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Friday, June 02, 2006

Albany Was Perfect


The great thing about living in Albany, NY has been that, geographically and meteorologically, it's as close to perfect. Really.

We don't get a lot of earthquakes, as they do in California. I've felt only two in New York in my life, both 5.1 with the epicenter far north of here, in 1983 and 2002. (See page 29 of the PDF.)

We can get tornados, but we're not in the alley that lies in Midwest.

We're not in the desert Southwest, where brushfires threaten homes.

We're not along the Mississippi River's flood plain, which devastated homes in the 1990s, although there can be localized flooding.

While we had 26 inches of snow in a March 1993 storm (and more in a March 1888 event, but I wasn't around then), a lot of the snowstorms tends to go off the coast in recent years. The lake effect snow that sometimes hits the area from Buffalo to Syracuse, and especially north of Syracuse, usually doesn't reach this far east.

And we're not in the Gulf Coast or the southeast Atlantic Coast, where hurricanes are likely to strike.

All those conversations about whether to rebuild, from SF in 1906 to NO in 2005, just haven't applied.

So it was disappointing to learn that in the 2006 hurricane season, which officially started yesterday, not only is likely to be as intense as the 2005 season, but also that it is much more likely to strike the Northeast. Now I'm 150 miles from NYC, so it probably won't hit us directly, as it might in Long Island (where the major insurers are REFUSING to offer any more flood insurance). I remember, though how a major storm (I'm thinking Andrew in 1992, though it may have been Hugo in 1989) can really pack a punch, even inland.

Actually, the strangest weather pattern I ever experienced in Albany is something called a derecho. No, I'd never heard of it before either. On July 15, 1995, I was awakened by a wind that felt as though it would shatter the glass of my bedroom window. It passed through, but not before knocking down a bunch of trees in nearby Washington Park. Elsewhere, it toppled a tree that nearly killed a member of the church I then attended.

Will our good weather pattern hold, or will our luck run out? In which case, I'll have to move to Albany,...Oregon or somewhere.
***
We did get caught in a storm yesterday after work in the Home Depot parking lot. It was brief (30 minutes) but intense, with nickel-size hail, occasional downpours, lots of lightning and the loudest thunder I can recall. We waited it out in the car.
That's at least 10 of the last 13 days where it has rained in Albany.

3 comments:

EM said...

A couple of years ago we had a derecho here in Louisville. The wind was incredible. Much of the city was without power, most for several days. Trees were down all over the place.

At our house, a HUGE tree fell in our back yard and another one hit the front of the house. It damaged the roof a little, but it wasn't serious. We were without power for a week--a muggy, hot, humid Kentucky in July week.

I realized I would have made a lousy pioneer.

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