We woke up at ten minutes to five this morning to the sound of the window louvers rattling in their frames. The wind was blowing steadily at a good 40 mph or more, with some pretty wild gusts. The rain was coming down harder than it had at anytime since we arrived in American Samoa.
I went online to find out what I could. Here is the official National Weather Service forecast for American Samoa, as of 4:53am local time:
Rest Of Tonight…Mostly cloudy with scattered showers. Lows in the mid 70s. Northwest winds 15 to 20 mph.
Monday And Monday Night…Mostly cloudy with scattered showers. highs in the mid 80s. Lows in the upper 70s. Northwest winds 15 to 20 mph.
At the same time, they issued a wind advisory warning of”winds of 25 to 35 miles per hour with locally higher gusts.”
Now, I understand that until very recently people facing a storm in this part of the world had very little information about it other than what they could see by looking up. The miracle of sitting at a computer, during a hurricane, and flipping between several weather sites while also watching a football game from 4,000 miles away isn’t lost on me. But really, National Weather Service, this is the best you can do? It was like that all day yesterday, too. The forecast page never even had the words “hurricane” or “cyclone” on it.
At least they pass along these animated satellite maps. Here’s the most recent image:
This site shows the images as animations so I can make my meteorological analysis: red stuff moving toward us is bad, red stuff not moving toward us is good.
Long story short, we’re in a “monsoonal trough” (sounds like an old-timey disease, maybe something one of the Bronte sisters suffered from). I was led to believe that the trough would involve standard non-cyclone-strength wind and rain, but for the last hour or so it’s been pretty hard to tell the difference.