Monday, October 29, 2012

Overheard on the Phone...

So I was talking about the hurricane on the phone today, because I don't want anybody to think I love America less than our president...
Shootin' Buddy: "...No, I've already heard this storm blamed on climate change."

Me: "Yeah, but what caused all those hurricanes back when the climate was static?"

SB: "Dinosaurs driving around in their SUVs..."

Me: "Right, yeah, but what caused them before..."

SB: "Before Karl Rove and Dick Cheney invented SUVs?"
I did not know that...

Meanwhile, I realize that this is a very large-diameter storm, but it's still a Category 1 with an eleven-foot storm surge. Don't Panic: I think in Florida they call that "September".

37 comments:

Robin said...

For the serious side:

http://cstpr.colorado.edu/prometheus/archives/science_policy_general/000318chris_landsea_leaves.html

Chris Landsea is the expert on hurricane damage. He resigned from the IPCC because of unsupported claims that hurricanes were of greater intensity due to AGW.

Erin Palette said...

I think in Florida they call that "September".

Pretty much true, although August and October are also usually stormy.

It helps to think of Florida as a tropical environment, where we have a rainy season and a dry season, rather than the usual 4-season temperate model.

NotClauswitz said...

Big enough trouble to sink the replica tall-ship HMS Bounty off the North Carolina shore, that damn coast is a graveyard of ships of all kinds.
14 rescued, 1 hoisted by Coast Guard helicopter unresponsive and in critical condition, 1 missing at sea - the Captain.

DanH said...

Or as the Brits call it, "a spanner."

Jennifer said...

Heh. No one is ready for somebody else's weather.

Sebastian said...

Echoing Jennifer's comment, it's what you engineer for. You'd never do basement construction in an area prone to hurricanes. You'd also never dig a subway system, or locate major financial district a few blocks from the Atlantic Ocean.

So this area is not engineered to deal with even a Category 1 storm, except for people right on the beach. Nature worked the same way. In places where hurricane winds are uncommon, many trees have never had to deal with it. The sorting out the weak and sick from the strong is great for the trees over the long run, but not great for homeowners or insurance companies.

Ed Foster said...

Sadly, it's not the windspeed, but the sheer huge size and duration of the thing that's scary, and Long Island sound is a huge bathtub that's open on the upwind side but mostly closed on the downwind end where it runs into the East River(the aptly named Hellgate).

Also, I have relatives stretched all along the Connecticut side of the sound, from Stonington Bourough which has muchly washed away, clear down to Danbury on the New York line.

Droll, isn't it, that my family left Galway Ireland and the Scottish Hebrides for the new world, as much because they were tired of drowning at sea as anything else. I think the lousy weather followed them.

Ed Foster said...

Although, I don't care much about the flooded subways, assuming they get them pumped out in time for New Years. Not to demean the city of my birth, but the last decade or so I seem to be able to get my fill of the place in 3 or 4 days a year.

Drang said...

Maybe all the filth will wash out to sea.

I'm sure something will be left...

West, By God said...

Indeed. We live in Florida. My wife is visiting her family in PA right now, and she keeps calling me to tell me how silly they are all getting about this thing.

When anything less than Category 3 is heading our way, preparation means means: "Hey honey, don't forget to pick up a few 4-packs of Sam Smith and a bottle of whiskey on your way home from church."

Sure, we have MREs/generator/bottled water/ammo ready to go. But those are only for direct hits from a Category 3 and above. Or zombies.

Ed Foster said...

Agreed it's mostly the folks on the shore who are getting hammered by the storm surge/wind combination. 80 mph gusts when the sound is 11 feet above high tide (lunar high tide as well, how's that for timing) isn't conducive to keeping things anchored that want to float away.

Up here in the hills it's mostly wind, and last year pretty well took care of most overhanging limbs threatening local power lines, so it's just two days off to catch up on my reloading.

I do have to call my cousin though. She lives down next to Clinton harbor, maybe 8 feet above the high tide line.

Perhaps it's God's punishment of states that so commonly vote Democrat? If there were any fundamentalists over on the lefty/loony side, I'd try to make that one fly.

Sebastian said...

To the Floridians, dig a basement and spent 5 grand to finish it, and see how you weather the next Cat 1 or 2.

Like I said, it's what you engineer for that matters. Irene brought practically no wind, which is good, because if I had lost power, I'd have gotten the indoor pool not of my dreams.

Paul, Dammit! said...

We're riding out the highest surge right now. I'm moored to a dock that is underwater, hoping that our mooring lines don't slip since there's no way to get them back 6 feet underwater to the bitts we're tied off to. Winds are 80 sustained with the occasional gust to 100. This is a 25 year storm at worst, but the tidal surge is a rotten coincidence.

And my truck is underwater back at our home dock, so I have that to come home to.

kishnevi said...

Four things make this storm a Big One.

1)Much of storm surge will be hitting at or about high tide.

2)It's hooking up with a large cold weather system.

3) Weather Channel needs something to scream about at this time of year.

4)If New York City were a person, it would be the sort who can't get a hangnail without demanding a police escort to the emergency room.

That said, being without power for a week or so is no joke.

(I live in South Florida.)

Anonymous said...

That and when you live 15 stories up, the commute up and down the stairs is wicked tiring.

Cool pictures of Ground zero filling like Niagara falls, also a BIG transformer on the west side blew up before ConEd gave up and shut off lower Manhattan. It can take years to replace one of those, but I'm presuming so much other stuff is broken now that power demand will be light.

As to the tunnels...pumping them out is the least of your worries. All the electrics have to replaced or at least very carefully dried...of SALT water, all the conduits drained, all the equipment vented and drained, all the metal supports for the tunnels will now rust much more, etc.. etc... all the subway power and ticketing infrastructure...gone.

Remember all the power, heat and everything runs under ground in lower Manhattan, it's a warren of tunnels, basements, conduits, water mains, steam tunnels, and lower manhattan is the terminus of countless under-sea communication cables.

Both JFK and LGA are basically just above sea level ( heck LGA still has a Marine Terminal, though the flying boats don't go there anymore) Imagine your favourite airport with a lot of water everywhere it's not supposed to be.


HUGE mess. A mess that will take forever to fix. As far as getting companies to leave lower Manhattan this may be bigger than 9/11.


Jay G said...

See how states below the Manson-Dixon line deal with 6" of snow and then we'll talk about panic...

Erin Palette said...

Jay: Mason, not Manson, damn your Yankee eyes! ;)

Also, I think Texas and Oklahoma are pretty used to dealing with large snowfalls.

farmist said...

Jay, here in MO it's a rural/urban thing. 1/2" brings the cities to a standstill, while here in the rural areas we don't even count anything less than 2 - 3"

Garrett Lee said...

JayG,

A lot of the South deals with snow in a very competent and sensible manner - they sit tight for two days and wait for it to melt. No panic - just patience.

Where I lived in KY, right on the Ohio river, it was a bit of a mess, though. The inability to use salt to clear the roads because you live within a half a league of the river means that the snow will fall, coat the roads, melt, then freeze overnight. Black ice is evil.

akornzombie said...

Garret Lee- The area you live in doesn't salt because it's within half a mile of the river? Here is Iowa we salt EVERYTHING. Including the bridges over the Cedar.

Tam said...

"Manson-Dixon line"

Awesome! I'd totally buy that album. :D

Angus McThag said...

Sebastian, we don't have basements because of the water table not fears of flooding.

When you hit water 2-3' from the surface, you don't much of a rec room.

Likewise much of Texas has no basements because the soil is like three inches thick on top of rock.

Cybrludite said...

The Bounty is going to confuse the heck out of archeologists someday...

Anonymous said...

Did anyone else notice that LA, Cairo, Berlin, and the rest of the world has apparently shut down out of respect for the suffering of the U.S. East coast. Watched FOX for about 20 minutes this morning and nothing about the rest of the world. Mighty considerate of them.

Tam said...

Dude, this hurricane is hitting the navel of the news media universe.

You are talking about the most solipsistic people on god's green earth; they will summon back drones covering dull events like civil wars and economic collapses to defend against this assault on the hive.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Jay. Southerners in a snow storm drive about as well as Mass-holes do on a bright sunny day. Both are scarey to be around.

Gerry

Anonymous said...

"Assault on the Hive"! Great description!

Anonymous said...

What is it with the weather that brings out the 'I've got bigger balls than you do, nyah, wimp!' attitude?

Tam said...

"What is it with the weather that brings out the 'I've got bigger balls than you do, nyah, wimp!' attitude? "

I don't know about any of that.

What I do know is that severe weather events panic the news media, because panic sells. When severe weather panics the news media in Shreveport or Walla Walla, only the local residents hear about it, because it's only local news media.

When severe weather panics the news media in the NYC-DC axis, the whole world has to hear about it, because that's where the world's news media dwells.

Garrett Lee said...

Akornzombie:

Where I used to live, actually. I'm in PA now. And KYDOT would keep the interstate itself clear - but Paducah (where I lived) would only grit the city roads with sand and wouldn't use salt. The black-ice-with-sand-interspersed actually gave you enough traction to minimally control a vehicle - but it still wasn't fun.

perlhaqr said...

"Manson-Dixon line"

Awesome! I'd totally buy that album. :D


So, is that Marilyn Manson covering old country songs, or teaming up with current country artists?

akornzombie said...

Garret -Lee:

Ohhhhhh, okay. Thank you for clearing that up.

Tam said...

Because of the uranium enrichment plant, Paducah city .gov is probably a little overcautious on various environmental issues.

Kristophr said...

The Manson-Dixon line is at the Wyoming border.

We have the scorpion pits ready for you, Caltards.

RL said...

Tam
"When severe weather panics the news media in the NYC-DC axis, the whole world has to hear about it, because that's where the world's news media dwells."

RE: NYC-DC axis.

Would that be the axis of weevils?

markm said...

"Awesome! I'd totally buy that album. :D"

It took me a little while to realize that Tam must be thinking of Marilyn rather than Charles...

Tom the Impaler said...

And now I'm dreaming of a charity album with Marilyn and Charles Manson duets. Can't think of a pair of Dickson non-sequiter types for back up musician / sociopathic killer Functions. Or since we already have our chosen sociopathic killer should the off Dickson be like a white collar guy?