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!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Irene Monday Morning Moving Towards the Gulf Coast

The loop above is a great loop if you have a  chance to look at it Monday morning  You can see the storm start to come through the Florida Straits as a weak storm and exit the Keys as a stronger storm and watch it barreling fast towards the Upper Gulf Coast  My thinking is a line from Mobile to Nola with special emphasis on Gulfport....  a lot depends on the front to it's north that is currently about to move into Kentucky.

Two things I want to mention of importance.

1 Back on Thursday I predicted this storm could move towards the Mobile area when models were taking it towards NW Florida and flirting with a Tampa hit I still think it can pull a bit to the right and begin moving more to the North and spare Nola from testing it's new expensive flood control system.

2. Kirk did not form behind Joyce as the models predicted In fact, the models predicted Kirk to be a strong storm and he did not really form..nothing much happened  Just saying.......we have sometimes an over reliance on modeling.  Models are very bad at handling intensity and sometimes although the show indications of what "could" happen.. it does not happen for many reasons.

Again, INTENSITY FORECASTING is the Holy Grail. It's that always elusive factor.

[Image of 5-day forecast and coastal areas under a warning or a watch]

This is the current track which keeps it on track for New Orleans. Nice travel plans if you can make them.. Key West to New Orleans. Two of my favorite cities and the favorite cities of most honeymooners.  But, will it go to New Orleans or veer west or east? A lot depends on forward speed and intensity.

Old school style, this is the data on Isaac now at 9 AM.

LOCATION...25.7N 84.7W

Currently Isaac is moving towards the Gulf Coast. Speed is everything and also the speed of the trough and the intensity of the trough to it's north  The European handled Isaac better than the GFS model has so far in that.. he called the Intensity better and kept him weak and further west for longer. If you extrapolated the current movement the swampy areas of the Sabine River would most likely get Isaac.  But, will he strengthen (what we have been asking for over a week it seems . . .) that is the question.

And, why has he not strengthened.... he is still flirting with an upgrade to Hurricane Status, something he did more than once and then fell short of the goal. A still very weak inner structure that never has set up a real tower to evacuate energy and explode into a strong Hurricane. Dust from Africa STILL caught up in his inner structure. A pesky upper level low to his west that helps ventilate him, however inhibits his ability to develop that upward, inner core. I mentioned this ULL several times, few people do because most look UPSTREAM at the troughs and other things... and it is a small ULL that has also been forecast to move out for DAYS now .. but hasn't and that ULL keeps Isaac in check.

If you look SW of Isaac over towards the Yucatan you will see a dark area that is the ULL. The image above is 12 hours ago.

Now, if you look at the same image current as of 9AM you will see the dark area has lessened a bit in "darkness" and Isaac looks a bit more traditional.

Another thing of note now is that the dark line north of Texas that goes NE towards the Great Lakes seems weaker now than it did 12 hours ago, which is something that could show the models that indicated that the steering currents may weaken and he could slow down and intensify. You see there are a lot of "coulds" "shoulds" and "mights" in weather forecasting. It's all a ballet of speed, intensity and lighting... other factors behind stage that make the ballet what it is... not just people leaping about in tights. If the handsome dancer misses the woman about to make the leap into his arms gracefully she falls unceremoniously onto the ground and the audience gasps. When the models make a big mistake, no one gasps... and the NHC runs out and changes the cone ever so and you forget the cone ever looked different. Someone needs to design a model that gets the timing right... and the intensity will fall into place as they work together like a team.  Track is nice, but we are still way off at the end of the cone, sometimes 250 miles off on the 5 Day Cone.

Loop this loop. It is an archive loop and note on Saturday the models had shifted to NW Florida and then lurched back towards the Middle of the Gulf Coast.

Meanwhile.... as I also said (POINT 3) Isaac was very much like Irene in that her WEATHER MASS was far to the East and NE which we call his "dirty side" meaning the dirt... the yuck factor ...the rain and the mess.. it should say WEATHER MESS. And, as I forecasted.... Miami, FLL and WEST PALM BEACH have gotten swamped with rain coming in, training in from first the "dirty side" and then the "tail" of Irene. Key West got off mild compared to WPB. They have broken records that have stood since 1949 for heavy rain. lI cannot even give a final figure, because it is not is still raining from moisture being pumped up from the tropics caught up in Isaac. NOTE...AGAIN...had Isaac been a STRONG Hurricane all of the weather would have wrapped up into a tight circle. But, instead she rains far away from her "center" and even Tampa that is closer to Isaac is barely getting rain, just dark, ominous clouds but it's still raining in West Palm Beach.

If you think Isaac was a wipe out and a dud and no one got any weather check out the links below that tell a different story. And, for the many people who are dealing with flooding and power outages Isaac is a storm they will remember.  <----- read this one first :)

80,000 people were without power in the South Florida area at some time from Isaac, 40,000 people are STILL without power as South Florida....especially the West Palm Beach area that got slammed all night with flooding rains and strong winds...48,000 are still without power.

As to where he is going. I don't know. I'd like to believe the models, but the models also forecast Kirk to form and be a strong hurricane. That didn't happen. They also hinted that the steering currents may be getting funny...and they might.

Isaac still has not gotten any better organized, though briefly on the funktop last night he looked good and then... he looked crummy again.

Enh Infrared Satellite - GOES East 12 hr Loop

Note he almost looks like he still is a storm split in he did in the
Carib... a few days back.

latest goes east hurricane sector water vapor image

One storm is in the Gulf and another is on the East Coasts headed up towards Jacksonville.

IF we did not have these fancy models.... no one would have ever hyped this storm as anything but a pesky Tropical Storm laden with tropical moisture that would put a kink in the plans of the RNC to make a convention in Tampa in August.

Now the media is hyping the storm again as it moves towards Nola as the Second Coming of Katrina and he is still barely an organized Tropical Storm. Again, KATRINA... ORGANIZED TWO HOURS prior to landfall in Aventura Florida and never looked back. We are still waiting for Isaac to come together... not the same storm.

The same week... yeah that is when hurricanes hti...Labor Day Weekend. If you are Jewish you associate them with the High Holy Days (Jewish New Year) and if you are a football fan you associate them with football...or all three. The start of school....Hurricane Donna put a kink in school for me on my first week in school....  One reason Miami kids love Hurricanes... extended summer vacation :)

So.... we have to remember that Katrina did to New Orleans what it did because of a LEVEE failure NOT because of the storm that hit to the East of New Orleans. Let's hope they have fixed the levees as they say they have and upped the whole flood control district's protection of the surrounding areas.

Lastly................INLAND FLOODING will most likely be the real legacy of Isaac. Please pay careful attention to your local weather if you live UPSTREAM of where Isaac will make landfall in the Gulfport is very vulnerable to storm surge, Mobile Bay would be a mess.... prepare for a big, flooding, tropical event and the outlying chance that finally, at long last Isaac can live up to his potential which is what the models see...   The models do not see reality, they see his potential and they warn us...

Keep working on those models.... keep dealing with reality and keep watching the storm.

I cannot tell you how great it was to watch the coverage in Miami via As usual I owe Jim Williams as it made me feel not so far away. I was in Upstate New York this weekend for a family reunion for my husband. First you lose one cellphone service ...then you lose the other cellphone, wifi evaporates and even Verizon has spotty service. I do not get the whole upstate Catskill thing... I really don't. It would be a really beautiful place if it was closer to the ocean. Santa Barbara I get... mountains, sky, ocean...   You drive close to TWO hours up from New York City and it's all broken trees, overgrown forests (laugh it's true) and nothing anywhere except a few strip malls. Not talking beautiful wide open space like when you drive through Iowa... it's one long blur of mixed forest from Virginia north.... NJ and NY blend together.. it looks like that until you get to Cape Cod and New Hampshire to be honest. I am not a country girl. It was a labor of love to sit there and watch every contact I had with the outside world disappear except for a poor wifi service in a Starbucks on the highway.  A little green worm fell into my plate while we were eating picnic style outside in the backyard of the family home down the block and around the corner up the hill or down the hill from the Hotel they used to own and manage. A little green worm... like who wants that. Seriously ?? That does not happen in Key West and okay maybe a little parrot might fly over head on Lincoln Road Mall but seriously.... so people ran over and squashed it on the pavement... which really made me want to keep eating.  Nope... not my style of life, but they all sat around talking about the good old days at the Hotel where they grew up taking care of the guests and having Woodridge to themselves the rest of the year.  Sigh.................  staring.... just so far from my realm of "normal" and I miss the South. I'm a Southern girl... a Beach Girl.... a tropical girl. All I can think is "why don't people pick up the dead trees" and fix it up. Laugh... it's miles and miles through Maryland, New Jersey of trees down on the roadside, overgrown brush, you can't see the sky or the cities ... it all looks the same. I can understand now why people move to Miami and Tampa... now I get it. Really. It's also why most people in Raleigh from "up north" think Raleigh is a Garden of Eden. In ways it is... we have flowers and blossoms and way too many pine trees but I digress...

Back in a motel room in Delaware headed south... nice BIG screen TV... incredible shower (I've taken two am going to take another one in a few minutes) and watching TWC before setting out for the day on our way back south.

If you come from Upstate New York and I upset you... sorry on that. I am sure Syracuse is really beautiful in the Winter. But that area of the "mountains" ewww give me the Santa Monica Mountains or the Santa Ynez ones or Arrowhead...oh wow Arrowhead.. nice. The Virgin Islands. Even the Blue Ridge Parkway in the Fall...those are my mountains, the mountains of the South.

So.... as for if he develops. Watch the timing... watch that front to the north and hope and pray he does not slow down and get lose in weak steering currents over hot water just offshore.

And, I'll be back later today what you what you got to do and pray... always helps to pray and it doesn't help any

And, keep watching the storm on as you slice and dice the storm from the many visual links all over the board... and pay attention to your local forecast:

Besos Bobbi

Thank you for reading, for sending emails and thoughts. This is in ways a labor of love. I don't have a "pay here button" anywhere and I am not advertising generators or wireless back up power cranes lol but I do love writing about tropical weather and discussing the storm with some of the best tropical forecasters who work at a variety of places both public and private who commit their lives to trying to better predict the weather. And, for all those people at home who have been at one time or another affected by a hurricane and have learned never to ignore them and never to turn your back on a storm. Thanks for reading my blog...


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