Hurricanes

Photo from air force

This is Tuesday. I should be ranting about something, but life seems to have smoothed somewhat. I can’t help but wonder if this calm is like the stillness that brings false comfort before an advancing hurricane.

Barb and I weathered several hurricanes when we lived in the West Indies. However, the positive life style we experienced there has caused those worrisome hurricane memories to fade into washed out images that have grayed with time.

The hurricane predictions for 1964 were so dire that six WC-130 Hurricane Hunters aircraft were dispatched from Mississippi and spent the summer with us. One of the crew members, a meteorologist, moved into the apartment beneath us. I came to know him quite well. Though much of his job was classified as a Need To Know, he shared a few aspects with me.

barometric pressure within a hurricane proper is so radical a typical barometer we might purchase from a store is useless. Instead, they depend on a radar altimeter my shop maintained at that time – a SCR-718. The aircraft commander relied heavily on this and had two identical systems with twin readouts which he monitored closely. If the readings indicated a difference greater than 50 feet between the two, he aborted the mission and went home instead of flying into the eye.

I asked about the ride. He told me the turbulence was so great the crew members remained strapped into their duty stations to prevent being thrown to the floor.
Eventually, the hurricane season passed. My neighbor packed his belongings and returned to Mississippi. And I’ve not seen him since.  

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