The Power of Persistence

Yes, while it certainly takes persistence to cross an ocean, I’m referring to a difference type of persistence, persistence as it relates to weather forecast skill.
Reading this article this morning from the April 17, 2015 edition of Science News, I thought it would illustrate the impact persistence has on a weather forecast.

Onshore hurricanes in a slump

Record-breaking nine years have elapsed since last Category 3 or stronger hurricane made landfall in the United States.

BY
12:36PM, APRIL 17, 2015

No major hurricanes have slammed into the coast of the United States since Hurricane Wilma in 2005. The gap in these hurricanes making landfall is the longest in recorded history and is incredibly rare, researchers report.

Many hurricanes in recent years have reached Category 3 or above while out to sea, but they’ve all fizzled into weaker storms before coming ashore. The landfall drought is probably a temporary run of good luck rather than a climate shift. The researchers estimate that there’s a 61 percent chance the drought will continue through this year.

https://www.sciencenews.org/article/onshore-hurricanes-slump

I have promised to publish a post about weather and weather forecasting.  That post will be titled, Weather or Not, but this is not that.

This is more a little teaser, an appetizer.  The above quote was taken from the most recent on-line edition of Science News, an absolutely wonderful magazine that now comes out every other week, as the on-line portion has gotten bigger.

Having read SN for more than 20 years, I’ve always looked forward to what juicy bits it would contain each week.

I’ve quoted the above portion because it highlights something that I will talk about extensively in my post, the power of persistence.   So as the article above talks about how rare it is for the U.S. not to have a Cat 3, or greater, hurricane landfall; we have already gone 9 seasons without one.

These researchers still prognosticate that there is still an above even chance, 61%, that we will not have a landfall this upcoming season also.

I’m sure that’s predicated on the power of persistence.  So even though this is far out of the ordinary, (no landfall), persistence is still hard to beat when it comes to forecasting.

In my upcoming post, Weather or Not, I will discuss the impact of persistence on a forecast, how to evaluate the quality of a weather forecast, how a forecaster can be right 95% of the time; but still not make good forecasts! and most of all, how you, the cruiser, should or should not use said forecast.

Stay tuned.

Science News & the Miami Boat Show

How are they related?science news cover

https://www.sciencenews.org/

Julie recently sent the following email to her science teachers:

Hi science team, 

I just spent 45 minute reading new discoveries about the following: 

  • How sleep “flushes” out the brain
  • New research in progenia, a disease that prematurely ages children 
  • How molecules in 1% of our exhaled breath can diagnose certain diseases
  • A pink fairy armadillo that is almost impossible to find
  • Earth might not be inhabitable in 1.75 billion years
  • The primordial comet ISON 
  • New “robot” limbs for paraplegics that are controlled by human thoughts

I could go on– there was more and it was all in Science News.  I truly enjoyed it, and I remembered Richard telling me many times that he thinks all science teachers should read this magazine.  He has subscribed for years, and as an earth science and physics teacher, he said that the background knowledge he gained from it allowed him to teach a range of content he otherwise could not have handled if he had only relied on his meteorology degree.  

To you– a group of young, inspired teachers at the beginning of your careers– I passionately recommend that you personally subscribe to Science News.  It’s very important that nourish your sense of wonder and fascination and discovery that will not get fed unless you intentionally feed it.  Start nourishing your passion early and don’t for wait a fictional future when you think you’ll have more time, or teaching will get easier.  Think of this year not as a hump to get over, but as the beginning of an ever-expanding possibility to have fun, feel fulfilled, and learn with your students.  Now is when you need to be reading and having fun.  Set the precedent now to be a science teacher who loves science.  

Why Science News?  Because it is truly a “digest”– it engagingly summarizes articles from hundreds of science journals.  It is a blast to read.  

And if this inspires you to go even further and subscribe to more magazines, and seek more professional development and events about science, including those closer to your subject area, wonderful.  Gorge yourself on reading fun things about science, math, history– it’s all related.  You have inspired me to write this to you, and I will call out similarly to other departments.  

Ciao, enjoy this break!

Yes, I still love reading Science News, even though now it is a bi-weekly. Maybe once I get my tablet, I will get over the loss of my weekly treat.

So, I spent a full day at the Miami Boat Show. As opposed to boat shows I have attended in the past, this one was business for me as I have a number of upgrades and changes that I want to get accomplished this spring before our Atlantic Passage in July.

Among the changes I am thinking about, planning or getting done:

  • Paravanes (flopper stoppers), being fabricated now in Miami
  • Wallas DT40 Diesel heater
  • Bicycle for me to use in my travels
  • Isolation transformer to convert 220V to 110 V
  • K-30 Pentax Camera + zoom to be able to take better pictures and restart that old hobby
  • High capacity alternator, so I also have a spare
  • SSB HF radio
  • Coastal Explorer great looking navigation software
  • AIS Transponder, so you guys can track me and hopefully big ass ships will see me and not run us over
  • AIS and VHF Ant, old VHF Ant is broken in any case
  • Captain’s license , can’t hurt and I will learn something I probably need to know
  • Fridge and Freezer, it’s between two Italian companies, Isotherm and Vitrifrigo, which will cut my daily power consumption my two thirds, making life on the hook better without the generator.  Also will be adding
  • Solar Panels on top of Pilot House
  • Rogue Wi-Fi.  So I have more choices for internet connectivity
  • Village Water Watermaker
  • Samsung Tablet will become third backup (actually my fourth, but who’s counting) and let me bring it with me wherever to monitor boat functions and its movements.

So, as you can see, I have my work cut out for me.  Luckily, I have a lot of help in some really good friends, Paul, here in Miami, Richard from Providence (no, not me, another Richard) and Dave in Ft. Pierce, who is a true master of electrical and boat systems.

So, how are Science News & the Miami Boat Show related?  For both Julie and I, it has always been about learning and putting systems in place that lead to better teacher teams for Julie and increased efficiently for Dauntless and I.

Also, feel free to email me at DauntlessNY@gmail.com should you have any comments or questions.

Some pictures of the last few days, mostly of the Miami River taken yesterday and the Coconut Grove area can be found at:

Winter in Miami