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Friday, March 5, 2010

And they call the wind Maria... I don't think so!

Away out here they got a name
For rain and wind and fire
The rain is Tess, the fire Joe,
And they call the wind Maria*

... and don't tell me you weren't singing the tune as you read the verse. Well, that's a fun wind... like, "ha ha, look at my cow, blowing away with milk coming out her nose" fun. We make up romantic songs to those winds.

I tell you friend, that is such a sissy wind compared to some. Ever been to the top of Mt. Washington in New Hampshire? It stands just 6,300 feet above sea level (Mt. Everest is at 29,000 feet), but because it sits in the path of three major storm tracks and has a few other geological factors thrown in, Mt. Washington has some of the hardest-blowing winds ever recorded, often exceeding 100 mph! As a fact, a big wind almost blew my step-daughter off the mountain (seriously) when she was visiting there as a little girl.

A category 5 hurricane-- the kind that destroyed New Orleans-- exceeds 155 mph and you know what that can do. Now let's push the envelope... winds over 200 mph. Actually, for Mt. Washington, that is not even rare. It once held the measured wind speed record of 231 mph. 

How strong is a 200 mph wind? If you were lining up against 6' 4", 260-pound Brian Urlacher of the Chicago Bears, it would be like hitting cotton candy compared to "the big wind." Nobody goes out in the big wind.

Tropical Cyclone Olivia, which tore across the Indian Ocean in 1995, had winds measuring 253 mph... the highest ever recorded on earth! 

If the rain is Tess, the fire Joe,
We'll call this wind @#%&*!!ier (has to rhyme with Fire, sort-of).

*Soundtrack and Lyrics from Paint Your Wagon"

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