That Hurricane's Path Seems to be Pointing at my House!
Its Hurricane Season Again
It is that time of year again. I am sitting here watching the weatherman on television as he shows me the latest tropical storm developing in the Atlantic Ocean. He tells me the storm is likely to reach hurricane strength in another twenty four hours or so and is mapping out its projected path. Sure, I know these path projections are not an exact science and many things could occur in the next few days, but that projected path looks as though it is headed right up my street.
This is the beginning of the ever popular Florida game of "should I stay or should I go?" that we play each summer. The trick is to correctly guess where the storm will end up and then be somewhere else. This would seem to be a simple task considering all the detailed maps they provide us with each hour. I know where the storm is going, give or take five hundred miles. So as I study this latest hurricane projection map, I know that I will probably be safe anywhere North of Memphis, but that could change.
The Weatherman Seems a Little Too Enthusiastic
Everytime I turn on the weather and there is a hurricane anywhere on the map, the weatherman always seems so enthusiastic about the whole thing. He is barely able to contain the excitement in his voice as he points out all the potential paths the hurricane might follow. There are arrows pointing in all directions. It makes no difference if the storm is two thousand miles away, if there is the slightest chance of it heading this way the weatherman will have a gleam in his eyes.
These enthusiastic warnings are always followed by suggestions on what I should be doing to prepare for the pending disaster. Stocking up on bottled water, canned food and batteries are always high on the list, of course finding these items in stores right before a hurricane is next to impossible. I always end up having to go a hundred miles away from the danger zone just to get my supplies. I sometimes wonder if that is a trick to get us to evacuate the area, "tell them there are batteries in Georgia" and they will get out of town.
The Cone of Uncertainty
During the summer months, those of us lucky enough to be living along the Atlantic Coast or in the Gulf states are used to seeing those cones on our weather maps. They show us the projected path of tropical storms and hurricanes. I find these to be rather useful tools to use. I see that the storm is headed to the South of me, so I scramble to gather up my hurricane supplies and prepare to head North. Except by the time I have done all these things, two hours have passed and the storm is now heading North.
This little game usually goes on for about a day, before I throw my hands in the air and decide to stay at home and let the hurricane do its thing. I am fairly certain my home is up to the challenge, sure the roof leaks, but in a hurricane the rain hits sideways so I anticipate no problems there. Besides, these storms rarely hit here and I end up spending three days in a cramped shelter only to find that I missed out on a beautiful weekend.
Waiting for the Unknown
So here I sit, watching the weatherman talk about the approaching tropical storm that he says will become a hurricane later today. What will happen? How will I spend my day? Will I be talking about the "hurricane" tomorrow, or will the topic of conversation be another near miss? It is this excitement that brings so many people to Florida.
So, this seems to be a good place to wrap this up, before the power goes out. I will use the next few hours to get some rest, just in case I have to search the neighborhood looking for my roof. Sure wish I could remember where I put those batteries.
© 2012 Christopher J Wood
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