The Mediterranean island of Corsica is a tropical paradise with a European feel. It is the birthplace of Napoleon Bonaparte so its French pedigree is solid, although ties to Italy have caused some Italian dialect to creep into the Corsican language and culture. We observed this firsthand when we were graciously welcomed by the mayor at a reception at the City Hall in Ajaccio, the capital city of Corsica. The building contained artwork of both Italian and French heritage, all of it spectacular even to a non-artist such as myself. To a South Dakotan, the area north of Ajaccio might seem a little familiar. The winding drive along the rocky cliffs is a little like the Needles Highway in the Black Hills, except the rock formations drop off into the deep blue sea. Simply amazing. There are also lots of beaches on the island, which explains why there are two Club Med locations in Corsica. But I was in Corsica for the International Weather Forum, and there was business to be done. The French meteorological society organizes the conference, and I have received kind invitations to attend for several years now. I have gotten to know many colleagues from many countries, and have forged many friendships. Television weather is done much differently in the rest of the world, and those of us who do weather enjoy comparing notes. You might be interested to know that America is one of few places where weather is done live. In most cases, weathercasts are taped several hours in advance for playback during the national news programs, so viewers would rarely see a current temperature or radar picture. But the weather presenters in Europe and other places are exceptional communicators, very skilled at the art of conveying the forecast to their audience. I used my speaking time to describe how we cover weather here at KELO-TV. I showed video, and talked about the use of radar. As you know, we have three Doppler radars at KELO, which is more radars than many of the entire countries represented at the conference.The following day, as I flew from Corsica back to the French Riviera, my colleague from Warsaw, Poland handed me the morning paper. For those of you who read Corsican French, here is what it said:
Archive for October 2006
"La raison de votre visite?"I stood before the passport control officer at the Nice airport in southern France. It felt like the first of many ‘speak French or die’ moments."Je vais la conference, le Forum international de Meteo," I replied, and he waved me through into the country.Several years after Professor Fish’s French classes at Augustana I am back in France, attending the International Weather Forum. It is a meeting of TV weather people from all over the world.Actually we are meeting on the French island of Corsica, an island in the Mediterranean between France and Italy, so it is one more short plane trip away.My colleagues in TV weather are some of the most interesting people you will ever meet. In most cases, they are seen nationally and internationally across borders every night. We really do not have the equivalent. It would be kind of like doing a weathercast on the CBS Evening News, only there would be perhaps only one other competing newscast in that country. So these people are stars, among the biggest of celebrities in their home countries.And some of them speak only French, so it involves a lot of concentration on my part just to carry on a conversation. I will tell you more about them soon. A bientot.
So it was 91 days after a thick fog expect snow, eh? October 11’s .2” in Sioux Falls was 91 days after a July 12th thick fog (see previous ‘First Snow???’ blog from September 27).
So, any bets on getting snow on the next 90 day ‘fog to snow’ date of October 24th? I DON”T see any big warm ups in sight, and one of the computer models that goes 15 days out actually show another system moving through on that day!!! While these October snows generally stay light (yes, I know Halloween of ’91 is an exception), what will the November 4 ‘fog to snow’ day AND December 11 have in store for us??? Can we have blizzards in the making this far out??? What does El Nino has to say about the 90 day ‘fog to snow’ outlook??? And, how many licks DOES it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Roll Pop??? These are all questions that will be answered in the coming winter. Until then, keep the snow blowers gassed and the shovels handy!
Autumn might be my favorite season of the year. I love the fall colors (though I detest the leaf raking), and I really enjoy the crisp evenings. It reminds me of the weather I experienced while playing soccer and attending high school and college football games in my youth.
The harvest moon is a prominent feature of autumn as well. With the dry air and normal lack of cloud cover this time of year, the moon is exceptionally bright. The autumn moon has always been beneficial to farmers working late into the night to bring in their crops. Our own Brian Karstens is helping with the harvest at his family’s farm, and I suspect he is pulling some overtime thanks to that big moon and the illumination it provides.
Our full moon occurs Friday night, and it will not only be bright but may appear colorful. The harvest moonlight can play tricks on the eyes, as explained in this NASA article:
Of course the full moon isn’t the only astronomical show this time of year. We have received phone calls from a number of viewers who have also spotted meteors in our crisp, clear nighttime sky.