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2007 August 18 — Why Now?
On-line Opinion Magazine…OK, it's a blog
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In Local News

Orlando Sentinel: Cops ask for guns, get missile launcher

Orlando emptied its bureau drawers and closets Friday of more than 300 unwanted guns — and one surface-to-air missile launcher.

The shoulder-fired weapon showed about 6 p.m. when an Ocoee man drove to the Florida Citrus Bowl to trade the 4-foot-long launcher for size-3 Reebok sneakers for his daughter.

Sarasota Herald-Tribune: It’s the stuff of horror: a bay jaunt, and a shark

It was only the seventh reported unprovoked shark bite in Sarasota County since 1882, and the second one this year, according to the International Shark Attack File at the Florida Museum of Natural History in Gainesville.

The boat was isolated, the wind was light and there was little light other than the green glow from the algae when the swimmers or other fish stirred the water.

What’s the matter with that girl, didn’t she see Jaws? The 6-foot bull shark that munched on her did, and knew that it had to do its duty to sharks everywhere – when a 20-year-old girl takes a nighttime swim in your waters, you are required to bite her. [It’s part of the code of sharks, lawyers and politicians are exempt.]

August 18, 2007   6 Comments

A Little Good News On Dean

As predicted, Dean is going through an eyewall replacement cycle, and while the maximum sustained winds have only dropped to 145 mph, the eye “wobbled” and is tracking more to the West than West Northwest at 17 mph. This is good news because it brings the track down so that it now appears it will pass Jamaica to the South rather than going right over it, and it will also pass to the South of the Caymans and Cozumel. With a 60-mile wind radius for hurricane force winds, it obviously makes a difference how far to the South, but it looks better than a direct hit.

This is obviously not good news for people further South on the Yucatan, but there are fewer people to evacuate than there were.

With hurricanes you take the news as being double-edged – if you dodge the bullet, someone else gets hit.

August 18, 2007   6 Comments

Expert Opinion

Dr. Jeff Masters writes that Dean appears to be going through an eyewall replacement, which is good news in the short term, but means that it isn’t likely to happen again before smacking the hell out of Jamaica.

His current assessment: “worst hurricane strike on Jamaica for over a century,” “could rival Ivan as the Cayman’s worst hurricane strike of the past century,” “civil defense is so good in Cuba that I don’t expect any loss of life,” and “it looks very bad for Cancun and Cozumel.”

It isn’t the wind, it’s the water. It’s the flooding from the rains that cause most of the deaths in hurricanes – except for those people “protected” by Corps of Engineers levees and floodwalls [my snark].

August 18, 2007   2 Comments

Obersturmfury Dean

Dean is South of the Dominican Republic bringing tropical storm force winds and rain. Southwestern Puerto Rico is still being hit. As it moves WNW at 17 mph along the coast the the winds will pick-up with the Southwestern tip of Haiti receiving hurricane force winds and torrential rains as the day wears on.

Dean currently has 150 mph sustained winds with 185 mph gusts. It is moving WNW at 17 mph. It will probably become a Category 5 hurricane later today before it hits Jamaica. The current forecast has it hitting Jamaica, the Caymans, and Cozumel as a Category 5 with sustained winds of 155+ mph.

With storms this big it is normal for them to undergo eyewall replacements, which are the equivalent of stopping and taking a short break before going back to work. Dean may drop in intensity for a short period, but it has everything it needs to spins right back up.

August 18, 2007   4 Comments