Thursday, June 24, 2010

Hurry up and wait for Tropical Storm Alex

Night Metro Editor Brent Conklin pulled together a quick storm update last night to greet us this morning with the news that Tropical Storm Alex is forming.

“The tropics are bubbling and the lid is about to pop off for our first (Atlantic) threat of the season,” hurricane expert Joe Bastardi announced.

Now we wait. Welcome to summer in Florida.

I just returned from a too-brief hiatus up North, and what a difference! There, summer was officially welcomed with the Midwest version of hurricane season -- storms that sent all but the hardiest (or sleepiest) scurrying into their basements for cover.

A tornado gives scant -- if any -- warning, yet can wreak the same level of destruction as the winds of a hurricane. More compact, to be sure, but tell that to a community where a funnel cloud has flattened trees, homes and businesses.

Such severe weather is humbling -- or should be, as scientists everywhere wonder what will happen to the oil spill when a tropical storm enters the Gulf. And we wait, with more dread than usual.

-- Joan

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