RULE #29: EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED

For those of you who have been paying attention – and, due to the troll-like comments of some I know that you have been – you may have noticed that Douglas Adams is one of my favorite authors, especially of his radio-book-TV series ‘The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy’. It’s not for some, I’ll admit. It’s a bit to science-fictiony for some, a bit too absurdist for others, pure drivel for a lot of the same percentage who think ‘Bonfire Of The Vanities’ is the best book in the world. (I never got the book and I never really thought the movie would ever get off my Top 10 Worst Films Ever list.) To me, it is escape into un-reality, which is what we all need from time to time, some more than others.

I covered this rule a bit more a ways back in Rule Number 4: Be Prepared. (Again, for those of you paying attention, you already knew this.) A very good idea, and a good reason why it is the Scout Motto. Being prepared to reaction, instead and versus being always reactionary, is the best way to be, that I’ve found in life. Some may say that I’m repeating myself, but I disagree wholeheartedly. While it is fairly close in nature, I think that there is an important different between this rule and good ol’ Number 4. ‘Be Prepared’ tells you to be ready for anything. ‘Expect the Unexpected’ teaches you to be alert, inquisitive, never caught flat-footed.

Even The Guide, with all of its resplendent wisdom, does a good job explaining the importance of a situation. When the protagonists – Arthur, Ford and Zaphod (and, if you count him, Marvin the Paranoid Android) land on a planet where they can’t (at first) see anything outside of a large dark hole that appears to be hanging in the sky. (Again, you have to suspend a bit of reality to read/listen/watch this work.) Later, after the trio are separated, Arthur finds his way to the native life-forms: giant, evil-smelling birds who live in the ear of a fifteen-mile-high statue of Arthur, himself. (Again, go read something more your taste if this is too much foolishness for you.) As Arthur scans his donated copy of The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy for help in this situation, he is left hanging – not for the first time – by the Guide’s limited knowledge of his situation. Of course, that doesn’t stop the Guide from trying…

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’ is an indispensable companion to all those who are keen to make sense of life in an infinitely complex and confusing universe. For though it cannot hope to be useful or informative on all matters, it does make the reassuring claim that where it is inaccurate, it is at least definitively inaccurate. In cases of major discrepancy it is always reality that’s got it wrong.

The Guide’s omissions are less easily rationalised. There is nothing on any of its pages to tell you on which planets you can expect suddenly to encounter fifteen mile high statues of yourself, nor how to react if it is immediately apparent that they have become colonies for flocks of giant, evil-smelling birds – with all the cosmetic problems that implies.

The nearest approach the Guide makes to this matter is on page seven-thousand-and-twenty-three, which includes the words “expect the unexpected.” This advice has annoyed many hitchhikers in that it is ‘A’ – glib, and ‘B’ – a contradiction in terms. In fact, the very best advice it has to offer in these situations is to be found on the cover. Where it says, in those now notoriously large and famously friendly letters, “Don’t Panic”.  

‘The Hitch-Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’ (Fit the Tenth) by Douglas Adams

(Editor’s note: See Austen’s Rule Of Life #1 for more on “Don’t Panic!”)

At least, when it doesn’t know something, it always manages to go for the best information it has – right on the cover.

I have always tried to have an expectation around me, of being ready to go and not being caught flat-footed somehow.

One of my favorite television shows ever is, and will always be, Hill Street Blues. It’s not shown often in re-runs, as it was basically one straight storyline from beginning to end. You can’t really show it without running it that way, and you can’t get into the show just watching one episode and then seeing another one later on, months down the line. The characters were incredible in how they were portrayed. Steven Bochco, the executive producer, created an ensemble cast that were believable and real in a decently gritty, but not over the top, way.

Det. Mick “Dogbreath” Belker (played by Bruce Weitz), a cop who was undercover most of the time, and – in doing so – was usually dirty, sloppy, out of uniform, hauling in con artists and ex-cons, prostitutes and assorted low-lifes. He always had a good growl for someone when necessary, which was part of the charm of his character. In one of the minor story lines that happened from week to week, Det. Belker was assigned to an actor who had an upcoming gritty, real-life-as-possible series that he wanted to study for.

This one scene has stayed with me for decades, teaching me important lessons about staying alert, and expecting the unexpected: The actor is blathering on as he and the detective walk down the crowded, hot as heck street one summer day. At one point, Belker tenses up and goes into a crouch near a parked car while the actor has no clue that something has changed. When he finally realizes that his detective escort is focused on something else than his shpiel of words, he drops to the ground nearby and asks about the situation.

“What’s going on?” – Actor
“Read the street!” – Belker
“What?”
“Read the street, dirtbag!”
“What does that mean?!”
(Looking and now pointing across the street)
“It’s 102 degrees and he’s wearing a coat!”

Watching a person wearing sunglasses and a long black coat from their vantage point who is looking around nervously and pouring sweat, it doesn’t take long before he works up the courage to open the coat and smash a car window with a large hammer. Belker called it correctly, and – before the actor is able to register what has just happened – he is running through mid-day, bumper-to-bumper thick city traffic as the perp realizes he’s been made and hotfoots it away. The know-it-all actor gets a lesson in real police work as a crime was unfolding a few dozen feet away from him and he would have never known about it.

Listening to those who are older and wiser than I have been as to what to look for, what mistakes to guard against, what shortcuts are best and which are sure to invite disaster, what to look for in friends (and enemies!) and how to treat them, all kinds of information that I have at times welcomed and, alternatively, treated with disdain, sometimes to my cost.

We’ve all stumbled – literally and figuratively – at times, down stairs or done something boneheaded because we were otherwise mentally engaged. Listening to those who have been-there-done-that before is something that we should consider, every time and any time the advice is there, even and especially after we’ve done something particularly stupid. It hurts like heck, but it also helps us from repeating the situation. There is always someone who has been there before us, and who – hopefully – is willing to share their wisdom with us. Whether or not we are willing to listen is another matter.

A knocked head, a stubbed toe, a poked eye, a “shouldn’t-have-had-that-ghost-pepper” stomach-in-distress later is sometimes not a good time for an “I told you so!”. If it helps us, or helps us to help someone else down the line, it is embarrassing in the short term, but helpful for all of us in the long term.

Being prepared, that’s one (very important) thing. Keeping that extra eye/ear out for trouble, even when none is expected? That’s not begging trouble. That’s doing your level best to make sure something doesn’t sneak up on you that could have been prevented.

I hope you’re not reading this on your phone or PDA or e-reader, as you should watch out for that staircase coming up in 3… 2… 1…

AO

YOUR WREG-TV MID-SOUTH SUNDAY EVENING WEATHER WRAP

MID-HOLIDAY WEEKEND IN THE MID-SOUTH

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After showers/t-storms dwindled, skies cleared a bit allowing for a nice sunset on Sunday evening. More heat expected for the area later on this week, as well as continuing chances for showers and thunderstorms. 

WREG-TV WEATHER ALMANAC: MISSISSIPPI RIVER LEVELS

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Expected to continue a slow fall into the next few days. 

TONIGHT’S MID-SOUTH FORECAST:

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Lows tonight will fall into the low/mid 70’s. Winds: SSW @ 5-10 MPH. Coverage chance of precipitation: 0% overnight. 

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With all the extra moisture from the showers and thunderstorms in the last few days there will be plenty around for fog early Monday morning. Visibility in some areas at/below two miles. 

TOMORROW’S MID-SOUTH FORECAST:

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Another day of heat and humidity with highs in the low/mid 90’s.  An isolated t-storm could be possible; coverage chance for precipitation at/below 10%. 


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Winds Monday: SSW @ 5-15 MPH.
    

CHECK IN ON MONDAY FOR MORE WEATHER

TODD

News Channel 3’s Todd Demers has a look at the tropics and your forecast for the rest of the week coming up on Daybreak Monday. 

Austen L. Onek, AMS Meteorologist / Station Scientist
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WREG-TV News Channel 3 First Defense Doppler On Your Side Weather Center
Memphis, TN, USA

WREG-TV LATE SATURDAY WEATHER WRAP-UP

MORE RAIN ON THE WAY or GRAB THE UMBRELLA IF YOU HAVEN’T ALREADY

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By Sunday evening late parts of the Mid-South may pick up even more rain to the tune of two inches or more. Flash flooding remains a possibility in some areas. More on your forecast after this awkward pause…

TONIGHT’S FORECAST   

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Lows tonight in the Mid-South dropping to the upper 60’s to lower 70’s. Winds: SSW @ 5-10 MPH. Coverage chance of precipitation: 80%. 
   

SUNDAY’S WEATHER 

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More chances for rain and thunder on Sunday as highs reach the mid/high 80’s with plenty of humidity to keep things uncomfortable. Coverage chance for showers and thunderstorms starting at 80%, diminishing to 40% by evening. Skies should clear some as well into late Sunday afternoon. 

WREG-TV WEATHER ALMANAC FOR SATURDAY: TEMPERATURES

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Decently below normal for a change, thanks to all the extra rain and clouds. 

WREG-TV WEATHER ALMANAC: PRECIPITATION

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Just over one-third of an inch of rain fell at Memphis International Airport on Saturday as of 4:00 PM. Still ahead for the year by nearly eight inches, and behind for August by almost an inch and a half. 

   

BRIGHT AND EARLY SUNDAY MORNING

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WREG-TV Daybreak Sunday starts at 6:00 AM. Then stay tuned for CBS NEWS Sunday Morning, starting at 8:00 AM. 

Austen L. Onek, AMS Meteorologist / Station Scientist
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WREG-TV News Channel 3 First Defense Doppler On Your Side Weather Center
Memphis, TN, USA

YOUR WREG-TV SATURDAY+ FORECAST…

THE STORY SO FAR: A HOT AND HUMID LABOR DAY HOLIDAY WEEKEND + HEAVY RAIN          

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Tons of moisture from the Gulf is about to roll through the Mid-South and into the eastern half of the United States, thanks to high pressure off the East Coast and a jet stream rolling over the Rocky Mountains and into the Great Plains. These two working in tandem will funnel lots of moisture off the Gulf, and through the News Channel 3 viewing area. The main problem will be showers and thunderstorms generating a lot of rainfall, possibly leading to flash flooding. Most of the holiday weekend could be a soggy one for the WREG-TV viewing area. More coming up right after a look at the… 
    

WREG-TV SATURDAY FOOTBALL FORECAST:

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Going to see some football today? Take some rain protection and be prepared for a wet ride to and from the games. Humidity will be high and winds light, so expect no help from a cooling breeze. 

YOUR WREG-TV MID-SOUTH FORECAST

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Saturday: Warm, humid and mostly cloudy with showers and thunderstorms fairly common for the entire WREG-TV viewing area. Highs: mid/high 80’s. Winds: SSW @ 5 MPH. Coverage chances of precipitation: 90% by Saturday afternoon. Some storms could contain heavy rain, which could lead to flash flooding at times.

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Tonight: More rain, more thunder. Mostly cloudy. Lows: low/mid 70’s. Winds: SSW @ 5-10 MPH. Coverage chances of precipitation: 70% by Sunday morning.

SEVERE WEATHER THIS WEEKEND? 

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General thunderstorms are possible, along with an isolated threat of severe storms. Nothing widespread is expected when it comes to severe weather. 

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Thunderstorms will be a problem for outdoor activities, both with lightning and heavy rain. Some parts of the WREG-TV viewing area may see rainfall amounts easily over one and a half to two inches of rain at times, which could cause flash flooding at times.

WREG-TV WEATHER ALMANAC: MISSISSIPPI RIVER

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After holding steady, the river level should begin a slow drop, heading to near zero stage by late next week. 

WREG-TV WEATHER ALMANAC: PRECIPITATION

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Fractions of an inch across the Mid-South where heavier rainfall did not occur. 

WREG-TV WEATHER ALMANAC: TEMPERATURE

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Just above normal yesterday with highs in the mid 90’s. Today’s record high of 107 is in no jeopardy of being tied or broken, thankfully. 

WREG-TV WEATHER ALMANAC: QUAKES

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No activity for the Mid-South in the last 24 hours. 
    

MORE WEATHER? SURE! WE CAN DO THAT!

DAYBREAKSUNDAY

More through the day, and check in for an update over the weekend with WREG-TV News Channel 3 Daybreak Sunday, starting bright and early at 6:00 AM! 

Austen L. Onek, AMS Meteorologist / Station Scientist
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WREG-TV News Channel 3 First Defense Doppler On Your Side Weather Center
Memphis, TN, USA

RULE OF LIFE #28: THE PHOTOJOURNALISTS’ CREDO

I first encountered this rule in Topeka, Kansas, in the northeast corner of the building occupied by the first television station I ever worked for. Fresh out of college and only a short stint in radio, I was a goody-two-shoes, ready-to-take-on-the-world newbie, scared to death and full of myself, in that I had a full head of steam and nothing was going to stop me from becoming the best on-air meteorologist on the planet.

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Didn’t realize that I would be taking it so seriously in all my subsequent years in journalism and science. Amazing what decades of experience can do to your outlook, especially when it comes to this rule.

What is this rule? Lovingly carved in wood above the door of the photojournalist’s alcove at the back door of KTKA-TV 49 was this seemingly very simple, and what seemed at the time to be a contraindication in terms:

TIS FAR EASIER TO BEG FORGIVENESS THAN TO ASK PERMISSION!

For those of you who are quick to point out my just-a-bit-before-this rule (a.k.a. #26: “Dare To Be Stupid!”) as being an also-not-good-idea of mine, or – at the very least – adding fuel to the fire of dumb ideas that are already out there, hear me out for a bit, if you please.

If you read my words in Dare To Be Stupid, then you’ll also see my do-it-or-regret-it philosophy. Give it a try, or regret not trying it later on… much later on. Likewise, here, you sometimes have to go forward and damn the torpedoes before getting permission in triplicate from the home office.

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Sometimes we just won’t do anything even if it’s not difficult to see a change could (and probably should) be made. We are so comfortable with the idea of things being as they are, we don’t want to upset the status quo, and get upset at others who actually dare to try. We have the easy route or the hard route in life in some situations. Those of us who discover how to take some of the hard parts out of life and transform them into the easier ways are hampered by the Powers That Be, and by those who don’t want them to upset the Powers That Be with their idea, plan, etc.

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I’m not entirely status quo material. If a thing ain’t broke, don’t fix it, as far as I’m concerned. Most of life would be very easy if we could remember that. On the other hand, I consider myself a progressive in that I feel that we should always be pushing towards something new, something that will increase our ability to go farther, learn more, help others who need it. Finding that balance and sticking with it is a good portion of what you need to be to become you as you go through life.

Being able, on the other hand, to deal with the problems, and having that mixture of ‘let it be’ and ‘how can we fix/improve this?’, that life presents you is very important. There are times, especially when no one is listening, that you must try to fix it on your own, without permission. Scary, but necessary.

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One of my favorite characters in all of television history has to be Harry Morgan’s version of Col. Sherman T. Potter in the later seasons of M*A*S*H. Regular Army with an amazing military history, he is a person who is unafraid of life, loves the Army but hates the paperwork and will fight as hard as it takes to save a life as a surgeon in the operating room. In one episode, the Army removes the use of the drug curare from the unit’s medicine cabinet. The theory being that the Army decided that too many people were dying because the sedative wasn’t being used properly. In the immortal words of Dr. “Hawkeye” Pierce: “By that same logic, they should outlaw cars!”

As the discussion continues, and the wounded being brought in become more combative because they are not as knocked out as they could be with the curare rather than without it, Col. Potter makes the decision to do an end-run-around on the Army rules. Other international units nearby are not stifled by the rules, and – in order to save lives and make the efficiency of the hospital stay on track by operating with the curare in use – he makes the decision to find some curare and says so in front of the entire operating theater. Maj. Houlihan, chief nurse, rank-and-file to the core, reminds him of his chain of command and duties, by asking him about the Army regulations. To which the good colonel replies:

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“It’s a stupid rule, and stupid rules are made to be broken!”

I have felt that way a lot in life. Yes, I know… sometimes things cannot be changed. Yes, I know… RHIP (Rank Has Its Privileges). Yes, I know… sometimes you can’t fight City Hall.

In the words of Col. Potter: Bushwa! (Kids, ask your grandparents.) You’ve got to try, at the very least. If there is a reason to try, sometimes the only thing that will convince the Powers That Be is a successful trial run, even if it’s not asked for.

Yes, for those of you out there saying it, I’ll handily admit it: defying orders can get you fired. There are a lot of managers out there who have no patience for change, none whatsoever. This is bad for your employment status and for the company that refuses to listen.

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It’s up to you do determine how worth it the action is.

Beyond the bowling-ball-to-the-head approach, and the do-nothing-and-hope-it-gets-better-on-its-own way of doing things, you must be able to find the way that things can work and present them to your Powers That Be so they can have the information available to them, as they have the power to change things. Once you have the data in hand, this is what you can use to help change their minds. You may also have to help them change their minds without their knowing about it.

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If I recall correctly, the story about musician Duke Ellington goes that he worked in the jazz clubs of the early Twentieth Century, and was able to impress audiences with his style of playing that he had developed. Even for jazz music, and standards that were familiar, Mr. Ellington would add his own tweaks to the music. This apparently irked one of his bosses, so much so that he forbade Duke from playing anything other than what was on the paper in front of him.

In order to keep his job, he toned down the improvisation. However, he started sneaking in a new beat, a change, a different part of the music that he wanted, but he only did it every once in a great while. After a longer period of time, the owner kept getting so many compliments about the music, and didn’t know that things had changed, he was very impressed at how Mr. Ellington’s music was able to draw a crowd night after night. Mr. Ellington had helped to change things for the better but by being patient and adhering to the rules as much as possible, rather than walking out in a huff and ruining a chance.

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That is the way it has worked in the three television stations I have been employed with in nearly twenty-five years’ time: if you can get the people who run the place to think it is a great idea by getting them to think it is their idea, you’ve probably got a good thing going, and change will come sooner rather than later. A bit on the humiliating side when people take your idea for their own. Unfortunately, you have to take the good with the bad sometimes. If it makes the whole situation better for many more people than yourself, that is the important thing to remember.

Such is the rule that I have followed for years: you may have to beg forgiveness after being caught trying to make a change in a studied (if not erroneous) business practice for years and years before seeing the light. And, there is – sadly – always that chance that your efforts will never be noticed. You have the choice to make: is it worth it?

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I don’t doubt that with sustained effort, great passion and amazing amounts of drive, you can change the world. People have done it with war and cruelty. But, most important of all: people have done it with words and love and heart. I am completely in the latter camp, no question. I am also one of the people who believe that things can change, and must if need be. You are taking a risk by acting on your own. If you feel like you have no other choice, you may be compelled to act and do so quickly. If that is the case: plan out the situation as much as possible. If you can show your actions step by step, and why you did what you did, and what you hoped to (or did!) accomplish, that also might help those in power understand and realize that things could be better with some minor changes.

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My dad always said, “If you hang your shingle out, you’re going to get mud on it.” Eventually, someone, somewhere, somehow will be at odds with what you’re doing, and/or how you’re doing it. It’s inevitable. You have to deal with those people in life. The ones in charge will give you the best reasons for keeping your job and for frustrating you while you’re there.

If you feel like you must try, then don’t quit. Do as much as you possibly can. That attitude is the only thing that has changed the world. And the world desperately needs people who won’t give up when other people lives are involved.  Sometimes, the world needs a good shake-up, and you might be the one to provide it.

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Just be careful in how you go about that change.

AO

 

WRAP THE WEEK: YOUR WREG-TV FRIDAY+ FORECAST

HOT FINISH TO THE WEEK; WARM WITH STORMS THIS HOLIDAY WEEKEND

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The WREG-TV WeatherNet/WeatherBug camera from the McGinnis Oil Company on the east side of The Square in Collierville showed few clouds by mid-Friday morning. More clouds and more rainfall as the heat eases a little bit into the holiday weekend. Outdoor plans over the weekend should have a Plan “B” (or include more letters as other plans disintegrate) to avoid getting rained out/on and to avoid lightning strikes. More on your weekend forecast after this…

WEATHER ALMANAC: MISSISSIPPI RIVER AT MEMPHIS

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Holding steady into the weekend, then a drift downwards towards zero stage into mid-week next week. 

TODAY’S MID-SOUTH FORECAST: 

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Highs today will reach the low/mid 90’s. Winds: South at 5-10 MPH. Coverage chance of precipitation: 20% by late morning / early afternoon. 

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Heat index temperatures will reach the mid/high 90’s in some areas, not coming near the danger level of 105F. Still pretty darn hot, though. 

TONIGHT’S MID-SOUTH FORECAST

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Lows tonight falling into the low/mid 70’s with coverage chances of showers and thunderstorms increasing to 50% by dawn Saturday. Winds: South @ 5 MPH. 

FOOTBALL: FRIDAY NIGHT PREP GAMES

Dress cool and bring an umbrella.  Kickoff temps (around 7:00 PM Friday) will be in the mid/high 80’s. Winds: South at 5 MPH. Coverage chances for showers/t-storms will be around 20%, but increasing by the time games end Friday night. 

MID-SOUTH WEEKEND FORECAST

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Chances for showers and thunderstorms will be with the area through the weekend beginning early Saturday and continuing, but diminishing, by late Sunday evening. Severe weather does not appear to be a major threat, but can still occur.  Lightning will be a continuing threat for the entire viewing area from Friday night through Monday. 

WEEKEND RAINFALL POTENTIAL

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Heavier areas of rain will be possible Saturday and Sunday, including localized flash flooding, as according to the NWS-Memphis Forecast Discussion: 

PRECIPITABLE WATER VALUES WILL INCREASE FROM LESS THAN 1.5 INCHES TODAY TO IN EXCESS OF 2.25
INCHES BY TOMORROW AFTERNOON. SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS WILL BE SCATTERED LATE THIS AFTERNOON...MOST NUMEROUS IN EAST ARKANSAS...BECOMING WIDESPREAD ACROSS ALL OF THE MIDSOUTH BY MID MORNING SATURDAY. THE HEAVIEST RAIN IS EXPECTED SATURDAY AFTERNOON...LASTING INTO SUNDAY. 
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THERE IS NOT EXPECTED TO BE MUCH IN THE WAY OF DYNAMIC SUPPORT FOR SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS...BUT
LIGHTNING WILL LIKELY BE ABUNDANT AND RAINFALL WILL BE HEAVY AT TIMES. DID NOT ADD ANY MENTION OF HEAVY RAINFALL TO THE HWO...BUT IF PW`S GET AS HIGH AS THE NAM INDICATES...NEAR 2.5 INCHES...WE MAY BEGIN TO SEE SOME LOCALIZED FLOODING ISSUES BY SUNDAY MORNING.

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If you have outdoor plans for the holiday weekend, prepare for rain and thunder being a problem. According to latest forecast models, several parts of the Mid-South will wind up with plenty of rain by the time the holiday arrives on Monday. This weekend could be a soaker, but the chances for rain/thunder diminish (but don’t disappear) by Labor Day Monday. 

MID-SOUTH FOOTBALL: WEEKEND COLLEGE GAMES

Take the umbrella and be prepared for possible delays or stronger weather at times. Make sure to find out where a severe weather shelter is located before storms develop and move into your area. 

Early Saturday (~11AM):   Temps: Around 80.  Coverage chance for precipitation: 60%+.  Humidity: high 70%.

Mid-PM Saturday (~3PM):   Temps: Mid 80’s.  Coverage chance for precipitation: 60%+.  Humidity: low 70%.

Saturday Evening (~7PM):    Temps: Around 80.  Coverage chance for precipitation: 70%+.  Humidity: 80%.

TRACKING THE TROPICS: LESS TROUBLESOME BUT STILL BUSY

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“Cristobal” is now a post-tropical cyclone, heading into the colder waters of the Northwest Atlantic, just off Newfoundland. The system in the Gulf of Mexico has degraded into wandering masses of thunderstorms.

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A new system just south of Hispaniola will wander west-northwest and approach the southwestern Gulf by the end of the weekend.

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Another new system just off the African west coast will also move into the eastern Atlantic, developing slowly as it tracks west. 

GET YOUR HOLIDAY WEEKEND STARTED WITH US!

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Join me with all the weekend weather and Elise Preston with an update of all the morning’s news on WREG-TV News Channel 3 Daybreak Saturday starting at 6:00 AM. 

Austen L. Onek, AMS Meteorologist / Station Scientist
FB       TW      G+      Wp     Tumblr    YouTube   >>> austen.onek@wreg.com
WREG-TV News Channel 3 First Defense Doppler On Your Side Weather Center
Memphis, TN, USA

YOUR WREG-TV THURSDAY+ FORECAST…

ON THE DOWNWARD SLIDE TO THE WEEKEND…

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Less clouds, more sunshine on the WREG-TV St. Francis of Assisi camera late Thursday morning. More hot weather to come for the end of the week. More chances for showers and thunderstorms into the weekend. August, it seems, will not be ending without a struggle to the last where heat and humidity are concerned. More for your upcoming weekend forecast after this… 

WEATHER ALMANAC: MISSISSIPPI RIVER AT MEMPHIS 

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Rising slowly, then holding steady before a slight decline begins next week. 

TODAY’S FORECAST

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Highs once again into the mid 90’s. Winds: ESE @ 5 MPH. Coverage chance of precipitation: <10%. 

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Heat index temps: 100+ in some areas. Not quite to Heat Advisory territory, but very close. Extreme caution should be used when working or exercising outdoors today and this evening. 

TONIGHT’S FORECAST

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Cooler in some areas with lows in the mid/high 60’s, especially in NE Mississippi. Otherwise, most areas of the Mid-South will see partly cloudy skies and lows in the low/mid 70’s. Winds: S @ 2-5 MPH. Coverage chance of precipitation: 0%. 

EXTENDED FORECAST: THE UPCOMING WEEKEND

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Parts of the WREG-TV viewing area, especially NE Mississippi and SW Tennessee, could see some heavy rain from thunderstorms into the weekend. The tropical system over the western Gulf could throw a lot of moisture our way, which could lead to heavy rain, and then to possible flash flooding if rainfall is heavy enough. 

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Chances of rain will begin to increase by Friday evening, remain across the Mid-South through Saturday and taper off a bit by Saturday evening. Chances of rain and thunderstorms will remain in the area through the remainder of the weekend. Highs will be quite warm, although not as hot as they have been, into the mid/high 80’s to low 90’s, both Saturday and Sunday. 
 
 

TONIGHT’S SKYBLOG3 SKYGAZING EVENTS:

Skies will be partly cloudy, and the International Space Station – for the first time in many nights – will not be making a pass over the Mid-South. However…

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The Chinese space station, Tian Gong 1, will be just visible right before 9:00 PM this evening from the SW horizon, passing the very bright and visible planets Mars and Saturn, before passing just north of constellation Scorpius with its bright star, Antares. The station will fade as it passes through Ophiuchus, and fade entirely before it approaches Aquila. 

WEATHER ALMANAC: SEISMIC ACTIVITY

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Again, another quiet twenty-four hours in the Mid-South with no earthquakes in the WREG-TV viewing area. 

TRACKING THE TROPICS: “CRISTOBAL” STILL A HURRICANE AS OF THURSDAY MORNING

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“Cristobal” continues to churn the waters of the western Atlantic. 

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Looks like the post-hurricane remnants of “Cristobal” will be more of a threat to Iceland than they will the United States East Coast. 

TRACKING THE TROPICS: GULF SYSTEM

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The system off the Texas Coast does not appear to be a major threat at this time, according to the forecasts from the National Hurricane Center. 

1. A weak area of low pressure near the coast of South Texas is
producing disorganized showers and thunderstorms. Significant
development of this system is unlikely before it moves inland over
South Texas and northern Mexico today.
* Formation chance through 48 hours...low...10 percent.
* Formation chance through 5 days...low...10 percent.


TODAY’S REALLY COOL WEATHER LINK: ANCIENT (Well, kind of, anyway…) WEATHER RECORDS 

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“Deep in the dusty catalogs of weather stations and meteorological offices all over the world are hidden treasures. They’re easy to miss if you’re not looking for them—often taking the form of, well, piles of moldy papers. But on those pieces of paper are hundreds of years of weather records—data that could make climate science far more accurate.

The International Environmental Data Rescue Organization (IEDRO) estimates that there are 100 million paper strip charts—records that list weather conditions—sitting in meteorological storage facilities throughout the world. That’s about 200 million observations unused by scientists, data that could greatly improve their models. Now, a few small groups of scientists are trying digitize these records, but they’re facing all kinds of obstacles.” 

TODAY’S MID-SOUTH ‘YOUR ENVIRONMENT’ EARTH/ECO/GREEN LINK: 

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Curb Couture Trashion Show - (Sept 28, 6-8pm, $50).  Memphis City Beautiful is putting on their annual fashion show / fundraiser featuring “green couture” fashion by local artists.  This is always a fun time, be sure to support this event!  2100 Monroe @ Overton Square Parking Garage. 

Austen L. Onek, AMS Meteorologist / Station Scientist
FB       TW      G+      Wp     Tumblr    YouTube   >>> austen.onek@wreg.com
WREG-TV News Channel 3 First Defense Doppler On Your Side Weather Center
Memphis, TN, USA

YOUR WREG-TV WEDNESDAY+ FORECAST

ANOTHER HOT ONE FOR WEDNESDAY

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Full sunshine with just a few clouds visible at Windyke Country Club in SE Memphis mid Wednesday morning. More of the same for the next few days with a few showers and thunderstorms thrown in as we approach the weekend. 

SO, EXACTLY HOW LONG UNTIL AUTUMN? 

26 DAYS, 10 HOURS (as of this posting)… or: Can’t Come Soon Enough. 

TODAY’S MID-SOUTH FORECAST

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Hot and humid again today with highs in the mid/high 90’s in some parts of the Mid-South. Winds: ENE @ 5-10 MPH. Coverage chance of precipitation: <10% for the Mid-South this afternoon & early evening.

TONIGHT’S MID-SOUTH FORECAST

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Warm, nearly calm winds and mostly clear skies tonight. Lows in the high 60’s to lower 70’s. Winds: East at 5 MPH, becoming calm. Coverage chance of precipitation: 0%.

EXTENDED MID-SOUTH FORECAST: INTO THE WEEKEND

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Hot for Saturday and Sunday, and into Labor Day Monday as temperatures continue in the mid 90’s. Increased chances for showers and thunderstorms into the weekend could put a damper on outdoor plans. 

 

TONIGHT’S SKYBLOG3 STARGAZING EVENTS:

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The International Space Station will be making another low-to-the-horizon pass over the Mid-South tonight, coming very close to Mars and Saturn, and passing through the tail of the constellation Scorpius before fading towards the southeastern horizon. 

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Another Iridium flare should be easily seen tonight with its brightness if skies stay clear enough. Look to the left and just below Lyra (brightest star in constellation Vega) for a rapidly brightening and fading point of light.

More information, and maps courtesy of, Heavens Above. 

WHAT TO WATCH: TONIGHT’S SKYBLOG3 STARGAZING TIP:

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Courtesy StarDate.org: ” August 27: Neptune at Opposition — Neptune is putting in its best appearance of the year.

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The giant planet rises around sunset and remains in view all night. It is brightest for the year, too. It’s in the east-southeast after nightfall, in Aquarius. You need binoculars to see it.” 

TRACKING THE TROPICS: ATLANTIC

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Hurricane “Cristobal” continues its way parallel to the United States East Coast states. If it continues on its expected track, it should pass well east of the United States and well west of Bermuda. If you are heading to the East Coast for a late summer vacation, please be aware the storm’s energy could send powerful waves towards those beaches and may be a threat for swimmers and surfers, as well as ocean traffic at times. 

TRACKING THE TROPICS: GULF

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Minor disturbance in the northern Gulf continues to be of concern, but is showing no signs of developing into anything problematic so far. Likewise with this storm, beach-goers should be monitoring this storm as much as possible for any further development. 

From the National Hurricane Center: “

Shower and thunderstorm activity associated with a weak low pressure area located over the northwestern Gulf of Mexico has increased during the past few hours. Some additional development is possible before the system moves inland over southern Texas and northern Mexico on Thursday. An Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft is scheduled to investigate this system later today, if necessary.
* Formation chance through 48 hours...low...20 percent.
* Formation chance through 5 days...low...20 percent.

TRACKING THE TROPICS: FARTHER OUT…

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Via NHC: ” 

A tropical wave located about 600 miles east of the Lesser Antilles continues to produce disorganized cloudiness and showers. This system is now expected to move generally westward across the Caribbean Sea with little development during the next few days. However, environmental conditions could become favorable for some development by early next week in the western Caribbean Sea or southern Gulf of Mexico.
* Formation chance through 48 hours...low...near 0 percent.
* Formation chance through 5 days...low...10 percent.


MID-SOUTH WEATHER ALMANAC: SEISMIC ACTIVITY

90-35 (2)

All quiet in the last 24 hours, according to CERI at The University of Memphis

Austen L. Onek, AMS Meteorologist / Station Scientist
FB       TW      G+      Wp     Tumblr    YouTube   >>> austen.onek@wreg.com
WREG-TV News Channel 3 First Defense Doppler On Your Side Weather Center
Memphis, TN, USA

YOUR WREG-TV TUESDAY+ FORECAST

HOT, BUT NOT AS HOT AS A FEW DAYS AGO… STILL HOT BY WEEK’S END

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No heat advisory for today, so that’s a slight improvement. Unfortunately, conditions across the Mid-South will continue on the steamy side of things with highs back in the mid 90’s. The view from the WREG-TV Cotton Exchange camera in downtown Memphis shows a few clouds developing by late morning, and more expected today, along with the potential for a few thunderstorms. More on your forecast after this…

WREG-TV WEATHER ALMANAC: MISSISSIPPI RVER LEVEL AT MEMPHIS

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Just over four feet above zero stage as of Tuesday morning; expected to continue its slow rise through the upcoming weekend. No flooding expected any time soon. 

TODAY’S FORECAST 

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Highs today in the mid 90’s. Winds: ENE @ 5-10 MPH.

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Coverage chance of precipitation: 10% in the brown-shaded region from 4:00 PM through about 8:00 PM Tuesday. Outdoor activities should monitor for lightning and move inside or postpone when lightning is nearby for maximum safety. 

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Heat index temps will rise into the lower triple-digits.  Not enough for a Heat Advisory, but still dangerous if working or exercising outdoors during the hottest parts of the day. 

TONIGHT’S FORECAST

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Low temperatures slightly lower, dropping to the high 60’s to lower 70’s. Winds: East, turning south late, at 5 MPH or less. Coverage chance of precipitation: dropping to 0% after sunset. 

EXTENDED MID-SOUTH FORECAST: HEADING INTO THE WEEKEND

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Coverage chances for rain/thunder by Friday night football will be possible, but minimal. Better chances exist into the entirety of the weekend. Outdoor activities should consider a Plan “B” this weekend just in case. 

TRACKING THE TROPICS: CRISTOBAL

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Now a hurricane, “Cristobal” is off the Bahamas, paralleling the East Coast of the United States. Rather lopsided, it is currently expected to remain a hurricane through Friday morning. 

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“Cristobal”‘s path will take it along the East Coast, then veer out to the NW Atlantic, where is should be no threat to land, especially to the Gulf Coast states or the Mid-South. 

TRACKING THE TROPICS: TROUBLE IN THE GULF?

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Not a major threat so far. The National Hurricane Center gives this storm a current 10% chance of developing into something stronger and more organized. Again, and as always with tropical weather: this could change one way or another, so stay tuned for updates. 

TONIGHT’S SKYBLOG3 ASTRONOMICAL VIEWING: ISS FLYOVER

Assuming skies stay clear enough…

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…the International Space Station will be making a very low pass, close to the west and southwest horizons just before 9PM this evening, passing very close to planets Saturn & Mars, and the constellation Scorpius before fading. 

TONIGHT’S SKYBLOG3 ASTRONOMICAL VIEWING: IRIDIUM FLARE

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Look just below and to the left of the bright star Lyra in the constellation Vega for an Iridium satellite to flare this evening around 8:19 PM. 

Austen L. Onek, AMS Meteorologist / Station Scientist
FB       TW      G+      Wp     Tumblr    YouTube   >>> austen.onek@wreg.com
WREG-TV News Channel 3 First Defense Doppler On Your Side Weather Center
Memphis, TN, USA

WREG-TV SUNDAY NIGHT WEATHER WRAP-UP

OFFICIAL HIGH TEMPERATURE FOR MEMPHIS SUNDAY: RECORD-TYING, NOT RECORD-BREAKING

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Memphis had its hottest day of the year today as it tied a record high of 100F last set in 2007.
    

HEAT ADVISORY EXTENDED

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The National Weather Service in Memphis has extended the Heat Advisory until 7:00 PM Monday as heat index temperatures will once again be around/over 105F. 
  

TONIGHT’S MID-SOUTH FORECAST

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Warm, humid, partly cloudy skies. Lows: mid/high 70’s. Winds: E-Light, becoming calm. Coverage chance of precipitation: dropping to 0% after sunset.
   

MONDAY’S MID-SOUTH FORECAST

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Hot, humid with light winds. Stray showers and thunderstorms. Highs: mid/high 90’s. Winds: ENE @ 5 MPH. Coverage chance of precipitation: rising to 20% by mid/late afternoon.
   

WEATHER ALMANAC: SEISMIC ACTIVITY

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None to speak of, even though the rest of the planet – including California earlier this morning – received quite a lot. 

TUNE IN BRIGHT AND EARLY MONDAY…

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Join me for the forecast on Memphis In the Morning from 6-7:30, and on Talk Back Live! with Bob & Josh from 7:30 to 9:00 AM Monday morning on AM730 Yahoo! Sports Radio!

Austen L. Onek, AMS Meteorologist / Station Scientist
FB       TW      G+      Wp     Tumblr    YouTube   >>> austen.onek@wreg.com
WREG-TV News Channel 3 First Defense Doppler On Your Side Weather Center
Memphis, TN, USA

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