Who Am I?

My photo
A nobody; a nitwit; a pilot; a motorcyclist; a raconteur; a lover...of life - who loves to laugh, who tries to not take myself (or anything) too seriously...just a normal guy who knows his place in the universe by being in touch with my spiritual side. What more is there?

29 August 2008

Gustav: Here We Go Again...

So, last week's Tropical Storm Fay was just the opening act...the warm up. Here comes Gustav into the Gulf o' Mexico. Greaaaaaat, another storm with a Russian-sounding name. My friends are wondering, "Is Gustav a relative of Ivan and Katrina?" Needless to say, the entire Gulf Coast has been in a tizzy. As of Friday morning, Gustav is still just a tropical storm. But The Weather Channel is already in full panic-mode, claiming that this could be a "major" hurricane.

We shall see.

Fay was a no-show for us here in Pensacola. By the time is moseyed into the Florida panhandle, it had been over land long enough to seriously weaken. It drifted north of us, dumping most of its rain on central Alabama. In fact Sunday, which was "scheduled" to be our storm-day, turned out to be quite beautiful and I even flew the helicopter on a trip. Go figure. Storms have a mind of their own.

Now, both The Weather Channel and the National Hurricane Center seem to agree that Gustav will hit Louisiana just west of New Orleans. Hmm...that's where all those oil refineries are, eh? You know, the ones that suffered damage after Hurricane Rita, which was that strong Cat-3 storm back in 2005. The price of oil has already gone up $20 a barrel or so in advance of any damage (with a corresponding and immediate increase in the price of gasoline).

There are a half-dozen different agencies that publish projected tracks for storms. They often do not agree. In fact, meteorologists within a single agency can disagree on where a storm is going. The track you see on t.v. might just be the one that your local weatherman likes the best. It is an inexact science. (Sometimes, if your local t.v. weatherguy is brave he'll show you all of the various published tracks.) With huge storms, a little wobble can make a big difference in where they hit. I would not be surprised if Gustav takes a different track than that depicted in the picture at the top of the page.

I'm sure that the people of Louisiana, especially New Orleans and those who work in the refineries in the western part of the state are not feeling very good right now. The casino owners along the Mississippi Gulf Coast and those still living in government provided mobile homes must also be equally queasy. We're not exactly celebrating here in Pensacola. "Our" Hurricane Ivan was also "headed for Louisiana" before taking a last-minute jog towards us.

I'm not worried. If it comes here, I'll simply board up the house and leave. The Boss has already said that he wants me to move the helicopter up to Birmingham, Alabama. If that city is full, then I'm to keep flying north until I find hangar space and a motel. How cool is that?

And so it goes...the fun and games of hurricane season.

1 comment:

Redlefty said...

Yeah, Rita was supposed to hit directly in Houston. Up to 12 hours before it hit we were still the #1 probability of landfall, and only ended up getting a few hours of rain as it shifted way east of us.

We're watching Gustav but I'm 90% sure we'll just stick it out no matter what the projections say. Of course, we don't have a helicopter to protect! :)