“Tropical Storm Fabio” because the news media pays attention to extreme weather only when it has a sexy name.
H/T wattsupwiththat.com for the image below, which depicts the rainfall total from the recent storm, August 8-15, as estimated by NASA.
Using Google Earth, I estimated the area receiving greater than 5″ of rain to be about 28,000 square miles, give or take. By measuring the areas with greater rainfall totals, I estimated that those 28,000 sq mi received an average of 15 inches of rain.
That works out to be about 7 cubic miles of water.
Lake Pontchartrain is 630 square miles and averages 10 feet of depth, or about 1.2 cubic miles. Six Lake Pontchartrains of water fell on South Louisiana and part of Mississippi during the storm.
For you Yankees, imagine Manhattan Island (23 sq mi) covered with 1,600 feet of water, enough to cover every structure but the top 150 ft of the spire on the new World Trade Center tower.
One eensy, teensy, tiny quibble with your opening statement which I quote here: ““Tropical Storm Fabio” because the news media pays attention to extreme weather only when it has a sexy name.”
Media is plural so the predicate should, likewise, be plural; “pay” in this instance.
You are a very good writer so I know this was a “fat-finger” or force-of-habit typo.
I love what you do.
I love it. Thanks. I am a compulsive proofreader, too.
I’m not going to blame a typo. In everyday conversation many of us fall in to the habit of talking about “the media” as a collective singular (which is pretty much how they behave). In parallel with that, 98% of the time people use “data” as a singular noun, but I am not going to lay* awake at night if someone says “the data is irrefutable.”
I’m not an English major but I’ve become compulsive about the language much to the consternation of everyone with whom I come into contact. I rationalize by saying to myself “Well, someone has to be the guardian of the language.”
I habitually correct others for the misuse of ‘who’ and ‘whom’ and ‘I’ and ‘me’. I try to use humor to compensate for my disease but, soon enough, I can see the cross looks and will slink away to another part of the room or just leave altogether.
Nor am I a talented writer such as yourself but I aspire to be. There’s probably a good therapist that can cure me of this compulsion but I’m not sure I want to be cured.
Please keep doing this great service for humanity. I particularly enjoy your essays on energy and energy policy.