Climate Change Weather

Floods. Again.

Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

Ike continues to rain destruction down in its path. It’s good to hear the storm surges weren’t as bad along the Gulf, but they were bad enough. Hopefully, though, loss of life will be minimal.

Ike just passed through the St. Louis area with both wind and rain. A lot of rain that combined with the remnants of Lowell from the Pacific. Sad as it is to say, we’re again looking at major flooding along the Meramec, Missouri, and Mississippi rivers.

This will be our third major flooding event in six months.

Environment Weather

Tales of Ike, and lessons about offshore drilling

We know that Hurricane Ike is going to be the worst when the National Weather Service issues warnings about getting out or face certain death. The winds are a problem, but the real issue is storm surge, and it looks to be unstoppable.

We, in Missouri, are now under a flood watch, because we’ll be finishing with the remnants of Lowell from the Pacific, just as we begin to get hit with Ike from the Gulf. Still, the risk we face is minimal, nothing, compared to what Texans are facing, and Cuba and Haiti have faced earlier.

The oil platforms along the Texas coast have been abandoned, and the refineries closed down. Congress has also had to close so the representatives from Texas and other Gulf states could head home to help. This before the debate on the new “plan” to allow off shore oil drilling.

In the midst of the sadness and despair of the damage this storm has brought, and will continue to bring, we’re faced with the ultimate irony of discontinuing the debate on allowing drilling for oil along the Atlantic coast, because we’re in the middle of a hurricane that has closed down oil drilling along the Gulf coast.

Political irony aside, I hope that the storm surge is not as high, the winds lighter, the walls are stronger, the rain gentle rather than driving. And a reminder that the Red Cross needs volunteers, blood, and money, and not just in Dallas. If you want to help the Haitians and Cubans, the Catholic Relief Services is providing help for both. Unfortunately, that’s all we can do to help Cuba.

I just got a call from my roommate that gas prices are shooting up at least a dollar per gallon this afternoon, and they’re already over $5.00 a gallon across the River from us.

Weather Writing

Storm surges

Luckily Gustav calmed down before landfall, because I don’t think the New Orleans levees would have held if the surge was 18 feet as originally predicted.

It’s important, now, for Nagin et al to let people back into the city as soon as possible. If the city management continues to keep the citizens out, but let the business owners in, the next time the city officials call for an evacuation, people are going to say, “No”. Frankly, I wouldn’t blame them.

Gustav is still not through giving, though. We in St. Louis are getting tropical depression warnings, as we expect the storm to drop 8 inches, or more, on us on Friday.

In the meantime…how about that Atlantic, eh? If McCain and Obama continue their practice to discontinue campaigning every time we get hit with a hurricane, this may be the quietest presidential race, ever.

But then there’s Sarah. I could wish that we would spend more time on issues important to women, than one specific woman and her family challenges. This election is too important to continue to get distracted by the Palin sideshow.

PS Can you tell I’m half way through my book edits, and feeling more than a wee bit irritable?


Thinking of our neighbors in Cuba

There’s no denying that Gustav will be hitting Louisiana, and probably Texas, hard, next week. However, right at this moment, Gustav is really slamming Cuba.

According to Dr. Jeff Masters at Weather Underground, Cuba will be hit with category 4 Hurricane winds, and with a storm surge of 18 to 23 feet.

With the US-based embargo of Cuba, it’s hard for countries to help Cuba. I don’t care for our embargo, and it’s past time to establish relations with a country with whom we’ve shared so much history. I’d like to think we would extend a helping hand to the Cubans, and they’d accept it. But that would mean dropping all the macho posturings with both countries.

All I can say is, as we worry about the impact of Gustav on the US (and rightfully so), spare a thought for our neighbors to the south.


Fill your tanks now

Fill your gas tanks now, because Gustav is coming to town.

According to Dr. Jeff Masters at Wunderground, Haiti is going to get hammered, and no matter what computer model wins out in the end, the oil and gas production in the Gulf Coast is going to get disrupted.

The especially worrisome part of Gustav is that a couple of the more reliable models show Gustav hitting between Houston and New Orleans as a strong, category 3+ hurricane. Just a guestimate at this time, we’ll probably know more in a couple of days. There’s also a chance it could go as far south as Mexico, though I think we’re better planning on it hitting the US.