Hurricane Politely Agrees to Leave the Gulf Coast Alone This TimeS

Hurricane Earl is "gathering strength" off the coast of Puerto Rico, and may send squalls all the way to Maine this week. Earl has kindly agreed to leave the Gulf coast alone, though, because it's got enough to deal with.

The above is a "cone of uncertainty" map the National Weather Service made. How come every local news station has a fleet of radars and high-tech imaging software, but the federal government's maps look like still screens from the version of "Where In the World Is Carmen San Diego" that I played in 1992? Let's just hope any necessary emergency responses are faster than my Apple IIC was. [Washington Post, Fox News, National Weather Service]