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About RDM

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  • Four Letter Airport Code For Weather Obs (Such as KDCA)
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  • Location:
    Just NW of Vienna, VA. Elevation 375' ASL
  1. January Discobs Thread

    Welcome - what did you shoot the sunset at? 1.4f and about 1/8th second? Or slower? With the good crisp despth, assume you have some pretty good gear.
  2. Mid Atlantic Met Class Thread

    PSU - You and I exchanged notes some time ago about finishing your degree. Go for it! Do it now and don't look back. No doubt I'm not aware of your particular family situation. And you're obviously thinking about them too. Just think of this... how will you feel 20 years from now if you don't finish it? Up until my sophomore year at Wright State U. my full intentions were to become a pro met. It was what I wanted to do since the age of 5 or 6, other than be a fireman like my dad, which all young boys want to be. Half way through my sophomore year I spent the night shift with a pro met at the NSW office at Dayton Airport. The Met who allowed me to shadow him was nice, but he told me several things that did not paint a rosy picture. At that time nearly all NWS work was 12 on, 12 off 4 days a week. (that's ok - often worked 12 hour days in my career including one 65 hour stint - not advisable) Then he said I had to get your MS - (that was ok as I planned to transfer to PSU). Then the kicker... and this was circa 1982. He told me the NWS was closing 50+ weather stations in the coming years as part of a large computer consolidation program (maybe Wes remembers that...). Most the positions being impacted were going to be cut through retirements. So the job outlook was not so great. Since I could not see myself on TV, thought I better find something else for a career. So I became an engineer. Even though I didn't go the Met route, my career took me to various posts overseas where I was able to experience some of the "best" Mother Nature can muster, wrt the weather. From 3 meter snows in the Swiss Alps, to monsoon rains in Delhi to incredible thunderstorms in Bkk, to 60 foot snows in Japan and skiing down a snow capped Mt. Fuji,... I've been very fortunate. However, I've never stopped wondering - what if.... Would love to have the creds to spend a winter month in the Mt. Washington station. But that's likely never to happen. You are still young enough you can do this. With the following you have in the forum, you could make weather a full time gig. Go public, start your own web site and incorporate. (it's very easy to start a S-Corp or LLC). No doubt others in the forum would be very supporting and help promote you for all you've given the forum. No doubt as well you've be heads and shoulders about our oft referenced famous JB (or infamous - haha). Speaking of my dad, he's a good example of never too late. My dad was an electronic technician for his work - retired from Wright Patterson AFB. Was also a volunteer fireman for over 50 years and in the first graduating class of paramedics in the state of Ohio. He did all that with an 8th grade education. Went away from home at the age of 15 to work, and then joined the AF at 17. But he always regretted not finishing High School. So in his early 70's he got his GED. One of the proudest moments of his life! Just a little analogy about it never being too late. Please forgive the long winded note. I really hope you find the way to finish up those last few classes. Then if you do go pro and go online, I'll be among the first to subscribe and proudly so. Take care, Rob
  3. January Discobs Thread

    Spectacular! Nice slow shutter speed. Well done.
  4. January Banter String

    Wow - you know the pattern is dull when it's Saturday morning and the most recent post on most the threads is an hour or more old! Let's hope we can retain our sanity as this bleak period passes... How about that Gov shutdown???
  5. Jan 16/17 Event Obs/Disc

    The way the radar looks currently to the SW, we could have several more hours of this. If so, could see us "busting high" with over an inch. lol - over an inch? I'll take it. Probably my imagination, but the western edge down in GA seems to be moving east, while the western edge around Blacksburg is holding. Lots of darker returns in there too. Are we perhaps seeing a pivot with the trailing Low riding up the front? Edit - sorry nw bal wx - didn't mean to copy your comment, but noticed the same thing...
  6. Public Service Announcement - Please Read

    Hats off Bob! Takes courage to put out in the open what many feel, but are hesitant to say. The support in the responses is confirmation that you hit the mark and the point made is a worthy one that needed addressing. My limited number of posts belie a daily and often constant lurking since 2002 here and on the forum before it. Despite the decades of interest, I've succumbed to the fact I'll likely never develop the level of subject matter expertise to become a major contributor like you and many others, and I'm comfortable with that. That's why I've always tried to read more and post less unless there's something worthy to contribute. Unfortunately, what's developed here is somewhat indicative of what's happening in general public correspondence. That being, we've become too quick to criticize others who perhaps don't share the same opinion, or in the case of weather, analysis given it is such a subjective topic. In that theme, it seems the intolerance this year has taken on a new light (or low). Maybe it's the cumulative impact of back to back "bad years" so to speak? Dunno. (though I'm not ready to throw in the towel on this year!). In general, there's a hesitation or even at times avoidance to assume noble intent, and instead assume some sort of malice is at play; to the point things get out of hand. If we compare the contrast of today's correspondence to that of just 15 years ago, the difference is profoundly stark. As is the norm, your posts exemplify the same stalwart support to the forum that is part of its foundation. You make it a better place. I feel for you and the other Mods in your efforts to keep peace and preserve the integrity of the dialogue, even in the Banter Sub. No doubt it's not easy. Hopefully, from here on the assumption of noble intent will be renewed, we'll all exercise more restraint, and in doing so the quality of the dialogue will improve at the same time we give the Mods much less to do.
  7. January Banter String

    Fascinating exchange gentlemen - (dtk, PSU and Wes) In my 50+ years of following the weather, I've seen a lot of changes in the systems and their forecast abilities. No doubt there's an enormous amount of work that goes on behind the scenes that would likely boggle our minds. That said, and I mean this constructively, it's still perplexing the amount of variance and swing between the various models, even when within a few days (or whatever the sweet spot is for each model). Realize there's a lot of subjective theory that goes into trying to make the models as objective as possible. The most brilliant mathematicians often have a different way to solve a problem, just as engineers have different ways to design a car (I'm a mere mortal cursed engineer who at one time longed to become an immortal Pro Met, whom I idolized as a youngster). What I'm at a loss to conceptualize is how wide the variance can be between the major models on a particular event and also how quickly something can materialize on one or two models only to be lost with the next run of the same model. Unfortunately, my yeoman's understanding of weather modeling is wholly insufficient to understand the extremely complex terminology that is used to describe the theory. If there is some sort of tutorial that outlines the various models, their strengths, weaknesses, the logic behind their computational design, and perhaps the limitations of the same, a point in the right direction would be appreciated.
  8. January Discobs Thread

    23/9 now. A 45 degree drop from yesterday's high. Assuming we get down to mid/upper teens tonight, that'll be a 50+ degree drop (I know... high level math here). Not too shabby.
  9. Jan 8th Ice/Mix/Rain Event

    An hour or so ago it looked like the precip was done for FFCO and to the NW up towards WVA and beyond. Then out of nowhere the radar filled back in to include some deeper greens. Guess this is round two if you call .01 for round 1 worth counting... Unfortunately, we're at 33 now here. Up towards the M-D it could get interesting.
  10. January Discobs Thread

    Up to a balmy 15 already. Nearly matched our high yesterday already...
  11. January Discobs Thread

    Only made it to +2, darn it. dp came up some over night and is only at -1 now. That's probably why. Still the coldest night of the year here and coldest since returning from overseas in 2009. If we get anything tomorrow, even if temps are above freezing, the ground is so deeply frozen whatever comes will freeze on contact. Going to be interesting...
  12. January Discobs Thread

    Hard to beat good dry oak for burning, which is why it's the typical standard for firewood. That said, there is one that IMO is better. Try some Locust if you have any around, specifically Black Locust. Black Locust burns just about as hot as Oak, but I've found it to burn much longer. There's a lot of Locust in the area, especially over towards the Blue Ridge. Look along the edge of clearings because Locust does not like shade. Locust is as dense or more dense than Oak and it is much harder. About the only harder commonly found wood in N. America is Osage Orange, but forget that stuff for burning. It's nearly impossible to split because of the grain, even with a hydraulic splitter. I have a splitter I build for my senior engineering project in college 33 years ago - still have it behind the shed. Splits wood going in both directions and will work 3-4 guys to death. Dry Oak splits well, but Locus is a splitter's dream, which is why they use it for split rail fences. Normally only have to go about an inch into a Locust log before it splits the rest of the way, often with a nice "pop" that just sounds cool. Another feature of Locust is that it grows straight, is very tall, and has a small canopy. So there's a lot of wood in one tree and not a lot of small branches that always take so much time to chop up and dispose of with an Oak. Give it a shot if you can find it. Don't think you'll be disappointed.
  13. January Discobs Thread

    Down to 9 here with -2 dp that's still dropping. Not yet calm out, but getting there. Am hoping to get below 0. We're just far enough outside the Tyson's UHI to miss the "protection" of all that concrete (yuk). If we hit the negative numbers, will be a first since I moved here in 85, albeit I spent 14 of these years OCONUS. Was outside today about 5 hours taking down Christmas lights. Bundled up and layered up and stayed warm, but it was a bit nippy when the gusts came through. Felt good to be out in it and enjoyed the "Jeb Walk Effect" although I was just walking in circles and walking up and down the ladder. Felt great to be out in it right up until dusk, but I feel it. Being outside in the cold that long burns a lot of calories. Something I need to do more of... haha Great to hear about all the fun on the frozen canal. Brings back memories of winter time in Ohio. In the 60's and 70's. Skating, ice fishing, and just doing what kids did back then. Great memories...
  14. Jan 4th Coastal Obs/Disc

    WSW just issued for St. Marys Co. Looking at the inbound bands crossing the bay they're looking to get raked soon.
  15. Jan 4th Coastal Obs/Disc

    First flakes started here a few mins ago. 26/19 dp has risen steadily since mid-afternoon, but sure did take a long time for the column to saturate. Hope the western fringe gets out towards Leesburg and beyond.