Hurricane season brings a humbling reminder that, despite our technologies, most of nature remains unpredictable.
~ Diane Ackerman
It’s almost noon as I sit down to write this post. It’s overcast, as it has been for over a week. A cold front moved through last night, and all told, we’ve had about a 1/2 inch of rain. Not a lot, but enough. The temperature is cooler than it has been (60’s instead of 80’s), and the wind is just starting to pick up. The weather folks have been predicting heavy rain and strong winds (10-30 mph) beginning today and lasting through Saturday as a nor’easter moves through. Most of the wind and rain will likely arrive here tomorrow, but it’s getting a little blustery and gusty outside as I type.
Then Joaquin entered the picture, and the forecast became a hot (and unpredictable) mess. At present, Joaquin is a Category 3 on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. What that means is that the winds range from 111-130 mph. Hurricane Joaquin is expected to strengthen into a Category 4 hurricane sometime tonight.
What does that mean to me? Maybe nothing. Nobody knows yet what Joaquin will do. He could turn out to sea and we’ll get a few waves and a brisk breeze out of it. Or he could hit the east coast of the U.S. somewhere between the Carolinas and New England. I think the folks from QI should hand out Nobody Knows paddles to the weather forecasters. Not that the forecasters aren’t trying. I’m sure they are doing the best they can with the data available.
Side note: The QI Elves recently tweeted:
Weather forecasting was banned by an Act of Parliament in 1541.
Probably with good reason. All the doom and gloom forecasting can be quite worrisome.
Woodland Gnome published a great blog post, The Gathering Storm, on what to do to prepare for a storm. I’ve been following some of her advice. I hope for the best, but prepare for the worst because that seems the sound thing to do. Some preparations were already done. We always keep a supply of water and food available for possible power outages. I will need to check the batteries in the flash lights, but we do keep those handy, too. I’ll be heading out to the grocery store in a little while, a trip that was planned before all the brouhaha developed with Joaquin. We usually plan our shopping trips because it takes a little while to get anywhere, and we only have one vehicle.
The difficult question right now is the same question the Clash asked: Should I stay or should I go? I’m really not a shelter-in-place kind of gal when it comes to big storms. I prefer to be somewhere away from the major impact, if possible. Major storms do not excite or invigorate me the way they did when I was younger. The wind and rain expected from the nor’easter is more than enough for me, thank you very much.
The nor’easter complicates things in that leaving, if it’s necessary, will be a tad more difficult. It’s not easy to get off the peninsula on a sunny day. Rainy, windy weather usually mean more accidents along the route we would take to go where we would probably go. Often there is only one way to go, and no way around if there is an accident. Flooding in low lying areas (and much of this peninsula IS low lying area) is a possibility as well.
Izzy and Bella, our feline family members, are a consideration, too. Neither of them reacted well to traveling here when we moved. Izzy was determined to die of thirst, and refused to eat or drink anything for a couple of days. She hid in a corner of a bathroom closet, shaking. It was the water from canned tuna (one of her favorite treats) that saved her and eventually brought her out of the closet. I don’t know how she would react to a 4-hour car trip (possibly 6 or more hours if traffic is bad), and a short stay in a house that is strange to her.
The problem I have with the unpredictability of the current situation is that the thoughts in my head start to resemble a hurricane. In fact, I bet if I could take a photo of them, it would look just like Joaquin does in the satellite images. A big blob of clouds, wind, and rain, spinning around and around. When I become worried or fearful, I have to watch that my thoughts don’t become obsessive. Oddly enough, writing helps with that. You might think that writing about what worries me would cause me to obsess more, but it doesn’t. The act of writing clears and calms my mind.
A lot of Eastern Shore events planned for this weekend have been cancelled. One, the Sea Gull Century, has not. Their website states that it is planned as a rain-or-shine event, and that riders pedaled through wind and rain from Tropical Storm Tammy a decade ago. I figure if they cancel the Sea Gull Century, perhaps it will be time to leave. Until then, we will wait and see.
My internet connection is spotty, the way it usually is when there is wind, rain, and heavy cloud cover. Since the heavier rains are expected tomorrow, it’s unlikely I’ll be able to post again until Saturday or Sunday or even Monday, but you never know. The satellite connection surprises me from time to time, including not working at all on clear and sunny days.
I reckon that’s it from me and from the Wabi-Sabi Ranch on this stormy first day of October. Thank you so much for stopping by. We won’t be watching the sunset tonight, but I do think I’ll take a walk in a little while if it’s not raining. Join me if you like.
Don’t forget about the Walktober event which officially starts today. You have until midnight October 25 to take your walk, post about it, and leave a link or a pingback on this post. Yep, this one right here. Normally this would have been a dedicated post with just a walk and a little about the event, but life, and storms, happen. Today’s images are from a walk I took a few days specifically for a Walktober announcement post. If you’re not sure what Walktober is, click on the Walktober image over in the sidebar (to the right). It will take you to a post about it. The more the merrier so feel free to spread the word.
Be good, be kind, be loving. Just Be. 🙂
Today’s joys: Shelter from the storm; chocolate; lunch with M; cooler weather; laughter when it is most needed.
Update: The Sea Gull Century has been cancelled. Seems like a wise thing to do even without Joaquin in the picture. The state and national parks on Assateague Island, a rest stop on the Sea Gull Century ride, will be closed this weekend. We are still in wait and see mode.