if you’re looking for hurricane ike damage photos and video, CLICK HERE...then scroll down through the blog entries and you’ll find lots of links from around the country. some of the slide shows get updated regularly.
The upper low that I was speaking of the last few days is still expected to behave the same way…move into the SE and come close enough to Louisville to bring clouds and cool down the temperatures. The only difference is that now we have knuckled under and put some showers in the forecast for the first part of the weekend. They will be scattered in nature and largely insignificant. Don’t build and ark just yet. The NAM spits out less than a tenth of an inch and the Tue 12Z GFS had nothing but it was trending toward enough moisture moving in to warrant the slight change. The GFS is advertising a sharp cool down in the middle of next week but hey…it’s a week away and it is the GFS and we are in the middle of a season change so the long term models sometimes want to run home to their climate mommas, thus messing things up down the road. We’ll wait and see. Possible? yes…but don’t stock up on the firewood just yet.
Hurricane Ike is one guest to Galveston that no one will forget. I’ll tell a not so secret secret. Galvestonians have a code name to distinguish the genuine item from an import. It’s BOI…as in BEE-OH-EYE. It stands for “Born on the Island.” I think Houston Astros pitcher Brandon Backe is a BOI. Anyway, after Ike moved ashore, Galveston has been pretty much closed. That is part of the reason so many people didn’t leave. They didn’t want to wait for days or even weeks to return to their homes. So, people are being let back on the Island soon. But listen to this quote of what they can expect:
Officials said today that returning residents should prepare to be utterly self-reliant, bringing their own food, water and gasoline. They described the opposite of a sentimental journey: residents will encounter mosquitoes, rats and snakes; traffic could be chaotic and back up for hours on I-45 and water will not be drinkable for months.
Makes everyone want to return home, right? What I didn’t include was that people on the west end of Galveston are still allowed to visit their homes (though many of those are vacation homes) on a “look and leave” basis and those on the east side of the entrance to Galveston Bay on Bolivar Peninsula have no home to look at so they have no choice but to leave. Here is the full story from the Houston Chronicle and another from the New York Times on Galveston’s clean up. Here is a link to the NYTimes slide show that accompanies the story.
On This Date In History: This date in 1861 was not a good day for flying. At 3:30 AM on April 20, 1861 Thaddeus S C Lowe decided it was a good time to test his new 20,000 cubic foot balloon called Enterprise. I’m not sure if the balloon was shown in the Star Trek movie that showed all of the previous vessels called Enterprise. I don’t think that I recall that being the case. Anyway, he takes off from Cincinnati before the sun comes up and his little test mission turned into a misadventure. He got whisked away by 100 mph winds aloft that sent him to South Carolina. He thought he’d get welcomed like a crowned prince like the Wizard of Oz. Instead he was arrested as a spy. Apparently the professor was absent minded as he had no clue that 6 days before Fort Sumnter had fallen and the Civil War had begun. Fellow academics convinced the state authorities that Lowe was on a scientific mission and they let him go.
I’m not sure if Lowe was ticked at being arrested or if his buddies were
wrong because Lowe promptly went north and became the leader of the Union’s Army of the Potomac Aeronautic Corps of balloonists. Lowe designed and built several balloons for a whole Union fleet with the largest being the 32,000 cubic foot Intrepid that required 1200 yards of silk. This was a group of mainly civilians who made some 3000 flights in the first two years of the war. They would tether up and view the battlefield from aloft and then use a telegraph to wire down the enemy position and direct artillery fire. It was the forerunner to aerial reconnaissance. In fact, later in WWI, the airplane was used initially for that purpose until it was discovered you could drop bombs from planes or put machine guns on the plane and shoot down enemy planes and blimps. Anyway, on this date in 1861 Lowe himself was shot down. Somehow he ended up behind enemy lines. I don’t know if he got caught up in another 100 mph wind or enemy fire cut his tether or if he was just going on another “scientific excursion” but down he went and he was captured again. His wife Leontine was a witness to the whole thing. Did she sit and cry? Did she hope that academics would again get her husband set free? Nope. Instead, she personally led a raid of nighttime commandos who moved in and rescued the professor.
Before the war, Lowe had established a reputation for new theories and study in Chemistry, Meteorology and Aviation. He had a dream of a transatlantic balloon flight. I guess he got rich because after the war, he moved to Pasadena, CA and built a 24,000 foot house. He established a railroad to Mount Wilson and tinkered in all sorts of things. They’ve named a Mountain for him and the Lowe Observatory among other things. Funny thing is the guy ended up living with his daughter in her Pasadena home as he lost his fortune. Makes you wonder if now California will rename its mountains something like Mount AIG or Mount Lehman Brothers.
Invest 93: This guy at times has looked good on the satellite but it still has not been determined to have enough of a closed low to make it a depression. The image above shows some promise but doesn’t look as good as some of the stuff I saw during Tuesday. The spaghetti models all want to make it a tropical storm but fewer like the hurricane status. Tracks are similar with several still threatening New England. But, if this guy doesn’t get off the island soon, it may have some trouble. Several of the models we use for our daily forecast are less enthusiastic about its development but its something to watch due to a possible threat to the northeast. Here’s what the National Hurricane Center said Tuesday evening…which is almost identical to what they said for the past 2 days.
TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL 800 PM EDT TUE SEP 23 2008 FOR THE NORTH ATLANTIC…CARIBBEAN SEA AND THE GULF OF MEXICO… 1. THE BROAD AREA OF LOW PRESSURE OVER HISPANIOLA CONTINUES TO GENERATE HEAVY RAINFALL WITH POTENTIALLY LIFE-THREATENING FLASH FLOODING AND MUD SLIDES IN HISPANIOLA AND PUERTO RICO. THE RAINFALL IS EXPECTED TO CONTINUE OVER THESE AREAS AND COULD SPREAD OVER THE VIRGIN ISLANDS…TURKS AND CAICOS ISLANDS…AND THE SOUTHEASTERN BAHAMAS THROUGH WEDNESDAY. AN AIR FORCE RECONNAISSANCE MISSION EARLIER THIS AFTERNOON INDICATED THIS SYSTEM DOES NOT YET HAVE A WELL-DEFINED SURFACE CIRCULATION…AND SINCE THAT TIME…ASSOCIATED SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS HAVE NOT BECOME BETTER ORGANIZED. HOWEVER…CONDITIONS REMAIN MARGINALLY FAVORABLE FOR DEVELOPMENT AND THIS SYSTEM COULD BECOME A TROPICAL DEPRESSION WITHIN THE NEXT COUPLE OF DAYS AS IT SLOWLY MOVES NORTH OF HISPANIOLA. INTERESTS IN PUERTO RICO…THE VIRGIN ISLANDS…THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC…HAITI…THE TURKS AND CAICOS ISLANDS…AND THE SOUTHEASTERN BAHAMAS SHOULD CONTINUE TO MONITOR THE PROGRESS OF THIS SYSTEM AND PRODUCTS ISSUED BY THEIR RESPECTIVE WEATHER FORECAST OFFICES. ELSEWHERE…TROPICAL CYCLONE FORMATION IS NOT EXPECTED DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS. $$ FORECASTER SCHAUER CLARK/RHOME