Two Weekend Bulletins: Cases and ‘Canes?

Okay, enough with all the bad news about the leaky Supreme Court, ThrillBilly elegies in Ohio, World War 2.5 in Europe, and a stock market sinking like a Russian flagship. Time for some upbeat happy news!

Um, sorry, I don’t have any.

But will you settle for some different stuff to worry about?

Like that pesky pandemic, and maybe — a possible “subtropical event”?

Well, I’ll mention them anyway.

Can we remember those giddy Good Old Days when the daily total of new Covid cases got as low as 27000? (It had been at 500,000 daily at Christmastim

Me neither, but it did, and here’s a hint: it wasn’t even six weeks ago. Yep, March 30. Take a look:

But today, a mere 38 sunrises later, the daily case number is climbing again, up past 70,000, closing in on 71,000.

WTF?

Well, I don’t know. The official death numbers are still down, but they usually lag, and those numbers are, in technical terms, iffy. (The also iffy grand U.S. total either reached, or didn’t reach a million deaths this past week.) One well-informed but unofficial Covid observer is blogger Lambert Strether, who drops this bit of wisdom:

I am but a humble tape-watcher, but if some trusting, non-realist soul tells you that “Covid is over,” you can tell them that cases are up, transmission is up, test positivity is up, hospitalization is up, rapid riser counties are up, and wastewater is up, too.

And this is all from data designed to support the narrative that “Covid is over,” and gamed within an inch of its life. So, if signals like that are flashing red, consider what the real signal must be like . . . .

Whats a body to do? Get the shot, including the second booster (like I did a week ago; no kickback side effects either), and keep a mask in your pocket when you go out. . . .

And maybe an umbrella too?

Our friends at Accuweather are speaking very carefully but ominously today (especially to us East Coast folk) about their forecast that

The same storm set on bringing days of rain to portions of the central Appalachians and mid-Atlantic region for much of weekend could eventually transform into the first named tropical depression or named system of the 2022 Atlantic hurricane season, AccuWeather forecasters say.

The system in question is still days away from taking shape, but even if a tropical or subtropical system doesn’t take shape, adverse coastal conditions loom for areas from New York to Florida.

Wait, What? A “named system”?? (The forecaster clears their throat), then —

“The offshore storm will create a zone of cloudy, cool, windy and wet conditions along the southern Atlantic coast, during the first half of next week,” Lundberg said, adding, “the weather will trend warmer and more humid during the latter part of next week into the following weekend.”

. . . Because of the amount of time the storm will spend over warmer waters of the western Atlantic, there is a chance it could develop some tropical characteristics. A storm that develops some tropical traits is known as a subtropical system.

“The chance of subtropical development is low, but not zero in this case from late next week to next weekend,” AccuWeather Meteorologist Brandon Buckingham said.

Should the system develop a small, closed circulation with maximum sustained winds of 35 mph or greater, a subtropical depression could be declared by the National Hurricane Center. The first name on the list of tropical and subtropical storms for the 2022 season is Alex. In order for this to occur, the system would have to produce maximum sustained winds of 39 mph or greater.

Okay, this cyclone-o-phobe has resolved to not sweat over the prospect of Alex Rising til at least next Wednesday.  (Hey, we had a tornado touch down in the next county yesterday, but it missed us by 20 miles or so.)

Our local tornado, in weathermap drag; its favorite color is purple.

But I’ll keep an eye on the maps. And I’ll keep repeating my new May Mantra, which Accuweather used as a closer to this report:

“The official start of the Atlantic hurricane season is June 1.”

PS.  The National Hurricane Center has released its list of 21 names for this year’s storms. It includes Tobias, Virginie and Walter; but notably lacks Vladimir. So no worries?

You’re welcome.

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