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October 19, 2005

There has never been a hurricane like Wilma

Dr Jeff Masters of Wunderblog on Hurricane Wilma:

There has never been a hurricane like Wilma before. With an unbelievable round of intensification that saw the pressure drop 87 mb in just 12 hours, Wilma smashed the all-time record for lowest pressure in an Atlantic hurricane this morning. The 4 am hurricane hunter report put the pressure at 882 mb, easily besting the previous record of 888 mb set in Hurricane Gilbert of 1988. Since no hurricane hunter airplane has been in the eye since then, Wilma may be even stronger now. The eye diameter of Wilma during this round of intensification shrunk as low as 2 nautical miles, which may be the smallest eye diameter ever measured in a tropical cyclone. The only eye I could find close to that small in the records was a 3 nm one, the Category 4 Typhoon Jeliwat in 2000. It's amazing the hurricane hunters were even able to penetrate the eye--it's really tough to hit a 2 mile wide eye when you're flying crabbed over at a 30 degree yaw angle fighting horizontal flight level winds of 185 mph and severe turbulence. This is an incredibly compact, amazingly intense hurricane, the likes of which has never been seen in the Atlantic. The Hurricane Season of 2005 keeps topping itself with new firsts, and now boasts three of the five most intense hurricanes of all time--Katrina, Rita, and Wilma.

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Tropical Storm Wilma strengthened into a hurricane Tuesday on a path that could threaten Florida by [Read More]

Comments

Wilma=Final Nail>Bush's coffin? She hits the right area of Florida at her current strength "stretched thin" won't begin to describe the strain on disaster relief agencies and supplies. The effect overall on the national economy might be the boot in the ass over the cliff. Maybe there is a god............

I'm suffering a bit from disaster anticipation fatigue, so I'll inject an optimistic note: The fact that Wilma is at an extreme suggests that it will get less severe, not more severe. Also it's headed for a republican leaning swing state run by the president's brother so the emergency response will suck less than it did with Katrina.

"Also it's headed for a republican leaning swing state run by the president's brother so the emergencyresponse will suck less than it did with Katrina."

Since it's headed for a state not run by Blanco, and a city not run by Nagin, it's unlikely to be worse.

I don't care who is in Wilma's way, Republican or Democrat. Start stocking up or making plans to leave. NOW. I don't care how paranoid that makes me sound. After Katrina and Rita, people SHOULD be paranoid.

Steve, I don't care how much Bush deserves a kick in the pants. Sending thanks to a benevolent God because the possibly thousands of people it could kill and hundreds of thousands of people it could displace would cause a bad man political problems is... revolting.

There are human beings in the path of destruction. Try not to forget that, please.

Irrelevant side note: I keep reading "nm" as nanometer, not nautical mile, and my brain keeps twitching trying to contemplate a category 5 hurricane with basically no eye at all.

Zed, you're not alone in your geekishness. I was just about to say the same thing about nanometers.

>There has never been a hurricane like Wilma

Well as long as we're on irrelevant side notes, although I feel hugely guilty about this given the gravity of the situation, I haven't once been able to read the above headline without thinking of the song, "How do you solve a problem like Maria?"

Sunday sermonette never makes sense to me. What happen after Sunday? :p

Random semi related item:

http://yglesias.tpmcafe.com/story/2005/10/22/115837/39

John Kenneth Galbraith once said: "The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness."

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