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The Weather Is A Safe Topic — Why Now?
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The Weather Is A Safe Topic

So let’s talk about whether it would be the Wrath of G*d if Hurricane Isaac smacks Tampa during the Republican National Convention.

Back on August 14th Dr. Jeff Masters looked at the probability of Tampa getting hit, and came up with 0.2%. Looking at the current model runs for what is now Tropical Storm Isaac, I think that number is probably better than 1 in 3 at the moment.

If you read Dr Masters’s piece you will learn that it doesn’t take much of a storm to flood the location of the convention center. Any storm coming from the Southwest will push water back into Tampa Bay and they have a mess.

Parties really should take these things into consideration before scheduling large events during the late summer. The Democratic Party could face the same problem in Charlotte.

Let’s face it, if you are looking for Chris Matthews and get Jim Cantore, you have a problem.


1 Steve Bates { 08.22.12 at 11:15 pm }

Bryan, I don’t want it to hit you, or any of my other blogging buddies. But if Isaac were to drown the lot of them at the GOP convention, I would not grieve at all. Wrath of G*d or wrath of Mother Earth, either will do just fine.

2 Kryten42 { 08.22.12 at 11:47 pm }

I was thinking the same thing Steve. *shrug* I suspect most of Tampa residents are solid rethug voters anyway? *shrug*According to the Tampa Bay Business Journal, they are expecting to reap $154mill from the RNC. A good flood & storm would dampen those figures somewhat! 😈

3 Bryan { 08.23.12 at 10:37 am }

Steve, you don’t go to Tampa, any more than you go to New Orleans or Houston if you expect there is going to be a lot of rain – they flood. The ground in South Florida is pretty saturated, so a tropical storm could go from the Keys to Jacksonville without much loss in strength, and Isaac is big enough to draw water from both the Gulf and the Atlantic for the passage.

Let’s see, Kryten – $154 million in income, less $200 million for security theater and violating people’s civil right [not including any follow-up lawsuits] – oh, yeah, lots of money to be made by somebody, just not Tampa taxpayers.

Locals never make money of these big events.

4 hipparchia { 08.23.12 at 8:42 pm }

well, it’s a safe bet we’re going to have weather, anyway. other than that i don’t want to talk about it.

in the past few years i’ve become enamored of the discussion more than the advisories. that newly discovered shift to the west sure sounds like the rnc hot air may be a stronger force than even mother nature, but we’ll see….

5 Steve Bates { 08.23.12 at 10:15 pm }

hipparchia – yep. I always read the discussion. Sometimes I even understand it. At a minimum, I pick up some information, a clue to what places are most likely to have to prepare for a given storm.

Are there really more storms than usual this year, or is it my failing memory?

6 Bryan { 08.23.12 at 10:21 pm }

The track is dependent on it getting sucked up by a trough, and then pushed by a ridge that is supposed to build – in other words, guesses. Jeff Masters said he was waiting until tomorrow to make his guess to see if the trough and ridge are real.

Haiti is going it get hit, but it always does, and they really need to concentrate on planting trees and ground cover for their mountains to control the flooding.

7 Bryan { 08.23.12 at 10:36 pm }

There aren’t more, Steve, they are just coming in clusters rather than spacing out. There is already a third wannabe just off the coast of Africa. The heat is developing the waves, but the dry air is keeping them from getting strong. Isaac sucked in a lot of dry air, and may make a jog by forming around a different center of circulation. It’s a weird storm internally. Reading the comments over at Dr Masters’s blog you get all kinds of extra information and there is no consensus on this one.

As each storm passes they stir the ocean and cool the surface, so there is less energy available for those that follow. This is no 2004 or 2005, but the people in the Leeward Islands have to be getting pretty sick of this mess.

8 hipparchia { 08.23.12 at 11:34 pm }

yep, clusters. and varying clusters, at that.

ivan hit here mid-sept 2004 – so by this measure isaac is a little early! 🙂

katrina hit mid-sept 2005. kate was the nov hurricane that added another month to hurricane season in 1985. frederic hit here mid-sept 1979. in 1995 erin hit here early aug and opal hit here 2 months later in early oct. in 2005, wilma hit late oct.

going back in time… camille hit mid-late aug 1969. celia hit texas early aug 1970. which does sort of seem to suggest we’re getting more hurricanes these days, but i’m too lazy to do any more research.

so some years, by this time, we’ve had a lot of named storms, other years not so many.

9 Bryan { 08.23.12 at 11:53 pm }

We are in the “busy” cycle for hurricanes, rather than the “slow” cycle, so we should get more storms. What’s different is that the season is starting at least a month earlier than normal, and lasting a month longer. In 2005 we ran out of names.

So far we haven’t had a major hurricane, but we have had some zombies, which are really annoying. The Main Development Region in the Atlantic doesn’t seem to be working that way and droughts are having a major impact, filling the atmosphere with dry air.

The reality is that things aren’t working the way they always have, and forecasters are having to adjust to the new reality.