Tired of our fickle weather? Just remember that old saw: If it didn’t change once in a while, nine out of ten people couldn’t start a conversation.
And remember that when you ponder the current hurricane season, there is always something to talk about.
Meteorologists are talking about a season with more storm activity than is the norm. Sometimes they are clairvoyant. Sometimes they aren’t.
But in coastal South Carolina, where the memory of Hurricane Hugo in 1989 is still a vivid part of people’s conversations, the wise approach is to assume they’re correct and to be prepared.
It’s tempting to be lulled into complacency since no storm since then has come close to Hugo’s wrath. And it’s tempting to vow never again to follow instructions after unprecedented gridlock occurred when coastal residents evacuated for Hurricane Floyd in 1999, unnecessarily as it turned out, at least for the Lowcountry.
But it’s worth noting that the fifth named storm of this season, Erin, is moving away from the Cape Verde Islands in the eastern Atlantic and is expected to strengthen.
And the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration suggests there will likely be 13 — perhaps as many as 19 — before the season ends.
NOAA says six to nine of those could become hurricanes and three to five could pack winds stronger than 110 miles per hour.
Researchers at Coastal Carolina University have developed a new model for predicting hurricanes, and it suggests at least one, and maybe two, major hurricanes will make landfall on the East Coast.
In that context, it’s worth remembering how long a hurricane checklist can be by the time you get batteries, bottled water, phone numbers, an evacuation plan, pet accommodations, canned food, important papers, etc. It wouldn’t hurt to get a jump on that.
No one can predict the weather with 100 percent accuracy.
But storm warnings are worth watching for and heeding.
Besides, what experts are advising coastal residents to do is a good message to share when you start your next conversation.
It’s a conversation that can begin even now as you inch along in slow-moving traffic on our streets flooded by non-hurricane rain.