Unexpectedly Cool Dry Summer’s Morning Coffee Muses
It’s a breezy, blustery morning on the back porch. The temperature is nicely below 80°. The air is dry which makes all the difference in the world. Off to the east, low clouds are moving to the south with some speed. Of to the west there’s still blue sky showing through the cloud cover. And, did I mention, it feels so much cooler than any morning in the past week are so?
I noticed yesterday that the weather prognosticators were in full disaster voice. I am always amazed at the excitement they show whenever a weather system promises more than your everyday heat and humidity. It’s almost as if they switch into tabloid weathermen whenever the warnings and the watches go up. In most situations I feel they should warn folks, but they appear to be wanting to scare people instead. I know there are a couple of things working here… One, people tend not to want to do the smart thing in a storm situation, and the prognosticators want to try to change that behavior. Two, being a weatherman on the Texas Gulf Coast means your only real weather events revolve around tropical storm systems or unusual rain events, so naturally, anything that relieves the boredom of hot and humid is exiting. So with those two behaviors driving the reports, sometimes the hype rises faster than the water….
Don’t get me wrong… Whenever there’s a storm in the Gulf you can bet somewhere in my line of sight will be a radar image slowly churning away at a loop so I can stay on top of the direction of travel. And sometimes I’ll even have a tv on to keep an eye out for bulletins as they occur. But, most of the time the volume is turned down because I don’t want to here the on-air personalities telling me over and over what they don’t know.
It was because of these habits that we stayed put during Rita while the whole world took a road trip to highway hell. As I headed home from work at noon that day, I passed mile long waits at stop lights and stop signs heading away from the Gulf. Luckily there was no traffic going in my direction. Katrina was on everyone’s mind right then. Before I left work though, I noticed the storm was hooking a bit to the east. So off I went to board up my Windows and prepare to take the family inland like everyone else… but the whole time we were making preparations I was thinking about the traffic I saw and the reports of clogged roads on tv. So, I watched the radar, boarded up the house and ate supper. By that time it was becoming obvious that the storm would slide by Galveston with enough room to spare that I decided we would ride it out in our home.
The next morning it was obvious it had been the right call. We awoke to a nice day in a town all but deserted. And it stayed that way for two or three days as everyone tried to make their way home with every drop of gas between Houston and the surrounding cities used up. The worst unplanned planned evacuation of a city in U.S. history.
Here I still sit, enjoying the breeze, the cooler, dryer air and, with one eye, watching the radar. Have a save day out there and stay dry everyone.