August, 2012

Romney found common touch in speech

August 31st, 2012 at 10:44 pm by under Politics

I was a bit more impressed than many of the national pundits with Mitt Romney’s acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention.

24 hours after Romney’s first real chance to connect with the voters en masse, the consensus that seems to be emerging is that he did well… or, at least, well for a stiff and awkward candidate. National pundits and columnists seem to think the speech could help Romney’s chances moderately, but fell far short of a game-changer. They don’t see this speech going down in the annals of history’s great addresses.

Granted, it remains to be seen whether Romney gets a post-convention “bounce”, but I actually think the speech and his delivery of it was very good. Better than he’s getting credit for.

As much as anything, this speech was about making Romney comes across as a real person. On that score, I thought he fared quite well. He seemed to project warmth and humility throughout, and even got choked up when he talked about his parents’ marriage. The words he said weren’t going to bowl anyone over in and of themselves, but his demeanor was effective. Voters seem to believe Romney is competent when it comes to handling matters like the economy, but they will feel more motivated to elect him if they also like him and believe he’s a real person who understands the concerns of everyday people. He found that common touch Thursday night.

Romney’s taken criticism for not talking much about policy in his speech, and for remaining scant on details when he actually did delve into policy matters. Some have said his speech also lacked a coherent narrative tying everything together. Fair enough. I agree.

But how many of us generally remember the details and themes of any political speech an hour after we’ve heard it anyway? We generally walk away with personal impressions and a key line or two in our mind, not a detailed analysis of what was said. Not only did Romney leave a positive impression in terms of his demeanor, but he also got in a couple memorable one-liners that may stick:

“If you felt that excitement when you voted for Barack Obama, shouldn’t you feel that way now that he’s President Obama? You know there’s something wrong with the kind of job he’s done as president when the best feeling you had was the day you voted for him.”  

“President Obama promised to begin to slow the rise of the oceans and heal the planet. My promise is to help you and your family.”

These seemed like effective ways for Romney to question President Obama’s job performance and invite undecided voters to do the same, but without making it personal. Romney even said at one point that he wished Obama would’ve succeeded because he (Romney) wanted the country to succeed. For independent voters who are tired of the partisan bickering and who like Barack Obama personally but aren’t sure he’s done a great job, I could see this approach making some inroads in their thinking for Romney. ”Enough with the grandiose talk, let’s get down to brass tacks,” Romney seemed to be saying.

It may not have been a speech for the ages, but I thought Romney delivered an eight or a nine on a ten-point scale. My guess is that many who didn’t know much about him before now have a much more positive impression of him heading into the fall.

Next up: President Obama at the Democratic National Convention, where he will be called on to deliver an equally important speech next week. The president is a naturally gifted orator who usually rises to these occasions. It should set the stage for a fascinating and close election.

The convention speeches are great opportunities to start the home stretch of the campaign on a positive note. The Clint Eastwood debacle notwithstanding, I thought Romney made the most of his opportunity.

 


A Wet Labor Day Weekend

August 31st, 2012 at 4:33 pm by under Weather

What a difference a day makes!   Yesterday was mild and dry and today was hot and very humid.  That air that you feel is the tropical moisture that is streaming ahead of Isaac and it will make for a very muggy night of Friday High School football.  Look for temperatures in the upper 80s at kick off and only the lower 80s by the end of the game.  Needless to say, it’s going to be a warm one, but it should be dry with only a 10% for rain.

We are still on track to see rain from the remnants of hurricane Isaac this weekend.  The final track of Isaac is still not 100% locked in and any deviation of the current projection could change the rain total forecast.  Here is what you need to know:

  • Rain may not hold off until late Saturday, rain is possible as early as the late morning.
  • Our best chance of rain is Saturday night and most of Sunday.
  • Look for on and off rain for most of Sunday.
  • Rain will linger into Labor Day afternoon.
  • By Monday night, we may see anything from .5″ up north to 2″ across the southern portion of the WANE viewing area.
  • The heaviest of the rain should go from just west of Indy, into central Illinois, about 4-6″ is possible.
  • Widespread severe storms are not likely this weekend, but an isolated severe storm is possible.

 


Isaac and the weekend

August 31st, 2012 at 7:08 am by under Weather

 

Weekend Rain Forecast Still A Question Mark

We have some questions and concerns for the upcoming weekend. What will happen with the moisture from Isaac? What we have noticed is that the track for this storm has been trending farther south each model run. (About every 12 hours). While this trend is being followed by many of our models there are still some outliers. Precipitation forecasts are still very high for the next 5 days across the area. The Hydrometeorological Prediction Center forecast still has heavy rain just south of our area. What we have noticed is that there will be a sharp cut off of moisture north of this low pressure.

In the National Hurricane Center forecast above we continue to see the ‘cone’ of probability extends to southern Michigan. The other thing I noticed today is that the tropical depression is tracking farther south. Because of the sharp cut off in moisture it seems like with this track we stay out of the heavy rainfall. There is still uncertainty with this forecast as the low could move a little farther north, but we are finally beginning  to  see what we think is a trend moving the heavier rainfall south.

A Muggy Night For Football

Today is another Ozone Action Day, with temperatures in the 90s we will also have have humidity. This muggy forecast will carry over into tonight, so those high school football games will be rather sultry with temperatures staying in the 80s. Humidity will stick around much of the weekend with periods of showers.


Goodbye Severe Drought, Hello Isaac?

August 30th, 2012 at 5:48 pm by under Weather

Our recent rainfall is finally paying off.  As of this morning, our “Severe” drought level across the WANE viewing area has been downgraded only to a “Moderate” drought.  This is great news and more drought busting rain is on the way from the remnants of Hurricane Isaac.

Isaac has been a hard storm to forecast over the last week and I feel the majority of the forecast models have not handled the track of Isaac very well.  That being said, I do not have high confidence in the rain total forecast over the WANE viewing area.

If Isaac tracks to the north a little more, we will see a lot more rain.  If Isaac track to the south, we will miss out on the significant rain amounts.  There still appears to be heavy rain across the state, but mainly from Indy and places south.  Again, Fort Wayne will miss out on the heaviest of the weekend rain.  Look for about .5″ near Angola, about 1″ for Fort Wayne and 2″ down near Marion.

When it comes to the timing of the rain, look for our first showers to move in late Saturday afternoon and into the evening.  That is about a 30 to 50% chance.  Our best chance of rain is still on Sunday.  It may not rain all day long, but look for on and off showers for most of the day.  For Sunday, it is a 70% of rain.   There is still a chance of rain on Labor Day, about a 20% chance of an isolated shower into the afternoon.

Again, any little change in the storm track of Isaac, will change the forecast for our area.


Isaac Remnants And This Weekend

August 30th, 2012 at 6:23 am by under Weather

Isaac Moisture heads toward area

As Isaac slowly moves out of New Orleans, it’s leaving behind some very heavy rainfall. Some areas surrounding New Orleans had 22″ of rainfall. This storm has now turned into a tropical storm. As it migrates north it will become a tropical depression. This system is much different than what we normally see here. For one this system is what we term “extra tropical’. That means that the column of air around the storm remnants will be super saturated with moisture. This saturation is called ‘precipitable water‘ which in layman’s terms is defined as how much water is available in the atmosphere. This kind of system increases this by 25 to 50 percent, so there is a chance of very heavy rainfall. Take a look at the graphic at the top with the colorful contours. This is the Hydrological Outlook for the next 5 days. You can see a 7 inch (red band) that’s stretching from the south to some areas in central Indiana. There will most likely be a small band of heavy rainfall in southern Illinois and central Indiana. That does not leave our area out of the picture. Northern Indiana and northwest Ohio are still in the path of some of this rainfall. The path is still quite uncertain, but several runs of forecast models continue to show the track of this low across central Indiana.

Moderate rainfall still possible

Model gridded data interpolations show that we could still see 1 to 2 inch rainfall through the next 5 days. If this remnant moisture laden low pressure system wobbles north we could see much more rain. That is part of the uncertainty with this weather system and a reason we are pouring over several different forecast models at the weather center during each shift.

 


Yes, we promise we really are moving to a new set.

August 29th, 2012 at 9:32 pm by under Politics

YES, VIRGINIA, THERE IS A NEW SET COMING: I’ve had quite a few people over the past couple weeks come up and ask, “Are you still moving to a new set?” I’m not alone, either. Pretty much all of my on-air colleagues have had the same experience, so let me take this opportunity to reassure you: Yes, we are still moving onto a new, state-of-the-art HD set. The bottom line is that this is a huge undertaking and we want it to be just right before we have our debut newscast from the revamped studio. So even though the basic structure is in place and has been for some time, there are still tons of finishing touches going on: setting cameras, monitors, weather computers, etc.

Unfortunately, I can’t give you an exact date yet for the debut but I can assure you we are very close. It’s not like we’ll still be broadcasting from the newsroom come October, or even late September. Believe me, those of us in the news department are just as ready as you are. Our makeshift temporary set takes up so much of the newsroom that our individual workspaces are about as close together as a bride and groom. Fortunately, this transition hasn’t in any way affected our ability to deliver you the best coverage of the big stories, which we’ll continue to do as we look forward to moving into our new digs.

 UPDATE FROM TAMPA: State senators Tom Wyss and Travis Holdman from northeast Indiana were both wowed by Tuesday’s primetime speech from Ann Romney at the Republican National Convention. Holdman said Romney connected well with everyone in the audience, in particular mothers and grandmothers. Wyss called Romney’s speech the best of the night and said it was “definitely a homerun.” Holdman was also impressed by keynoter Chris Christie, noting the New Jersey governor was “very serious about our responsibility as American adults.”

Both men also agreed on another point: The public transportation in Tampa leaves much to be desired. Holdman didn’t get back to his hotel until 2 a.m. and Wyss didn’t arrive at his until 2:30 a.m. Holdman called the transportation system “somewhat disorganized.” Wyss said he heard other delegates got back even later.

STILL FOLLOWING POSSIBLE MERGER OF ECONOMIC ORGANIZATIONS: Last month I reported talks are going on behind closed doors about merging some of northeast Indiana’s economic development organizations. Fort Wayne city leaders, according to my sources, are spurring these talks, which could lead to the Fort Wayne-Allen County Economic Development Alliance formally combining with the Greater Fort Wayne Chamber of Commerce as a first step. Now another source tells me the Downtown Improvement District could also be included. Officially, though, mum’s the word on all of this from the City. Spokesman John  Perlich simply told me, “I don’t have any information for you on your question.” He would not even confirm that the talks are going on.

Plenty of people are willing to speak anonymously on this issue, however, so I will continue to find out what I can and post updates on this blog. After all, taxpayer dollars fund many of the organizations that could be affected. You deserve to know what’s going on with your money.

 


Isaac still on track for weekend rain

August 29th, 2012 at 5:51 pm by under Weather

Isaac is still on track to bring us weekend rain, but the big question is: “How Much?”  I said yesterday, that I would put out a rain forecast map for the weekend for the WANE viewing area.  Well, I have, but when it comes to my confidence on the exact placement for the higher rain amounts, my confidence is not very high. My concern is the final track of Isaac and how much dry air will mix in from the north.  Here is what you should expect:

  • Friday is dry and hot with highs in the mid 90s and high humidity.
  • Saturday starts out dry, look for rain to move in by the end of the day.
  • Sunday looks like the wettest day, with on and off rain most of the day.
  • Rain may linger Monday morning, but the afternoon looks dry, as of now.
  • Look for rain amounts to range from .5 to over 3″ across the WANE viewing area, with lower amounts north and higher amounts south.

Because of the dramatic drop off in the rain amounts across the area, a small change in the storm track of Isaac will dramatically change where the heavy rain amounts will set up.  Needless to say, Indiana will see significant drought relief, mainly across western and central Indiana.

An Air Quality Alert has been issued for Allen and Huntington Counties for Thursday and I expect another alert to be issued for Friday also.  What does this mean?  Per the NWS:

  • PEOPLE AND BUSINESSES ARE URGED TO AVOID ACTIVITIES WHICH LEAD
    TO OZONE FORMATION. THESE ACTIVITIES INCLUDE...REFUELING VEHICLES
    OR TOPPING OFF WHEN REFUELING...USING GASOLINE POWERED LAWN
    EQUIPMENT...AND USING CHARCOAL LIGHTER FLUID. POSITIVE ACTIVITIES
    INCLUDE...CAR POOLING...BIKING TO WORK...DELAYING OR COMBINING
    ERRANDS AND USING WATER BASED PAINTS.
    
    IT IS RECOMMENDED THAT ACTIVE CHILDREN AND ADULTS...AND PERSONS
    WITH RESPIRATORY DISEASES SUCH AS ASTHMA...LIMIT PROLONGED
    OUTDOOR EXERTION.

What will happen here with remnants of Isaac?

August 29th, 2012 at 4:35 am by under Weather

Isaac Will Push Heat Toward Area

The first effect of Isaac for the area may be a little unexpected as hot air which will blow off from the top of storms associated with Isaac begins to filter into our area Thursday afternoon. This will take a quiet and cool pattern and change it into some late August heat and humidity. This warm air will continue to surge into the area through Friday making it very uncomfortable with highs in the 90s and tropical humidity levels.

What Will Happen With Remnants?

The biggest question that still remains for our area is what will happen with the remnants of Issac. Most of our mathematical models have continued to bring the bulk of the moisture into northern Indiana through Sunday. This is still a distinct possibility this weekend, but the latest data indicates that the heaviest rainfall may be just south of our area late Saturday and early Sunday. A second model brings the moisture well south of our area. There is still quite a bit of uncertainty with this track as this system continues to make landfall we will have a little better idea of it’s track over the next 24 to 36 hours. Areas that do see the heavy rainfall could see up to 3″ from this “extra tropical’ system. Of course these rainfall amounts will be minimal compared to areas in the south and southeast which will experience anywhere from 6 to 16 inches of rainfall.


Isaac still on track to bring us weekend rain

August 28th, 2012 at 10:03 pm by under Weather

Hurricane Isaac made landfall on the Louisiana coast early Tuesday evening, much earlier than expected.  When it comes to forecasting the exact track and timing, Isaac has been one of the harder hurricanes to forecast.

That being said, Isaac is still expected to get caught up in the westerly flow of the jet stream later this week and track over Indiana.  We are still on track to see significant rain this weekend from Isaac, but I am not quite ready to put out a rain fall forecast map quite yet.  You will notice that the HPC, or Hydrometeor Prediction Center has a rain forecast for us from Isaac, ranging from the 2-5″ rain, mainly south of Fort Wayne.  I feel this is a little aggressive for our total rainfall.  After the 0Z model runs coming in tonight (they are coming in right now as I type this blog) I will be ready to put out a more solid rain forecast amount map.

Here are my initial thoughts:

  • Even though rain is possible Saturday, look for the bulk of the rain to move in later in the day.
  • Look for more rain on Sunday (it looks like a wash out).
  • I would expect about 1-3″ of rain across the WANE viewing area over the weekend.
  • I am not ready to place the 3″ bulls-eye yet.

 


Man about town in Tampa

August 28th, 2012 at 9:16 pm by under Politics

  State Senator Tom Wyss of Fort Wayne is a delegate at this week’s Republican National Convention. He’s been sending us some fun pictures to share with you and I’ve included some of them to the left and below in this post.

Romney’s nomination becomes official Tuesday

 

Wyss in front of the convention center in Tampa.

 

 

Wyss with gubernatorial nominee Mike Pence and former state GOP chair Mike McDaniel

  We will continue to check in with Hoosiers in Tampa and bring you some of Wyss’s pictures throughout the week, and don’t forget to watch our 6:00 and 11:00 p.m. newscasts on Thursday as our political analysts, Mark Souder and Karen Goldner, size up the GOP convention and analyze Mitt Romney’s acceptance speech.