Friday, September 23, 2005

Grandma knows best... least, when it comes to hurricane forecasting.

She told us on Wednesday, when the projected track of Hurricane Rita was aimed right at us, that the storm would likely turn farther north than “they” thought and that we’d only get tropical storm force winds out of it, at worst.

This morning, as I sit looking out the kitchen bay window at a sunny sky with almost no air movement, having listened to the Weather Channel’s forecast for this area, Grandma is looking pretty smart.

Our forecast for tomorrow is calling for maximum winds of 30 to 40 mph, showers and thundershowers with a possible accumulation of ¼ inch. Gee, a whole 1/4 inch! I wonder how all those people who boarded up and fled are feeling now.

Despite this town’s (and this county’s for that matter) mandatory evacuation, it’s obvious that many, many people chose to stay just as we did. My home is on a residential side street, and cars are moving past our house fairly regularly. I can’t imagine where they are going, as absolutely no businesses are open on this Friday. And based on the current forecast and outlook, I can’t imagine that they are leaving town.

Speaking of evacuation, I predict that several hundred thousand people from the Houston area will be DEMANDING an improved evacuation plan after that debacle!

I mean, how much intelligence does it take to know that the major interstate arteries out of Houston should be opened with ALL lanes going outbound? With some advance planning, it really would not be all that hard to do.

Over 20 years ago, when we lived in Corpus Christi, the ONLY interstate (I-37) serving that city was opened with all lanes heading OUT, toward San Antonio when a hurricane threatened.

Every year at the start of hurricane season there are countless meetings of emergency management and law enforcement people discussing and formulating evacuation plans. We even have them in little Calhoun County where my plant is. That would be an appropriate venue for this type of planning (to convert major arteries to one-way outbound under certain situations.)

Ah, well. Hindsight is always 20-20.

So at this writing (9:20 a.m.) it’s a beautiful day. It should be quiet, so maybe I’ll get some writing done.

Unless we decide to go play golf.

Oh, and I’ll be setting up a new commercial web site called “,” where the NOAA folks and any others who are interested can, for a fee of course, obtain accurate severe weather forecasting.

I’ll post again later if anything worth letting you know about happens. And Karyn, thanks for the offer of a place to stay, but I think you’ll be feeling more of the effects of Rita than I will.

Want to come to Victoria to escape? We have a guest room, but no pool.


schnoodlepooh said...

I wonder what town it is where you live. I heard on the radio this morning that Galvaston, Houston, Beaumont, Port Arthur are all going to be hit very hard. I assume you must be far from those towns? But what do I know? I'm up in Seattle. I barely know Texas geography and my grandmother did not predict weather.

kenju said...

I hope Grandma is right. Rita could still change course, couldn't she? I think that the evacuation was made mandatory because we messed up so badly during Katrina that no official wants to have the same thing happen.

Duke_of_Earle said...


Sure, she could. And storms have, in the past. But I think you're right about the officials and Katrina. Everybody tended to overreact this time in a "CYA" maneuver.

But in their defense, when the evacuation call was made Rita looked like a worse storm than Katrina! And nobody knew where she would hit at that point. So, in "better safe than sorry" mode, they decreed mandatory evacuation for literally millions of people.

Then they forgot that the local roads can't handle that volume unless you point all lanes outbound! That's my complaint.


Karyn Lyndon said...

Thanks for the invite! I'm sure we'd all have a lovely time sitting around your cement pond under the arbor.