Monday, August 27, 2012

Cheering On a Storm

Trey Smith

I think it must be difficult to be a meteorologist and/or weather scientist. Stable weather patterns are so blase; the real excitement comes from storms! When tornadoes or blizzards appear likely or a hurricane marches across the ocean, there is much interesting work to be done in forecasting when and where severe weather will strike.

I too share this same dilemma. During hurricane season, for example, I feel a great letdown when a hurricane fizzles out or changes its path away from land. I love to track storms on my computer and I always get a kick out of the on-the-scene live reports from impacted areas. Even when I lived in Tornado Alley, I cheered on tornadoes and severe weather.

But the excitement a storm generates for severe weather aficionados like myself exacts a very heavy price. These storms that fascinate us so much can cause massive destruction of property as well injury and death to scores of life forms. To cheer on a storm seems like a very callous enterprise.

I've been following Tropical Storm Isaac since it first formed. Early on, it became fairly certain that this storm would impact land. It brought a lot of flooding to Haiti and Cuba and now has set its sites on the US gulf coast. As it currently stands, forecasters predict it will be a level 1 hurricane when it makes landfall somewhere between the eastern edge of Mississippi and the Louisiana-Texas border.

Personally, I'm a bit disappointed with the forecast. I was hoping for a category 3 or higher hurricane. The powerful storms are more interesting as there are more variables to factor into the making of accurate forecasts.

Another part of me recoils at the idea that I want to see a mega storm hit the US (or anywhere else, for that matter). A category 3 or higher hurricane would cause much destruction as well as loss of life. It's not that I don't give a crap about the people in the storm's path -- I do and I certainly feel for them -- it's just that I like storms.

I know. That's a really pathetic rationale!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments are unmoderated, so you can write whatever you want.