Tag Archives: NWS

They’re calling it ‘Sharpiegate’ … sheesh!

I wish I could have avoided referring to this latest Donald Trump controversy as a “gate”-type matter, but I guess I must.

They’re calling it “Sharpiegate” now. This is the story involving the president producing a map showing that, by golly, Alabama was in the path of Hurricane Dorian’s destruction.

You know what happened next, right? The National Weather Service contradicted the president’s assertion. Trump wouldn’t/couldn’t admit he goofed. So he trots out the map with the Sharpie-drawn line extending from the “cone of uncertainty” that the NWS had established regarding Dorian’s path.

Now the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration has weighed in. NOAA backs Trump’s assertion.

I fear all NOAA has done is feed Trump’s never-ending Twitter tirade appetite. The president will bask in whatever NOAA has presumed.

NOAA vs. NWS

How about we end this matter? How about we no longer are fixated over whether Trump drew that line extending from that cone of uncertainty. I have no doubt he did, but that shouldn’t consume us.

Oh, wait! If the media plan to let it go, will the president follow suit? Or is he going to keep stirring it up for the media to report on it … and then accuse the media of peddling “fake news”?

My head is about to explode.

Not all Category 1 storms are alike

I have learned something while watching the non-stop media coverage of Hurricane Florence as it pounds the coasts of North and South Carolina.

It is this: Not all hurricane categories can be judged by the same parameters.

Florence blasted ashore overnight as a Category 1 hurricane. Category 1 supposedly is the least damaging, least threatening of these storms, which can be labeled as high as Category 5.

Here’s the deal: Florence brought a lot of water with it. Weather forecasters are saying it could dump as much as 3 feet of rainfall on the Carolina coast.

This is a bit of a surprise to me. My family and I once endured a Category 1 hurricane when we lived in Beaumont, Texas. Hurricane Bonnie made landfall while blasting ashore from the Gulf of Mexico in 1986. Bonnie was considered — even in the moment — to be a somewhat tepid event. Yes, it brought some heavy wind — about 85 mph sustained winds and occasional gusts of around 100 mph. However, the rainfall wasn’t nearly as heavy as what we’re seeing right now along the Carolina coastline.

Thousands of residents throughout the Golden Triangle lost power. Ours was out for just a few hours. Others endured days without any electricity.

Rainfall? Flooding? I don’t recall anywhere near the deluge that’s been brought by Hurricane Florence.

So, when they say a hurricane is a “mere” Category 1 event, that all depends on so many other factors that accompany such a storm as it blasts the coastline.

I’ll take Hurricane Bonnie over Hurricane Florence any day of the week.