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Storm Update

This is one of the weirdest storms in recorded history. Jeff Masters has been calling it "the Joker" for several days because of its unpredictability, but the latest turn--an intensification over land--has him amazed:

It does happen sometimes that the increased friction over land can briefly act to intensify a hurricane vortex, but this effect is short-lived, once the storm is cut off from its oceanic moisture source. To have a storm intensify over land and maintain that increased intensity while over land for 12 hours is hard to explain. The only thing I can think is that recent rains in Florida have formed large areas of standing water that the storm is feeding off of. Fay is also probably pulling moisture from Lake Okeechobee. Anyone want to write a Ph.D. thesis on this case?

We haven't seen rain for several hours, though the winds continue (though not tropical force). We may still get some more rain out of it before it's gone; the feeder bands are over the water now, but as it moves farther away they may come back ashore in south Florida. Anyway, we got plenty of rain--enough that I won't bother to water tomorrow, which the local commissars say is our watering day.


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john hare wrote:

Now that you are not under the hammer for potential storm damage, reflecting on the various suggestions becomes rational. To me, the proper time to prepare for long term storm probabilities is when there is no storm on radar.

When the storm is on radar, plywood trumps tempered glass, and support ropes trump preventive tree pruning. I have serious adverse reactions to suggestions for major renovations in the face of an approaching danger. You end up with half done projects creating more structural hazards and storm debri.

While I'm sure this is obvious to Rand, there are many that can be panicked into poor decisions by apparently dangerous situations. The time to do a preflight is on the ground.

john hare wrote:


You slipped a decimal in a previous post. Fay hit the cape as a category .5.

memomachine wrote:


It's certainly one incredibly slow storm.

Well you guys have been worrying about drought for a rather long time now.

Peter wrote:

A hurricane isn't powered by moisture but by heat, specifically ocean surface heat under cooler air. It's uncommon that ground other than warm ocean water can supply enough heat to drive a hurricane much, so they subside once they go aground.

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This page contains a single entry by Rand Simberg published on August 19, 2008 5:23 PM.

Tehran Failure was the previous entry in this blog.

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