Thursday, September 11, 2008

Warning: RANT

I just don't understand.

If you were told one morning that there was a 10% chance that your house would be hit by a tornado and you would be killed later that day, would you stay home and hope for the 9 out of 10? To me, this is basically what the people who refuse to leave Galveston Island are saying that are in MANDATORY evacuation zones.

I would not be playing Russian Roulette with a possible 20 foot storm surge that could rival that of Katrina's due to the sheer size of this hurricane. Yes, previous storms have veered away and missed you. Yes, this one could also miss you. Unfortunately, if the 10% does happen, by the time you realize it, it is too late. If you try to fight water, water will always win. Period.

Sorry to sound a little harsh. But it is frustrating to have the technology to warn those that could be affected, but still have a pit in the stomach feeling that a worst-case scenario (10% odds) with this storm could claim hundreds of lives.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Ike Likes Texas.....and Oklahoma

Before I continue, check out this video of Ike when it hit Cuba:

Ike is rapidly strengthening after leaving Cuba, and it is probably going to become a monster in the Gulf of Mexico. I think it will strengthen to a borderline Category 3-Category 4 hurricane by Thursday with max winds near 130MPH. It will make landfall Friday night somewhere near Galveston. Not only will Ike be strong, but it will also be very large. Currently, the Tropical Storm-force winds (40-74MPH) have a radius of 230 miles around the center of the storm! By the time it makes landfall, Hurricane force and Tropical Storm force winds could extend out 300 miles from the center, which would affect the entire Texas coast, not just the point where the center makes landfall.

The following is my take on how Ike will affect our weather later this week and this weekend.

Disclaimer: The following scenario is subject to change, but this is what the last 3 model runs have shown for the next few days.......

1) A swath of 4-7 inches of rain across the I-44 corridor, with a few isolated locations near 10 inches from Thursday through Sunday.

2) The center of Ike will head north just east of I-35 Saturday night and Sunday, creating winds gusting to as high as 40-50MPH.

3) Isolated tornadoes possible Saturday night and Sunday from I-35 east.

I'll update this info as things become more clear over the next few days.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Hype With Ike

You might hear some local TV meteorologists sounding the alarm over the next few days about the remnants of Ike moving through Oklahoma late this weekend, possibly causing significant flooding. We all know that some local guys can tend to "overhype" weather events on occassion. However, if the remnants of a hurricane are forecasted to move overhead, I would do the same thing if I were the forecaster. Here is why: Inland Flooding from heavy rain is the number one killer from hurricanes. Not storm surge at the coast. Not high winds. The most deaths occur inland, away from the coast, becuase of the rain that results inland.

We are still too far away to know if Ike will affect us, but if it happens, it's not something to be taken lightly.

Here are the top five rainfalls caused by tropical systems in Oklahoma history:

1) 18.71 inches from Norma, 1981 in Kingston

2) 16.95 inches from Tico, 1983 in Chickasha

3) 12.81 inches from Erin, 2007 in Eakly

4) 12.07 inches from Dean, 1995 at Great Salt Plains Lake

5) 11.02 inches from Frances, 1998 in Valliant