Category Archives: weather

Daily Kos: Science Friday: Tis The Season

Daily Kos: Science Friday: Tis The Season: “Science Friday: Tis The Season
by DarkSyde
Fri Jun 02, 2006 at 03:41:48 AM PDT

In the aftermath of the devastating 2005 hurricane season, the following soundbite was repeated incessantly, packaged in various ways, on every network news station by head meteorologists with impressive four-letter acronym’s after their names:

There is consensus among NOAA hurricane researchers and forecasters that recent increases in hurricane activity are primarily the result of natural fluctuations in the tropical climate system known as the tropical multi-decadal signal.

It sounded credible, it came from experts, it was reassuring–it was also known to be highly suspect. The view put forward indicated a consensus that simply didn’t exist. To be fair, even some of the natural cycle people at NOAA were said to be uncomfortable with it. We’ve also since learned that at the same time this misinformation was being doled out to a nervous public, dissenting views were being censored at other institutions by a heavy handed White House, often enforced by hand-picked ‘minders.’ Even more disturbing, at the time carefully selected NOAA spokespeople were making the decadal cycle pronouncement on national news stations, research indicating that climate change was producing more intense storms was growing.

A new study by Professors Michael Mann (Realclimate) and Kerry Emanuel (MIT) adds even more weight to the idea that human-caused increases in sea surface temperatures (SSTs) are responsible for higher intensity hurricanes:
Human induced climate change, rather than naturally occurring ocean cycles, may be responsible for the recent increases in frequency and strength of North Atlantic hurricanes, according to Penn State and Massachusetts Institute of Technology researchers. “

As I am working on this post, our local public television station is doing a debate on Global Warming. They have two PhD’s arguing that Global Warming is a fact, A rep from BP just saying “Hey, whether it is or isn’t we are lowering our carbon emissions.” And then, the only person arguing against Global Warming is a local Meteorologist, and that floors me…

I guess what it boils down to now is, do we trust what our government is telling us? Do we trust that if they are wrong they will be prepared for the consequences of being wrong?

As I look out my window tonight, there is still water standing from the last three days of rains. Now my part of America is flat…F L A T…water does not drain fast. My elevation is probably less than twenty feet above sea level, and according to the latest maps my home is just outside of the Cat 4 storm surge area. Were will that leave me if the sea level rises and the Gulf storms get stronger…hopefully, living on a mountain and not here. But I will have family and friends still living here. And that gives me reason for concern…

Is U.S. Ready for Hurricane Season?

You know as a resident of the Texas Gulf Coast, living less than 5o miles from the Gulf of Mexico I read articles like this and I am worried, very worried…

Is U.S. Ready for Hurricane Season?: “‘Last year we didn’t have a clue,’ said the acting FEMA director, R. David Paulison. The agency will put satellite tracking devices on trucks leaving its two largest logistics centers — in Denton, Tex., and Atlanta — to avoid a repeat of post-Katrina efforts, when critical supplies such as ice and generators arrived days or weeks late, sometimes after circling the country.”

Hurricane Katrina in the Gulf of Mexico near i...
Hurricane Katrina in the Gulf of Mexico near its peak Category 5 intensity (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Why is it only the appointed directors of FEMA that don’t have a clue…and why should I trust them now? I watched last year as Rita bore down on the Houston/Galveston Region with ground zero originally being to the west of Freeport, which would have been the worst case scenario for my home and family. By the time on Wednesday that I had finished boarding up and securing my home (two plus days before landfall), the fiasco that was to be was already beginning. News reports of the traffic disaster were already beginning to filter on to the airways. And while none of the local weather guys was reporting it almost all of the forecasted tracks were beginning to show a slight veer to the east. After discussing the situation we decided that we had the time and resources to wait and see what was happening in the next 24 hours…turned out this was the right choice. Had we made the run we would have spent all of that time sitting on the road and might never have gotten anywhere in the end.

“‘We’re ready for this upcoming hurricane season — assuming that the American public does their part and they get ready as well,” said George W. Foresman, DHS undersecretary for preparedness.”

Gives you the warm fuzzies, doesn’t it. This ownership society we know have where if everything goes wrong, you own the problem not the people you hired (voted for (or not)) to own the problem. So America, you are warned, as long as everything goes right your government is doing it’s job…but when the fertilizer hits the fan…it was because you did not do your part. by the way has anyone told you what your part now is?

I am assuming that we now must have new guidelines to follow since the old ones didn’t work. Have you got your two month supply of spam in storage?

My plans haven’t changed much if any. Food and water in the pantry (we’ll start buying a few extra cans of food stuffs each week through the summer, if we need it it’s there if not we eat it through the winter), batteries in the flashlights, gas in the gas cans (used for lawn work and kept filled between times). But number one we watch the approaching storms online ourselves, do our own forecasting, do not depend on television news mongers to hype the event.

“But plans to assign the Justice Department responsibility for law enforcement and the Housing and Urban Development management of temporary housing are not yet completed. Neither is a new national emergency communications strategy or an infrastructure-protection plan due June 1.”