Graphite on Rag Board
40 x 60″
Chaos is a drawing about the National Hurricane Center’s term, “the cone of uncertainty” — sometimes called the cone of death. Life from August through November revolves around the NOAA hurricane forecast for those who live in Florida. The security of our property, life schedules, and travel plans are hostages of the whims of Mother Nature trying to cool herself down. Chaos is part of my series called Surface Tension.
Floridians typically have a few hurricane tracker apps on their cell phones. Hurricane supplies are restocked every spring — new batteries, water containers, canned and dried food supplies, tarps, candles, CASH, cocktails, and many crossed fingers. The NOAA National Hurricane Center broadcasts invaluable information to plan for these potential disasters.
A hurricane is a cyclonic vortex — rotating counterclockwise in the northern hemisphere. The strongest winds are in the eyewall surrounding the nearly calm eye at the storm’s center. A hurricane recipe has two ingredients — an ocean surface temperature of at least 80° Fahrenheit and a thunderstorm that pulls warm surface air from all directions. Because they form at 5° to 20° from the equator the rotation of the earth makes them spin.
Hurricanes are steered by global large-scale winds. The storm interacts with the ocean before landfall and with the land after landfall. Typically the storm will soften her blow when she hits land. This is not always true on the peninsula of Florida. I have personally seen storms pass over land and reconstitute their horror over water — hitting a different location.
NOAAs Joint Polar Satellite System’s (JPSS) polar-orbiting satellites capture data over each spot on Earth twice a day. Measurements of the sea surface, atmospheric temperature, and moisture help forecast storms several days in advance. These satellites image each storm every 30 seconds to collect data on Cloud top cooling, central pressure, features of the eye, wind estimates, and lightning activity.
And all this information makes a map — and a cone of Chaos.
The environment has changed because of global warming. Our survival depends on choosing a responsible alternative to fossil fuels. Ignoring these warnings will create Chaos.