01 September 2008

Gustav and Hanna

This year's Labor Day weekend doesn't look good for most people living in Louisiana, as they all prepare for the approach of Hurricane Gustav. The famous New Orleans Mayor is even calling Gustav the "the storm of the century," and is likely to be stronger than Katrina, which killed thousands and traumatized many. Even as I write this, thousands are leaving New Orleans.

Gustav has finished devastating Cuba and is now over the warms waters of the Atlantic. Since it is moving slowly, it is gathering strength and might even evolve from its present Category 3 level (111-130 mph) to Category 4 (131-155 mph).

Meanwhile, the other disturbance called Hanna near Florida, is still a tropical storm, and has a somewhat unpredictable behavior giving weather experts headaches on how to plot their forecast.

We in the Philippines are used to typhoons and floods. But for Americans, this is a cause for worry. Is this a result of global warming? Al Gore will say yes, of course.

Whatever happens, I hope it will not be as bad as predicted.

More bad news? Yes, it seems analysts do not know how these weather disturbances will affect this coming week's oil prices.
Crude oil prices may rise next week on forecasts that Hurricane Gustav will hit production rigs in the Gulf of Mexico.

Eleven of 29 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News, or 38 percent, said prices will increase through Friday. Nine respondents, or 31 percent, said oil will decline, and nine said prices will be little changed. Last week, 55 percent expected futures to increase. ~ Boston Globe, 30 Aug 2008

UPDATE - Gustav has weakened. It is now a Category 2 hurricane. But it still can cause a lot of trouble, and it is good majority of folks in New Orleans have left.

This is the front page of The Times-Picayune, New Orleans' daily newspaper on Monday, Labor Day, Sept. 1, 2008 (notice the empty highways):

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