Yea though I dwell in the Valley of the Shadow of Death - Page 2 - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-27-2006, 09:20 AM Thread Starter
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Ernesto Strengthens Into Season’s First Hurricane

Published: August 27, 2006
Filed at 11:30 a.m. ET

(AP) -- Ernesto became the first hurricane of the Atlantic season Sunday with winds of 75 mph, and forecasters said it would strengthen as it headed toward the Gulf of Mexico, where it could menace a wide swath of coastline including New Orleans.

The National Hurricane Center in Miami said the storm could grow by Thursday into a hurricane as strong as Katrina, which struck the city a year ago Tuesday.

''It's over nice warm Caribbean waters, and far enough off the coast of Haiti that it is still strengthening now,'' said Ron Goodman, a forecaster at the center.

The storm, moving northwest at 10 mph, was projected to make landfall in Haiti on Sunday afternoon, dropping heavy rain that could cause deadly mudslides in the heavily deforested country. Ernesto was expected to cross west-central Cuba on Tuesday night before continuing into the Gulf of Mexico.

Ernesto was expected to bring rain and wind to southern Florida by early Tuesday, and the hurricane center encouraged people in southern Florida, the Florida Keys and Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula to monitor the storm. It was projected to strengthen off western Florida on Wednesday but the location of any U.S. landfall was unclear.

Emergency officials in Haiti evacuated some residents low-lying areas in the northwest city of Gonaives, which was devastated by Tropical Storm Jeanne in 2004.

The storm was expected to pass Sunday afternoon near the tip of Haiti's southwestern peninsula, where officials said there was heavy rain but no reported damage. ''There's no plan to evacuate now but if there's more rain later we may have to,'' said Adel Nazaire, coordinator with Haiti's civil protection agency.

Jamaica's Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller put the country's security forces on alert and said at a news conference Saturday that all the island's shelters were open.

''Ensure that the children are not left alone, and make it easier for rescue workers,'' she said.

Jamaica issued advisories by radio and television for residents in low-lying areas across the island to be prepared to evacuate if necessary.

In Cuba, the Communist Youth newspaper Juventud Rebelde warned Cubans of heavy rain, winds and potential flooding on the southeast coast starting Sunday night. Cattle were moved to higher ground, and workers cleaned gutters and picked rubble off the streets ahead of the storm.

At 11 a.m., the fifth named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season was centered about 115 miles southwest of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and 205 miles southeast of Guantanamo, Cuba. Hurricane-force winds of at least 74 mph extended up to 15 miles from the storm's center.

The Royal Caribbean cruise line said it was diverting three ships scheduled to depart the United States on Sunday and Monday, sending them to alternative Caribbean ports to avoid the storm.

The hurricane center said the storm's 75 mph winds pushed it just above the threshold for a Category 1, the weakest category of hurricane. To reach Category 3, Katrina's strength, the winds would have to reach at least 111 mph.

''There will be probably be a restrengthening after it leaves the Cuban coast to a Category 2, and Wednesday night it will be west of Fort Myers as Category 3. That's the current thinking,'' Goodman said.

Heavy showers hit Kingston on Saturday afternoon, causing traffic jams as motorists tried to reach stores. People waited in long lines at supermarkets, filling grocery carts with canned goods, batteries and candles.

''It's nature and we can't stop it from taking its course,'' said taxi driver Patrick Wallace, 55, as he left a supermarket after stocking up on canned goods.

In Haiti, emergency officials went on local radio to warn people living in flimsy shantytowns on the southern coast to seek shelter in schools and churches. The hurricane center said Haiti and the Dominican Republic could get up to 20 inches of rain in some places -- which could cause life-threatening flash floods and mud slides.

''These people could be in great danger,'' said Adel Nazaire, a coordinator with Haiti's civil protection agency. ''Flooding is the biggest concern because a lot of residents live along the rivers and the sea.''
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-27-2006, 09:39 AM Thread Starter
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This is an interesting graphic from the National Weather Service:

After having read the work of Kerry Emanuel, the MIT professor and global warming proponent, I am wondering if his predictions will hold. Emanuel postulates that NWS weather models do not sufficiently take account of global warming, and that their predictions will err to the north and east, and be inaccurate in predicting increases in intensity. In other words, hurricanes will move further south and west, due to an increase in kinetic energy provided by deeper ocean water being warmer. This graphic shows the most likely track for landfall as the Florida Panhandle. I am interested to see if it tracks more towards Louisiana. Emanuel predicts a decrease in Florida landfalls, and an increase in landfalls further west each year as the planet warms, with a provable statistical correlation between increases in ocean temperatures and these movements and increases in intensity. In general, he thinks NWS models are in error by 30%. If that is true, an adjustedment of that amount, off hand, would make the New Orleans or Biloxi area more likely.

Interestingly, the NWS still holds to the claim Katrina was a Category 3 storm. Many scientists now think that is in error, and is just the NWS fudging the data to make their predictions look accurate. More likely, it was the first storm to demonstrate Emanuel's theories, increasing in intensity much faster than expected as it approached landfall.

Last edited by FeelTheLove; 08-27-2006 at 09:46 AM.
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-27-2006, 09:42 AM
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I wonder how much of our tax payers money has been spent on the few people
who insist on living in these zones?
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