Monday, June 2, 2008

Weathering Time

If you know me at all, you know I am obsessed with weather. When I lived in Hawaii, prior to everyone owning their own computers, I was the only person who had a weather radio. If a storm was heading toward Hawaii from anywhere I had the coordinates, I had my hurricane tracker and sharp pencils. I managed to lose myself watching the weather even in those times. Friends would call me to find out what was really happening since the television “meteorologists” only gave weather reports that tourists want to hear, and only for the island of Oahu, several hundred miles away from where we lived on the Big Island. Our weather was often different since the Hawaiian Islands have tendencies to create their own weather patterns.

Now this obsession is reaching dangerous levels. I am now in the Yucatán and there is lots more weather to watch! I moved my work space to another room so I could get up and “go to work” (writing), and as soon as I did the first tropical storms of the season were born. I have not figured out how to transfer files from one computer to another unless I actually send myself a document via email. If I send myself one document at a time I won’t be able to watch any storms. So my desk has TWO computers open on it. That allows me to go directly to the National Weather Service on one computer and to several other sites on the other. The result, another ‘pinche’ excuse for not writing. Today I am very upset with myself and my usage of time. This is a little exercise my multiple personalities and I go through from time to time, falling into the “I am lazy and worthless” category, all of us. If I can stop the self pity long enough to look at the big picture, I can see that I have done a lot and come a long way from one or two years back. But as usual, it is not enough to have satisfied me.

What have I learned of the weather in these past few days? It has been raining in Colombia nonstop since April. There are mudslides and all kinds of havoc there. The first tropical storm of the season, in the Eastern Pacific, was named Alma. Alma formed off the west coast of Costa Rica. I read that has not happened before. Alma headed northeast into Nicaragua (I am glad I did not buy the houseboat on the lake in western Nicaragua I was looking at!), Costa Rica, Honduras and El Salvador. It dissipated into a tropical depresión crossing land but left behind several flooded areas and lots of “damnificados”, or folks with damage. Once it crossed the Isthmus of Panama it reformed in the southern Caribbean and became tropical depression Arthur, increasing for a short time to tropical storm. It sat off the coast of Belize and Chetumal, Mexico for a day or so before heading west. It accumulated lots more rain. It is now just a low pressure system heading across the Yucatan Peninsula and toward the south-southwest dumping huge amounts of rain in its path.

Meanwhile, all the tropical moisture lingers in the area. Invest 91 is a new low located in approximately the same place Alma was born. The prediction models do not know whether it will continue its cyclonic formation, and it is being watched. What is interesting is that if it does form it may head north to the Gulf of Mexico. Oh oh, I think it is time for an updated satellite map. Time to go.

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