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!

Sunday, August 21, 2016

3 Tropical Systems. Model Wars. Discussion on Social Media and Why People Look on Social Media for Weather Info

Where our players are on the maps.

Going to start with strict Tropical Discussion as we have 3 tropical systems of varying strength and potential on the maps. I'll talk about the past, present and future possibilities. At the end of that I'll go long on thoughts shared on line in what we call social media. Social Media is an odd word as it's meant to imply it only happens online with people who could be strangers or family who doesn't really want to come for a visit but who likes our posts on Facebook. Some people do share privately in email groups sharing loops, models and tropical analysis, others do it old school style on message boards and some do it in real time on Twitter. So stay tuned for my thoughts on that if you are interested in knowing what the GFS and EURO are cooking up for supper. As always, thanks for reading and your shared thoughts on various social media.

The track for Invest 99L and 90L closer to the African coast:

Note the locations of projected track for the Invests is consistent.
The track remains the same.
Whether 90L steals the name Gaston from 99L is up for grabs.
If you think back to Earl you will remember...
We were watching one Invest expected to become Earl...
..and a new Invest sprang up further West and got the name Earl.
Things like this happen in the tropics.
The unpredictability of tropical systems makes them so compelling.

Bottom line on the Hurricane Model Wars.
GFS Losing.
EURO Winning.

$ and ingenuity. 
The budget for forecasters in NWS and NHC is below par.
The Euro itself uses many parameters the GFS does not.

As Marshall Shepherd put it all comes down to $

I sat in a car years ago with 3 forecasters.
1 Past Director a Deputy Director and Lead Forecaster.
They talked endlessly about one thing.
Lack of money to fund better models, forecasts, etc.
I won't name names... but telling you honestly.
It all comes down to money.
Or often the lack of money given to the NHC.

So the GFS aka American Model rarely wins in the Atlantic.
In the Pacific it oddly does a better job.
Dynamics in the Pacific are different than the Atlantic obviously.
But similar enough to think after being tweaked GFS would score higher.
The EURO aka European Model tends to be better.
The Euro tends to sniff out tropical formation better.
GFS much like the much aligned CMC cries wolf too much.

Google it and this battle goes back for years.

What is really going on today? 
Let's look at the visible image below.

Fiona is very visible for a weak, dying Tropical Storm.
On a long leash to the South is the big Invest 99L
It has the bones of a circulation with no meat on them.
Meat = Convection.
Lacking convection.


Go figure, looks better than she did days ago...
NHC says Fiona is a goner...

She doesn't really look so fine..
...but in a Miami mood this morning so ...
....listening to this song as I write this:

Regarding 99L
What do you do with a problem like Invest 99L?
You keep watching..

Looking at water temperatures it's clear that it needs warmer water.
It had interference yesterday with a dry slot.
Water Vapor Imagery showed problems with an ULL edging down.

A few frames before it looked like a contender.
See the gray dipping down into it?
Watch the long 5 day water vapor loop.

Note soon 99L gets closer to that much needed warmer water.

athhp.gif (873×397)

Let's go to Mike's

He has a plethora of links that will help you study these systems.
No I didn't get that dress.. didn't like the back.
Note to newbies:
I digress on dresses as I have a wedding for my son coming up.
In Miami September 18th.. where are those long range models??

Invest 99L 
We got a dot of convection!!

2 days 20% chances of development.
5 days 50% chances of development.

I don't want to say too much about models today
GFS has been slapped around by the Euro.
CMC has hurricanes forming everywhere.. drinks on CMC

If anyone here ever watched One Life to Live...
..and know some forecasters who did.. 
You will know Tina came back from the dead more times than a cat.
She went over the falls in South America...
And then showed up alive carrying Cord's baby.

Spoiler Alert... that's entertainment.
And one reason I constantly say while showing long range models..
They are for entertainment purposes only.
We have problems getting the 5 day right.
Why would be believe every twist and turn of a 10 day model?

But I know that people want to see them.
People like to talk about them.
So I post them and in reality it can be fun to shoot the breeze..
online or offline ... a crowded car going to a conference or on the front porch.

No one ever died by watching a 10 day loop...
...showing different solutions on different runs.

But people have died by not taking weather seriously.
Case in point the death toll in Louisiana this morning is 13.
The price tag is probably over 20+ billion.
Will take a long time to fix that part of the world.
Thousands homeless. Businesses destroyed.
God forbid a tropical anything slams into that area later this season.

So later this evening if I am not knee deep in water at a beach..
..I'll post the long range models for #99L and #90L in depth.

As for Invest 90L short term it's a fish.
The problem with some fish is they evolve over time.
Like tadpoles become frogs.
Sometimes the frog gets the princess...

If they are strong enough to survive...
..they can get under a ridge and move West again.

You know the phrase "up and over the islands"
One way they get there is a set up similar to this one.

So for now.. 90L goes out to sea.....
...but it's a big sea.

Actual discussion from NHC

70% in 2 day 
90% in the 5 day
BobbiStorm's Bottom Line:
Expect an upgrade sooner rather than later.

Jim Cantore on these two invests.
He posted this on social media.

Without going into deep discussion on future events.
There is some talk that one or both could be trouble down the road.
A ridge may be forming and one or both could get trapped under the ridge.
If a storm is trapped it is more likely to make landfall.
For now we trust the 5 day cone like positions from the NHC.

Again compare and contrast that to Invest 99L 

What should you do with all those tropical entities out there today?

Go shopping!
Make sure you have basic supplies:
Hydrogen Peroxide, antibiotic cream, band aids.
(people get hurt preparing for a storm and after)

Water and healthy drinks stored away in case a storm hits.
If you really need Coca Cola buy lots... it's good even warm.
Lesson learned from Hurricane Andrew.
I should have bought Coca Cola.
Candles, Flashlights, Tap lights.
Batteries for flashlights and tap lights.
Extra charger for cell phones...
...note cell phone towers could be down.
Work on neighborhood social interaction.
When you are offline you will need real people.
Neighbors helping neighbors.
If you don't have a buzz saw ...
..your neighbor might help with that pine tree ....
that crashed on your house during the height of the storm.
Sand bags if you have a possible flooding problem.
Toys for children.
Baby wipes, diapers.
Baby wipes for when the water is turned off.
Diapers for Grandma.
Asthma medication.
Any medication you need well stocked.
The list goes on and on..

While tropical waves are dancing far out at sea..
..and models are dreaming of solutions on the 10th day.
Be practical and do what you got to do.

If you get lucky and Invest 99L nor 90L miss you..
If Gaston, Hermine and Ian don't slam you..

Use the snacks for school snacks..
..a road trip.
Donate them to the survivors of the Louisiana Floods.

Keep it in perspective.
The convective cluster off the coast of Carolina..
..has more convection than any of our 3 tropical systems.

Now... for my musing discussion.

Jim Williams wrote this blog post yesterday.
Created a lot of discussion online.
It was in response to ongoing critics of social media discussion.

Why do people look towards social media?
Why do they pay attention to meteorologists who don't work for the NHC?
Why do they pay attention to meteorologists without fancy degrees?
Why do they check messages boards and Twitter?

Why do some people get so upset when the general public goes online?

Some people fear the whole online world.
A lot of fake people out there.
Old men pretending to be young kids trying to lure kids into kiddie porn.
True really happens. Sometimes it's old women... 
Old boyfriends using fake names to talk to old girlfriends ...
....they found on classmates. 
That awkward school mate you didn't like in high school..
...suddenly friends you on Facebook.
Do you accept her or ghost her?

In 1998 Ted hired a detective to find Mary.
The detective liked Mary and wanted to keep Mary for himself.
Ted told a friend who also dated Mary who he didn't know dated Mary.
Friend tried to keep Mary for himself.
Was there something about Mary?
Mary should have had the screen name

In 2016 Ted would have saved himself a whole lot of $$$
All he had to do was go on Facebook and send an awkward friend request.

Why their song was a Carpenters Song from 1971 ...
... makes no sense as it should have been from 1980 but I digress.
And it still hurts ......
...when I see the poor little brown pooch go flying out the window..
So mean. Really. Cute puppy.

I'm digressing but not really....

Back in 1965 the NHC said Hurricane Betsy was gone for good.
All clear was sounded in the Miami area.
Betsy was headed for the Carolinas.

And then something happened.
Betsy turned Southwest and went all the way back to Miami.. 
Florida Keys and to Louisiana 

Old timers remember... 
Grandparents tell stories like their grandparents did of 1926 storm.

In 1992 Andrew was going to catch the trof.
Andrew did not catch the trof.
Most of the models were wrong.
The winning model the Aviation model said nope not buying it.

Irene back in 1999 was supposed to go to Naples.
It's weather went to Miami

Cute Miami kids... 
...hey they could have been selling arms.
Wait let me see carefully if it's ..
No.. he was walking thru knee deep water home.
Yeah...canceled work when they sent everyone home.
People in Miami sent their kids to school...
..then had problems picking them up early as streets were flooded.

Flooded. Miami was flooded.

People have long memories.
The Euro beat the GFS on Hurricane Sandy.

Whether it was the snow storm that crippled Raleigh..
...that was not forecast.

Or the snow that never fell after having a Winter Weather Advisory.

People who evacuated Miami Beach for Hurricane David...
...then got Hurricane David up the coast in a motel room.

1. People love to talk about weather.
2. People who have been through a weather tragedy want info.
3. People don't always trust the guy on TV or the NHC.

I said people not me.

I watch Wes in Raleigh.
I watch Phil Ferro in Miami.

I trust some good forecasters and friends at NHC.
But I don't always trust the models.

Garbage in .. Garbage out.
Models get better and better.

And LASTLY....
TV news and the newspaper aren't where it's at.
People want IMMEDIACY.
They don't wait til the 6 PM when Bryan Norcross comes on..
..and talks for 2 minutes on the models.
They go on to social media sites because they can..
..because they can follow hurricane recon through the storm.
Because that's life in 2016!

Who do I trust?
Mike at
Mike does not have a degree in meteorology.
He put together one heck of a website directing people to other sites.
And on occasion in his own words he's awesome.
He's a hard working, fun guy.
A husband, a father of 2 awesome cute girls.
He knows weather.
And he directs people regularly to the NHC.

I trust Jim Williams from Hurricane City.
Jim works harder than most people I know.
He and his wife have cutes dogs they treat better than..
..some people do their own children.
Devoted brother, son, husband and lover of hurricanes.
I used to love reading Jim on a message board from the Palm Beach Post.
Years ago... 
..back when the Farrelly Brothers were filming Something About Mary.
Miami people were on the message boards from Palm Beach Post.
We were watching satellite images on the World Wide Web on AOL.
We talked on the AOL message boards.
Jim made a website to EDUCATE people on Hurricanes.
When Jim Leonard was dying of cancer...
..Jim Williams tried to raise money for his medical care.

We are all intricately tied together.
A site that started back in 1995
Floridians often go online there 1st for weather without hype!

I remember Crown Weather when he first started out.
Read him then... read him now.

Over time some of these people have become real friends.
Not just online names but face to face.

And I know and collaborated with many meteorologists over time.
Meteorologists as in real live NHC people.
In the old days people who studied Hurricane History were treasured.
Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

Some of us have followers who turn to us for our opinions.
We give our forecast advice and remind people to go to NHC.

The NHC is the bottom line always.

Any "social media" meteorologist who doesn't believe so is wrong.

Truth is they may be right and the NHC wrong occasionally.
But in the end the buck stops at the NHC.
On their desk the responsibility lies.
And they need more $$$

The GFS has to stop being the joke.
We need to make the American Model Great Again!!

Trying to be serious here. Sorry..

A good read from Jim on social media.
And feel free please to go to
A great message board on his site
Where people with degrees, responsibility and experience share thoughts.
Some people are emergency planners, some forecasters.
Some hobbyists who love weather and hurricanes.
Most have been there and want as much knowledge for the next time.

Knowledge is power.

Besos BobbiStorm

A message from I posted last night.
Being silly, being me.

Not very silly when a REAL Hurricane is threatening.
Silly when we have Invests with no convection.
Or as Mike would say embarrassed naked swirls.
Spoiler Alert for now.. this minute.. 
Fiona has convection.
Fiona still has a pulse.
Fiona is our named storm.

IF Fiona survives Bermuda is in the cross hairs.

latest72hrs.gif (947×405)

Perhaps Fiona is sucking up moisture from Invest 99L
Robbing it temporarily of energy.
Keep watching.

Share your thoughts on social media ;)
@bobbistom on Twitter or


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