She was born in the usual way. A disorganized blob of clouds emerged over the Atlantic Ocean off Africa’s bulging western coast, just north of the equator. Atmospheric pressure there was low, typical for late summer. Natural variability in the earth’s climate spawns tropical disturbances every year in this area—sometimes more, sometimes fewer, and sometimes they become hurricanes. Weather forecast models unanimously predicted that the clouds would coalesce into a storm that curved harmlessly northwest into the mid-Atlantic, far from land.