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I had a great post ready yesterday until the blog ate it.  Silly me did not copy to clipboard prior to hitting the Post button.  Sigh.  That I will be able to survive.  What may kill us all will be the meteorologists.

Two storms are brewing -- TS Cindy and soon to be TS Dennis.  Let the hyperventilating begin!

Each burst of thunderstorms since June 1 has been cause for alarm.  Each Special Tropical Disturbance Statement has been thoroughly chewed over.  Each satellite loop played endlessly over and over and over and over...  The May rainfall amounts over Florida have been analyzed again and again. 

TS Cindy will probably end up being a rain event for the gulf coast.  TD Four (soon to be Dennis) will let them gas on ad nauseum for days.  The cyclone is predicted to be over Cuba Friday morning (8 July), so all those Weatherdudes with their cool TV sets just for them will have days to transform the National Hurricane Center's cone of uncertainty (their storm track guesstimate) into a Cone of Certain Death.

The important issue for Florida is the June rainfall.  Central Florida had the second rainiest June in history.  (That is for all those people who live at Orlando International Airport.)  The ground is saturated and all the retention ponds are full.  The real threat for most of Florida will be flooding.

Here are some rules of thumb to remember as we start the Summer of the Storm:

  • Weatherdudes and reporters are only interested in the worst damage and personal Tragedy.
  • Only the Absolute Highest Wind Numbers are cited by Weatherdudes.
  • Weatherdudes rarely mention the size of a storm except when they are talking about Power (a nebulous term that they are allowed to define themselves on the fly).
  • Weatherdudes rarely mention that those Absolute Highest Wind Numbers are only applicable to a relatively tiny portion of the coast on the right side of the storm's eye as it moves ashore.
  • Reporters try to find the Absolute Highest Wind Numbers, dressed in the spiffiest possible rain gear, and then tell you not to stand out in the dangerous winds like they are.
  • Noise cancelling microphones cannot cancel out hurricane winds.
  • The cute furry socks reporters slip over their directional microphones to cut ambient noise just do not work and never seem to look good when drenched with salt spray and covered with muck.
  • Reporters getting beach sand in their face is better TV than broadcasting from the second floor of a Holiday Inn.
  • Reporters instantly become Trained Professionals when standing in hurricane winds.
  • Handheld anemometers make you look more like a Trained Professional.
  • No training is required to be a meteorologist or a Trained Professional when a hurricane exists.
  • Having a mobile weather station on the top of their logoed SUV lets the reporters look more like Trained Professionals and lets them one-up the competition.
  • Reporters have an inherent right to drive on closed streets and do the stupid stuff that common folk can only wish they could do too, but would never risk damage to their vehicle.
  • Storms are not sentient, although Weatherdudes and reporters will make them seem so.
  • Reporters will look for old neighborhoods, manufactured housing and trailer parks to find certain Tragedy.  If they can match them up with the Absolute Highest Wind Numbers, even better.
  • Highlighting any perceived failure in emergency response is key to enhancing the Tragedy.
  • The standard notice from emergency responders that they will not attempt rescues during the height of the storm does not apply to reporters, since they always deserve to be rescued if in immenent danger.
  • Reporters will find someone who's double-wide was just trashed and ask them for their personal thoughts on the Tragedy.

Let's hope we survive the news media, let alone the storms.

Posted on Tuesday, July 5, 2005 7:30 AM Humor and Fun , Hurricane | Back to top

Comments on this post: Hurricane Preparations: Surviving Pontificating Weathermen

# re: Hurricane Preparations: Surviving Pontificating Weathermen
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This reminds me of my first hurricane last year. My wife has lived here for 13 years, so she's experienced a few, and to really top things off, she was in Ft. Leonard Wood, MO watching her oldest graduate from MP school, leaving me to prepare all by my lonesome.

Things I've learned, when shopping for food, take the kids with you. I _thought_ I knew what they liked. I found out I don't know ----. I bought Spaghetti-Os. With meatballs. They can't stand the Spaghetti-Os with meatballs! They want the other kind! Beef jerky? Nope! The oldest set of twins weren't here (yet), and they would have eaten them, but not the younger set of twins!

Do not trust what the hardware store sells you if you don't know what you're buying. I wanted an adapter to run a camper stove off my 20lb propane tank for my grill. Not even close. I ended up cooking on that grill.

And the boy wanted to be home so bad, they drove almost straight through to get home right before the hurricane actually hit. Despite my wife's protestations.

And yes, this is the first wet summer that I've gone through. The creek that runs by our house has gone over it's banks with the latest storms. A good soaker from a hurricane, and we'll be trapped in our neighborhood. That wasn't a concern last year.
Left by Bryan Price on Jul 05, 2005 10:37 AM

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