Saturday, October 27, 2012

Too Much Rain Will Kill Ya


The farmers have a saying:


A drought will scare you to death, too much rain will kill ya.


As of noon on Saturday, there are still two different forecasts for where Sandy is going to hit. It makes a very big difference which model is right.


The Euro model has the storm making landfall south of New Jersey. The US GFS model has it 150 miles north:




The northeast side of the storm will suffer the most, so the US GFS forecast is about the worse news NYC could get.


NOAA is currently using the Euro model in its estimates where the storm will hit. NOAA is also providing estimates on rainfall associated with this storm. Consider this:



That ugly brown patch (11.57 inches) over the Delmarva Peninsula is a disaster in the making. Twelve hours ago NOAA forecast was for an incredible 14+ inches of rain.



Combine a worst case outcome of the Euro landfall forecast and the NOAA estimate for rainfall of 10+ inches north of landfall (NYC). The outcome would be far worse than the 4.4 inches that NYC got a year ago with Irene.


This storm is without precedent, and its still unpredictable. Let’s hope the 30 odd million folks in the metro area don’t get the worst-case hit. NYC would drown if it did. There is the potential to blow out the historical rainfall record for Central Park.









My first week on Wall Street was in August of 1973. I was newbie to NYC. My office was on the south side of 100 Wall, on the second floor, looking out over Front Street.


There was a tremendous thunderstorm one afternoon. I looked out the window as the street filled with water. The flood poured into a street gutter and overwhelmed it.


With the gutter flooded, the rats were drowning. They came out of every hole. In twenty minutes, 500 came out of the one gutter I was watching.


The rain stopped and the flooding abated. The rats on the street followed the receding water back into their holes.


A memorable first impression of life in the financial district.





  1. So in other words, the experts still have no idea where the storm will make landfall. Even less idea whether the strongest storm surge will be aimed at directly at NYC.

    Yet these same experts have been yelling about how the sky is falling since Friday. There is a wolf lurking in the sheep pasture. Monsters under every taxpayer’s bed. Terrorists lurk behind every corner.

    The real problems are two-fold. First of all: if the storm is bad, people cannot remain on super-duper top secret probation alert 25 hours per day, day after day. Since the experts started freaking out on Friday, by next Monday when the storm hits (somewhere), most people will be exhausted from the continuous barrage of red alerts and emergency broadcast messages. There is a big difference between saying “be prepared” and issuing red alerts.

    Second, the “experts” really don’t know where the storm is going to hit — the very same experts say there is a chance the storm moves out to sea or is pushed out to sea by the low pressure front that is slightly to the west of the Appalachians. What if this turns out to happen? The authorities have freaked everyone out for no reason…. and then when the next hurricane hits (and one will since the area has been hit by hurricanes for centuries) the authorities will scream about sky falling and wolves attacking — and having been lulled by this constant red alert nonsense, no one will take a real warning seriously.

    Lets try to dial down the panic and red alerts. Mayor Bloomie is all over TV assuring NYC residents that 32oz sodas will not be available in the event of a hurricane nor a terrorist incident, and city inspectors will be collecting overtime to protect residents from these evil soda servings. We have the crazy angle very well covered.

    How about the rest of us act like adults, do some preparations just in case, check in on family and elderly neighbors, and stop freaking out every time a regular storm comes near. Our parents and grandparents dealt with large soda servings and hurricanes for years before the invention of satellite radar — and somehow they survived. They survived by employing more common sense and less panic

  2. Three of The Easiest Ways to Manipulate People into Doing What You Want:

    #1 — Scaring The Hell Out of You: The Fear-Then-Relief Procedure

    What it is: Arguably the most evil manipulative technique is what psychologists call the “fear-then-relief technique.” The technique preys on a person’s emotions. Here, the manipulator causes someone a great deal of stress or anxiety and then abruptly relieves that stress. After this sudden mood swing, the person is disarmed, less likely to make mindful or rational decisions, and more likely to respond positively to various requests.

    Examples: The book The Science of Social Influence details a few experiments that showed this in action. In one, shoppers in a mall were scared by a stranger touching their shoulder from behind. When they turned around, the shoppers found that their assailant was a (supposed) blind man who just wanted to ask the time. After that deflection and relief, someone else—the fake blind man’s confederate—asked the targets if they would buy and sign postcards for a political charitable cause. Those who had met the blind man and experienced the fear-then-relief rollercoaster were more likely to do so than the control group which wasn’t manipulated.

    This fear-then-relief manipulation technique is most popularly portrayed in the classic bad cop/good cop routine: one person scares the hell out of you, another saves you, and then you’re more willing to talk. You see this in everyday life, too—from the fear tactics of insurance agents to bad managers who suggest your job is on the line, backtrack, and then ask you to work overtime.

    From this article:

  3. Obama bin Biden says:

    “With the gutter flooded, the rats were drowning. They came out of every hole. In twenty minutes, 500 came out of the one gutter I was watching.”

    Well, that’s 1973 for ya. In today’s fully digitalized world, all of Wall Street’s rats would just keep on working right through a thunderstorm, never even leaving their desk.

  4. Bruce,

    You staying dry in the bunker? My prayers and best wishes are with you and all the people impacted by this storm.

  5. I savor, cause I found just what I was taking a look for.
    You have ended my four day long hunt! God Bless you man.
    Have a nice day. Bye

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