(Update 10/28/12–Here is the latest story from The New York Times on the progress of the storm. The National Atmospheric and Oceanic Adminstration link below continues to note the course of the storm.)
There is a giant storm headed for east coast of the United States and for inland areas of the nation as well. Some are calling this storm a “Frankenstorm.”
(Above–A recent satellite image of Hurricane Sandy and the eastern half of the United States.)
From Bloomberg Businessweek—
The superstorm expected to develop from Hurricane Sandy probably will mean that millions of people lose power for a week as airplanes are grounded and coastal areas are flooded by tidal surge and rain. The system, dubbed “Frankenstorm” by the National Weather Service, will grow out of Sandy and two other storms rushing eastward across the U.S….Because of the large size of the system and the slow motion, it’s going to be a long-lasting event, two to three days of impacts for a lot of people,” said James Franklin, branch chief at the National Hurricane Center. “The kinds of things we are looking at ultimately would be wind damage, widespread power outages, heavy rainfall, inland flooding and again, somebody is going to get a significant surge event out of this.” Sandy is expected to be so large it will cover the eastern third of the United States, said Louis Uccellini, director of the National Centers for Environmental Protection in College Park, Maryland. …’
A candidate for Congress in Rhode Island has asked that supporters take down his campaign yard signs so they don’t become projectiles in the storm.
Does this storm have anything to do with global warming?
“Hurricanes are expected to dump 20% more rain in their cores by the year 2100, according to modeling studies (Knutson et al., 2010). This occurs since a warmer atmosphere holds more water vapor, which can then condense into heavier rains. Furthermore, the condensation process releases heat energy (latent heat), which invigorates the storm, making its updrafts stronger and creating even more rain. We may already be seeing an increase in rainfall from hurricanes due to a warmer atmosphere. A 2010 study by Kunkel et al. “Recent increases in U.S. heavy precipitation associated with tropical cyclones”, found that although there is no evidence for a long-term increase in North American mainland land-falling tropical cyclones (which include both hurricanes and tropical storms), the number of heavy precipitation events, defined as 1-in-5-year events, more than doubled between 1994 – 2008, compared to the long-term average from 1895 – 2008. As I discussed in a 2011 post ”Tropical Storm Lee’s flood in Binghamton: was global warming the final straw?”, an increase in heavy precipitation events in the 21st Century due to climate change is going to be a big problem for a flood control system designed for the 20th Century’s climate.”
What is our response to climate change as a nation?
The issue did not come at all in the Presidential debates.
Also, our weather satellites are aging and breaking down and we don’t have all the information we need to track weather systems.
“The United States is facing a year or more without crucial satellites that provide invaluable data for predicting storm tracks, a result of years of mismanagement, lack of financing and delays in launching replacements, according to several recent official reviews.”
Hopefully the storm will weaken and people in the path of the storm will be well-prepared and safe.
(Update 8/26/12–If you click the first link below you will get the current report on Isaac. While I hope the storm breaks up, at current it is headed to Mississippi and Louisiana. These are conservative southern states that often send people to Washington who complain about the federal government. You can be certain though these places will looking for federal help in the unfortunate event that the storm does a lot of damage.)
As you see from the National Hurricane Center map above, Tropical Storm Isaac may be arriving in Florida at the same time as the Republican National Convention.
Though by Monday it may be known as Hurricane Isaac. Here is the hurricane center page on Isaac.
The convention is set to begin on Monday in Tampa. Tampa is on the Gulf of Mexico side of Florida.
I think the hurricane will go where it will go for whatever reason. I imagine though that some religious people might see a message if a hurricane comes and disrupts a major party convention.
There really are so many possible reasons.
Folks who live in areas prone to hurricanes will know that the area in which a hurricane might strike is called the cone of uncertainty.
You’ll see that there is a large swath of land and sea within the cone.
Also in a cone of uncertainty are your rights if the Romney/Ryan/Todd Akin ticket wins this November.
Mitt Romney met in 2012 with the Cincinnati doctor—Jack Wilke—who is an architect of many of Todd Akin’s extreme views. Dr. Wilke says that he–Wilke–and Governor Romney are in strong agreement on many concerns.
Hopefully the tropical storm will dissipate and people will not be hurt.
As for the Romney/Ryan/Akin Republican Party—You can bet on them inflicting full-blown misery on the American people every chance they get.
Above is a National Weather Service radar picture from yesterday afternoon of Tropical Storm Debby.
I enjoyed the three question marks in this image.
I also like where it says “Considerable uncertainty with forecast movement beyond Sunday.“
It may well be the case that despite having satellites and radar and scientists and computer models that you still may not know which way the storm is heading.
There is no nothing at all wrong in admitting that you are simply not sure about something.
This radar image is a fine lesson for us all.
What course will the storm take this week? Will it be a strong storm?
All anybody can do is guess.
No shame in that.
The Obama administration is making a new effort to protect barrier islands and other coastal resources in the Gulf of Mexico area. Mississippi and Louisiana seem to be a specific focus of this program.
(Above–A picture of Ship Island off the Mississippi coast. In the background you see Fort Massachusetts. The federal government controlled the island in the Civil war and used the island as a prison for Confederate soldiers. Black combat units were also trained on Ship Island. Here are facts about Ship Island.)
From the Associated Press article on the Obama Gulf Coast effort—
“Since the 1930s, the Mississippi River delta has been slowly falling apart and eroding due to levee construction, oil drilling hurricane damage and other factors. Louisiana has lost about 2,100 square miles of coast and loses about 25 square miles a year, according to the U.S. Geological Survey…With sea levels on the rise due to global warming, experts warn that much of south Louisiana and Mississippi are at risk of being lost for good.”
This sure is interesting. You’d think that the good God-fearing folks down in Mississippi and Louisiana would oppose federal dollars to help remedy the effects of the great scam of global warming.
Here is a recent New York Times story about how people crazy enough to think that evolution is not real, are now adding global warming to their list of hoaxes.
I’m out of patience with this stuff. People are free to believe what they wish. Freedom of religion is a principle our nation is founded upon. But schools and public debates are places for facts. They are not places for ideologically-driven lies.
Maybe a referendum should be held in Mississippi and Louisiana to be sure that folks in these places believe in global warming. We don’t want to be wasting taxpayer dollars.
Here is a Times of London story about the possible impact of global warming on people and animal life across the globe.
Here is more from the Associated Press story—
“Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal said the report “clearly demonstrates a positive shift in direction, but must be coupled with aggressive action on the ground — turning dirt. There is no time for delay.”
You are reading this correctly—Republican Governor Bobby Jindal of Louisiana wants some swift federal action to help address a problem in his state.
Here is how Governor Jindal felt about federal money last year–
“Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal announced Friday that he will decline stimulus money specifically targeted at expanding state unemployment insurance coverage, becoming the first state executive to officially refuse any part of the federal government’s payout to states.”
Here is the White House press release about this federal help that the people of Mississippi and Louisiana will no doubt be glad to take.
From the release–
“Ultimately, successful implementation of the shared vision depends on access to the best available science in a form that is useful for management decisions. The Working Group will assess current capacities and identify gaps in science so the Federal-State vision will be implemented based on the best information.”
I put the term “best available science” in bold so that nobody would miss what is being said. The Feds are coming down South to cram global warming down the throats of the people. Time for a tea party!
Is Republican Governor Haley Barbour of Mississippi going to tolerate this federal intrusion?
From Think Progress, here is a portion of Mr. Barbour’s record on the environment from when he was a corporate lobbyist–
“Back at his lobbying firm in early 2001, Barbour was hired “to help apply pressure in all the right places.” He convinced President Bush to break his campaign promise to reduce global warming pollution from power plants. Barbour’s memo “Bush-Cheney Energy Policy & CO2” belittled global warming as a “radical fringe issue,” and called the regulation of carbon dioxide pollution “eco-extremism.” He urged the President Bush to avoid making decisions informed by science, which would “trump good energy policy, which the country has lacked for eight years.”
Here is the full report on Mr. Barbour’s record on the environment.
The federal government has dominion over the states. In this case, the federal government is going to provide help for Mississippi and Louisiana no matter if they like it or not.
(Below–Fort Livingston on Grand Terre Island off the coast of Louisiana. This fort, named after a political figure from New York, was built by the federal government and fell back into federal hands after the fall of New Orleans in the Civil war. Here are some facts about Grand Terre Island.)
When we switch to digital TV, how will I be able to watch my tiny black and white battery powered TV for the five day power outage after the next hurricane?
I won’t be able to watch that TV during hurricane blackouts. That’s the damned answer.
I might as well toss that little TV in the trash right now.
I’m just glad we are not moving towards digital flashlights and candles. Then I’d have to sit in the dark until power came back on after the next hurricane.
Blogger’s note–There is a comment below that offers a suggestion for this problem.
Update 6/8/09—Here is a Wall Street Journal story about the upcoming June 12 switch . Many are still not ready.
The following was in a recent New York Times article about the Israeli assault on Gaza—
The Israeli Army also dropped thousands of leaflets into some residential districts warning inhabitants to evacuate their homes. Because of “the activity of terrorist groups,” the leaflets said in Arabic, the army “is obliged to respond quickly and work from inside your residential area.” Many residents of one apartment block in Gaza City said they had nowhere else to go and would stay in their homes.”
This made me think about all the people who did not evacuate New Orleans before Hurricane Katrina or Galveston before Hurricane Ike. It was clear from news reports that many who stayed behind were very poor.
If folks don’t feel they have a better option but to stay and take their chances, they will quite possibly not evacuate when troubl is on the way. I think this is one of those cases where you have to be in the other person’s shoes to fully understand.
Though it is certainly easy, as I heard many times here in Houston after Hurricane Ike, to sit high and dry and criticize others. All I can say in reply is that if people are telling you that they are not going to get out of the way of bombs and hurricanes, I bet they have a good enough reason. At least in the context of their lives and their experiences in life, they have a good enough reason.
Here is a poem I wrote called Hurricane Poem
Projected one way
The storm went another way.
I have never been
In control of events.
The tide is up
From the force of the distant storm.
My life is shattered
By something I never saw.
I followed the evacuation route.
It was clearly marked by the signs.
Why are you still with me?
What can I do to get away?
The storm looped around
Ans destroyed what we thought had been spared.
Above is a picture of the hurricane dam in Providence, Rhode Island. It was built in 1966.
I took this picture in Providence two weeks ago.
Hurricanes flooded Downtown Providence in 1938 and 1954.
A storm surge came up from Narragansett Bay and swamped the city.
Here is a story in the Providence Journal discussing how effective the dam would be if a big hurricane came today. The story tells how the barrier would work in a storm.
As a kid, I always enjoyed seeing the hurricane dam. I found viewing the dam recently to be just as fun at 40 as it was when I left Providence in 1980.