American Culture

Subtropical Storm Andrea forms off the coast of Georgia

I’m an extreme weather hobbiest and have been ever since I was a kid. One of the things I keep track of is tropical cyclones, i.e. hurricanes. In fact, I think it’d be wild to ride one out – in a hurricane-proof building – and see the eyewall pass overhead. Very cool.

And so today we have news that the first named storm of the season, Andrea, has formed off the coast of Georgia. Since it formed out of the tropics, it’ll never be particularly powerful like a real tropical storm (thus the term “subtropical storm”), but it’s still strong enough to cause 10′ waves along the U.S. Southeast coastline and dump lots of rain along with 45 MPH sustained winds. What’s amazing about this is that it’s three weeks early -the official hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30. Depending on how you count storms forming in January or February. It’s one of the earliest named storms to form since records have kept.

I’m not going to say that this means anything about the 2007 hurricane season or about global heating in general. Maybe it does, maybe it doesn’t. But regardless, it’s just plain cool that we have our first named storm this early.

And sometimes it’s nice to take a break from all the politics for things that are just plain cool.

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4 replies »

  1. I road out hurricane Gloria when I was 10 years old in the basement of my parents’ house. The eye went right over us and I remember poking my head out during that time and understanding what the term ‘eerie calm’ meant. I also remember the wall starting to buckle-in in time with the wind gusts – it was like the house was breathing. My mom had the bright idea to open the door to even out the pressure differential. We had a 10′-20′ crack along the wall for years afterward. ‘Just plain cool’? To a ten year old? Hell yeah!

  2. One of the few courses I never cut in college was the meteorology course I took. Weather fascinates me. I used to write a thrice-weekly weather column in the ’70s.

    Having experienced Diane and Agnes, I heartily recommend the “hurricane-proof” building.

    Nice post. Thanks.

  3. I’m a weather junkie, too, Brian. And I share your interest in Andrea from that aficionado’s POV. This is an odd occurrence for us – we’ve been having near drought conditions for a couple of months now while the Midwest is drowning in torrents of rain.

    Even though this is cool, it does suggest weird weather repeating itself – as in ’93 when we in the Southeast had drought while the Midwest was flooded.

    While I dig the weirdness, it does make one wonder….