Gulf Goes Nuts

July 19, 2005

July 19, 2006

That, I think, says it all.

This is exactly what worries me about this hurricane season. The entire Gulf can support a Category 5 now, and the East Pacific, despite being slightly cooler than the Gulf, has already produced the powerful Category Four Hurricane Daniel.

The rest of the ocean isn’t quite this warm, but it doesn’t really matter. As an example, Katrina entered the Gulf as a minimal hurricane and became a Category 5 as a direct result of low shear and boiling temperatures without entering any other body of water. Here is what the water temperatures looked like before Katrina’s entrance (using the same scale as the previous pictures):

The Gulf is clearly well on its way to this level.

The Gulf Coast, as battered as the infrastructure may be, must do something in preparation, and soon. There are people who still need housing. There are communities still struggling after Katrina. Parts of New Orleans remain a war zone.

Unless this season is extremely unusual, some spot on the Gulf Coast is likely to take a major hurricane strike in 60 days or less.

Please. Nobody wants to see yet another catastrophe.