Monday, March 20, 2006

Oh goody!

Hurricane Cyclone Larry smashed into the Queensland (Austrailia) coast yesterday as a Cat 5. Thousands are homeless and one official describes the damage as their tsunami. The hardest hit areas have already been warned that recovering is going to be a long, slow process. And right behind Larry, is Wati.

Half a world away, but it's another reminder that June 1 -- the official start of our hurricane season, not that dates mean much -- isn't that far away.

(No, I haven't started stockpiling canned goods and bottled water, yet. I will as soon as the stores start running real sales like they do every year 'bout this time, not the phony weekly ones.)

I usually don't pay attention to the projections so-called weather experts make about what to expect for the upcoming year. Forecasting the weather, after all, is an <polite cough> "inexact science."

(I look at it differently. It's the only "profession" I know of where people can be so wrong so often, and never get fired.)

A few months back the National Weather Service predicted that this year's hurricane season will be just as bad as last year's. They said that there will be just as many storm systems, named storms and hurricanes including major (Cat 3 and above) ones.

That seems, to me, to be way too early to make that kind of announcement.

Joe Bastardi, Chief Forecaster of the Hurricane Center, has been interviewed by FOXNews several times today.

I don't particularly care for him but it might be because of his excitable delivery, like last year when he started warning days and days ahead that Katrina was going to turn into a real bitch. He also did something few forecasters do: he explained very clearly why.

So after hearing Bastardi today, I went over to AccuWeather and read the full report.

[T]he 2006 tropical storm season will still be more active than normal, but less active than last year, with fewer storms than 2005's record 26 named storms and 14 hurricanes.
Oh goody!

We're still going to have more than "normal," just not as many as last year!

Of interest to me, though, was the prediction that the Northeast is going to get smacked, and smacked hard.

"The Northeast coast is long overdue for a powerful hurricane, and with the weather patterns and hydrology we're seeing in the oceans, the likelihood of a major hurricane making landfall in the Northeast is not a question of if but when."
I grew up up there. One of the reasons I take hurricanes so seriously "down here," is because of the only one I've ever actually been through. "Up there." And, it came through on my danged birthday.

I was young and except for the sound of the wind and endless rain, I don't remember that much of Hurricane Donna, itself. That and running in the candlelight from pot to pot on the floor happily yelling, "Mommy! Daddy! This one's full!" is all I recall of it.

I thought it was a game.

When things finally calmed down and it was finally safe to go out on the roads again, Dad made a point of showing me hurricanes weren't.

He took me down to the boat basin in the town he'd grown up in. Or as close to it as he could get without his brakes giving out because the water was still so deep.

The boats were gone.

Well, not really gone..

Pieces of what I guessed were boats stuck up through the water's surface and all around. The only thing I could tell was definitely some sorta boat, had been driven completely through the second story of somebody's house.

Decades after that, Hurricane Gloria hit.

I was "down here" by then, but my parents were still "up there."

With as bad a things were, neither Donna nor Gloria were "major" hurricanes.

We're used to preparing for them. We know what they can do.

The people up there don't have a clue.


Blogger ABFreedom said...

Interesting ... never been through a hurricane. Been awful close to a few tornados though ... I can only assume that a hurricane is somewhat similar. I guess the primary difference would be that a hurricane would seem to last forever and packs a lot of water. Both can be very destructive.

8:42 PM  
Blogger doyle said...

I'd rather not being around either, but given a choice I'd take a hurricane.

You get plenty of warning and can make a decision whether to try to ride it out or GET the hell out.

Twisters? Whoop! There it is, with wind speeds (the Fujita Scale) way up beyond hurricanes. The damage they cause is as catastropic is not more so, just more localized.

We get tornadoes, too, just more when hurricanes are around. They create loads of 'em, hundreds of miles outside their path.

The best reporting on Florida hurricanes before, during and after? Forget the media.

Florida's bloggers have put them to shame for years.

(Which is one of the reasons why I have so many in my sidebar.)

6:30 PM  
Blogger ABFreedom said...

I noticed that last year ... thank you for all your efforts. We get an average of 400 tornados in this province every year, but the majority of them are very weak. Only about 1 or 2 percent actually get strong enough to be kind of destructive. Biggest was F4 which went through about a mile away from me ... what a mess ..

7:47 PM  

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