November 2004 Issue

A Season in Hurricane Hell

[IMGCAP(1)] In times like these, I wish I hadn’t snoozed through Mrs. Webster’s ninth-grade American lit class, at least the part where those more attentive than I—basically everybody—learned about the man-against-nature plot device. Given the events of the past six weeks—four major hurricanes pounding Florida and who knows what brewing—I could at least manufacture some entertaining fiction out of the entirely implausible tropical season unfolding.

Not that irony is in short supply. There’s something amusingly twisted about a knot of office workers clustered around a computer terminal browsing satellite images and arguing about outflow patterns and cloud top temps. Up north, you put a cou...

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