It’s that time of year, when weather violates the fundy SloT argument against evolution and creates order from chaos. Or, if you truly believe hurricanes are God’s way of saying … something, whatevs, then if Isaac disrupts the Republican convention in Tampa, maybe God is not happy with Republicans. How would we test that?
Jeff Masters — If you have to make decisions based upon what Isaac will do, I highly recommend that you wait until at least Friday morning to make a decision, if at all possible, as the forecasts then should be of significantly higher accuracy. Isaac continues to have a large area of light winds about 50 miles across near its center. This makes the storm subject to reformations of the center closer to areas of heavy thunderstorms that form, resulting in semi-random course changes. Until Isaac consolidates, the lack of a well-defined center will make forecasts of the storm’s behavior less accurate than usual.
I have been watching hurricanes for many years. Initially, it wasn’t voluntary, for those same many years I lived on Florida’s Spacecoast where I’ve ridden out more than a dozen storms including eye wall hits by several impressive ones. But Isaac doesn’t look that bad in models, so how bad could it be if it hit Tampa (The real danger money and damage wise would be if it hit the greater Miami region) during the convention?
A direct hit from a Cat 1 would be a miserable experience, lots of wind, lots of rain, power might be lost and certainly media feeds would be threatened. A near hit by a Cat 2 would be at least as bad, probably worse, in that the power grid is interconnected and it could mean losing things like water and sewer, for days in some places.
The models out this morning develop Isaac as a Cat 1 and have it grazing Tampa. But what do we all know from watching these things anecdotally; don’t they often hook a little more, especially two or three days into the forecast track? It ain’t scientific, the models are by definition the best bet, but the hook hypothesis seems viable to me. We’ll see what happens, but it’s worth noting just a modest shift east would put the powerful northeast eye wall right over the city early Tuesday morning.
To which I repeat: it is a bad idea to hold important cannot-be-rescheduled events in a hurricane zone at the height of hurricane season. That goes for the dems this year, too. It might only be a problem one year in ten or one in twenty, but that one year will be enough to ruin the careers of a number of exec and assistant event organizer/planners and leave guests griping and bitching about it for the rest of their lives.
Would this be a fair test of the hypothesis God is miffed at Republicans so He’ll guide it into a Tampa landfall? And what if, just speculation you know, something weird happened, something unusual, that makes it look like the storm is defying conventional wisdom, because God really wants to smack Tampa upside the head?
Well, there is a debate of sorts among some storm watchers about whether a hurricane could be sustained or even accelerated over swampy land with lots of shallow, open water at body temperature, water warmed up by cooking in the near tropical sun for a couple of months. And if there was ever a place to see that in action, South Florida would be it. If Isaac hooks a little more, and takes the more easterly path in the forecast cone, maybe we’ll get to see. And if it continues on as a Cat 1 or higher after sailing over the canals and inlets and ‘glades, and happens to roll right over Tampa right about the time the keynote speakers are set to go, why, that would be interesting. Wouldn’t it?