1 September 2006
Quote of the week
Actually, I have two this week, and they're both storm-related; I simply couldn't pick between the two.
In a move to foster improved relations between the meteorological community and the news industry, the National Hurricane Center announced today that it is lowering the requirements for a storm to be officially named as a hurricane. The previous standard was sustained winds of 74 miles per hour, but the recent brush with Ernesto, and subsequent inability of reporters to say the word "hurricane" in conjunction with every reference to Ernesto, began to cause some friction between the two groups. "It was very frustrating, having to watch my colleagues in the field use the term 'tropical storm' when referring to Ernesto, when it had once carried the formal title of 'hurricane'," said news anchor Troy McDonald of station WECT in Wilmington, NC. Other news industry leaders echoed his concern, with John Zarella of CNN pleading with Max Mayfield, director of the National Hurricane Center, to do something that would enable reporters to use the word "hurricane" in as many situations as possible.
After a two-day summit between the two communities at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Jacksonville, Florida, Mayfield announced that the new criteria for a Category One hurricane would include sustained winds of only 25 miles per hour, and storm-surge levels of only six inches. In a prepared statement, Mayfield expressed confidence that the revised standards would not only enable the news industry to use flashier graphics more often and increase Nielsen ratings, but would also allow the National Hurricane Center to take a more active role in educating the public about the dangers of powerful storms.
Meanwhile, a year after a Category
The night closes out at Pat OíBrien's, who had an entrance on Bourbon, but prefers its more respectable address on St. Peter's, the only one thatís open. It's massive inside, a huge courtyard at the end of a brick alleyway, with two spiral staircases leading up to private second floor areas with plush emerald carpeting. Appropriately, [they] invented a drink called the Hurricane anywhere else in the country, the bartender mixing the drink has to use Pat OíBrien's patented mix and the glass that it goes in, and my friend buys me one to celebrate an excellent week. We toast to the future, to the people weíve met, and to the city itself, our faces and glasses lit up only by Patís famous flaming fountain, a huge Parisian fountain that shoots water, lit with fiber optics, towards the sky in a ring around blue and yellow flames. No locals tonight, just us and the cool air, and the noise from Bourbon. The rest of the world could be a mile, or a century, away. New Orleans is a little like that. It's far removed from the country in its history, its mannerisms, its outlook, and really, its feel. Thereís no place like it, and Iím in love. Iím pleased with that assessment of my feelings, because it means that despite the destruction Iíve seen, despite the depression that the news claims haunts the flood plains and the citizens, there must still be something to the city to fall in love with. There must still be a heart, a soul, a life.
Now to get ready for some local stormage.