When I drove to work this morning, at around 6:30 a.m., the announcer on NPR noted in a rather bored fashion that the tropical storm meandering towards the Gulf of Mexico was expected to fizzle. No one sees this storm turning into a hurricane, he said, although he mentioned that it could dump some heavy rain. But no, there was no way the storm could strengthen before it made landfall.
Well well well. Here we are 4 hours later and, lo and behold, guess what's just a few miles an hour in intensity from becoming Hurricane Alberto? A hurricane warning has been issued for Florida's Gulf Coast. One look at the radar shows a big, fat, swirling, churning red blob, surrounded by lots of orange and yellow, bearing down on MickeyMouseland.
The forecasters seem befuddled. Wow, we didn't realize it would do that. Golly, that storm gained 20 miles an hour in windspeed in just three hours.
I truly wish these supposed weather professionals and those who listen to them would STOP being surprised by hurricane behavior.
If this first named storm of the 2006 Atlantic hurricane system is any indication, we're in for a very long summer.