Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Ivan The Terrible

If I'm not blogging Thursday, blame Ivan.

Ivan is a Category 5 hurricane with a bad attitude.

Hurricanes and tropical storms are a part of life down here, but rarely does a hurricane pack as much sheer strength and ferocity as Ivan.

Earlier, Ivan flexed his muscles as he lashed the western tip of Cuba with 160mph winds. He is sending hurricane force winds 100 miles out from his center and tropical storm force winds 200 miles out.

Ivan's minimum central pressure and winds are displacing Andrew as the 3rd most intense U.S. hurricane in the last 100 years. Camille (1969) holds second place. An un-named hurricane (1935) ranks first.

In other words, Ivan is terrible indeed and he's on track to make landfall Thursday morning -- right about where I'm currently sitting. It could get ugly here as early as Wednesday because of Ivan's extended reach.

The National Hurricane Center has a lot of good folks working the predictions. They use the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale to categorize hurricanes -- which is more complicated than the Murphy-Mazda Scale, named after my late best friend and birddog, who, like most dogs, loved to ride in the car with his head out the window.

Category 5 on the Murphy-Mazda Scale was about 35mph -- characterized by wildly flapping ears, wildly flapping tongue, full exposure of all teeth and gums, and dog slobber splashback.

So just think of the Murphy-Mazda Scale and then think 160mph and you'll get a good, if not wholly scientific, measure of the punch that Ivan is delivering.

Will update as situation changes.

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