The WestPac Pond is a massive one. Most of our flights started out WAY out there, but man, even the "short hops" were pretty brutal. We had some guys flying out of Moffet who had special seat pads, believe it or not. Little custom sheepskins with some crazy foam inserts. Lucky bastards.
As for Satellites...back in the day, they weren't as much help as they are now (at least for WX forecasting...we definitely used them for other good stuff!). We frequently flew through areas of calm, only to be catapulted up-and-down in some crazy CAT which made for adventurous flights. Good thing I don't get air or sea sick...
Is NHC (and others) using SGI platforms, still? Seems to me I remember some solutions being created by Apple for physical modeling? That is pretty sad about the current funding levels. Better forecasting and advanced warning sure would help keep damage costs low. Unfortunate that Capitol Hill doesn't get this...
I know that the current administration's science advisor (John Marburger) is none too friendly with climatologists who suggest a link between global warming and busier hurricane seasons...and I have read of a few "passionate" dialogs between him and those in the know. I guess this bothers me that Bush's own science advisor is not listening to the "grunts in the trenches" about some pretty daunting issues.
Speaking of which...how is the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center contributing to any of this? I read some very good press about them recently...somewhere (I forget where).
Any how...I'd love to see this become more mainstream in politics, considering the amount of money/damage these 'canes are causing.
Just my 2 cents...I may be on sort of a rant tonight. Please forgive me.
Cheers, Anton /32.47N & 79.52W
-------------------- "A man's ethical behavior should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties; no religious basis is necessary.
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