This is the path Hurricane Irene is expected to take, maybe:
Now, a quick question: How many people can name at least one of the previous eight named storms this year?
Yup, most people missed eight big storms so far this year. Irene would be the ninth.
My gripe has been storms are too easily “named”. A storm that spins in a little circle then peters out is not something that should have ever been named. But, because of better technology, storms get named all the time. Because of that, we need to redefine how hurricanes are named.
Nothing new about that. It hit last week. What’s different is we got another one coming tonight. On top of that we got:
A low pressure system in the Gulf of Mexico. The last time I wrote about these two things happening at the same time was in August 2005. A tropical storm that had done little damage and seemed to be pretty much spent suddenly exploded into a Cat 5 and destroyed New Orleans. That storm of course was Katrina. Not saying it will happen again, but I’m definitely keeping my eye on it over the next few days.
And if something does happen, I don’t want to hear another astronomer tell me there is definitely no relation between the weather on the Sun and Earth.
The last couple of years have been pretty boring as far as sun gazing goes. I don’t do that, but I do enjoy following the numbers. Zero’s just aren’t all that exciting. In the meantime, our summers have been equally exciting, we’ve danced all over record lows here for a month, again, same as last year. No record highs were ever in peril. Today in my email I got an article from spaceweather.com about an event in 1859. An amateur sun watcher was watching the sun when it pretty much erupted directly at him. His recollection of the event is enjoyable to read. The event itself would be named after him, the Carrington Super Flare. What he saw was a brilliant flash that lasted only a few minutes. When it was gone, it didn’t come back. However, the next morning, the skies were lit with borealis all the way to South America:
It knocked out telegraphs all over the planet. Lines and papers caught fire. It knocked out all communication for a couple of days. Back then, that was an inconvenience. Today, it would be catastrophic. Cell phones, GPS, television, even toilets would be affected. It would create an electronic mess that would take a year to fix, or more. The solar flare of 1989 created all kinds of problems.
Damage from the 1989 solar flare
That thing is nothing compared to Carrington. 1859 was a peak year from what had been a rather quiet period:
1859 began a five year stretch that stayed rather busy ( given record keeping prior to 1901 ). Kinda like now. Our tropical storms have been rather unexciting the last couple of years. Additionally, there was a spike in temperatures the following twelve months. So, although the obvious occurs such as electrical disturbances, I just gotta wonder what the geophysical effects were. 1989 saw a massive solar flare that wreaked havoc all over the planet. It was tiny compared to Carrington. The solar flares generally run in eleven year cycles. The second complete cycle since 1989 would be 2011. I’ll be keeping an eye on the sun that year for sure.
Now, here anyways, last summer was annoyingly cooler than normal. It pretty well wasted my water park passes. The dust from Mt Redoubt is heading south-east, as I assume it’s following the jet stream. The question I’ve got is how much is this dust going to affect this summer? I’ve already committed to my water park tickets. I just hope I get to use them more this year.
We were warned this would be another unusually active hurricane season. Just like last year. Last year was a dud. So far this year, we’re already into the J’s. We got there this last week with Ivo and Jerry. Now, this is what Ivo has done:
And now, this is what Jerry’s doing:
Ivo topped out as a tropical despression, Jerry as a tropical storm. Other than those hunting Jerry out intentionally, no man probably would have known Jerry ever existed. Other than those experiencing a little rain in Cabo San Lucas, no one would have known Ivo was a “named storm” either.
I’ve said it before, and I’m sticking with it. Giving meaningless storms “names” just for the sake of scientific “accuracy” belittles the danger of hurricanes. Sure, it’s important to keep an eye on these despressions, but giving Jerry a name is ludicrous. Because technology has changed so much in the last thirty years, the intent of naming a storm has changed as well. In the old days, they got names to denote how powerful they were, not to document specific types of storms. And, for that matter, we didn’t even start naming them until about fifty years ago. When NOAA and others predict “more named storms” in a season, people assume there is more danger involved. What they never assume is there will be more meaningless storms spinning around in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean with forty-five mph winds and a little rain. When nothing pans out because of that non-event, the next “named storm” is given the same relevance. Often until it’s too late. Improving technology in this case I think is making things more dangerous than it was before. That certainly is not the intent of improving technology I would think.
Bottom line, quit the name calling. If it’s a serious storm that lasts a week or so, then it merits a name. A 48 hour cloud burst in the middle of the Atlantic certainly does not.
Now, when I asked the question, Katrina was barely a named storm. I like keeping an eye on two things this time of the year, hurricanes and solar storms. So, I noticed something was happening on the Sun. Namely this:
Within a couple of days, Katrina would be a category five monster that pretty much destroyed a good part of New Orleans. Let’s fast forward two years almost to the day and see what the Sun’s up to now:
Not quite as active, but coming around the corner is a pretty good blast. However, according to NOAA, no hurricane activity is expected within the next 48 hours. So, maybe this year we’ll get a pass.
Or, the NOAA may get a surprise. We’ll see. My “bet” right now is there is nothing for this little sunburst to excite, which is a good thing.
Because of this storm, they’re coming home early. They’re gonna need some luck. Not sure I can stand to watch. From now on, no more female teachers. Even if I don’t watch, my thoughts will be with them.