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Elmwood, Nebraska Community E-News

February 28, 2007

Today is the last day of February. Will this be the end of the snow? The above picture looks like something I dug out of the archives, but I actually took this picture on my property this past Sunday morning after the big snowfall. I love the snow. My husband says it’s because I don’t have to remove it! You have to admit though that it was pretty. The weather forecasters say their weather models are showing yet another system of sorts. We hear a lot about weather models and their predictions. What exactly is a weather forecasting model and what does it look like? Have you ever seen it? Is it something secret? Is the groundhog a type of weather forecast model?

Winter Weather & Telephones
If you only have cordless and/or cell phones in your home you might like to know that if the electricity goes off in your home your cordless phone will not work as the phone base requires electricity. Your cell phone will not be able to be charged or kept charged if the electricity is off for any length of time. You might want to consider having an old fashioned hard wire phone as these will still work even when the electricity is off. In the event of an emergency (fire/rescue) you may need a phone during an electrical outage.

In last week’s issue I failed to include the date of the Open House/Pancake Breakfast at Murdock’s NEW Fire Barn. The date is Sunday, March 25th, 10:00 – 2pm. All you can eat and raffles!

Knight-talker’s Speech Team placed 4th overall at the ECNC speech competition. This was held the 21st of February with the following awards:

  • OID – Samantha Colbert, Jessica Mumford, Scott Ronhovde, Tom Leone – 1st overall, 1 Superior!
  • Humorous – Matt Pegler – 1st overall, 1st in Prelims, 2 Superiors (50/50pts)!
  • Entertainment – Sean Stille – 2nd overall, 1 Superior!
  • Poetry – Nathan Hromanik – 4th overall, 2nd in Prelims, 2 Superiors!
  • Serious – Beth Washington – 3rd in Prelims, 1 Superior (49 of 50 pts and was noted to be a tough round!)
  • Humorous – Paige Meyer – 4th in Prelims, 1 Excellent!
  • Informative – Art Burtch – 1 Good!

Cass County Spelling Bee Winner is from Elmwood-Murdock School!
Congratulations to Jake Vavak, a 6th grade student, who won the 5-8th grade category. Jordan Bowman, a 7th grade student, placed 5th. The Spelling Bee was held at Louisville on Feb 21st.

March Calendar at Flying Wheels: (402-994-6655, 402-867-4123)
First, here is the regular schedule:

Sat 10-Noon (free basic lessons at 9:30)
Sat 6:30-10:30pm (last 30 mins is dancing)
Sunday 5-8:30pm is Family Night
Tuesday 6-8:30pm is Adult Night ONLY (must be 17 or older)
Admission Cost:
Sat a.m. - $3 plus skate rental – one adult admission free with each child
Sat p.m. - $4 plus skate rental
Sunday - $3 plus skate rental
Tues - $3 plus skate rental
Skate Rental – Quads (regular skates) - $1
Roller Blades - $2.25.2007

Specials & Events Coming Up!
Friday, March 9th – Rink Rat Night, 6-9:30 pm. Kids under 13 are $3. Adults FREE!
Sunday, March 11th – Meet the No Coast Roller Derby Girls! Exhibition/Practice 2-4pm. $3 admission – Stay for FREE evening session + skate rental. Special Evening Session hours 4-8:30pm.

Eye Clinic for Kids (from the school nurse)
Children less than 18 years of age who do not have health insurance or Medicaid can receive an eye exam, eye care, and needed glasses FREE of Charge.
The Clinic meets the first Thursday afternoon of each month from 1-5pm. All patients are seen on a first-come-first-served basis (No appointments).
Location: 7810 Davenport Street, Omaha, NE (1 block north of 78th & Dodge). (402)397-1815.
The clinic is provided by Richard H. Legge, MD who is certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology.

Cub Scouts – It’s not too late to join!
If interested, the meetings are Monday evenings at 7pm, Elmwood Elementary school cafeteria.

S.O.S Cook Books Available Now!
If you are interested in purchasing, stop at the office at the elementary school. They are $10.

No school this Thurs/Fri, March 1-2.
Also no school next Thurs/Fri, March 8-9.

Speaking of School – 2007-2008 Calendar Dates: (Clip and Keep!)

Aug 20 – First day of school (full student day)
Sep 3 – No School, Labor Day
Sep 12 – 1:15 elementary, 1:30 Jr/Sr high dismissal (Staff Development)
Oct 1 – Parent/Teacher Conferences Noon-8pm (No school)
Oct 11 – 1:15 elementary, 1:30 Jr/Sr high school dismissal (Staff Development)
Nov 14 – 1:15 elementary, 1:30 Jr/Sr high school dismissal (Staff Development)
Nov 21 – Thanksgiving vacation, 1:13 dismissal
Nov 22 & 23 – Thanksgiving Vacation
Dec 20 – Jan 2 2008 – Winter Break (school resumes on the 3rd)
Jan 16 – 1:15/1:30 dismissals (Staff Development)
Feb 7 – Parent/Teacher Conference Noon – 8pm (No school)
Feb 13 – 1:15/1:30 dismissals (Staff Development)
Feb 28 & 29 – No School, Spring Break
Mar 6 & 7 – No School, Spring Break
Mar 21 – No school, Holiday Break
Mar 24 – No school, Holiday Break
Apr 16 – 1:15/1:30 dismissal (Staff Development)
May 10 – GRADUATION at 2pm!
May 21 – Last Student day
*May 23 – Weather make up days, if necessary
(*There are 6 days built into the schedule for lost school days due to heat, snow, or other related emergencies. For each day missed beyond that, a day will be added to the calendar for make-up starting on May 23rd, if needed.)

Well, just because he’s cute and fuzzy doesn’t make the groundhog a weather model. I’m not even sure if I would call him a weather forecaster. But I did communicate with Chayot Thongklin (C.T.) who is the Morning Meteorologist at Action 3 News. C.T. supplied me with several websites with “thorough” explanations and examples of what these models are. Oh, Please C.T.!!! This was like handing a kindergartener a college book of physics! Thankfully, before he suggested I visit these websites, he gave me some other great information and did state that I “asked a simple question, but the answer is much more complex.” Thanks C.T. This did make me feel better! Here is what C.T. had to say:

In a nutshell, a computer (forecast) model is a mathematical simulation of the future state of the atmosphere, based on the current state of the atmosphere. In the meteorological community, we call this Numerical Weather Prediction.

Like all computer programs, you need input to produce output. Input, in our case, is weather data, consisting of: hourly surface weather observations from each state of the U.S. and even international sites (depending on which model you use), weather balloon data providing a vertical snapshot of the temperature and moisture profile over a various locations of the U.S., and even some pilot reports of airborne weather conditions. This input or initialization of data is crunched into many complex mathematical equations that govern motions and thermodynamics of small volumes of air, resulting in a 3-dimensional complete “picture” of the state of the atmosphere. These equations will essentially spit out a simulation of what the atmosphere looks like at a future time you are interested in. The output can look like grids of numbers or actual maps, depending on what variables you want to look at. This is what we would refer to as a computer forecast model.

Not all models are equal, since some have more equations than others and some use more data than others, which leads to longer times to crunch numbers. Some models are only able to forecast up to 12 hours ahead of time, where one is able to forecast out to 384 hours. Most models are initialized twice a day, once around 7 am and again at 7 pm. Our challenge as meteorologists is to get an overall consensus of what these models are simulating for a future time, so we can more confidently say what will happen in the forecast that you will see on TV. If models disagree, or simply suggest opposite forecasts a few days out, our confidence levels drop and we will likely produce a more cautious forecast with lesser changes until we get a few more new models to look at.

I personally look at 5, sometimes 7, models every morning, and use them to guide my forecasts up to a week in advance. They are far from being 100% accurate, but are an extremely useful tool in figuring out what kind of weather we can expect. Between my gut, about 10 years of forecasting experience and the models, I have a pretty good idea of what to expect most of the time.

You can find more thorough explanations of what models are at the following websites:

Models that we use on a daily basis can be found here:

Thank you C.T. (Chayot Thongklin), Meteorologist – Action 3 News!
I couldn’t have said it any better, ha-ha!

Please forward info for the next newsletter by Sunday.
Have a good week!

Gina Fahrenholz

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Village of Elmwood, NE, 2006- 2007