Thursday, September 02, 2010

Hurricane Earl: Meh

Florida and North Carolina both get plenty of hurricanes. But despite spending all but two years of my live in those two states, I've yet to really fully experience one. No direct hits, no extended power outages, nothing. Just the occasional precautionary day off from school, and maybe some tropical storm force winds every once in a while. Except now, there's a hurricane heading straight towards North Carolina! Aaaaahhh!!!

Well, not really. Earl is only going to skim the Outer Banks, and have virtually no impact whatsoever on Raleigh and Durham. Booooooring. (That's not to say I'm complaining. I like electricity.) That's usually been the story (so far) during my life in Florida and North Carolina: a few close calls, but no hits.

But even when a hurricane isn't coming my way, I still pay attention and watch the Weather Channel live reports...usually. Earl is a very strong hurricane and could cause major damage, but for whatever reason, I'm just not feeling it this time. Maybe a hurricane hitting the Outer Banks just isn't that exciting to me. They're supposed to get hurricanes, right? Or, maybe I'm just not as interested in hurricane geeking as much as I used to be.

Or...how about this. Maybe my "meh" attitude towards Hurricane Earl coverage is due to improved hurricane forecasting. I mean, we've pretty much known what general track Earl would take along the coast for three or four days now, right? Every time I check the latest National Hurricane Center forecast, it's pretty much the same as the previous forecast. "No change to the previous forecast reasoning", "similar to the tightly clustered model consensus", blah blah blah. Where's the suspense? Where's the drama?

While issuing a hurricane warning 36 hours in advance instead of 24 - a change made this year due to improved forecasting - is a perfectly sound idea, it doesn't make for good television. The issuing of a "Hurricane Warning" used to be a very dramatic moment. Now, when a Hurricane Warning is issued, it means you're still a day and a half away. So when landfall finally comes, it'll be less "Holy crap!" and more "It's about damn time! I thought this thing would never get here!" At least, that's how I feel about it. While improved forecasts and longer lead times are absolutely good things, it does take some of the fun out of it for people like me. Just sayin'.

2 comments:

James Allen said...

I'm waitin' for Gaston.
No one hits like Gaston, matches wits like Gaston. In a spitting match nobody spits like Gaston.

Spartangoogle said...

I bet the fine folks in Nova Scotia thought they were immune to hurricanes, eh?