Today is my dad’s birthday, and he spent it partly at work and partly at home in North Carolina watching the power flicker and treelimbs fly by the house.

They finally lost power at around 6pm, my mom says, which places that event at about the time thet Isabel’s center was as close to them as it got.

I spent much of my day keeping tabs on the storm via both WUNC, my folks’ public radio station, which I listen to anyway for a while each day and also the TV station they were watching, WRAL.

The other predictable web-haunts I had up all day were The Weather Channel and the Weather Underground.

Despite the old-time internet reputation that the the Weather Underground has, I found The Weather Channel‘s default page design to be my single best source of information The largest graphic all day was a continously updated screenshot of the weather satellite view of the storm’s position, in real time.

That was the information I wanted, and all I had to do was glance at the page.

Amusingly, at the end of the day, I was on the phone to someone in NYC (no, not one of the usual suspects). Her antsy concern to be home before the hurricane took me by surprise, considering the calm conversations I had had with my parents about treelimbs cartwheeling by the house. She described the weather she saw out her window as ‘apocalyptic.’

I can only imagine what the weather looked like in Chapel Hill, at closest approach, about 120 miles from the eye of the storm.