Dr Thunder Wonders

On the adventures (or non-adventures) of an weather guy

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Week One

Well, one week on the job and 55 hours at the office later...

Let me briefly tell you of the things that I still do not know
(1) All but a handful of people's names
(2) Where the bathrooms are
(3) How to use the computer system there
(4) What the heck I am supposed to be doing

I will be working with a montronsety of station data collected from hundreds of locations across the great state of California with the objective to form a climate index (e.g., temperature, precip) for the state which may be great use to citizens, policy makers, energy + water companies... This may sound rather simple, yet one must understand that the climate in say Santa Monica varies in a different fashion from that in Woodland Hills, even though the two locations are really not that far in distance from one another. In addition station data is taken in coop-type forms such that individual observers note the temperature and precip...it turns out that many days the observer was "sick" or "drunk" or what have you and hence has a missing day (or string of days) which lead to an incomplete record. Also, there are stories of an observer (stationed in Bakersfield, for example) who went on vacation in Florida, and took his instruments with him and recorded the data in Florida, yet it is included in the Bakersfield record! So there are tons of nuances that you must push through before even doing any kind of analysis.

OK, so now that I have bored you with that let me mention a few things about Reno/Sparks.
(1) They have traffic reports on the radio...But unlike in SoCal they last for about 10 seconds only to report, "there are no traffic problems at this time". This means that you can drive 10 miles in 10-20 minutes (depending on how ambitious you are).
(2) Gambling is omnipresent. At the grocery store and drug store (e.g., Safeway, and Longs Drugs) there are slot machines behind the checkout line, all manned by little old ladies who needless to say, have been exposed to the elements
(3) Outdoors. As the metropolitan area is surrounded by mountains, there are plenty of great mountain views and lures. I am sure when my mom comes to visit she will insist on doing some rock hunting like many of the people who settled here in the first place. My roommate for the time, a clay mineralogist, is very interested in the many rock quarries and outcrops. I might be too, if I happened across some Silver, the state's emblem. I will keep you posted on that behalf.

I am looking forward to this 3-day weekend to get my feet back under me. Although, rest assured my labor day will likely consist of labor. Hopefully for the rest of you, you will take this day as it is intended.

Pictures to follow, as soon as I can dig through my stuff to find my camera. Stay tuned!

Link of the week: Google moon, take a close look!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Trafic reports with no trafic and Rock hunting for silver or gold or even pyrite sound good to me. Nevada is a source of many different minerals.

If you are looking for a more reliable source of amateur meteorologist, to help with readings from Santa Ana, I can find a few 9th graders, who won't be heading off to Florida for the time being. Mom

Sun Sep 03, 11:11:00 PM 2006  

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