H. Michael Mogil

H. Michael Mogil

I'm a meteorologist by education, a math tutor (and educational advocate) by chance, and a writer (including science, travel, home improvement and consumerism) by choice. Once upon a time I couldn't write well. Now, I try to have fun at it while sharing what I've learned. I hope you enjoy my handiwork.
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  • Beyond National Donut Day
    Have a Happy National Donut Day (2013) and all the Donut Days that follow. Just remember that donuts are a mainstay; they mainly stay on your waistline.
  • Movember – a Healthy Tribute to Steve Jobs and Other Guys
    October focuses on women’s health – breast cancer awareness. Now Movember affords men a chance to focus on their health – prostate cancer awareness. Instead of pink ribbons, we guys get to grow a “stache” to make our statement.
  • Visible Satellite Imagery: Remnants of Emily and Outflow Boundaries - August 6, 2011
    This is a Florida area visible satellite image animation showing various thunderstorm outflow boundaries and sea/lake breezes. These appear as curved arcs moving away from thunderstorms and to the upper right of Emily.
  • The National Weather Service (NWS) is Revamping Its Home Pages
    The National Weather Service is revamping its key weather web pages. You can provide feedback to this customer-friendly Federal agency on an online comment form, through September 12, 2011.
  • Radar Imagery - Sea Breeze and Outflow Boundaries (MIA Radar) - August 6, 2011
    This is a Miami-based radar image animation showing various thunderstorm outflow boundaries and sea/lake breezes (appearing as curved arcs moving away from thunderstorms).
  • Atlantic Tropical Weather System (Enhanced Infrared Satellite Imagery) - July 30, 2011
    This is an enhanced infrared satellite animation showing the beginnings of Tropical Storm Emily. Reds indicate coldest and highest thunderstorm cloud tops.
  • Atlantic Tropical Weather System (Water Vapor Satellite Imagery) - July 30, 2011
    This is a water vapor satellite animation showing the beginnings of Tropical Storm Emily. Yellow-orange color indicates regions of dry air at mid and high altitudes.
  • Outflow Boundaries (Florida and Beyond)
    Convection is marked by rising and/or sinking air currents. Both were well-documented over and near Florida on August 6, 2011.
  • Surprises
    In this age of so-called technological age of full disclosure, isn't it amazing how much is actually hidden from us? Read on to discover the tip of this "secret" world in which we live.
  • The Joplin Tornado of May 22, 2011
    It's now the deadliest twister in roughly 60 years. On many fronts, meteorologists are already dissecting its evolution, movement and physical impacts. Some are even pondering if the storm is linked to "global warming."
  • GOES Satellite View of April 27-28, 2011 Severe Storms (.Mov Version)
    Geostationary satellite animation showing the historic April 27, 2011 tornado outbreak. Wedge shape configuration at the southern end of the thunderstorm area attests to strong spreading of upper level winds (divergence), a key severe storm ingredient.
  • Severe Storm and Tornado Incidence Mapping - April 1-28, 2011 (.Wmv Version)
    April 2011 has been an historic month for severe thunderstorms and tornadoes. This animation showcases daily storm events mapping, including the historic tornado outbreak of April 27, 2011.
  • Severe Storm and Tornado Incidence Mapping - April 1-28, 2011 (.Mov Version)
    April 2011 has been an historic month for severe thunderstorms and tornadoes. This animation showcases daily storm events mapping, including the historic tornado outbreak of April 27, 2011.
  • A Recipe for Disaster (Tornadoes) - Redux
    The April 16, 2011 North Carolina tornado outbreak and the three-day overall severe weather event were record-breaking -- at least in recent historical terms.
  • Summer Weather Camp Program Continues to Expand
    Middle and high school students with an interest in meteorology and related sciences can now attend summer weather camp. Check out the growing suite of linked camps across the U.S. that offer opportunities to experience "real weather" at no- to low-cost.
  • HB 7019 and SB 736 '" Merit Pay for Teachers in Florida
    The following (with some adjustments) was sent to Florida state government officials on March 16, 2011. It is the first of many letters I will be sending in the next few weeks about so-called "educational reform."
  • Movie Review: The Adjustment Bureau
    The Adjustment Bureau examines "fate versus free will" from many perspectives. Check it out if you want a potentially life-altering experience --
  • The Egyptian Crisis Continues to Unfold
    George Santayana quipped, "Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it." Others have offered similar perspectives. Washington's leaders still refuse to recognize history's lessons.
  • Sullivan's Steakhouse - Seattle
    Wow! Service at a bar that beats service at most restaurants! This is a story, and one that involves high ratings for the bar and its staff. Kudos to Sullivan's Steakhouse in Seattle, WA.
  • Love '˜em or Hate '˜em, but BP Loyalty Program Kicks In
    BP really blew things with last year's Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Now they are trying to win back customers. And mathematically, it is a substantial win for consumers.
  • New Year's in Sydney, Australia 2011
    New Year's is a time to ring out the old and ring in the new. We've seen the fireworks In Naples, FL, and my wife has seen them in downtown Washington, DC. This year, we went "down under" to be among the first to say, "Happy 2011!"
  • Sydney, Australia Fireworks - 2011
    New Year's is a time to ring out the old and ring in the new. This slide show documents our experiences in Sydney, Australia on New Year's Eve 2011.
  • Movie Review: TRON - Legacy
    TRON '" Legacy provides entertainment at many levels for many different age groups. From pure action and videogamology to deeper philosophical vantage points, it's definitely worth consideration.
  • Weather 101 '" Climate Change Revisited
    Another "global warming" conference succumbs to record global cold and snow. This time, however, Cancun, Mexico, the site of the 2010 global climate summit, set several record low temperature records, as well.
  • Weather 101: The Art & Science of Measuring Snowfall
    Tracking snowfall involves much more than just measuring the depth of newly fallen snow. Weather and water scientists have to consider liquid water equivalency, snow settling and much more. The various data sets involved have numerous applications.
  • Loving Minneapolis ... Well, Sort Of
    The Minneapolis-St. Paul area has a lot going for it. And it can be a fun-filled place to visit -- if only the powers to be knew how to provide directions!
  • Math 101 '" Percent Change
    Percent change is employed in many science and business applications. It's a reasonable way to see how the value of something changes, compared to the starting value. But, when the scale crosses zero, beware --
  • Moustache + November = Men's Health Month
    October focuses on women's health '" breast cancer awareness. Now Movember affords men a chance to focus on their health '" prostate cancer awareness. Instead of pink ribbons, we guys get to grow a "stache" to make the statement.
  • Air Travel Security: Fact or Fiction (Deja vu All Over Again!)
    The long awaited next step in airport insecurity, but with increased inconvenience and intrusiveness, has arrived. I am sure there is even more insanity to come as we rush ahead toward 100% aviation travel safety without concern for civil rights.
  • Language 101 '" on Writing a Weather (or Other) Story '" My Top 13 Tips (As of Today, 11/14/10)
    Writing is an art that takes lots of practice. Here, I share my 13 top tips with a focus on writing weather articles. I hope that they help anyone who wants to become a better writer.
  • Animal Farm
    Animal Farm, the fable, could have been republished to fit events in the U.S. during the past two years. Simply stated, that was very scary. Events on election day 2010 bring the story to its fitting ending -- maybe --
  • Just Maybe Why Educational Reform Never Seems to Work!
    School administrators, teachers, school boards, politicians and others are often listed in educational reform efforts. When was the last time you saw a business mentioned, except to thank them for financial support? It's time for a change!
  • Weather 101 '" Another Look at Cloud Motion '" Part II
    I recently looked at low cloud movement along the U.S. West Coast. But, clouds that come with thunderstorm clouds often confound the rules. Lance G. of Weston, WI wanted an explanation.
  • Weather 101 '" a Look at Cloud Motion
    Our eyes can mislead us when it comes to cloud motion. Which moves faster '" high or low clouds? Chances are you'll say that those low, ragged, rainy day clouds move the fastest. But a little geometry and trigonometry tells a different story.
  • Weather 101 '" Lessons from Hurricane Earl: Was the Sky Really Falling?
    Once major Hurricane Earl, just passed by eastern North Carolina. Yes, the storm could have been a disaster; people and communities in its path were right to have prepared for it. But some in the media pushed "END OF THE WORLD" scenario. Enough, I say!
  • Dining Out in the Orlando, FL Area - Four Separate Reviews
    If you find yourself doing the theme park circuit in Orlando, FL, you will have an unbelievable array of dining choices. Do some homework and then drive or taxi away from your hotel and you just might be very surprised at the experiences you uncover.
  • Weather 101 - the ITCZ and Global Wind and Pressure Zones
    Global wind flow and associated pressure patterns can easily be recognized from weather satellite imagery. Let's take a look at some satellite images from early August 2010 to see both.
  • Weather 101 - Desert Island Weather
    Weather and geography drive precipitation patterns around the earth. Some east-west bands are "wet," while others are very dry. Add mountains, cold ocean waters and other factors and you'll understand the Earth's overall climate and ecosystem patterns.
  • Weather 101 - Humidity (summertime)
    Humidity is more important in summer than in winter. But, in summer, many people often mistake the discomfort they feel with high values of "relative humidity." Yet, it's often the absolute humidity (or dew point) that is the culprit.
  • Weather 101 - 2010 Hurricane Season Outlooks Spell Disaster - or Do They?
    There are now 3 competing forecasts for hurricane season 2010 on the open market. All are looking for an above average season. NOAA's forecast (issued in late May 2010) calls for a season that may approach record status...maybe.
  • CAREERS Summer Weather Camps - A Slide Show
    Middle and high school students with an interest in meteorology and related sciences can now attend summer "Weather Camp." Here are some images to showcase these science-focused camp experiences.
  • Movie Review: "The Joneses"
    Movies may be for escaping, but this one has a bit too much reality in it. Still, it provided an enjoyable night out at the movies.
  • Weather 101 - National Sky Awareness Week
    Look up and you'll be amazed at what's going on in the weather part of the sky. You'll see clouds of all shapes and forms, colors and even interesting optical phenomena. Then do a little research to learn about why these things are happening.
  • Weather 101 - Come to Summer Weather Camp
    Middle and high school students with an interest in meteorology and related sciences can now attend a summer "Weather Camp." Check out this growing suite of linked camps across the U.S. that offer these opportunities at no- to low-cost.
  • Healthcare Reform - Part 3
    Health care legislation has been approved and will become the law of the land on March 24...maybe...
  • Dining Out - a Table Apart (Bonita Springs, FL)
    If you haven't tried A Table Apart, a Hawaiian-French restaurant on Bonita Beach Road in Bonita Springs, FL, you should. The food is great and the prices can't be beat. We give it five-stars!
  • Weather 101 - a Satellite Perspective of Three U.S. Storms
    Weather satellite images provide useful information about atmospheric storms. On February 28, 2010, three storm systems were affecting the U.S. This article provides some insight into satellite image interpretation for large-scale storm systems.
  • Weather 101 - Wave Clouds and the Jet Stream
    An active sub-tropical jet stream has provided south Florida with unparalleled opportunities to enjoy mid- and high-altitude wave clouds this winter. This article provides the background. See associated imagery in the accompanying slideshow.
  • Wave Clouds - Naples, FL (winter 2009-2010) - A Slide Show
    An active jet stream during this El Nino winter has led to increased mid- and high-level cloudiness over south Florida. Much of this has included wave cloud features.
  • It's Valentine's Day and I Love You!
    Valentine's Day has arrived with the rush to give flowers to the people we love. However, it brings some intriguing history, interesting symbolisms and even a deserving new cause. Although flowers are expected, don't forget the chocolate!
  • Math 101 '" Olympic Sports Math
    The Winter Olympics arrives this month. Here's an multi-disciplinary activity that fits 6th grade and above. We had fun developing this activity and we hope you'll enjoy carrying it out. Please let us know it goes. Thanks!
  • Weather 101 - U. S. National Snow Cover Sets Record
    The National Operational Hydrologic Remote Sensing Center routinely determines snow cover across the U.S. and the Columbia River Watershed in southwest Canada. On January 31, 2010 the NOHRSC reported the greatest snow cover since records began in 2003.
  • Healthcare Reform - Part 2
    Healthcare reform is anything but reform. Rather it is an overt attempt to take over one-fifth of our national economy.
  • Weather 101 - Eastern Two-thirds of the U.S. Is Now Locked in a Bitter Cold Wave
    A large arctic high-pressure centered over the Dakotas is funneling abnormally, record-breaking, cold air southward. Temperatures in south Florida will have a hard time reaching into the 60's on January 2 and 3, while nighttime lows dip into the 30s.
  • Air Travel Security: Fact or Fiction
    There's another terrorist act against an American airline. While we are told we shouldn't rush to judgment about terrorist affiliations, we rush to implementing procedures, many of which have no bearing to the terrorist's actions.
  • Mega-monster Midwest Storm Leaves More Weather Records in Its Wake...
    The mega-monster storm is almost history. But, even in its dying throes, the storm has deposited even more weather records.
  • Mega-monster Midwest Storm Leaves Record Snowfall in Its Wake...
    As the mega-monster storm, now in its third full day, slowly slinks off into Canada, it leaves a legacy of snowfall records in its wake. It also brought with it some highly unusual weather patterns.
  • Mega-monster Storm Brings Unusual Weather Patterns
    A mega-monster storm clobbered much of the central U.S. with record-breaking snowfall and even brought record rainfall to a few places in the eastern U.S. But, perhaps, its real claim to fame was the unusual character of the weather that it brought.
  • Mega-monster Storm Smacks Large Parts of the Central and Eastern U.S
    It's not only snow that is falling in the mega-monster storm of December 23-25, 2009 (so far), but so, too, are weather records (past 100 or so years). Here's a partial summary (arranged alphabetically by state) as of 10:00 am EST on Christmas Day.
  • Mega-monster Storm Smacks Minneapolis and Large Parts of the Central and Eastern U.S
    It's got the potential to be among the worst storms to strike the central and eastern U.S. in recent time. Blizzard warnings, tornado warnings, flood watches and more are on the Christmas dinner menu 2009.
  • Healthcare Reform
    Some will be winners and some losers, but the framework of Congressional health care reform, including the buying of congressional votes, will almost guarantee that eventually we will ALL lose.
  • Weather 101 - Carbon Footprints
    There's been a lot of talk at the Global Climate Conference in Copenhagen (December 2009) about "climate footprints." But, what exactly is a "carbon footprint?" Read on to find out --
  • Weather 101 - the Al Gore Effect
    When Al Gore comes to town or attends a major event, weather patterns may not fully support his agenda. While these involve only a few instances of his many appearances, they seem to occur when event visibility is high. Maybe Gore should stay at home...
  • Weather 101 - Let it Snow, Let it Snow.
    Snow comes in many shapes, even though all center on a classical hexagon. These variations are tied to subtle differences in temperature and moisture. Even so, it can still snow when temperatures fall below 0 degrees F.
  • Weather 101 '" Climate Change Updated
    "ClimateGate" threatens to derail the Climate Change Summit in Copenhagen. Meanwhile, the U.S. EPA plans to control the very greenhouse gases that allow Earth to be the most habitable planet in our solar system.
  • Math 101 - Taxes, Fees & Surcharges
    Look at your electric, cable, phone, airline and car rental bills. You will be amazed at the percentage increase there is over the base rate due to taxes, fees and surcharges (TFS'). A recent car rental in Phoenix, AZ had a percentage increase of 73.2%!
  • Travel - Acapulco, MX - A Slide Show
    These images link to our narrative concerning our visit to Acapulco, MX in late 2009. Please read the story first and then enjoy the slide show. While 30 images may not do justice to the city and its environs, it's a good start.
  • Acapulco (Mexico) Impressions
    We spent a week in Acapulco, MX in late 2009. Here is our story, detailing the good, the bad, the ugly and beautiful about our visit. If you are planning a visit to Acapulco or any other Mexican destination, you may find the information helpful.
  • Acapulco Timeshare Terrorism Warning
    Want to buy a timeshare? Don't go to a sales presentation, unless you don't want to leave! The one we attended in Acapulco was the worst we've ever experienced.
  • Hurry Up and Wait
    Airports are well-known for frequent and lengthy line-ups and delays. These include check-in, TSA clearance and actual plane boarding. Unfortunately, these seem to continue to worsen rather than improve. Anticipate these delays and plan for them!
  • Pet Health, Healthy Pet Foods and Healthy Pet Treats
    If you love your dog (and most of us who have a pet dog do), you'll want to think about well-care and health care insurance for your pet. You'll also want to rethink dog foods and treats in favor of those that eliminate grains and fillers.
  • Numero Uno
    There are simply too many examples today (at all levels of live) that attest to the full maturity of the "me generation." "The rules don't apply to me" transcends almost everything we do today. And now I see moms teaching it to their kids --
  • Weather 101 - National Hurricane Center Proposes New Message Formats
    The National Hurricane Center wants to make significant changes to its written hurricane and tropical storm products. They are asking for public input and I encourage you to take advantage of this opportunity to contribute to what a Federal agency does.
  • The Swine Flu 2009-2010 - Updated
    I wrote the following on May 1, 2009: It is still true: "It may turn out to be a significant health threat either now or this coming winter. But, for sure, 'swine flu' is another self-fulfilling media hype that proves 'the sky is falling.'"
  • Math 101 - SPF by the Numbers
    UV (Ultraviolet rays) from the sun can cause sunburns, premature skin aging and skin cancer. Sunscreens and sunblocks help to protect against these rays, but we still need to understand what UV rays are and what SPF ratings really mean.
  • Math 101 - Graphing & Charting (01)
    Graphs let us "see" our data. Instead of just numbers in a table, graphs/charts provide a visual or pictorial perspective. But, one has to graph/chart well in order to make effective and useful visualizations and to interpret those made by others.
  • Weather 101 - Rainbows - A Slide Show
    Rainbows often grace the sky in summer and can even appear in other seasons if the sun, precipitation and viewer are in the right positions. These are some initial images from my growing rainbow image collection.
  • Math 101 - What Makes a Good Tutor?
    Good tutors have many important qualities. These include bonding, understanding, subject matter knowledge and a sincere desire to have the student succeed. You will quickly know if you have found a good tutor!
  • The Observationalist
    Being an "observationalist" isn't such hard work. You just have to be looking around and seeing what fits and what doesn't. It's also fun to just look for patterns in our natural world.
  • Tea Party 09-12-09
    Tea parties abounded anew on 9-12-09 as part of the Project 912 effort. Informed people attending (young and old) expressed their concern and outrage about what is going on in Washington, DC and how it is affecting the Nation.
  • Responsibility in the Classroom and Beyond
    Kids don't do their homework. So, the Collier County School System (Naples, FL) has decided it is better not to assign any. Rather, kids can undertake "academic practice" sans a grade. This is supposed to improve their ability to master concepts?
  • Can Government Really Run it Better?
    History shows that the U.S. government does not operate its programs well - issues about effectiveness, timeliness and costliness compared to private sector or volunteer organizations. Why, then, would anyone want the Feds to run our health care system?
  • Weather 101 '" Other Localized Thunderstorm Patterns
    While sea and lake breezes can sometimes create impressive localized thunderstorm rainfall patterns, there are other factors (geographical, meteorological and otherwise) that can do the same.
  • Weather 101 - Sea and Lake Breezes Rule Florida's Weather
    Sea and lake breezes drive Florida's thunderstorm season. Depending upon the coastal geography and the prevailing wind pattern, afternoon thunderstorms during summer can be far inland or close to the coast.
  • Weather 101 - Hawaiian Hurricanes and Tropical Cyclones
    They don't visit often, but hurricanes and tropical cyclones can wreak destruction on the Hawaiian Isles.
  • Weather 101 - Climate Change
    Skeptics of so-called "climate change" (a.k.a., "global warming" by climate alarmists), know that climate change occurs naturally. Scientific evidence, rather than political hype, indicates that humans are NOT behind recent "warming."
  • Math 101 - Math Education on Capitol Hill
    Does Congress and the White House really understand math? Based on the first 120 days of the Obama Administration (and the previous 8 years), I am not sure that they do. So, my wife and I are offering to help them...
  • Weather 101 - Hurricane Storm Surge
    Meteorologists typically key on a hurricane's leading front right quadrant as the storm surge danger zone. Further, the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale links hurricane winds and surge levels. These generalizations may not be accurate.
  • The Swine Flu and Other Excuses to Be Too Safe
    It may turn out to be a significant health threat either now or this coming winter. But, for sure, "swine flu" is another self-fulfilling media hype that proves "the sky is falling."
  • Southwest Airlines Boarding Process
    Anyone who has flown Southwest Airlines knows that the group boarding process is a major improvement over the previous "cattle car" approach. But what doesn't show at the boarding area now takes place online.
  • Top Fifteen U.S. Tornado Outbreaks
    There are tornado outbreaks and there are TORNADO OUTBREAKS. What makes an outbreak and what are the top 15 (at least in my opinion)?
  • An Open Letter to Ms. Susan Roesgen (CNN)
    Ms. Susan Roesgen provided a "news report" on April 15 from one of the many tea parties held across the U.S. Her coverage was biased and unprofessional. By copy of this letter, I am requesting her resignation.
  • Tax Day 2009 - on Tea Parties
    Hundreds of tea parties were held across America on April 15, 2009. And hundreds of thousands came out to join in a resurgence of conservative beliefs. Today's events suggest that we may have reached a political turning point.
  • Weather 101 - Understanding Sun Safety
    Even meteorologists can become skin cancer statistics. I almost did. Then I became a sun safety advocate. With a million potential skin cancer cases annually in the U.S., we need to act proactively and with knowledge to better safeguard our health.
  • Weather 101 - a Recipe for Disaster (Tornadoes)
    It is often easy to see when weather conditions are in place for a major tornado outbreak. But human factor considerations indicate reasons for concern about an even greater risk of tornado fatalities.
  • Weather 101 - Snow Cover's Effect on Air Temperature
    Snow is highly reflective and can have a dramatic effect on temperature. Incoming sunlight helps to melt snow, rather than warm the ground (which in turn warms the air). In spring, new snow cover can limit afternoon warming by 10 degrees and more.
  • Rating Two Renowned Chicago Pizzerias
    Now that we have discovered two world-renowned pizzerias, we are on a quest for others. Expect to pay dearly for really good pizza, but it is worth it!
  • Federal Bailout + Stimulus = ZERO!
    On one hand we are supposed to spend; on the other hand we are supposed to save. We can't have it both ways, even though Congress and the president wish we could.
  • Weather 101 - Frosts and Freezes in Southern Climes
    Frosts and freezes can be devastating to plants, especially in warmer climatological regions. But, one doesn't have to accept what the weather brings. There are some easy things one can do to prevent loss of plants and/or fruits.
  • Cold Waves in Minneapolis, Minnesota and More.
    Minneapolis can get very cold in the winter. Back in December 2008, I thought VERY cold. Now I know it can be INCREDIBLY cold. The current prolonged cold spell enter record-breaking territory, but ended on January 31, 2009.
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