Ahgamen Keyboa reports:
Hurricane Irma now confirmed a looming threat! Weather prediction is a realm of uncertainty, so as we finish up Labor Day recreation and get ready for school, we may be wondering if Hurricane Harvey was enough. Apparently not, in the current upturn of tropical cyclone activity, this busy year. After more than a decade of relative silence, we are waking up to Mother Nature’s wrathful side.
We’ve enjoyed a calm for a long time, other than a few catastrophic hits, notably Hurricane Sandy in late October 2012. Many in the Northeast will remember it vividly. In the aftermath, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration issued its assessment report, stating that, “Sandy was a complex storm, resulting in 72 direct deaths across eight states and at least 75 indirect deaths, damages in excess of $50 billion, storm surge in excess of eight feet and up to three feet of snow in some places. At close to 1,000 miles in diameter, it was among the largest storms ever to strike the United States. The storm caused impacts in 24 states”.
Recently, we have watched in horror at the destructive power of Hurricane Harvey. We have seen the graphic images and imagine what it’s like to lose everything as the victims did. “This will be a devastating disaster, probably the worst disaster the state’s seen,” William “Brock” Long, administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, told The Washington Post on Sunday. “The recovery to this event is going to last many years to be able to help Texas and the people impacted by this event achieve a new normal.”
Last week, it was the Gulf Coast, primarlily in Texas and Louisiana, feeling the vengeance of a major storm landfall via Harvey. Next week, it may be the East Coast, from Florida northwards. If the storm continues to strengthen, it will also endanger the MidAtlantic and the NorthEast. This scenario is probable for the period of mid-September.
Florida governor Rick Scott is not taking any chances. He tweeted 2:57 PM – 4 Sep 2017, “I have declared a state of emergency for every FL county to help state, federal and local governments work together as we prepare for #Irma.”
I have declared a state of emergency for every FL county to help state, federal and local governments work together as we prepare for #Irma.
— Rick Scott (@FLGovScott) September 4, 2017
It is better to be safe than sorry, therefore the authorities in Florida are avoiding a panic. What about Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina? There is also a possible threat to Virgina and if the track would follow up the Chesapeake Bay, then the nation’s Capitol is in for disaster.
According to existing models of prediction, Hurricane Irma will continue to track on a westwards course. It gains strength over the warmer waters and does not have any detriment from wind shearing; it already has successfully passed by the ridging air systems of the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. The scenario is that Irma will begin to turn northwards and may or may not skirt the coast.
If the Hurricane makes landfall early, it will be in Florida. It may cross the peninsula and jump into the Gulf coast. It may or may not gain strength again.
If it does not plow into land, it could hug the coast, at which point it retains its strength, saving it for the Carolinas or more northerly regions.
Let’s talk about the scenario of Washington, D.C. taking a direct hit. It will be the opposite of the political slogan, “Drain the swamp”; we are talking about flooding the swamp. Low-lying areas of D.C. would be inundated. The Potomac river system would be flooded. The Federal government would be shut down and all agencies would be evacuated. Washington would appear as Houston does today.
Hurricane watch warnings have now been issued for islands in the Carribean, from Puerto Rico, Hispaniola,Cuba, the Bahamas, the Turks and Caicos, Leeward Islands, and to the U.S. and British Virgin Islands. Many who have made late summer plans to vacation in paradise are now having to change their itinerary, if they are wise. Nobody wants to be stuck out on an island during one of these huge storms, if they don’t have to be.
As we approach the weekend of September 8, we are going to find out what happens in the islands off the coast of the U.S.A. After that, in the week of Sept.11-15, the East Coast may or may not have to deal with a major hurricane landfall.