things to think about

today i am thinking about: COME ON IRENE
August 24, 2011, 12:25 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

There was an earthquake! Maybe you heard! But barreling down the Atlantic ocean is an even MORE interesting problem: Hurricane Irene.

There are a lot of actual meteorologists making a lot of actual predictions. Already, havoc has been wreaked in Puerto Rico, the Bahamas, and the Dominican Republic – and it’s coming for the continental U.S.

Over the next few days, there will be a ton of predictions as to what is coming next. As of 8am EDT, NOAA is predicting Irene’s eye will be around Florida by 2am Friday; she’ll keep blowing up the coast to make landfall sometime Saturday in the Carolinas. It’s a prediction, though, not the truth yet – although North Carolina is preparing. NOAA probably won’t release a hurricane watch/warning until closer to the expected landfall, which is sometime Saturday.

So there is lot to report and there’ll be a lot more. It’s not quite panic time yet in the United States; it’ll depend how it goes as Irene progresses. Predictions currently indicate that she is about to pass over a lot of warm water, and warm water is food for hurricanes. Irene is a category 3 right now – which means sustained winds of 111-130mph – and she could stay at Cat 3 or get even stronger. Once hurricanes are over land, they start to peter out due to topographic obstacles and lack of that all important warm water food. Notably, the islands she is currently decimating are flat and don’t provide a lot of resistance.

What does this mean for folks on the Eastern seaboard? It means we should probably go buy some water now, before it gets more likely – you should have water in your house anyways, in case of emergency. It means that you should do a little digging to figure out where you are relative to evacuation zones (NYC: you can click here to find out.) It means we should be holding in our thoughts – and finding ways to support – all of the people whose homes are already ruined. Hopefully, we will miss this, but from all accounts, North Carolina is about to get it hard and likely it will move up along the East Coast. Stay calm, get some water and food into your house, and keep listening. Hurricanes change all the time.


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