I awoke this morning to 40 mph winds from an outer band of Tropical Storm Ophelia, which Jeff Masters of Weather Underground expects to become stronger:

TD 16 gathered enough strength last night to be given a name -- Ophelia. Ophelia will be a name we will hear a lot of over the coming week. She is going to cause plenty of trouble, and will be moving slowly enough that we'll still be talking about her a week from now. ...

With so much time over warm water, and the shear likely to decrease once the trough bypasses her, Ophelia will have a good chance of attaining at least Category 1 hurricane status and making landfall somewhere on the Southeast U.S. coast. All interests along the Southeast coast from Miami to Cape Hatteras need to watch this storm.

The current strike probability for Jacksonville/St. Augustine is around 20 percent. Ophelia is currently so mild by hurricane standards that even I'm not panicking, but it reminded me of something I learned during news coverage last week: Scientists are much better at predicting the path of an approaching hurricane than its intensity.


You've got to get out of there, homey. America's Wang is no place for people who don't like hurricanes. I lived in Berkeley for a couple of years and had this nutty idea that experiencing an earthquake would be fun, and then I saw video of the inside of a convenience store during one, and thought about how often I crossed the Bay Bridge and took the BART under the Bay. Then I moved.

I'm hoping it doesn't pull a Jeanne on us, but judging by the Flying Spaghetti Monster shape of the forecast model tracks, who knows? Old Testament God, indeed.

America's wang. Heh.

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