There's a 'Cane a-coming
Jeff Masters at Weather Underground reports on the hurricane potential of this coming year:
The team from Colorado State University (CSU), led by Dr. Bill Gray and Philip Klotzbach, predict 17 named storms (average is 9.6), 9 hurricanes (6 is average), and 5 intense hurricanes (average is 2.3). The net activity for the season is expected to be 95% higher than normal. The entire Caribbean and U.S. coast is at above-normal risk for a strike by a major hurricane, with the U.S. East Coast (including the Florida Peninsula) at 64% risk, and the Gulf Coast at 47% risk. There is an 81% chance that at least one major hurricane will strike the U.S. coast. However, it is statistically unlikely that this coming season will have as many major hurricane U.S. landfall events as we saw in 2004-2005.
I'm oddly fascinated by these monsters... Dr. Masters also reports on the tornado outbreak of this past weekend which killed over 23 people and may have had a powerful F4 tornado!
All this crazy weather is happening just when FEMA is in even worse shape than it used to be:
Bullock said the fault wouldn't be at the local level: "Some of our state and local governments have made great strides, and we have excellent state and local emergency managers. But, if we have a major hurricane, their assets are going to be overwhelmed, as we saw in Katrina, and they're going to look to FEMA and the federal government. The question is, will the federal government be there? And who will be in charge? We currently don't even have a (permanent) head for FEMA."
She added: "I don't think there's a prospect of (the system) being fixed until the administration and the Department of Homeland Security make a commitment to helping people in disasters. During the '90s, FEMA worked. FEMA was there to help people. They knew they could count on the government. I don't think anybody, now, can count on the government being there for them during times of disaster.
I'm not sure I agree with Ridor that we should just give up on New Orleans, but it is true that I expected SOMEONE to do SOMETHING to prepare for this year - looks like nothing has been changed, nothing's been improved - and Americans are in even more danger this coming year. Of course, this means there will be no help for Deaf people too - so we should be prepared to help our own this coming year as we did last year when Katrina struck. And it is certainly true that under Bush I and Clinton we had speedy responses to hurricane strikes.