Sunday, November 30, 2008

Forecast/Hurricane Season Commentary/DVD wins another award

Today is the last day of the 2008 hurricane season. Hurricane Season begins again on June 1, 2009. By the way, storms can develop in months outside of the 6 months (from June 1st through November 30th), but it is very rare.

A few weeks ago, I had a good time teasing our new Hurricane Director, Bill Read, that he is the reason it was so busy. In fact, six storms in a row hit the U.S.--Dolly, Edouard, Fay, Gustav, Hanna, and Ike. And five of those hit the Gulf coast. All together, there were 8 hurricanes--five of those became major (Category 3 or higher). An average year has only 6 hurricanes with 2 becoming major.

There has been a lot of discussion about whether the use of the Saffir-Simpson scale (for hurricane ratings) should be revisited. What most people don't realize is that the scale also has columns for pressure and storm surge. If you look at the pressure, Ike was a Category 3. If you look at the storm surge, Ike was a Category 4. I'm talking about when it made landfall. Officially, it goes down as a Category 2 hurricane at landfall because the winds were 100 mph. And as you remember, it was a Category 2 for quite a while before it made landfall. Since the surge is what did the most damage, many critics are saying that most people did not realize the impact would be that of a Category 4 storm.

Of course, we can see in hindsight that the storm had a Category 4 storm surge. But, what I would suggest is that we use the storm surge levels predicted by the models and talk about the Saffir-Simpson category that corresponds to its forecasted impact at landfall--whether it be by wind or storm surge.

Bill Read was quoted in the Houston Chronicle today as being concerned about just doing away with the Saffir-Simpson scale since most people are used to it. According to the article, Gene Hafele, long time colleague of Bill Read and now the Meteorologist in Charge at the Houston/Galveston National Weather Service, would like to see the rating system changed. So stay tuned. And, I'll let you know if any changes are implemented.

Case in point--the Fujita-Pearson scale was revised to the Enhanced Fujita scale--the new scale more realistically correlates the amount of damage wrought by certain ranges of wind speed.

You thought it was windy in Houston today, it was even windier to the north of us. In fact there are several almost entire states with wind advisories. There is a threat of tornadoes this evening over the Florida panhandle.

Winter storm warnings/advisories/watches are in effect for parts of the Great Lakes states and northeast, the Appalachians, and the Rockies in Montana. It is very cold in the western Great Lakes states--highs there on Monday will be in the teens and 20s.

It is chilly in the Houston area and it will be in the 40s (maybe some upper 30s in outlying areas) early Monday. Still lots of sunshine but also breezy with highs only in the low 60s. So bundle up the kids before they head back to school. Tuesday will start cold--in the 30s and highs will be in the 70s. Looks for some showers Wednesday and possibly Thursday.

It is the end or el extremo, pronounced l x-TRAY-moh. Thank goodness, it is el extremo of the 2008 Hurricane Season.

We are super excited to announce that Let's Learn Spanish with Frank & Paco has won another award--Top 15 Educational Product of 2008 from largest homeschool Internet supply web site. Check out this congratulatory note:

Congratulations! Your product, Let’s Learn Spanish with Frank and Paco, has been selected as one of’s Top 15 Educational Gifts of 2008. This means your product will be listed in’s Gift Guide article next week, which will go out to our 75,000 opt-in subscribers. This article will also appear on the homepage for a full year under the Articles headline and will be added to the Article Archives section of the website indefinitely. You are to be commended on the quality and usefulness of your product, as well as its educational value.

So, now you really know which gift to purchase for the little ones on your list: our double award winning DVD, Let's Learn Spanish with Frank and Paco. You can get it from our web site, or from,,,,,, and

I don't have much else or time to write this evening as Sarah is anxious for my attention. She wants you to know that she loves chocolate.

Now, that's a sweet thought.

Have a great week everyone!
Cecilia Sinclair
Wonder Weather Woman