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Potential Mayhem down South…

Good morning, Netizens...

We always want to keep an eye on potential problems. While an area extending from Texas to Mississippi are evacuating and taking other precautions for Hurricane Gustav, which is making its way through the Gulf, making what appears to be a dead-on shot at the Louisiana coastline, there are other potential problems which may impact our lives, even here in the Inland Northwest.

In this morning's NOAA satellite photograph we can see the huge Hurricane Gustav, which is presently moving Northwest of Cuba rebuilding itself after crossing over land to what hurricane forecasters suggest may become a Category 5 hurricane shortly before it makes landfall Monday evening. Lagging slightly behind it is Tropic Storm Hanna, which is still in its formative stages. Further out in the Atlantic, numbers one and two respectively, are two more tropical depressions, as of yet unnamed, that have the potential to become hurricanes.

Oil production facilities in the Gulf of Mexico as well as inland in Mississippi and Louisiana have shut down, which will drive the price of sweet crude oil upward, even as the price of gasoline locally has been showing signs of dropping. Some forecasters are predicting we could see prices dramatically spike upward if Hurricane Gustav turns out to be as intense as some are saying.

Tropical Storm Hanna, on the other hand, is showing signs that it will maintain a course along the East Side of the State of Florida and may strengthen into a Category 3 or 4 hurricane by late tomorrow. However, predicting the paths of hurricanes is an imperfect science, and thus Hanna could veer into the Gulf and follow the path that Gustav is presently predicted to follow.

The stage is set. We have a multitude of potentially-devastating tropical storms queuing up in the South Atlantic, and one huge and potentially-deadly hurricane taking aim at the U.S. Gulf Coast after ravaging parts of Cuba and Haiti.

This bears close observation. We may end up paying at the gas pumps for the unpredictability of Mother Nature, not to mention sheer pandemonium along the Gulf Coast.


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Spokesman-Review readers blog about news and issues in Spokane written by Dave Laird.