IF YOU THINK FLORENCE IS BAD...
The scientists are not telling you the whole story.
SCIENTISTS ARE HONEST. REALLY HONEST.
Because they learn never to exaggerate, or their colleages will be all over them. Especially if it goes into a scientific journal. It is why I rely on them so much (being about 3/4 of a scientist myself MIT '63, '65, '67).
The storms and all the weather these last few years have been pretty extreme. And it had all been predicted in scientific reports. But newpaper editors don't understand scientific talk either, nor do they understasnd, or want to think about or want to face what is really happening.
"There is a high probabality that the the tropical depression, Flower, could evolve into a particularly strong storm, conicevably category 4 or even 5."
If we dig further we come to a couple of rather long articles in the Times. Click on TIMES STORY.
There are actually two stories here, both worth reading and both talking about communicating about hurricanes. Except that our probablem is far, far worse and I am going to try (and probably fail) to communicate about the future. First, to list what I know that I think is importatant. To get a scientist to answer the question "are you sure?" with a firm, and clear "yes" is a miracle.
The simple story is that the storms are going to be much worse than we can imagine. Why? Because everything that has happened so far (and it has been pretty bad) has happened with about 1°C of increase in climate temperature. In the future we will have at least 2°C and maybe more. Each degree means not just the thermometer but all the air, ground and water goes up by that much, and then gets spread around unevenly so all sorts of "local" things happen. So how about this little slide show. It's a good simulation because the winds were high and the homes were not made to withstand them. Which is exactly the spot we will be in.