Requiem for a Bowling Alley

In the “Biggest Loser” file, following the blizzard of 2013:

Smithtown Lanes

My colleagues and I made this bowling alley our weekly haunt for the last several months – they had some good deals on late-night bowling and happy-hour pricing on their assorted adult beverages and we had a lot of good times there.

But this was just passed along to me by one of my colleagues:

Collapse!

Google searches turned up this image:

Image of the carnage

Wow…

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Winners and Losers: Blizzard of 2013

The winds under-shot expectations in many areas as intense snowfall helped to beat down the air and cut into maximum sustained winds, keeping most regions below high wind warning thresholds, though the blizzard warnings were justified (all of the major airports in Boston and NYC’s weather service county warning areas had peak winds in excess of 30 mph over at least three hours during heavy snow).

But…let’s get to the snow totals!

The storm is not over in Boston – I’ll update those totals when they become final.  But for areas from Long Island / NYC metro and Western CT?MA, the storm is currently winding down with patchy snow showers not expected to drop more than an inch or two more and we do have some fairly recent reports to pass along in this area.

The 24+” club:

Connecticut

Hamden: 40″
Milford: 38″
Clintonville: 37″
East Haddam: 36″
Oxford: 36″
North Branford: 36″
Meridon: 36″
Fairfie3ld: 35″
Wallingford: 35″
New Haven: 34″
Stratfrod: 33″
Guilford: 33″
Waterbury: 32″
Madison: 32″
Wolcott: 31″
Culchester: 31″
Naugituck: 30″
Old Sabrook: 30″
Gilman: 27″
Norwich: 25″
Old Lyme: 24″

Central Long Island:

Medford: 34″
Central Islip: 31″
Upton: 31″
Stony Brook: 30″
East Setauket: 29″
Huntington: 29″
Commack: 29″
St. James: 28″
Islip Airport: 28″
Yaphank: 28″
Smithtown: 27″
Mt. Sinai: 26″
Port Jefferson: 26″
Setauket: 24″
Sound Beach: 24″

Biggest Losers…the South Shore of Long Island and the NYC metro areas got ripped off big time:

Southampton: 13″
Shirley: 10″
Westhampton Beach: 3″
Montawk: ZERO

Central Park: 11″
Upper West Side: 10″

La Guardia Intl Airport: 12″
College Point: 11″
Kew Gardens: 10″
Sheepshead Bay: 9″
Milwood: 8″
Marine Park: 7″
JFK Airport: 6″ (wow!)

You talk about getting ripped off!  Glad I’m out in the bullseye and not closer to the city…I’d be PISSED right now. 🙂

This storm is now the largest snow event I’ve ever seen outside of lake effect.  The even more impressive 101″ of snow in 10 days I observed at Oswego, NY in February 2007 (Feb 05 – Feb 14) will never be beat by a nor’easter, nor will the 48″ falling in one 8-hour period.  But this storm was one for the ages out here on Long Island nonetheless.

Tweaks to Accumulation Forecasts

With the midday run of the European Center model and its ensembles, the afternoon runs of the US generated models and the short range ensemble forecast system, confidence has increased for a colder, wetter, and more intense solution, including some areas not previously highlighted in my forecast for yesterday.

Significant accumulation snows (>6 inches) may extend as far SW as the NW suburbs of Philadelphia and places like Cleveland, OH and Erie PA.  Amounts warranting the issuance of a winter weather advisory may fall as far SW as Pittsburgh, State College and Harrisburg, PA and Aberdeen, MD/Wilmington, DE

A region of upstate New York including such places as Binghamton, Oswego and Syracuse may see up to a foot of very fluffy, very high-ratio snows as well, and I’m increasingly confident that up to 18 inches may fall further west into the Hudson Valley and Catskill Mountains (again, due to expected very high ratio fluffy snow).  For the same reason, I’m extending the 24-inch line back from Springfield and East of Hartford to Danbury, CT, the Central North Shore of Long Island, NY, Pittsfield, MA and the greater Mt. Washington region in NH.

All eyes on the sky tomorrow morning as the precipitation breaks out.  If it falls heavy enough early enough, it is unlikely to be as warm in the coastal zones as previously thought, meaning travel conditions tomorrow may be less benign than advertised.  If you don’t have to work tomorrow…you shouldn’t tempt fate.  Stay home and enjoy the snow.

Quick Note on the Storm…

Just a quick stub thread to let folks know that I have no major changes to my forecast from last night after taking a peak at the latest model projections and the current surface and upper air analyses.  There is surprisingly good model agreement on the track, intensity and moisture profile of this storm…the only areas of some quibbling are in the exact placement of mesoscale heavy snow bands and the exact thermal profile of the atmosphere.  Those things will play havoc with local accumulations, but my general regional snowfall and wind forecasts remain largely unchanged.

Blizzard to Cripple NE US Friday and Saturday

HEADLINE:

BLIZZARD CONDITIONS LIKELY THROUGHOUT THE I-95 CORRIDOR, NEWARK, NJ AND POINTS NORTHEAST

SYNOPSIS:
A rapid-deepening nor’easter will form in the warm waters of the Gulf Stream near the Delmarva Peninsula late Thursday Night in association with a pair of vigorous low pressure systems, one tracking across the Southeastern US and another diving in from Central Canada.  These two systems will merge late Thursday Night and coalesce into a crippling winter storm for the entire Northeast, with the heaviest snows beginning late in the day on Friday and ending Saturday evening.  The storm is likely to produce in excess of a foot of snow over a large portion of Southern New England and the tri-state area, as well as damaging coastal flooding, storm surge and winds that could gust to hurricane force.  This combination of damaging winds, beach-battering waves and heavy snows could make travel difficult or impossible through the weekend and imperil already-stressed power grid systems still suffering from lingering disrepair in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy.
BACKGROUND:
As noted above, the threat of blizzard conditions is expected to develop through a complex interaction of two small, but vigorous upper-atmospheric troughs.  This process of phasing will be aided by a strong blocking ridge near Hudson’s Bay in Canada, which will help to hold ample low level cold air in place over the NE US.  This ridge of high pressure will clash with a rapidly deepening nor’easter to produce a large pressure gradient along the New England coast, as well as conditions favorable for intense banding of snow NW of the center of low pressure.  Due to the complex nature of the set-up for this storm, the forecast process has remained highly uncertain throughout the week, but various weather prediction models have begun to forge a general agreement on the likely track and intensity of the storm, with differences in the forecast generally limited to small wobbles in that track, the exact temperature profile in the atmosphere near the center of circulation, and the structure and placement of snowfall banding.  With an improving confidence in the ensemble of weather models in the forecast track of the storm, I am issuing a preliminary threat assessment including a snowfall, surge and wind forecast, and stating that my confidence in this preliminary forecast is above average.
SNOWFALL:
Six inch line:
Trenton, NJ
Wilkes Barre, PA
Binghamton, NY
Buffalo, NY on the SW side

Caribou, ME on the N side

and excluding the far East end of Cape Cod, Montawk, NY and Sandy Hook NJ on the SE side

Twelve inch line:
Newark, NJ
Newburgh, NY
Glens Falls, NY
VT/NY/Canada triple point on the west side

and

Sandwich, MA
Westerley, RI
Southampton, NY on the SE side
Twenty-four inch line:
Bridgewater, MA
Providence, RI
Just East of Hartford, CT
Springfield MA
Concord, NH including Boston, MA and the threat of the inclusion of central Long Island, NY, especially along the North Shore and from Huntington to Miller Place
Max snowfall: up to 36″ possible and the most likely impact would be felt near the Boston metro area.
WIND:
Blizzard conditions (visibility less than 1/4 mile for three consecutive hours, winds in excess of 30 mph sustained, and heavy snow falling) are likely throughout the 12+ inch region highlighted above excluding the far interior counties, which are least likely to feel the full force of the wind.  Near the Atlantic Seaboard, sustained tropical storm force winds in excess of 50 mph are possible, especially along exposed barrier islands and beaches (Block Island, RI, Nantucket and Martha’s Vinyard, Fire Island, NY, the twin forks at the east end of Long Island and all of Cape Cod and the entirety of Boston Harbor, NY Bight and Coastal N NJ).  Away from the beaches, lesser but still impressive 35-45 mph sustained winds may be felt for a time, and winds throughout the coastal zones could gust as high as hurricane force.
SURGE & COASTAL FLOODING:
The worst of the winds will thankfully be limited to a 12-18 hour period, and the storm itself is likely to be relatively intense, but also small in size.  This will limit the fetch of winds aiming seawater at the East Coast and keep surges to manageable levels compared with Superstorm Sandy.  However, seas could rise a meter above tidal norms in surge-favoring locations like the Battery in NYC and Cape Cod – enough to cause some coastal flooding in low-lying towns and cities.
IMPACTS:
My primary concerns, apart from the obvious difficulties posed by a major snow event for travel, involve the ongoing efforts to repair and secure coastal power grids in the wake of Sandy this fall.  A cursory glance through much of Long Island and Southern New England reveals a patchwork of temporary repairs designed to restore power services as quickly as possible after the devastating damage dealt to the power grids this October.  Far from being in ordinary working condition, many of Long Island’s power poles, transformers, and power stations are leaning, broken and awkwardly reattached, or under trees severely weakened by multiple recent high wind events.  The combination of heavy snow and tropical storm force winds threatening this region are likely to cause major power disruptions in the heart of winter and temperatures are expected to remain cold for two or three days following the storm.  Not only that, but efforts to restore power may be hampered by snow-covered roads and travel restrictions to aid snow-removal.  I would urge coastal residents in the affected areas to prepare other methods of generating heat (firewood, small generators, gas stoves) and stock up on supplies before the weather deteriorates.
Based on the population exposed to threat of heavy snows, this will likely be a NESIS 1 or 2 storm, but it may cause damage and financial losses in the hundreds of millions, so stay tuned.
Further updates on this storm as things further develop.

David Horowitz to the GOP: Get Angry!

Via Power Line:

How Republicans Can Win

The only way to confront the emotional campaign that Democrats wage in every election is through an equally emotional campaign that puts the aggressors on the defensive; that attacks them in the same moral language, identifying them as the bad guys, the oppressors of women, children, minorities and the middle class, that takes away from them the moral high ground which they now occupy. You can’t confront an emotionally based moral argument with an intellectual analysis. Yet this is basically and almost exclusively what Republicans do.

Large populations of the African American and Hispanic poor are concentrated in America’s inner cities – Detroit, Chicago, Philadelphia, St. Louis, Harlem, South Central Los Angeles. In these inner cities the unemployment rates are off the charts, the school systems so corrupt and ineffective that half the children drop out before they graduate and half those who do are functionally illiterate. They will never get a decent job or a shot at the American dream.

In these inner cities, every city council and every school board and every school district are 100% controlled by Democrats and have been for more than 70 years. Everything that is wrong with the inner cities and their schools that policy can affect, Democrats are responsible for. Democrats have their boot heels on the necks of millions of poor African American and Hispanic children and are crushing the life out of them every year. But Republicans are too polite to mention it.

Subverting family structures through a misconceived welfare system, encouraging food stamp dependency, providing incentives to bring into this world massive numbers of children who have no prospect of a decent life just to earn a welfare dollar. These are the corrupt fruits of Democratic welfare policies which are spiraling out of control. Republicans criticize these programs as “wasteful.” They need to start attacking them as destructive, as attacks on the human beings who are ensnared by them.

The way for Republicans to show they care about minorities is to defend them against their oppressors and exploiters, which in every major inner city in America without exception are Democrats. Democrats run the welfare and public education systems; they have created the policies that ruin the lives of the recipients of their handouts. It’s time that Republicans started to hold Democrats to account; to put them on the defensive and take away the moral high ground, which they now occupy illegitimately. Government welfare is not just wasteful; it is destructive. The public school system in America’s inner cities is not merely ineffective; it is racist and criminal.

ROAR!

But seriously: I think Horowitz is right about this. Fighting with honor shouldn’t mean we have to be super nice and never punch back. A truly effective argument appeals to more than just the bloodless intellect. Indeed, there are three legs to the rhetorical stool: emotion, authority, and logic. If you emphasize one at the expense of the others, your stool will fall down.

This!

NASA’s mission is not safety, says Rand Simberg, and I agree 200%. The money quote:

The surest way to make sure our astronauts don’t die in space is to keep them on the ground. And indeed, that is more and more what we do, choosing robotic exploration over opening the frontier to humanity.

The obsession with safety is sincere, if unspoken, testimony to just how unimportant we consider the opening of that final and harshest of frontiers. The last time space was important was when we were racing the Soviets to the moon more than four decades ago. Now, we no longer consider it worth the risk.

And I can’t decide whether this is sad or infuriating. I grew up reading science fiction in which, at the very least, human beings had actively colonized every rock in the solar system — and that is the future I want, damn it!