Ernesto Who?

The hype is on! I love the Weather Channel, but they are just a little too excited about Tropical Storm Ernesto. Max sustained windspeeds blowing at a death-defying 35 miles per hour. No real rain to speak of, and no damage.

On the Weather Channel this morning, they interviewed their on-location reporter, Mike Seidel, who was toughing it out on Miami Beach this morning.

"Any damage where you are Mike?"
"Uh, well, I see this branch here that was blow off of a palm tree (bends down to pick up the branch), but other than that, nothing really to speak of."
"How about power outages? That's always a concern."
"Have not heard that any were reported."
"What about rain?"
"Well, that was one of things we were looking for with Ernesto, but so far no real dramatic rainfall totals. HOWEVER, it is supposed to rain today, so that will certainly add some to the totals."


Janine Albert's report was just as terrifying.

"It's very quiet out on the beach here. As you see, no one is on the beach, which is usually full this time of year. Currently it is raining."


The truth is, the major hurricane season that was forecasted has bombed out. To put it in perspective, this season, as of today, we have 5 named storms in the Atlantic Basin. Only one was a hurricane (Ernesto) but only for a couple of hours.

In the 2005 hurricane season, as of this date last year, there were already 13 named storms in the Atlantic Basin, and 5 of them were hurricanes, including Katrina.

Uh-oh. Looks like Al Gore will have to wait another year to try and blame the hurricanes on global warming and George Bush.

My expert opinion for the weak hurricane season does not take into account wind shears or the jet stream; I believe that it is all in the names.

In 2005, storms had bold names like Bret and Gert and Dennis. Phillipe and Rita. Maria and Stan. I think Bret and Dennis could hold their own in any barroom fight. Maria and Rita are feisty Latin American women who talk loud and don't take any crap from anyone. Gert is tough because he has to be just because everyone makes fun of his name.

In 2006, we are limping along with Beryl and Debbie. It doesn't get any better, either, with Florence and Leslie coming up soon. Florence is your maid's name. Debbie and Leslie are pretty busy with sorority rush week to care too much about hurricanes. And what kind of a name is Beryl? Did someone at the National Weather Service think it would be great to hear Jim Cantore announce "Beryl is barreling up the East Coast!"

We need names like Scout and Tristan. Or Paul and Steve. Ivan and Pablo. What about Cynthia or Jane? Greta and Casey.

So that's the secret to hurricanes. Strong names = big seasons. Wimpy names = low ratings for the Weather Channel.

As Ernesto dies a slow death I will be steering clear of the WC's Hurricane Central.


Anonymous The Chick Upstairs said...

That made me laugh! Love the name theory.

Thu Aug 31, 12:53:00 AM 2006  
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