Sunday, June 30, 2024

Only Off-and-On Rain to Break up the Summer Heat, Watching Hurricane Beryl

FORECAST:

Sunday (High 92, Low 74): Partly to mostly cloudy, hot and humid. Scattered showers and thunderstorms are possible, mainly in the afternoon and evening. 

Monday (High 89, Low 68): Sunny. Lower humidity.

Tuesday (High 91, Low 66): Mostly sunny. Lower humidity.

EXTENDED OUTLOOK:

Wednesday (High 92, Low 70): Partly cloudy with a 20% chance of showers/thunderstorms.

Independence Day (High 93, Low 72): Partly cloudy with a 30% chance of showers/thunderstorms. 

Friday (High 94, Low 74): Partly cloudy with a 20% chance of showers/thunderstorms.

Saturday (High 93, Low 73): Partly cloudy with a 30% chance of showers/thunderstorms. 

BEACH FORECAST:

Sunday (High 90, Low 81): Mostly cloudy with numerous showers and thunderstorms possible. Hazardous rip currents are expected.

Monday (High 91, Low 78): Partly cloudy with scattered showers and thunderstorms possible. Hazardous rip currents are still possible. 

Tuesday (High 89, Low 79): Partly cloudy. Scattered showers and thunderstorms are possible. 

Wednesday through Saturday (Highs ~90, Lows ~80): Partly cloudy with a 30% chance of showers/thunderstorms. 

PRONÓSTICO:

Domingo (Máxima 92, Mínima 74): Parcialmente a mayormente nublado, caluroso y húmedo. Es posible que se produzcan lluvias y tormentas aisladas, principalmente por la tarde y la noche.

Lunes (Máxima 89, Mínima 68): Soleado. Menor humedad.

Martes (Máxima 91, Mínima 66): Mayormente soleado. Menor humedad.

PERSPECTIVA EXTENDIDA:

Miércoles (Máxima 92, Mínima 70): Parcialmente nublado con un 20 % de probabilidad de lluvias/tormentas eléctricas.

Día de la Independencia (Máxima 93, Mínima 72): Parcialmente nublado con un 30% de probabilidad de lluvias/tormentas eléctricas.

Viernes (Máxima 94, Mínima 74): Parcialmente nublado con un 20% de probabilidad de lluvias/tormentas eléctricas.

Sábado (Máxima 93, Mínima 73): Parcialmente nublado con un 30% de probabilidad de lluvias/tormentas eléctricas.

PREVISIÓN DE LA PLAYA:

Domingo (Máxima 90, Mínima 81): Mayormente nublado con numerosas lluvias y tormentas eléctricas posibles. Se esperan corrientes de resaca peligrosas.

Lunes (Máxima 91, Mínima 78): Parcialmente nublado con posibles lluvias y tormentas eléctricas dispersas. Todavía son posibles corrientes de resaca peligrosas.

Martes (Máxima 89, Mínima 79): Parcialmente nublado. Es posible que se produzcan lluvias y tormentas aisladas.

De Miércoles a Sábado (Máximas ~90, Mínimas ~80): Parcialmente nublado con un 30 % de probabilidad de lluvias/tormentas eléctricas.

DISCUSSION:





It was a partly cloudy day across the Tennessee Valley with only a few isolated showers and thunderstorms to break up the heat and humidity a little. The High in Cullman was 91, and the Low was 75. Jasper had a High of 95 and Low of 73. Haleyville saw a High of 93, Low of 74. Huntsville had a High 96, Low of 77. Can see the urban heat island effect there. Same goes for Nashville, where they saw a High of 96 and Low of 78. 

We basically are under a ridge of high pressure right now but can get some Gulf moisture, typical summer stuff. Our temperatures are definitely hotter than they normally are this early in the season, though we're nearly into July, so I guess they won't seem as strange. We're under a heat advisory tomorrow because of the combination of heat and humidity making it feel like about 105 degrees or so. And people can get just as sick if they are overexposed to it, same as if it really was that hot. Our humidity around here can be a doosie, as we all know. 



Tomorrow a weak frontal boundary will be pushing into the region. Our rain chances will ramp up, but I think they still cap off at 40%, which means scattered activity for the most part. Should see a High of about 92-93, Low of about 73-74.



Monday looks like a brief shot of drier air behind that front. Skies should be sunny, High in the 88-90 range, Low about 68-70. 



Then Tuesday looks like another day where rain chances are so low, not worth even worrying about. Skies should stay mostly sunny. The High should be near 90, the Low in the upper 60's because the air will be dry enough to allow good radiational cooling Monday night. 



Then on Wednesday, it looks like we'll be back to the usual standoff between high pressure and enough moisture to kick off isolated showers and thunderstorms in the region. Notice also the GFS shows Hurricane Beryl  approaching Jamaica. The weather looks typical for the time of year around here, High of 90 or so, Low of 70 or so, mix of sun and clouds, only that minimal 20% chance of a shower or thunderstorm. 



And even though the GFS wants to increase our rain chances slightly for Thursday, the 4th of July, this scenario is not supported by the ECMWF. So a rain chance of 20% again looks reasonable. If I decide to increase it, it'll only be to 30%. I'll only do that if it looks like the right call after looking back over the overall pattern. After taking it one day at a time like this. High should be in lower 90's regardless, Low in lower 70's. 



Basically the same thing on Friday. We can split hairs on the exact percentage of the rain chances, but overall it's just looking hot and humid, High in lower 90's, Low in lower 70's, any rain or thunderstorms staying pretty isolated. 



Then at the end of the forecast period, Saturday looks like a mix of sun and clouds, rain chances staying in the 20-30% bracket, Highs in lower 90's, Lows in lower 70's. 

And some of you may have noticed that the GFS does show Hurricane Beryl surviving into the Gulf of Mexico and moving in the direction of the Texas/Northeast Mexican coast. It is too soon to make the call with any official forecast. We have to see how things trend once it gets into the Caribbean, where it will likely encounter significant wind shear by the time it gets to about Jamaica. And then if it gets into the Gulf of Mexico, all the data will have to be evaluated carefully to see where this thing is most likely going. 

I did notice the ECMWF gives it a far more southerly track. It has been the best at forecasting some hurricanes in the past, even one I think can think of more than a decade ago (Sandy). But before speculating too much on this, I'd wait until it at least gets into the Caribbean Sea, see how things are trending then. And all the computer models have to be taken into account along with past experience with tropical cyclones under different conditions. People have to fly in and take observations so the models have the best data to work with. A lot goes into forecasting hurricanes. If you ever want to learn about them thoroughly, I'd check out the book Divine Wind by Kerry Emanuel. 


Watching the Bay of Campeche where a tropical depression could still form before this broad area of low pressure moves into Mexico early in the new week. So that could bring them some heavy rains in Mexico/Central America. 

Got another area of low pressure producing disorganized showers and thunderstorms in the Eastern Atlantic a few hundred miles Southeast of the Cabo Verde Islands. It will probably form into a tropical depression by the middle of next week, but any chances for development before then are looking on the low end. 

Between those two systems, we have Hurricane Beryl, which continues to intensify under ideal conditions, unusually warm ocean temperatures and no wind shear to hamper it for now. 


And it is expected to become a major hurricane by the time it passes over the Windward Islands, where a Hurricane Warning is now in effect. Actually several warnings or other advisories are in effect issued by the governments of several different countries that are in charge of different islands out there. I posted the official stuff from the National Hurricane Center earlier where it references all that. 

Anyone vacationing down that way needs a hurricane safety plan


Our rain chances around here are staying low for the most part, though the coverage of it might be more numerous at times tomorrow. In general rainfall totals should stay under a half-inch around here for the next week. 

On a personal note, I have not been well. And among other things, I found out that a girl in my family tree has been exploring transgender ideology, when she isn't even old enough to start liking boys all that much. She has had her thinking scrambled before she had a chance to let nature take its course and figure anything out for herself, along with listening to her parents. She got the loony ideas from a friend's parents and the unfiltered internet over there, it sounds like. She's really smart, and her parents definitely care, so I think she'll be okay. It was just very disheartening to hear. I no longer support the LGBT movement, because it has gone off the deep end. It never was true to say that lesbian women, gay men, bisexual people, and people who want to reverse their natural gender are all the same. And unfortunately, I now have clear evidence that the political agenda is indeed being promoted to children, who are too young to even understand what it's about. And I find that reprehensible, now that I know it is for real. 

I do still support good people who are gay, lesbian, or bi -- as individuals. And I guess that's all I've really ever done. I knew two bisexuals in my family tree (well three if you count one of those people's long-term partner); one treated me obnoxiously, the other was the exact opposite, one of the most decent (troubled, but very good person once you got to know 'em) and tolerant people you could ever hope to meet. I'm less sure about the transsexual issue. I think fully grown adults should have the right to make their own decisions, whether that's a sex-change operation or cutting the seat belts out of a car. But I believe the decision to change one's gender is a serious one. It may be necessary for some people, but I think it's a low percentage of people, and that the modern suggestions to the contrary are probably just propaganda. I definitely reject the idea that gender only exists as an ethereal concept that one can change as easily as one can change an avatar on a video game. That's horse shit. 

Speaking of malarkey, before I found out about a girl I care about being duped by extreme liberal agendas, I was only going to criticize the extreme conservative lunacy at the end of "pride month." This tweet from a local political commentator/theologian provides a poignant reminder as to why lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgender people felt the need to try to bond together in one community to begin with. 

If you're looking for homophobia and hatred, this is the real thing. 

With my perverse sense of humor, I took that damn test after seeing this guy's post a few weeks ago. And over the course of this month, I found about half a dozen similar tests, and took them all, to see if they would vary. 

One, the first one, said that I could be bisexual or just a straight guy who's curious. The others deemed me heterosexual. One even said that I was probably a straight guy but was someone who thought everyone of all orientations deserved to be treated with love and respect. And I can go along with that. I'd pretty much decided that by the time I was a sophomore in high school anyway. 

I do have more firsthand knowledge of what it's like to be gay than most "cisgendered" or "hetero-normative" people though, because when I was a freshman in high school, I decided I wasn't going to get picked on and be accused of being gay like I did in junior high. So when people asked me if I was gay, hoping to get me to deny it, so they could accuse me of it more, I began to answer "in a positive manner", as the assistant principal put it. And I went on to give details to try to gross people out. I took it so far that one guy attacked me (I'd given such details to him at lunch) and said if he ever caught me out somewhere, I would die. At that point, we got sent to the office. We were both let off with a warning, but he was told that if he did it again, he'd get a paddling. If I did my part of it again, using the obscene language and pretending to be gay, I would be put in the alternative school, probably for a long time. A friend of mine when I lived in Arab, upon hearing this story, told me, "Oooooooookay . . . now that's just plain weird, dude." And a woman I knew in Cullman later said, "Yes, that is weird, and it was also very brave!" 

I don't feel brave these days, but somebody has to talk some sense, even if it's just on the internet once in a while. It is almost a crime to use common sense anymore. I usually feel expected to choose the good ole' Southern version of lunacy, unless I talk to a feminist I know from California or another one in Missouri. (At least one of them definitely considers me homophobic, because she refuses to discuss things outside of her comfortable bubble. People usually don't talk to me long enough to understand what I really think . . . it's more fun to jump on one or two points and go on a tirade.) And I don't have much use for any of it when I see the real-world consequences. 

I did have enough sense to quit my sociological experiment after a guy threatened to kill me over it. Even if the principal hadn't been so outraged. 

Someone in my family had gone to the same high school about 20 years before and told me about how badly one guy got treated because everyone thought he was gay. She said she thought he did actually turn out to be gay but that he still didn't deserve to be treated that badly. And I have to say, there was still some of that 20 years later. One time I put my books by a seat at lunch, and then after I got my food, found they had been thrown against the wall. None of the people sitting where I'd planned to even knew me. They'd just heard about me. I did bring it on myself. It was worth finding out. 

Not everybody was that way though. One guy defended me one day, even though he was laughing, by saying to another guy in the bathroom, "So what if he is, man? Hey, that's his American right." Another guy shrugged it off at lunch one day and said, "I've got a gay cousin. I mean, he's a cool guy and everything, he's just . . . gay." I'm pretty sure that guy knew all along that I was messing with people's heads. He still made a point of letting me know that he didn't care if I really was gay, that he was cool with his cousin. 

And I won't bore you with stories about so many people I knew after high school who really were that way. For one thing, they were not all saints that deserve to put on any sort of pedestal. They were a mixed bag, like any other people. I mainly mention the story above because it still strikes me as funny. 

It is not always such a laughing matter for people who really do have certain sexual proclivities. There is no on/off switch. They don't ever get the relief of telling people it was all a gag. 

And I certainly wasn't laughing when I was scrolling for storm reports a while back and saw where a trans woman by the name of Darri Moore was found dead along the Mississippi River. I'm not a detective, but that sure didn't sound like an accidental drowning to me. Another case from the same area, a murder in 2015 (of Mercedes Williamson), really highlights the hypocrisy involved in the persecution of queer people. Most people are not as "straight" as they pretend to be. I can think of very few people I've known, who shared details of their intimate lives with me, who did not have some kind of sexual deviance or quirk. I'd rather people be honest about it than try to cover it up. I think Jim Nabors handled that about as well as anyone I've ever heard of. And if you look at how many violent crimes have been committed against people in the queer community this year alone, only in the United States, it is shameful. A lot of it has been documented around the world for many years. I was dismayed when I went looking into it. I really thought most people had moved past this way of thinking by now. After all, even Donald Trump sounds like he keeps the jokes about it lighthearted, telling Dave Rubin: "You're the kind of guy, you could have any beautiful woman in the world ya' want! But ya' don't want 'em!"

Anybody who watched that foolishness between him and Joe Biden the other night has a fresh reminder that a lot of his humor is the more scathing, sarcastic kind. He kept it lighthearted with Dave. When it comes to people's sexual preferences, he seems to believe in "live and let live", even if a lot of his fan base may not. 

At first, I was going to criticize the whole idea of "pride month," because after all, we don't have "left-handed pride month." And I always liked how when James Randi, the great magician who did so much to expose hustlers claiming supernatural powers, told the public that he was gay, he also said it was no more important a detail of his life than that he was left-handed. 

And if people are just born that way, then that's nothing to be proud of. Pride should be reserved for things people accomplish, not things they have no choice about. 

There isn't even a pride month for redheads . . . not that I've heard about. And some people give them a hard time. I guess at least they can dye their hair if they need to. 

But when is the last time you heard of someone getting murdered, or even beaten up, for being left-handed? What people should be proud of is managing to have some kind of a life in spite of the bigots who do hate them for being themselves. In that sense, I do support pride month, even though I don't support the silly acronym and everything its more extreme advocates stand for. 

The reason that tweet I referenced above bothered me so much is that most of the time, conservative Christians (which this guy is . . . you can check out his podcast here) say that homosexuality is a choice, and that people are condemned for making the wrong choice. 

It is usually the liberal Humanists who say no, sexual orientation is inherent, you're born whichever way you are. And they tend to see it as a broad spectrum instead of a strict either/or. 

That tweet represented the worst of both worlds IMHO. This guy sounded like he was saying that it's something people can't help, like even if they have to stop and question whether they could be that way, then they're inherently "gay", which translates to "not okay" . . . but then they should still be condemned for this thing they can't help. 

And I can't get on board with that at all

I have thought about that post off and on ever since I saw it at the beginning of this month. And how I would feel if I was a teenager again, trying to figure things out, reading such things, and didn't happen to have the crazy sense of humor that even all these years later, motivates me to take half a dozen tests like that, and then tell people about it. I once heard of a black basketball coach who stopped on the way to a game because he saw the Ku Klux Klan taking up donations. (This happened back in the 1970's.) He rolled down the window and put a dollar in their bucket before taking the girls on to the game. That's the kind of person I've always admired. 

Back in late 2016, I saw a video from a musician who said, with tears in his eyes, that if the conservatives thought the LGBT people were scary before, just wait until they saw how they were going to fight back in the next several years . . . and that guy must have meant it. Because when I went to see if he had any new music recently, his sexual identity had so much "word salad" in it that I didn't bother trying to commit it to memory. But I think most of us can see that the extremes feed each other. Most of what I hear is how insane these people have become, so that proves how wrong they were all along. Meanwhile, every time somebody gets beaten up, or murdered, or just treated unjustly by their family for admitting to being queer in some way, these people feel even more alienated and like digging in their heels, to do whatever they have to, to prove that they are people too. And deserve to be treated with the same basic respect as the "normal" people. 

It could be an old episode of the Twilight Zone (or maybe a newer show like Black Mirror) sometimes, it has become so ridiculous. Is basic respect despite differences of opinion and lifestyle really so impossible?

Surely it's more possible than keeping up with how many letters there are in the various acronyms used to describe the queer community. The longest one I felt like memorizing was LGBTQIA+. And that one didn't even make sense to me, because the "A" for "Asexual" was basically the exact opposite of all the others. If anything underlines the fact that these people feel persecuted, that sure as hell does. It's more like all the people who got beaten up in school decided to join together in an alphabet soup club just to survive or something. 

If some of you have a comfort zone to retreat to, just believing whatever your parents taught you, then maybe I should envy you. I find these issues very uncomfortable these days. One of my parents remarried to someone of the same sex but still used the Holy Bible to criticize the sexual morals of others. (That was the first time I was accused of being a homophobe instead of being accused of being a homosexual. Because I called out how stupid that was. What can I say . . . life can be full of ironies?) And as far as religion goes, my home was an ideological war zone even before that. 

I can't remember what book or book series this was from, but in the third grade, Ms. Ferguson read us some old book where a character said, "I didn't know (so-and-so) believed in the Bible, but I reckon it might do him a heap o' good a' readin' it! I think thar was somethin' in 'ere about lovin' ye' neighbor . . ."

And of course, there is. I think that's about as much commentary as there needs to be about the Ten Commandments too. 

Putting people down for being homosexual or bisexual is not the way to do it. And of course, neither is encouraging children or young adults to make impulsive decisions about trying to change the gender they were born with. 

On July 4th, a lot of people will be singing along that they are proud to be Americans. But that too is an accident of birth. Once again, pride only makes sense if you have done something to be proud of. If you believe that all people deserve life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, then I believe you've got a right to celebrate the healthy kind of pride, if that's the way you live from day to day. And like my friend Paul told me in high school, I don't care whether or not you're gay. 

I'm coming out of the closet as the kind of American who is more interested in the really old-fashioned values of circa 1776 instead of the values of Joseph McCarthy

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