Desierto norte de Chile

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

2006 Atlantic hurricane season

On the heels of the hyper-active 2005 Atlantic season, any return to normalcy would appear to be far below it. Thus, with our 9 tropical storms (~ 10 are average), 5 hurricanes (~ 6 are average), and 2 'major' (> category 3) hurricanes (~ 3 are average), this year compares well with the 30-year mean level of activity. Maybe the basin has one hurricane left in it, which would bring the numbers right at the 30-yr mean.

I was thinking of the many forecasts issued at the start of this year, and most (all?) of them were forecasting significantly more activity than 9/5/2. One group even went as far as to say that the Northeast, Carolinas, and Texas faced a particularly acute threat -- and that the US would experience 6 "hits" (guess that means landfalls?), of which 5 would be hurricanes and 3 intense hurricanes. This type of bold forecast nicely illustrates the trickiness and uncertainty associated with climatological analogues. (For comparison, 3 tropical storms have 'hit' the US this year -- two making landfall and one brushing Cape Cod. Not exactly the destructive picture we were told to expect). As a final point, I think it would be very useful to examine the 2006 season post-facto to see if it's possible to identify the physical mechanisms that prevented the expected activity.

Forecasted activity

Actual storm tracks

Travels, travels, and more travels: Rome, Pompeii, Naples, Slovenia, Croatia, and Budapest

Two weeks ago, I took the night train to Rome to visit with Bethany and her friends Carrie and James. She came back to Graz with me, and we hired a car and took a day trip to Slovenia and Croatia. Do you know that at the top of the Schlossberg in Graz, there is a 2-person elevator, express destination down to the WC? Crazy!

Last weekend I went to Budapest (Hungary) with Florian and Marcus. Here is a short photojournal of our adventures. Captions are *above* the images.

Roma et Pompeii et Napoli

The Pantheon

Carrie, James, and Bethany

John the Baptist "baptizing" Jesus (where is the River Jordan?)

A door overlooking the Foro Romano

The forum (foro romano)

The Arch of Septimius Severus (in the forum)

Lunch just outside the ruins of Pompeii. Bethany's sandwich was the "best she'd ever eaten".


Bethany in Pompeii

Brad in Pompeii

Mt. Vesuvius

Cast of a former Pompeiian

Carrie in a courtyard in Pompeii

Pompeii tilework

The entryway to a large house in Pompeii

A courtyard with column colonnade

Me and Bethany goofing off in Pompeii

An amphitheater in Pompeii

Yes, we are tourists!

Best pizza in the world, in Naples!

Trevi Fountain, Rome

SPQR, or Senatus Populusque Romanus (the Senate and the Roman People)

Chilling on the Spanish Steps

Free hugs at the Spanish steps! You bet I took advantage!

Slovenia und Croatia

Bethany and I took a road trip to Slovenia and Croatia

Slovenian border

Slovenian church


A nice spot for a date, don't you think? Trakoscan Castle, Croatia

View of the Croatian countryside

Bethany at the castle

Through one of the keyholes in the castle parapet

Bethany and me at the castle

Fun in Graz

It's cold in Graz!

View up the Schlossberg


Schlossberg (clock tower) in Graz

Garden at the top of the Schlossberg hill

A building in city center, Graz

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Slovenia und Buschenschank!

On Saturday, I joined some friends from the Wegener Center on a nice hike along the southern border between Austria and Slovenia. We had some sturm (pre-wine grape juice), and then stopped for authentic, home-grown Austrian food. Bon appetite!

    Newer›  ‹Older