Friday, March 30, 2007
Its been a very busy last week for me in this theater of war. I made trips to three different posts in Iraq and a trip into the Green Zone in Baghdad. I flew in an UH-60 Blackhawk, C-130 Transport Plane and C-12 Executive Transporter. I have seen many of my fellow Soldiers working hard to do a job that most feel needs to be done. As I prepare to return back to Atlanta, I leave with a prayer for my fellow brothers in arms. I wish them a very safe return home to their loved ones and families. To those that will make the ultimate sacrifice, I say thank you and my God look after the ones you love. I am very grateful that I will soon be with my family and my TV one at CBS46. I am thankful that I will return home safely, with a lot more knowledge of what is actually going on here in Iraq. Television media serve a great purpose in telling the public the news of the day. I can honestly tell you that there is a lot that most of you will never see, small victories that the Iraqi people cherish. This kind of fanatic Islam must not be allowed to exist. The battles we fight in Iraq today, could one day move into our own backyard. Let's pray that it does not. I thank my colleagues for their support during my brief mission away. I look forward to getting back to weather basics and keeping you our viewers up to speed on your daily forecast. See you soon!
Monday, March 26, 2007
Everything got started on Peachtree just across the street from Woodruff park. The weather was perfect - quite mild to start the race - and considerably warmer as runners began crossing the finish line.
The ING Georgia Marathon is called an urban race. The race director, Virginia Seahorn explained to me that she wanted to showcase some of the beautiful diversity that Atlanta had to offer. When you look at some of the different "pockets" of the city that the course runs through - you'll understand exactly what she means.
I did the half marathon and our route took us along Freedom Parkway, near Inman Park, through parts of Little 5 Points, into the Virginia Highlands area, through Piedmont Park and eventually down the long stretch of Peachtree Street to the finish line near Underground.
The support as we ran through these wonderful neighborhood was AMAZING! Hundreds of people lined the streets to yell, hold signs, toss candy and fruit, and cheer us on. Several children held out their tiny hands to slap a high five with the runners as they passed.
This was such a friendly race - a happy race - and a fast race. Seeing as it literally passed through so many "neighborhoods", you really got the feeling of community and support. I absolutely loved it!
Congratulations to everyone that ran the race - full and half. And a special thank you to everyone that helped to get this new event off the ground, the people who woke up early to stand outside and cheer us on, and the racers that have now put the ING Georgia Marathon on the map.
Wonderful race - Wonderful day!
See you next year!
Saturday, March 24, 2007
Baghdad is an immense city. The urban sprawal is equal to anything you will find in Atlanta. I journeyed to the city I first visited four years ago. My expectations were one of some chaos. None was to be seen. Many of the streets, bridges, and buildings damaged in the war have been repaired. On Friday, the call to prayer could be heard. All movement by cars are stopped at this time to stop potential suicide car bombers from striking. One bomber did manage to blow himself up this day and kill others, but the overall sound of the city was surprisingly quiet. I met several Iraqi workers. They shyed away when they saw my camera, but I simply covered it up and nodded my head no, that I would not be taking their photo. You can still see the fear that exists for those that want to rebuild their country, but don't want to be targeted by the few terrorists that want to stop their chance at having a normal life. The soldiers here are great. They all are working hard to do a job, complete their mission and come on home. I felt a degree of guilt watching soldiers head out on patrol. I was like a passing tourist, a short timer on a much different mission. Part of me longed to stay with my brothers in arms, but this was not my time nor my mission. I have a few more days left here, before shipping back to the states, and back to cbs46. I return with a much different perspective than the one I had when I arrived in Iraq. Its one of hope, pride and freedom for the Iraqi people. We as Americans tend to forget the freedoms we have on daily basis. Perhaps one day, those here in Iraq will get the chance to experience the same. To those who want to bring the troops home, the day will come when they will do just that. But only when this new democracy is ready to take care of its own. The photo above is of me on top of the old Baath Party headquarters near the green zone. The large building over my shoulder is the large Mosque Saddam started to build but never completed.
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
When most people travel, they can sometimes see when they are crossing into one county and into the next with a sign. A dotted boundary on map will show the difference between say Georgia and Alabama, but you never see a physical line on the ground showing it. Well here in Kuwait, that is not the case. There is an actual concrete dashed boundary that shows where Kuwait ends, and Iraq begins. See that dotted line behind me. That's Iraq, while I am standing in Kuwait. Pretty neat!
Monday, March 19, 2007
Mmmm, I bet that tastes good. How do you eat them? I like to slice them on top of Cheerios. Mouth-watering Georgia strawberries are about the only benefitting from our recent lack of rain. To date, we're behind 5.59" from our normal rainfall. The much-ballyhooed (now there's a word you don't see much anymore) El Nino is reversing. That means the Pacific equatorial waters are cooling down. So our weather patterns are in what we call a neutral phase; neither too hot nor too warm. While the atmosphere adjusts and the jet stream re-aligns, we may not see too much severe weather this spring or a lot of rain either. However, we'll need some soon. March is our wettest month until July and we really need to keep up. So what does that have to do with strawberries?
It turns out that this fruit thrives in dry weather rather than damp. Too much rain can dilute the flavor and increase the development of fungus. When that happens, much of the crop can be ruined. However, this year's bounty is expected to be good thanks to our recent dry and mild weather. There's a really neat web site that is devoted to the effect on weather to agriculture in our state. Its: http://www.agclimate.org. There, you'll find useful information about how various climate regimes affect agriculture and fishing in the Peach State.
Sunday, March 18, 2007
That question might seem a little simple, but when Laura Huckabee and I were looking at our calendar in the weather office this past week we found out that there may be some confusion as to whether Spring begins... on Tuesday or Wednesday?
You see, our calendar, like the one above, has the first day of spring as being Wednesday. But spring begins on Tuesday here in the metro area. You see, a lot of calendars place time sensitive events (first day of spring, winter, full moons, etc) according to their zulu time. Zulu time is the time it is in Greenwich, England. Right now that happens to be 4 hours ahead of us in Atlanta.
So, if it is 5pm here in Atlanta, it is 9pm in Greenwich, England. This year, the vernal equinox officially occurs at 12:07am Greenwich time on Wednesday. That means it will be 8:07pm on Tuesday here in Atlanta when the sun is officially over the equator before heading north toward the northern hemisphere.
As for our outlook weather wise for the spring ahead, currently the National Weather Service is expecting
near or slightly above average temperatures for the metro area and near normal precipitation. If we end up getting average precipitation that would be a good thing because so far for 2007 we are a good 5" below average and this is the time of year we need to get our rain because summer rains in Georgia are so spotty.
So, if you are not performing well in the NCAA tournament office pool you might be able to make back some of your money by betting on when spring begins here in Georgia!
Have a great week!
Friday, March 16, 2007
Looks like the weather back home is very spring like, and things here in Kuwait and Iraq are also heating up. But we can still get some pretty good storm systems this time of year. We had one such storm blow through Jordon to our west and dumped snow. That's like getting snow in Atlanta. Usually when a storm like that, they kick up a lot of dust in their wake. If you notice the photo above, it looks like a cloudy day. Well that's actually a lot of dust that is very fine and can burn your eyes pretty good. Now you know why our troops wear those goggles on their helmets. I lookf forward to just tracking pollen and not dust storms! Happy Saint Patrick's Day by the way. At least when I am in the Army, I am always wearing green. See you soon.
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
Spring is less than a week away and thanks to our mild month and four days in a row over 75, nature’s gone all out of whack! All over the city, I’ve seen Bradford Pear trees and Japanese Magnolias blooming. I got curious enough about our unusual warm month that I decided to do some research. Not me actually, my Georgia Tech intern, Daniel to be exact. I asked him to look up the past few years to see when we’ve hit 78 or higher. I was a little surprised by what he found.
It turns out that for a long time, we didn’t get see days that warm until early April. In fact, the last year we hit 78 in April was 2001. Since then, we’ve reached the upper 70s in early March. I know what you’re thinking – global warming. Well, there could be something to that. We have a lot of up and down weather here in Georgia and this month has been a little warmer than normal, especially compared to the relatively cold February we just endured. I’m not quite ready to jump into the deep end of the pool when it comes to who is responsible for an increase in world-wide temperatures. But something is happening.
These warmer days are also wrecking havoc on allergy sufferers. The early bloom is causing a pollen boom (you have no idea how long it took me to come up with that). We’ve hit our third Extremely High pollen count of 735 today (Wednesday) and we started off the month with 933! With rain becoming a bi-monthly occurrence lately, we’ll get little relief as we hit the peak of the pollen season in early April. We’ll probably set some new records as well.
Remember, you can count on CBS 46 to show you the daily pollen count from now until late April. We’re the only Atlanta station that not only shows the current count, but also a forecast for the next three days. Look for it during our noon, 4 and 6 pm newscasts. You can also check the count on our web site, cbs46.com – just click on weather.
... And so are the soccer balls!
My daughter is very athletic and she loves to run and kick. So naturally I just assumed she'd enjoy being a part of a team and playing the sport. Claudia has never played an organized sport but she acted interested, so I signed her up.
With a list of the "must haves" in my hand I went to the local sporting goods store only to realize that I was going to need to take out a small loan to outfit my daughter in the proper soccer attire. There were shinguards that looked like they were made for a Barbie, knee socks that could have fit the jolly green giant, under armor for the chilly mornings, shorts, and microscopic cleats ---we got 'em all.
Finally the day was upon us and we made it to the soccer field a few minutes early.... my daughter, my camera and me....
"What?!".......Obviously our invitation must have gotten lost in the mail because we were seeing was a party - not a soccer game. These folks had come to ready to "tailgate". I mean these moms and dads had set up chairs and blankets, coolers, and snacks... I couldn't believe it! There were grandparents, aunts and uncles, neighbors.... These little girls had brought their fan clubs. My daughter and I felt terribly "under dressed".
After the initial mardi gras-shock wore off, it only took a moment for Claudia to determine that mommy wasn't going to be out on the field playing with her. So she quickly announced "Um.. I don't want to play soccer anymore."
What?!!! We hadn't even made it on to the mardi gras field...... oooops, I mean the soccer field and I could already see her 4 year - all expenses paid - soccer scholarship to college flying out the window.
"No way, Jose'.... get your fanny out there!" was what I was thinking. "Honey, you're such a good soccer player... I know you can do it." was what I ended up saying. And with a little more encouragement and a gentle push - off she went.
Now, I bet you're dying to know how this debauchery ended, aren't you??
Claudia is an excellent kicker but doesn't really like the idea of sharing the ball with the other girls ( we're going to work on that). She actually played goalie for a few minutes and blocked two goals. Everyone screamed and cheered and she REALLY liked that part!!
The highlight of the day by far was the apple juice and goldfish cheese treats at the end...
*Reminder to mom: Next week bring chairs, streamers and balloons, a cheering section and more apple juice and goldfish treats.
I wonder, did Mia start out like this?
Monday, March 12, 2007
Here's an article I wrote on one of our local judges who is also serving over here. I hope you enjoy. More stories to follow. Greg Majewski.
By Capt. Greg Majewski
(CAMP ARIFJAN, KUWAIT) - Fulton County Superior Court Judge Ural Glanville recently traded in his black judicial robes for Army camouflage green to provide legal services and counsel to our troops serving in the Middle East and Southwest Asia.
An Army Reserve officer, Lt. Col Glanville is the Staff Judge Advocate for the 335th Signal Command headquartered in East Point, Ga., and is serving in his first overseas deployment in his military career.
“I really enjoy working with Soldiers,” said Glanville. “Whenever you can help a Soldier bring a problem or a legal issue to resolution, you are adding value to that Soldier and for the unit that he or she serves.”
Glanville said both the civilian and military courts have many similarities, with justice being the ultimate goal.
“Both systems provide due process, a right to counsel, everything you expect as outlined in our Constitution, only there are some procedural differences on how each is done,” said Glanville.
Glanville has been a judge in metro Atlanta for 10 years, presiding eight years as a magistrate judge and the last two on the superior court bench.
He recently presided over the nationally publicized Lena Dreskel murder trial.
That was the case where 79-year-old Dreskel shot and killed her 85-year-old boyfriend because she thought he was cheating on her.
With his courtroom career on hold, Glanville is providing valuable counsel for both commanders and troops.
According to Glanville, JAGS are like a full service law firm.
JAG officers provide everything from traditional military justice, legal assistance to administrative law.
But when a unit or command like the 335th is deployed to a theater of war, a JAG officer must also provide advice on counterinsurgency and contracting.
“I provide the legal analysis and coordination with other staff sections to ensure our commercialization efforts are properly planned, funded, and executed,” said Glanville.
“Sometimes we have to start things from the ground up and sometimes continue contracts that have to be worked or modified,” said Glanville.
The Global War on Terror has also brought counterinsurgency efforts to the forefront of a JAGS’ responsibility.
Glanville said that commanders also rely on JAGS to ensure the law of war is properly followed.
“If we are going to engage in any type of combat operation, JAGS play an important role in providing legal advice to commanders on a wide scope of legal issues,” said Glanville
Brig. Gen. Stuart Dyer commands the 335th Theater Signal Command (Provisional) located on Camp Arifjan, Kuwait.
Glanville is Dyer’s Staff Judge Advocate.
He speaks very highly on the importance of having JAG officers like Glanville in theater.
“He’s my key legal advisor,” said Brig. Gen Stuart Dyer.” He not only is advisor to me, but also to every Soldier in the command when it comes to legal matters.”
Dyer said all commanders especially those in combat rely on their staff JAG officers to provide guidance and options.
The legal system also runs in Glanville’s family.
His wife, Lisa, works for the Juvenile Court of Fulton County.
“My wife has been part of my military career for the vast majority of it,” said Glanville. “She and my two children, Evan, and Leslie, have been very supportive of my deployment.”
The 335th Signal Command maintains the communication backbone for the Iraq and southwest Asia Theater of operation.
Sunday, March 11, 2007
The signs of spring are really beginning to pop up across the metro area thanks to the 70+ degree weather we have been enjoying this weekend. The picture above is one that I took as I walked into the TV station today. With the Japanese Magnolias in bloom we know the cherry trees and dogwoods can not be too far behind.
I noticed more signs on spring in Gwinnett County the other day when I was on my way to a school. There were daffodils all along the interstate at several exits. So, how did we get daffodils along the interstate? Well, the DOT has expanded it wildflower program to include daffodils. To find out where the daffodils were planted or to learn more about the wildflower program click here.
Of course now that things are beginning to bloom that means the allergy season is here. I even noticed a very slight film of yellow on my car the other day! If you suffer from allergies and want to keep up with the latest pollen count you can get it by watching CBS46 or by going to the Atlanta Allergy & Asthma Clinic homepage.
Have a great week and enjoy all that spring has to offer!
Friday, March 09, 2007
Monday morning, the sunrise won't happen until 7:53 am! It won't really be light outside until a little after 8 am. Remember, this whole thing is supposed to be a savings. However, all those cars will run their lights for the morning commute. And let's not even get started about how fouled up your computer and other fancy electronic toys will get. For years, Microsoft operating systems like XP automatically changed the clock on your computer on the first Sunday in April and the last Sunday in October. Now, they're offering a special "patch" to correct this for the new dates when DST begins and ends.
I'm sure that on Monday morning, a lot people will arrive at work only to find that either their computers are screwed up or all their appointments are set to the wrong time. This is going to be a lot of fun and a lot of work for the Information Technology departments at most companies. Sure, everyone's been warning you this will happen, but like so much of the e-mail you get, you probably ignored it. Remember, its a savings.
The worst thing is remembering all of the items you have to set. Let's go over a few: your microwave, timers on lights, alarm clocks, clock in your car, microwave, oven, telephone, cell phone, TV remotes. . .I know I'll forget a few.
Think of all the time you'll be saving. Enjoy!
Wednesday, March 07, 2007
Meteorologist Greg Majewski here on special assignment for Uncle Sam. No, I have not been mobilized but will be carrying out a special mission for my Army reserve unit, the 335th Signal Command located in East Point, near Fort McPherson. I have to tell you, that every soldier over here is doing an outstanding job. I arrived in country on what is called a rest and recovery flight. These are soldiers returning to Iraq after a two week leave with their families. Many felt a little somber for leaving again, but charged up to finish their mission and return home. I will get more opportunities to meet and talk with more soldiers during the next 30 days. I will be posting some of my experiences and their stories here, so please make sure to check back to the CBS 46 Weather Blog for more details. By the way, the weather here is not bad this time of year. Plenty of sunshine, very dry, with highs in the mid 70's for the next couple of days. By the time I leave though, we could see temps nearing 90. See you next time!
Sunday, March 04, 2007
Last Wednesday the city skyline almost disappeared in a cloud of smoke. Most people in the metro area thought it was because of a fire nearby, but actually the fire that created the cloudy of smoke came from more than 50 miles away!
What happened was a controlled burn by the U.S. Forest Service sent smoke up our way. That day we had a southeast wind which brought the smoke up from Jasper County. Usually this would not have been a problem, but because we had an inversion the smoke was trapped close to the surface, meaning the smoke ended up be unusually thick instead of dispersing. You can learn more about inversions by clicking here.
Situations like we had Wednesday can trigger asthma attacks because of the high pollution levels from the smoke. As a result, the Georgia Forestry Commission is going to look at the way it issues controlled burn permits.
Lets hope the same thing does not happen again! Have a great and smoke free week!
Friday, March 02, 2007
Saturday night, March 3rd, is going to be an exciting night for looking up! That’s because for there will be a total lunar eclipse for the first time in about two and a half years. If the clouds cooperate, we as Georgians are in a prime location to view this celestial spectacle. The Moon will be completely engulfed by the Earth’s shadow just as the night falls.
To refresh your memory, a total lunar eclipse occurs when the Sun, Earth, and Moon nearly line up perfectly in space, so that the Earth casts a shadow on the Moon. Unlike a solar eclipse, which can be very harmful to the human eye to watch, you can observe a lunar eclipse with no special protection or equipment. You can even pull out some binoculars or a telescope to make your viewing more enjoyable.
The penumbra, the outer part of the earth’s shadow, will only slightly shade the moon at first. But as the Moon begins to move into the darkest part of Earth’s shadow, known as the umbra, an obvious “bite” will be seen missing from the Moon. This is a sign that the partial eclipse is underway. This stage will begin around 5:30 pm tomorrow, and you may be able to observe it as the moon rises before the setting of the sun at 6:35 pm. The total eclipse will occur when the Moon is fully shaded by the umbra. The Moon will appear as an eerie, coppery red disk in the sky, as the scattered light from the edge of our atmosphere colors the lunar surface with a warm glow. This total eclipse will occur tomorrow night around 5:44 pm and end around 6:58 pm. The shadow will uncover the moon from about 6:58 pm to 8:12 pm, as a final conclusion to the eclipse.
You can find more information on the lunar eclipse tomorrow night at…
Happy viewing and have a great weekend!