Things you don’t want to hear from hurricane forecasting experts:

It’s time to get familiar with the names Hanna, Josephine, Ike, and Kyle, because the tropical Atlantic is about to put on a rare burst of very high activity in the coming weeks.

The good news, such as it is, is that it’s now somewhat less likely that Gustav will hit New Orleans.

Meanwhile, this puzzled me:

The price of U.S. crude oil has jumped about 2%, and the price of U.S. natural gas has increased 11% in the past two days, in anticipation that Gustav might rip through the oil and gas production areas of the Gulf of Mexico. About 25% of U.S. crude oil and 15% of its natural gas are produced in the Gulf of Mexico. As seen in Figure 2, the oil production areas are concentrated along the Louisiana and Texas coast. If Gustav makes a landfall on the right side of its cone of uncertainty, in Alabama or the Florida Panhandle, the oil and gas infrastructure might not be significantly affected. However, most of the cone of uncertainty lies in the major oil and gas producing areas, and I give an increased 70% chance that Gustav will significantly hurt oil and gas production in the Gulf.

But no, no, it must be speculators. John McCain said offshore drilling is hurricane proof.

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