Hyper Hurricane Hillary

Nope. Ain’t buying it. i don’t call meteorologists by that name since around December 1968, actually even before that.

In 1974, my commanding officer, CDR George Phelps, aboard the USS Hollister (DD 788), anointed the three line department heads one day as the “Wind,” “Rain,” and “Seas” controllers. As CHENG, i was the “Rain Control Officer,” not a bad job in Long Beach. The CO believed we had as much capability of controlling or predicting the weather as those proclaimed meteorologists whom we called “weather guessers.” i still identify them with that term, “weather guessers.”

Those guys (and girls) who claim meterologistism (my word) have grown in numbers and viewership. They even have a channel called “The Weather Channel.” This is the channel that sends folks out in the teeth of storms or floods or other earthly disasters to tell us the weather is bad while having difficulty talking into the their microphone or holding on to various parts of their clothing.

Now, these folks don’t make their money off of good weather, normally the domain of the Southwest Corner. Nobody has said much on any weather forecast about the Southwest corner for quite some time, except of course, for the local weather guessers who are filling the airways with tales of gloom and doom about how the unusual amount of rainfall has produced a lot of plant growth that could become a potential wildfire disaster when it dries out and the Santa Ana winds revisit the land. They make their money by scaring the bejesus out of us with the dire impact of the portending weather’s next Armageddon.

And so we come to this weekend in the Southwest corner. Our plight has been broadcast coast to coast with the pending maelstrom of Hyper Hurricane Hillary coming up from Baja. Maureen and i are being contacted by friends and family from other parts of the country concerned about our well-being.

i am not referring to the hurricane or Hillary being hyper. i’m talking about the weather guessers predictions and how folks in the Southwest corner are reacting. It’s all hyper.

When my sister, Martha Duff, expressed her concern to me via a text message this morning, i responded:

i don’t think it’s going o be anywhere near as bad as predicted, but we are securing all that might be impacted by winds. The mountains could be in trouble. The cold Japanese current coming from the Arctic is still cool enough to negate some of the effects. However, if it rains a lot in August as predicted, this whole area is going to be a zoo.

The National Weather Service to which i check when i have any real concern about weather, had this report this morning:

A chance of showers and thunderstorms, then showers likely and possibly a thunderstorm after midnight. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 69. Calm wind becoming northeast around 5 mph after midnight. Chance of precipitation is 70%. New rainfall amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms.

Showers and possibly a thunderstorm. Some of the storms could produce heavy rainfall. High near 78. Windy, with a north wind 5 to 15 mph increasing to 25 to 35 mph. Chance of precipitation is 90%. New rainfall amounts between three quarters and one inch possible.

Sunday Night
Showers and possibly a thunderstorm. Some of the storms could produce heavy rainfall. Low around 66. Breezy, with a west wind 20 to 25 mph becoming south 10 to 15 mph in the evening. Winds could gust as high as 35 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%. New rainfall amounts between three quarters and one inch possible.

A chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 72. South wind 15 to 20 mph becoming southwest 5 to 10 mph in the afternoon. Winds could gust as high as 30 mph. Chance of precipitation is 40%. New rainfall amounts of less than a tenth of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms.

Folks, for a mariner, even as long ago as it was, 30 knot winds, even gusts to 50 knots, is of concern, but panic is not needed. We occasionally get those kinds of winds here in the winter storms, and other than lowering umbrellas and securing light outdoor furniture, no other preparations are required.

Of course, the Southwest corner folks, including my wife, are not taking chances. Today, i will be securing out exterior from a storm beyond description. We are moving and tying up plants, relocating and tying down lawn furniture, securing any loose items with chains or something. We haven’t gotten to the point where she is specific about that, but i will not be surprised if she inquires where we might get an anchor.

Bottom line: Don’t worry about us. The Hyper Hurricane Hillary rolling through here is not likely to cause major harm to us or our belongings.

However, if you want to see a zoo, watch the Southwest corner when and after the rain hits us, less than two inches max is predicted here in Bonita. Folks out here can go berserk trying to cope with rain.

2 thoughts on “Hyper Hurricane Hillary

  1. Just beautiful, Jim, thanks for reassuring me, although I was pretty sure an “old mariner” like yourself would weather whatever comes with aplomb and grace. My brother, Horace, used to say, “Old sailors never die, they just get a little dinghy.”

    Batten down the hatches!!!! Hurricane coming!!!! Look out! Disaster ahead!

  2. I loved your “weather guesser” term. As you well know Tennessee weather is quite unpredictable. My husband used to hate it when they would interrupt a game on TV during a storm to have what he called the “weather man super bowl”. And heaven help us when we may get a few flakes of snow! My son, Brian, calls that “snowmegeddon”

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