An hurricane of 140 mph sustained wind speeds is striking Cuba as I write this. Here is a computer image of all the current weather data for the North Atlantic. It was prepared for midnight, last.
It gives some idea of scale. All the more when you think that in the northern latitudes of the North Atlantic these things are a daily event. …
Pretty isn't it?
Measured in wind speeds the hurricane is a massive one, a disaster of major proportions. Maybe it is because we are used to tidal ranges of tens of feet in the north or because we have found a means of utilising these phenomenon to power trading vessels from the time of Noah, they are not considered dangerous.
I can't say much about them. They come and go unremarked they are never given numbers, never mind names. They are just a fact of life. When I lived on the sea-side I loved them. I loved their power and I loved the debris they brought with them.
But most of all I loved the way it remodelled the shore. Huge surf breaking on a tide that was 20 or 30 feet high at the peak of the storm was awesome and did phenomenal things.
An hundred years ago the Victorians built a railway along the shore. It was protected from the sea by a concrete wall. Most of the rail network in Britain had been criminally neglected since WW II. And one night the sea finally washed away the sea wall near where I lived.
When a ship is washed onto rocks, the damage isn't done by the rocks so much as by the waves. Once a ship is holed, the rise and fall of the water inside it in literally breaking surf, puts immense pressure on the envelope and blows it apart.
The same hydraulics were now at work along the remaining wall that was intact. Once it was breeched it was unsustainable. And the whole sea wall along that stretch of coast had to be replaced.
It didn't help that bad planning decisions from London and Cardiff over-ruled the local councils and houses were built below sea level just, inside the railway line on what was once marsh and flood plain.
The area was devastated.
So much for progress.