Even as I write this, the storms have passed already–The National Weather Service issued this warning —
WWUS83 KLOT 261550
SPECIAL WEATHER STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE CHICAGO/ROMEOVILLE IL
1050 AM CDT TUE AUG 26 2014
COOK IL-LAKE IL-
1050 AM CDT TUE AUG 26 2014
…STRONG STORMS MOVING ACROSS THE NORTHERN CHICAGO METRO AREA…
AT 1048 AM CDT…NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DOPPLER RADAR INDICATED A
STRONG THUNDERSTORM NEAR MORTON GROVE…MOVING EAST AT 45 MPH.
ONE HALF INCH DIAMETER HAIL…WINDS TO 50 MPH…FREQUENT CLOUD TO
GROUND LIGHTNING…HEAVY DOWNPOURS…ARE EXPECTED WITH THIS STORM.
CITIES AND TOWNS AFFECTED…
SKOKIE… WILMETTE HARBOR… WILMETTE…
MORTON GROVE… KENILWORTH… NILES…
WINNETKA… NORTHFIELD… GLENVIEW…
OTHER LOCATIONS AFFECTED…
LOYOLA UNIVERSITY…NORTHEASTERN ILLINOIS UNIVERSITY…NORTHWESTERN
UNIVERSITY…OAKTON COMMUNITY COLLEGE…
GUSTY WINDS MAY CAUSE SMALL BRANCHES TO BE BLOWN DOWN…AND LOOSE
OBJECTS TO BLOW AROUND. STAY AWAY FROM HIGH OBJECTS OUTDOORS SUCH AS
TREES. HEAVY RAINFALL COULD LEAD TO STANDING WATER ON ROADWAYS AND
POOR VISIBILITY. SEEK SHELTER IN A STURDY STRUCTURE UNTIL THIS STORM
LAT…LON 4211 8772 4208 8767 4206 8766 4203 8766
4201 8765 4197 8764 4196 8763 4197 8791
4215 8790 4216 8775
TIME…MOT…LOC 1550Z 278DEG 39KT 4205 8774
Yesterday a new app failed at the NWS and shut down part of the forecasting system. These are big computers, and the vulnerability of the Weather Ready Nation is a concern. But there are bigger issues.
What happens when we can’t keep up with the unpredictable extremes that have become the new reality?
My concern is that all the high tech won’t help us if the power goes out, the basement floods and the sump pump fails–Our neighbors will. Connection is the new reality, but what does that mean? Is it all about going viral on Facebook or building a community? NASA was testing pens that could function in Zero G. Cosmonauts used a pencil.
What I am trying to say here, is that it’s not mutually exclusive, one way or the other. We need flexible thinking. We also need to respond quickly. What would you do in the event of a power outage? Go online? Not with no power. How do you like your internet now?
The voice at ComEd was prerecorded phone tree. I was punching buttons with the aid of a flashlight. Candles would also have been handy. When I got to talk to a person, the call was being monitored. How freely could she talk to me?
That’s why we talk about the weather. To establish some connection, a shared reality.
We do not get the news from poems, but we need the poetry, the stories. We need imagination again.
We need to talk about the weather.
For more talk on surviving a power outage, here’s Kathy at Quilting! Sewing! Creating!
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