Saturday, October 8, 2016

Kennedy Space Center survives brush with Hurricane Matthew

When I looked at Hurricane Matthew's predicted path, two things struck me.  The first was that it was going to graze Cape Canaveral and Kennedy Space Center, putting the ability of the U.S. to launch spacecraft at risk.  Wochit reported on the threat before the storm in Hurricane Matthew To Strike Near Cape Canaveral.

Facilities at the Kennedy Space Center and the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station are bracing for the onslaught of Hurricane Matthew which is expected to reach the area Thursday night and stay until Friday. Matthew has been said to be one of the most powerful storms to threaten Cape Canaveral since the beginning of the space age over 50 years ago. NASA spokesman George Diller said Thursday, "The Kennedy Space Center is now in HURCON 1 status, meaning a hurricane is imminent. Hurricane preparations were completed early last night and remaining employees were sent home.” The National Hurricane Center is predicting dangerous storm surges, heavy rain and 140 mph winds along Florida’s east coast with the eye of the storm passing just off shore or directly over Cape Canaveral.
Fortunately, Wochit was able to report after the storm NASA Survives Brush With Hurricane Matthew.

NASA's Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral just missed getting ht by hurricane Matthew. Workers were able to venture out and do initial damage inspections after. George Diller, from the NASA's Kennedy Space Center, told NBC "It's mostly roof damage and other collateral damage like windows and doors, but no major damage to the major facilities and none to flight hardware" NASA's facilities sit on the coast and were afraid of taking a direct hit from the hurricane which is now a category 5.
Whew.  For more, read NASA Spaceport Weathers Hurricane Matthew as Satellite Reveals Double Eyewall at

The other was that the storm would loop around to the south and west after passing the coast of North Carolina.

I found that unusual.  I think I've seen that happen in this area once in 30 years of paying attention to Atlantic hurricanes.  CNN's Chad Myers references Matthew's looping path in Hurricane Matthew weakens to Category 1 storm , posted earlier this morning.

Hurricane Matthew is now a Category 1 storm, with maximum sustained winds at 85 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center.
By the time it finishes its loop, the storm may no longer be dangerous.  That would be good news.

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