Hurricanes are the theme of the day on this, the last full day of summer. Rita has revved up to a category 4 storm and is expected to further intensify while in the center of the Gulf. The National Hurricane Center expects the hurricane to diminish somewhat by the time it makes landfall, though it will still be a major hurricane when it does come ashore. For now, it looks like Rita will make landfall in Texas, well south of Galveston.
The Galveston hurricane of 1900 caused the greatest loss of life of any natural disaster in U.S. history. At least 6000 people, and by some estimates up to 12,000 people, died. The storm is infamous to meteorologists because the precursor to today's Weather Service arrogantly and tragically ignored the warnings coming from Cuba's weather agency, which had accurately predicted the storm. At the time Galveston was a booming port and the destruction of the city is what spurred Houston's growth further inland.
Locally, today is the anniversary of the "Long Island Express", a rapidly moving 1938 hurricane that cut across eastern Long Island, creating the Shinnecock Inlet, before moving into New England to cause even more death and destruction.
No rain for us last night. Tomorrow will be an awesome last full day of Summer. Sunny, warm and dry. For the last several days our low temperatures have been close to what we should be seeing for daily high temperatures. It'll be that way this evening in the city but much, much cooler away from town.