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I don’t have a good feeling about THIS.  As you watch the loop, notice how the eye of the storm can almost instantly jog one way or the other, effectively shifting the storm’s location at the blink of an eye.

I grew up on the Louisiana coast and have been through some of the more memorable hurricanes to hit America including most recently, Hurricane Ike, that barrelled right over the top of me and my husband in 2008.  Believe me when I tell you that hurricanes are no frigging fun.  If hit by even a small hurricane one can count on the electricity going out and probably the water service too.  If a sizable one, like Ike was, the electricity can be out for weeks.  It can take hours and hours of waiting in line for gasoline.  Finding a grocery store is all but impossible, with little in the way of fresh food if fortunate enough to locate one.  Most here in the Clear Lake/Galveston Bay area have portable generators for such an event, but they only make things barely tolerable.

I am torn when I see a satellite loop like the above.  On the one hand, the scientist in me realizes that the National Hurricane Center  has got there act together and their computer models are more accurate every year.  On the other hand, accuracy is relative and the NHC itself will tell you that their four day forecast can be as much as 175 nautical miles off…the five day forecast as much as 225 miles in error…that’s 201 and 258 miles respectively.  That margin of error is the difference between a gusty, breezy day and making life miserable for hundreds of thousands of people for months on end.  Nonetheless, the NHC is way good at what they do.

On the other hand, the old coon asses down in South Louisiana where I grew up used to say that once a hurricane entered the Florida Straights, the body of water between the tip of Florida and Cuba, they needed to prepare.  Irene is very close to that point.   A slight jog or two to the West could put it into the Gulf.   Time and time again the most dangerous storms to hit the Gulf Coast did just that.  Katrina (Louisiana and Mississippi), Ike (Texas), Betsy (Louisiana), Andrew (Florida and Louisiana), Rita (Texas and Louisiana), and Hilda (Mississippi) to name a few.  If one lives on the Gulf Coast, hurricanes are no laughing matter.  The proverbial “hurricane party” is a myth, only being an outtake of those of whom are unable or unwilling to evacuate drinking to overcome extreme apprehension. Watching a city blow away while the winds howl for twelve to fourteen hours is unnerving.

HERE IS MY POST  about going through Hurricane Ike…with links to photos…

I read on some of the blogs of those in the Carolinas that they are being careful and responsible.  But, there words don’t ring true and their articles have an undertone of adventure and anticipation.  It’ll only take one decent hurricane for them to change their tune.  Believe me, those who live on the Gulf Coast watch every storm intently and are never satisfied until it is high in the North Atlantic.  Hurricanes are unpredictable, and until they are long gone, dying, and dead…are a huge threat not to be taken lightly.


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