So I'm ashamed to say that it's been more than a week since I did my last blog. This is super-embarrassing because I used to promise to blog every day. As I would say in those "blogitis" entries:
"Bless me readers, for I have not blogged. It has been eight days since my last blog."
And so it is today, on the infamous day when Facebook goes public, that I return to the blogosphere. As I have said in the past, my reason for not blogging as frequently has to do with our talented newswriters covering what I used to, in the AccuWeather.com News section, and the fact that I have taken to putting out shorter notes about weather-related items on my Facebook Page and Twitter account. For example, if you haven't been following me on social media, you missed "rain gauge innards," "turn around, don't drown law," "Canary Island heat wave," and more, just in the last day or so.
I've also been unusually busy training my new social media intern, working with our new SM consultants and writing my WeatherWise magazine article on social media (That's right. I'm a published author now; look for it in the July-August 2012 issue, download my local NWS PowerPoint for a preview). And finally (lest you think I'm slacking), I read a pre-release copy of Mike Smith's new book during my spring yard sale last weekend (as I did for his prior book "Warnings" two years ago).
Mike heads up our Enterprise division in Wichita. This new book, entitled "When the Sirens Were Silent," gives his opinions on why so many people were killed during the Joplin tornado in 2011 (did you know: the sirens were not even sounded for the tornado warning that night!) and what we can do to prevent such a tragedy again. His blog has interviews, and the latest status on the availability of the book and e-book, which were released Tuesday, but are temporarily out of stock as of this writing. From Amazon.com:
"What if the warning system failed to provide a clear, timely notice of a major storm? Tragically, that scenario played out in Joplin, Missouri, on May 22, 2011. As a wedding, a high school graduation, and shopping trips were in progress, an invisible monster storm was developing west of the city. When it arrived, many were caught unaware. One hundred sixty-one perished and one thousand were injured. "When the Sirens Were Silent" is the gripping story of the Joplin tornado. It recounts that horrible day with a goal of insuring this does not happen again. The book gives you the tools you need to keep yourself and your family safe. Included are clever lift-out copies of the latest tornado safety rules for homes, schools, and offices."
Let's read that last sentence again. Included are clever lift-out copies of the latest tornado safety rules for homes, schools, and offices. Tell me the last weather book that gave you that! This is a great way to battle what Mike has described as "Warning Fatigue" that some residents in the Plains have because there is so much severe weather there. If only there were enough postage in the world to get those safety rules to everyone!
Today, I remember the earliest fall snowfall in central Pennsylvania history, which occurred 5 years ago, mid-month.
I don't believe this has ever happened in Hurricane history: Major Hurricane Gonzalo is striking Bermuda tonight, just as soon-to-be-hurricane Ana approaches the Hawaiian islands.
Recapping some of the things I've seen on weather radar over the years... birds, bats, butterflies, locusts, and mayflies.
Just after sunrise in the west Pacific Ocean last night, we were able to look down into the eye of Super Typhoon Vongfong.
An amazing display of asperatus clouds showed up in New York City this morning, but what causes them?
Vortexes of air constantly surround us; for the first time in my life, I've videotaped dust devils near AccuWeather HQ during unusually dry and calm weather.