They’re predicting Hurricane Ike will turn north once the high pressure zone in the upper atmosphere weakens, when happens is what’ll affect where Ike strikes. We’ll probably know more Wednesday afternoon or evening. In the meanwhile, I’ve seen comments on blogs like SciGuy’s about people pretty far inland planning on evacuating, and making reservations in hotels much further inland.

I don’t know all these early-evac folks’ stories, maybe some of them have elderly family members, or a family member dependent on machines for livng (had my son lived, he would have needed power for daily peritoneal dialysis). But I saw a few commenters writing they would probably evacuate because they didn’t want to be without power with a toddler — one lived NW of Houston!, while the other lived further south than I do, and I’d evacuate from where she lived.

On the flip side, there were a few coastal commenters wondering if they should evacuate…um YES!

As for me, although I’m nervous about the four trees surrounding my house, I’ll probably ride it out just to avoid another panic-induced mass exodus. However, if the evacuation goes much smoother with the new Contraflow plan, and Ike makes a sharp turn north to threaten Houston, AND becomes a category 4, I might do a last minute evacuation. But no way would I prevent people south of me, that are in more danger, from escaping as long as they leave in their allotted priority timeslot. I got into a comment-argument with someone in the NW part of Houston defending their right to evacuate anytime they wanted, the coastal folks be damned — she didn’t exactly say that, but AFAIK she might as well had said it exactly like that! It reminds me of the scene in Titanic where they locked the gates preventing the below-decks from escaping.

Meanwhile, I started freezing water bottles to build up thermal mass, and have cool potable water. I’ll check NHC’s 5-day forecast right before hubby leaves for work, and if they have Ike shifting north towards my area, I’ll take hubby to work so I can fill up both tanks on the truck, and see if the supplies have started flying off the shelves yet.

It stormed a little bit two days ago, but it wasn’t too awful where I live, but I heard other parts of town lost power. But I was very grateful for the rain, plus it really cooled things down, which was great. Yesterday it got up to 94F before more storms came through, but this time they hit me harder — no flooding thank goodness, but we lost power with a big lightning blast.

I kept waiting for the power to come back on like it usually does, but after the storm passed, we figured it wouldn’t come back until the Centerpoint guys fixed it. I was hungry and didn’t want to cook in the dark since I guessed the outtage probably wouldn’t be long term, so I went to buy dinner for the first time in months. (more…)

Houston Chronicle’s SciGuy’s blog, by Eric Berger, is who I trust the most when it comes to reporting (and educating us) about hurricanes in the Gulf. In almost every hurricane related post, he teaches us something else about how hurricanes are formed, or how they’re tracked by advanced technology.

Here’s a recent article about Hurricane Umberto, which almost popped up out of the blue after forming in less than one day somewhat close to shore: “No tropical cyclone in the historical record has ever reached this intensity at a faster rate near landfall.”

SciGuy: The remarkable and rapid strengthening of Humberto. Why?

PS: It was nice that the TV media didn’t totally freak out over Humberto, and was still able to provide good coverage. NBC’s Frank Billingsley did a great job, even with his voice all froggy.