NHC is forecasting that Gustav's current diameter of tropical storm force (about 320 miles across) will grow to about 350 miles across at landfall in Louisiana. This is about 80% as wide as the 440 mile-wide region of tropical storm force winds Hurricane Katrina had at landfall (5 am August 29, 2005).
A wind field of this size in a Category 4 hurricane traveling NW over the Gulf of Mexico is capable of carrying a 13-15 foot high storm tide to the coast in central Louisiana. NNW-moving storms bring the highest surge to this region of coast. Storm tide is the storm surge, adjusted upwards by 2 feet in case the storm hits at high tide.
Time to leave New Orleans
It should go without saying that it's time to leave New Orleans. But, I'll say it anyway: It's Time to Leave New Orleans! The risk of staying in New Orleans is unacceptable. This is a huge and dangerous storm that has already killed a lot of people. The projected track and strength of Gustav is very close to that of Hurricane Betsy of 1965, the Category 3 hurricane that overwhelmed New Orleans' levees, and killed 76 people. Get out now.
SOME SUN WOULD BE REALLY NICE PLS.
Elevated: Moderate, plowable snow predicted. Harvey Leonard openly smiles during report. Empty your trunk to make room for milk, eggs and bread. Clear space in refrigerator and head to store for an extra gallon of milk, a spare dozen eggs and a new loaf of bread.
Donuts on your lawn
[Edit: Office closing at 2:15. Half-day off is much better than none at all.]
Heavy snow out here of the good, wet, sticky variety perfect for snowball fights. ("Good" depending entirely on whether you have to shovel the stuff, I guess.) Too bad that here = the office. :-P
It is supposed to get nasty and icy later this afternoon though, so maybe I'll get to go home early where I can restock the
Unofficial rainfall total for the 24 hours ending at 7 AM this morning: 7.09 inches
At the time I started writing this, Warrenton was in the middle of another torrential downpour lasting about 20 minutes.
This morning, I'm reminded strongly of Kim Stanley Robinson's Forty Signs of Rain: at one point in the book Rock Creek floods (which isn't all that unusual, but not to the extent it does in the book) and the Potomac overflows its banks and floods the Mall and downtown because of large amounts of rainfall locally and an even larger amount upstream. We do need the rain, we were five inches below normal, but getting it all at once was...non-optimal.
nminusone and I got caught in last night's torrential downpour, which started right around the time we left Ikea at 8. Our dinner plans changed abruptly from "Let's stop at Busara" to "Let's go someplace that has a parking garage". It took about an hour to get from College Park to Tyson's on the Beltway, with average speed being somewhere around 25 MPH. I already have a hard time with vision when driving at night in the rain, but at night in the rain where the rain is coming down at around 2 inches an hour on average and in a new car I'm not entirely accustomed to yet is a whole honkin' lot of fun. Not as stressful as it could've been (the new car seems to have pretty good tires), but the beer at dinner sure was a welcome sight.
Other stuff from the weekend:
brian1789 is in Atlanta for his sister-in-law's funeral, if you could spare some good thoughts or prayers for him and patgreene and the rest of the family, I'm sure it would be appreciated.
Bought new car on Friday, which took about an hour longer than I expected thanks to the person in line ahead of me for the finance guy doing a sight-unseen trade-in without their current car's VIN handy. It took them a bit over an hour I think, it took me all of ten minutes since I already had my eLoan check in hand, didn't need financing and wasn't trading anything in. The finance guy bore a disturbing resemblance to a younger Christopher Walken, and got points for having a Demotivator poster on his office wall. New car is v. pretty: it's this in strato blue, with a moonroof. The color on my monitor looks much lighter than it does in person, it's a very dark, almost purple-tinted blue.
After finally getting out of the dealership, picked up nminusone and hauled butt over to the Arlington Cinema & Drafthouse for the completely-sold-out charity showing of "Serenity" with some friends. Jayne hats galore, and one woman came dressed in Inara's gold and black outfit. As other folks have said, it was fun to see it in a theater full of fans. Came >this< close to meeting jessicamelusine finally, but we all missed each other in part because our group was sitting in the very front row of the theater, down below the wall, and it was hard to see/be seen.
- Hurricane Gilbert (888 mb, 1988)
- The Great Labor Day Hurricane (892 mb, 1935)
- Hurricane Rita (898 mb, 2005)
- Hurricane Allen (899 mb, 1980)
- Hurricane Katrina (902 mb, 2005)
- Hurricane Camille (905 mb, 1969)
SEP 21 - 7:50PM CDT
DROPSONDE DATA FROM AN AIR FORCE RESERVE UNIT RECONNAISSANCE AIRCRAFT AT 623 PM CDT...2323Z...INDICATED THE CENTRAL PRESSURE HAS FALLEN TO BELOW 899 MB...OR 26.55 INCHES.
THE DROPSONDE INSTRUMENT MEASURED 32 KT/35 MPH WINDS AT THE SURFACE...WHICH MEANS IT LIKELY DID NOT RECORD THE LOWEST PRESSURE IN THE EYE OF RITA. THE CENTRAL PRESSURE IS PROBABLY AT LEAST AS LOW AS 898 MB...AND PERHAPS EVEN LOWER.
FOR OFFICIAL PURPOSES... A PRESSURE OF 898 MB IS ASSUMED...WHICH NOW MAKES RITA THE THIRD MOST INTENSE HURRICANE IN TERMS OF PRESSURE IN THE ATLANTIC BASIN. SOME ADDITIONAL DEEPENING AND INTENSIFICATION IS POSSIBLE FOR THE NEXT 12 HOURS OR SO.
... Heavy Snow Warning in effect from 1 am Monday to 1 am EST
The National Weather Service in Sterling Virginia has issued a Heavy
Snow Warning for northern Virginia... central and western Maryland
the eastern West Virginia Panhandle and the District of Columbia
from 100 am Monday through 100 am Tuesday.
By late tomorrow evening... areas west of the Blue Ridge are expected
to see 5 to 10 inches of snowfall. East of the Blue Ridge including
the Baltimore and Washington metropolitan areas... 6 to 10 inches of
snowfall is expected.
There is still some uncertainty as to the exact track of this storm
system. A small shift in the track of this storm can yield large
differences in snowfall accumulations.
Well, we'll see. It was supposed to snow last Sunday evening too, and it didn't. They did peg Thursday's pretty well though, and we even got the 5 inches they predicted.
Arrrgh! My last subject line, thanks to yesterday's S*P-fest, has wedged "It burns! It burns like hygiene!" in my brain.
( view out the back door this morning )
Oh. Heh heh. They've changed their story since I last looked. "Did we say none? We meant another half-inch or so."
While I'm thinking about it: Happy birthday, curiousangel! Hopefully you'll spend it disproving this theory. ;)
Speaking of polyamory, it appears I will not be risking driving up to Baltimore this evening to meet up with alt.polycon attendees. =( (Actually, if I left *right now*, I might possibly be there in time for the dinner, but having caught a glimpse of traffic outside, I wouldn't swear to it.)
( The front yard at roughly 1 PM )