… with hurricane season, and hurricanes in general (thanks, Jimmy!). Irene has come and gone, and there’s lots of banter in the blogosphere about the hype (lack of calm?) before the storm hit the northeast. As we added our voice to the melee to some degree, it’s only fair that we offer a mea culpa if we were … er … unreasonable.
There are plenty of good reasons we were nervous. The storm had left a good deal of damage in her wake in the Bahamas and then the shorelines of North Carolina. While those reports somehow never made it to national television on every network, when a similar fate threatened the major population centers of the US, there were plenty of cameras, reporters, ink and pixels relating armageddon-like scenarios, some of which we repeated as plausible.
Anybody who’s anybody in the weather biz (which we are not) will tell you that hurricane intensity forecasting is not only an inexact science, but barely an art. They say the past is prologue, and in this storm’s case there was plenty of history for folks to reach the conclusion that the threat was serious. There were a few folks whose forecasts turned out to be more accurate (i.e. Simon Adkins at Advanced Forecasting, Jeff Masters at Weather Underground) than the doomsayers, but they don’t control the cameras. And the government types – the seemingly ubiquitous government types – desperately couldn’t afford to have a Katrina moment, or another snowstorm moment (either vacation or cleanup).
This storm WAS a big deal to those affected, especially those who lost their lives, but also to those who lost property, and others merely inconvenienced by the disruption. Heck, watching your boat tear free on national television can’t be fun. But honestly, it really could have been oh so very much worse, and there’s a reason for the Boy Scout motto – Be Prepared. Tropical Depression 12 is headed this way, and projected to be a Cat 2 storm by Saturday. Will it be? Will it come here? I have no idea, but since it isn’t here this week, I’ll make sure that all the things I forgot to (or just plain didn’t) do will get done before this one shows up.
And I’ll duck, too!