Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Hurricane Emily, first day

number forty-eight

Part one of my experience with Emily: this storm is crazy. It speeds up and slows down and gets bigger and smaller. This post covers the first days of sporadic updates to this blog as Hurricane Emily marched overland directly at Monterey. 1,006 words

© the Weather Channel[NL]—7/19/05 10:00am EST—Hurricane Emily lost a lot of speed over the Yucatán Peninsula, dropping to category two (barely: sustained winds a the eye were about 55mph) yesterday as she returned to the open sea in the gulf coast. Slowing a little, she also picked up a little more mass, widening considerably even as she dumped a lot of her rain on Cozumel and Cancún. Her pressure started to drop again over the gulf, and as of this writing, she is speeding back up: her winds are 90mph, and that number will probably rise. It is forecasted she’ll now be at a strong category three when she reaches the gulf coast about two hundred and fifty kilometers directly west of Monterrey.

And that’s kind of weird; I am not sure I have ever seen a hurricane shoot so levelly west before. She took a little of an upswing right before the Peninsula, and then only because of running aground. Since she has been in the Gulf, she seems to have been trying to correct her westerly bearing. Of course, I have been outside loudly calling her name.

Today is the day she’ll start to hit. The eye will hit sometime late tonight, or early tomorrow am. I am going to, at least temporarily, keep tabs on what is happening with the storm, as well as what is happening outside. When these two things come together, I will probably lose power for a while. We are on the side of the mountain, so while I suspect that any sustained accumulation of water due to torrential rains will indeed cause flooding, that flooding will be lower than our house. I hope. We’ll see. The emergency groceries were bought yesterday, and Sunshine’s employers have cancelled most of business tomorrow. Now I wait to see what happens.

7/19/05 10:30am EST—Weather clear with big puffy cumulous clouds. Very little breeze. Temperate eighty-six degrees, Fahrenheit, but humidity feels higher. Emily is threatening the coast with storm surges that should be hitting within the hour. I can not tell there is even a storm, much less anything like that, from here.

© the Weather Channel7/19/05 12:45pm EST—Weather here much the same as before. Some of the clouds getting a darker look to them, but still lazily hanging there. The ominous thing about them seems to be that they are losing definition. The edges are getting hazy. Temperature still pretty low at 92 F. Emily up to 95mph winds, traveling 14mph WNW. First buffeting of Gulf Coast about 45 minutes ago.

7/19/05 3:15pm EST—Still very much as it has been here, but all of the clouds have gone smeared across the skywith lowered visibility over Cerro de la Silla. Temp at 88 F, no breeze down here at all. Birds are all atwitter and everything. Looking at the Weather Channel satellite images to the left, it seems as if the coast is finally getting some of Emily’s rain. As for her, she's spinning at 100mph now, and slowing to 12mph WNW. Her eye is about 200 kilometers from landfall.

7/19/05 5:05pm EST—Okay, it’s cloudy now. Sometime in the last hour the sky got really dark and covered over by a continuous ceiling of level grey. The wind has not really picked up, though, and the temp has gone up to 92 F. 20-45mph winds, and lots of rain, are hitting the coast from Galveston to Veracruz. Looks like the front wall of the hurricane is just beginning to touch up against the coast to my east now, and Emily’s storm front has moved into Nuevo Leon.

© the Weather Channel7/19/05 8:01pm EST—It started raining about two hours ago. It started in with the wind a little, too. About an hour ago, the sun peeked under the flat disk of cloud cover for a little while. The rain comes in gusts like the wind, but neither are very dramatic yet. Emily has picked up speed again: swirling at 125mph, and coming ashore at 13. Several reports from Southern Texas mention winds nearing 50mph at the coast, where weather professionals predict 3-12 foot storm surges before the eye lands. Currently, it is dusk in Monterrey (even though there’s about ninety minutes until sunset), but there is no wind or rain. Just eeriness.

© the Weather Channel7/19/05 11:43pm EST—And it remains spooky out there. All of Monterrey and San Pedro feels hunkered down, but nothing is happening. There’s no rain, no wind, there are tiny little white puffball clouds in the air. Looking to the left you will notice that the eye of the hurricane is under fifty kilometers from the beach, and that there is clear sky here. I suppose this is predictable; “the calm before the storm” is a cliché for a reason. But the cliché seems unexpected somehow, tonight, when I know Emily’s landfall is just an hour or three away. Maybe more: she’s taking it at an easy seven miles an hour now, holding at a 125mph maintaining a category three status. She is holding her course for just north of us.

7/20/05 3:03am EST—The center of Emily will be running ashore two or three hours from now, apparently (she keeps slowing off the coast), and I’ll be asleep for that. There is a thrown- off part of her storm wall heading around her now, being aimed right at us. But the mountains here have been protecting us from much of what she can do from a distance, and probably will defeat this projectile cell, too. Contrary to expectation, Emily has sustained 125mph winds, even though the pressure in her eye is still dropping—one more little surprise for me. This means Emily is still powering up, and might possibly achieve category four by landfall. Outside in San Pedro, it has grown thickly clouded again, and rain is coming and going. Still not a lot of wind. By six am what is going to hit us should be hitting us, though. If it is loud enough, I’ll probably wake up and report it. Goodnight.

Quiet Reading Room

This is a quiet reading room. Often, I find it is uncomfortable to digest long tubes of columned text directly off a computer screen. This journal is dedicated to the collection, percolation, and ultimate integration of my personal experiences. Subjects that I want to examine and then talk about--sometimes talk a lot about--€”are presented here. This central content can tend to thousands of words, maybe millions. I was afraid that readers were leaving the presentation boggled, spinning, googly-eyed. Or perhaps when confronted with twenty-four inches, or yards, of monitor sprawl they were just giving up. I am not even certain that I have necessarily solved this inevitable content problem of modern information enjoyment, but here is what I have done.

After long and highly scientific routines manipulating double-blind control- and test-subjects, peer reviewed journal publications, and hours and hours of hands-on experimentation, I have crafted this quiet reading room. There is no scientific way to control the length of the articles I write, but careful handling can somewhat soothe the contextual presentation. In other words: I have dropped the traditional speculation about lexicon, and attacked the question of the matrix itself instead. Brilliant. After years of diligence what I eventually crafted is this reading room.

The walls are contoured to relax instead of constrain; the paper is made to soften instead of reflect. The light is dimmed--just so--€”to prevent strain, angled to prevent umbra, and color-coded to soften harsh red lights and deepen wimpy light reds. There is nothing I can do to control aural environment, but my recommendation is that it should be kept quiet. About ambient sound: these entries are probably best read as far as possible from emergency vehicles, preferably from beneath the muffler of a vintage fire fighter pilot's scarf, puffy old duvet, or snow that is still falling.

My theory is that the wide web world is filled with potent and material opportunities that are just too difficult to digest for many people to take part. Enjoyment of this stuff is regulated to the routines of crawlers and robots at the peril of humankind's peaceful future survival. In an attempt to delay this likely outcome: welcome to this quiet reading room. It is for people like you to relax, kick back, and hate my content for better reasons than the dizzying vertiginous specter of its lousy dpi presentation.

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