assessor by any stretch of the imagination, but you could easily tell that a tornado had gone through there because of the way the trees and structures were twisted. It was an amazing footprint of mother nature.

With the upcoming elections, Katie Mercadante gave a fascinating talk about the demographics of voters (democrat vs. republican) turnout according to weather conditions. Some of her findings contradicted other study findings which would suggest that republicans turn out in greater numbers in times of inclement weather. Yet, her findings showed that democrats actually did. She has plans to study this further. Please keep in mind, that she did do a lot of filtering to hone her research focus.

There was a spirited debate about the appropriateness of issuing numerous tornado warnings vs. one large tornado warning in a situation were multiple vortices are rapidly developing along a fast moving line during a serious severe weather outbreak. Ted Funk of the NWS in Louisville cited the Super Tuesday outbreak as a time when they put a large area under a Tornado Warning. It was interesting to hear the perspectives of media vs. emergency management vs. NWS. I can tell you from my own broadcast experience that what I really need and want to give the viewers is specifics on just where the tornadoes are (or will be) and where they are heading. In the Houston area, you get so many warnings (sometimes a stack 1 inch thick for one round of bad weather) that the public can become overwhelmed and confused. They want and need to know exactly where the trouble is. Toward the end of my on air career, I was less likely to mention specific warnings and more likely to point out where I thought the problem locations and threats were. After all, isn't this what the viewers needs to know? You might be surprised at how many people don't even know what county they are in or at least how to tell from a map. But if you say their town and even better, a nearby intersection, they'll get it.

I really enjoyed hearing about upcoming changes in radar and satellite technology, especially in the way Brian Motta explained it--multiplatform, multisensor products and the fact that there is going to be a lot of terrific data but how do you filter it down quickly to what you need for specific situations? It is an exciting time indeed.

Thanks so much to everyone who worked so hard at The National Weather Association annual meeting. We really appreciate it!!! And a big congratulations to Dave Knapp for his much deserved member of the year award. I have worked with Dave on a number of NWA projects (and these were only a tiny fraction of his overall projects). He really has done so much for NWA.

Checked in with Matt Lavine today--he got through the first weekend at CW here in Houston. It's great to see him back on the air!!! Good job Matt!
Happy almost weekend everyone!
Cecilia Sinclair
Wonder Weather Woman

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