Whitman County Gazette - Serving Whitman County since 1877

By Gordon Forgey
Gazette Publisher 

A Change is Afoot


September 5, 2019

One of the predictions of climate change is extreme, unpredictable weather patterns. Hotter hots, colder colds, dryer drys and wetter wets.

If pattern is the right word, the pattern of climate change is becoming more obvious.

Hurricane Dorian, which at this writing has hammered the Bahamas and working its way towards the east coast is a case in point.

It has already been described as the worst hurricane to hit the area ever. The reported devastation on the islands is only a partial glimpse at the true devastation. That will come as access to the islands is restored.

At this point, wind gusts have been clocked as high as 200 miles an hour. It hit the islands as a Category 5 hurricane. Since then it has been classified as a strong Category 4 and is predicted to drop in strength. Even now, its final path is only predicted, and the damage it will cause on the east coast of the U.S. is only a guess.

All the factors that are used to judge a storm put Dorian in a class by itself. It has all the elements of a killer storm with one added characteristic: It has been slow moving.

Many storms race over an area and move on. This storm has been basically stationary. A six hour radar loop showed virtually no movement at all. At most it was traveling at one mile per hour.

That means instead of slamming into an area and quickly leaving, it hovered over the Bahamas, bringing devastation upon devastation.

Slower moving storms were a predicted result of climate change, and this surely has been a slow moving storm.

Now, it is moving faster as it approaches the United States. It is still a dangerous storm.

One cannot make judgements from just one incidence, and Dorian is just one storm. Yet, combined with other natural events of late, one can surmise that a change is afoot.

Maybe it’s time to stop talking about the evolving climati changes and start taking action.

Gordon Forgey



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