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Major hurricane tracks to New Orleans on eve of Republican Convention?

By Joe Romm  

"Major hurricane tracks to New Orleans on eve of Republican Convention?"

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mccaincake.jpg That headline is lifted from Drudge. Needless to say, he left out “… and on the third anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, where both Bush and McCain were AWOL” (see TP’s “As Katrina hit, McCain celebrated 69th birthday with Bush“).

Track the storm with the National Hurricane Center here. Best hurricane blog here.

http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/storm_graphics/AT07/refresh/AL0708W5+gif/143912W_sm.gif

Readers of this blog know that my brother lost his home in Katrina three years ago, which is probably the main reason I began this blog in the first place (see “100 Katrinas and the Launch of Climate Progress“).

Let’s all hope that long-suffering New Orleans does not get hit again and that no major hurricane makes landfall. That said, perhaps many more lives can be saved if the nation is reminded how incompetent the conservatives are at managing government — how they failed to protect our citizens, how they didn’t bring leadership to rebuilding the city, and how they still haven’t built levees strong enough to protect the city from a major hurricane.

The other reason Gustav may make headlines is that on the current storm track we may see a Category Three storm or larger hit the Gulf oilfields, a fact that has already begun to impact oil prices:

U.S. crude oil futures rose as high as $117.89 a barrel earlier on Tuesday and settled up $1.16 at $116.27. Gasoline RBU8 gained 9 cents in trade on Tuesday.

“There’s the possibility of a Category 3 to Category 5 hurricane in the Gulf on Sunday … that’s what has everyone’s attention right now. If we get a major hurricane in the Gulf there’s going to be a lot more short covering,” said Commercial Brokerage Corp’s Ed Kennedy….

“All of the oil platforms off Texas and Louisiana will probably be at risk, but that’s real long-range,” AccuWeather senior meteorologist Eric Wilhelm said in a telephone interview….

“The entire Gulf energy infrastructure is now threatened,” wrote Jim Rouiller of forecaster Planalytics, who said two major hurricane forecasting models predicted the storm making landfall somewhere between Houston and New Orleans, which is home to nearly half of U.S. oil refining capacity.

That potentially means yet another major news story — oil spills. And while obviously nobody wishes for that, if the worst were to happen, it might at least make it harder for the GOP to keep lying about what happened three years ago (see “McCain Falsely Claims Katrina And Rita Did Not Cause Significant Oil Spillage“).

‹ Hillary: It makes sense that Bush and McCain will be in the TWIN cities next week….

Van Jones: ‘We’re Getting Totally Rolled By The Happy Meal Politics’ Of Drill Here, Drill Now ›

8 Responses to Major hurricane tracks to New Orleans on eve of Republican Convention?

  1. Lou Grinzo says:

    I second Joe’s recommendation for the weather blog he linked to at the top of this post. The Wunder Blog, in talking about Gustav’s chances for strengthening, mentions something called a “loop current eddy”. There’s one of these in the Gulf now, which is very disturbing, as a similar phenomenon helped blow up Katrina and Rita into category 5 storms in 2005.

  2. Joe says:

    A piece of the Gulf Stream sometimes twists off and forms a warm loop. If a hurricane crosses over it, it intensifies rapidly. If it happens here, I’ll blog more about it.

  3. Ronald says:

    I remember before the 1992 Republican convention, there was a hurricane that was heading for Houston where the convention was. The hurricane moved off to somewhere else, but it interupted the news cycles and discussions enough that the Republican smear machine got untracked for a little while and it made the first President Bush to look unlucky.

  4. Brian D says:

    On a side (and comical) note, it looks like something backfired.

  5. Paul K says:

    SciGuy is also a very good site for hurricane watchers.

  6. Nick Kong says:

    Let me try to humanize this story a bit:

    Having personally seen the destruction and response of the US gov’t after Katrina (I worked with AmeriCorps*NCCC during the first first wave of disaster relief in Fall, 2005, then again in 2006 for reconstruction), I am very worried for the people there. The sheer destruction of the hurricanes itself, not just the flooding in New Orleans, is phenomenal. For instance, in Pass Christian, only six (yes, six) houses were not destroyed in a town of 6,500. The destruction to the local businesses were staggering (anything from shrimping to casino barges). Those FEMA trailers are not designed to withstand a Hurricane of category 3-5 magnitude.

    I guess, this time, we’ll be lucky as the majority of New Orleans and Mississippi coast residents have yet to return to their homes, lowering any potential damage/loss of lives. I just hope the local governments are taking precaution, setting up emergency relief plans, evacuation plans, etc. One would assume that they have such plans in order since 2005…

    I agree with you Joe- how many more of these hurricanes can the Gulf take?

    I hope they don’t get a direct hit that rivals Katrina and Rita.

  7. llewelly says:

    Although a major hurricane landfall on the gulf coast in the near future is a very real danger, we should keep in mind these words:

    … there is very little…if any…skill in
    intensity predictions at these extended ranges. indeed…if one
    looks at the latest wind speed probability product included in this
    package…it can be seen that there is nearly an equal chance that
    gustav will be a category 1…category 2…or category 3 hurricane
    at the end of the forecast period.

    (Conversion to lowercase mine.)
    The mentioned windspeed product here .
    Certainly, present forecasts for Gustav should be seen as a reminder of how sorely the protection of New Orleans and much of the gulf coast has been neglected, how severely the Bush regime has crippled FEMA, and how a major hurricane landfall on any given gulf coast city is inevitable in the long run. As to the FEMA trailers – I doubt those will fare well in a cat 2 hurricane, much less a 3.
    If a major hurricane landfall does occur, the reaction to it by the candidates and the fed could well decide the election. Such an event seems more likely to favor Obama than McCain, especially if New Orleans is affected, or, as Joe points out, oil spills result, but it’s not at all guaranteed to help Obama, and I hope his people are preparing.

    Finally I hope everyone in the Caribbean and the Gulf is prepared, and emerges unhurt (but many people in Hati have already died).

  8. shop says:

    All of the oil platforms off Texas and Louisiana will probably be at risk, but that’s real long-range,” AccuWeather senior meteorologist Eric Wilhelm said in a telephone interview…