Real-time Earth and Moon phase

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Tragedy in Napier, New Zealand

This news from New Zealand's Dominion Post yesterday is terse and very sad:

Napier's notorious Marine Pde beach has claimed another life after a five-year-old boy was torn from his mother's grasp and dragged out to sea by a freak wave.

The boy's mother had grabbed at him but lost her grip in the force of the wave about 1pm yesterday. He was playing at the water's edge.

It's something really should not happen but happened. It's so preventable. The "water's edge" is an extremely dangerous place is a fact that everyone knows, the warning is out there, but until it happens -- everyone probably thinks it will only happen to others. Again I can not emphasize it more strongly: It can happen at any water's edge in the world and at any time. No amount of vigilance will be sufficient!

The Global Warming Test

Here is a superbly educational test, the Global Warming Test, to
"Test your knowledge and common sense in this simple 10-question test."
FYI, the questions are not trivial but extremely informative and scientifically sound. I am proud of myself to have answered all 10 questions correctly!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

An inconvenient truth . . . or convenient fiction?

I just come across this fantastic 8 months old film entitled "An inconvenient truth . . . or convenient fiction?" made by Dr. Stephen Hayward of American Enterprise Institute:


You can buy it from Amazon or you can watch from the small version for free. Either way it will be well worth your money or time on a super educational enlightenment!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Accuracy is not an option.

As the American Meteorological Society is about to start her 88th Annual Meeting in New Orleans tomorrow that features a special WeatherFest focus on hurricanes and other tropical storms and showcase Hurricane Hunters of the Air Force Reserve among other things, I come across a somewhat relevant news article this morning, out of all possible news publications in the world, from a Bangkok Post! The article, by Alan Dawson, has a title given by the editor as "Weather or not? Most predictions fail to materialise." But I personally prefer the title I came up for this blog post: Accuracy is not an option.

Dawson, probably stationed in Fort Collins, Colorado, starts his article by alluding the local case that everyone has experienced similarly at one time or another:
Last week, daily forecasts told weather worry-warts for five straight evenings that heavy snow was likely on the next afternoon, and five afternoons passed, sunny and rather pleasant winter days. And on the sixth day, it snowed heavily. And why does the forecast of crippling weather in Smalltown, Middle USA, matter in Big Mango, Thailand, where snow is never expected and predictions for tomorrow's weather pretty well always amount to this: ''Look out the window. See that weather out there? Tomorrow, expect more of the same.''?
He answered his own question as

It matters because this pleasant, cowboy-populated town on the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains _ more than 2,500 kilometres from the Atlantic Ocean _ is home of the Atlantic Ocean hurricane forecasting station for Earth.

The forecasts, however, have been just about as reliable as the snow warnings of last week, and it seems polite now to wonder whether science really can predict what's happening with the weather.

If you keep predicting snowfall during the Rocky Mountain weather, one day you are going to be right. It doesn't take a cynic to wonder if the attempts to predict the number and ferocity of hurricanes are any more credible and reliable. It is a small step from there to scepticism over forecasts of climate change 10 and 50 years down the road.

Yes, indeed, if you keep predicting the same thing over and over, one of the days you will hit right on! After all, a broken clock will tell the time exactly right twice a day! Of course Dawson's precursor is expectedly leading to talk about their local celebrity, Prof. William Gray:

Located on the campus of Colorado State University, the Tropical Meteorology Project each December issues a forecast of hurricanes (storms originating in the northern Atlantic Ocean) for the coming year.

Last month, as he did last year, project chief Professor William Gray explained why he got his forecasts so horribly wrong. But then, unlike the boy who cried wolf, Mr Gray and his office got a lot of publicity and money to carry on for a third year of crying ''Wolf!'' yet again.

''We believe that the Atlantic basin is still in an active hurricane cycle,'' said Mr Gray, as he forecast that there will be seven hurricanes this year, beginning around June _ three of them major storms likely to bring serious damage to the East and Gulf coasts of the United States.

The first obvious question seems to be why anyone should believe a twice-failed prognosticator. Last year, he predicted nine hurricanes; six occurred. The previous year, he ventured there would be nine hurricanes, and there were five. Far worse _ which means, of course ''far better'' _ no disastrous hurricane struck the US mainland, even though this is the main point of interest about the forecasts publicised in the United States.

I begin to wonder what motivates Dawson to write this article. In fact, he indicated in 7 of the last 9 years,
. . . the team has correctly forecast whether the intensity of a hurricane season would be above or below average.
Somehow, Dawson becomes more and more caustic as the article proceeds. He dismisses the explanation which Gray's group provided:
''We attribute a large portion of this forecast over-prediction to a late-developing El Nino and increased mid-level dryness in the tropical Atlantic.''
In the end he brought in Mark Twain to conclude his sarcasm:
Mark Twain held that ''Everyone is talking about the weather but nobody's doing anything about it.'' That may be more true today than when Twain was skewing the pundits.
I hope Dawson's article is not aimed at ridicule Prof. Gray and associates only. His sarcasm certainly more appropriately applied to the global warming gang.

Prof. Gray is a scientist and he developed a system to predict the intensity of yearly hurricanes that has a good track record except the last two years. His scientific prediction provides a service for people's general consideration. He did not demand anyone to alter their life in order to conform with his prediction.

That's certainly a whole world of difference from Algore, the divinity school drop out, and his global warming cronies, who extorts everyone in the world to think we the people in U.S. are guilty to cause all the mumble jumble. William Gray stuck his neck out trying to use science to predict hurricane intensity before the hurricane season starts and people like Dawson criticize him for making 22% wrong. Hey what about those Algore/IPCC people constantly reducing their warming predictions? They have not been right yet on any of their "overwhelmingly" agreed predictions made by all their hand-picked "authorities"!

It is really for those Algore/IPCC people: Science is of No Consequence and Accuracy is Not an Option!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Global warming and Professional conjuring

I was intrigued by the title of an article by Paul Johnson in the latest "Spectator":
"What has sawing a lady in half to do with global warming?"
It is really a very informed historical sketch about professional conjuring (may be something we call magic) from Charles Dickens to Harry Houdini. The answer to the question posted in his title is given in the final paragraph of his article:

We all need to believe something, particularly those of us who most hotly deny faith in anything. If you don’t have a proper religion, like Christianity, you are sure to fall for pseudo-scientific patter, like ‘climate change’ and ‘global warming’. This appeals strongly to the kind of FRS — physics and biology professors and the like — who once patronised the Society for Psychical Research. Give me honest conjuring any day!

I think his "kind of FRS" can be readily generalized to many of the U.S. and elsewhere (e.g. Norway) Academicians as well as those conceited IPCC members who can be so easily fall for the sheer nonsense of a NASA bureaucrat and a divinity school dropout. What would happen if there might be a little ice age come up in the next decade or two? Would they spin it by calling it negative global warming? Why not? They are sppecialized in talking from both side of the mouth anyway. Oh yes, that's professional conjuring!

Aloha, Huge waves roar!

As expected big waves arrived at the north and west shore of Hawaii islands Ohau, Kauai, Molokai, and Maui. Suzanne Roig of Honolulu Advertiser reports:

Warning signs were posted and beaches were taped off from Sunset Beach to Hale'iwa on O'ahu's North Shore. A high-surf warning remains in effect for all north- and west-facing shores of Ni'ihau, Kaua'i, O'ahu and Moloka'i; the north-facing shore of Maui; and the leeward coast of the Big Island through 4 p.m. today, according to the National Weather Service.

"It's still large and very dangerous," said Honolulu Fire Capt. James Mensching, of the Sunset Beach Fire Station. "Definitely no one should go in when the water is in conditions like this."

Firefighters teamed up with lifeguards to keep people out of the water for much of yesterday, Mensching said. The wave conditions caused the cancellation of the Quiksilver Big Wave Invitational In Memory of Eddie Aikau surf competition yesterday.

The Honolulu Advertiser also published the following picture of Waimea Bay yesterday by Andrew Shimabuku.
It was also reported by Robert Shikina of the Star Bulletin that

On the North Shore yesterday, with waves as high as 30 feet, lifeguards made one rescue and took 1,200 so-called preventative actions -- warning beachgoers, mostly, a city news release said.

On the western shores, where surf was 15 to 20 feet high in the morning, lifeguards made one rescue. They also made 37 assists with rescue crafts and took 800 preventative actions.

Large surf also hit Kauai's North Shore, bringing 15- to 30-foot faces, but there were no rescues, said Kauai county spokeswoman Mary Daubert.

"The waves were just so gigantic and washed out, the surfers weren't even going in," she said.

Clearly prudence prevails and be very thankful of all the busy lifeguards there for their timely rescues, warnings and "preventative actions." Just have some basic common sense will be sufficient. Scientist and science can only take a back seat in these situations. There is really not much they can do or be helpful.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

'Tis the season of big surf waves!

'Tis the season of big surf waves! "Surfers roar at Maverick's" as writer Demian Bulwa in San Francisco Chronicle declares today. The Sydney Morning Herald had reported that Sydney beaches were closed for many days as huge surf pounded the coast. Now the Honolulu Advertiser just released a Breaking News this morning saying that "Monster surf expected to reach Hawaii this afternoon."

Here I would like to show two fantastic wave pictures took yesterday from the 2008 Maverick's at the Half Moon Bay I found on the Flickr by Andy/stargazer95050 of Sunnyvale, CA.

The second follows the first by a few seconds. Andy calls the second picture "In the spin cycle." My question is what had happened to the surfer?

For us amateurs gazing from the beach, we can never see them. As Andy explains it:
No way you can see this from the beach regardless of the lens because the waves are aiming directly for the shore. While I'm looking at the side of the wave ...

Friday, January 11, 2008

Another tragedy at a coast

This is a depressing tragic case, and "it was a mystery that authorities could not solve Thursday" according to this SanLuisObispo.com article by Kathe Tanner.

Here's how it was started according to Tanner:

Lee and Madeline Kuo of Irvine were on a spur-of-the-moment vacation and had arrived in the area a bit early for a 10:20 a.m. tour at Hearst Castle.

He pulled into a vista point about a mile north of San Simeon so they could watch the high-tide waves and take photos of the birds.

Madeline Kuo said a couple of tourists from Germany asked for help in identifying something in the surf.

After Kuo looked through her binoculars and saw two bodies floating together in the ocean, she immediately called 911 on her cell phone.

It was the bodies of "a woman and young girl died along the rugged shoreline north of San Simeon." And "Coroner’s investigators with the Sheriff’s Department are trying to find out how the pair ended up in the water." Only speculations so far:

Firefighters at the scene said the woman and girl might have been swept off rocks on the shore by a rogue or “sleeper” wave— a large wave that breaks without warning.

A couple of rescuers said the woman might have gone into the water to rescue the girl.

While the local conditions are:

County/Cal Fire Capt. Phill Veneris said the shoreline in that area is treacherous and tricky.

“There’s a lot of swell, a lot of big waves, a lot of rocks and riptides,” he said.

The ocean floor drops suddenly and steeply there from being about 6 inches deep to 4 or 5 feet deep, he said.

“Once you get into the water, it’s hard to get back out,” Veneris added.

The high tide at 10:15 a.m. was 5.8 feet, considered high for the area.

And

Emily Torlano, an off-duty Cambria firefighter and paramedic, was walking at San Simeon Cove about 2 miles north shortly before the call came in.

She said the sea was “perfectly flat, except for some giant waves coming out of nowhere” occasionally.

Torlano said those waves were so tall that they rose about three-quarters of the way up the San Simeon Pier’s pilings.

Cambria fire Capt. Steve Bitto said the wave faces at the time were “easily 8 to 10 feet” high, with “lots and lots of water moving real fast.”

Now here's a picture of the San Simeon coast I found from the flickr.com site by thewolf05.
So whatever conclusion of the cause of the tragedy the authority eventually determines, it is a depressing tragic that has been recurring at a lot of places over a lot of times. The words of Emily Torlano, the Cambria firefighter and paramedic, that "the sea was perfectly flat, except for some giant waves coming out of nowhere occasionally" echoes all over at all times. That's something oceanic scientists have not yet able to get a grip in spite of all the technology and computational advancements. The CW -- conventional wisdom -- could not handle anything coming out of nowhere occasionally so they just simply and totally ignored them all. No funding, and therefore no research, will likely to trickle down to help preventing these tragic happenings. Que sera sera!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

UK's biggest wave -- the Cribbar sea monster

According to this Global Surf News article of February 2006: The Cribbar is a near-mythical wave among surfers, found over a mile off the coast of Cornwall. This morning the METRO.co.uk carried this picture with the title "Daredevil surfer tackles UK's biggest wave."
which is a daunting 9 m (~ 30 ft) Cribbar -- which only occurs once a year according to METRO.co.uk. The daredevil surfer in the picture is 28-year-old Jim Moore.

Mr Moore, from Porthtowan, Cornwall, has travelled the world looking for the biggest waves to surf.

He said: 'I've been to places like Hawaii and Fiji to ride big surf, but it's different here because the water is so cold.'

According to legend, the Cribbar was first discovered by in 1966 but was officially first surfed in 2003.

Notably the Cribbar is a deep water occurrence. Here's a YouTube view of the Cribbar.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Biggest surf wave ever ?!

In this Discovery News article this morning, entitled "Surfers claim to ride biggest wave ever," accompanied by this picture took by Robert Brown of BillabongXXL.com with a single descriptive word "Awesome."
The wave is indeed awesome! Just look at it and compare the incredible size of the surf with the surfer. The Discovery article estimated it at 85 feet. The surfer in the picture is Mike Parsons. It was taken at Cortes Bank, 105 miles off the California coast last Saturday, January 5, 2008.

Was it really the biggest surf wave ever?

According to an Larry O'Hanlon's article a year ago, the largest verified wave ever ridden was a 70-footer by Pete Cabrinha of Maui, in 2004. No one seems to have toppled that record since then. In today's new Discovery News article also by O'Hanlon, this 2008 gargantuan surf was
. . . powered by the strong winter storm that passed through California the night before and a second storm approaching fast in its wake.
I think another news article called the giant waves were "awakened" by the storm. Either way, we don't really know what caused the gigantic size of this surf. Anyway

"This will probably set the new record," said Robert Brown, the surfing photographer who captured images of the historic rides. Easily said, perhaps, but it was no easy task to get to the waves or to ride them, Brown told Discovery News.

Here are some insider's further explanations on how and what as alluded in the Discovery news article:
As in all big wave surfing, surfers worked in highly coordinated pairs. Towing is the only way surfers can reach the high speeds of such giant open ocean waves. Once up to speed and in the right location on the wave, the surfer-in-tow releases his towline and drops down the face of the wave atop his board -- and the ride begins.
And

Making matters even more harrowing was the fact that the surface of the waves and the water between the waves was riddled with humps up to five or six feet tall, he said. Once riding the waves, there was yet another test of sanity.

"The wave felt like you never got to the bottom," recalled Parsons.

"It felt like one endless drop."

Wow! What a ride! At any rate, surfers are the ones that really know what a monster surf wave is all about. All power to them! (I, for one, just be very contented to be just an ordinary spectator of the spectacular -- on the internet.)

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

A boogie boarding close call

Boogie boarding (aka body boarding), according to Wikipedia, is a form of wave riding or surfing that started in the late 1900's. Here's a picture of wide spread boogie boarding at the Waikiki Beach in Hawaii:As described in Wikipedia the boogie board differs from a surfboard in that it is much shorter and made of foam. Here's a story as reported in Bay of Plenty Times of New Zealand by Vicki Waterhouse entitled "Close call as rip takes boarder under."
A freak wave hit her and dragged her under the surface. It felt like she was in a washing machine, being thrown around.

She was running out of steam. She didn't know which way was up. She screamed and cried for help. This is it, she thought. The end of her life.

The 43-year-old Tauranga mother had headed to the beach on New Year's Eve for some down time with her son and her friend.

She never expected to come within inches of her life about 5:30 pm while out boogie boarding.

I guess calling a freak wave in the first sentence of the report is more of a figurative speaking than a true fact. Long time ago the "establishments" tend to dismiss seafarers' calling of freaque waves, nowadays the media may be guilty of using the words too casually also. Indeed, here's the details of her story:

"I was originally up to about four feet and I was making my way out and a big wave just came and it took me out quite a bit," she told the Bay of Plenty Times.

More than a week later she is still recovering from a chest infection brought on by the huge amount of water she swallowed and the water that went into her lungs.

Like most people, she never thought it would happen to her, and she wants her story to serve as an example to others. Shelley had been swimming for about an hour before she got into trouble.

The wave hit her and dragged her and her board under the water. In her panic she ripped off the strap to her board, leaving her without a flotation device.

Then things got worse. She was taking in a lot of water, and nobody was there to save her. Eventually, after what seemed like an age, someone came to help.

Shelley, who asked for her surname not to be printed, found it hard to express the immense gratitude she had for the man who pulled her out, but who she never got to thank.

"The wonderful young man who had long brown dreadlocks who came to my rescue and the other men who came to assist us, I don't know who you are but thank you so much, God bless you."

The man she spoke of was a surfer in his 20s, athletic and softly spoken, and he came to her aid before the lifeguards could reach her.

Shelley was at a part of the beach the lifeguards patrol, but was not between the flags. The young man got her on to his board and on to the beach before leaving her with the lifeguards.

When the lifeguards pulled her on to the beach she was not in a good state, lifeguard Leigh Sefton said.

"She was convulsing, in a state of shock. Her body was shutting down, basically trying to vomit.

"She was in the early stages of hypothermia."

Shelley was dressed appropriately, in togs and boardshorts, and considered herself a strong swimmer.

Shelley didn't see any rip signs and didn't think there was anything to worry about.

She had paid attention to her three teenagers' swim safe school messages, and thought she knew what she was doing.

And those teenagers, two boys and one girl, were the first thing she thought of when she thought she was nearing the end of her life.

"I just really didn't think I was going to survive it," she said.

"You don't go through that and not start to re-evaluate your life.

"Life is very short, it can be over very quickly and I really thought that was my day."

When she was returned to the beach she was given oxygen, and transported back to the surf club on a quadbike.

"Our main concern was secondary drowning. You think you've swallowed a lot of water but it's actually in your lungs," Mr Sefton said.

He added there were a few lessons to be learned from Shelley's experience that include always swimming between flags and using flippers while boogie boarding.

Shelley has since purchased some new flippers, but is yet to test them out as she has not been back in the water.

Rip currents are the most dangerous thing to worry about when swimming on a nice ocean beach. Combining a rip current with a large wave increased the danger exponentially. Shelley is really a lucky one, thanks be to God! No one would blame her for taking her time to be back in the water and business as usual again.


Sunday, January 06, 2008

Surfer as rescuer again

Here's a good news about a surfer acted as a rescuer again. It happened at the Billabong World Junior Championships in Sydney, Australia. As reported by www.iol.co.za of South Africa, one of the young surfers from Durban, Josh Redman, was advanced to round three toward the world junior championship and:
Redman not only made the news for advancing through to round three yesterday, but also for saving a bather's life at Avoca Beach on Thursday.

While training for the event at the northern Sydney beach he saved an English tourist from drowning after the holidaymaker was swept off the rocks by a rogue wave.

While the tourist suffered cuts to his back and head Redman paddled the tourist through pounding waves into calmer waters where he was later rescued.
Being "swept off the rocks by a rogue wave" is certainly not anything unexpected except to the English tourist himself. This side news is still a heart warming story to me as surfers can always be called upon to save lives by paddling their surf boards.

High surf in Morro bay

Here's a fabulous video of onshore surf waves at the Morro bay along the California coast about 100 miles south of Monterey:

Saturday, January 05, 2008

An incident in North Sea

Here are three reports of an incident in North Sea:

First in The Herald, Graeme Smith reports:
Three offshore workers were airlifted to hospital last night after being injured when their vessel was hit by a freak wave in the North Sea.
And also reported in Scotsman by Charlotte Thomson:
THREE offshore workers were airlifted to hospital yesterday after a freak wave hit their ship in a storm.
Then according to the BBC News:
Four workers have been injured in an accident on board a vessel in the North Sea in bad weather.
Three of those hurt on the Bleo Holm, about 70 miles north east of Aberdeen, were airlifted by helicopter to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary.

The workers were apparently crushed by barrels of chemicals which came loose on the vessel.

So three separate news reports, only two alluded for freaque waves. No details are available. It was during a North Sea storm. Unless there could be further substantiations bring to light, I am disinclined to think that this is a real freaque wave case.

Here's a picture of the vessel involved:

which is one of the major FPSO, floating production and storage offloading, vessel in the North Sea.


Wednesday, January 02, 2008

No caption necessary


I found this picture from the Drudge Report this morning. No caption necessary although I would like to see the sign say "Beware the Freaque Waves!" Otherwise I like the serene, tranquil, and peaceful beach scenery. But freaque wave is out there, somewhere, some time, when you least expected . . .

In 2008, a 100 Percent Chance of Alarm

Happy New Year!

To celebrate the brand new 2008, I would like to recommend a great article to start the new year. An article from, of all the publications available online, the New York Times by John Tierney. The title of this post is the same title used in the newspaper. Here's the first part of the article:
I’d like to wish you a happy New Year, but I’m afraid I have a different sort of prediction.

You’re in for very bad weather. In 2008, your television will bring you image after frightening image of natural havoc linked to global warming. You will be told that such bizarre weather must be a sign of dangerous climate change — and that these images are a mere preview of what’s in store unless we act quickly to cool the planet.

Unfortunately, I can’t be more specific. I don’t know if disaster will come by flood or drought, hurricane or blizzard, fire or ice. Nor do I have any idea how much the planet will warm this year or what that means for your local forecast. Long-term climate models cannot explain short-term weather.

But there’s bound to be some weird weather somewhere, and we will react like the sailors in the Book of Jonah. When a storm hit their ship, they didn’t ascribe it to a seasonal weather pattern. They quickly identified the cause (Jonah’s sinfulness) and agreed to an appropriate policy response (throw Jonah overboard).

Here's a particular well thought out commentary:

When Hurricane Katrina flooded New Orleans in 2005, it was supposed to be a harbinger of the stormier world predicted by some climate modelers. When the next two hurricane seasons were fairly calm — by some measures, last season in the Northern Hemisphere was the calmest in three decades — the availability entrepreneurs changed the subject. Droughts in California and Australia became the new harbingers of climate change (never mind that a warmer planet is projected to have more, not less, precipitation over all).

The most charitable excuse for this bias in weather divination is that the entrepreneurs are trying to offset another bias. The planet has indeed gotten warmer, and it is projected to keep warming because of greenhouse emissions, but this process is too slow to make much impact on the public.

I find it is very insightful to use the word "entrepreneur" to describe the "overwhelming" numbers of global warming scientists. Clearly Science ceases when scientists become an entrepreneur. Anyway if all these are not enough to wet tour appetite, here are more:

Today’s interpreters of the weather are what social scientists call availability entrepreneurs: the activists, journalists and publicity-savvy scientists who selectively monitor the globe looking for newsworthy evidence of a new form of sinfulness, burning fossil fuels.

A year ago, British meteorologists made headlines predicting that the buildup of greenhouse gases would help make 2007 the hottest year on record. At year’s end, even though the British scientists reported the global temperature average was not a new record — it was actually lower than any year since 2001 — the BBC confidently proclaimed, “2007 Data Confirms Warming Trend.”

When the Arctic sea ice last year hit the lowest level ever recorded by satellites, it was big news and heralded as a sign that the whole planet was warming. When the Antarctic sea ice last year reached the highest level ever recorded by satellites, it was pretty much ignored. A large part of Antarctica has been cooling recently, but most coverage of that continent has focused on one small part that has warmed.

There's much more. Read all about it and be enlightened. I guess I find myself truly surprised to read this article from the New York Times. According to Wikipedia, Mr. Tierney, the journalist, "identifies himself as a libertarian." So the surprise for me is that NYT has a libertarian science writer and commentator. May be it's because I am not a NYT reader in general, with or without their motto: "All the News That's Fit to Print." Nevertheless I am intrigued to read an article like this one in NYT, especially Tierney concluded his article alluded to, who else? Algore, the winner of 2007 Nobel Peace Prize:

In his acceptance speech, Mr. Gore didn’t dwell on the complexities of the hurricane debate. Nor, in his roundup of the 2007 weather, did he mention how calm the hurricane season had been. Instead, he alluded somewhat mysteriously to “stronger storms in the Atlantic and Pacific,” and focused on other kinds of disasters, like “massive droughts” and “massive flooding.”

“In the last few months,” Mr. Gore said, “it has been harder and harder to misinterpret the signs that our world is spinning out of kilter.” But he was being too modest. Thanks to availability entrepreneurs like him, misinterpreting the weather is getting easier and easier.

Yes, indeed, it is getting easier and easier. Like I blogged before, even a writer with a B.A. in English from Yale University in 1999 can become a hurricane forecaster and willing to eat crow when his predictions were wrong!