Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Convention hurricane chances climb

All that supposedly far-fetched talk about a hurricane impacting the Republican National Convention in Tampa isn't so far-fetched any more.

And Democrats eager to smirk at the Republicans shouldn't be so smug, because the chances of tropical systems having an impact on the DNC in Charlotte are not zero either.

The main culprit (there are two, really, but we'll get to the second later) is Tropical Depression 9, which likely will become Tropical Storm Isaac within 24 hours. Late Tuesday morning, it was several hundred miles east of the Lesser Antilles, with 35 mph top winds, and trying to get its act together.

The National Hurricane Center says tropical storm warnings are in effect for the Lesser Antilles -- islands like Martinique, St. Martin, Antigua, Anguilla -- with winds of 40 to 50 mph possible as Isaac passes through on Wednesday.

A tropical storm watch is in effect for Puerto Rico and both the U.S. and British Virgin Islands.

The official NHC forecast calls for Isaac to pass south of Puerto Rico, but close enough to deliver heavy rain and strong winds. It is predicted to be a 60 mph tropical storm at that point, then grow to a hurricane by the time it passes a short distance south of the Dominican Republic and Haiti.

By 11 a.m. Saturday, Isaac is forecast to be a 105 mph hurricane, preparing to cross the center of Cuba on a northwest track toward ... the United States, one would assume, although the Hurricane Center's forecast only goes out for five days.

The major computer models, with their seven-day predictions, take Isaac somewhere near Florida next Monday and Tuesday. Some models call for the storm to move up the Gulf Coast, others up the Atlantic side, and others predict a direct hit. There are other models that show a more southerly track, into the Gulf of Mexico.

This is a big deal, of course, because the Republican National Convention is in Tampa next week.

Jeff Masters, a tropical weather specialist (www.wunderground.com), wrote in his blog Tuesday morning that this season's trend is for tropical systems to remain south, which would steer Isaac into the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico or into the Gulf.  However, he said that if a low pressure system now in western Canada moves into place across the East, it would create a weakness in the atmosphere and allow Isaac to curve northward into Florida.

Republican Party officials say they've planned for a possible hurricane, but it obviously would cause major disruptions.

Why should Democratic Party officials worry about Isaac for Charlotte?  Realistically, the system would have pushed north of the Carolinas by the time the convention starts on Labor Day weekend. But if Isaac were to curve north into Florida, and if its track were to slow by 24 hours or so, the remnants of the storm -- flooding rains, tornadoes -- could impact the inland Carolinas by late in the week leading up to the convention. A number of outdoor convention-related preview events are scheduled that weekend.

(Time for a reminder to Charlotte-area residents ... dying tropical storms are much more of a threat to us than the thriving systems.  Hurricanes die when they reach land, but their remnant heavy rains and tornado-causing wind shear remain intact far inland.)

I know, there are a ton of IF'S here.  But, as Masters noted, he originally predicted a 0.2% chance of a hurricane interrupting the Republican National Convention. Now the chances are 1 to 3%.

THAT SECOND THING ... There's another area of disturbed weather in the Atlantic, about a thousand miles east of Tropical Depression 9. Right now, it's designated as 96L, but indications are that it also will become a named storm (Joyce) in a few days. In fact, its circulation is better formed than Tropical Depression 9's.

Most computer models call for 96L to curve northwest and then north, into the open Atlantic.

But the southern-most predicted paths would bring the system on a course headed for the Southeast coast.

Stay tuned.

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

Good! Both Parties need a good cleaning.

Anonymous said...

They're all wet anyway, so it won't even be noticeable.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Hype - Please relax.
There isn't going to be a hurricane for Tampa or Charlotte.

Anonymous said...

Oh no. I can see it now. Democrats saying it's God's way of punishing the Republicans, lol.

Anonymous said...

Breathless Headline: "Hurricane threatens RNC in Tampa".

Story says 1-3% chance.

Are you kidding me?

Anonymous said...

Inane, moronic, idiotic.
CO - Please stop the constant weather hype. It's almost as bad as your TV weather partner - Brad Panicovich at WCNC.

Anonymous said...

All you jokers talking smack and trying to be cute and bring God in this; When you stand naked before Saint Peter on judgement day, and judgement day is coming, he ain't gonna be asking if you're a Republican or a Democrat, and it won't be the size of your wallet that he'll be looking at neither.

Anonymous said...

Whew. Well I'm safe then. I'm neither. The Republicans say the same stupid stuff to the Democrats. Though I wonder why you would believe my "naked human body" would be beamed from the casket to the Pearly Gates. How embarrassing. Will peter's human body be standing naked before me too?

Anonymous said...

Third thing, pretty sure the GOP's backup is here.....

Anonymous said...

They can always bring in Pat Robertson to pray it away the way he saved Virginia Beach.

J said...

A major storm coming in during either convention would certainly make that convention far more interesting than it otherwise would be.

What you can be guaranteed would take place is that the Dems would sieze the opportunity to remind us all that more hurricanes are a direct consequence of global warming, that global warming is real and 100% man-made, that the ONE and ONLY cause of global warming is the burning of fossil fuels by American Republicans, and that the ONE and ONLY way to reverse global warming is for "The Rich" (which every Dem defines "as any human being with a larger net worth than me") to turn over all of the wealth they don't need to the government.

As I've said before, I hope that any storm goes all the way through the Gulf, hits Texas, and turns north so the Midwest can get out of this drought. Don't want to wish any harm on any people or property, but I'd like to see those folks get the rain they so badly need.

Anonymous said...

Maybe that's just God saying she doesn't like the direction the GOP/TP has been taking. I'm just sayin'.

Anonymous said...

Does this mean Pat Robertson will be warning us all about how angry God is with the GOP?

Anonymous said...

God is not happy with the the GOP's choice of Mitt Romney. 0bama is the Moses of our time.

Anonymous said...

Definitely a poor choice of headline ....
WHO WILL BE SOAKED IN CHARLOTTE?

Anonymous said...

Well for all the Ballantyne elitist trash here that was hoping a monsoon would destroy the DNC when Obama speaks, I guess you are getting what you wished on someone else - a damn hurricane for definitely a true enema! God help you.

Anonymous said...

Maybe all the millions Mitt cheated our country out of taxes can go to build a bubble around Tampa.

Anonymous said...

Isn't it a published fact that if a hurricane hits there they will move the convention to Charlotte?

Anonymous said...

Whenever this happens, people like Pat Robertson, et al, like to say it's because of sin and wickedness that's God's punishing them for. Guarantee they won't spew such nonsense this time. Why? Cause it's NEVER true.

Anonymous said...

If it hits, that means there is a God! Wash the conventio into the gulf.....no one else just the convention...they are all fish food anyway.

Gus Savage said...

God hates republicans and this is proof. My and the boys in the union all prayed over some beers and smokes down at the bar. Looks like our prayers were answered