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This Is Annoying

Isaac is has become an Emergency Manager’s nightmare. You do everything to prepare and then nothing happens.

The 10AM CDT pressure would be normal for a Category 2 hurricane, but Isaac can’t boost its core wind speed to 65 knots [75mph/120kph] and hold it long enough to be called a minimal Category 1. For days it has been building eyewalls, but they are collapsing because it sucked in dry air. It is sitting in a sauna, and can’t moisten the dry air enough to get on with its business.

Because of the coastal Doppler radars [those that are still left after the Shrubbery’s purge] the forecasters can watch the eyewalls being built, but then they erode.

Things has shifted left this morning, and I’m on the eastern border of the Tropical Storm Warning. I awoke to sunshine and breezes, not exactly what I expected. At about 10:45AM there was a brief squall that is associated with an outer band, but Atlanta, Georgia and Montgomery, Alabama have gotten worse weather from this storm than I have.

There is going to be at least another day of this, and it is really wearing on my nerves. The people in New Orleans have to be going nuts, with Katrina survivors having flashbacks.

What people probably don’t understand is that if Isaac had spun up, it would have already come ashore and would not be out in the Gulf pushing surge against the coast and into the bays. As a tropical storm it is sitting out there wobbling around, eroding the beaches and barrier islands. The rest of country has ‘skin in the game’ because the price of gas will go up..

8 comments

1 Steve Bates { 08.28.12 at 11:54 pm }

One exasperating aspect of global climate change deniers is that they utterly refuse to acknowledge that what we are seeing is not merely different in degree but different in kind from what we’ve seen in the past. Even Dr. Masters mentioned it today: he had never before seen an eyewall phenomenon like that of Isaac.

I’m glad the brunt of it missed you, Bryan. But I’m concerned for New Orleans. I wonder if they ever fully recovered from Katrina… certainly despite the efforts of GeeDubya if they have.

2 Kryten42 { 08.29.12 at 12:24 am }

There was a discussion on a special report on TV last night about all the weird weather phenomenon. You could hear the frustration and at times exasperation of climatologists and weather experts. one of the main points was: how can you predict what is likely to happen when weather phenomena is behaving less as it has or should and is becoming more unpredictable? They agreed that unless some serious real work was done now about global climate change, weather phenomena would get worse, more people would die, and the cost of loss and recovery would bankrupt Nations. The cost of addressing the core problem will be far less than the cost of ignoring it or hoping it will go away. They appeared quite serious to me. I believe them.

Anyway Bryan, glad you are OK. 🙂

3 Badtux { 08.29.12 at 12:51 am }

Steve, I wouldn’t say that Isaac is different *in kind*. I was in Lafayette when Hurricane Juan hit in 1985, Juan was pretty erratic too, doing a loop-de-loop, coming onshore, looping back offshore, coming onshore, wobbling back and forth over Lafayette a couple of times, looping back offshore, and *finally* heading off to the east towards Atlanta. Again it was a fairly weak storm thus why it was being kicked all around by conflicting steering winds as vs a strong storm that makes its own steering winds… but a fairly weak storm that dropped 15 inches of rain on us and put as much water on our street as the much stronger Hurricane Rita due to how long it stayed around.

4 Bryan { 08.29.12 at 1:06 am }

The reason I’ve been including quotes from the NHC is to highlight that the guys I’ve been reading for a decade are getting really edgy about this stuff. They have busted their butts to create a system that has provided more accurate predictions every year, and then they get a clinker like Isaac. They weren’t confident where it was headed or how strong it would be when it got there.

The good news for New Orleans is that the Mississippi is down 7 feet because of the drought, so the surge won’t be as bad there as it would have been in a normal year. Climate change giveth and climate change taketh away.

This storm got to me because the numbers weren’t making any sense at all. The pressure says 100mph+, but it’s 80mph. The intensity models were all wrong. Where in hell is that dry air coming from? The sucker has been spreading rain from the Atlantic to the coast of Texas. The highest wind speeds were in the Southwest quadrant?!

It’s not like were haven’t had almost continuous aircraft coverage in the storm since it entered the Gulf, often with both NOAA and the Air Force in the storm at the same time. There has been massive amounts of good data to run through the models, and we couldn’t pin it down.

The people of New Orleans are going though hell tonight reliving something most would like to forget. It is a form PTSD, and it takes a long time to get over it, if you ever do.

Well, I feel bad for the people in Columbia, South Carolina, because they are being drowned and no one knows it. Every time I looked at the regional radar picture over the last several days they have had a huge glob of red and yellow over their heads.

I’m pleased that my Mother is finally calming down, mostly because I used my laptop to show her what was going on, while she has been trying to get information from television all day. The Weather Channel is fixated on New Orleans for obvious reasons, but she wants to know what’s going on in coastal Okaloosa County and they have cancelled their local features for the duration.

I’m doing great because my Mother and the cats are finally sleeping and not annoying me.

5 Bryan { 08.29.12 at 1:16 am }

Badtux, it stalled at 1AM. Your brother may need the ZACK and a boat.

6 Badtux { 08.29.12 at 2:05 am }

Yah, been watching it on the National Weather Service satellite, since the news is useless. But my brother’s in Lafayette so he’s not getting anything at all right now rain-wise, all the rain is to the north and east of the wanna-be eyewall.

7 Steve Bates { 08.29.12 at 12:49 pm }

BadTux, I stand by my statement, “different in kind,” based on Dr. Masters’s naming of things he had never seen before. I am no meteorologist, let alone hurricane expert, but I will generally take the word of one. As for personal experiences (though they are not a good basis for general knowledge), I’d be happy to match you storm-for-storm. I’ve been through a few in my life.

8 Badtux { 08.29.12 at 1:42 pm }

Steve, I was just mentioning one storm in 1985 that behaved in a bizarre manner and required totally re-writing the then-existing models. The fact that I actually was under it was just gravy. I have since moved away from hurricane zones, and now only have to worry about the earth deciding to move without warning.