First off I want to say the NWS Raleigh did an INCREDIBLE job calling this storm. It was a very hard forecast and they got it down to the exact dividing line between ICE and RAIN. We did get bits and pieces of sleet for a bit last night, but it did change over to rain. I've noticed a drop of sleet mixed in this morning to the rain ...but it's momentary and mostly rain. On one side of I-85 it was an ICE event..on the other side..the Raleigh side it was a RAIN event. Good job. The Triangle has a lot of downed wires, trees, power outages and messy weather, but the real Icy mess is up in the Triad. Seems like if I wanted to live near the weather in NC I'd move to Greensboro.. they get a lot more weather than Raleigh.
Weatherwise... the storm that slammed into North Carolina last night really slammed the Triad region. And, the ongoing rains are hampering clean up efforts. Power is out in many regions. Trees are down blocking roads in the Triangle..though mostly around Durham and to the NW of Raleigh. Roxboro and areas to the north are dealing with another bout of March Madness and I don't mean basketball.. I mean snow and ice.
Miami area had weather so strong it looked briefly like a mini hurricane. Wild Squall Line descending over the city and heading out to the Ocean. This end of the road or world picture was taken by my son as he drove over the flyover on I-95. You can see forever from there and a great place to snap pics fast... especially if you are my son.
Another picture Mike posted on his Facebook Page shows how radar looked before ...it moved East.
It's not the Superstorm of 93, but it IS causing high surf and bad weather over a very wide area from Florida up the Coast. You can see this here and for surfers it's ... Surfs Up!
And...rather than worrying on El Nino or the Hurricane Season be aware... Winter is not over.
You know that old saying "it's not over til it's over" well... it's true.
So buckle up because it seems that the end of Winter is going to be a bumpy ride. And, Spring may be an even nastier one. I'll talk on El Nino and comparison's between this winter and 1978-79 and 1993-94 another time. But I will point out that this is the worst winter in some parts since 1979 and 1979 brought us Hurricane David and a whole lot of hurricanes riding around the High Pressure and fronts parading east late in the summer.
It's not just about El Nino ... a lot of Weather Mojo terms like MJO and Kelvin Waves...
It's about Sun Spots and Volcanoes blowing their top and hopefully no asteroids falling to Planet Earth.
So many things can happen between now and the 2014 Atlantic Hurricane Season.
Thanks for reading. sorry for any typos, taking allergy meds this morning and watching the rain fall as I type. Hunkering down today inside to do some writing and typing and thinking and ... watching CNN & FOX.
Part 2 of today's blog is about geography and International Politics. I tried to explain it in a simple, interesting, entertaining easy read. If you have the time read along. If you are only interested in the weather. Have a great weekend! Remember tho... we are all on one world looking up at the same blanket of stars.. in this world together. I remember...
Part 2... Everything you want to know about International Relations you can learn by playing RISK. And, add in some knowledge of geography, climate, demography and the always financially important geology.
A short illustration of how hard it is to understand demographics & geography and how they relate to meteorological and political boundaries let's look at the three regions of Crimea, North Carolina & Upper Michigan.
Over the long Russian history many areas were under various rule by invaders for decades .. indeed centuries. For example no one really agrees on anything regarding Russia not even Russian Historians. History is always be rewritten and renamed faster than you say Petrograd or Leningrad. In true boomerang, whiplash style it is was renamed Saint Petersburg in 1991. Most people who try to do research on their Ukrainian roots have to look through both Russian records as well as Polish records and sometimes Hungarian or a fourth country. Political boundaries change a lot. They are lines in the sand or through a swamp along a river or where ever some victorious general decided it should be. They are not always drawn according to ethnic lines. The accepted history of Russia shows that they were under Mongol Tartar rule for 300 years ...about the time America has been in existence.
As I said on Twitter. American history is like sushi for lunch. Russian History is like a 9 course meal. Yes, I said sushi for a reason.. figure it out.
Now look at Crimea. It sits out there in the Black Sea to the South of Ukraine, the North of Turkey and due East of Romania. It has been a sunny, sweet spot for many empires who desired it's important geographic location. Many cultures have left many people from different lands lumped into the boat all trying to ride out the story seas of short term politics. Happens a lot there...
People in the know knew this new battle was coming...
But... look at America and you will see we have our own areas of somewhat disputed lands which don't really belong to any one region. Look carefully at the map of Upper Michigan and tell me what that region has in common with the city of Detroit?
Let's go in closer.. it's not a sunny beach in the Crimea and not a very heavily populated area so really neither America nor Canada is going to go to war over it... though they did back when... and it isn't going to become the 51st State anytime soon.
It's a little bit Wisconsin and a big piece of Michigan ... Canadian, Native American..
"The Upper Peninsula contains almost a quarter of the land area of Michigan but just three percent of its total population. Residents are frequently called Yoopers (derived from "U.P.-ers") and have a strong regional identity. It includes the only counties in the United States where a plurality of residents claim Finnish ancestry. Large numbers of Finnish, Swedish, Danish and Norwegian emigrants came to the Upper Peninsula, especially the Keweenaw Peninsula, to work in the mines, and they stayed on and prospered even after the copper mines closed."
Point is it ain't happening. But... it explains it on a level that perhaps Americans can understand. There was a movement, by the way, with regard to the Del Marva Peninsular. Every time I travel that stretch of land I think why is this split up so oddly. Read the link below to the 12 States that make more sense, but that are not happening.
Explain it.. makes no sense to me why they drew a line down the middle and seriously never seen a place that feels so much like it's own region. And, how did Maryland get screwed out of most of their beach?
Lastly another comparison that many Americans could understand is the state of North Carolina. They had this beautiful capital city named New Bern, totally American in that it was named after a guy from Switzerland who developed it, and then suddenly they abandoned that jewel and moved the capital inland to Raleigh. Why did they move the capital to Raleigh? As the story goes and as the lady at the museum in New Bern said "only a decision a bunch of drunk men in a bar could decide" and there is some truth to that. Cliff Notes: There was a bar called "Isaacs Tavern" near what is now Raleigh where those in power gathered, got really drunk discussing and they were convinced that moving the capital from the distant beach city to an interior city could better "hold onto" the far western lands of North Carolina. Of course being America it was voted on not declared by a ruler... but they were supposedly drunk and happy when they made that decision.
I am not making this up. From this official site.
"Raleigh is among the few capital cities in America to have been designed as such, and its location was determined not by topography or climate, but rather by distance from a popular tavern in what was then Johnston County. Strategically placed alongside a major travel artery through North Carolina, the tavern owned by Isaac Hunter (1745-1823) earned a reputation for quality food and spirits, making the establishment a landmark for locals and travelers alike. Hunter’s tavern was so well known that, in 1788, the Constitutional Convention met in the restaurant and mandated the new state capital be built no more than ten miles away. "
Strategically it made sense, especially to a group of drunk men and the rest is history. In reality much of Western NC is very much like Tennessee and culturally and meteorologically everything East of I-95 is a totally different culture in all ways.
And, lastly why was Carolina ever divided up to begin with ... hmnnnn??? Seems in retrospect a stupid idea.
Nothing sets off Carolinians to fightin more than discussion their BBQ style..
Back to Russia .. and St. Pete. It's always Peter's fault in modern Russian history. Peter the Great moved the capital from Kiev to Moscow. He reasserted Russia's influence in the arts, economically and all ways to try and make it more a part of Europe... more European Power than the leftover carcass of a country that had been dealing with one invader after another for centuries.
"Peter's personality has been the cause of much debate and discussion in the 300 years since his death. He was a big strong man (6' 8'' inches - 2.04 meters) who, unlike previous Russian monarchs, was not afraid of physical labor. He was an experienced army officer and navy admiral, a skilful shipbuilder and an amazingly energetic personality. It has to be said that Peter was also very cruel. "
Seems the more things change the less they change or does history always repeat? Many could say that about Putin. Well.. most likely Putin would say that about Putin.. other's have said other things. And, he did fortify the area. Of course he was more than a foot taller than Putin stands on heels, but equally proud though really in my mind no comparison. Just trying to make this easier to understand.
Peter comes along and makes RUSSIA more RUSSIAN and rebuilds
the old Muscovy Empire.
Moscow was a more secure capital than Kiev on the shores of Europe..
like New Bern over near the beach "Down East"
Rule #1 Attack
Rule #2 Fortify
If you don't understand what I am saying... go out and buy the game of RISK
if you like to drink like the early founders of Raleigh...
get some Vodka... Rum.. Bourbon...Scotch.. which ever..
Play RISK and you will understand more about Geography & Politics than you ever learned in school.
I played A LOT of RISK in High School with really cute, smart guys... learned a lot!
I was it seems... a really FAST learner
If the world was divided up along geographic, cultural lines it would be an easier ... but more boring world. And, what do you know in cities like Miami that are a metropolitan goulash or Caribbean Stew?
A lot to think on... isn't weather easier than politics?
The politics of Obama and Putin and the EU and G8 are all crashing together like moist hot air from the South slamming into Cold Fronts from the Icy North. They are really short term moments in a long term drama.
So you may ask "WHY IS THIS SO IMPORTANT?"
Well... World War 1 was started because of short term problems in the Crimea and we are trying to move away from trigger points in history to discussion and diplomacy. The region has always been a trigger point for world history and an area battled over much more than the Northern Part of Michigan...
Thanks for your time and for reading along.
Again... Besos Bobbi
EXCELLENT READ...explains it & compares Ukraine & Russia to Siamese Twins..