Monday, October 25, 2010

Next Cold Front/Tropical Storm Richard/No Fire at this McDonald's

Good Morning All -
Attending the First Annual Flood Workshop in I need to post and get going.

First of all, Richard has been downgraded to a tropical storm and is now weakening over Guatemala. It was a hurricane yesterday. National Hurricane Center forecast back takes it into the Gulf this week and has it decaying. Will keep an eye on it for you.

There is another area of disturbed weather way out in the Atlantic with only a minimal chance of developing in the next 48 hours. The Pacific is quiet this Monday.

There is a slight risk for severe storms this Monday from northeast Texas northward to Illinois and southward to the northern Gulf coast all the way eastward to Alabama. On Tuesday, there will be two slight risk areas, one over the Midwest and the other over the southeastern states. See figures at right.

Back to the National Flood Workshop being held here in Houston. I attended the short course on storm surge flooding yesterday. Some of the other course attendees including Houston Channel 11's Chief Meteorologist Gene Norman and Meteorologist Mario Gomez. Also in attendance was Meteorologist Anthony Yanez from Channel 2. There were 2 other short course being held at the same time, one on Hurricane Impacts for Inland Communities and one on Floodplain Management. The storm surge course I attended was given by Jamie Rhome of the National Hurricane Center. He works closely with National Hurricane Center director Bill Read. At the end of the course, we had an opportunity to discuss some of the problems with presenting storm surge information to the public. Jamie said that they are working closely with social sciences to learn how to better convey vital safety information to the public. Having been a broadcast meteorologist for years, I know this is a constant effort. Psychology plays a huge role in how the public responds. We also talked about how to most effectively disseminate the information. One of the attendees mentioned reverse 911...where people in critical areas are called via and automated system when they are threatened. We noted that the poor often don't have phones. So, reaching the poor continues to be a big problem. Jamie Rhome gave a fantastic talk--the 4 hours just flew by. By the way, he is the one who came up with the Graphical Tropical Weather Outlook (see figure at top right). He said it is probably the most popular figure provided on the National Hurricane Center's web site.

The remodeled McDonald's in Sugar Land opened this last week. But, I was a little disappointed. It did not have a faux fireplace like the one we saw last week in Round Rock (near Austin). We were there about a week ago visited my brother's family. We went to the McDonald's there and they had an electric fireplace...see photo of Gordy at right as he pretend warms his hands. I told my brother Sam that it was the fanciest McDonald's I had ever seen.

Houston, a cold front will arrive early Thursday, bringing the humidity down and the morning temperatures down into the 50s. It will be shortlived as higher humidity levels return on Saturday and into Sunday. Halloween will be mild with lows in the 60s and highs in the 80s. Only a slight chance for rain through early Thursday. Then, sunny and dry for the end of the week. And then only a slight chance for rain over the weekend.

Have a great week everyone!
Cecilia Sinclair
Wonder Weather Woman

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