Hurricanes are strange things. If you see them on a radar map, they’re huge, dwarfing entire states. And yet, they lumber along at a mere 15 miles/hour; given enough endurance, you could outrun one on a bicycle. But they are relentless, and unless you’re capable of Tour de France -level endurance, they will eat up the days and eventually catch you.
Predicting where they go appears to be incredibly difficult. As I watched the forecasts, I’ve seen differing computer models offer storm tracks that vary by hundreds of miles. And yet, despite their size, a few dozen miles given where you are in relation to the eye of the storm makes a significant different. If you’re near the eye, the winds are strongest. Because of the counter-clockwise cycle, if the eye is west of you, the winds will be coming from offshore, and cause the greatest storm surge. If the eye is to the east, the winds will be pushing back towards the ocean. The northern quadrants of a hurricane often spawn tornadoes as the storm moves inland.
Each successive forecast for Isaac over the past few days has pushed the track farther west, beginning with the Florida panhandle, and as of 5am today, it’s likely to be west of NOLA, and the probability of 50-knot wind speeds has increased from 10% to 60%.
States seem to welcome me in their own special ways. When I first moved to California, there were two magnitude 5 earthquakes within six weeks. My second week in Louisiana, I’m meet with Isaac. Hopefully, one hurricane will be sufficient.