This photo of Joplin from the Associate Press captured, for me, the essence of what has been going on in the Midwest. As the blood hounds went out in Joplin MO looking for any survivors, another round of tornadoes hit the Midwest and surrounding area, in places like again, Missouri, Nebraska and Arkansas, threatening Texas as well, pelting Austin with hail.
The l0cal papers are filled with it, just like those north of the border (NOB). And so is the local talk. So when I shopped in Cancun Saturday, I was mindful to pick up a few extra canned goods and bags of rice.
We haven't had any real hurricanes since the Category 5 Wilma in 2005, at the end of my first season here. Carmen, the wife of a local fisherman, says she is certain we are due. She is not alone.
It has been so hot here that as early as April folks were saying it's the kind of heat that brings on big hurricanes. My cabbie in Cancun, Carlos Telliz, was saying last month that we could have a hurricane then! Hurricanes exist to break up the heat building up and it has been building.
I studied the issue a little bit on NOAA websites. There is no statistical correlation between early and active tornadoes and Atlantic hurricanes, including the Caribbean. Dr. Jeff Master's Wunderblog notes than NOAA forecasts a 65 percent chance of a greater that normal hurricane season, but the curve is way off because of the five years WE haven't seen a real hurricane in this part of the Caribbean. Many of us are afraid that will all change this year.