Join 3,512 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Hurricane Isabel is in the HIZZOUSE
September 15, 2003 2:05 AM   Subscribe

"We're forecasting a major hurricane for the United States East Coast." said Eric Blake, a specialist at the National Hurricane Center that is just below category 5. Hurricane center forecasters said they expected the storm to hit the East Coast by the end of the week, but added that air currents and other conditions could push it farther north before it makes landfall.
posted by Keyser Soze (52 comments total)

 
This is truly scary, even as I'm much further North (New Hampshire) of where Isabel is expected to make a landing. The current projected track shows the center moving well inland, but historical tracks show storm centers moving along the coast or hooking sharply back out into the ocean.

NOAA's National Hurricane Center has a table of the probabilities and possible tracks.
posted by SteelyDuran at 3:07 AM on September 15, 2003


What a shame the Bush administration might have to respond to something real. They might lose a whole week.

I for one welcome our hurricane overlords.
posted by crasspastor at 3:13 AM on September 15, 2003


Metafilter: We can even turn a hurricane warning political.
posted by Keyser Soze at 3:34 AM on September 15, 2003


I was about to call "WeatherFilter" on this thread...

Thanks for the extra links, SteelyDuran (Love your username; post something more often!)
posted by wendell at 3:51 AM on September 15, 2003


But seriously folks.... I hope everyone will be OK.
posted by Keyser Soze at 4:05 AM on September 15, 2003


What is a category 5 specialist?
posted by rushmc at 4:14 AM on September 15, 2003



posted by Keyser Soze at 4:23 AM on September 15, 2003


I can't see what that is, Keyser. Couldn't you have found a bigger picture?
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 4:30 AM on September 15, 2003


If this thing hits near where we live, the fact that the ground here is already saturated with an unprecedented amount of rain already...well, that's when you lose a lotta trees. And things UNDER the trees. And I'm talking 100 miles inland. Been there, done that twice.

If you don't have a vibrating tv, the easiest way to know if a storm is coming is to go to the store and observe the bread aisle.
posted by konolia at 4:40 AM on September 15, 2003


if you don't have a vibrating tv

A what?
posted by sebas at 4:46 AM on September 15, 2003


Well, that just sucks. My wife works for an insurance company that awards employees a big profit share for Christmas, and this has the potential to devastate what was looking like a very good year for us.
posted by Irontom at 4:52 AM on September 15, 2003


If you don't have a vibrating tv, the easiest way to know if a storm is coming is to go to the store and observe the bread aisle.

That is so true. I can't believe how many people can't live without bread durring a storm. What do all these people do? Make toast and watch it rain?
posted by Decypher at 4:54 AM on September 15, 2003


konolia - so this TV ... it vibrates? ;D

Morning news right now says the most probable course for Isabel is straight up into the Potomac Basic, smack-dab into DC-Baltimore. I've never seen a hurricane hit this part of the East Coast before; is this comparable to Agnes?
posted by brownpau at 5:13 AM on September 15, 2003


My wife works for an insurance company that awards employees a big profit share for Christmas, and this has the potential to devastate what was looking like a very good year for us.

Um, doesn't that rationale for bonus payments just suck too? Insurance is the business of safeguarding against random shit (yeah, I know, but still) and it seems a bit rough to reward or punish employees based upon the fact that a hurricane demolished a small Caribbean island rather than the east coast of the US.

Can she not get insurance against her bonus being fucked over by random shit happening?
posted by riviera at 5:31 AM on September 15, 2003


it's reminding me of gloria, back in the 80s, except that this one may be stronger.
posted by amberglow at 5:39 AM on September 15, 2003


We live right on the Potomac River and according to the five day predictions the center should pass right over us. It's been a long time since we've had a hurricane hit here, but we've been hit by other storms that have flooded a lot of this area. If it hits as predicted we'll be stuck for days on the peninsula.

As for the insurance bonus, that's how it works. If you don't make any profits the employees don't get their bonuses. Now, in the years that there aren't the disasters, we had very large bonuses, in the long term it evens out.
posted by SuzySmith at 5:43 AM on September 15, 2003


I live in St. Augustine so we keep an eye on hurricanes (the best site I've found for the purpose is Palm Beach Post Storm 200x).

It's still too early to expect landfall in D.C.-Baltimore There are too many variables -- at this point, the highest strike probability for a U.S. city is 14 percent in Cape Hatteras and Morehead City, N.C.
posted by rcade at 5:44 AM on September 15, 2003


I was in a top floor apartment when Fran (a cat 3 storm) came through in '96. The eye came right over us, and we were 100 miles inland. 13" of rain in 9 hours, 80 mph sustained winds. Not strong gusts - sustained. 16" diameter trees snapped in half like toothpicks. Blue flashes of exploding transformers all night. Nothing like a high nonstop howling wind and a groaning building to try to sleep through.

Afterwards, I'd never seen so many bees, they were all flooded out or blown out depending on their nest location.

It's going to be a long night Thursday, and the OBX are in for a major rearrangement.
posted by yoga at 7:11 AM on September 15, 2003


Home Depot must be moving the flash lights and batteries to the front of the stores all along the east coast. They did this a few weeks ago when there was a very remote possibility of one of these storms heading our way. Got to love capitalism.
posted by MediaMan at 7:34 AM on September 15, 2003


It's on a classic track for a carolina coast hit, and, if it stays near the projected path, will be coming in at almost a right angle to the coastline of the outer banks. Barring significant weakening, which isn't projected, this will be the strongest storm to hit the NC coast in at least 50 years.

(yoga: I was a UNC when Fran came through. The day after was the first time since the Civil War, IIRC, that the university cancelled all classes due to weather.)
posted by jammer at 7:42 AM on September 15, 2003


The thing that worries me about this storm is the rain. Konolia noted just how much rain many of the Southeastern states have gotten this year -- the ground is soaked, the rivers are running high. A massive rain surge from a large hurricane could wreak tremendous havoc.

Worse, Isabel is not only strong (current max winds, 130kt:150mph:240km/h) but large. There are hurricane force winds out from 115 miles of the center, tropical storm force winds out 210 miles from the center. The core convection of the system is almost as large as North and South Carolina together.

With the storm tracking in to the north, it wouldn't take much of a turn to have landfall occur in Florida -- and an equal turn the other way would mean the storm hits New England, or misses. A long run up the coast would weaken Isabel dramatically -- the coast waters off Cape Hatteras and north are very cool right now, and hurricanes need warm water.

The hopeful sign is that there's a large trough over the US, moving east (NOAA Water Vapor image (lighter shade, more water vapor present)) and the strong upper level southwest winds associated with it could shear Isabel and weaken her considerably. That'll help limit the storm damage, but won't really help with the rain. They might, however, turn her quicker, which would limit the damage.
posted by eriko at 7:42 AM on September 15, 2003


I'm confused. Is it Eric Blake or the National Hurricane Center that is level 5?

"Home Depot must be moving the flash lights and batteries to the front of the stores all along the east coast. They did this a few weeks ago when there was a very remote possibility of one of these storms heading our way. Got to love capitalism."

Indeed. If the store clerks weren't such greedy capitalist swine they'd clearly move the flashlights to the back of the store. Or even better; buried them in the back yard along with any other item anyone might possibly want to purchase.
posted by spazzm at 7:54 AM on September 15, 2003


*sighs* I live in northern Delaware. I am not looking forward to this at all. We've had a *very* wet summer, and in fact, there was some flooding this morning.

I remember Gloria in 1985; we were living in Virginia Beach at the time, and it was terrifying. Even though Isabel isn't currently heading straight for where I am--we're sheltered a bit by New Jersey, but the Delaware River is *right there* (I live about 2 miles from the Delaware Memorial Bridge), we're still going to get a good deal of rain and wind and flooding. I'll be hiding under the covers--hurricanes terrify me.
posted by eilatan at 8:25 AM on September 15, 2003


For Triangle University bingo, I was at Duke for Fran in '96. A bunch of us freshman idiots went out on the east campus quad at 2am when the eye came through. It was fun, but stupid. The next morning Durham was screwed over - no power, no water, trees littering the streets, etc, but Duke was up and running thanks to independent utilities. Classes were cancelled for a day.

I'm in Charlottesville now, and people here will probably be making the bread, milk and batteries run in a couple of days if the current track predictions hold. We're far enough inland that wind shouldn't be a big problem - it's the flooding that is worrisome.
posted by mbd1mbd1 at 8:37 AM on September 15, 2003


Must be alot of homos in that area of the country.
posted by vito90 at 8:48 AM on September 15, 2003


Well, I'm here, vito.
posted by SealWyf at 9:08 AM on September 15, 2003


The CBC web site doesn't even MENTION Isabel, which I thought pretty pathetic.

The Globe says that Isabel is not likely to hit Southern Ontario very hard, that we just may get a tropical storm or a lot of rain that we need anyway [the article also features a good satellite photo taken at a little over two hours ago].

I'm relieved - I live on the fifteenth floor of a high rise apartment building. There are no high rises in the immediate area. In an ordinary storm with strong winds the building is so hard hit that my very large windows sound as though someone is kicking them with jackboots - I don't go near them.
posted by orange swan at 9:12 AM on September 15, 2003


Robertson also said the widespread practice of homosexuality "will bring about terrorist bombs, it'll bring earthquakes, tornadoes and possibly a meteor.''

We need more homos in the Netherlands. I demand a hurricane.
posted by ginz at 9:16 AM on September 15, 2003


In an ordinary storm with strong winds the building is so hard hit that my very large windows sound as though someone is kicking them with jackboots - I don't go near them.

Well done orange swan, now Bush knows exactly when to send his forces into Canada.
posted by biffa at 9:18 AM on September 15, 2003


Must be alot of homos in that area of the country.

The hurricane's projected path takes it pretty close to Virginia Beach, Va., the home of the 700 Club. I wonder how that jibes with Pat Robertson's belief that tropical storms are a manifestation of God's wrath.
posted by rcade at 10:00 AM on September 15, 2003


If I were God I would so take out Pat Robertson's roof.
posted by orange swan at 10:05 AM on September 15, 2003


The amount of rain this year for the DC area and most of the east coast has been incredible and this hurricane won't help.

Annual rainfall= 40+ in. Annual snowfall= 23+ in.

This year so far has been about 34in, which seems like an understatement seeing as how it's been raining an average of 4 out of 7 days a week.

In a different type of terrain, DC would have flooded three times over by now.
posted by destro at 10:06 AM on September 15, 2003


*sigh*

I live on the seventh floor of an eight story apartment building in Baltimore. I see this being less than fun, especially since I live with my grandfather who has to go to dialysis three times a week. Weather sucks. I'm moving to Hawaii.
posted by amandaudoff at 10:33 AM on September 15, 2003


I'm really glad we're not getting hit by this one, it looks particularly bad.

Canadian Hurricane Centre is tracking it, a friend who works there gave me this url.. i've been using it to watch for the last few days and it shows their projections.

I've been through about six storms now, and with how much rain south Florida has received over the last few months we're screwed if we get hit. We flooded last week here. It sucks living 6 feet above sea level sometimes.
posted by shadow45 at 11:23 AM on September 15, 2003


Pictures of major DC floods via the book Washington Weather. If Isabel heads this way they might have a new addition to the list pretty soon.

This aerial shot of floodwaters right up to the steps of the Jefferson Memorial is especially, um, wet.
posted by brownpau at 11:41 AM on September 15, 2003


The hurricane's projected path takes it pretty close to Virginia Beach, Va., the home of the 700 Club.

Even better, it's the home of the Edgar Cayce Institute.
posted by JanetLand at 12:15 PM on September 15, 2003


Once the strike area -- whichever area it turns out to be -- is declared a federal disaster area, those of you who have suffered damage to your homes should call FEMA. FEMA will send an inspector out to your home, apartment or cardboard box, and FEMA will determine if you need emergency funds to repair your home to a safe, sanitary and habitable condition. Any federal disaster relief funds are disbursed with utmost haste, and generally do not have to be repaid. You can even be given aid to cover loss of clothes, medical and dental expenses, temporary lodging expenses, moving or storage expenses, and funeral expenses.

If you are in a federal disaster area and have suffered damage then you can apply for aid even if you have insurance coverage. FEMA aid will not get your home back to its original condition (that's the insurance company's role), but it will help you get back on your feet as quickly as possible.

The FEMA number is 1-800-621-FEMA (3362). Be prepared to give your Social Security number, describe your losses, provide financial information, and give directions to the damaged property.
posted by Jonasio at 1:01 PM on September 15, 2003


Thanks for the reminder, Jonasio. This is already an interesting, useful thread, and promises to continue to be (can we agree now to continue posting here once it hits, rather than having successive FPPs of "Isabel Hits North Carolina," "Isabel Slams George W's Home," etc?).

I'm also within the strike zone (just north of eliatan) and am already dreading what it may do to our electricity - in other words, having to go god-knows-how-long without MeFi! Take care of yourselves, everyone.
posted by soyjoy at 1:34 PM on September 15, 2003


I live in Virginia Beach and have weathered (get it? HA!) a few hurricanes in years gone by. The most memorable for me was Hurricane Floyd in 1999. We lived in a condo with winds whipping off the Chesapeake Bay at about 80-100 mph. As the corner building with little around it to block winds, each gust shook the walls and floors... something I had never experienced in any other storm. With the winds Isabel is boasting, the coming days will surely be interesting.

On Preview: Jonasio - any way I can get FEMA to foot the bill for a couple new Apple G5s if the ol' home office goes under? ;)
posted by Hankins at 1:38 PM on September 15, 2003


noaa.gov has some amazing images of this thing. This one is listed there now, and is pretty good, but I really like this one, from last thursday. Amazing stuff.
I live in CT, but down in a little vally. I get hugely more snow than is reported on the local news (12 inches == I can't find my car), but no wind. Even during hurricane gloria, the only thing that happened was a rotten old dead tree in the back yard fell down. The power only went out for about a minute.
posted by duckstab at 1:42 PM on September 15, 2003


I know Isabel's been downgraded to Cat 4, but Cat 5 hurricanes, wow, are no joke. It's a good thing the hurricane is set to come ashore on the East Coast instead of the Gulf; if it were headed for New Orleans, tens of thousands of people could die, partially because there are inadequate evacuation routes there. (In case y'all wanted a cheery thought.)
posted by win_k at 3:35 PM on September 15, 2003


Oooh, pretty.
posted by Asparagirl at 4:00 PM on September 15, 2003


Home Depot must be moving the flash lights and batteries to the front of the stores all along the east coast. They did this a few weeks ago when there was a very remote possibility of one of these storms heading our way. Got to love capitalism.

i do love capitalism when it does what it's supposed to do: provide goods and services to those who need it at an accessible price. pretty silly for you to insinuate that hardware supply stores are insidious vultures for recognizing a need and filling it.
posted by glenwood at 4:07 PM on September 15, 2003


Down here in Miami, having been through Andrew in 1992, I've been eyeballing this one closely since it hatched. Andrew was a cat 4 (almost cat 5) storm and these suckers are not not NOT something to take lightly.

Don't think it can hit the northeast? Nobody in Long Island or Providence expected the Long Island Express in 1938.

This here's my fav-o-rite weather site. It's weather geek heaven. This is the tropical page. Your tax dollars at work.

Hope for a big right turn.
posted by groundhog at 4:54 PM on September 15, 2003


pretty silly for you to insinuate that hardware supply stores are insidious vultures for recognizing a need and filling it.

Home Depot makes an OBSCENE amount of money hawking hurricane supplies, nothing wrong with that, but there is nothing I hate more than those local TV news spots shot down at the local Home Depot showing nervous consumers with carts full of lumber and batteries. These are nothing but free advertisements. Cut to interview with the store manager: "Well, we're out of 3/4" plywood, but we still have a good supply of 5/8" and plenty of 2 x 4's!"

Nothing like driving the consumer into a panic to stimulate sales!
posted by groundhog at 5:03 PM on September 15, 2003


Well, I went to the store to get some supplies in case of losing power (batteries, bottled water, etc.), and the bread aisle was fully stocked. I expect things will pick up as the week goes on. They're already making evacuation plans for southern coastal Delaware (okay, coastal is the whole state, but Sussex County is much more exposed than New Castle or Kent Counties). I think at this point it's pretty definite that we're going to get something (barring a sudden right turn), but it's still a question of how much.
posted by eilatan at 5:16 PM on September 15, 2003


groundhog, panic or no, people need that stuff. When you live where hurricanes roam, doesn't hurt to have extra, if it comes to that. What does hurt is people who wait and then the stores are out of whatever.
posted by konolia at 5:17 PM on September 15, 2003


Groundhog, you live in Miami, for crying out loud.

Becha have hurricane candles stashed away somewhere. And matches.
posted by konolia at 5:18 PM on September 15, 2003


Oh, the groundhog family is stocked, no doubt. Generator, canned foods, hurricane shutters, enough batteries to power a small town, extra tank of propane etc. etc.

Haven't gotten a gun to scare the looters off with yet.

But seriously - once you've been through something like Andrew - complete devastation, no power, people with no place to live - I could go on and on. Depending on what part of S. Dade county you lived in, it took between 5-8 years to get back to something like it was before.
posted by groundhog at 6:03 PM on September 15, 2003


This Navy weather site also has lots of good information. And a metric assload of acronyms and geeky weather terminology. I do loves me some prognostic blends.

For extra flavor, the National Data Buoy Center has the wave height info from ocean buoys along the storm track.
posted by QuestionableSwami at 8:24 PM on September 15, 2003


Asparagirl, that's a jaw-dropper. Thanks.
posted by soyjoy at 8:59 PM on September 15, 2003


...if it were headed for New Orleans, tens of thousands of people could die, partially because there are inadequate evacuation routes there.

No joke. I was there for Georges and even though it moved over towards Biloxi, the trouble people had getting out of the town was an obscenity. Two ways out of town -- via the long bridge over the lake, or via swamp. With a hurricane bearing down on you, neither seems like an ideal situation.

And then while the city was telling everyone to head to one of the shelters, they kinda neglected to mention that the shelters wouldn't have food. Or supplies for anything. Which made a lot more trouble.

Yay! Hurricanes!
posted by Katemonkey at 3:42 AM on September 16, 2003


« Older Tanzanian Cartoons....  |  "A wicked noblewoman presides ... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments