Friday, September 24, 2004

Here We Go Again

As incomprehensible as it is to me, we in South Florida have yet another hurricane headed straight for us.

Though Jeanne's been out there for quite some time (killing over a thousand in Haiti alone), the forecast track put us in the center of the crosshairs only yesterday. She's expected to make landfall on Sunday already.

The town will begin shutting down in a few hours (at my own office it's expected that everyone will be sent home after the 11am advisory) and we'll go through the whole drill yet again. I'm concerned, however, because people here have been so wrung out by these storms that this one is meeting with little more than a shrug of the shoulders. Yet, with Jeanne expected to reach Category 3 status, the direct threat is everything that Frances was only a little more. The worst threat, as with Frances, is to those a little to the north of Palm Beach County, but even people as far south as Miami-Dade experienced damage from the weaker Frances.

If you have any prayers left for us down here, they'd be appreciated.

(**Just a note for the enviro-nuts who are screaming that the sudden "increase in hurricanes is due to global warming": We're up to the "J's" in this year's hurricane season. A quick look through the archives shows me that in 1971 (a year picked at random), "Janice" was a storm from September 21-24. Last year, Hurricane Juan lasted from September 24-29. In other words, the hurricanes are coming at about the same rate they usually come. In 1995, we were already up to Hurricane Marilyn by this date--that year's "J" storm occured in August.

Sure, it's been a busy year for hurricanes. But if this is the sudden result of some sort of recent phenomenon, how do you explain the following, from the National Hurricane Center?:
The most hurricanes to strike in one year were six in 1916 and 1985. There were five in 1933, and four in 1906, 1909, and 1964. Three hurricanes struck the U.S. in one year a total of sixteen times. Ten of these sixteen times occurred during the sixteen years from 1944 to 1959!
As any hurricane expert can tell you, it's a cyclical thing. There are busy decades and quiet ones. This is a busy one. And it's pretty much right on time.)

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