Friday, August 24, 2007

Looking out for Hurricane Dean

33,000 ft. Somewhere above Mississippi.

Looking down at earth it looks like someone has scattered thousands of small fluffy clusters of cotton-wool from the heavens above and they are now floating a few thousand feet above ground, somehow suspended, not heavy enough to float down to earth, not light enough to rise to the stratosphere and disappear. Below this layer of tiny cloud clusters lazes a quilt of different shades of green and brown. Rectangular, circled, squared and snaky patterns cover the quilt in their magnitude. For quite some time our airplane flies alongside the large brown monster, the Mississippi River, as it coils and snake across the landscape. Barges and sandbanks clearly visible, even from 10 kilometers into the sky.

It was a week of will it or won’t it. And if it does, should I or shouldn’t I. In the end absolute nothing happened where I was in Monterrey, Mexico. I am talking of course of hurricane Dean. In the end the hurricane kept to a southern route because of a high pressure system over southern USA, which kept the southeastern states frying and temperatures near the 100 degrees Fahrenheit. But it could have swung northwest and it did a little after it made a second landfall in Mexico. Our worry at the factory was that it would hit the Sierra Madre Occidental mountain range, which surrounds Monterrey, and then drop a lot of rain. Even a regular summer thunderstorm turns some Monterrey streets into rivers. The remnants of a hurricane are cause for concern because of the possibility of major a flood. But, as I said, in the end we only had a little bit of wind and a few drops of rain while I was there. Thankfully!

And it’s good to head home again to familiar faces, familiar places and a tiny bit of continuous rest. Not that I be spared a few hours of weekend work! But that will have to wait until late Sunday.
Photo: by David Morales/Reuters - Cancun, Mexico. 8/19/2007

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