This picture was taken today in Lumpkin GA. and shows the red clay that is prevalent throughout much of the South. Very few basements are built in tornado prone areas in Tornado Alley across the South due to the shrinking and contracting clay. I visited Moore OK after the EF5 tornado of 5/3/99. I talked to a home-builder. He said he’s only built a handful of basements in Oklahoma. He told me that the last basement he built cost $40,000. They had to bring down truckloads of “good” dirt from Kansas and put in a pricey drain system to make it work.
Monday am – we got up, went down to the motel breakfast then Gayle went up to shower and I walked down to the beach (at Destin FL.). On the way, I passed the seafood restaurant we ate at the night before. Being a two-cat owner, I was missing my own a little and had befriended a cat who lived outside the seafood restaurant in a dog house. They set out food, water and a litter box. The must have remembered me. It came over and I petted it for about a minute before wishing it a nice life. The sky was as interesting as it was the night before…several layers of clouds in a variety of colors. The air was clean and clear and you could see detail all the way down to the horizon. One young man was fishing at the edge of the water. There were a dozen people walking beach. Our motel was right on the incoming landing strip for the Regional Airport (and maybe Eglin AFB), so I saw a handful of planes fly very low to the ground overhead.
We drove north into an overcast sky, but with quite a bit of color variation. Temperatures quickly fell from the 50s to the mid-upper 40s and a cool north wind gave a hint of December. We drove past more cotton fields, most harvested, some not. There was a trail of cotton balls on the side of the road. There was one spot where there were dozens of large pressed cotton rectangles, big enough to take up most all the room in a semi or to fill a train car. The cotton was covered by colorful tarps of yellow and orange. I should have taken a picture. The Southern Pines stay green all year and I imagined that the pine forests didn’t change much with the changing seasons. We reached Atlanta as the evening rush hour was beginning and that slowed us up. On I-75 north of Atlanta there’s one short distance where they had 8 lanes going in each direction (and we were still clogged up). It got dark by the time we reached the Tennessee border (earliest sunsets of the year this week). We got to Oak Ridge around 8:30 pm. Gas here is as low as $2.35. Everyone is turning in early (inc. me).
I see (as promised) we have the mix of precipitation across Michigan as I write this. Temps. are in the low-mid 30s as I write this. Anywhere it is at or below freezing, or above freezing, but snowing fairly hard there could be slick spots during the morning. Newaygo and Mecosta Counties have had about 1.5″ of snow so far. There is also some fog. Slick spots are reported in Northern Lower Michigan. The first 8 days of Dec. have averaged 3.8 deg. below average. The GRR NWS reports that November 2014 was the cloudiest November since 2000, with 19% of possible sun. However G.R. had 43% sun 1st week of December. Snow at Lambeau didn’t slow the Packers. Look at this: Blocking Ridge means temps. like the fridge! Look at the chilly flow over the Great Lakes.
Also – wind gust to 78 mph on the coast of Iceland, waves to 48 feet!…Flood Watch for San Francisco and much of Central California as powerful new storm moves in off the Pacific…the past three days at Marble Bar, Australia, temps hit a scorching 117 F Saturday and 118 F on Sunday and Monday…Snowfall in Ireland…NOAA report says California drought due to natural causes not so called “global warming”. December rain causing sizable dent in drought and helping to refill reservoirs in California…Halo around the moon in Ohio Sunday night…Heavy coastal rains and inland snows with the northeast storm…24 fatalities in the Philippines from Typhoon Hagupit…