An English In Kentucky


















Thursday November 1st 2012    Tim Candler


    Weathermen, because they are rich in jargon, use the word 'frontogenesis' and 'frontolysis,' to describe the initial building up and the final dissipation of a weather 'front,' which is the part where two air masses of different temperatures and densities meet.  Between  'frontogenesis' and 'frontolysis' there is a life span, a period of time when air masses comingle.  During the course of this life span there could be a whole range of weather events, which can include Tornado or straight line winds, or drizzle.   A Hurricane has its genesis in a warm Atlantic, when cooler air mass undercut a warmer air.  Cooler air pushes warmer air upwards, reducing atmospheric pressure as it does so, which means there is a gradient in the atmosphere, or wind.  The greater the gradient becomes, the higher the winds.  Atlantic Hurricanes traditionally  travel from their genesis, just above the Equator off the Coast of Africa, in a North Westerly direction, then  they begin to turn toward the North.  Across Honduras, or up into the Gulf of Mexico, or up through Florida, or north along the east Coast, or just out there somewhere in the Northern part of the Western Atlantic.  Then, Atlantic Hurricanes, as they reach the conclusion of their time with us usually head toward the North East.

    Hurricane Sandy, is not the first to break with  tradition, at the end of his or her life he or she, gave tradition no second thought and turned directly toward the West. The question for many appears to ask whether Sandy's turn toward the West resulted from a set of unusual circumstances, unlikely to be repeated, an anomaly, a freak.   Or whether Atlantic weather patterns are in a process of change that will result in an increase in the frequency of thoughtless characters like Sandy.  This question contains the elements that have through the generations caused minds to yearn for certainty through wisdom.  This yearning is the origin of cathedrals such as philosophy, science, mathematics, engineering, as well as those more enduring cathedrals and their sometimes odious churches. Tempting sometimes to think all of these edifices as belonging to a chimera, or a figment in existence.  And here,  I guess my own view is as self serving as that of anyone else's.  I think Sandy heard about the coming election here in the United States, and became suddenly pissed off with the Republicans.  And yes, when my time comes I'll be welcomed in hell because that's where Dodo and Passenger Pigeon are found.


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