August 17th, 2007


Hurricane Dean looking more dangerous.

The National Hurricane Center has upgraded their forecasts regarding Hurricane Dean, which is on a direct course to Jamaica. The NHC gives Dean a 40% chance of being a Cat-4 or 5 hurricane within the next 48 hours, and a 35% chance of being a Cat-3.

The current NHC estimate shows the hurricane winging the Yucatan penninsula at about a cat-4, passing right over Cancun, weakening slightly, and then entering the gulf and regaining strength. Their averaged model show the most likely U.S. targets of the hurricane being Port Isabel/Brownsville, Corpus Cristi, and Galveston.

WeatherUnderground's chart of the computer models seem to indicate that the mid to northern Texas coast is about the most likely longterm target, while Boatus' models seem to indicate southern to mid Texas as the most likely target. 

The GFDL model above remains the most worrisome of the bunch, indicating a more dangerous northerly course than most other models. It also suggests that this hurricane will quickly reach Cat-5 strength, and will plow through Jamaica and Cancun without slowing notably, reaching wind speeds of 153 knots in the Gulf of Mexico before making landfall. Hurricane Katrina, in comparison, hit the Louisiana coast at about 125 knots. Another major consideration is just how large a storm Hurricane Dean is.  The most recent satellite imagery shows it as being quite large and intense already,

I've created a hurricanedeancommunity to track the storm further, and to give people a central location to communicate and coordinate, as needed. Hopefully it won't be, but better safe than sorry.

Snow job.

White House Press Secretary Tony Snow has announced that he will step down soon due to financial reasons.

"When my money runs out, then I've got to go."

Indeed, I'm sure all Americans can relate to just how hard it can be to survive on a salary of only $168,000 a year

Of course, the perks are nice too.
- health care from many of the nation's best doctors for just $100 per month.
- access to a staff of nearly 100 butlers, doormen, maids, drivers, chefs, waiters, "gift analyzers,'' florists, and calligraphers.
- full coverage for his travel expenses. (The total White House Staff travel budget? More than $100M a year.)
- The ability to expense a lot of his work-related costs, such as clothing, etc. (Total White House budget for expenses? About $150 million.)
- Free food, limos, first-class accomodations, etc. 
- The right to dine in the White House Mess, personally catered to by a Navy steward.
- Being served your favorite drink in a crystal glass each time you board Air Force One... whether you're thirsty or not. 

Let's hope Mr. Snow can get on the lecture circuit, become a lobbyist, and/or get hired back by Fox News/ Clear Channel -- with a big pay bonus, no doubt -- before he is forced to slip into the upper upper middle class!