Saturday, September 23, 2006
Last weekend my wife, an old college friend of mine, and I went to Tallahassee to take in the Florida State-Clemson. Since the result of that was not what we expected we were happy to get away from civilization and head to my wife's parent's lake house. The house is located on Lake Walter F. George which is south of Columbus on the GA/AL border.
We spent parts of 3 days at the lake and had a great time. Most of the time was spent relaxing and fishing. The one thing about going to the lake this time of year is that you pretty much have the whole place to yourself! Although we fished off the dock most of the time we did head out on the old pontoon boat a few times and each time we saw 1 or maybe 2 other boats at the most.
As far as the fish count... I started off quick out of the gate by hooking a couple of small catfish (pictured above) on one of our trips in the boat.
One cool thing about the boat trip was I was able to use my cellphone and keep track of approaching storms. I did it by using our CBS46ToGo.com on my Treo. At CBS46ToGo.com we have several radar views of the metro area, but you can also go to the animated radar view which allows you to adjust the view to whatever city you are near. The animated radar has arrows on it showing the storm motion and it will even tell you what the threat from the storm is... hail, tornado, or strong thunderstorm. By using it I was able to keep track of the approaching storms and time it out to give us enough time to put the boat on the lift and get inside before the first lightning strike got close to us. Once inside we were able to watch some pretty strong storms that produced white caps on the lake! Next time you are out and about give CBS46ToGo.com a try.
Now, back to the fish stories.... when our time at the lake was all said and done guess who had the biggest fish... by far? Of course, it was my wife! She caught this nice bass at around 11:30pm Monday night off the dock. She was actually fishing with a worm for catfish on the lake bottom, but ended up catching this nice large mouth bass!
When I first met my wife she had me hook, line, and sinker, but geeezzzz... she didn't have to rub it in by whipping me fishing too! Of course, putting a picture of her in her sweatshirt after a long day probably isn't going to keep me out of trouble!
Have a great week!
Friday, September 22, 2006
I moved here six years ago and one of the things I love the most about living in the A-T-L is the fall. And now, its finally here. Actually, it starts three minutes after midnight Saturday and its the Autumnal Equinox, so named because we have equal amounts of day and night. But don't look for too much daylight during the day as clouds will dominate the sky on Saturday. And if the weather patterns we're seeing now are any indication, we shouldn't look for "normal" fall weather this season. For example, the month of October is typically our driest month, but that could change this year, thanks to El Nino.
That's right, the whipping boy of any unusual weather is back. Anytime we can't explain what's going on in the atmosphere, we just put the blame on this phenomenon which has its roots in the Pacific Ocean. To put it simply, when that part of the ocean warms up, the jet stream shifts and brings more moist air to the Southeast U.S. We usually see wetter weather in the fall and winter. That kind of weather pattern is already setting up for us. Nearly every week in September, we've seen some heavy rain episodes. In fact, during the last two El Nino seasons in 2002 and 2004, we had a lot of rain in October and November. In 2002, we averaged 5" from September through December and in 2004, we had over 11 inches of rain in November and December.
Oddly enough, while El Nino can bring us heavy rain, it can also suppress hurricanes, which may be one reason why we haven't seen a continuation of the last two very active seasons. Of course, you may be wondering why we didn't know this back in May when everyone gave dire outlooks of doom and gloom for this summer. Well, one reason is that El Nino doesn't come on time like the sunrise. Thanks to an extensive array of buoys in the Pacific and sophisticated satellite measurements, we can see the actual warming of the ocean. However, not all El Ninos are the same. For example, while the waters may warm in the ocean, the depth of the warm might not be significant. Also, we need to see how long the water stays warm. Some El Nino events may last a few months and others may hang around for more than a year. We need more scientific analysis of what's going on in the ocean to be able to say with certainty that El Nino will occur and when that will happen. All we do know is that the warming has been going on for over month and in the A-T-L, we know what has happened when El Nino starts up.
So bye-bye summer and hello El Nino. Better change the windshield wiper blades on my car.
Sunday, September 10, 2006
I got a lot of ribbing when the movie, "Failure To Launch", came out. When I got my job here at CBS46 I moved into mom and dad's house. I know, stop chuckling. In my defense... it made sense!! They lived close to where I work and since they spent a lot of time in Florida they needed someone to watch over things at the house. Plus, I knew I was about to get engaged and what better way to save a few bucks for a year than to not pay rent?
Still, the teasing from family and co-workers only got worse when Failure To Launch came out. I would try and make myself feel better by telling them that I did not live in their house, but rather in a really cool garage apartment that just happened to be above mom and dad's garage!
Despite the stigma and teasing, all went well over the year I lived with mom and dad.
I was finally forced out, mom and dad sold their house to move to Florida and I got married. It was nice saving money, but I guess it was time to grow up! :-)
Little did I know I was about to get some payback! Although my parents moved to Florida they still have a business up here. It is a seasonal business and thus not open a lot of the time. But still, they had to be open and work from mid-August until this past week. That meant they had no place to stay in Atlanta. Can you say payback?
Yes, mom and dad had to move in with me and my sister. Over the past month my parents had to split time staying with my sister and her family in Newnan and me and my wife here in Atlanta. I could not help but laugh at the irony of mom and dad now living with me.
With their busy time at work now over my roommates, err I mean mom and dad are heading back to Florida.
Have a great week!
Saturday, September 02, 2006
Football fanatics... can I get an Amen?
It felt good to wake up today and know that college football season is finally here! Since the cold chill or winter, the spring flowers, and the sweltering heat of summer college football fans have been counting down the days, minutes, and seconds to the start of football season!
Technically, I still have 1 day 23 hours and 54 minutes until football season starts before my Noles take the field, but there was still plenty of pigskin this weekend to wet my whistle!
Although I do not get to go to many games now that I work weekends it was exciting to see the electricity around town today because of the Georgia Tech-Notre Dame game just a few blocks away from the studios of CBS46. Not to mention you had all the hub-hub in recent weeks of who would be the starting QB at UGA. It was all building to the crescendo of this first weekend.
Adding to the excitement of football finally being here was the fact that things are finally cooling down weather-wise! Highs this weekend will be in the middle 80s which is right where we should be for this time of year.
So, after the games end tonight get out and enjoy your Sunday and Monday around metro Atlanta because the weather is looking great. Not to mention you need to enjoy it because the Falcons kick off next weekend meaning we will have plenty to keep us busy on weekends this fall.
Have a great and safe Holiday Weekend!
Friday, September 01, 2006
Yeow! That's what I thought when I opened my e-mail Thursday and found this from from Phil Lewis in Alpharetta. I guess he was awakened as were most of us for the second consecutive night for some loud and in some cases, dangerous thunderbumpers. By Thursday morning, we were getting reports of several homes set on fire by lightning strikes and one tree in Midtown Atlanta that was split in two by a nighttime bolt. It was pretty unusual to have one night that turned to day, but even stranger was to have back-to-back nights. I don't know about you, but I know what I do - I bolt out of bed and stare out the window. Phil took it a step further, grabbed his camera and snagged the nifty picture.
Usually in the summertime, we wait for the sun to heat the humid air over us and by the afternoon rush hour, towering clouds form producing thunder and vivid lightning. The heavy rain that follows has a tendency to kill the updrafts that feed the storm and things quiet down. You've probably heard us say on TV that "now that the sun has set, the storm threat is dying". So what happened Tuesday and Wednesday night? To sort of quote a line from King Kong, "It wasn't beauty that killed the beast, but rather heat-energy that fueled the storm." (See, I told you I was kind of quoting the classic movie).
To get thunderstorms, you need to have two things: moisture and a way to lift the moisture high enough in the atmosphere to cool it and make clouds which eventually make rain. That's kind of a basic definition. On a warm summer day, we usually have the first ingredient in abundance (that's why they call it Hot-Atlanta). The summer sun is the force that lifts the moisture and off we go. However, at night, it's a different story. We still had the moisture and thanks to the combination of a stationary front over the state and energy disturbances riding along the front, we also had the energy to lift the moisture. The stationary front snaked from north of Gainesville through Atlanta and into Alabama. The front marks a convergence zones where opposing winds collide. Basically, its a place were moist air meets. Then, along the front, a short wave of energy took the converging air and lifted it up. That short wave started near southwest Atlanta, where the storms began and moved them up across the city and into Cobb, North Fulton and eventually Gwinnett counties. Here's what the weather map looked like Wednesday night:
The line with the blue triangles and the red semi-circles is the stationary front. The L is the low pressure center, or energy surge that rode along the front.
A truly rare event in that it happened at night. The night before, the front was a cool front and it was moving into the state. Storms formed in advance of the front Tuesday night as well with reports Wednesday morning of homes struck by lightning.