Monday, December 13, 2021

The UEFA Champions League draw

 The easy response to the fiasco will be a lot of "You had one job" dunks on Twitter. UEFA had outsourced the technology for the draw for a third party service provider that really did only have one job. And that's the problem -- no one had checked whether all the individual one jobs that people had to do added up to a coherent draw. It's what "management" used to be about. Adam Smith famously titled a chapter of The Wealth of Nations "The Division of Labour is limited by the extent of the market." Now it's limited only by extent of the incompetence. 

Sunday, December 12, 2021

System Barra

One of multiple news sources:

PAMPLONA, Spain, Dec 10 (Reuters) - Severe flooding in Spain's Navarre region submerged cars and houses and killed at least one person on Friday as heavy rains from Storm Barra caused rivers to burst their banks.

But wait: how did a storm that formed near New Brunswick last Sunday, struck Ireland on Tuesday (named as Barra), and then headed into the North Sea supposedly never to be heard of again, cause severe rains in northern Spain on Friday? And why is it still called Barra, which is not in the naming rotation of the Spanish Met Office? 

Because this is what happens when you name unpredictable complex winter low pressure systems. 

Storm Atticus

At some point, after Kentucky gets through all its funerals, there will need to be an assessment of public awareness of the dangerous weather that was to unfold on the night of 10 December. One thing to note is that there was considerable attention on a winter storm, named Atticus under the non-official naming system of The Weather Channel (long time readers of this blog will know our complaints about the naming of winter storms). 

But the storm was seen as a snow event in the Great Lakes. It would have been better to see it as a system that was spawning various complex disturbances as it interacted with air flows in the mid-section of the Continental USA. That doesn't lend itself to the shorthand description of storm, hence the risk of applying the naming system for hurricanes to winter low pressure systems. The National Weather Service short-range public discussions are very careful to talk about systems, but local governments and media may not have understood it the same way.

For now, God save Kentucky. 

Tuesday, December 07, 2021

Storm Finbarr

There is no reason to name North Atlantic low pressure systems. None. There are several of them active at the minute. One of them -- now called Barra -- happened to hitch a lift from New Brunswick to Ireland via the jet stream. The speed at which it crossed the Atlantic and got to prominence among the other Ls on the pressure chart illustrates why the phenomenon is so different from summer tropical systems that make a leisurely trip across the Atlantic from Senegal and can be observed for a week before they strike land. Anyway, watch out for flying objects in Ireland today, as you would for any high wind event, even ones that never to rise to the level of a trendy HiCo name.