July, 2012

Dick Morris: Easy win for Romney in 2012, but candidates will ignore Indiana.

July 31st, 2012 at 10:28 pm by under Politics

Don’t expect the presidential candidates to crisscross Indiana this year like they did in 2008.

That’s the word from Fox News political contributor and former Clinton White House advisor Dick Morris, who was speaking at the Americans for Prosperity Foundation’s celebration of what would have been economist Milton Friedman’s 100th birthday at the Fort Wayne Marriott Tuesday evening.

Morris says the polls he’s seen have Republican Mitt Romney up 15 points in Indiana, so he doubts President Obama will challenge his GOP opponent by running commercials or making campaign appearances in our state.

In terms of the big picture, Morris expects Romney to easily win the presidency for two reasons. The most obvious is the scuffling economy, an issue which Morris thinks Romney has done a sufficient job of capitalizing on. The other? Judging from the data he’s seen, Morris says Romney has been able to withstand President Obama’s attacks on the presumptive Republican nominee’s tenure leading the venture capital firm Bain Capital quite well.

“Even after all of Obama’s attacks on Romney, they said ‘Do you think Romney’s business background, including his time at Bain Capital, will make it harder or easier for him to create jobs?’ And [the answer] was 62% to 24% easier,” said Morris. Translation? The assaults upon Romney’s potentially most vulnerable area just haven’t borne much fruit. If this is the best ammo the president has, it could be a tough fall for him.

Not that President Obama doesn’t have assets in his corner. In Morris’s view, Obama must exploit the advantages of incumbency, the inspirational power of being the first African American president, and his likeable personality in order to give himself the best possible chance of re-election.

One last thing: Morris says Romney’s best choice for a running mate would be Condoleeza Rice, the former secretary of state under George W. Bush. We could find out who Romney ends up choosing anytime between now and the start of the Republican National Convention August 27. If history is any guide, his choice will probably have little effect on a race that, three months out, looks basically like a tie.

Rolls Clouds, August and More Storms

July 31st, 2012 at 4:24 pm by under Weather

If you were up early this morning, you would have noticed a very long, tube like cloud move through the area.  This cloud (1st image above) is called a “roll cloud” because it will actually have a rolling motion as it moves forward.  This type of cloud is associated with a gust front coming out of a large complex of thunderstorms.  They are not always associated with severe weather, but gusty or damaging winds can be found right along the base of the roll cloud.

It looks like we will see a break from the storms for the first several days of August as an area of high pressure moves in and keeps us high and dry.  Sadly, the outlook for August is for below average precipitation and above average temperatures.   So in broad terms, August is expected to be hot and dry.  There will be still be many chances for showers and thunderstorms, but overall, we have a much better chance of below average rain and a much better chance of above average temperatures.

Our next round of rain is already showing up in the medium range forecast models for this weekend.  The main storm system that will trigger and steer this storms will move out of the Northern Plains on Saturday and into the Great Lakes on Sunday.   A lot can change between now and then, so don’t hold me to the exact timing of showers and thunderstorms.  As of now, it looks like a line of strong to severe storms will likely move through our area very late Saturday night and into Sunday morning.   Again, this is still 4 days outs, but we already have our eyes on it.


Showers, storms and much warmer

July 31st, 2012 at 5:57 am by under Weather





Uncomfortable Heat And Humidity Fuel Storms Tuesday

Showers and storms will be across the area during the morning and possibly through the afternoon as highs will be pushing toward 90. Humidity will also build through the afternoon but a weather system will quickly move in and change the warm and humid southwest flow to a flow from the northwest. This will bring drier and slightly cooler temperatures for Wednesday. However, this will be a very short break for us. The dog days of August are just around the corner again as Thursday will see highs in the lower 90s.

Wet Weekend Pattern?

I want you to look at this weekend pattern. What you are seeing (on the first graphic on the right side) is a little confusing I know but bear with me here. This is what I’ve been looking at and tracking for this weekend. It looks like a closed or cut off low pressure area will move across the region, bringing moisture to the area. It will slow down long enough for this moisture for some places in our region to see some heavier rainfall. Of course this is a projection that is several days out so things can change quickly, but this has been a trend setting up with this particular forecast model over the last few days.

Hit and Miss Rain Chances

July 30th, 2012 at 9:34 pm by under Weather

Even though we picked up much need rain in the last two weeks, the next week does not look like we will see significant rain.   I am tracking a few rounds of scattered showers and thunderstorms over the next 7 days, with the first round arriving Tuesday.

Look for scattered showers and even an isolated thunderstorm for Tuesday as early as daybreak with our best chance of rain arriving midday.  Expect the rain to move out by the late afternoon and with enough clearing of the clouds to allow a significant rebound in the mercury with highs approaching 90° by the late afternoon.

Don’t expect a lot in the way of rain on Tuesday as rain totals are looking pretty meager.  Expect to see a tenth of an inch, or maybe two, but not much more then that.   In the big picture, this is a drop in the bucket compared to what we really need to get out of this drought.   Rain totals should be low as our Tuesday rain maker is coming out of the northwest and it is coming in fast.   A slower moving storm system out of the south would have more time to transport more moisture to the area.  This fast moving clipper like system for Tuesday is coming through pretty dry.

After Tuesday, the rest of the work week is looking pretty dry.   Come Saturday, our weather pattern may come a little more active with another storm system coming out of the west.   As of now, it looks like our weekend rain chance will arrive late Saturday night, even with a risk of stronger or severe storms.

Even though we will see highs approach the mid 90s later this week and into the weekend, we never really tap into the extreme heat.   This “heat dome” will come closer, but we never really get into the triple digit temperature range this week.  If we are going to make a run at the century, our best chance may come later next week.

No Big Change In Over All Drought Picture

July 30th, 2012 at 4:24 am by under Weather


Even though we’ve had many days with much needed rainfall it has really made very little difference in the over all drought picture. To illustrate this a little further let’s take a look at what we were seeing last year at this time. On the surface, we are on par for the average for July . So far we’ve had 4.15″, while last year at this point of July we only had .98″. On the surface this looks pretty good when you don’t consider the over all picture and the fact that we’ve had several very dry months before this month. In fact, last year at this time the area was actually well above normal rainfall (for the year from January 1st) with 27.74″ which is about 5 inches above average. This is where we begin to see how, and please excuse my trite saying here ‘dry we are’. This year since January 1, we’ve had 22.93″.  I haven’t really looked at the graphic on the far right in about a week but I was amazed that our deficit really hasn’t decreased that much in the last couple of weeks even with the heavy rainfall.

More rain on the way this week?

Futurecast which is the high resolution model we use at the weather center, on the air and webcasts does have rain chances increasing Tuesday afternoon. However, the problem once again is that these showers and storms will be scattered and so the old acronym we’ve been spouting all season here once again rears its ugly head, “some areas will see some decent rainfall, while others may see very little or nothing.

Weekly crop reports

Tomorrow it will be interesting to see the weekly crop reports for Indiana. While I don’t expect that we will see any change in corn, (77% of corn state wide is considered either poor or very poor). I’m hopeful that the recent rains have helped with the soybean crops.

Still a chance of Monday rain…but, not much

July 29th, 2012 at 9:20 pm by under Weather

The potential for rain on Monday is decreasing.  Rain that has been off to our west on this Sunday has been fizzling out as it has moved closer to us and the latest computer model projections do not provide much optimism for precip potential on the first day of the new work week.

Rain isn’t completely out of the question but, if it develops, it is more likely to be in the form of scattered rain showers/storms that some of us see, but many do not.  This scattered rain/storm potential also continues on Tuesday.

If you miss out on rain outside your window the next couple of days, set your sights on the rain potential that comes into the forecast toward the end of the week.


Warm, comfortable Sunday with rain approaching

July 29th, 2012 at 10:03 am by under Weather

After a week filled with festivities, the Allen County Fair wraps up today and we have great weather for it!  Take the kids out this afternoon and enjoy a few more hours of the fair’s carnival rides.

Allen County Fair Forecast

There is some rain on the approach today and we’ll have scattered rain and storms here later tonight.  The best rain chances over the next 24 hours come late tonight and continue Monday morning.  Clouds clear out Monday afternoon when the rain chance exits temporarily.  A slight chance of rain is possible again on Tuesday.

Futurecast Rain Forecast Mon 12 AM

Futurecast Rain Forecast Mon 5 AM


Weekend Heat Relief

July 28th, 2012 at 5:20 pm by under Weather

Talk about a picture perfect weekend!  Low humidity with highs in the lower 80s so far, it’s just what the doctor ordered after all our record heat so far this summer.  Just in case you forgot, here are just a few of the weather records we have set so far this year:

  • Warmest year so far with an average temperature of 55.1°
  • Warmest July so far with an average temperature of 80.1°
  • Most consecutive 100° days with 4 days
  • Most consecutive 90° days with 22 days
  • Highest temperature ever recorded: 106°

Hands down, this is one summer to remember and I really hope that as you are reading this blog post, you are reading it from the comfort of your porch or your hammock from your smart phone, not inside on the computer.  This low humidity and comfortable conditions will continue into Sunday with lows in the upper 50 and highs in the mid 80s.

Sunday is looking dry, but Monday and Tuesday bring us widely scattered showers and thunderstorms.  The weather pattern for the start of the week is called “northwest flow” as the jet stream will be coming out of the northwest.  Weak disturbances will originate in the high plains and move along the jet stream into the Great Lakes region.  Because the humidity does not look as high as last week, not all of us will get the rain.   There is another chance of rain coming in for Thursday, but it is also only a 30% of rain.

With no rain today, our average rainfall deficit is running over 7 inches.   This is a huge improvement from 2 weeks ago when we were running a 11 inch deficit.  Despite nearly 4″ of rain in the last 2 weeks, we are still in an exceptional and severe drought across the WANE viewing area.

Saturday Events

July 28th, 2012 at 11:24 am by under Weather

It’s a great weekend to be outside!  Here are the forecasts for some of the events we mentioned on First News Saturday!

A free trolley transports you between 25 different downtown shops today as part of the Downtown Improvement District’s “Last Saturdays” series of events.

Trolley Shopping Forecast

The Allen County Fair is jam-packed with different events for the whole family to enjoy.  Click here to see today’s complete schedule.

Allen County Fair Forecast




Merger mania, Fort Wayne-style

July 27th, 2012 at 9:39 pm by under Politics

A very good source tells me there’s a serious movement afoot to merge several of the Fort Wayne area’s economic development organizations. Here’s what local leaders are talking about behind closed doors, according to this source:

The first phase would involve combining the Fort Wayne-Allen County Ec0nomic Development Alliance and the Greater Fort Wayne Chamber of Commerce into one entity. That’s where most of the discussion is centered right now. A possible second phase could merge the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership and Northeast Indiana Innovation Center. At this point there’s no timetable for when these moves would happen. Since each of these organizations exists as a separate nonprofit entity of its own right now, the details of combining them could be messy.

So who’s behind this? Mayor Tom Henry’s administration is reportedly driving the discussions along with many of the usual power brokers in Fort Wayne’s business community, including Steel Dynamics Chairman Keith Busse and Parkview Health CEO Mike Packnett. There’s apparently a feeling that having so many groups doing so many different things is confusing and may be hurting the area’s efforts to attract new companies and jobs.

What strikes me as the most difficult part of all of this, should it materialize, is just that: combining groups that currently have totally different missions in the hopes that they will work together in a coordinated, more effective way. The Alliance puts together incentive packages for new and expanding companies. The Chamber basically exists to serve its member companies through activities like networking events and lobbying.

Ditto with the Partnership and Innovation Center. The Partnership markets our area to site selectors and businesses that may want to locate here. The Innovation Center helps launch new companies by giving entrepreneurs the tools they need to flesh out their ideas. This marriage would be a particularly tricky one, not only because the groups’ functions are disparate, but also because the leaders of the entities involved aren’t exactly chummy with one another.

This will be a fascinating, high-stakes story to follow. The top execs in the local economic development business make a lot of money, and it’s not uncommon to hear whispers from political and business leaders questioning the effectiveness of some of those execs. Perhaps this is the Henry administration’s best idea for shaking things up in the hopes of getting better results.