Posted by: patwogan | September 10, 2008

Cone of Uncertainty

I recently wrote about the butterfly migration I witnessed here in South Texas.  Tonight we are all concerned about Hurricane Ike.  This area of Texas  is possibly in the path of Ike.  Of course, we don’t know yet as it is expected to make landfall “on the coast of Texas” and that takes in several miles of territory. 

I was born and raised in Kansas.  Kansas, as you know, is famous for being the home of Dorothy of “The Wizard of Oz.”  That makes Kansas famous for tornadoes or is it tornados, I don’t know for sure.  Although I lived in Kansas for more than sixty-five years, I never saw a tornado.  One did hit our property one night, but I was not at home.  If you were in the path of a tornado in Kansas, you better take cover immediately.  There was not any question of “riding out the storm”, and you really don’t have time to make a lot of plans…you better have a plan in mind and a place to go..preferably a basement. 

A hurricane, on the other hand, is a slow-moving storm.  It covers a lot more territory and brings a wider swath of destruction including both wind and water damage.   The most dangerous part of a hurricane is the northeast quadrant of the storm.  Its path is very erratic and is dictated by the atmospheric conditions in its path.

In this part of Texas the weather man tells us about tropical lows as they form off the west coast of Africa.  These lows sometimes form into tropical depressions which can become tropical storms and subsequently hurricanes.  I don’t remember the weather man in Kansas ever being concerned about any weather off the coast of Africa.  He probably felt we weren’t really interested in that sort of thing. 

Anyway, tonight we are trying to make up our minds about whether to stay here or go.  We stayed for Dolly and were without power for about twenty-four hours.  The wind blew from the west which meant we were on the back-side of the storm.  Our prevailing winds here are from the east.  Our rains here come down in torrents usually.  We had an inch of rain yesterday in about a hour and a half.  Dolly came ashore as a Category 2.  Ike is supposed to make land fall as a Category 3. 

Our quandry is, if we decide to go, which direction do we go.  We have a motorhome and have it stocked and ready to go.  The problem is where is Ike going to make land fall.  Will we be better off staying here or going.  Tonight it looks like it is going to hit over by Corpus Christi.  If it does, we would be better off here.  If, however, it hits at Brownsville, we better go. 

Oh, well, we should know more by morning and then will make our final decision.  Not “To be or not to be”, but “to go or not to go”.  I’ll let you know later.



  1. MOM! Start leaving when this junk comes in! You are going to give us a heart attack. I had no idea–been preparing a Bible test instead of watching the weather. Well, I’ll pray.

  2. We have room for you in Kansas City and would love to see you! No hurricanes here 🙂

  3. Be safe! It looks like a road trip is in order. Nella

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