Latest Event Updates

Quick Update

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Just a quick post to mention that I added some stuff to the blog. Specifically, I added four new pages to the blog (the tab links can be seen on the main blog page). Added an “About Meteorology” page just give a very brief explanation of the field and my interests in it. I also added a page with my resume (met/GIS-related). In addition, I added a page with a slideshow of my original GIS/cartography map projects. Finally, I added a page with links to technical forecast discussions written by me in the past year or so. The last two are there to exhibit my current knowledge and experience with meteorology and GIS. I will likely add to both pages as time goes on.

Short Trip to the Blue Mountains NSW in Winter – Part I: Katoomba and Blackheath

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Originally posted on Julie Green:

Blue Mountains Photography by Julie Green

Vital lives are about action. You can’t feel warmth unless you create it, can’t feel delight until you play, can’t know serendipity unless you risk.”  ― Joan Erickson

Blue Mountains Photography by Julie GreenBlue Mountains Photography by Julie GreenBlue Mountains Photography by Julie Green

“Wherever you are, be there. If you can be fully present now, you’ll know what it means to live.” ― Steve Goodier

Blue Mountains Photography by Julie GreenBlue Mountains Photography by Julie GreenBlue Mountains Photography by Julie GreenBlue Mountains Photography by Julie Green

“Life is full of surprises and serendipity. Being open to unexpected turns in the road is an important part of success.” ― Condoleeza Rice


I had a most beautiful windy three days in the mountains. It reminded me what I value and love about my life. It also reminded me of the importance of being present, getting out of my comfort zone and keeping active.

How has your week been?


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Masters Research Proposal

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Here is my masters research proposal…the framework for what I’ll be busy working on for the coming months: An investigation of the relationship between tropical cyclone size and observed sustained wind speeds along the northern Gulf Coast of the United States.(PDF)

I’ll go over it one final time, but I think the paper pretty much good to go. The literature review and methodology were done separately in initial drafts, then reviewed by Research Methods professor. This final draft will be reviewed, graded and then sent to other professors as part of the decision-making process for the assignment to a research adviser. My adviser will be with me for the next academic year, leading up to a final paper and presentation at Mississippi State next summer.

Overall I’m happy with how my research idea turned out and the professor thought it had merit, although some changes were needed to streamline things and deal with minor issues. Having an experienced eye review my papers was very helpful. The process of conceiving a research project is always an interesting challenge. It usually starts off with a general idea of what one wants to gain. Then the literature review can help add clarity to what has already been done and what areas are in need of more research. And then the methodology really forces one to get down and dirty as far as how the experiment/analysis will actually be conducted. Hopefully I’ve made myself as clear as possible with everything and I’ll be assigned an adviser with a big interest in the project. I was looking at doing more social science-oriented research, but decided something more meteorological would be a good change of pace. Although, I do think this research could have implications in terms of warnings and how people perceive the threat by the various hazards in a approaching hurricane, this is pretty much meteorology/climatology-heavy research.

Hope everyone’s having a good Hump Day. I’ll post an update on some tropical cyclone activity a bit later :)

Tropical Storm Halong approaching the Mariana Islands

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Tropical Storm Halong is threatening the Mariana Islands as an intensifying tropical storm and may be near Typhoon strength already. An eye can already be seen on radar imagery out of Guam and the center may pass very close to the island of Rota as a typhoon during the daytime hours Wednesday (local time).


Tropical storm warnings are in effect for the islands and surrounding coastal waters of Guam, Tinian and Saipan with a typhoon warning for Rota. Heavy rain and damaging winds are both significant hazards for Guam. Winds are expected to be gust as high as 70 mph with locally heavy rain. Conditions should improve later Thursday and Thursday night as the cyclone progresses west-northewestward away from the islands.



Using GIS to eradicate Polio

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Interesting news article I found on the use of GIS by the World Health Organization to locate populations in need of vaccination.


GIS Technology Helps Eradicate Polio

World Health Organization uses geographic information systems to find and reach the few remaining locations where polio lurks.

In the battle to eradicate polio, even a 99% success rate is failure.

But the World Health Organization (WHO) expects that the efforts of its dedicated professionals — combined with vaccines, other local and international resources, and tools such as geographic information systems (GIS) — will eradicate the crippling and potentially deadly disease worldwide by 2018, according to Dr. Bruce Aylward, WHO’s assistant director general, who spoke to InformationWeek. The effort is known as the Global Polio Eradication Initiative.

Today all countries are free of polio except remote regions of Nigeria, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. To eliminate polio, WHO must vaccinate every child under the age of five who lives in those areas. Aylward explained that sometimes the last remaining strain of polio found in these hard-to-reach enclaves requires two or even three vaccinations. Because polio, which transfers via person-to-person contact or indirect contact (such as sharing food or water), can show no symptoms, vaccination is the best prevention.

“There’s very little room for error in disease eradication — you’re either infected or you’re not,” says Aylward. “A lot of what we’re doing has huge benefit to other areas. We’ve learned where people are, how to access them, and how to get coverage to them.”

Locating children in these isolated locations is challenging. The regions lack roads and signage and are largely unmapped, Aylward says, so WHO relies on satellite imagery and Esri’s Arc GIS, a technology WHO uses to find populations that are unvaccinated.


Rest of story HERE

Traveling the world through maps

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Hello my awesome followers! I’ve noticed it’s been awhile since I’ve actually chatted about a particular topic, so I thought I’d bring up a bit of inspiration and make a post.

Have you ever looked at a map…whether it be a paper map or say a Google map…and just gotten lost in your own imagination about traveling a particular route or trail and seeing where it takes you? I’m like that all the time. I get so much enjoyment out of looking at Google Maps, zooming in or out, looking at different paths, and maybe hoping I have my chance to investigate it one day. If it’s a trip across town, sometimes I do get the chance; if it’s a trip across the state or beyond, I usually have to wait.

Being in geography and meteorology has always put me in the world of maps. I have on many occasions hand-drawn surface analysis maps with lots of Ls and Hs and lines of constant pressure/temperature with cold fronts and warm fronts. I’ve also used GIS to create maps based on population with spatial statistics layered in, such as mean population centers and standard deviation directional ellipses. Maps can be powerful tools for communication.

But what about their basic use as a tool for travel? Something which goes back thousands of years? I look at streets and highways and interstates as opportunities to dream of distant places never traveled. In some cases, I look at it knowing I will make the trip one day. For example, my fiance and I drove to Kansas City, MO a couple months ago for a weekend trip. Before we had decided to go there, I looked at the map of the general route and imagined what a nice journey it would be and how I wanted to see another city I had always wanted to visit since moving to eastern Nebraska. In doing so, I created a series of positive impressions which reinforced themselves and led me to desire to make the drive and see what I might have been missing. It was an enjoyable drive and an enjoyable trip while there. I remember utilizing technology as well as my brain to get around. Sometimes the GPS on my phone was useful, other times it actually confused us or the map wasn’t current; that’s when the mental map, the map in the mind created from memory and landmarks came into play and saved the day. Having spatial awareness is the whole point of maps. Once you have that, you can adapt to a world that changes when the map is static.

My current dream trip is an extremely long one; the 13 hr journey from Lincoln, NE to Starkville, MS. I have to travel there next summer for a week-long graduate seminar which will include the presentation of my research. Driving likely ends up being cheaper than flying and renting a car. And so I have examined the likely route, the possible pit stops and imagined what the destination is like.

Anyone else look at maps a lot like I do and wonder what travels might lie ahead?

Children’s Peace Monument in Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park

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Originally posted on retireediary:

I don’t think I know enough or able to describe this monument better than what is provided by Wikipedia.DSCF0255

The Overview below is lifted form the Wikipedia:

 The monument is located in Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, itself in the city of Hiroshima. Designed by native artists Kazuo Kikuchi and Kiyoshi Ikebe, the monument was built using money derived from a fund-raising campaign by Japanese school children including Sadako’s classmates, with the main statue entitled “Atomic Bomb Children” being unveiled on May 5, the Japanese Children’s Day holiday. Sadako is immortalized at the top of the statue, where she holds a crane. Thousands of origami cranes from all over the world are offered around the monument on a daily basis, with ancient Japanese tradition holding that one who folds a thousand cranes can have one wish granted. They serve as a sign that the children who make them and those…

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