Ivan ISS Big
September 16, 2004 3:53 AM   Subscribe

Ivan as seen from the Space Station It looks like the French Quarter will be spared. But oh my . . . (Click image for larger version).
posted by jeremias (33 comments total)
I feel for the folks down there, and equally for the folks inland who've already had enough rain this year, especially the Southern Appalachian area. I can't imagine 40-50 Ft waves in the Gulf. This thing won't be degraded until it's way up into northern AL and GA. Oy, oy oy. The only semi-good thing is that help can come from 3 geographic sides instead of one. I'm not a praying person, but Godspeed to those in the path.
posted by yoga at 5:08 AM on September 16, 2004

That's an incredible picture, awesome ( in the true inspires awe sense) and yes thoughts are with those poor folks in the way. I also think we can all agree that this is a warning from God not to vote for Bush (had to get a polifi angle in here somehow)
posted by zeoslap at 6:05 AM on September 16, 2004

I've been checking on this obssessively. I even found one web cam in the French Quarter that hadn't been taken down, and it looks like they haven't been touched much at all so far (as of 8:17 a.m., N.O. time). Does anyone know of any other cams that are up and working in the hurricane area?
posted by taz at 6:23 AM on September 16, 2004

taz, check out WXNation's Mobile, AL page.
posted by brownpau at 6:33 AM on September 16, 2004


No shit.
posted by chicobangs at 6:49 AM on September 16, 2004

NASA also has some cool "CAT scan" images of Ivan.

By the way, a while back there was a site posted here that had frequently updated large, composite color images of North America from space. I thought it was from NASA but couldn't find it there or here on search. Anybody remember this?
posted by SteveInMaine at 6:57 AM on September 16, 2004

I am using that pic as my Wallpaper now.
posted by Quartermass at 7:07 AM on September 16, 2004

Thanks, brownpau. Most of them are down, but this "Mobile Bay" cam is still working. Hard to tell much, though.
posted by taz at 7:26 AM on September 16, 2004

me too, quartermass.

breathtakin', that.
posted by glenwood at 7:31 AM on September 16, 2004

Made some wallpaper out of it, with some tweaking to bring out the eye.

Thanks, Expedition 9!
posted by brownpau at 7:40 AM on September 16, 2004

SteveInMaine: is the site you're thinking of Nasa's Earth Observatory? More stuff than just North America, but it's a pretty amazing site...I try to get there once a week...

They've got some pretty intense Ivan photos as well...
posted by tpl1212 at 7:41 AM on September 16, 2004

Thanx for the linx, peeps.

That ISS shot was one sobering image, let me tell ya.

Here in Columbia, SC the rain has started. A little thunder downtown, and mostly the rain's coming straight down, so not much wind to talk about.

But then, there'll undoubtedly be other chances for severe weather here in the Midlands...
posted by alumshubby at 7:41 AM on September 16, 2004

Screwed up the URL: direct link.
posted by brownpau at 7:42 AM on September 16, 2004

Why do you want a hurricane on your computer, exactly? Do you have any idea how horrible they are? Here's some pics of Camille's aftermath to use too, while you're at it.
posted by raysmj at 7:46 AM on September 16, 2004

This is pretty amazing, thanks for posting it.

I always love arguing with easterners who are incredulous that I live in earthquake country and they conveniently forget about hurricane month. I'll take the unknown shaker over the week long build up and ten rounds of natural fury anyday (course, I've never been in a big earthquake so maybe my attitude will change if we get hit by a big'un).

On a side note, Jeb Bush is one ugly mofo. Who knew Georgie got all the looks in the family?
posted by fenriq at 8:02 AM on September 16, 2004

SWEET! Thanks for the pics ravsmj!

fenriq: I think that southerners have it worse. Hurricanes and Tornadoes. And apparently, at the same time, this time around. That must be something to go through.
posted by a3matrix at 8:13 AM on September 16, 2004

I remember Hurricane Hugo. I remember having to cut up all those hickory trees that collapsed on my parents' property -- and one that was leaning 15 degrees toward my mom's bedroom window. Let's hope Jeanne stays well out to sea, the bitch.
posted by alumshubby at 8:28 AM on September 16, 2004

tpl1212: Thanks, I think you've got it! Actually, it's the Blue Marble link on that page, but something made me think this was a dynamic image. It would be neat to be able to download a daily snapshot of our planet for my desktop.
posted by SteveInMaine at 8:34 AM on September 16, 2004

Hurricanes: The Osama bin Laden of Nature, only considerably more attractive looks-wise.
posted by raysmj at 8:39 AM on September 16, 2004

Don't forget snow storms in winter and plagues of Cicadas. Many moved out west in the 19th C because of all this.. actually they still are, the northeast anyway has a net population decline of 30,000 a month.

This is the worst tornado year for the US on record, the last being 1979, and may also rank as the worst thunderstorm. But yeah.. just seasonal variability.
posted by stbalbach at 9:09 AM on September 16, 2004

Seriously, though, if 20,000 or more people had died in New Orleans yesterday, none of you - whether from Alberta or Massachusetts or however far removed from the action - would be putting up hurricane pics for screen savers. Meantime, it remains an abstraction, even if not to people getting directly impacted by it. Be awed by nature, by the shape of that hurricane (it looks exactly like a shell from certain angles), but keep it in perspective, thanks.
posted by raysmj at 9:09 AM on September 16, 2004

raysmj, I lived in New Orleans, (and Florida, and Georgia, and South Carolina, and Texas - of the hurricane states), but I still use cool hurricane images for my desktop. I don't think it's at all a sign of disrespect or callousness.
posted by taz at 9:27 AM on September 16, 2004

raysmj, if 20,000 people died in New Orleans yesterday, this thread as it is simply wouldn't have existed.

Hurricanes are an extremely visible, easy-to-follow, awesome, sweepingly mighty show of strength by the forces of nature. They're proof that no matter how smart and powerful we as humans get, the wind can shift and it all gets razed to rubble.

Thankfully, there have been relatively few casualties, so we have a different way of looking at this incredible display of nature's strength than if it had really leveled things. If this was Camille all over again, the tone of the conversation would of course be different.

But honestly? It's just stuff. Houses can be fixed, boats can be rebuilt, and ecosystems will bounce back. And 35 years on, even those Camille shots (especially with the story that goes along with it) are equally awe-insipiring.

Thanks for that link, raysmj. Seriously.
posted by chicobangs at 9:50 AM on September 16, 2004

chicobangs: I do think, however, that to a certain extent the whole hurricanes-are-cool bit has been pretty harmful - although the worst offenders in this area are the cable TV networks with crew members out and about in cheap raincoats, getting blown around and reminding us that they shouldn't be out there, etc. (The Weather Channel wasn't so bad this time. CNN was utterly insane. I could only watch for five minutes, before rolling my eyes and turning it off.) What is needed are more protections here, tighter building specs, etc., and more real reporting about the need for it. Also, how respect for the environment, or a lack thereof, plays in to hurricane damage in the first place.

The Christian Science Monitor has a pretty decent piece in this vein today. The area of Alabama where the hurricane hit has been one of the fastest-growing areas of the Southeast, but standards for construction haven't kept pace with the population growth.
posted by raysmj at 9:57 AM on September 16, 2004

When I first looked at that original image, I thought I was looking at some sort of 'final scene from Ghostbusters'. The view is from ground-level with the panels from the satellite as buildings, and the swirl in the sky is appearing just overhead. I need to photoshop some guys with proton-packs on top of those buildings.
posted by Rattmouth at 10:14 AM on September 16, 2004

I totally see your point, ray, especially about the coverage (it's been a golden year for weather porn, hasn't it?), and it's good that people are reacting to these hurricanes, for the most part, by getting proactive about building codes and evacuation techniques instead of merely wallowing in the orgy of Darwin-candidates-in-training doing live stand-ups from some beach in Pensacola or wherever.

But the magnitude of the forces involved are so huge, it's hard to not take a step back and just appreciate how bigger-than-us they really are.

My respect for the forces invoved are huge, and good on the Weather Channel and their ilk for treating the storms of the last few weeks with the respect they most definitely deserve.
posted by chicobangs at 10:16 AM on September 16, 2004

Also: huge, respect, respect, huge and huge. The storm done took my vocabulary away, maw!
posted by chicobangs at 10:18 AM on September 16, 2004

It's hard to self-edit when you're emotionally involved.
posted by alumshubby at 10:35 AM on September 16, 2004

Some other good pictures on that site.
Cat's Eye nebula
The Star Trails of Kilimanjaro

Gorgeous. Thanks!
posted by Lizc at 3:31 PM on September 16, 2004

Seriously, though, if 20,000 or more people had died in New Orleans yesterday, none of you - whether from Alberta or Massachusetts or however far removed from the action - would be putting up hurricane pics for screen savers.

Yes I would. If I thought the picture was impressive and/or beautiful. So far I haven't found anything that I thought was impressive enough to replace the tornado picture I am currently using.
posted by bargle at 4:06 PM on September 16, 2004

We were supposed to go to a family reunion next week in Gulf Shores. (Because that's where the Redneck Riveria is, dammit, that's why.) That area has been devastated. It's amazing how much damage Mother Nature can do in just a short time. They're using motorboats to survey the damage, and they're not letting residents back into the town because it's too dangerous. Also, according to the AP, apparently crocodiles have escaped from the zoo in Gulf Shores...which is just one of those over-the-top cappers of the disaster. Because you know what people trying to salvage their lives really need? To keep an eye out for man eating lizards.
posted by dejah420 at 4:58 PM on September 16, 2004

Interesting article re weather porn, from the most peculiar source: The Cato Institute.
posted by raysmj at 5:46 PM on September 16, 2004

Nature, re: esthetics v. ethics -- I live in tornado central, and have seen some hellish destruction wrought by such, and have cowered under some mighty storms. But one of my happiest memories is of driving a few summers ago into western Kansas, the sky all jumped up with lightning, the road improbably lit by a single shaft of light pouring out of all that black violence. Then, the sky fading into a purple bruise color, then green, then blue again with a full rainbow; and finally, as the sun began to set, the most blazing oranges and pinks I have ever seen. And I saw a cloud bending and dancing on itself, doing its damndest to become something that could kill me, and all I could do was laugh. I hung my head out of the car window like a dog and screamed and laughed, because it was ridiculous that I had lived through hour after hour of that kind of beauty. Night didn't fall until every bit of color blazed itself out of the sky in what looked like inches, in stripes and stripes of orange and pink clouds.

And when I got home and told my father about it, he said something like, "Yeah, I heard it stormed a little and they got a few tornados east of here, but it broke up after a while." Because, you know, ho hum, it's the frigging heart of Tornado Alley and we could all be blown away tomorrow like Cousin Heck went in ought-4.

That's why I'm sanguine about making Ivan my wallpaper (and thanks, brownpau). It's a strange human trick: you can stand outside with every hair rising on your head, watching flaming death crashing around in the sky, and still think it's the most beautiful thing you've ever seen. Or you can weep, or ruin your pants. Or, brush it all away like a gnat. Each reaction seems plausible, and each seems justified.
posted by melissa may at 6:04 PM on September 16, 2004

« Older More than a tweak.   |   British History Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments