Total Pageviews

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Hatten Down the Batches: Going With the Wind

     The American and Canadian West (including Colorado) has the Chinook winds, France the Mistral (from the Latin for "master wind"), and northern Africa the Sirocco. And, of course, in Paint Your Wagon, "They call the wind Maria(h). . ."

        The Chinook wind is a foehn or föhn which is a type of dry, warm, down-slope wind that occurs in the lee (downwind side) of a mountain range. 

     A record-breaking temperature change of 103 degrees F in 24 hours in January, 1972, was recorded in Loma, Montana, due to the effect of Chinook winds. The temperature rose from -54 degrees to +49 degrees F in this hamlet of 85 people.

       The Chinooks are named after indigenous peoples of the American northwest although local folklore says the wind word (as opposed to windward ;-)) means "ice-eater or snow-eater" for the extreme sublimation of ice and snow in the winds.

       Moving eastward across the Atlantic Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea, these wind patterns (below) all flow into the sea, with the exception of the Levante or Levanter winds which flow westward into the Atlantic Ocean.

     Most winds flow off mountains into the Mediterranean. (I still recall the scent of lavender carried in Provence, France, in the Mistral wind.) In contrast, the Levante(r) winds are mountain-gap winds flowing in the Strait of Gibralter. Here is a levante cloud forming due to the Levante(r) winds:

       Yes, it's definitely time to hatten down the batches in our strong winds. Have you experienced the Chinook, the Mistral, the Sirocco, the Maria(h) or Levante(r) winds? Any cool cloud images to share?


Ethiopian "Buna" or Coffee 


  1. I don't understand how heat is added on the upslope side of your Chinook image. I thought you'd get adiabatic cooling there, which fits with the diagrammed drop in temperature (from 10 C to -12 C at the peak of the mountain). Something fishy going on... (Note the salmon color of the warm Chinook wind on the downslope side.)

    1. "Once the now dry weather system crests the summit, it begins to move downhill. Dry weather patterns warm up with drops in elevation at almost twice the rate of moisture laden patterns. (1° C/100 m). This means that the above example, in dropping from 3,050 m (10,000 ft) to the valley bottom at 1,370 m (4,500 ft) will rise to -5.2° C." from this website.

      And here are some bad@ss graphing adiabats to warm your heart (scroll down a bit).

    2. Right, but the graphic above says "Heat added" on the upwind side of the mountain, as the air mass rises and cools. That's what I'm complaining about.

    3. Oh, I see now, jan. Ignore that, please.

  2. And let's not forget khamsins, haboobs, simooms, harmattans, ....

    [From your perennial source of hot air.]

  3. Spoke with Zoe this morning. Thankfully, Zoe is 400 km (near Bure, AMHARA Province) from the explosion in a mosque/marketplace in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. 24 wounded and demonstrations and unrest throughout the exterior of the country. Hoping the injured recover and peace is restored soon.

    1. Steph,
      Prayers for Zoe.

      Snippet of dialogue from a sequel of "Sunset Boulevard," starring Disney characters, and called "Planetoidset Boulevard":
      Mickey, as Cecil DeMille: Dis iss the staircase of the palace!
      Pluto, as Norma Desmond: Oh yes, yess. Down below, they’re waiting for the princess. I’m ready
      Mickey: All right. Cameras! Action!
      Pluto: All right, Mr. Demille, I’m ready for my close-up.

      And, squeaking of speakquels:
      I watched “Paint Your Wagon” in a theater when it was first released. Weird movie! Curious casting! Dirty Harry and Lee Marvin in a musical!

      I thought there ought to have been a sequel in which Ben Rumson (Marvin) takes out his revenge against the parson and other townsfolk. I’d call it “Fix Your Wagon.”


    2. Thanks, Lego.

      I never saw "Paint Your Wagon." It does look a bit weird.

      Whenever you write a dialogue, it makes me think of my favorite one with Guess. I talked with Guess and Star yesterday at the grocery store. Guess looks like he's ready for high school, though he's only in 6th grade. You'd never guess that. . .

    3. Scary. I hadn't heard of this incident. According to this article, the protests are about government plans to expand the capital into surrounding farmland, which doesn't explain (to me) the unrest in the periphery of the country. The U.S. State Dept doesn't have any travel warnings for Ethiopia, but the UK Foreign Office does.

    4. Thanks for the article, jan.

      It's strange the U.S. State Dept has not issued a travel warning as they were the ones who sent an email warning of the unrest and discouraging travel near the Merkato District in Addis. According to my friend in South Sudan, that district is mostly officially off-limits to Peace Corps volunteers.

      On a positive note, Zoe has adopted a puppy named Buni. Leashes, collars, dog treats and toys were tucked into yesterday's tea, chocolate, pens, book, and index cards package.

    5. buni (n class, plural buni)

      1. coffee berry

      Borrowing from Arabic بُنّ ‎(bunn, “coffee plant or seed”), from Amharic ቡና ‎(buna).

      So, I figured, those Bunn commercial coffee makers you see in restaurants must derive from those Arabic or Amharic words. Nope. From the company's website:

      "Over 170 years ago, Jacob Bunn opened his grocery store in a developing Springfield, IL, USA, and a young Abe Lincoln was one of the first customers. That venture grew into Bunn Capitol Wholesale Grocery Company and was later managed by George R. Bunn who founded a beverage equipment division in the late 1950's. Bunn-O-Matic Corporation was officially incorporated as a separate entity in 1963.... Arthur “Hy” Bunn has been the President and CEO since 1988."

    6. I would have thought so, too. Zoe says "buni" is also the word for brown in Amharic. It makes sense that a color and a major Ethiopian crop share a word. Everywhere in the country, people have "buna," an elaborate and long coffee ceremony, several times a day. I'll add a "buna" photo above.

      No buni here. It's all ውህተ (white) blowing every which way.

    7. "Coffee" is a word for brown in English, too, of course.

    8. Of course.

      Buna or buni IS the word for coffee/coffee service AND the color. We would not say, "let's go for 'brown,'" like they do in Ethiopia.

      (At least, I wouldn't ;-)).

    9. Although, when my son played squash for Brown University, I would say "Let's go for Brown!"

  4. Replies
    1. Wonder and ponder should rhyme.

    2. Wander and pander should rhyme.


  5. Replies
    1. That was my Halloween costume this year.

    2. Well, I'm glad you wore the silly costume, instead of foisting it off on Maizie.

      Oh, wait ... did you make her wear something even sillier?

    3. She saved up her costuming for her mid-October birthday party with 8 humans and 5 canines. Nine is a special year :-).

  6. New post on "'Fire Stranger' Pyroxene and Young Martian Clay" is now up.