Thursday, September 29, 2005

Floating Wrecking Balls

The recent trend of category 4 and 5 hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico has exposed serious weaknesses in the design of America's oil platform system. When I read statements such as "the oil rigs were only designed to withstand a category 2 or 3 hurricane", I can 't help but wonder who was the person that authorized such designs. Have engineers not looked at the history of hurricanes in this country or has money forced them to choose to ignore these facts. Even more amazing is the fact that there are so many of these rigs in such close proximity to each other that most of the damage is caused by them slamming into each other during these storms. I guess pictures say it all. There is no doubt that this country has some serious issues to address when it comes to our dependancy on oil in such a vulnerable region. I still say that this story will continue to unfold in the coming months; since the impact of a bulk release of serious damage to the underwater pipelines and oil rigs will only affect these companies stock prices and thus the board members wallets.

The tropical outlook right now is pretty quiet, but several model runs today are starting to show a low developing off the east coast of Florida in 5-7 days and moving W-WSW. These models have been very unreliable this season until a actual low pressure system develops, so we will keep an our guard up and watch it. 99L was flown into today by the Hurricane Hunters, but no low level circulation was found. They will be flying back into the area around the Grand Cayman islands tomorrow.

Here in North Carolina it is starting to feel like fall, which means it will soon be time for soup and sleeping in. I'll be heading out to take some photographs as soon as the leaves begin to change. Hopefully the drought in this area won't prevent a really colorful scene, some rain would be welcomed.

SCM

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