Hurricane Irma, Now a Category 5 Storm, Threatens the Caribbean and Florida

The “potentially catastrophic” storm recorded maximum winds near 185 m.p.h. just hours ahead of its expected landfall in the Caribbean on Tuesday night.

Comments: 279

  1. Winds of 175 miles an hour. But nooooo, no climate change?

  2. Why of course not, that would be against GOP ideology.

  3. You don't think these kind of storms occurred long before people started talking about global warming and climate change?

    When I was in junior high, we were all taught in science class that the planet was suffering from global cooling. We were on the brink of another ice age and we were all going to die.

    When science becomes politicized like it has today, it ceases to be science.

  4. Sounds like weather to me.

  5. Could it be global warming? Or maybe climate change? I forget

  6. It is both, Rose, and they are related. Global warming is the frightening upward trend in global temperature across the board. Climate change is the resultant trend towards severe weather extremes that we are seeing now. I know, it's funny, right?

  7. The US military considers both a "present security threat".

  8. Yes. It's real and it's now.

  9. A cat 5 hurricane is about to "hit" Puerto Rico! Does this not deserve more attention in this article?

  10. So President Trump and Gov. Scott have spoken. Has he spoken with Gov. Rossello? Can the U.S. citizens of Puerto Rico count on the "full resources of the federal government" too? Will Puerto Ricans in Florida and Texas take note and vote accordingly in 2018 and 2020?

  11. Puerto Ricans in FL and TX aren't the reason Trump was elected. And, no - you can be sure DJT will not be reassuring PR.

  12. Only if it hits New York

  13. Enough to make an atheist believe in God

  14. But not enough to make republicans believe is science.

  15. No... but it should be enough for a believer to doubt the whole enterprise of the caring sky-daddy. Humanity is firmly in control (at this point) of creating it's own future, or lack of one.

  16. Enough, I hope, to make the "God-fearing" accept climate science.

  17. A category 5 hurricane is scheduled to hit Florida on Sunday according to the latest weather forecast. They think it will hit the south Florida coast and proceed up the middle of the state. As a veteran of many Florida hurricanes I should not be too worried but this one seems different. It will be the first time in the nation's history that two large storms hit the US mainland in the same season. Really, just weeks apart. We can only hope that Florida will not sustain the same damage that Texas did just a week ago. If we do, I hope that we Floridians can weather that storm with the same aplomb that the residents of Houston did.

  18. Actually, hurricanes Katrina and Rita were back to back in 2005. 2.5 weeks apart.

  19. Wasn't Wilma right in line then, too? It makes sense that conditions that produce one storm could easily produce more a lot like it.

  20. The U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico are part of the U.S. Florida is part of the U.S. Mainland. Let's be more precise in our terminology.

  21. Looks like its heading straight toward Mar-A-Lago.

  22. No problem. It will be rebuilt more beautiful than before with tax payer dollars.

  23. God is speaking! BUT is the donald & the GOP listening? Guessing NOT!

  24. If Mar-a-Lago is destroyed you can bet it will be tax payers and the Federal Government footing the bills. And the unfortunate people of Miami and Florida will also be devastated . I am praying Irma weakens and stays away. It would just be sickening to watch resources being diverted to safeguard and repair Trump's gilded nest.

  25. Welcome to the future. Brought to you ahead of schedule and under budget, thanks to things like pandering to the coal industry, subsidizing the oil industry with bargain-basement leases to drill in sensitive areas, and the head-in-the-sand perspective of the global-warming, climate-change deniers "leading" us into tomorrow.

    The yugest question about the next few days is: What superlatives will President Trump come up with when Mar-a-Lago is waist deep in the Atlantic?

  26. Then perhaps he will find out about having that "good time" he wished for the people dealing with Harvey's devastation. I suppose he has plenty of other locations he could designate the winter White House.

  27. More fake news, just like Hurricane Harvey, designed to divert our attention from what's really important in making America great again: Shutting down the government and destroying the full faith and credit of the United States.

  28. Build a wall to keep Irma away!!

  29. Please, merciful Father, let Irma veer away from our shores. We've had enough already. We're still trying to recover from Harvey. Please do not give our country and our citizens more than they can handle.

  30. random chance. and there is another one that is developing and it is on course for the Eastern United States... so if you're right and there is a god, it's sending you a message... should not have elected Trump..

  31. Storms of this magnitude and heat waves like those in CA. Will not only continue but get worse if we don't come to terms that our behavior is affecting these climate events.

  32. Hopefully it veers away from everyone's shores. A sharp north turn of the track would be nice. If it does slam into somewhere, however, the US, as the richest nation in the world, is in the best shape to absorb the damage, rather than the poorer countries to the south.

  33. Your article mentions that according to the latest forecasts "Irma could hit Puerto Rico and then the northern half of the Dominican Republic, before rolling toward Cuba at the end of the week". I wonder why there is no mention of Haiti. Will Irma somehow skip over that country on its way from the D.R. to Cuba?

  34. As the climate warms, more energy and moisture are retained in the atmosphere. These hurricanes are only going to become more frequent and powerful. We stand at the precipice of altering our climate beyond repair, and yet, we have a sitting president who denies the very existence of the problem and one major political party that functions as a mouth piece for the industry that created the problem. Truly horrifying.

  35. Pg Maryland: Truly horrifying for the rest of us, but OH-SO-LUCRATIVE for the politicians who are paid off by the fossil fuel industry. THEY are the people who should be carried off in a hurricane! The lot of them! The ones who receive the pay offs, and ones who pay out the pay offs should be swept away to God-Knows-Where. But these corrupt, greedy, selfish low lifes are never the ones who bear the resulting horrors of their collusion, greed, and immorality. It is the rest of us who do. There is no justice.

  36. Minky, you mean like the race industry?, or the climate change industry?, or the mainstream media perpetual progressive industry?

  37. Nope, TMJ. I mean what I said, not what you said. The things you mention are absurd and untrue, and they are right wing fallacies/absurdities/blatant nastiness. Of course that is my opinion, and you are entitled to yours. Regards, Minky P.S. just one issue: if you think that climate change is a fallacy, just look what is happening with hurricanes right now, and with the heat wave in the Pacific Northwest. Eventually you will broil in Ohio, if you are not already cooking. The escalation of heat and natural disasters is a direct result of climate change.

  38. If Trump had not pulled out of the Paris Accords this would be a category 3 Hurricane or maybe even just a tropical storms.

  39. Well, no, but just because there hasn't been enough time for that move to have much effect doesn't mean that it wasn't a mistake.

    This storm has been uneffected, probably, but something else in the future could be. The entire Paris conference thing is like the most important political issue ever. It's certainly true that a lot hinges on climate change, whether it's now or years from now.

  40. "The center of Irma was about 410 miles east of the Leeward Islands, which include Puerto Rico, as of late Monday and was expected to pass over them Tuesday night or early Wednesday."

    Why is this not a bigger part of this article, or a story in its own right? Puerto Rico is a US territory. I have family in Florida but I still care about people outside the continental US.

  41. Never mind the fact that Puerto Rico is not part of the Leeward Islands, it's just the easternmost island in the Greater Antilles (i.e. PR, Hispaniola, Jamaica, and Cuba).

  42. Yeah but we cant afford to do anything about Climate Change because of those coal jobs.

  43. You're so right, all 537 jobs he created...and 36 more to come...MAGA

  44. Oh, and there is another tropical depression forming just where Irma formed and it is heading west. Too much hot water makes too much water vapor makes big storms makes big trouble for anything in its path. I wonder, how did that water get so hot. Couldn't be heat trapping gases in the atmosphere radiating heat back to the oceans. No, the God of Greed just wouldn't allow it.

  45. Will Irma finally make politicians pay attention to reality rather than the propaganda and donations of the Koch brothers and other members of the fossil fuel lobby?

  46. William P Mitchell Plantation, FL 5 hours ago

    "Will Irma finally make politicians pay attention to reality rather than the propaganda and donations of the Koch brothers and other members of the fossil fuel lobby?"

    Simple answer, NO. Money is their God.

  47. This is like the first hurricane ever and it is so unprecedented that it came during hurricane season. By god it must be a West Virginia coal industry made super storm! You know, the kind of climate change made by Republicans and corporations. It certainly wasn't caused by all the hot air blown by progressives.

  48. Thank God it will only visit its ire on those rugged individualist, anti-Federal government, Red State folks who believe everyone should pull themselves up by their own bootstraps.

    They can happily thumb their nose at all those progressives while refusing all Federal funding to rebuild their businesses, homes, and lives.

    Yeah, right.

  49. Actually, not made by the coal industry. Made by all of us who use carbon fuels. The idiocy is in denying the opinions of scientists for political reasons. Since when did science become political? And please don't tell me that there's a worldwide conspiracy amongst scientists that somehow is economically based or politically based. That would only prove that you not only don't understand science, you don't understand scientists.

  50. 175mph winds is not a common thing. Category 5s used to be rare.

  51. It is similar to the story of God sending plague after plague to convince the Pharaoh to let his people go--what will it take to convince the climate change deniers and Tea Party politicians that climate change is real and the federal government provides vital services?

  52. No, it's not "similar to the story of God is sending plague to convince the
    Pharaoh. to let his people go ", in which God PASSED OVER the homes
    of the Israelites who were the slaves.

    A similar story would be one in which God send the plague only to the the homes the climate change deniers and the Tea Party politicians , PASSED OVER the homes, and property of those who believe in climate change, Democrats, those who are in favor of health care coverage for all ,and spared the lives of all such individuals, which was not the case .

    I am a Democrat ,who believes in climate change. That did not protect me
    or any of my fellow New York Sandy Victims, who are Democrats,believe in climate change, support that quality. health care be made available to all Americans,
    and so forth.

  53. As a fellow Sandy victim, I understand your point

  54. As I-75 and I-95 are the only two main roads leading north out of southern Florida, I think I would be planning on leaving the area sooner rather than later. The storm looks like it will reach south Florida on the weekend. That's particularly problematic.

    Back in the 1990s, I was in Tallahassee when the state ordered an evacuation of the western panhandle for a small-ish tropical storm. I-10 was gridlocked for hours and most people hoping to find hotel rooms in Tallahassee were out of luck because they arrived in the city on a Saturday when FSU alumni were present in large numbers for a football game. This Saturday, both Florida State and Florida have home games scheduled. The governor would be wise to order those games postponed.

  55. I certainly hope the storm spares Florida great damage, but maybe Florida and Texas should consider instituting a state income tax so they could take some responsibility for the preparation and clean-up in these big storms, which seem to be stronger and more frequent due to climate change. I'm so weary of the GOP and their minions denying climate change, wrecking our environment for profit, and bashing the federal government until it's time for them to put their hands out, when they continue to spit on the rest of us while they depend on our help.

  56. We have an 8.5% sales tax. That is effective, and equitable: One is taxed based upon consumption rather than contribution.

    BTW: I'm a retiree living on Social Security, so reducing the sales tax would be in my interest. I can still recognize a sales tax as a state's source of moneys as a reasonable approach.

  57. We have among the highest property taxes in the nation, a trade off for having no income tax, and a high sales tax. I'm not sure a specific type of tax is the solution, but state lawmakers recognizing the problems and being WILLING to fund the solutions, is the big issue.

  58. So it doesn't really matter if it blows Porto Rico, Cuba, Haiti and Dominican Republic of the world map, they live in barracks anyway ..., but god, please, please spare Florida and our nice beach houses …

  59. Perhaps our wise leaders in the House of Representatives would like to tack another $7-8 billion onto the emergency aid for victims of Harvey? Florida,
    Georgia and the Carolinas did vote GOP in 2016, just like Texas and Louisiana.

  60. "The Trump Administration’s 2018 federal budget proposal doubles down on attempts to weaken our nation’s ocean and coastal arm, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), with a dramatic cut of 16 percent from the enacted 2017 omnibus budget. Several NOAA divisions are recommended for slashing and important coastal and ocean management, research, and education programs would be eliminated entirely if Congress went along with this proposal." NRDC May 24th, 2017

    Trumpy Dumpty sat on a wall.

  61. A VAT or consumption tax may be in order if two major hurricanes hit the US in a monthand the cost of clean-up rises to multiples of tens of billions of dollars. Americans must realize that we need to pay for the government services we demand; adding to the budget deficit and the national debt should stop being an option. So far, citizens want government services but have been unwilling to pay for them through income taxes. Time to try a broader VAT or consumption tax approach with exclusions for food and clothing to avoid unfairly taxing the poor for necessities.

  62. The working class has been paying more than its fair share for a long time. Perhaps large profitable corporations and rich people could step up to the plate?

  63. If we funded the military the way other developed nations do we would have and extra two or three hundred billion to take care of infrastructure. It's not a tax collection problem. It's a tax and revenue appropriation problem.

  64. I wuld suggest a VAT related anything to do with golf: Golf clubs, Golf club membership fees, golf clothing caddies and caddy carriers and off course dinner parties at golf clubs ... Lets say a 200% rate, these are the rich, no need to hold back .. they won't eeven notice on their bills..
    You could be sure not to impact the poor and those denying climate change are the first in line ... :)

  65. A number or years ago when California was suffering from terrible flooding, a prominent evangelical, maybe Roberts, said it was God's punishment for all the gays in California. So, is this God's punishment of two red states for electing an anti-Christian president, many of which are evangelicals that have been trying to ram their self-righteous philosophy down America's throat? Perhaps there is punishment for hypocrisy. Unfortunately, it brings down other Americans with more rational views on the world.

  66. Snark may be the fun response, but when it comes to natural disasters I think empathy is the nobler response. A very large number of residents in the path of these storms are not members of the reactionary right. I don't wish a hurricane (or other natural disaster) upon anyone - because it is just by luck that it does not happen to me and my family.

  67. I take your point about there being a lot of decent Americans who are also in the line of fire from yet another record breaking extreme weather event.
    However, I can also understand why a lot of people are angry at the climate change denial of the last 30 years that has caused this massive increase in extreme weather events all over the world.
    After 30 years of being called 'ecofascists' or 'frauds on a gravy train' or 'alarmists' and a hundred other hate-filled attacks by mindless and ignorant climate change deniers it is hardly surprising if some of them want to see these morons get a wake up call before it's too late - if it isn't already that is.

  68. Chinese hoax just the last few days Texas endured a 1,000 year storm, the Pacific Northwest and Northern California was the hottest in the over 100 years of record keeping, and now Irma is the most powerful Atlantic hurricane in 10 years, and an unprecedented bubble of toxic hot air still hovers over Washington, D.C.

  69. Could NOT have said it more effectively. Thank you for a moment of serious humor in this horrid mix of recovery, rebuilding, and comforting those who have been damaged by Harvey and will be by Irma.

  70. I certainly hope that Irma dissipates before any damage occurs.

    That being said, this certainly gives Trump an out for funding and building a Border Wall. The money will be needed for more important projects, like rebuilding the lives of people affected by the storms.

  71. The Texas people will be up in arms if they start building a wall along its southern border, instead of helping to fix Harvey's damage. Lit'rally. That's what my crystal ball shows... but the future is fluid. Perhaps Congress will make the right choices. (One can't exactly hold out that hope for the current POTUS.)

  72. It gives Congress an out for not passing any funding. Trump is relentless in the nonsense he spews to his base about making someone else pay for this boondoggle.

  73. After trashing the Paris Accords, using Hurricane Harvey as a photo-op/launch opportunity for his billionaire tax cut and destruction of EPA and other environmental controls, Karma Specialists might predict that Irma, would become a Cat. 5 Hurricane and make a bee-line for Mar-A-Lago. VOICE OF GOD: "So you really insist on this being all about you, Donald?"

  74. Most of Palm Beach County voted for Hillary and most of us hate Trump so please don't include us in your wish for a Cat 5 hitting Palm Beach.
    Thanks, Sammy (Palm Beach County).

  75. Are there any projections about when it might hit along the coastline?

  76. There's nothing like the personal to capture attention. Perhaps if Mar a Lago is damaged President Trump will stop claiming that climate change is a made up notion of the Chinese.

    And I hope he's well insured, because Mar a Lago is NOT an official White House, and the tax payers should not be on the hook for any damages.

  77. Oh, don't worry--just as he did, post-Sandy, I'm sure Trump will have his hand out for Federal funds if Mar-a-Loco is damaged.

  78. Are you kidding? That's the place that has the best ever chocolate cake in the world. Just ask the Chairman Xi Jinping.

  79. I assume Trump will claim that rebuilding Mar a Lago is another security upgrade like all the ones we taxpayers already paid for at his multiple profit- making properties.

  80. Something tells me that, in any rescue effort, Palm Beach will get special attention.

  81. As with Texas and now with Florida we will see a lesson in either hypocrisy ...or ignorance.
    They will loudly thank god for surviving the horrible hurricane...
    ...the same god that could've prevented the hurricane in the first place.
    Will they ever learn?

  82. Just a note - this storm track is similar to Hurricane Andrew's which shaved South Florida, moved into the Gulf then slammed into the same region Harvey visited last week. It's going to be a very long week.

  83. It didn't shave South Florida it destroyed South Florida. Praying it won't happen this time but you always have to be prepared

  84. As nature goes her mindless way, following the laws of physics, we who with parallel mindlessness pumped our gaseous wastes into the air, have changed the formula and are tipping the scale toward violent weather. Like any bad habit that feels good, correcting it involves sacrifice. Still, even with the evidence smacking us in the face we just keep pumping. We put the blame on the selfish rich, but they are us... just luckier. We can be cynically rich or credulously evangelical or selfishly disengaged, but we - all of us - are going to ride these rapids of changing climate together.

  85. Know any rich people and their obscene excesses? Thought not.
    Know any wealthy industrialist and the consequences of their greed? Thought not. No Will we are not all the same in our contribution to destruction of our planet, but advancing your line of thought lets the great offenders off the hook.

  86. "We put blame on the selfish rich ,but they are us...just luckier."

    There are wealthy people who are not selfish. In fact, a number of
    wealthy people are great philanthropists I know some of them personally.. Those included my grandparents,late father, and mother, who have donated millions to those less fortunate than themselves, as well as substantial portions of their time .

    The rich aren't necessarily "luckier. " My grandparents buried a four year old child. I wouldn't call that "lucky". My father died of a sudden heart attack at age 51,leaving a 49 year old widow and five children behind.

    My mother wanted to have :"He lived to Give" etched into my father's tombstone,
    My father gave more of his time and money than he could afford to .

    If I were wealthy ,I would be donating substantial funds to help Hurricane victims.

  87. Interesting that the Times -- and Trump -- emphasize Irma's possible impact on Florida more than on Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands -- which are in more immediate danger.

  88. Trump probably doesn't realize that Puerto Ricans and US Virgin Islanders are US citizens.

  89. We are thinking of all of you in that area, with much love and light....

  90. Enough with "love and light."

    How about smart policy backed by scientific evidence to try and lessen the impact of natural disasters?

    Unfortunately, voters in harms way prefer prayers.

  91. They don't need your 'love and light' - whatever that is supposed to mean.,
    We need a WW2 scale global operation to reduce CO2 emissions.

  92. Climate change denier and Federal government hater Governor Scott already on TV begging for Federal (ie. Blue State) funds for Florida. These dudes are pathetic. We should make them sign an apology and a statement agreeing that climate change is real as a condition before getting a single penny.

  93. What are people doing to prepare for these hurricane events? There are usually several days advance warning.

    Here on the West Coast we don't get a warning on earthquakes. So we prepare in advance ... an evacuation plan, anticipating which roads may be blocked due to downed bridges, bottled water, a wrench next to the gas valve at all times, etc.

    What are people in hurricane zones doing to prepare in advance for these events? You are fortunate to have several days notice. Use them wisely.

  94. Who could have imagined hurricanes could be so destructive??

  95. Just out of curiosity….why are store shelves always empty of water when everyone can just turn on their taps now before the storm to get all the water they need (and more than they could ever buy)? Otherwise, good luck to those in harms way.

  96. Have you ever been to or lived in Florida? The tap water there is horrendous and not exactly safe for drinking, though the authorities try to claim it is. Look at water reports that compare it to anywhere in New York, for instance, and see the difference. I went to high school in Fort Lauderdale (actually Davie, FL but it's the same thing), and the water there is known to be yellow and have chunks of "things" floating in it. That's DEFINITELY the water you want to bottle and save for drinking, bathing, etc. after a storm. And don't worry -- you'll definitely not be able to boil it once the electricity is out, because almost no one has gas stoves/cooking in South Florida.

  97. Well I guess you could take the time to clean and sterilize plastic bottles to store all that water in but I would assume it is cheaper/easier to just buy it.
    Remember it needs to be easily movable if case you need to bug out, so filling the bathtub isn't a option. If you stay water could be shut off for weeks so quantity is important as is quality since you wont be able to just boil it before drinking.

  98. Ummm - do you have dozens of half-gallon containers sitting around your home at any given time? I don't think filling even every glass in your home would be enough.

  99. The people in positions to lead the recovery (Republicans) have the precisely wrong system of beliefs needed to perform the short-term rebuild and craft the long-term policies that will help protect our country moving forward.

    Here is what our Republican leaders believe, in the words of their patron saint, Ronald Reagan: "The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, 'I'm from the government and I'm here to help.'"

    Here is what our Republican leaders do not believe, against a total international scientific consensus (except Syria): man is responsible for climate change and it is creating increasingly dangerous situations for humanity.

    If Republicans stick to their laurels, Houston (and potentially Miami) will be underwater for decades due to lack of government assistance, our country will continue to be unprepared for events such as these that are becoming more and more likely, and we will do nothing to help mitigate the fact that humans contribute to this destruction.

    If Republicans do not maintain their principles, we will have been witness to the exposure of the single greatest hypocrisy the world has ever seen.

    The situation is incomprehensible and just terribly sad.

  100. Climate change doesn't cause such events, but the additional energy trapped in the atmosphere and oceans amplifies them.

    The complacency of Americans is sadly evident by the continued demand for massive, gas-guzzling trucks and SUVs that even now roll off production lines in the US.

  101. Actually, climate change is what causes the atmosphere to hold more water. More water in atmosphere leads to such storms.

  102. Stop you're both right. Higher temperature = more energy by definition, and warmer atmosphere holds more water as vapor.

  103. Who knows what the world would be like today if we had taken seriously President Carter's warning about global warming delivered from the Oval Office 35 years ago. Instead, we embraced Ronald Reagan and coal as he removed the solar panels from the roof of the White House. To paraphrase Teresa of Avila, be careful what you ask for, America.

  104. Enough with the climate change. Hurricanes have been happening forever. Powerful hurricanes have battered this region since the beginning of such recordings. If you live in that region you deal with it, and you are certainly not surprised by such storms. August and September are extremely busy times for the tropics during hurricane season so again, no surprise that storms follow one another.

  105. Individual storms, yes. But such a warm ocean to feed the hurricanes, no.

  106. Really? How often do Cat 4 or 5 hurricanes hit the U.S.? Katrina was just a 3 when she hit. Harvey was a 4 and now, just a few days after Harvey Irma is already a 5. Sorry, but this intensity is not "normal."

  107. I know, right? I mean year after year after year, major hurricanes hit the southern US within weeks of one another. And all this about "record breaking rainfall for the continental US" - no-one really believes that matters, do they? Certainly, southeast Texas is just laughing it off.

  108. Will Congress, and state legislatures EVER plan AHEAD for these disasters, which will become worse and worse, as the environment heats up thanks to environmental damage?

  109. Of course not. We have oil and coal folks in charge now and they have a vested interest in denying that such things could happen. It's important to their bottom line that we believe that global warming is a hoax and preparing for the "once in 500 years" storm every couple of weeks would kind of mean that, yeah, global warming is actually happening and we should prepare for it.

  110. Not while they're still debating the science of climate change.

  111. Actually Trump recently got rid of rules regarding infrastructure building that took into account climate change and raising water levels......

  112. A lot of the models are suggesting it could track into the Gulf and hit the west coast of Florida. We won't need 50 inches of rain to submerge Tampa-St. Petersburg. 2 of the 3 biggest states getting pummelled by major hurricanes within weeks of each other will surely raise some "skeptics" eyebrows, right?


  113. Not really. It's not that unusual.

  114. Nah

  115. Crickets...

  116. As I mentioned a few days ago saying "Florida is next", I did not imagine it could happen so quickly. I am sure that when (not if) a catastrophic storm does hit Florida, we will see the same stories of heroism, sacrifice and selflessness that always follows natural disasters.

    However what happens when the next storm hits, and the next?

    Unfortunately, I don't think that even the greatest climate change denailists think it'll be 500 years before the next "500 year" storm hits. (I know that's not exactly what the statistics mean but you get my point). When this kind of event happens every 20 years, or 10 or even 5, will people still be willing to help thy neighbor? More importantly will they be willing to rebuild or will anyone be willing to insure them?

    I never imagined when I first started paying attention to the climate debate over a decade ago, that I would see any kind of indisputable local evidence while I was still alive. Now it seems like there will be no way to avoid it.

    Anyway, perhaps instead of sticking to the dry technical language of science perhaps here is a phrase that may resonate with the doubters:

    "They that sow the wind shall reap the whirlwind"

  117. Well said.
    In 2004 Mississippi governor Haley Barbour sided with the Bush-Cheney “doctrine” of CO2 good, Climate Change-ain’t happening fools.

    Barbour was beholden to the Fossil Fuel Industry...but boy did he change after Katrina.

    All it took was the catastrophic destruction of the Louisiana and Mississippi Gulf coast from Katrina. That whirlwind STILL impacts the lives and economy of those Gulf States after 12 years. The human suffering alone cannot be given a cash equivalency. Not with the Ninth Ward destroyed along with the 1800 people who died.

    I read the non-fiction book “Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital” by Dr. Fink. As an MD I read about good doctors and nurses having to make the decision to give life ending IV drugs to hasten death for people in a hospital at ground zero without electricity and communication.

    What a seminal time in US medicine. When ebola broke out in Western Africa I worked with Doctors Without Borders. There were so many patients and we didn’t have intensive care units, professional medical personnel, and supplies taken for granted here in the USA. Dozens of people died EVERY DAY.

    The media is too sanitized here.During the Vietnam War, fighting and death were on the evening news. Perhaps if we ACTUALLY showed the 60 bodies found-so far in Texas and Louisiana, that would change some minds about Climate Change.
    Trump actually thought that the 1200 people in a Houston Shelter were partying. "Have a good time!”

  118. From the look of the map, it appears that Irma is headed straight into the Gulf of Mexico. I just read a story about how rampant development combined with rising sea levels have put a big target on the Tampa Bay area. Since many of us want to pooh-pooh science, is there a dove whose entrails Gov. Rick Scott can consult? Or should everyone take a look across the gulf at Houston and get the hell out now?

  119. I noticed that, too. It seems the thrust of the storm will slip between Cuba and South Florida.

    I wonder if it will gain/regain strength and batter the Gulf Coast.

  120. A major hurricane hitting Tampa Bay will make Harvey look like an April shower. Hundreds, maybe thousands, will die.

  121. Once it gets into the Gulf anything can happen. After leveling Homestead in '92, Andrew made a second landfall near Morgan City, La. I worry about New Orleans. I hope they're getting ready.

  122. This category 5 hurricane will surely bring louder 'WOWS' from the microbrain-in-chief. He'll be so mesmerized by the intensity that he'll forget to put his
    $1,000,000. check in the mail to Houston. A tax deductible 'chump-change' personal donation from the man who really doesn't have any idea what the 'real' people of Houston need, as he admitted he didn't know to whom he would send it, is one more embarrassing Trump moment.

  123. @Oma:

    "...microbrain-in-chief..." LOL

  124. IF he does indeed donate 1m it will come from his "charity". He doesn't spend his own money.

  125. Glad this stuff is a hoax! Fake news that's not actually happening!

  126. But lets remember what our president said--climate change is a hoax.
    Glad he got us out of that stupid Paris Climate Treaty...

  127. God to Trump: I got your Mar-A-Lago right here!

    Keep repeating: "Global warming is a Chinese hoax." D. J. Trump

    This isn't global warming/ climate change, it's just really bad luck. Sorta like having Trump in the White House.

    If only the rest of Florida can be spared.

  128. Just in case the dishonest press is not reporting a fake hurricane it might be wise to update your Chinese Hoax Insurance.

  129. If Hurricane Irma hits Mar-a-Lago and turns his palace into an aquarium, I wonder if the president will call Irma "a beautiful thing" and "very nice", as he did in the aftermath of Harvey's destruction of Houston and coastal Texas and Louisiana.

  130. Sure, it is a beautiful thing to get your playground remodeled at the expense of FEMA. Meanwhile, he'll be in Joisey.

  131. For sure this is going to hit somewhere in the U.S. as the second major hurricane in just a couple of weeks, with likely the same personal and economic impact level as experienced with Harvey.
    If I were an evangelical rather than a nontheist, I'd seriously think that God was trying to show great displeasure by striking areas where my faith communities are concentrated. Displeasure at what I can't wonder.

  132. Mar a Fraudo, the southern White House. Guess who pays???

  133. Mother Nature is angry with the United States for messing with her atmosphere and waters for the past century. The reversal of all that the Obama administration tried to do to reverse the wanton emission of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere by the totally clueless/venal Trump administration has finally pushed Mother Nature to the boiling point. We have sown the wind and now we shall reap the whirlwind. And what will Donald the Trumpeter do to blow his horn after Irma hits the U.S.? What was a once in 500year event will become a once in 5 year event, or worse. Wake up all ye climate change deniers.

  134. Katrina, is that you?

  135. More likely Camille.

  136. I support using federal funds to finance recovery efforts after a disaster but it should be governed with foresight, prudence and some accountability. I do not want my tax dollars used to rebuild on the flood plain without meeting stringent building code modifications. States that have lax zoning regs need to be held accountable for chemical plants that endanger people and the environment,etc.

    The GOP and Trump need to make America great again by restoring science and scientist into the decisionmaking process. Trump's massively idiotic vendetta againist climate change initiatives, language and evidence-based research needs to be purged before Congress sends Harvey monies to state governments that deny reality.

    The temperature of waters in the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean are not a Chinese hoax.

  137. Federal government flood relief must be allocated on the same basis to Puerto Rico, Florida and Irma's other potential east coast targets as for Houston and Texas. But property in the Houston area is considerably cheaper compared to property values in Florida and other east coast states. If the federal relief formula takes the form of a percentage of the value of damaged property then such a formula would disadvantage relief going to Texas compared to funds allocated to eastern states.

    So be it.

    States' Rights comes with States' Responsibilities.

  138. Having just moved from the East Coast of Florida to Texas and having been involved in the real estate industry for the past 26 years, I can tell you land in Florida is not nearly as costly as homes in Texas. My own sister just moved from Miami to Houston and wished she could have bought for what she sold for in Miami. I don't think the percentage of value damaged should (and currently doesn't) should factor in. Send help where needed and fix the broken building codes. Building inside of a reservoir as done in Houston should never be allowed.

  139. States' Rights (wink, wink, nudge, nudge).
    Rights to have segregation and Jim Crow and a tiny hope that they can have slaves again.

  140. Texas has a $10 billion dollar "rainy day" fund. Out of respect for the Texas/GOP monetary philosophies not a penny of my tax dollars should be used to help the people of Texas until such time that Texas has minimal resources. The Federal government should apply the same set of requirements on Texas that Texas imposes on its residents before granting aid.

  141. You have to wonder how rainy does it have to get to use the rainy day fund?

  142. RichWa: Your compassion is overwhelming.

  143. Both Mother nature and Kim Jong-un are pointing out the weakness of our positions.

  144. This is beginning to follow the global warming vs air conditioner battle.

    A. C. Is a major cause of global warming, which causes use of more A.C. that then leads to more global warming. So now we have states heavily committed to supporting climate warming deniers that are hotter, using evermore A.C. And getting hit harder by Hurricanes that are fed by warner sea water from ... GLOBAL WARMING due to more use of...A.C.

    We are Doomed!

  145. Governor Rick Scott should be impeached for forbidding the term "climate change" from being mentioned in the Florida legislature.

  146. Note to FEMA:

    No funds can be issued to repair Mar a Largo if they threaten the debt ceiling.

    Thank you,
    The tax payers of the nation.

  147. Folks, don't confuse weather with climate. Climate change is real, but not all weather phenomenon is indicative of climate change.

  148. @ Brian Tilbury
    Would sustained triple digit temperatures in London get your attention.? How about sea water lapping over the London Bridge?

  149. The trick is, to tell which one IS indicative.

  150. This from a guy in London who basically never has to deal with hurricanes. Thanks for the soothing advice, sir.

  151. Funny how states claim they are sovereign until they need MY money.

    I'm getting real tired of helping people pay their mortgages, raise their kids and rebuild their storm damaged homes now MORE than they are paying for some of these things.

  152. Maybe the governors of Florida and Texas will now admit that global warming is real and it is causing more powerful storms and greater flooding than before. How many more hurricanes will it take to convince the deniers of climate science? Or, to be callous about it, should federal aid be predicated on an acknowledgement of climate science? Of course, that would apply to Trump himself and he'll only do that when Mar-a-Lago is under water.

  153. There are two other disturbances near Hurricane Irma, one right behind the hurricane and another just off Mexico in the Gulf. The Atlantic is 2℃ warmer than normal where the disturbances track while the possible El Niño in the Pacific weakened and is gone. Check out the latest Sea Surface Temperature Anomaly page here .

    I don't know how these events will play out but I suspect that it's going to be bad for a lot of people. The web page that NOAA posts for hurricane track prediction is here , and for info on all three disturbance go to this page . The one near Mexico has 60% chance of becoming a hurricane while the one following Irma has an 80% chance of becoming a cyclone. It's tracking right behind Irma and a little closer to the equator.

    Some people still repeat the myth that there's been a lull in hurricanes so climate change is fake, but that's not what the climate scientists have been saying. They said that larger storms have been on the increase.

    Don't expect people like Trump to change their tune, Trump sees disasters as opportunities to buy up real estate so he can jack up the rents. Meanwhile, here near Seattle, ashes rained down last night on the area from the vast forest fires in the West and trees are dying from lack of rain. There is no getting away from climate change without a change in behavior.

  154. Since writing the comment above this morning the disturbance following Irma has been upgraded to Tropical Storm "Jose" and is predicted to track to the Atlantic side of Florida, while Irma could snooker right into the Gulf side and travel up Florida's coast. Irma looks like it could hit the panhandle, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana if it maintains its momentum.

    Jose looks like it'll stay well offshore but the storm surge won't. The Bahamas are going to get hit from both sides during the same week.

  155. Surprise! Exactly as predicted with our climate changes--bigger and more intense storms. These two may not be the end of it this year, either. It is early in the hurricane season. How come so little reporting on weather extremes elsewhere, anyhow? There are heat waves and floods around the world.

  156. Florida native here: lived through a whole slew of hurricanes.

    Unlike Houston, South Florida has an extensive infrastructure of canal systems that allow for drainage and disbursement of water overflow during heavy rain periods and storm surges. The Everglades also works as a natural barrier against catastrophic flooding.

    Florida will fare much, much better than Houston should this storm hit head-on.

  157. I would not be so confident Jen. If this thing hits as a CAT 5 storm buildings will be leveled. Flooding may not be the worst of it.

  158. Interesting information. Curious then, why we see so many reports with videos showing flooded Miami streets that, according to the reporters, flood after nearly every rain. And, all the reporting about Miami construction methodology being altered to allow for rising seas. Are these reports misleading or false? Please share your thoughts as a FLorida native and best of luck with the upcoming storm.

  159. Trump may be getting a lesson in the truth of climate change here in a few days. As it is with most self-centered narcissists, nothing is real and of any concern until it directly affects them.

    Each year, I think, we will see more destructive tornadoes, powerful hurricanes, massive heat waves, and droughts. But it's all cyclical, right?

  160. Please enlighten the rest of us and show us the science behind your climate change theory, the REAL reasons why it is happening.

    I'm guessing you have none, as we do not know the cause.

  161. Read 'Science daily' and other scientific publications and you won't have to have MDB enlighten you. The rest of us have already become aware of the science behind climate change.

  162. Please Times, report on our Caribbean neighbors--let's not be US-centirc in news coverage--it impacts other nations and people, too, not just us!

  163. On my visits to the Caribbean and Central America, they often have cinderblock houses. We should encourage this practice in hurricane-prone areas in the United States. There was a picture in the New York Times of a homeowner tearing down his drywall. A cinderblock house would alleviate that need.

  164. No, it wouldn't. No one wants to live with cinderblock interior walls. No one wants to live in their basement.

  165. They use block because it's cheap. They don't hold up particularly well, especially because they're made from the cheapest stuff around. And the roofs (sheet metal or something far cheaper) are usually the first to go anyway.

  166. Wonder - I agree with your comment on the advantages of cinder block houses in areas like this, BUT.... As the devastating earthquake in Haiti years ago showed, cinder block and masonry houses are only good if they are built with reinforcing steel bars spaced out inside the blocks. And often times, in poor countries with weak building codes, they are not. Built poorly, a cinder block house can be a death trap, especially in an earthquake.

  167. Psychic Karma for FLA for voting Trump. Enjoy the outcome of "shaking up DC" my fellow "citizens."

  168. Boy, think how much worse Irma would be if climate change was real!
    Already a Category Five? Oh...well...we could use some rain...

  169. A new category will soon have to be developed!

  170. Category 666.

  171. How about category 45

  172. Arrhenius using science calculated the effect of CO2 as a "global warming gas" over 100 years ago.

    The last 10 years have been the hottest on record - Storms intensify (Irma now cateegory 5). The capacity of a warmer (human CO2 enriched )atmosphere (Arrhenius effect) to hold more water and deliver more punishing rains! Keep burning Carbon and it will get worse... (than it is...)

    Perhaps spending monies to repair and resuscitate Tx ($150 Billion) and possibly now Fl? will obviate the need for a $20 billion Mexican "walltranza"...

    Perhaps it is too late. President Trump should immediately seek to pass Carbon Fee and Dividend on Carbon produers (polluters) to put monies into ALL American families pockets - $3500 (tax free) per family. Tht would help all providing them with cash to spend (drives the economy) and in Tx (and Fl?) to repair.

  173. I can't say I'm looking forward to this storm but I'm as prepared as I can be. I've only experienced one hurricane, Camille. This looks as if will be the same or worse.

  174. So glad we pulled out of the Paris Accord... I am sure Harvey and Irma are just Chinese hoaxes.

  175. I started seeing garbage about acceptance of LGBT people as the reason for Harvey because God is punishing us. I'm sure we'll hear the same after Irma.

    Why isn't it ever that God is punishing us for electing Trump? Makes much more sense to me.

  176. God hates Evangelicals and is visiting his wrath upon us in retribution for their fetid "prosperity gospel".

  177. Can Trump complete the sale of Mar-a-Lago before it is washed away? Or will some helpful Russian oligarch buy the site regardless?

  178. There is not a "possibility that the US will be hit by back to back major hurricanes", the United States Virgin Islands (emphasis on the United States) and Puerto Rico ARE going to be hit by Irma and will need coverage and help (not to mention the other islands in Irma's path). Please cover these areas in your pre and post storm reporting.

  179. Check out the storm in Gavelstion 1900...largest storm in history...4000 dead...before automobiles.....

  180. Hank, have you considered many people would have been killed by recent storms if we didn't have modern weather forcasting, communications, and transportation?

  181. Before building codes, too.

  182. Largest death toll from a storm, not the largest storm. Hurricane forecasting was not what it is today in 1900. Although reports of the storm came in ahead of its arrival, systems were not in place to disseminate information about the incoming storm, nor did they have a proper understanding of the storm's magnitude. The island also lacked basic protections that it has now, such as sea walls. The storm itself clocked in with winds of 135 mph, making it a category 4 storm.

  183. Yes, there is a good chance Florida will be hit hard by Irma...but before that, the US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico will be hit. SO, the U.S. will definitely be hit hard by Hurricane Irma. Do not conveniently forget that Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands are also part of the U.S. and the people are "Americans" too. There will be even fewer safe places for them to ride out the storm.

  184. They are Americans but also not really. They are territories owned by the U.S. I personally feel we should jettison Puerto Rico as more trouble than it's worth.

  185. Agreed. The news has been completely ignoring that fact. The governor of Puerto Rico has already declared a state of emergency and has asked for the president to do so ahead of the storm. People don't realize that the impacts of the storm will be severe in the Caribbean and that the damage and it will take many years (and billions of US dollars) to recover from the devastation. Most people on the island have done the best that they can to build their homes in such a way to withstand a hurricane, but this is unprecedented. The island hasn't seen anything like this since the 50's.

  186. OK, same Q I posed after Harvey hit, but I'm asking it now, BEFORE Irma hits:

    Why do the residents of SoFlo not evacuate - either by state order, or OF THEIR OWN ACCORD - given what is so utterly plain to see coming? Isn't it logistically easier, less costly & much less dangerous for these same people to get out & spend a few nights in a hotel, or at relatives', while the storm 1) unloads & 2) damages can be assessed? Isn't it easier to pack a sensible bag for such an evacuation before the storm, than to hastily grab whatever's at hand to stuff in a garbage bag in the terrifying midst of same? Even those in wheel chairs, or w/ other complicated medical conditions: easier and WAY SAFER to move them now than in the midst of a natural disaster!! Couldn't Florida have their national guard on stand-by, prepared with appropriate emergency supplies, so they can respond effectively & immediately once the storm moves on?

    I couldn't help but wonder as I watched the tragedy unfold in SE Texas, why we learned nothing from Katrina, & now, as another tragedy heads our way, why we seem to have learned nothing from Katrina OR Harvey.

    Please let's not up the human costs by letting these residents "take their chances", or have our first responders put themselves in harm's way, OR waste federal resources (equipment, supplies, water, food, medicine, shelter) by waiting until these same people are suddenly left compromised in every possible way. Irma's told us she's coming. Now set the table!

  187. Kittredge, I understand why you have posed the question you have posed, but I don't think you understand how many people live in South Florida and how far they would have to drive to get away from a storm of this size. The Florida highway system, unless authorities made changes right now, cannot transport all of the people and their cars to a safer location because they would have to get to at least as far north as Thomasville, GA to be assured of finding safety. The hotel/motel rooms do not exist to hold all of those people, and then you have to factor in pets, children, schools being in session, etc. This movement north would be a logistical nightmare and cost the state's economy millions. Unless these people relocate permanently, no tenable solution exists for safeguarding people from this kind of natural disaster.

  188. Well, it takes at least 5 hours to drive from Fort Myers or Miami to the Georgia state line on an average day. There aren't many hotels in the interior part of the state, outside of Orlando and Kissimmee. Most employers won't give workers time off until there's more certainty about the path of the storm, and many can't afford a couple of nights in a hotel.

  189. Good point. But I have a question even more basic. Why don't Americans build better? Why do people live in flood zones, why do they also live in wood frame ticky-tacky houses and trailer homes in hurricane alley, etc? I don't buy the 'can't afford better' argument. Right now, I am in St Kitts waiting for hurricane Irma as our flight was cancelled. Almost every building here including houses are built of concrete on above sea-level ground. And compared to USA, this is a poor country.

  190. Will Trump demand that the federal government pay to restore Mar-a-Lago after Irma? After all, he took money from the 9/11 recovery funds for one of his NY buildings that he admitted wasn't even damaged. No doubt, he'll feel entitled to do something similar if the "winter White House" is damaged.

  191. Of course, he took money during 9/11. He's a crook, a scoundrel, and has no conscience whatsoever about taking food from the mouth of babes. He has no soul. He loves shiny baubles.

  192. This quote from an article in this paper this morning on President Trump and his rejecting the "Dreamers" dream:
    "As late as one hour before the decision was to be announced, administration officials privately expressed concern that Mr. Trump might not fully grasp the details of the steps he was about to take, and when he discovered their full impact, would change his mind, according to a person familiar with their thinking who spoke on condition of anonymity without authorization to comment on it."
    Does not fully grasp the details.
    We all know he has great problems "grasping" anything. He cannot keep a thought in his mind for 2 seconds. He does not have any original thoughts and cannot grasp anything beyond what a 2nd grader can grasp!
    What have we done?
    How can we expect this man to understand climate change, science, hurricanes and nuclear war?
    What have we done?

  193. Not all of "we" did it. 2.8 million more people said "No" to him, than said "yes." So don't include everyone in the collective horror and guilt.
    People who voted for him have to swallow their pride, admit they made a mistake, and fix it, starting with the primaries.

  194. WE, as in "WE," elected the guy. And many of us think this is wonderful.

    Ergo, "we" got what "we" wanted.

  195. We blew it at the last election. We believe in Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny and the Great Pumpkin. How can you be surprised?

  196. My friend Virginia lives in St Marten and expects landfall at 2.00 pm today. She says she'll be fine because her house is hexagonal, built on a hill using elaborate rebar structuring and shutters. (There are some lessons there for homes built in dangerous positions in the future. Maybe more hexagonal houses?)

    More elegant than Melania, she's as tough as all get out and is only worried about her chickens. Meanwhile, her friends are worried about her.

  197. just have her bring those chicken right inside that hex house. It is what the old timers did.

  198. Religious people apparently believe these storms are proof that god exists. I might suggest they at least entertain the idea that he hates them.

  199. Matthew (2016) hit the Gulf coast of Florida, not its east coast.

  200. You are mistaken. Matthew last year skimmed the east coast of Florida and made landfall by touching the upper coast of SC.

  201. Yeah, I was thinking of Hermine

  202. Hurricane Parties on the Key's...wheeeee! Tourists leave, yeah! Drought-stricken Maine and the Everglades await the water it will bring and the withdrawal of U.S. military from the MidEast and S. Korea to rebuild the infrastructure along the East Coast and plan for floating communities.. If the Dutch can live 20' below sea level we can too!

  203. Harvey, fires across the west due to extreme heat, record temperatures, and now Irma. Better get used to it; this is the new normal.

  204. Global warming is a Chinese hoax, isn't it? Or a conspiracy theory from liberals? Or controversial 'cause one scientist (Dr. Quack) disagrees with his 14 million colleagues? Anyhow, there's nothing to worry zbout -- Joel Osteen says "God's got this." - just like He had Harvey!

  205. World to NYT headline writers: PUERTO RICO braces for storm...and the rest of the Caribbean first!! Florida will take days if not a week and the projection for that part of the path still uncertain.

  206. Agreed. Puerto Rico has so many troubles already, a storm there will be horrible for, remember, our people.

  207. Not mention that though Puerto Rico is not a state, it is part of the US!

  208. Puerto Rico, part of the USA

  209. Is there still time to sell that real estate to Russian, Saudi, and Chinese billionaires, and to South American drug lords?

  210. If we can't stop Irma, can we at least limit the corridor of damage? Maybe sacrifice Mar A Lago?
    A climate change-intensified storm bearing a woman's name steamrolling the anti-science, anti-woman southern White House....Oh, sorry, I was daydreaming...

  211. Shouldn't the Pres and his family be at Mar A Lago when the storm makes landfall to show the American people and the people of the world that he is a courageous leader willing to stand up to nature and severe climatic events? An opportunity to be a real leader...

  212. You'd feel even better if Donald were down there when Mar got hit. I do worry about the secret service detail possibly injured.

  213. Another major storm about to hit a Republican state....looks like they're going to need to defer the deportations for a little while until the damage has been cleaned up and the homes rebuilt. It is estimated that HALF the 800,000 construction workers in Texas are "undocumented". Kind of ironic isn't it, using federal recovery money to pay illegal immigrants to rebuild because there are not enough deplorables willing to do it.

  214. Half is conservative. When you walk around the area and see the roofing crews working, it is more like 70%.

  215. Why are no employers going to jail for hiring illegals? There are statutes on the books that make it a crime to hire them?

    Oh wait, that would involve prosecuting white, tie wearing, corporate executives and small business owners.

  216. My family and I are leaving Friday morning for GA. I've been through too many storms. This might just be the one that moves me out of Fl for good.

  217. Many interesting and erroneous comments that there has been a surge in the number and intensity of hurricanes, along with definitive statements linking Harvey and Irma to climate change; a conclusion that no reputable climate scientist would make.
    Since 1967 there have been 18 North Atlantic Category 5 Hurricanes. The average has been 1 every 2 to 3 years. In 2005 there were four Category 5 hurricanes. This led to dire predictions that Category 5 hurricanes would triple in number, which turned out to be completely wrong. (See Nicholas Kristof 9/11/05 NYTimes column making this prediction). The number of Category 5 hurricanes has declined in the past 10 years compared to previous periods.

    Year Name Max Wind, knots
    1967 Beulah 140
    1969 Camille 150
    1971 Edith 140
    1977 Anita 150
    1979 David 150
    1980 Allen 165
    1988 Gilbert 160
    1989 Hugo 140
    1992 Andrew 150
    1998 Mitch 155
    2003 Isabel 145
    2004 Ivan 145
    2005 Emily 140
    2005 Katrina 150
    2005 Rita 155
    2005 Wilma 160
    2007 Dean 150
    2007 Felix 150
    2016 Matthew 145
    2017 Irma 150

    Prior to Harvey, which was a Category 4 hurricane, it had been 12 years since a hurricane made landfall in the U.S.A. (Sandy was a 'super storm', not a hurricane when it made landfall.) The 1930s was the period of the greatest number and intensity of hurricanes. IF Irma makes landfall in the U.S. as a Category 5 hurricane, it will be the first in 48 years since Camille in 1969.

  218. Last year Hurricane Matthew made landfall as a Category 1 hurricane. So your statement that it has been 12 years since a hurricane made landfall in the US is inaccurate. Perhaps you meant to say major hurricane.

  219. You didn't mention Pacific storms.

  220. Look at your own data again. The first ten storms you list fall in a thirty year block of time. The next ten storms are in a fifteen year block of time. That says the frequency of these large storms has increased.

  221. The good news is that most scientists have come to believe in global warming and resulting climate change. The bad news is that our leaders don't believe the scientists, or secretly do but choose to deny it for political gain. Having pulled us out of the Paris climate accord, making us the pariah of nations dedicated to preserving the planet, its signatories must find it quite amusing to watch Trump and other GOP climate deniers cope with the double whammy of Harvey and Irma.

  222. "Our" leaders? Your leaders, perhaps.

  223. "its signatories must find it quite amusing to watch Trump and other GOP climate deniers cope ..."

    Not amusing, just very, very sad.

  224. Florida: Another hypocrite, red-state that will want federal aid, despite its disdain for the federal government. Get ready blue-states California, NY, etc. to give them your federal dollars, and then watch the Republican Congress take money from "climate warming" science projects to pay for disaster relief. Watch it extent Flood Insurance, too.

  225. Please don't blame the State of Florida for the idiot Republicans, starting with our Governor Scott, who run the state. We do have a large proportion of smart, well-meaning people here who understand citizenship, how the concept of a united America is supposed to work and who, given the choice, would undo much of what the Republicans in Tallahassee have done, or not done, to forward their own personal ideological and financial interests.

    And when it comes down to it, any major disaster relief, should Irma wash over Florida, will be an open battle begun by Congressional Republicans who will want to "offset" the expense by cutting Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security and other programs that Americans depend upon.

  226. Florida voted Obama in '08 and '12. Is your hatred so deep you want every Trump voter annihilated?

  227. When the red states need help like disaster recovery money, it's always for a good cause. When anyone else needs help they are simply too lazy to take care of themselves.

  228. Yet, according to Trump and Pruitt there is no global warming so this must be more "fake news" like Hurricane Harvey.

  229. I'm hardly a skeptic, but blaming an individual storm on global warming is irresponsible and counterproductive.

  230. The problem with admitting global warming is that then, oil companies would have to be liable for their actions and you know that's too much like right, in a country which allows those mega companies you do as they please.

  231. Partisanship and stubbornness are stronger than science and logic.

  232. I wonder how the people there are going to do without Texans saving them.

    We've spent all week looking at photos and videos of Texan dudes wading and boating to save people. Wonder what the images from this storm are going to look like.

  233. We will all work together and survive!

  234. What is even worse right now you have some people from Florida over here helping out now they are about to have to head home quickly to get ready for Irma.

  235. Thurston Howard lll and Ginger AKA Donald and Melania are on it.
    Not to worry.

  236. Keeping Florida in my thoughts as we recover from Tropical Storm Harvey. I hope it does very little damage and fizzle out.

  237. Hope is not a strategy.

  238. So you don't care about us in the Caribbean islands? Including American Puerto Rico?

  239. Maybe a little collective prayer after the first storm would help more than the fantasy that humans can control the planet they inhabit.

  240. Nothing fails like prayer, ERA.

    Maybe a little collective alternative energy research and development and scientific thinking would be appropriate instead of asking the Easter Bunny for guidance and inspiration.

  241. Humans, with their exploitation and wasteful energy habits, have already controlled the planet. That's the problem. Funny how stewardship seems to be trumped by exclusion and blame these days in so so-called religious circles. Televangelists don't look saintly to me, they look unctuous, hypocritical, and greedy. Try the Jesus of the Gospels or leave god out of it.

  242. Prayer is for the misguided to lazy to study science. Humans don't control the planet. Nor does an imaginary sky-daddy. Science controls the planet and the universe.

  243. ...And their hypocritical Governor Rick Scott has already asked and received promises from Trump for federal aid.

    Because, Scott doesn't believe in climate change, and has forbidden their State employees from using those words.

  244. However, this here blimate bhange is starting to worry people.

  245. and is probably against 'big' government as well

  246. This is what global warming is doing to the world.

  247. This is the optimal time to de-fund FEMA. Think of all the money we will save!

  248. People, please. Just stop.

    Hurricanes have been around since long before humans, including really nasty ones. When you blame every storm on global warming you are in fact creating "fake news" and providing ammunition for the very people who are trying to discredit actual science.

    When Katrina hit, people were predicting the start of an era of raging storm systems fueled by global warming. Instead we got a decade of almost nothing. Leave the science to the scientists.

  249. I think you may need to reevaluate your statements. It was scientists (and I happen to be a physicist, so you can't make comments there) who predicted increased intensity of storms. It's the deniers who all too frequently seem to honestly think that just because there haven't that many intense storms here in the U.S. that somehow that undermines the entire model. What is completely ignored is that the 'decade of almost nothing' you referred to WAS in fact populated by an increased number of intense and powerful storms; they just didn't hit the U.S.

  250. Climate change isn't the cause of every story but it does exacerbate them.

  251. oops, I meant storm.

  252. Conservatives complain about the waste of money to curtail Climate Change, but it would be a drop in the bucket compared to cleaning up behind disaster after disaster if we keep on going the way we are.

    Switching entirely off fossil fuels over the next decade would be crazy difficult and expensive... but not doing so will be more expensive yet. We haven't begun to see the damage that climate change will bring. Resisting all the changes we need to make is morally wrong.

  253. If you live in the path of the hurricane, now is the time to think about that vacation up north and away from the coast you always wanted... Don't trust that you can ride out the storm. Today's storms are not like those of the past. And don't expect to be rescued. Just get out of the way.

  254. The best example of irony and wake up call I can imagine ,, were there to be a purely hypothetical conference this weekend at Mar a Lago assembling hundreds of climate change deniers to reinforce their "scientific " data.

    Against that, my heart goes out to the people whose lives and livelihoods are about to be battered by Irma.

  255. Wouldn't work. The dolts would just cancel due to "Unexpected changes in weather" as though that fixed everything. Gotta love how the deniers focus on the variability of weather as 'proof' that statistical climate models are wrong. It's like trying to say that variability of knowing the next outcome of a coin toss somehow invalidates the realization that long term you'll get about as many heads as tails.

  256. Waterfront property takes on a new meaning in the age of climate change.

  257. "Waterfront property takes on a new meaning in the age of climate change."

    The "front" in waterfront has now become optional, at best.

  258. Conceptually, there is a simple, bottom line.

    The value of all carbon based fuel is that it burns and gives off heat. Our generators and internal combustion engines only reclaim 25% - 35% of that energy as motion (kinetic energy) or electrical energy. The rest is vented to the atmosphere as waste heat. Add that waste heat to the heat trapped by greenhouse gases and you have a planet that is gaining heat.

    Some of the heat evaporates water and some heat causes atmospheric pressure gradients that generate wind.

    Hurricanes are just large collections of wind and water vapor - wind and water that we generated but do not control.

  259. "Our generators and internal combustion engines only reclaim 25% - 35% of that energy as motion (kinetic energy) or electrical energy."

    Yeah, but my new Dodge Demon has 800 horsepower and does WHEELIES!! Now, what have you got to say? Hmm?

  260. Hurricanes and similar storms will continue to affect coastal areas and low-lying areas susceptible to flooding, whether you believe in global warming or not. It seems to me that the more immediate issue is whether we should build and live in these areas, whether in Florida, Texas New York or anywhere else. We like our beaches, sunsets and water views and access; however, in terms of lives and costs, it may not be sustainable to do so over time.

  261. ... and on the subject of repeated escalating disasters due to climate change, we throughout Colorado are trapped under the worst smoke from surrounding wildfires ever. Visibility in my area is half a mile (usually 50+ miles). I can usually see downtown Denver (25 miles), the nearby mesa, and the mountains (0 to 40 miles) from my house. Now I see the trees in the nearby open space and smoke. The fires are in WA, OR, ID, MT, UT, WY, CO, AZ, CA, and NM.

    As we moaned about our climate-change future in the West, my friend said not worry because soon all the trees will have burned ... and then we can enjoy sand storms! All hail fossil fuels and Donald Trump!

  262. What has always amazed me are those fools who make (and are making - the current president is one of them) the claim that individual states should make decisions about industry within their own borders, and the federal government is overreaching by making national regulations for such industries. The evidence from the U.S. Northwest is perfect in describing that events occurring in once state affect others as well. Mother Nature doesn't care about states, or nations. She has no interest in the stupid little lines we like to draw on maps to delineate ourselves. The Earth is a thermodynamic system and behaves like one, especially as we create our own problems by ignoring that we humans DO affect our environment. We help to pump more heat into the engine; it gets nastier.

  263. Texas experienced a stronger hurricane for two reasons related to climate change. First, the Gulf has been warmed 1-4 degrees, which means hurricanes pick up more moisture. Second, wind patterns have slowed due to climate change, and that let a huge system stall out over Texas. Irma is also picking up more moisture from warmer waters. Also, as ocean levels rise, we will have more flooding with these storms. We may not have more storms because of climate change, but they will be more damaging. We were warned by climatologists, and now we can see it for ourselves.

  264. Both Texas and Florida's politicians have repeatedly bashed the Federal governments role in providing financial assistance as a taxpayer funded largess, exploited by those who need help. Now they too are looking for that largess to help their constituents. You can bet your bottom dollar that once they receive the money they need, they'll be back to bashing the Federal relief efforts.

  265. Hello, certain voters of Trump. Looking for signs and wonders? The totality of the eclipse darkened the majority of MAGA country. Red Texas is still reeling and coming to terms with false prophets in cathedrals of glass who close their doors to the needy. And now there is a bullseye on red FL, especially those on the tip of the state that voted for a man who denies science and has a winter white house scheduled to be swallowed by the sea. Positively biblical in scope, these signs are. I'm a science believer but it DOES make me wonder.

  266. I'm all for my tax dollars being used to help Harvey's victims. But at least put a modicum of zoning regulations in the bill. Just think -- Rick Perry wanted Texas to secde!

  267. Two historic storms within 2 weeks and idiot-in-chief still thinks climate change is a Chinese hoax.

  268. It's actually going to be three historic storms within three and a half weeks or so, at least. But denying things doesn't help, for sure, and doesn't matter to the storms at all.

  269. Climate BREAKDOWN folks! Brought to you 'gratis' from EXXON mobil & friends.

  270. My thoughts and best wishes are with all those who are in the path of
    Hurricane Irma, as well as with all Hurricane Harvey Victims.As a Superstorm Sandy Victim, I know the terror , devastation. damage, displacement ,grueling ordeal of mucking out, dragging possessions and sheetrock onto the curb to join my neighbors, and long, long road to rebuilding one's home and life that can take. years.

    Please know that you are not alone.We Sandy Victims stand with you .


  271. If it must hit Florida, I hope it focuses its attention on Mar-a-Lago.

  272. You know, I get most people don't like Trump, but that's still a hateful thing to say. A lot of people live here in Palm Beach, and if you did your thinking for yourself, you'd know that Palm Beach County voted blue in the election.

  273. OK, I get it. How about a surgical strike on the resort, while missing everything else in the area?

  274. Cat 5 coming at us. Of course this has nothing to do with climate change. Here is a quiz I developed to keep you on track.
    One question : As your drive down the road in your car where do the gasses go that come out your tailpipe?
    A. They go into and become a part of our atmosphere.
    B. They get swallowed up by the nearest black hole.
    C. The only person that can answer that question is a person with a PHD in science who works for an oil company.
    Correct answer is A but most climate change deniers will answer C.

  275. tut tut my good man - mere happenstance - it rains all the time.