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Wednesday, September 2, 2009

And They Say You Don’t Have to Worry About Hurricanes in Arizona....

The first clue that a surprise rain storm would materialize Monday night came in the form of a tweet from @jessharter, the dining critic and restaurant blogger at the East Valley Tribune.

I follow Jess on Twitter because he was very enthusiastic about a pumpkin roll I made for a Tribune newsroom potluck in 2000. I figure his excellent taste in food has only gotten better with time.

“Wow, lots of huge lightning flashes just to east of Chandler-Gilbert. Maybe a surprise T-storm on the way?” he said economically, with 34 characters to spare.

Glancing outside, I saw the storm was already about to cross into Phoenix. I put my fantasy football league draft into “auto-pick” mode and raced home.

Not only was I anxious to avoid being on the road during a haboob or a dust storm, but I had a brand new dining room table in the back of my truck that I hadn’t gotten around to unloading. The idea of a violent rainstorm soaking my new table was just slightly more bothersome than the thought of spending another two days roaming throughout IKEA looking for a table again. IKEA shoppers know what I’m talking about.

Here it is, a couple of days later, and the only rainstorm on my mind isn’t even in this country, much less the state. Hurricane Jimena has been twirling on the tip of Baja California but her impact is already being felt here – without so much as a drop of water falling from her clouds.

There were a number of scenarios that would have Hurricane Jimena either dumping untold amounts of moisture somewhere on or around the state, or withering into nothing before the weekend gets here. Or something in between.

Any one of those scenarios would go far in deciding whether our Labor Day weekend is spent in front of a new smoker mastering the art of creating pulled pork sandwiches from Boston butt roasts, or answering the duty phone and responding to flooding issues.

Worse yet, chronic flooding in Nogales occurs whenever the Mexico side gets pelted with rain. Hurricane Jimena wasn’t allaying any fears of that.

However, Hurricane Jimena’s latest track has her skirting the gulf and jetting up the west coast of Baja California, likely lessening the amount of weather rolling into Arizona this weekend as had been previously forecast. The Valley will probably remain devoid of hurricane nastiness, although heavy rain isn't ruled out here -- or anywhere else in the state.

While this development is sure to disappoint the folks who are anxious for a stormy weekend to take the edge off the summer heat, it also means the chance of floods has also decreased.

Works for me. Swap one disaster for another, I say. Now, I can concentrate on the disaster that is a fantasy football team with seven wide receivers and no kickers, thanks to the auto-picker.

1 comment:

David said...

I spent about 5 years working for a disaster relief agency in the late 90s. I've seen the damage and destruction left by hurricanes, floods, ice storms, tornados and typhoons, but I have never heard of a more "disasterous" disaster than your fantasy football auto-draft debacle. Good luck. Call FEMA? Maybe they can help.