Friday, June 01, 2007

It Begins...

Today is the first day of the official 2007 Hurricane season. For those of us who live in Louisiana, this is the time when we begin to keep a close eye on what is happening in the Gulf of Mexico. Although this is always something of a preoccupation in this neck of the woods, since the 2005, this vigil has taken on a whole new seriousness.

Of course, the fact that the Hurricane season starts on the first of June is really somewhat arbitrary. The season is supposed to end on the first of December. However, it seems that in 2005 someone forgot to tell the storm systems this fact. There was tropical activity all the way through December that year. In fact, there were so many storms, that they ran out of names for them!

The beginning of the Hurricane season is usually quite quiet. This is because storms draw their energy from the heated water in the seas and so early in the season, water temperatures are not yet that high. However, this year as the season starts, there is already an area of disturbed weather in the Gulf of Mexico and a Tropical storm off the West coast of Mexico.

The forecast for this Hurricane season is not too good. They are predicting lots of storms. Of course, they predicted the same for last year and we were fortunately spared. This was a merciful release after the twin horrors of Katrina and the often overlooked Rita in 2005. Who knows if we will get lucky this year.

In many ways, the Gulf coast, especially Louisiana is still very much dealing with the effects of the events of 2005. Thousands of people are still displaced. There are still many areas where little, or no reconstruction has taken place, while the State and the Federal Governments continue to argue over funds and responsibilities. Nobody really is certain about the state of the protective coastal wetlands, or the shape that the levees are in. The one noticeable effect has been the influx of property speculators, like so much Carrion, who are putting up cheaply constructed properties, in order to take advantage of various Federal programs. Regular people though have not got much help. The one universal effect has been the massive hike in insurance rates, even thought the insurance companies continue to make massive profits.

Now, the all too familiar yearly ritual begins again -- buying in water, batteries, canned goods and candles. Let us hope that the Weather Gods are kind to us this year. We still need a break. In the meantime, we will be keeping a weather eye on what is happening in the Gulf and the Atlantic.

The CP

Update: What I previously described as 'an area of disturbed weather in the Gulf of Mexico' is now Tropical Storm Barry. It looks quite mild and will be hitting the elbow of Florida, if the forecasts are correct. This is the very first day of the season. If this continues, God help us!

The CP

1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not sure why, but I think that the eastern seaboard will receive the majority of the hurricanes this year. But, who knows.

6:18 AM  

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