"Hurricane season brings a humbling reminder that, despite our technologies, most of nature remains unpredictable." ~Diane Ackerman, American poet
Several years ago, while sick and down for the count I got hooked on The History Channel, when I could stay awake. One program that particularly interested me was about the 1900 Hurricane in Galveston, Texas. Currently I'm reading Al Roker's The Storm of the Century, about that event. Weather and meteorology fascinate me.
Today, I'd venture to say many of us turn to The Weather Channel for the latest updates when severe and catastrophic weather approaches us locally, regionally, or nationally. As Florence neared the Carolinas, a family friend in Wilmington remarked, "Jim Cantore is here so that's not good!" As Hurricane Michael neared the Florida panhandle just the other day, our nephew in Tallahassee reported, "Jim Cantore arrived." It seems wherever Jim shows up we can expect the worst conditions close by.
After Hurricane Michael hit the Florida panhandle, I thought about how different these two 2018 hurricanes were with wind, water, etc. Clearly, both were devastating, which can also be said for Maria, Harvey, Sandy, Katrina, and Andrew - to name just a few.
Historically, Hurricanes seem to fall in various groups. The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale is based on wind velocity, which designates hurricanes from Category 1 - Category 5. Meteorologists also consider the low barometric pressure, rainfall, and storm surge. Other factors are the number of fatalities, and total cost of damage.
When Florence hit south of Wilmington Beach as a Category 1, it seemed the rain would not let up. An observer with the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail, and Snow Network (CoCoRaHS) near Elizabethtown, NC reported 35.93" of rain. Floods and storm surge inundated vast areas along the coast and inland. When Michael arrived as a Category 4, the 155-mph wind was the major force of nature that devastated, especially Mexico Beach. I heard on TWC that within an hour or so the sun was shining there, as Michael tracked up into Georgia and beyond.
No two hurricanes are alike, but they all definitely cause chaos where they strike.