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My ideas are constantly changing as I learn. Sometimes they even change midway through writing a post.

Thursday, September 22

Real Climate

I have a mild fascination with storms - especially tornados and hurricanes. I even entertained the thought, as a child, of being a storm chaser. The one drawback I could think of at the time was that I'd have to chase chase lots of storms and just to see the fraction of that actually have tornados. I'm not quite as interested as I used to be, but with my city putting up a lot of Katrina evacuees and since the path of Hurricane Rita looked like it might cross over near Austin, I've been keeping an eye on it.

We lost part of our roof, once, when I was a kid. I remember a sound a bit like a freight train whistle, looked outside and saw a flash of light. I sometimes worried about things like that happening - that a tornado would hit us in the night and we wouldn't see it coming.

When the actual event happened, though, I wasn't nearly as upset about it. Of course, we all jumped out of bed and gathered in the hall, wondering what was going on. I think being able to "act" helped. Laying there wondering is what made thinking about it scary.

Anyway, it was raining quite hard out. I told my family about the flash of light. We weren't sure if it was a tornado coming down or a bit of roof or something else getting blown around. As it was letting up, I heard the sound of water running inside the house. I soon found the source - it was pouring in through the vent in the bathroom ceiling. I put a bucket under it. One of my parents commented that it was probably a waste of time - that the roof was likely gone.

Then Mom called out from her bedroom. I went to see what the commotion was about. The ceiling was on the bed. Luckily, the rain had let off.

We could see a bit more as the sun came up. Several homes on our street and in surrounding areas had roof damage or had their roof blown off completely. Mostly, they were mobile homes (have I mentioned, I am what's called white trash? ;). We never found out definitevely whether it was a really high wind or a glancing blow from a tornado.

Back to the hurricane. Hurricanes sometimes get far enough inland to send us some high winds and heavy rain, so I was curious to see if we'd get anything from this one. The way it was looking, we might have even experienced the equivalent of a tropical storm or weak hurricane. Since Rita has changed directions, it will likely just be a big storm for us.

I've been reading how the warmer than usual ocean temperatures in the gulf are contributing to Rita's strength (and contributed to Katrina's). I was wondering if this was evidence of global warming (something I've always been skeptical about). I don't want to hear about it from people who have already bought into the global warming theory. I wanted to hear about it from people who are still critical. Real Climate seems to discuss it in great detail. I look forward to browsing it when I have more time.

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