I've always had a fascination with the weather. Storms fascinate me. No storms amaze me more than tropical cyclones: from the beauty of the satellite photos of the monster storms from space, to the up close and personal experience of trying to cross a parking lot during a dry spell between squalls and then getting hit with a curtain of water as the next band of rain swoops in. The quality of the air changes as a storm approaches, and it changes again when the storm moves away. The rain falls in sheets, dancing across the pavement. The wind howls one minute and the next minute it's perfectly still. Torrential squalls are separated by periods of sunshine and brilliant skies, sometimes lasting only a few minutes.
Up North, when it storms, it storms. Rain pours sometimes for hours or days on end. In a tropical storm, the rain can be beating down one minute and the next minute the sun comes out, then the rain pours again like a curtain descending in a theater.
I hate that they are destructive killers, but a hurricane is an awe-inspiring thing that forces me to ponder the dangerous majesty of Mother Nature.
Irene just grazed Florida, but we veterans of past hurricanes are thinking about the folks in North Carolina and beyond, and hoping for the best.