The storm surge at Galveston's Pier 21 has already reached 8.5 feet this evening, and we're still probably five hours from landfall, and six hours from high tide. Yikes. Earlier today, waves crashing over the seawall were already high and strong enough to knock Geraldo Rivera on his ass.
I wonder if the Irish Trojan is ready to sound the alarm on when Gustav might devastate New Orleans. Some of the eye path projections send this thing right there. It could also veer south and test Galveston's sea wall again, but it's probably not too soon for people in New Orleans to start getting ready to leave and live. Brendan earned a fair amount of blogger fame after Katrina struck, due to a post he published a few days earlier.
"At the risk of being alarmist, we could be 3-4 days away from an unprecedented cataclysm that could kill as many as 100,000 people in New Orleans," Brendan Loy, who is 23 and has no formal meteorological training, wrote on Aug. 26 in his blog, irishtrojan.com. "If I were in New Orleans, I would seriously consider getting the hell out of Dodge right now, just in case."
That's the upper range of a forecast for the storm that's hitting Orange County Saturday and Sunday. It'll mess with the competitors in the Gumball Rally, a competition to see who can ride the most Disneyland and Disney California Adventure rides in a single day. On one hand, lines will be short. On the other hand, it will be miserable.
Here in the Real OC, Santa will be contending with 90 mph wind gusts as he makes his rounds tonight. Fortunately, the hills, which had resembled nearly-burnt marshmallows, are now fringed with a light hue of green, and do not appear to be primed for the firebugs to start anything.
As summer ended and we waited for the storm of the decade to come ashore, this release showed up on my internet explorer home page:
The National Weather Service says that the Canadian storm that was forecast to bring up to a half-inch of rain to Orange County late today will largely bypass the region, producing little more than scattered showers and some wind.
“The storm looked good on satellite (earlier in the week),” says Ivory Small, chief science officer of the weather service’s San Diego office. “But it stayed offshore and has already moved down past San Diego.”
The weather service originally said the system would likely be the strongest September storms to hit Southern California since 1986. Forecasters warned the public to prepare for everything from rain to thunderstorms to hail and possibly even waterspouts.
Outside it's partly cloudy and the concrete is damp. Whatever. As long as it doesn't rain on the USC game, I'm content.
Check out this crazy end-of-summer forecast for Orange County today and tomorrow:
Strong September storm possible late Thursday through early Saturday. A strong storm for September may move through Southern California late thursday through early Saturday. This storm has the potential to produce weather very rarely seen in Southern California in September. This could be the strongest mid latitude September storm for Southern California in around 20 years. September storms with some similarity to this storm occurred in 1986 and in 1963. Strong winds will develop in advance of this storm in the mountains and deserts. This storm should bring much cooler temperatures for Thursday and Friday with coolest temperatures Friday. Depending upon the eventual track and timing of this storm. There is the potential for locally heavy precipitation at times from late Thursday through late Friday. This storm will be quite cold for September with the possibility of thunderstorms and even for snowfall in the mountains above 6000 feet. There is also the possibility of waterspouts over the coastal waters and tornadoes over adjacent land areas.
Our last measurable rain fell on April 22, and our seasonal total last year was 2.2 inches. This storm could bring up to an inch of rain. And snow! Granted, it will be above 6,000 feet, but snow in Southern California on the last day of summer? Won't that be something!
It looks like it might be a lousy weekend at the beach. The forecast calls for Oceanside to be mostly cloudly this weekend. Apparently, with all this global warming, June Gloom has arrived in California a month early.
I don't know about global warming, but from where I sit, there seems to be an obvious case of global wind gusting. I am so sick of this dry, cold, windy, windy, windy weather. But it looks like there is a lot more where this came from. It's like we're living in Chicago, except we don't have an NFL team, much less one going to the Super Bowl.
For the second time in a week, Southern California had winds in excess of 70 mph. It was hot, dry and windy. Watching the trees trying to touch their toes, with debris flying all over the place and street signs dancing like strippers, was like watching coverage of a hurricane coming ashore in Florida or Louisiana, except that there was no water. We'll be choking on brushfire smoke for the next three or four days, for sure.
Tropical Depression 3 is now Tropical Storm Chris. By this afternoon, it might be Hurricane Chris. And it looks like its headed to Florida. I've never seen a hurricane up close, and, living in California, my chances to see one up close are few. Maybe I'll go check this one out. [Update] Maybe not. Chris is weakening and moving west, rather than west-northwest. It might cross over Cuba (where I'm not going until Castro is long dead) and it could make landfall in Mexico next week, south of Texas (I'm not going there, either). Oh well. Clear skies for me, maybe. Cheers.
Tropical Depression 3 is becoming better organized and will bring thunderstorms to the outer Caribbean islands tomorrow. It could become tropical storm Chris in the next day or two.within the next 24-36 hours. If it stays over water, rather than following the archipelago, it could be approaching Florida by Saturday. Whether it will be a hurricane or not is highly speculative at this stage. I know quite a few family members who are rooting for this storm to weaken or head due west, but neither of those scenarios appear likely.
I'n not one to complain normally, but... Well, okay, I am one to complain, and here is one of my best yet: I'm annoyed at the beautiful weather I had this weekend.
On Saturday, I had planned a three hour hike to The Sinks in Irvine with my daughter. The weather forecast, however, was for rain showers, heavy at times. We decided not to take spot in the hiking group for this docent-led walk in the hills. It rained Friday night, and Saturday, the ground was quite wet at sunrise. But it was clear, and it stayed clear. There were rainy-looking clouds off in the distance, but our house stayed dry all day. We could have taken the hike. Dammit.
On Sunday, we had planned to spend the night at the beach house and taken a limo to Temecula for some wine tasting. But the weather forecast called for more rain. We decided not to order the limo, and we stayed home, figuring that that Saturday storm was just late in arriving. It rained Saturday night, and Sunday, the ground was quite wet at sunrise. But it was clear, and it stayed clear all day. We could have taken the limo ride to the wineries. Dammit.
We had to settle at the last second for a fun day at Disneyland.
The latest and greatest hurricane yet is headed, perhaps, for Galveston. I hope it doesn't strike Galveston, because I like Galveston and would like to go back and find it, well, still there. But no matter where it strikes, it is going to kick some place's ass. Galveston is still the current likely target, so they are taking no chances. Mandatory evacuations are underway, and school buses have been put into service evacuating people from the island. New Orleans must be watching and asking "Why didn't we think of that?"
Galveston is protected by a 17 foot seawall, but reports say Rita could bring a 50 foot storm surge (though that sounds pretty high to me). Still, even with a more foreseeable surge like 25 feet, you don't need to be a math major to know that a direct hit could flow right over that sea wall. Once past the seawall, a surge, a 150 mph wind and 15-20 foot waves could scour the island clean.
The feds say they will be ready this time. I'll believe that when I see it. If it happens, Kanye West will probably say it is because there are no black people in the Galveston-Houston-Corpus-Christi area. However, I've been there and seen folks of all colors.
How will Kanye explain it if they really are ready this time?
A particularly bad joke talks about how they should build the airplanes out of the same stuff they build the black boxes. But, in all seriousness, I have to wonder why they don't build the buildings out of whatever they used to build this guitar in front of the Biloxi Hard Rock Cafe.
We have an extreme weather alert here, complete with warnings about leaving dogs in cars and drinking non-alcoholic and non-caffeinated beverages:
...A VERY HOT WEEKEND IS SHAPING UP FOR ALL OF SOUTHWEST CALIFORNIA. BUILDING HIGH PRESSURE OVER SOUTHWEST CALIFORNIA WILL PRODUCE VERY HOT DAYS FRIDAY THROUGH SUNDAY WITH MANY AREAS EXCEEDING 100 DEGREES....
THIS WILL BE THE HOTTEST WEEKEND OF THE SUMMER FOR COASTAL AREAS. PEOPLE WHO ARE NOT ACCUSTOMED TO THE HEAT SHOULD PLAN ACCORDINGLY. TRY TO AVOID STRENUOUS OUTDOOR ACTIVITY MIDDAY DURING THIS HOT WEATHER. IF YOU HAVE TO BE OUTSIDE...AVOID PROLONGED EXPOSURE AND DRINK PLENTY OF NON-ALCOHOLIC...NON-CAFFEINATED FLUIDS. WEAR LIGHTWEIGHT... LIGHT-COLORED...LOOSE-FITTING CLOTHING. WEAR A HAT TO SHIELD YOURSELF FROM THE SUN...AND USE SUN SCREEN TO REDUCE POSSIBLE SUNBURN. TAKE ADVANTAGE OF AIR CONDITIONING AND SHADE IF POSSIBLE. NEVER LEAVE CHILDREN OR PETS IN ENCLOSED VEHICLES...EVEN BRIEFLY.
It was 94° in the shade, a lot hotter in the sun, and even hotter if the shade was inside my nearly black car. Plus, we had rolling blackouts. It could be worse, though. A hurricane rolled through Fort Lauderdale today and killed a couple of people who thought that the whole "stay indoors during a hurricane" concept only applies to other guys. And the forecast for Sanibel Island tomorrow, which still suffers from last year's hurricanes, was for "showery rains containing strong gusty winds and heavy downpours at times. High around 90°F. Winds NNE at 35 to 50 mph. Rainfall possibly over two inches."
So if I sweat tomorrow, or if the power goes out during my deposition, I'll just try to maintain my perspective.
I actually have something exciting going on today, but I can't talk about it for now. If you play poker with me, or go to the next family thing, you'll hear about it. So for now, I'll stick to safe subjects, like the weather.
Damn, it's hot. It's only 9:00 a.m. and it is already in the 80s at my house. We should push into the high 90s today. Inland a bit more, it'll be triple digits. My hot is so hot, it blurred everything above it when I opened the door to get some shoes out of the back seat this morning. My next car is not going to be as dark as the one I drive now.
You know where I don't want to be today? Vegas, baby. It'll be 110 and humid. The next four days there will be 104-110 with thunderstorms.
Oh, and I went over 150,000 hits today. I wish I knew who all those people were. Most of them, I suspect, get here from a search engine and never come back. If you're one of those, welcome.
People are reported to be moving out of Florida for good because of their fear of hurricanes like 2004's Ivan, which killed 25 Americans, and this year's Dennis, which killed . Where are they moving? To places like Phoenix, where the weather is safer different; like this week, for example, when a stifling heat wave struck and killed a mere 18 people.
Many of those same people might not even consider California, because California has earthquakes. Why, just 11 years ago, there was this one earthquake that killed 57 people. It makes little sense to me. Maybe they just care about their stuff. After all, unless you leave your iPod in the car in 120 degree heat, it's probably not going to be destroyed by a heat wave. Heat waves just kill people. Earthquakes can destroy homes, or at least break fancy dishes, and hurricanes blow your house down, or at least fill your swimming pool with salt water and sand.
I guess it doesn't matter. No matter where you go, something will kill you.
Admittedly, there is a lot of rain hitting us here in the southland this week. But today, there were just a few showers before the big three-inch storm was supposed to hit tonight. Sandra Dee and John Raitt died today. President Bush is visiting Europe.
But here, the big, big, big story is: Holy Frijole! We are getting rain! Seriously, people, it's going to be water -- falling from the sky! All night, maybe! You better check the Dopplar Radar 7000 and plan your lives accordingly. Because we are getting rain.
Meanwhile, in Florida, they laugh their asses off at us; in New York, they are doubling over; and Wisconsin people are squirting milk out their noses, because the California people are ascared of the rain....