Tag Archives: Weather

An Extraordinary End to Monsoon 2016

Today is the last day of Monsoon 2016.  The best Monsoon I’ve experienced in my 11 years here.  I’ve neglected the blog so the entries of our microburst  in Oro Valley last month, varies rainbows, lightning shots, downpours, and other sundry Monsoon 2016 occurrences are missing from mikeshaw.tv.  Perhaps I will go through my pictures and catch some of those things up.  Perhaps.

Before I get into my story about last evening’s drive home, here’s how the day started yesterday:

092916ppsunriseYeah.  Not bad!  I love the view from my deck here in Oro Valley.  I’m happy to say that sunrises like that happen pretty frequently here and I have a front row seat.

Now.  On to yesterday’s drive home from the radio station.  Extraordinary indeed!  Every direction of sky brought joy and wonder (too much?).  It was a cool night.

It was raining pretty good when I left the station with a bright rainbow forming but nowhere to pull aside and grab a shot.  As I raced toward downtown I mostly drove out of the rain only to have it catch me again as I navigated down Congress.  I drove out of the rain again as I headed north on Granada which turns into Main which turns into Oracle.  As I approached River I could see a bright rainbow against the Catalina Mountains contrasted by dark menacing storm clouds.  I found an apartment complex off River Road and grabbed this shot:

092916rainbowToo bad I can’t include the rumbling thunder in the jpg, but it was cool.  I then continued on my trek north on Oracle and noticed the sunset was starting to pop.  I made it to Family Life Radio near Ina and Oracle just in time.  I pulled into their back parking lot.  Parked.  Walked to the eastern fence of Tohono Chul Park, and facing west (often the best direction for capturing sunsets), I got this shot:

092916sunsetI needed some supplies, so I doubled back a block to the Safeway and did some shopping.  By the time I got through the line and back to my car I could see lightning to the northeast.  As I neared my apartment it was apparent that the lightning was frequent and, as lightning tends to be, rather bright.  I parked in my spot.  Gathered my things and climbed to my third story apartment.  I efficiently put away my groceries, grabbed a cigar and my phone, and went out on the deck.  What a great light show!  I tried to get some shots with my iPhone 6S Plus in burst mode and they came out surprisingly good!  Grainy, yes.  Still not bad.  Here’s the best one:

092916lightningLast day of Monsoon 2016 is today.  There is a slight chance of storms in our forecast.  Will this evening equal yesterday’s in amazingness?  Not likely, but I’ll share if it does!

Here’s an animated gif of the storm just in case that works:

092916lightning

2015 is Going to be Amazing!

Tortolita Snow
Tortolita Snow

It has been a long time since I blogged here.  One of the things I plan on changing in 2015.  This year is off to an AMAZING start and the signs are unmistakable.

It snowed overnight!  A rare and exciting event in these parts.  I couldn’t have asked for a better start to the year.  Then, I am driving in my car to see the snow and take a few pictures, and Mix FM is playing an old American Top 40.  The top 100 songs of 1984!  Another unmistakable sign for the new year.  1984 is the year that I took my last pay check and bought a one way bus ticket for Roswell, NM in hopes of landing a radio (and eventually TV) job.  What an adventure as I arrived in Roswell in late Spring.  I hit the pavement looking for that radio gig I had always dreamed of.  I stopped by KBIM AM/FM and talked to one of the owners, Betty King.  They didn’t have any openings, but she was running for state senate.  She talked my ear off!  I guess my fro didn’t scare her off :-)

A couple of months later I was busing tables at Chew Den, a local Chinese restaurant, and the King’s sat in my section.  Betty recognized me despite my haircut.  She told me they had a part time opening and to talk to Harry Deirks.  So, the next morning I did.  He told me that since I had no radio experience he wasn’t interested.  I wasn’t going to take no for an answer.  This is what I was here for!  Next morning I was waiting for Harry when he arrived for work.  the answer was still no.  Next morning I was there waiting for Harry when he arrived for work.  Still no.  The next morning I was there again.  I think he knew I wasn’t going to leave him alone unless he gave me a chance.  He had me read some wire copy.  Not bad, he said, except that I should change my inflection between stories.  At least I didn’t have a west Texas accent like the applicant’s cassettes he had on his desk, he said.  He hired me for weekends!  My first radio gig!  I worked at Chew Den and part time at the radio station until Harry moved me up to full time overnights.  I was there two years and finished my stint at KBIM AM/FM as Music Director.

I moved to TV at KOBR as Master Control Operator.  I learned how to edit, direct news breaks, run audio, graphics, and most importantly use a TV camera.

That eventually led to a news photographer job at KBIM TV.  That led to a reporter job and eventually weather anchor!  Ever since Jr. High I wanted to be a DJ and a Weatherman.  It took almost 8 years, but I made it happen in Roswell.

So this morning when I woke up to snow (I LOVE snow!) and then the top 100 of 1984, I knew.  The signs are clear.  This year will be special.  As I listen right now to the songs that I played as a new DJ, the songs that were the soundtrack of my life as I boldly moved to realizing my dreams, I feel the same excitement.

God has already opened the door to me doing news talk radio.  I know He is with me as I move in to 2015!  I will get in shape.  I will learn Spanish.  And maybe, just maybe… well, I’ll leave that dream to myself for now.

Dare to dream.  Step out in faith.  It is the road less chosen and it will make all the difference.

Cheers!

Why Allyson Left the News Biz and My Memories of a Duopoly

Another interesting article that touches on some of the challenges facing those who work in local news.  I can relate to a degree.

Texasize was two, two, two stations in one
Texasize was two, two, two stations in one

I miss being on the morning show terribly sometimes, but my job certainly changed when my CBS station entered into a “cooperative work agreement” with the ABC station in the market.  A duopoly before duopolies were cool!  This was the late 1990s.  Here is what my typical day looked like after the “merger.”

I would get in about 3:30 to work on weather graphics and go through scripts.  At around 5:15 I would record weather cut-ins.  At 5:30 I anchored the local CBS show until 6am.  Then I would walk across the newsroom, dump those scripts and pick up scripts for the local ABC show that I anchored from 6-7am (while my recorded weather cut-ins aired on CBS).  After the ABC show it was back into the CBS studio where I anchored 1/2 and 1/2 with the network including local interviews and what not from 7-8am.  From 8-9am I did the local weather cut-ins live during the CBS Morning News.  That all finished at 9am at which time I would rewrite some of my scripts and record three radio newscasts for our radio partners and ftp those to them.  9:30ish am it was time for lunch.  When I got back from lunch; about twice a week I would go with a photog or shoot my own feature story that would air in the evening news.  Sometimes I would fill in as anchor or weatherguy on the Noon.  Additionally I was the web site manager, so I would also be posting stories to our web site.  I also managed one other person who worked the evening shift updating the web and I trained reporters and producers on posting their scripts.

It was very hectic and of course no extra money for any of us for the extra work.  I tell you though, the experience was amazing!  Lots of reps doing lots of things equals a lot of experience in a short amount of time.  All of this was before the social media explosion.  I actually would have LOVED interacting with viewers on the morning show.  We were a fun loving bunch in the AM :-)

I do know that reporters and anchors these days are required to be on social media constantly while they are increasingly shooting their own stories and producing their own shows (respectively).  News shows are cheap to produce and launching a 4pm news (for example) adds local avails without having to hire more staff.  Just have the anchors anchor another show and have the reporters do a different version of their story.  Very attractive to GMs; meanwhile news staffs get stretched even thinner.

So, for the few of you still reading here is Allyson’s story who left the newspaper biz.  She was getting burnt out while staying broke.  What do y’all think?  Is part of the local news story the inability to pay and keep good people like Allyson?

Why I Left News, by Allyson Bird

Dreaming of a White Christmas? It Could Happen

Well, not for Tucson, but even though less than 10% of the nation is starting December with snow on the ground, all indications are that that will change in a hurry starting next week.  The weather pattern that has kept record cold in Alaska and western Canada is fixin’ ta change and that means a White Christmas where you would expect one and maybe for a few places that you normally wouldn’t.

WeatherNation posted this video on their Facebook page yesterday and I shared it on my Tucson Weather FB page and it sparked a bit of a discussion.  Take a look and see what you think.

One of my weather friends says that it is too early to predict how much snow will be on the ground across the country Christmas morning. He has promised to send me $1 if I can name exactly all the states that will have a White Christmas this year.  Since I have nothing to lose I’ll be taking a stab at it here in a day or two and you can make fun of me later.

Bottom line is the warm start to December will be a distant memory by mid next week for a lot of folks.  Even here in Tucson our forecast high for Monday is just 60 (although it’s not likely to stay that cold for long).

Snow Kids!
The kids and I made a snowman in Roswell, NM in the early ’90s

Rain Shaft Lightning Sunset from the Deck

Another amazing evening on the deck last night.  A severe thunderstorm was directly west and from my vantage point the Sun was setting behind it.  The dark and menacing storm was being back lit with muted reds and oranges with flashes of lightning accents.  Really cool!  So of course I grabbed my camera.  I knew the odds of timing a shot and catching some lightning were slight.  After taking a few pictures I switched my camera to video mode and recorded for about a minute.  Toward the end of the recording I noted a particularly strong bolt of lightning in the field of view.  I was not disappointed when I went to get the screen grab.  After some minor tweaking in Gimp, this is the result:

Pretty amazing! The regular pictures didn’t turn out so bad either.

Of course I have already shared theses shots on my Sunrise/Sunset blog, www.TonightsSunset.com and on Facebook.  I will admit.  I am a little spoiled with such an amazing view here at the apartment.

 

Back-to-School Bash Dust Storm

You may know that my “real” job is being the web and video guy for Teen Challenge of Arizona.  I love telling the stories of what God is doing through the ministry.  A week or so ago the Phoenix Men’s Center had it’s annual Back-to-School Bash.  This year we had a twist.  A Haboob hit shortly after the event started!  No one panicked.  No one left.  The volunteers and Men of the Center all pitched in to make sure everyone stayed safe, got fed and got backpacks full of school supplies.  Here’s Mike with more:

Your Complete Annular Eclipse Viewing Guide

Happy Annular Eclipse viewing for my son in Albuquerque celebrating his birthday today!  Also for my Mom in Lubbock, Texas if they can keep the skies clear enough just before sunset.  Here are viewing times and tips from NASA and your friendly announcer dude:

Fall No Matter How You Slice It

This post originally posted at my TucsonWeather.us site


Cornucopia of Information
Cornucopia of Information

I could also subtitle this post, “Fixin’ to be Fall.”

The Autumnal Equinox is upon us.  Striking just after midnight here in Tucson.  Specifically at 2:04 a.m.  This marks the moment that the Sun will be directly over the Equator on it’s journey south.  Of course it’s not the Sun that is doing the journeying so much as the tilt of the Earth as it goes around the Sun etc., etc. etc.  You know.  Stuff you learned in grade school science.  I will mention that “Equinox” is Latin or Greek (I can never remember which.) for “Equal Night.”  Presumably the entire globe has a 12 hour night tomorrow night.  I think it’ll be close.  Your individual equinox may vary however.

I always joke that the moment the Sun is over the Equator that you may feel a little dizzy, dogs may start barking, if you are doing the dishes you may drop one.  Which is of course silly.  I mean, who does dishes at 2:04 a.m.?

Meteorologically (probably not a word) speaking the Northern Hemisphere of our planet (including Tucson presumably) have been in the Fall Season for three weeks now.  September, October and November make up the Meteorological Fall.  The Autumnal Equinox marks the beginning of Astronomical Fall.  So.  No matter how you slice it it’ll be Fall for sure starting tomorrow.  I just hope it’s cooler than 80 degrees at Thanksgiving!