Tropical Storm Hermine is making landfall in Massachusetts as we speak, while Gaston has regained tropical storm status over Chesapeake Bay and is now accelerating northeastward; it should take a swipe at Cape Cod tomorrow. Both are minimal tropical storms, but still! Wow! Massachusetts hasn’t seen this much hot air since… oh wait, John Kerry is their senator, they see this much hot air on a daily basis. :)
But seriously, folks… this satellite image from earlier this evening appears to show that Gaston, which had been downgraded and declared dead after making landfall in South Carolina early Sunday, actually began to restrengthen over land earlier today:
Weird, huh?! (Gaston, or rather its “remnants” at the time, is the rather strong-looking swirl of clouds over the mid-Atlantic states. The sickly, amorphous blob at right is Hermine, a few hours before its landfall near the MA/RI border.)
Of course, neither of these storms can hold a candle to the monster that is Hurricane Frances, what with its 125 mph winds (with gusts to 155 mph), its Category Three, “major hurricane” status, and its very ominous-looking long-term forecast track:
The current forecast track, as you can see, has Frances slamming into the Florida coast on Saturday. Such long-range projections are subject to large errors, of course, but if this track holds, methinks Bush’s big speech on Thursday will suffer a serious blow from the distraction caused by Frances, which will by then be slamming the Bahamas and probably prompting Hurricane Watches for the Florida coast (certainly watches will be up by Friday morning at the latest). Normally the national media coverage of an approaching storm doesn’t really kick into high gear until 24 hours before landfall, but because Florida was just hit by Charley, I think the Frances coverage will begin early and will be unusually intense.
Oh yeah, and it would suck if the storm hit. Let’s hope it doesn’t.
P.S. On other hand, maybe the fact that the storm’s name is “Frances” will remind people that John Kerry is French-looking, thus helping Bush. :) Get it? Like “France’s”… oh nevermind.
P.P.S. Seriously though, how much can the people of Florida be expected to suffer in one summer… and the summer of a presidential election year when theirs may again be the decisive state, no less? C’mon, Frances, hit somebody else.
P.P.P.S. But for your own sake, Frances, steer clear of North Carolina. If Kerry and Edwards lose the election, Johnny Boy will be unemployed, and he’ll need some work, so you might just find your sorry hurricane ass getting hauled into court on a class-action battery claim by the entire population of the Outer Banks. I’m just sayin’.