By now, it's pretty clear that Hurricane Dean will not threaten any part of the Texas Gulf coast. It's currently pummeling Jamaica, will turn to the Cayman islands on Monday and the Yucatan peninsula on Tuesday, and will finally hit the Mexican mainland late Wednesday. May God protect the people who live where Dean goes: it's an extremely strong storm and will probably be a Category 5 hurricane by the time it hits the Caymans and the Yucatan.
A couple of general comments. First, I was struck by the traffic billboards that lie alongside Houston freeways. Starting on Friday, they began to carry the message "HURRICANE FORMING NEAR GULF; KEEP YOUR GAS TANKS FULL." Putting aside the fact that by that time Hurricane Dean was fully-formed and that it was nowhere near the Gulf of Mexico, it was good advice. Second, am I the only one who has noticed the disappointment in the voices of TV meteorologists when they're forced to admit that the hurricane isn't coming here? It's as if they're rooting for a disaster. Finally, there are a couple more good websites for those of you who are interested in hurricanes. The first is Brendan Loy's blog. He's a lawyer; but hurricanes interest him, and he knows a lot about them. The second is Eric Berger's blog. Believe it or not, he's employed by the Houston Chronicle, and his blog is hosted on the Chronicle website. It's really easy to criticize the Chronicle, and God knows that they deserve it. However, give them credit where it is due: Eric Berger's blog is excellent and very informative. Read it whenever there's an Atlantic hurricane.