It’s that magical time of year, again

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?


  1. says

    And if it misses Tampa or lessens in force, they *will* claim their prayers did it and it clearly shows that God is on their side. Sigh.

  2. blindrobin says

    I think it’s interesting that the Republicans can’t even attract a female storm… (I totally stole that from someone else)

  3. jamessweet says

    Perhaps there will be a confluence between a hurricane and an Earthquake: I can actually imagine a not-quite-impossible scenario where Isaac disrupts the convention, causing a lot of the delegates to miss it, and somehow the idiots endorsing Sarah Palin getting enough traction in the chaos to make it happen. Wouldn’t that be a trip, eh? heheh..

  4. Trebuchet says

    Rush Limbaugh is claiming that Isaac is an Obama conspiracy, or something.

    , I think it was listed in another FTBlog but I can’t find it at the moment.

  5. Trebuchet says

    That was supposed to say “citation needed”, but I foolishly enclosed it in HTML tags and it went away!

  6. Francisco Bacopa says

    The northeastern side of a hurricane is the rainier side of a hurricane. Even with a grazing hit, there could be plenty of rain. Hurricanes also sometimes have a very dry southwest quadrant. Gustave and Rita came pretty close to Houston but it hardly rained here for either storm.

    And do not underestimate rainfall as a disruption. Even small storms can cause huge damage by flooding. Tropical storm Allison was so bad that it is the only storm to have its name retired without reaching hurricane strength.

  7. F says

    If it hit, the message from God, of course, would be that Republican’s haven’t been bigoted and hateful enough to please the Lord, and should redouble their efforts and act openly.

  8. Gvlgeologist, FCD says

    If it misses Tampa and the RNC claims that their prayers sent it away, I think that whoever DOES get hit should sue the RNC, or at least point out, out loud, that the RNC’s selfishness caused lots of death and destruction (I hope not) elsewhere.

  9. says

    Here’s good opportunity for God to prove he exists: Have the hurricane suck up Joe Arpaio, and only Joe Arpaio. I’m sure much of Arizona would appreciate the Wicked Warlock of the West getting blown to Oz.

  10. magistramarla says

    How about this? What will the godbots have to say if the GOTP convention is rained or flooded out and the Democratic convention has beautiful, sunny weather?

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