Caribbean Convection & Labor Day Hurricane. History of the Bonus Army & the Vets Washed Out to Sea..
In the Gulf of Mexico there is a large area of convection that has been lingering around a bit too long for comfort and needs to be monitored... just in case.
Introducing Caribbean Convection Up Close and personal on the new floater.
Going wider we can see it in the Caribbean and the whole area that is convecting...
Seems to be moving fast...towards very warm water.
The reason I'm paying attention to this little wave in the Caribbean that has the remnants of Invest 97L in it that has been following the more southerly model paths as it ... didn't develop so it went WEST. As we all know or should know a weak wave that doesn't develop moves west into the Caribbean vs taking the path towards San Juan and the beautiful Virgin Islands. And, IF something develops in the Caribbean it has to hit land to get out of the Caribbean. Either it continues west towards Central America. If it strengthens the atmospheric currents in place will life it NW across the Yucatan into the GOM or BOC.
Currently the NHC is monitoring it in a long term fashion. A sort of wait and see what will be over the next few days.
* Formation chance through 5 days...medium...30 percent.
Okay...that's something to watch. Mind you we have watched this area before.
Earlier in the week Invest 97L was being watched and models were run.
Right now it's just "disturbed weather" and it could get more disturbed down the road. It could even become a Tropical Depression or Tropical Storm if the conditions improve.
A lot of IFS but its important to stay informed of changing conditions.
Why you ask?
Because back in 1935 we did not have weather apps or a weather radio or weather sites online.
There was a weak storm moving west towards South Florida and no one was aware of it. Labor Day was coming and people were out and about going on picnics and spending time with family. In the Florida Keys there were Veterans working in "work camps" not much better than what most Boy scouts look forward to for a nite... but for weeks, months and they would take their checks and send them home at the height of the depression. There's a long history behind this drama.
Cliff Notes ... many vets wanted to take money from their benefits to feel their families during one of the worst depressions in History. They camped out on the lawn in DC and it became an embarrassment for the President and was covered by the press...ongoing... Vets who had risked their lives in World War 1 who wanted help from the government...they wanted jobs. So they were given jobs... hard jobs in harsh places like the Florida Keys in the summer without air conditioning. Sand flies, bugs, thunderstorms...heat stroke. Because they had already had a hurricane while building the Overseas Railroad early on they were well aware of the dangers of a hurricane and having to evacuate people from the work camps down in the Florida Keys. A plan was said to have been made and if anything happened they would send a relief train.
Cliff Notes Ending... when it rains it pours and worst case scenarios pile up.
It was Labor Day. Government officials were on vacation thus slowing down the plan from going into action. The Hurricane developed fast Andrew style from a weak storm and no model saw it coming. There was no argument between the EURO and the GFS and not even the Canadian or Aviation model were around... in fact there were no computers. Maybe a few Seminoles knew something was up from signs that were handed down generation to generation.
And... when they finally sent the train the bridge got stuck and it delayed the train at least 30 minutes, probably close to an hour or more according to Miami Historian Paul George. By the time the train got there it was too little...too late... and the train and what was left of the work camps was swept out to sea along with the families who lived in the Keys.
The ONLY silver lining here was that because it was Labor Day a lot of the workers took off and went into Miami to visit friends... have fun and get a break from their hard work. The many who stayed behind were the fathers who sent home money to their families... the sons and brothers who didn't spend the paycheck for a trip up into Miami for Labor Day.
Some good links:
In 1935 there was no orange graphic from the NHC giving a five day warning for areas that might develop into a hurricane with Las Vegas like odds. And, they do a great job!
Back then we had a train that went to sea... and when you were on board and you looked down all you could see was the sea. I've had old conchs tell me how exciting it was to take a trip on that train to Miami when they were 5 and 6 or 7.
Note that in 1905 there were environmentalists in South Florida who didn't like the environment being messed with.... and one of the best said that if you damned up Florida Bay with the long railroad tressels that it would create a damning effect and create a tidal wave during a storm surge. And, that is what happened. Yes it was a storm surge, but a storm surge made worse by the set up that had already killed people during the building of the railroad in 1905.
You can read a long blog post from the past that talks on this further.
If you think there were conspiracies after JFK was shot ..it was nothing compared to what went on after the 1935 Hurricane. Many said that by the weather bureau saying it was a Category 5 it was a fake way of absolving the government from any responsibility for the vets as it was now an "Act of God"
However...the NHC has gone over that storm many times and they do feel it was a Category 5 Hurricane and they do have the final word.
The part here that is important to remember is without satellite imagery, without the computer models, without the forecasters at the NHC interpreting the data... weather forecasters were blind sided often by hurricanes that go through Rapid Intensification and suddenly appear off shore as a Major Hurricane.
We had great maps, but the warnings came to late for the men out in the work camps on small islands connected by railroad trestles, road beds and bridges.