Saturday, August 27. 2011
Brief piece in the Wichita Eagle today, titled "All-time 100-degree record still in sight":
Forecasts for today and tomorrow are 98 and 96 respectively, but Wednesday is projected for 102F. It's not at all unusual to get 100 degree days in the first two, sometimes even three, September weeks. We did catch a break in early August, which is the only reason this is close.
Still, with all due respect to Hurricane Irene creeping up the east coast, the worst weather in the nation looks to be in Phoenix, which hit 117F yesterday topped by yet another duster.
As for hurricanes, I've only experienced two, and both living in Boston which isn't the sort of peak experience you get on the edge of the Gulf or across the Caribbean. Main thing I was struck by was the size and sweep of the storm: I'm used to tornados, which are devastating but tiny, hit or (mostly) miss, but when the hurricane came through everybody got hit. First one offered the whole effect, including a brief calm as the eye passed over, preceded and followed by three hours of heavy winds. That was 50 miles inland, so they probably didn't top 70 mph -- I've lived through winds that fast in Kansas, but they just come and go in a few minutes. I don't recall any hurricanes from when I lived in New York or New Jersey, although I did catch one of New York's massive blackouts. Still, that was short compared to the three days it took them to restore power following my first hurricane.
I've been collecting links about the Republicans' latest brain surge, on how they're going to hold up emergency disaster relief funds to extort further budget cuts, so more on that later. One is a Ron Paul quote about how he wishes we could turn the calendar back to 1900 -- an odd choice of nostalgia for a congressman representing Galveston, TX, where more than 8,000 people were killed by a 1900 hurricane. No matter how bad Irene is, it won't compare, mostly because we know what's coming, where it's going, and every government from South Carolina to Maine (and on into Canada) are working to minimize the damage and expedite repairs. In 1900 people justly feared Acts of God; now we have more to worry about from Acts of Cantor.
Update: Cam Patterson wrote a thoughtful comment on this post here.
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