"I'm going to speak my mind because I have nothing to lose."--S.I. Hayakawa

Monday, September 3, 2012

Small Dog Warning

I watched Hurricane Isaac's progress closely last week, worrying that friends in southern Florida and near Pensacola in the panhandle would be in its track.  It veered west instead and plastered New Orleans again, on the anniversary of Katrina's destruction.

My friend near Pensacola mentioned in her blog that she had read Salvage the Bones as the hurricane wrecked havoc, and was almost hyperventilating as she finished it.  The novel is about one family's prelude to Katrina and their harrowing experiences during that hurricane.

I downloaded the book to my Kindle and stayed up until 3 AM finishing it last night.  I was almost hyperventilating, too, and I've never been through a hurricane.

 We had a pretty good storm over the weekend, with a 12 hour power outage Saturday and high winds.  Along Turnagain Arm and the Upper Hillside iin Anchorage, the winds were hurricane force.

We don't have hurricanes up here in Alaska.  We have "storms" and "Arctic lows" that rival hurricane force winds and heavy rains, but they're just storms, just No-Name storms.  Out in the Bering Sea, where the worst of the worst are born and then bear eastward towards Alaska, there's one of those massive "storms" whirling towards us right now.

I've experienced a couple of those storms while I was working on the island of Amchitka in 1987 and 1988.  Amchitka is so far out in the Aleutian Chain that it would be in tomorrow if the International Date Line hadn't zigged and zagged to keep it in today.  They weren't fun.  Not at all.  One of them was downright frightening.  The other, in blizzard form, was a lot less frightening because I was in a building somewhat protected from direct winds.

When the Anchorage TV channel made a weather forecast its lead story this evening, it's probably best to pay attention.

It did; I did.

After hearing about a new storm on the way, with winds of 50 to 70 mph and gusts from 70 to 90 mph, I decided to batten down the hatches.  All the ladders came down from my summertime project, drop cloths were folded and stored inside, and the deck furniture stashed in a safe corner.

The foreboding clouds of an approaching "storm'  this afternoon.

Sustained winds of 50 to 70 and gusts to 90, by the way, would qualify as a Category 1 hurricane, but as I mentioned before, we don't have hurricanes in Alaska.

Already the approaching low measures 971 millibars and is expected to arrive with a low pressure of 964 to 968.  The blast that just hit Louisiana and the Gulf coast measured 968 millibars.    This storm, say the meteorologists, is unusual in that it's the kind of storm we usually see in the winter, not in early September.

Jackie, the Channel 2 meteorologist, concluded her forecast with "it's a small dog warning."

What the heck.  We don't have hurricanes in Alaska.

Just storms and Arctic lows.

1 comment:

  1. The "small dog warning" reminds me of the south Texas winter storm warnings. Bark is worst than its bite.