Weather Conference Update: Day 1

June 22, 2011

  This evening I walked past two notable landmarks in Downtown Oklahoma City.  That was right after my first ever Fried Okra at “Earl’s Rib Palace”.  It was really good along with the other great food, but they probably have high blood pressure or cholesterol in this part fo the country?  I digress slightly…the first landmark is the corporate headquarters of Sonic Drive In.  If you like those burgers or restaurants, well, apparently this is where it all begins.   However the building appeared to just contain the same cubicles you’d see in any other office.  See how exciting that is on the left?  Of more interest, especially to someone like me who loves history, is on the right.   It’s the Oklahoma Land Run Monument.  Very impressive brass sculptures of horses, wagons, and people racing across the prairie on April 22, 1889.  In one day 50,000 people went from the starting line to staking claims on 2 million acres.  You can read about it if you click on the link above.  Or, like me, you could suffer through the movie Far And Away for 2+ hours to see a re-creation of the event part way through.  I should warn you that would include 2+ hours of some annoying acting.

It was 98 degrees and sunny here today.  That was with very low relative humidity so it felt REALLY good.   This evening was great walking around with temps in the 80s after sunset.

Two interesting conference highlights today:

1. New 1981-2010 Climate Normals: 

Every 10 years NCDC (National Climate Data Center) releases updated 30 year averages, normals etc… for weather stations all across the USA.  Of course each time a new decade is added and the old is dropped off.  In this case we’ll lose the 1970s and gain the 2001-2010 period.  That new data will be available July 1st (a week from Friday) on the NCDC website here: 

http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/mpp/freedata.html

2. A Weather Expo:

For those of you that have been around as long as me, you may remember the name Miles Muzio?  I watched him on KOIN-TV while in high school.  He was on in the mid-late 1980s.  He moved on to TV weather in St. Louis, Hartford, and then Bakersfield, CA.  He’s now involved in a project to create a “weather expo”.  The plan is to convert 100 acres north of Denver into a museum, experiential exhibit, restaurant, research building, and advocacy center.  All about weather.  The experiential part was most interesting to me.  It would have something like 6 different climate “rooms” which would be representations of different climate areas of the earth, including plants, humidity, temperature etc…  Imagine walking from tundra to tropics, to desert to temperate in just a few minutes.  Their website is here:  http://www.wxpo.org/

Moving on…not much to talk about weatherwise at home.  Big thunderstorms that dumped more than an inch of rain on La Grande this evening have moved east.  Marine layer surges inland even stronger tonight, so not much hope of signficant sunshine until MAYBE Saturday afternoon.  Temps remain well below average through Saturday as well.

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen