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2007 August 17 — Why Now?
On-line Opinion Magazine…OK, it's a blog
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An Anniversary

Ana Maria at A.M. in the Morning! remembers the 38th anniversary of hurricane Camille hitting the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

Until Katrina, Camille was the storm everyone talked about with good reason. When I passed through the area after the storm there were 60-foot steel fishing boats on the north side of the road that broke loose and went over 6-foot fences on the storm surge.

August 17, 2007   Comments Off on An Anniversary

Hurricane Hunters

Hurricane Hunters

53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron [USAFR]
403rd Wing, Keesler AFB, Biloxi, Mississippi

The officers and airmen, men and women of the 53rd WRS are once again flying out of Keesler AFB, having lost their facilities, and in some case their homes to hurricane Katrina. They fly WC-130J’s into the eyes of tropical cyclones from the center of the Atlantic to the Hawaiian Islands. They are part of the Air Force Reserve, not the regular Air Force, and frankly I would prefer flying into anti-aircraft zones than the eyes of hurricanes at 10,000 feet and below.

The accuracy of current hurricane forecasting is dependent on the readings these people take in the center of these storms.

August 17, 2007   4 Comments

Obersturmfury Dean

As of 8PM EDT Dean has become a Category 4 hurricane with sustained winds of 135 mph and gusts to 155. It continues to track to the West at 18 mph and is getting bigger and nastier as it moves through warm water and light wind shear.

Anyone who can, should get out of Dean’s way. Puerto Rico and Hispaniola can expect tropical storm force winds and rain. Jamaica and the Cayman Islands are now in Dean’s path if nothing changes. You do not want to be on an island smaller than Australia when something like Dean is in the area.

Be aware that when a storm gets as big and powerful as Dean, it can make sudden moves. It is like a spinning top, and can be deflected by relatively minor force. It is currently being steered by a high pressure ridge. If that ridge weakens, Dean can make an abrupt turn to the north and then east, the directions it would normally go on its own. If you are anywhere near this thing you have to pay attention.

Update: at 11PM EDT, Dean is south of Puerto Rico with tropical storm force winds brushing the coast.  It is a much more circular storm and growing larger,  The current sustained winds are 145 mph and it continues to move West.

August 17, 2007   6 Comments

Snow Melts

Barely able to survive on the pittance the government pays [$168K/year], Tony Snow is resigning as the Presidential Press Secretary to return to his old job as Presidential Press Secretary at Faux News.

August 17, 2007   13 Comments

Big Surprise – Not

A while back the military went paranoid on use of the Internet by the troops deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan. The story was they were a danger to operational security posing details of operations in their e-mails and on their blogs, so everything had to be screened and sites had to be blocked.

Unfortunately for this line of reasoning they started monitoring everything and as Noah of Danger Room writes: Army Audits: Official Sites, Not Blogs, Breach Security.

It would appear that in the official efforts to the catapult the propaganda the military PR people are too often violating operational security. When they report “successes,” they are providing too much background. I have to assume that this is being done by contractors, because the actual members of the military who work in the information field are very careful about this.

I’m forced to conclude that it wasn’t a concern for OpSec, but a concern that unspun truth would get out that prompted the clamp down.

August 17, 2007   2 Comments

Hurricane Dean

Lucky break for Martinique as Dean slipped by just to the south so that hurricane force winds only hit the southern half of the island. It is still a Cat 2 with 105 mph winds and still heading West at 20 mph.

The forecast further out is changing which could be good news for Cozumel, but bad news for Jamaica, the Cayman Islands and the Texas Gulf Coast. Two of the models have shifted north bringing the storm as a Cat 4 directly over Jamaica and the Caymans and entering the Gulf just north of the Yucatan as a major hurricane.

Update: At 1:45PM EDT Dean was upgraded to Cat 3 with 125 mph winds and is expected to become a Cat 4 later today. It is still headed West at 21 mph.

August 17, 2007   3 Comments

Friday Cat Blogging

Working Hard

Friday Cat Blogging

You have bony legs, Ex.

[Editor: Income and Excise are in the early stages of training for Synchronized Sleeping in the next Cat Olympics. They are a little unclear as to what a heart looks like.]

Friday Ark

August 17, 2007   8 Comments