Hurricane Harbor

A writer and a tropical muse. A funky Lubavitcher who enjoys watching the weather, hurricanes, listening to music while enjoying life with a sense of humor and trying to make sense of it all!

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Snow in Raleigh... Chanukah Present from Mother Nature

This picture is as vintage a picture of this part of NC when it snows...

I woke up this morning to snow falling outside my window. It wasn't really in the forecast, as weather people have been insisting that temperatures would be too warm. Personally, I'm always skeptical when temperatures are that close to freezing. A few degrees here or there and the warm wedge can slip aside allowing snow to fall.. and it did.

To set the picture, my bed is near the window. I like it that way as I can ... look out the window at the sky, the trees and the squirrels driving my neighbor crazy. It's not aesthetically the best place for the bed, but it works for me. Okay, it's a little cold in the winter... but so worth it on a morning like this one. I pushed the lacy curtains aside and peaked out to see if it was raining yet. A few white specs of what looked like Styrofoam fell to the ground. I wondered briefly what the squirrels were doing on the roof that was creating this effect. Suddenly I WOKE UP.. and the dots or rather flakes began to connect. IT WAS SNOWING!  I ran to the front door, pulled it open and ... snow... like in the movie White Christmas where it starts to snow at the end of the movie. Obviously... it wasn't the type of snow that sticks but really who cares? Chanukah, Shabbos morning when we sleep late and relax there's snow in the daytime...falling faster now.

What's a girl to do?

I ran to my step-daughter's bedroom and banged on the door "ARIEL WAKE UP ITS SNOWING!!" and if that didn't wake my daughter Rivky, I banged her door as well with the news. Ariel is in this week from Arizona where it doesn't snow much in Scottsdale and she really wanted to see snow for Chanukah. Rivky goes to State, and is sure it's going to be a cold winter and will definitely snow but yeah she joined us at the front door. We stood there, 3 very excited stunned girls staring up at the snow. Rivky said quietly, "it's magical" and that pretty much sums it up. Note, I did not wake up my husband who is from upstate New York and went skiing every day after school in the winter like we go to the beach in Miami. I'm pretty sure he was awake...or was when I came back to bed to lie by my window staring up at the snow falling, falling, falling... white flakes magically into the yard he was definitely awake.

There are pictures online at where everyone in Raleigh who is not used to snow (meaning transplanted Southerners) were acting as if it was a blizzard...when it really was light snow were sending in pictures all morning. As it's the Jewish Sabbath for me... I just sat by the window smiling from ear to ear.  The picture above is typical Raleigh... or near Raleigh posted on the WRAL site.

I'm from Miami. I still think it's magical. I'm still amazed every time it snows. It doesn't happen that much in Raleigh, a few times a year at the most and often late at night.

What a Chanukah present!

As for the upcoming winter.... what's next?

The models show a storm moving towards NYC....though for now the forecast is for a rain and wind, however Friday morning there was no mention of snow in the forecast for Saturday morning so...stay tuned...

Will it be as bad a winter as people say or will it come in like a lion and go out like a lamb?

Only time will tell.

For me I'm still excited as normally the closest I get to my snow globe...

Besos Bobbi

Monday, December 15, 2014

Police Storm Lindt Cafe In Sydney as Siege ends ... Winter Wxr Coming to East Coast

So hard to focus on weather when there is a drama unfolding on the other side of the world in Sydney where a seemingly lone gunman has held up to 40 people hostage as well as their main financial district. It's as if someone stormed a Starbucks or Ghiradelli chocolate store on Wall Street in NYC.

There have been deaths, many escaped. The facts are still coming out as this is going on live as I am writing this article. At least 2 people have been killed (one the terrorist, one a hostage) and I write this with prayers for all those who are in the hospital being treated and the families of the people held hostage. We were all held hostage in ways by this brutal 'lone wolf" attack of a Isis sympathizer.

Amazing how the horrific acts of one man can create so much evil.

Compare and contrast how the good acts of one man can create so much good.

Sounds simple but true.

And, awes me sometimes how the word "storm" is a verb more than a noun at times.

As I said the other day "hurricane" refers to the speed of wind to sailors.. not just A Hurricane with a name traveling across the globe.

And, news travels across the globe these days at light speed or faster. I watched Skynews last night when CNN and FOX were showing taped segments about health, dinosaurs and old trials no one cares about anymore.

The world is very small and we no longer can feel "safe" here in America with an ocean dividing us from Europe and Asia as we learned so graphically during the 911 attacks. For good or for bad however you wish you view it we are one world. People travel and politics travels across the Internet. Sydney has had problems in the last several months with girls running off to Syria to join Isis.. something that is hard to wrap your head around but it has happened in England, Minnesota.. Detroit.. anywhere that some lost child is fair game for someone online who is trying to brainwash a weak, lost soul.

ISIS leaders have gone online and begged people who believe what they believe to take upon themselves lone actions against "Western" targets and I mean that broadly. This is not about Jews as targets or Israel but Christians or anyone (including atheists) who do not believe what they believe.

It's not about whether someone is "crazy" or a "lone wolf" it's about the spread of terror with one commonality behind it being incited by one broad group of people.


The Boston Marathon Massacre was a lone wolf who enlisted the one person he trusted more than anyone ... his younger brother. And, the younger brother ran away and hid in a boat, scared and arrested. Guilty yes, an accomplice... yes... but his brother was basically a lone wolf who pulled the younger one in... in the same way lost kids online are being pulled in to what they think is a heroic cause or just with a rebel without a real cause mentality. Hard to understand for most of us..

Whether it is a lone wolf or 19 hijackers in a carefully, choreographed plan to bring down jetliners.. the bottom line remains the is terrorism.

The goal of terrorism is to spread fear.......scare..........terrorize.... control people and scare them into behaving a certain way. It's a power game.

I don't want to hear about "mental illness" as only a crazy person ... be they someone with a mental illness or an irrational hatred they believe in... commits these sorts of crimes. Normal people, even those with mucho anger have that little voice inside that says "no stop you can't do that" but many who ware controlled by HATE try to control, intimidate others often under the guise of a political reason... or a "belief" that's just the way the world works and to pretend otherwise is to deny reality.

They said OSWALD was crazy... but he still killed JFK.

The man who killed John Lennon was "crazy" as was the man who tried to kill President Reagan.

Was Osama Bin Laden crazy....or crazy like a fox or did it matter as the ultimate end game was to terrorize those who did not believe the way he believed.

So.............getting off the soap box here, but there is a storm going on today and that storm is sadly a violent one of the human kind in Sydney in the same way there was a larger choreographed attack six years ago in Mumbai India.

Again, it's easier to pull off a lone wolf attack than there is a planned out attack and that is the kind that is being promoted online at many social media outlets that I will not mention. Just know it's there, it's scarier and it's way scarier than worrying on a severe weather alert or a hurricane forming somewhere headed west bound towards the Outer Banks.

I'd rather watch Mother Nature on the rampage any day than this sort of terrorism.

Speaking of weather........

There is talk of a winter storm later this week in parts of the East Coast. Many are hyping it, many are being very conservative with a wait and see attitude. The Capital Gang at the Washington Post are not the type to hype as much as tell it like it is....if there is a reason to worry.

One of those mixed bags, surprise bag forecasts for now. I'll be on top of this later in the week as it becomes clearer what sort of precipitation we have and how many P-Type issues some places could see... P-Type means possible snow, ice... etc in the same way we say a storm may go left vs NW towards Florida... when doing hurricane forecasts.

From Raleigh NWS Discussion...

For now it's sunny, cool and beautiful and I need to get presents in the mail because Chanukah comes sooner rather than later this year.

And, at this beautiful time of year as we move towards Chanukah and Christmas we need to all pray that good wins out over evil and do our part to make this world a better place one good act at a time.

Besos Bobbi
Ps... Going to leave you with a beautiful song that my son worked on to raise money for the victims of terror in Mumbai and to honor to watch the news and I wonder what i

Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg and his pregnant wife Rivka were killed in that terrorist attack... their small child escaped helped by the babysitter who often took care of him and is still caring for him today in Israel.

Chabad Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg and wife Rivka reportedly alive but unconscious in Mumbai Chabad House

SatelliteIndian commandos and police were evacuating civilians and cordoning off the area apparently in preparation to storm the Chabad House in Mumbai India, where a rabbi, his wife and others were being held hostage, according to IBN, an Indian news agency.
Newscasters were calling it the "final assault" on the Nariman House, where Chabad headquarters are located adjacent to the Leopold Cafe, a major tourist center in Mumbai's Colaba area which was also attacked Wednesday night

Friday, December 12, 2014

All About the River.. LA River Flooding

You have to have lived in L.A. at one time to really appreciate what is going today. There is water in the Los Angeles River and it's flowing fast while rescue crews search frantically for a missing person who possibly may have drowned. A body was just found in a drainage canal in Garden Grove by a passer by . . .

Understand normally there is no water in the LA River to speak of... a small trickle of water flows in the middle of what looks more like a natural area with trees and pavement on either side where people ride their horses.

One person was just rescued who was clinging to a tree. Unfortunately another person was with him and that person has not yet been found. They are hoping the other person was able to find a tree to hold onto. Why you ask are there trees IN the Los Angeles River? Because parts of it are concrete with a little ribbon of blue in the middle and other areas have earthen river bottoms where bushes and trees spring up as ... normally there is not really water in the Los Angeles River.

Today it's a raging river sweeping anything in it down stream due to the Winter Storm.

A long time I go I lived in Long Beach California, a wonderful time in my life. I was a young mother in a new world trying to adapt to geology and earthquakes as I was on the wrong coast for hurricanes. I sent my father a map of where we lived and the places we went so he could get a feel for my new life.

He called me up and said he saw we lived near the river. I told him... "NOOOO there's no river here, we are near the Pacific Ocean" and he insisted I lived near the river. In fact he said it was walking distance. This was a real mystery to me as I had never seen any river anywhere the whole time I had lived in Southern California. My husband explained to me we did live near the river, but there's no water in it. For a Miami girl this was a real "HUH????" 

(Do you see a river here other than the type that says Los Angeles River???)

The next time we drove over the "river" my husband, a Valley Boy,  pointed down to what looked like a natural area where you often saw people out riding their bikes or horses on the concrete pathway... there was a river it seems down there..... somewhere.......  Darn if my father was right. That little dark blue line in the middle of the green park like area was.............. the Los Angeles River.

Not today...........

Today the news feed on Twitter is nonstop all about the river and the flooding.

I was going to write today about mud slides in Camarillo or houses sliding into the Pacific with waves that looked like a storm surge.. but no the truth is today the story is all about the river.d

Some history on the river...

Some information on things to do in and around the river on normal days...

Today it's all about the swift water rescues and flooding and hoping that they find the woman who was see bobbing in the water and then disappeared.

Weather always happening somewhere when you least expect it.

Besos Bobbi

Ps...Today most of the weather is on the West Coast. In a week or so there may be a chance for winter weather in the South... maybe. Stay tuned.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Winter Storm.. Donner Party.. Frozen .. Pineapple Express... Connect the Dots..

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They call it the Pineapple Express for a reason.... it goes all the way to Hawaii

It's creating waves on Lake Tahoe, power is out in many places as trees are down down down..

....and it seems that surf is UP UP UP

What a storm on the West Coast. It looks like a cross between a hurricane and a blizzard... the waves on Lake Tahoe make it look like Lake Michigan.

You can watch some good video online that make this illusion of a Western Hurricane come to life.

Good sites abound online that show the reality of the weather drama unfolding.

You have to picture a storm like this back in the 1800s as pioneers were making their way west trying to reach San Francisco before the height of winter.

Remember this infamous trip west?

The reason they took the short cut was because speed was of the essence. You didn't want to make that trip across the mountains if winter weather was an issue. You see... it's all about the weather!

Note how in December the weather begins to take a turn for the worse...

Today's forecast for that area is as follows. Very, wicked, winter weather...

If you watch those videos linked above you will learn that they expect winds up to 120 mph on the ridges of the mountain tops. 

Hurricane force winds.

As I was reminded last summer in Seattle where they have a mountain ridge named "Hurricane Ridge" the word hurricane is a speed of wind...not just a specific storm. 

Hurricane Winds up in the mountain passages from today's West coast winter storm.

Hurricanes everywhere this year but the Caribbean. Go figure ...

In fact today it's in the 60s as I write this in Miami.. 

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Besos Bobbi ... stay warm!

Bobbi Storm

Ps...That storm there is moving East towards the rest of the country... look at that Southern Jet pulling that front down into the Gulf of Mexico. A few weeks back it was Buffalo... now it's Alcatraz and the Donner Pass...

Years back it wasn't as easy as it is today. 
Today.. people go out in the snow, take video and make parodies ;)

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Winter is here. Winter is near.... Strong Winter Storm Lashes NY/NE

First the rain water bucket freezes.................

...............then you see the snow plow.....

And, you know winter is on the way and here to stay.

A strong winter storm is winding up in the Atlantic slamming the NE with cold, winter weather.

In Raleigh they are cleaning up the falling leaves... cold rain, no snow

In Brigatine NJ the bay is rising... the wind is blowing... great photo...

Autumn is gone.. it's winter even if the Calendar says otherwise...

Besos Bobbi

Sunday, December 07, 2014

Winter 2014-2015. Grab Bag of Winter Excitement

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All eyes are on storms heading East from the West Coast this week. And, snow lovers are watching the long term forecasts to see if the holidays will hold a snowy present for Southerners. People in New England really do not wish for snow, but those in the Carolinas and Georgia look longingly towards Senor El Nino and hope he keeps them in mind for just a day or two.

Yes, an El Nino is forming but which type of El Nino will he be is the question.

For now the flow is from West to East with not much diving down from Canada. That will not last forever and December will see the temperature slip slowly downward.

The Atlantic Ocean has a sort of Parrot looking feature and sun is peaking out in Raleigh this morning for the first time since my brother left last week.

Every time the family from Miami comes up for a holiday the weather is picture perfect and they look at me like "what are you always complaining about?" then they leave and the gray days of November and December move back in as if they are mocking me.

Today it's beautiful. The wind started blowing last night so strong that I fell asleep watching the tall pine trees dancing back and forth in the bright moonlight.

So as I watch the short term forecast for the North East with snow on the way and messy travel I wonder if snow will get below the Mason Dixie Line anytime soon.

This image is updated in real time from

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Jack Frost has slipped south, but that's not the same as Old Man Winter showing his craggy face.

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The snow is up there in those Great Lake Cities where it should be and out West in Colorado, but it's moving East.

According to Caleb Weatherbee there is no real snow in the forecast through January for the South or the part of the South that I'm talking on.... 

You can check out there site online. 

Personally I like a few of my closer weather friends who I believe are right.

The truth is if you want to see snow... you got to go to where the snow is.. 

Weather is a lot like love, follow it with all your heart or it will get away from you.

And, if you like sunshine and balmy breezes in December then go south to Miami where it's June all year round . . .

Miami from the beaches to Wynwood... everything is on display this week.

While in Miami go over to what used to be Tropical Park and visit Santa's Enchanted Forest...

A nice story on the one constant in South Florida... beautiful weather in December... 


And now....

Again....pick the weather you like and go to it...

If you like the mountains and enjoy a Southern way of life... travel to Asheville

I's like Vegas.......... you only win if you own the house ;)

Choose where you want to be and who you want to be and hit the road Jack if Jack Frost and Senor Nino is not bringing you the weather you like... pack your own bag with the weather you desire!!

Besos Bobbi
Ps... Planning on being up here through Chanukah... maybe... and then Miami

Ps I hate Beethoven. Just putting it out there cause some people do love mother did and more than one old boyfriend.

Thursday, December 04, 2014

Flooding in California... Always Weather Somewhere.. Anniversary of 2002 Raleigh Ice Storm

This graphic headline pretty much says it all.
That's San Fran NOT Tampa.. yes Virginia that's a sink hole...

Normally when I see a sink hole I think it's Central Florida somewhere, but in this case it seems they happen in Northern California also.

The rain is not just confined to Northern California but is causing serious flooding in Southern California and what is called the "High Desert"

That's not South Beach... that's San Jose.

Remember that song about never raining in Southern California?

Well, when it rains it pours and I know I lived out there during an El Nino..

Years back I lived in LA. The particular year I'm talking on was 1983 when an El Nino created a very warm moist period that caused rains so strong that my 4 year old woke us up and told us "Mommy it's raining in the bedroom" and pointed to the ceiling that was leaking just a few inches from our bed. Fast forward an hour or so later and it was pouring in our bedroom. Seems the landlord didn't realize the roof was bad as it hadn't rained like that in .... a long time. And, when they say that in LA they scrunch up their eyes and look towards the Hollywood sign and try to remember when it did rain that hard . . .

Eventually part of the ceiling collapsed and we moved into the very large dining room where a sleep away sofa opened up into a Queen size bed.  We moved the table... they fixed the ceiling that kept getting worse as the rain kept coming down. But, on that infamous day when it was raining in our bedroom on Poinsetta just north of Melrose Avenue we crawled out of bed, went to the front door and looked outside to see what rain in LA looked like and there was so much rain the water was flowing down the street from the Hollywood Hills. There was a strong current in the street there..  There was actually WATER in the Los Angeles River... 

We ended up moving around the corner to Fuller Avenue ;) while the landlord Rosemary tried to solve the ongoing roof problem. A shame, cause that was a really cute duplex... 

This pretty much sums it up for life in California when it rains. Stay inside, hunker down if you can and hope and pray your roof doesn't leak.

There's always weather going on somewhere, even if it rarely ever rains in Southern California or snows in Raleigh, North Carolina. 

Today is the anniversary of the 2002 Ice Storm that shut down Raleigh, NC for days... some people were without electric for weeks. Watch this old video from a press conference that shows you how dire the circumstances were and note they compared it to Hurricane Fran with Ice. Note how much it looks like a post hurricane damage press conference.

Yes, I have learned never to say out loud "Wow, I'd really like to see an Ice Storm" as people glare at me and tell me how they lost their _____ tree and had no power for almost 2 weeks and..... it really doesn't cut it to tell them "But, I heard they are really pretty..."  or you will hear about their pear trees and a whole list of things that went pop in the night..........along with their electric.

Obviously some people made the best of it..

They are beautiful, but they can be deadly.

As for tropical weather there is tropical weather in the Pacific. There is a possible winter storm in the wings for Christmas for the East Coast though what that means just yet is hard to say as it's too soon to tell. They are still trying to figure out how much rain we are going to be getting this coming Saturday.

Stay tuned for an update on how Christmas Weekend will look when the forecast becomes more certain.

I will say the other day we were walking into the house and my husband looked up at the pear trees and said "hope we don't get an ice storm, because those trees still have a lot of leaves on them.."  Note he rarely says anything like that so it made me go "hmnnnnn" as something about this year obviously makes him wonder. Good news...those pear trees are dropping their leaves so fast the lawn is littered in little yellow leaves......   hmnnnnn...........

Besos Bobbi