Plan A was for Captain Rich and I to get together yesterday to complete our budget seasonalization. So we had a meeting with the seasonal staff at 0900 to assign them chores for the day. At 1000 Captain Rich met with Captain Paul Beal and the Florida Sea Base team that is headed to Northern Tier for the 2011 Outdoor Program Seminar in a couple of weeks. Following that, we moved into my office, set up the MicroSoft FRx Forecaster internet link on one computer screen and the 2012 budget summary on the second computer screen and started to attack our seasonalization.
Let me digress for a moment. In my humble opinion (you can refer to yesterday’s post for some of my thoughts on this topic) the seasonalization should be performed by trained accountants at the National Office. But they force us to do it for them. So you would think the LEAST they could do, is have their software properly programed so we could meet our budget schedule.
Back to yesterday….. Within a couple of minutes, Captain Rich and I realized that the software was set up incorrectly. We are not allowed to change the set up. So I called our General Manager, Captain Paul Beal and he came down to our lowly office to confirm my report. He wasn’t able to input the data either, so he returned to his office to call our National Office. It appears several of our cost centers’ programs are messed up. Captain Beal estimates a one to two week delay for the set up to be corrected. It sure would be easier if the bean counters would count the beans and let the Program Directors direct the programs. So now we move to Plan B; wait. (Step down from soap box now.)
Hurricane Katia is alive and well in the Atlantic. She is still forecasted to reach cat 3 status Sunday.
The system that formed a few days ago in the Caribbean is now in he middle of the Gulf of Mexico and has been designated Invest 93L. The projected tracks are not in good agreement, but parts of the Gulf coast should get a decent rain and maybe worse. The models have the system moving generally towards Louisiana, but all of the rain is currently off the Gulf side of Florida.
Dr. Jeff Masters had a great post yesterday regarding the forecasting of Hurricane Irene. I would encourage you to read the full report.
What about intensity forecasting?
Progress in making better intensity forecasts of hurricanes, though, has lagged. Over the past twenty years, there has been virtually no improvement in forecasting how strong or weak a hurricane will grow. NHC predicted Irene would hit North Carolina as a Category 3 storm, but it hit at Category 1 strength. Had the intensity forecast been better, many evacuations that were done for Irene could have been avoided. The failure of the intensity forecast led to many accusations that the storm was over-hyped, and an unnecessary amount of expensive preparations and evacuations were done. While I did see some over-hype by the media, I did not think it was more excessive than what has been the case for previous hurricanes. Nate Silver of the New York Times makes some interesting comparisons of the media attention given to Irene versus previous storms, and finds that Irene had about the same amount of media attention as hurricanes Ike and Gustav of 2008. Given in inexperience of the mid-Atlantic and New England coasts with hurricanes, our lack of skill in making intensity forecasts, and the potential for high storm surge damage due to the size of Irene and its landfall during the highest tides of the month, I thought that the overly cautious approach to evacuations along the coast was warranted.
Teri Wells sold about a dozen sets of used scuba gear yesterday. Click draft-11-scuba-ad version 1 to view the 2011 Used Scuba Equipment sales flyer. I think the flyer says the regulator does not include a compass. That is not correct. The gauge console includes depth, tank pressure and compass.
Keep those devastated by Hurricane Irene in your prayers.
Capt. Steve Willis
Aboard S/V Escape