- Originally published, August 21, 2020, 10:05 am.
- August 21, 12:07 pm:
- In a series of tweets (see below), the Pennsylvania attorney general announced his coalition had filed suit to reverse changes at the U.S. Postal Service. This is one of two earlier reported suits.
- I have just received notice of an expansion of the mandatory evacuation zones in west Sonoma County to include Pocket Canyon. Evacuation warnings have been expanded along Green Valley Road, to both sides of the Russian River west of Laguna Road. And I have a map showing the grids (figure 4, see Walbridge Fire).
Shame, shame. This speculation lacks support:
The overall number of laid-off American workers collecting unemployment benefits declined last week from 15.5 million to 14.8 million. Many of them probably found jobs. But some may have used up all their benefits, which in most states run out after about six months.
We don’t know how many found jobs and we don’t know how many simply used up their benefits. The claim that “many of them probably found jobs” is unsupported and frames information optimistically without justification for that optimism.
Christopher Rugaber, “Rise in jobless claims reflects still-struggling US economy,” Associated Press, August 20, 2020, copy in possession of author
As at least 21 state attorneys general sued, Postmaster General Louis DeJoy suspended the changes that might interfere with election mail. It is now apparent that “suspend” does not mean “reverse,” as an email has come to light forbidding the reconstruction or reconnection of sorting machines that had already been removed from service.
Kristen Holmes and Paul P. Murphy, “USPS email tells managers not to reconnect sorting machines,” CNN, August 20, 2020, https://www.cnn.com/2020/08/20/politics/usps-reconnect-sorting-machines/index.html
Fig. 1. Caribbean satellite imagery, compiled by author, as of August 21, 2020, 8:02 am.
For the first time since the Great Depression, it’s possible that two tropical systems could make landfall in the mainland United States at virtually the same time.
This (figure 2) is what they’re showing:
Fig. 2. Storm track projections from the Weather Channel for Tropical Storm Laura and Tropical Depression Fourteen, August 20, 2020, fair use.
According to the Weather Channel, Laura seems projected to skim a bunch of islands, including Cuba. From what I’ve seen, that won’t affect its strength much. Tropical Depression 13 passes over the Yucatan Peninsula; that might weaken it some, but first, it looks to me like it is actually skirting that peninsula, possibly passing over western Cuba instead (figure 1); and second, it could regain strength or intensify once it hits the Gulf of Mexico.
Also, I’m not sure I buy their timing on Laura. Laura has a much longer distance to traverse than Tropical Depression 13 along their projected tracks and it doesn’t look to me like it’s moving that much faster. I can also see it turning north and east of the U.S. entirely (figure 1).
Either way, and assuming these storms make landfall along the Gulf of Mexico coast, some or all of this seems to me like it could head towards Pittsburgh as it gets caught up in a flow from Louisiana (figure 3):
Fig. 3. Eastern U.S. and Gulf of Mexico satellite imagery, compiled by author, as of August 21, 2020, 8:01 am.
If so, a relatively quiet, hot, and rainless summer might be in for a break.
Sean Breslin, “Tropical Storm Laura and Tropical Depression Fourteen: Track the Storms,” Weather Channel, August 20, 2020, https://weather.com/storms/hurricane/news/2020-08-20-tropical-depression-thirteen-fourteen-laura-marco-tracker
Fig. 4. Map from the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Department showing grids, received August 21, 2020, fair use.
The Sonoma County Fire Incident Map seems to be working again. I have a screenshot (figure 5):
Fig. 5. Screenshot of the Sonoma County Fire Incident Map, taken on August 21, 2020, at 12:01 pm EDT (9:01 am PDT) by author.
The warning zones are getting close to the Laguna de Santa Rosa. The mandatory evacuation zone now reaches nearly to Forestville.
Mom, stay where you are.