I'll take this opportunity to confess one of my weaknesses: I'm a huge weather buff. I mean, really huge. I read the NWS forecast discussions, I look at the raw model data, I do it all. Of course, I do live in the greatest place in the world to be a weather guy. Norman, Oklahoma is the center of the severe weather universe and the OU meteorology department is the best in the world. My weather knowledge doesn't compare to really serious meteorology people, but I could probably hang with the second tier of kids over there, especially when it comes to tracking and forecasting severe weather.
Over the last couple of years, I've become more interested in tropical weather, since severe weather season slows down in June and July. Hurricanes are fun to track and terrifically interesting to watch develop. This tropical depression
, for example, will become a major hurricane and will make landfall in the United States in eight to ten days. I offer the guess of a low category three for intensity upon American landfall and Pensacola, FL as the point of landfall. I only post that so that you all can mock me when I'm wrong.
So why do I bring this up? Other than casting the line out for other Mormon weather people, I'm a little concerned about the implications of my tropical weather fetish.
From the time Katrina developed in the Bahamas, crossed Florida, and made her fateful trip through the Gulf of Mexico, I was absolutely enthralled by her. I could scarcely keep my eyes off of this storm. I even skipped church to watch New Orleans TV on the internet the Sunday before landfall. (And I'd never, ever skip church for baseball or anything like that. Never.) And, what's more, it was fun. Lots of it.
I know, I know. Nobody could imagine things being as bad as they were, even people like me that know exactly what a category 4 hurricane can do to a city that stands utterly unprepared. Even if the effects were known, they weren't understood until things really went downhill. And, obviously, I didn't want anyone to die or be flooded or anything like that.
But, I'm still a little unsettled by the fact that I was disappointed when Subtropical Depression 21 didn't amount to a tropical storm or hurricane. I'm always disappointed when a potential big severe weather day in the southern Plains doesn't materialize. I actually want bad weather to occur. I've seen what tornadoes can do, firsthand. I've never been in a hurricane, but anyone with eyes can see what they can do. I know, nearly better than anyone else, exactly why it's a bad thing for this weather to occur. But I still want it.
Why this fascination with the morbid? I don't know, but I am occasionally concerned that it isn't compatible with real charity, mourning with those that mourn, or anything other than intellectual curiosity.
That said.....there's nothing in the world like being able to beat the National Hurricane Center's official track forecasts. We'll see how I do this time.