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Storm-tossed scribblings

Last weekend we got our first taste of the hurricane season when Tropical Storm Hanna brushed by us, soaking us with some needed rainfall. Meanwhile, Hurricane Ike was lining up for a hit on the Gulf Coast.

Housebound for the evening, I was able to follow the progress of the storm from the comfort of my computer.  MNSBC now has a new and improved “hurricane tracker†that shows in great detail the path (actual and predicted) of each Atlantic storm, from its birth as a tropical depression to its conclusion, along with its wind speed and status.  The map is clickable, so you can zoom in on a particular area.  This is a very educational tool for geography and for understanding the way storms develop(msnbc.msn.com/id/26295161/).

On the NOAA Doppler radar Web site (radar.weather.gov), I watched the radar track of the storm.  It seemed intriguing to me that the rain pattern looked more semicircular than circular, with most of the heavy rain north of where the eye of the storm was supposed to be. Is this because the storm pushes the moisture and rain in front of it onto land? I’m not enough of a meteorologist to know the answer.

As usual, the Internet “bird chatter†(ctbirding.org) was all about the storm, too, and messages were flying back and forth about the possibilities of finding rarities such as seabirds at inland locations. Eager birders were gearing up to go looking early Sunday morning, not long after Hanna’s eye grazed the Connecticut coast.

 It turned out we weren’t the only ones enjoying the comfort of our home during the storm.  We found a little brown bat curled up above our window shade.  Wrapping it gently in a towel, we sent it out into the gale to seek its fortune. It reminded me that next week I hope to have an update on the bat situation in this column.

 Notes: Last week Ona Kiser of Sharon observed a peregrine falcon flying around Mudge Pond.

 Fred Baumgarten may be reached at fredb58@sbcglobal.net.

His blog is at thatbirdblog.blogspot.com. 

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