Saturday, August 27, 2005

KATRINA'S GAINING MOMENTUM. Don't look now, but Katrina is now a Cat 3 hurricane with 115 mph winds. Now moving northwest over the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico, she could be a Cat 4 when she makes landfall on the Gulf coast sometime Monday evening. Where? Could be from the Florida panhandle to Louisianna. Katrina is the 11th named tropical storm in this young hurricane season.

RECYCLED NAME. Looking for satellite images of this storm, I discovered that "Katrina" is a recycled name: there was a Hurricane Katrina in 1999. Was it a mistake to name this 2005 storm "Katrina," or are names routinely recycled? How will folks at NOAA's National Hurricane Center record and distinguish the differences between 1999 and 2oo5? It looks as if Katrina 1999 was a Mexican affair; Katrina 2005 is--and will continue to be--a distinctly American encounter.

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