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Hurricane Dorian’s Unpredictable Path

Hurricane Dorian’s Unpredictable Path

And just like that, summer’s over. The official tourist season, that is. Here in Tidewater we have at least another month or two of balmy temps and beach days.

And three months left in hurricane season.

Schools open today and kids are back on their hamster wheels, already secretly hoping for a day off later this week.

They may get their wish: Hurricane Dorian.

As I write this, I can’t help but wonder if a year from now we’ll struggle to remember Dorian or if we’ll shudder, recalling the damage the storm brought. Last year, in early September, I wrote about the menace that was Hurricane Florence. Hurricane who, you ask? Exactly. 

All weekend, between college football games and afternoons on the beach, many of us were casting worried eyes at the weather forecasts. Footage coming out of the Bahamas is terrifying. Those lovely islands are being battered unmercifully by this powerful storm. The scope of the damage and loss of life is not yet known. Frightening, all of it.

You know what’s also frightening? All the amateur storm forecasters out there, convincing unwitting folks they know what the heck they’re talking about.

Suddenly anyone with a Youtube channel and the mastery of a few meteorological terms - eye-wall replacement cycle, upwelling, GFS model, European model, spaghetti plots - can pretend to be a hurricane expert with their half-baked predictions and scare the bejeezus out of thousands of people.

Truth is, no one knows precisely what this storm is going to do or where it’s headed. Dorian could do tremendous damage to the US coast, or blow out to sea.

We’re in the current Cone of Doom, so it’s best to secure lawn furniture and buy fresh batteries, candles and liquor. Water, too, which is something we’re all supposed to have stockpiled in our hurricane boxes. 

You do have a hurricane box, don’t you? I do, of course. Mine contains two cans of five-year old tuna and a supply of Ziploc bags. 

Must. Do. Better.

Yet, as someone wondered on Twitter the other day, why is it that people who survive on three sodas a day suddenly need cases of bottled water for a hurricane?

Let’s prepare in case this hurricane hits. And pledge that when it’s all over, we’ll do what we can to help Bahamians recover from Dorian.

We may someday forget this hurricane. They won’t.

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