Saturday, October 27, 2012


"Frankenstorm" AKA Hurricane Sandy Would Have Normally Entered the Gulf
 But a freak Cold Front Sent It East of Florida and now It's Headed North.

Hurricane Sandy soon to become Tropical Storm Sandy and later WIERD HYBRED WINTER/TROPICAL WEATHER EVENT FORMERLY KNOWN AS "SANDY" is heading for the general area of my favorite place in North America, Annapolis, Maryland. Annapolis has a generally mild four season climate but winter is mild and arrives late and departs early. There is just enough snow fall on average that the people of Annapolis do see some ground coverage a time or two each winter. This has given them the delusion that they know how to drive in snow. Trust me it is a delusion. I was there for the biggest snow fall of all time 60 inches the day the Saints won the Superbowl. Normally Annapolis had a big year if they totaled 10 inches of snow spread over three events. But this was the year the Saints won the Superbowl, so it had to be the same year that hell froze over, and you had to expect some sort of surface effect. I'm just pointing out that Annapolis is not a place of extremes , and is not equipped to deal with them. Rather minor thunder storms in late June cut our power off and it took five days to get it back.                                                                         

  In Louisiana we don't expect to lose power unless we have at least a force 2 hurricane and if it takes more than two days to restore power I think there is a section of the Napoleonic code that calls for the public execution of the Public Utilities Commissioner. Marylanders are far too friendly and genteel for that. Annapolis is a place where shop owners put water bowls on the sidewalk for passing dogs. They don't even shoot burglars there.  In Louisiana, you don't even want to think what might happen to you, if you fail to shoot a home intruder, starting with being ticketed if your gun was of insufficient caliber, another ticket if you shot and missed , a big fine and mandatory attendance at marksmanship lessons. Louisiana, my birth place is place where we shoot unrepentant miscreants. But hurricanes unlike bad guys, pesky alligators, large snakes, etc. just don't respond to our marksmanship. We are forced to just get out of their way and come in behind them like a bad child and clean up the mess; year after year.  

Bluegrass in New Orleans, Pre-Katrina.jpg
New Orleans  Refuses to Yield to Any Hurricane.....The Party must go on!

 By contrast Annapolis always seems shocked when hit with something like this and takes years to recover. When it comes to weather disasters Annapolis reminds me of some of those yuppie college washouts who got drafted during the Vietnam war (trust me, it was a "war" , not a "conflict").  When the shooting started they are in shock..."someone is shooting at can anybody be shooting at me???". They obviously had never walked through an urban housing project or encountered oyster pirates or poachers on their oyster or fur lease. This really nice beautiful place is just not ready for "FRANKENSTORM". 

 Now this isn't scientific just sincere, from an old pilot with a habit of keeping a "weather eye". The cold front that blew this ill wind away from us will lower the temperatures in South East Louisiana all the way down to within a few degrees of our January average. That means for us, highs of around 68 instead of 80. I suspect that it will have a proportional effect in the Middle Atlantic States. If Annapolis experiences its January averages as a result of this "Alberta Clipper" we are talking highs in the upper 40s and lows just below freezing, or basically somewhere in the 30s for a lot of the 24 hour period. Under those conditions "FRANKENSTORM" Sandy could become a high wind, wet snow , in really big piles event. Based on the power company's last performance last summer, Annapolis could be without power for weeks. If it happens the local government and utilities companies will fail the people as usual and recovery will take far too long but there will be no riots and people will help each other. By spring all will be forgotten and forgiven. No one will be lynched in effigy  no politicians removed from office, no utility executives will lose their jobs. Sustained anger just doesn't seem part of Annapolitian make up. Some of us Cajuns have to live up there in the warmer months to teach. We know anger, we can do rage! Rebellion? you ever heard of the Confederacy? Frankenstorm is lucky its not headed here.

 But if you are like me and even your inner raging Cajun is starting to mellow once in while you have to ask the eternal question. "Is there someplace on this planet where I won't freeze my butt off, get blown away in a hurricane, have my house fall on me in an earth quake and where tornadoes
are not a regular seasonal occurrence? Is there such a place with a climate like that with low crime, good government, interesting and varied terrain, and close proximity to mountains, beaches , historic sites, white water, and cool cultural stuff for the wife?  Then it hit, where was I going to go if Frankenstorm, which probably would have simply remained Hurricane  Sandy, decided to visit New Orleans while I'm here?   The answer?


                                                                               File:Alabama Capitol Building.jpg

                                                                                                      File:USACE Claiborne Lock and Dam.jpg

                                                                           File:Flag of Montgomery, Alabama.svg

Montgomery, Alabama maybe the best climate, amenities, economy, and safety east of the Rockies. 
Lets do what all those transplanted Californians did with the Pacific North West. Move there, tell everyone it sucks and pull the ladder up behind us!  Of course what really sucks is being hit with hurricanes or blizzards and crime. 

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