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Archive for the ‘Mother Nature’ Category

Know Which Way the Wind Blows

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LIFE THREATENING INUNDATION LIKELY!

ALL NEIGHBORHOODS...AND POSSIBLY ENTIRE COASTAL COMMUNITIES...
WILL BE INUNDATED DURING THE PERIOD OF PEAK STORM TIDE. PERSONS
NOT HEEDING EVACUATION ORDERS IN SINGLE FAMILY ONE OR TWO STORY
HOMES WILL FACE CERTAIN DEATH.

National Weather Service
Hurricane Local Statement WTUS84 KHGX

To paraphrase Bob, you don’t need an actuary to calculate them risks.

[Intriguing Update: The above-quoted text was copied-and-pasted directly late 9/11, no edits made here. But go to the source document on Friday, 9/12, and one word has been changed: “WILL” is now “MAY”. Still reads rather strong (although the actuary might debate the inconsistency of pairing the uncertainty of “may” with the apparent absolute of “certain”), but one does wonder why the change.]

[An Even More Intriguing Update: Government censors strike, just one of countless times they will do so during Ike and its aftermath! The post-Ike version of this NWS alert completely drops the above quote, which nevertheless did appear in the uncensored version!!]

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Written by macheide

11 September 2008 at 9:45 pm

Posted in Mother Nature

Ike, Meet Lowell?

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About 4:30pm CDT here south of Houston, we just went through a brief but rather steady downpour.

A rain band coming in from Hurricane Ike this early on??

Back inside, I check out the satellite images and find a possible surprise. Which can be seen from this snapshot of a series of moving satellite images – not the best one of the set for showing the entire connection I’ll point to, but perhaps the best snapshot for showing the strength of a second system: Pacific Tropical Depression Lowell, currently coming in on the west coast of Mexico. As a named tropical system, Lowell will die on Mexico’s west coast before dark tonight. But what is all that precipitation stretching up from Lowell across Mexico deep into Texas. Is that junk spit out by Lowell before it made landfall? Or just something else that came in from the western U.S. to merge with a leading edge of Lowell?

Because what we saw here this afternoon seems to have come in at us from the west, from a stray strand leaning east from that large Mexican system. The only connection with Ike seems to maybe have come from a ultra-long spiral that reaches from Ike clear down through Guatemaula and back up, but reaching back as far as Houston only after connecting up with that main Mexican system. (Ignore what are probably Ike-related gray splotches near Houston in the image given in this post. Although this pic seemed the best for pointing to Lowell, it represents conditions about 3 hours before our little downpour. Around the time of the downpour, the only stuff overhead here was coming in a band stretching up from our southwest.)

More importantly, where is that stuff currently in western Texas headed? And if it connects up with Ike, what does that do? I’m sure the meteorologists have looked at all this; and it must amount to nothing, since we’ve heard nary a word about anything coming into Houston through our back door. Only Ike knocking on the front door. Still, tell me where our 4:30pm rain came from this afternoon, eh?

And I’m smirking a little at all any evacuees who decided against driving up to Dallas because of Ike’s projected northern bearing, choosing instead to head west to San Antonio . . . perhaps only to face drenching rain coming up at them from the southwest.

bumper sticker [www.internetbumperstickers.com] - mother nature

Written by macheide

11 September 2008 at 4:45 pm

Posted in Mother Nature

Hurricane Ike Preparations

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* * * At midnight moving into Saturday, 9/13,
Ike’s eye should pass over our roof within about 4 hours
still at hurricane strength when it does.
* * *

Subscribe to aftermath’s Hurricane Ike Map RSS feed.

Most of my blogging on Hurricane Ike from here on out will be contained on notes under the markers on my personal tracking map. And I’ll keep this aftermath post sticky until the storm is history, building it through then.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by macheide

10 September 2008 at 7:45 am

Zero Storm Surge Risk

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Comforting to know, the only storm surge risk our house faces will come only from my surge in interest in storms.

Back in 2001, tropical storm Allison (in part notable as the only Atlantic tropical system to have its name retired despite never reaching hurricane strength) taught me exactly how flat the Houston area is: virtually the entire area went underwater, with the floodline in our own neighborhood coming right up to our front door. So when 2005’s hurricane Rita bore down on Houston before veering north, dire predictions of storm surge gave me nightmarish visions of Gulf waves washing down our street. Research in preparation for a possible visit from Ike settles those fears. A direct hit from a cat 5 would leave areas in the light green and all other shoreward colored areas under water from storm surge, clearly devastating the region more than Katrina left New Orleans. But although we might still see enough rain to flood our own street, our house would be in no danger from storm surge.

My own mental “storm surge” recognizes no such boundaries. A lifelong map addict, I’ve always meant to track an incoming hurricane on one of those maps the local news broadcasters hand out at our local grocery stores every summer. This past weekend I finally did start taking pen to a tracking map, getting as far as a single plot point and scribbled note before realizing that only an electronic version would suit macheide. So I’ve been recording Ike’s progress on a personal google map, with each icon on the map holding what is emerging as an extended aftermath blog post in its own right, growing with every approaching step the storm takes toward us. Life jackets, everyone.

bumper sticker [www.internetbumperstickers.com] - mother nature

Written by macheide

9 September 2008 at 5:37 pm

Posted in Mother Nature

Worst Wet We’ll Witness

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My money’s riding on the bet that this 5-minute gullywasher that slowed my outbound commute this afternoon will be the worst weather we see over the course of the next 10 days.

That’s right, I do think we have a tropical storm force field protecting us: hurricanes that head straight for us bounce south or north just as everyone’s running around fretting about how to get out of town. So although I’m having fun playing with maps tracking Ike, we’re not making hotel reservations inland.

Bring it on!

bumper sticker [www.internetbumperstickers.com] - mother nature

Written by macheide

8 September 2008 at 2:31 pm

Posted in Mother Nature

Here Comes the Storm

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At dusk in Houston, we’re starting to see cloud cover from Gustav. I still haven’t gotten around to filling the Blue Bug‘s tank, but I don’t expect to regret my procrastination. Yes, we’ll be “wise” enough to keep an eye on the storm reports through the evening as it takes aim at New Orleans, but blame that more on the void in any other good TV than on any local weather threat. Even if the remnants veer westward, as some projections send it, we’ll be on the clean side of things and at most see a little leftover wind, hardly enough to make me worry about taking in the lawn furniture. Watch me yawn.

bumper sticker [www.internetbumperstickers.com] - mother nature

Written by macheide

31 August 2008 at 6:43 pm

Posted in Mother Nature

Hard Rain

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Tropical Storm Edouard gave us less wind and rain than this standard Texas gullywasher that passed through ever so briefly the day after.

bumper sticker [www.internetbumperstickers.com] - mother nature

Written by macheide

6 August 2008 at 11:41 am

Posted in Mother Nature