Don’t Underestimate a Hurricane

Today’s blog post is once more, early for the pending hurricane in the Carolinas. We will return to your regularly scheduled blogging later next week. Hurricane Florence has weakened to a category 2 storm, but it is no less deadly. It might be worse than if it had remained a category 4 and kept moving.   The Category System There are a lot of factors that go into how strong a storm is. We don’t have an easy system to boil this down to a master deadliness rating. There’s the amount of rain, the storm surge, the wind, the size of it, how long it’s going to impact a given area, and more. If we had a complex system that factored in everything, the average person wouldn’t be able to understand the taxonomy and understand the storm. As a result, we build our hurricane categories on one factor alone: windspeed. We start out with tropical depressions and tropical storms, then work our way up to faster and faster winds, all the way up to roaring 150mph+ category 5 storms. The wind is a predictable, understandable factor. We know the faster the wind gets, the more damage there will be. In some ways, the wind speed is a measure of how much energy is in a storm. This is an understandable set up. You see Category 5 and you know the storm is gonna be a whipping bulldozer that levels everything […]

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How to Prepare for a Hurricane

This week’s blog post is coming out early. We at Procure Inc feel that knowledge can save lives and in times of emergency, the least we can do is spread useful knowledge to anyone in need. Everyone in the path of Hurricane Florence, stay safe and good luck.   How Bad Is The Hurricane? The first thing to know about surviving a hurricane is to know what a hurricane is and just how bad things will get. In a sense, you can think of the hurricane as a tornado about the size of Texas. There will be extreme wind, rain, and flooding. The air is going to move so fast that it will literally rip the roofs off homes. Tree branches, parts of houses, and anything not tied down is going to become airborne. If the wind doesn’t directly hurt you, the debris will, and if the debris doesn’t, significant portions of the state will be underwater. Hurricane Florence is expected to become a Category 5 hurricane. The steady wind speeds will exceed 160 miles per hour. If you had a small airplane, you probably would “hover” if you flew into the wind or even end up flying backwards. There is no stronger category of storm, though there has been consideration for a category 6 to be made. Storms of this size are basically flying bulldozers. Homes will be demolished or washed away. Electrical service will be wiped out. Trees […]

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Why is it Snowing in April?

We work in an industry all about controlling our indoor climates, but we’ve never really talked about our actual, natural climate. Why is it snowing in APRIL. We’re a few days into April, many days into Spring, and there’s snow in the ground. A few days ago it was sixty degrees outside and I was tempted to cook up some burgers on the grill and getting ready to dust off the lawn mower. What is with this weather?   Global Weather The first thing to understand about the weather is that it’s not a local thing. The air all over the world is constantly moving, constantly carrying moisture, changing pressure, and changing the air temperature. Our local climate is controlled by our local geography and exposure to heat from the sun AND by events occurring thousands of miles away. On the one hand, we have the sun warming the ground around us, but on the other hand, air can move at hundreds of miles per hour in the jet stream. We’re experiencing this battle between energy entering our environment and just as quickly being effected by air from cooler environments. What do we expect for our local environment (Philadephia/the US Northeast)? Highs in the 50s and 60s, lows in the 40s. We expect a good bit of rain fall, per the old saying “April Showers bring May Flowers.” That is, it’s a wetter season for us as part of Spring. We’re […]

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Blizzard Testing Your HVAC System

Can you tell it’s winter yet? Is it safe to come out yet? Here in the North East, Mother Nature has just finished her first major storm of the season. We can confirm that no one at Procure is interested in living in the far, Arctic North after experiencing days-straight of subzero temperatures. We were within spitting distance of water being able to freeze before it hits the ground. Along the way, we also got to push our heating systems to their edges and see where we really should’ve built things differently. Edge Case Testing During normal operation, it’s doubtful you’ll ever see something out of place in a well designed heating system. If you engineered a system for an average winter, then chances are you can turn your home or office any temperature you like during average weather. It can be ten degrees outside, but a sweltering 92 inside. When nature throws you a curve ball you get to see where the weaknesses are in your heating system. More extreme weather, is more stress on the system. More stress is going to show you what parts can’t keep up. This breaks down to a problem of numbers. The sum-total of heat you can put in the air is XX. Your building loses heat to the air at a rate of YY. Severe winds increase this rate by ZZ. In order to stay warm XX needs to be greater than […]

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