HEAT, Derecho Damage and the Tropics
It's what you never worry about that gets you.
People worry on hurricanes, earthquake and tornadoes and yet several hundred thousand people were out of power during one of the Nation's most historic hot spells due to damage from a fast moving derecho that raced east towards the West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland and the DC area.
I mean seriously, who woke up in Baltimore yesterday morning and heard that a severe storm that formed in Iowa was going to wreck their home by Friday evening? Doubt that hardly anyone paid attention to the reports of damage from the Midwest that began streaming in yesterday.
Part of the problem is that the NWS is the ugly sister of Weather coverage in the United States. They report it, they issue warnings, they do their job...however they don't get the constant coverage by the media that the NHC gets regarding tropical weather. There was probably more coverage of a wannabe wave in the Atlantic and some rain in the Gulf that had yet to form and was days away from making landfall .... while this meteor sort of storm rocked east creating havoc and misery everywhere it went. Nameless Storm knocked out power, took down big trees, ruined people's roof tops and was responsible for over a dozen deaths and that death toll may climb.
Millions without power... MILLIONS... that's more damage from most tropical landfalling systems yet no one saw it coming... except in real time in weather offices that scrambled to get out word as soon as possible, however in this case that wasn't fast enough.
Really amazing in retrospect.
Something that most people barely knew existed caused them so much misery and pain.
A lot of work out there for tree trimmers and home repair people.
Sort of like finding out way too late that the really annoying boy you hated in middle school is the one that you really loved when you were off spending all your time staring at some guy you thought would be the love of your life. Hurricanes, Twisters... they get all the fame and glory and are sexy as hell for all of us weather lovers. But, it's the ones that come out of the blue at you like derechoes that you can never forget.
I discussed this with Bill Read, the former director of the NHC who previously worked for the NWS and he agreed. The NWS does their job well, but they don't get the press coverage... That needs to change. Weather is weather. While staring at that cute, drop dead gorgeous guy you may not realize you are being watched by a really, unforgettable annoying, funny, smart guy... watching you watch someone else. While worrying on tropical weather yesterday, people in Maryland never realized that a derecho was coming at them from over their shoulder ...
Well, now we know...
Let's see how long we remember...
Sweet Tropical Dreams,
Ps....it was very hot in the Carolinas... 2nd day of 105 in Raleigh and as for the tropics... the wave went poof and the Gulf is still possible but for now.... the derecho is the big story... some even wonder if what is left of it might form offshore... let's see tomorrow.