Grey, very grey, overcast. Drippy with occasional bouts of rain, but not thing violent–yet. The center hasn’t made landfall yet, and the new track is a little west of us anyway, so I may not see the worst of it, (although some models have landfall only a few miles south of here). In any case, it seems to have decided to top out at tropical storm levels.
As Forecaster Pasch put it,
Discussion: Tropical Storm Ernesto: DURING THE DAY…ERNESTO BECAME SOMEWHAT MORE ORGANIZED-LOOKING ON RADAR AND SATELLITE IMAGES. RECENTLY … HOWEVER … THE PRESENTATION HAS BECOME A BIT RAGGED-LOOKING ON THE IMAGERY. FLIGHT-LEVEL WINDS HAVE NOT INCREASED…AND THE FALL IN CENTRAL PRESSURE THIS AFTERNOON WAS ROUGHLY COMMENSURATE WITH THE TYPICAL SEMI-DIURNAL PRESSURE CHANGE. IN OTHER WORDS … ERNESTO IS NOT STRENGTHENING. IT IS SOMEWHAT PUZZLING WHY THE TROPICAL CYCLONE HAS NOT INTENSIFIED TODAY.
Works for me.
Update (6pm): The rain got here.
Via Legal Theory Blog: Coming to a Classroom Near You:
Undergraduates this year; law students in Fall 2010. Here are some their characteristics from Beloit College’s mindset list (following the link for the whole list):
- The Soviet Union has never existed and therefore is about as scary as the student union.
- They have known only two presidents.
- For most of their lives, major U.S. airlines have been bankrupt.
- They are wireless, yet always connected.
- A stained blue dress is as famous to their generation as a third-rate burglary was to their parents’.
- The Moral Majority has never needed an organization.
- DNA fingerprinting has always been admissible evidence in court.
- “Google” has always been a verb.
- Text messaging is their email.
- They have no idea why we needed to ask “…can we all get along?”
- They have always known that “In the criminal justice system the people have been represented by two separate yet equally important groups.”
- They have rarely mailed anything using a stamp.
- Being techno-savvy has always been inversely proportional to age.
- Public school officials have always had the right to censor school newspapers.
- There have always been live organ donors.
- They have never put their money in a “Savings & Loan.”
- Dolphin-free canned tuna has always been on sale.
- “Outing” has always been a threat.
- The U.S. has always been studying global warming to confirm its existence.
- They grew up with virtual pets to feed, water, and play games with, lest they die.
Miami will be closed Tuesday and Wednesday.
No, not just the public schools and the university, although we’re closed for two days. Pretty much the whole town.
And the joke is that
- the Ernesto forecast has (for now) been demoted to a tropical storm until it gets to points far north of us and
- the storm has slowed a bit: even on the original track it wasn’t supposed to hit until late Tuesday afternoon.
Now we’re looking at very late Tuesday or even early Wednesday. And possibly an anti-climax at that. When they close the public schools, pretty much everybody falls into line; and planners are undoubtedly still smarting from their failure to close early for one of last year’s hurricanes which meant that a lot of commuters struggled home in dangerous weather. So now we’re very very cautious.
False alarms are nowhere as bad as the real thing, but I find that the irregular procession of even false alarms take their toll — there’s something very … distracting … about the real possibility of slowly oncoming doom, even when it starts seeming somewhat less likely. And those makeup classes are a pain for all concerned.
Yesterday I had a chance to stock up on gasoline for our generator with almost no lines, but didn’t — and the storm track moved over Miami a few hours later. Today I stocked up on gas (the line wasn’t that bad, maybe 10-15 minutes) and within minutes of coming home with the goods learned that Ernesto was being downgraded.
I believe this constitutes the basis for a testable hypothesis.
The latest hurricane track has shifted to put Ernesto right over us. They’re saying category one (modulo uncertainty), which in principle should be not so bad except that the last two times last year it was fairly bad — and my roof still isn’t fixed from last year.
I suppose that after class this afternoon I will have to go and get some gasoline to run my generator if the power goes out; by this time there will undoubtedly be long lines for gas and spot shortages.
I hear that the public schools will be closed tomorrow. The university is currently meeting to decide if we’ll be open tomorrow and should have an announcement out very soon. (It was in fact due 20 minutes ago.) On the current forecast, things might get messy by Tuesday’s evening rush hour, which makes planners very reluctant to order a normal day, but also means that if you close, most of the day it’s for no reason. But with the schools shut, if you open, people have to either stay home or bring their kids. It’s a mess.
Pink means “hurricane watch”. The good news, though, is that Ernesto isn’t strong right now. It will weaken over land, strengthen over water — thus the critical question seems to be at what angle it hits Cuba: if the diagonal angle is right it will weaken a lot; otherwise it may be stronger.
On Sunday NPR ran an item on the prosecution of Javed Iqbal for allegedly providing supposedly illegal access to al-Manar, Hezbollah’s satellite channel. The item summarized remarks from a spokesman for the Coalition Against Terrorist Media as follows:
He says the most dangerous thing aired are the calls to send money to Hezbollah. Al-Manar, he says, sometimes broadcasts Hezbollah bank account numbers to make wire transfers easier. That, he says, is when Al-Manar stops being a media outlet protected by First Amendment rights and becomes an active operational component of a terrorist group.
And, depending on the facts, he may have a point: If indeed the station isn’t just a news channel but a fundraising conduit for transactions prohibited by IEEPA, then it’s an open question whether it falls under the news exception to IEEPA. I doubt that one example of flashing a bank account number on screen would suffice to pollute the entire station (although the law in this area is so uncertain that I can’t even be absolutely certain of that); but it is very plausbile there is some level of regular and routinized fundraising conduct that would suffice to take al-Manar outside the news exception to IEEPA.
Convicting Mr. Iqbal on a conspiracy charge based on these facts ought to require that he know about the illegal conduct — otherwise he’s a bit like the rental car agency that rents to a bank robber — but this is the first account of the case I’ve hear that makes the government’s case sound like it might be going somewhere.
Nothing to get excited about….yet.
But that pink line is creeping this way.