I don't know why, but every place I want to go to or have been to in this part of the US seems to get hit by a hurricane. Orlando (Disney World) got hit a week before we went. Palm Beach got hit by Frances just last week. Jamaica got pummeled and now Ivan, not content with killing 60 odd people in the Caribbean, has somehow sneaked into the Gulf of Mexico and is poised to hit New Orleans. Of course that's what everyone at work is talking about at the moment. I was reading this story this morning and that picture of traffic looks all too familiar. Apart from reading that article I was also reading the latest advisory on Ivan which I've got an excerpt from here:
IVAN CONTINUES AS AS A EXTREMELY DANGEROUS CATEGORY FOUR HURRICANE ON THE SAFFIR/SIMPSON SCALE HURRICANE SCALE...WITH MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS NEAR 140 MPH...WITH HIGHER GUSTS. SOME FLUCTUATIONS IN INTENSITY ARE EXPECTED DURING THE NEXT 24 HOURS...BUT IVAN IS EXPECTED TO MAKE LANDFALL AS A MAJOR HURRICANE...CATEGORY
THREE OR HIGHER. OCCUPANTS OF HIGH-RISE BUILDINGS WITHIN THE HURRICANE WARNING AREA CAN EXPECT HIGHER WINDS THAN THOSE EXPERIENCED AT THE SURFACE...ABOUT ONE SAFFIR-SIMPSON CATEGORY HIGHER AT THE TOP OF A 30-STORY BUILDING. AFTER LANDFALL... HURRICANE FORCE WINDS COULD TO SPREAD INLAND UP TO 100 MILES NEAR THE PATH OF THE CENTER.
IVAN IS A LARGE HURRICANE...WITH HURRICANE FORCE WINDS EXTENDING OUTWARD UP TO 105 MILES FROM THE CENTER...AND TROPICAL STORM FORCE WINDS EXTENDING OUTWARD UP TO 260 MILES.
That is a HUGE hurricane! It's much bigger and potentially much more destructive than Frances was and the worst part of it looks to hit New Orleans. Wow wow wow. In Australia I'm used to cold fronts as the worst sort of weather, and that's it. In the southern parts of Oz we're only really affected by slow droughts and quick bushfires (mostly lit by wankerchop fire bugs). This is just a completely other type of natural disaster that has me fascinated. Heaven forbid I was thinking of visiting Kansas - now they're going to get tornadoes. It just amazes me how much the US gets hit by these natural disasters. Oh, add another tropical storm/hurricane to the list: Jeanne may hit the east coast of Florida. It seems to be heading pretty much in the same direction that Frances was. Is someone playing Sim City with the US? Now all I'm waiting for is a monster attack and then I'm out of here!