After spending much of the day studying Charley, I continued through the evening. The amount of data is astounding. No one person could ever absorb it all in real time.
I have a few friends who email or IM me through these periods. I reciprocate, though I’m afraid I import more than I export.
There’s recon and imagery and models. Information is always conflicting. Nothing is simple or straightforward. It sometimes seems as if similar storms act differently under the same conditions.
They’re just too complex, and then planted in any equally complex and variable environment.
Watching a hurricane is like watching a car accident, in slow motion. Looking at my charts and maps, I have a pretty good idea what’s going on in relatively real time. Punta Gorda and the Fort Myers area were getting pounded.
Even in shelters, it had to be a once in a lifetime afternoon of terror for anyone there.
By 10:00 PM we were starting to see enough video from Florida’s West Coast to know it had been awful. A roof being blown off a post office. Homes shattered. Trees snapped. We haven’t seen anything from the barrier islands. It must have been awful.
The storm maintained enormous strength, even as it moved across Florida. The wind gusted to 92 mph at Orlando International. That’s impressive.
By the time Charley reached Daytona Beach the radar was starting to show an eye that was more implied than seen. Now Charley’s in the Atlantic, warm, though not anywhere near as warm as the Gulf.