Now serving storms, noodles

By John Toth / Editor and Publisher

The noodles are stretching out across the ocean, projecting what a storm – which at the moment is just a bunch of rain near the African Coast – may do. It’s that time of the year – the peak of hurricane season.

It never ceases to amaze me how these computer gadgets can look into the future and predict with a good amount of accuracy before the center of a storm even is formed.

I understand how it all works, and how as the storm progresses, the projections are more accurate, but it still amazes me. If we could have done that in 1900, all those people would not have died on Galveston Island.

Most of them would have evacuated to the Hill Country, or somewhere else northwest, and sit out the storm in safety.

That’s what I did with the family a couple of times. Made a little vacation of it.

Sure we were nervous evacuating, mostly because the fear of God was brought upon us by all the authorities screaming that this killer hurricane is going to get us.

They should have done no less, of course. It’s better to evacuate than to realize that you guessed wrong.
Once the storm passed and we realized that we still had a house left, the nerves began to calm. We enjoyed a few more days of vacation.

Hey, we were already there, and the hard part was over. Now, let’s have a little fun.

That was in 2008, when the noodles were not as accurate as today.

The problem is that it is really easy to get caught up in the noodles, and there are many of them going in various directions.

The BAMS model is not our friend. It always wants to go farther west than the rest, and put the storm in the Gulf of Mexico. The rest of the models most of the time take the same general direction to the east. That’s what we want.

So, when the noodles converge on similar directions, except for BAMS, then it’s a pretty sure bet that the storm is going to go in that sort of direction, if it lasts long enough. Sometimes it just dies.

I’m not a real weatherman, but I would like to play one on TV.

I personally like the noodle lines that turn the storm easterly at the earliest opportunity, even when it’s just a little rain and wind more than a thousand miles away.

Had I watched the noodles more closely in 2005, and had the noodles been more accurate, I would have stayed. The storm turned to the east, and we didn’t even lose electricity at the house. The only damage was the cost of evacuating.

That was Hurricane Rita, which followed Katrina by a couple of weeks. So, there was reason to be nervous.

But, it did make for a nice vacation, and the river was incredible.

With all this technological sophistication also comes the jokers who like scaring people along the Gulf Coast.

One fake site in particular posts a very real looking path projection down the middle of the Gulf of Mexico.

Not too funny, if you live down here along the coast.