WONT41 KNHC 201956
SPECIAL TROPICAL DISTURBANCE STATEMENT
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
400 PM EDT THU SEP 20 2007
A RECONNAISSANCE AIRCRAFT INVESTIGATING THE AREA OF LOW PRESSURE IN THE EASTERN GULF OF MEXICO FOUND A BROAD CIRCULATION CENTERED ABOUT 115 MILES WEST-SOUTHWEST OF ST. PETERSBURG FLORIDA. THE AIRCRAFT WILL CONTINUE TO INVESTIGATE THE LOW THIS AFTERNOON...BUT THERE ARE NO INDICATIONS YET THAT THE LOW HAS BEGUN TO ACQUIRE TROPICAL CHARACTERISTICS. THUNDERSTORM ACTIVITY WITH THIS SYSTEM REMAINS LIMITED AND DISORGANIZED. HOWEVER...THIS SYSTEM HAS THE POTENTIAL TO BECOME A SUBTROPICAL OR TROPICAL CYCLONE OVER THE NEXT DAY OR SO AS IT MOVES WEST-NORTHWESTWARD OVER THE WARM WATERS OF THE GULF OF MEXICO. ALL INTERESTS ALONG THE NORTHERN GULF COAST SHOULD MONITOR THE PROGRESS OF THIS SYSTEM.
The sky was black and only faintly blue on the horizon when I stepped outside this morning. The cats capered happily past me emitting squeaky meows as they ran out to greet the day. Dawn--the eternal symbol of hope and a fresh start, slowly peeled the darkness from New Orleans. Stars faded and disappeared.
I walked down the three steps from the FEMA Travel Trailer and stepped onto the concrete walkway. The walkway extended another 15 or so feet, and then vanished into rubble and dirt and low-cut weeds. Until about two years ago, I would have been walking this concrete path in the other direction at this time of morning. I would have been walking out looking for the newspaper, or perhaps leaving my house to go to work.
But that house is gone.
I am amazed by the sky this morning. We have had several clear, bright days in succession this week. Hot, but not too hot. Humidity practically unheard of for New Orleans. Absolutely wonderful weather.
It will not last, because the nature of nature is change. I know this day will pass. I know this FEMA Travel Trailer will one day be taken away. And perhaps most importantly, I know this time of trial will pass, too.
Despite this fabulous string of beautiful days, my colleagues and friends are worried about the weather right now. All of New Orleans worries. A thunderstorm in Florida with 30 mile per hour winds demands our fearful attention. Once bitten, twice shy I suppose, and Katrina took a huge bite.
We watch the tropical weather reports much more closely nowadays. We have the National Weather Service National Hurricane Center in our list of web page favorites. We study the maps like Allied strategists planning the invasion of France, and sift through the weather reports with the intesity of a baseball fan poring over the box scores.
But for now, the air is still and cool, and the horizon stretches around my neighborhood with ever brightening arms. We must embrace this day, even if it is just the calm before the storm.