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, August 13, 2016

Louisiana Flooding As Forecast But Little Media Coverage Until Flooding. Sad. Why It's NOT A Tropical System. NC Hurricane History. What's In a Name? Hurricane Ginger... Stay Tuned

In motion...and notice some convection in Caribbean and Atlantic.
Convection needs to maintain itself but it's a subtle change.

sat_ir_enh_east_loop-12.gif (640×512)

People often ask me why the area over Louisiana didn't have a name and was never designated as a Tropical Depression or Tropical Storm. Simple it's over land and though it does have some tropical features as well as tragic flooding similar to a tropical storm it is NOT a "tropical" storm. The NHC makes that call not lay people following every twist and turn of the water vapor loop. At some point part of it was over water and at some point it did attain a closed circulation of sorts on some levels but it's like saying just because a quarterback is down in the end zone they really deserve a touch down not a safety. The game is played by rules, we don't make them up as we go along. A Safety is 2 points and just because you think it should really be a Touchdown doesn't make it so. For those at the NHC used to me going on a tirade make sure someone there knows I'm defending them here... James maybe. But I digress...

If you saw one in a muddy pond would you know which was which?

Pay Attention. Do not approach them.

Weather is like that. 
Pay attention.
Prepare accordingly.
Be safe.

There are cyclones of all types across the surface of the earth. They are not all hurricanes... even if it formed near water and looks like a Tropical Storm it is not. That simple. A strong snow storm is not a SNOW CANE as publicized years back on many NYC media outlets and the term "Landicane" is bandied about often with systems on land that resemble to the amateur eye a hurricane.

So let's move on and ask a bigger question...

This extremely tragic flooding event was forecast with plenty of time to properly prepare the residents of the area so that they did not need to become stranded and rescued. This was not a Flash Flood and it evolved slower than a slow motion train wreck. However as the system in the Gulf of Mexico did not get a name or designation everyone stopped paying attention. The second part of all that discussion last week was that wide spread flooding of possibly epic proportions would form along the Gulf of Mexico. Sadly, the NWS does not get the coverage the NHC does and the media rolls up and goes home if it is not a TROPICAL event. I've said this for years and years and maybe someday someone will get it.

The NWS needs to have the same sort of coverage by the media for large, well forecast epic events such as these that are not tied to a Hurricane. Use a name.. any name... and people in line at every grocery storm in the South will turn to each other and say "Did you hear Tropical Storm Maybelle might make landfall?" which is usually followed by someone sending their kid to go grab some water fast along with their favorite type of cookies, Lunchables or whatever else they can grab before their mother has to finish checking out. While doing so they pray it will cancel school this coming week. The same lady in line says to the person next to her "did you hear something about 20 inches of rain coming?" and the lady next to her doesn't notice and continues to look for a Pokemon on her phone. Her boyfriend turns to her and says on the way home "Did someone say something about it gonna rain this week?"

TWC went with naming ever incipient winter event to hype up their ratings and to be honest get people's attention. Yes, it helps the ratings to advertise "WINTER STORM NERO COMING TO NY NEXT WEEK!!" but it also catches the attention of the "general public" as opposed to every weather involved person up late at night on Twitter or Storm2K watching the models. I think it's kind of stupid and yet to be honest sometimes TWC gets it right. And... this week the ONLY attention that was being given to an unfolding, slow motion tragedy in the South was constant discussion on TWC about huge amounts of rain in Louisiana. Spoiler Alert.. it's moving towards Texas now and will soon be pulled inland.

The National Weather Service has some incredibly wonderful media specialists and directors who can explain weather to the general public on CNN, FOX and the Nightly News. And yet the media ignores them yet hovers around the gang at the NHC as soon as some system gets the possibility of a name. It's wrong. It's just plain wrong.

This event was forecast far out with plenty of time to properly prepare the general public. It wasn't a Flash Flood anymore than it was a LandiCane or a Tropical Depression.

This is what weather is all about. Some days you get hot, hazy weather with no breeze blowing and it seems like September is 100 days away not just two weeks away. Some mornings you wake up to Saffron Skies and wonder why the golden colors at sunrise. Some mornings you wake up, take a walk and wait to watch the sunrise and it tip toes in without much color or circumstance. Some evenings the sky turns the colors of the Grand Canyon and you run for your phone to take pics.  Sometimes it rains, sometimes it pours. For months frontal boundaries progress across the satellite imagery and every Tuesday you get a cold front. Sometimes you can't remember what a cold front feels like.

Some years there are back to back landfalls in North Carolina and the Outer Banks are a Hurricane Magnet .. like the ones tourist traps sell showing a hurricane on the bumper sticker for your car.

Fun fact for the night. After numerous hurricanes made landfall in North Carolina in the 1950s until Hurricane Donna sailed by in 1960... not one hit in the 1960s as Hurricanes targeted South Florida and Louisiana.

Note all of these famous hurricanes were spread from August 12th to October 15th. Despite some patterns... hurricanes can happen anytime when the conditions are there.

August 13, 1953

August 30, 1954

September 10, 1954

October 15, 1954

August 12, 1955

August 17, 1955

September 19, 1955

Helene (Tropical Storm 20 miles off shore)
No touchdown just a safety, worth a mention...for trivia points.

September 11, 1960

And then NOTHING for the rest of the 1960s. NADA.
Nothing really worth writing home about until 1971 and Ginger is not remembered by most.

Agnes in 1972 came from SW across land, David in 1979 also came north across land.. effects but no landfalls.

Diana in 1984 was a very "fickle" storm more fickle than Ginger and was the first hurricane to make landfall since 1960. Despite the "average" every year or so NC gets a hurricane they didn't get one for 11 years. Averages include those years when they get 2 or 3 landfalls as well as those long droughts such as after Donna in 1960 until the few in 1970s before Hurricanes returned with a vengeance in the late 1990s. The same way Floridians grew up in the late 1960s, 1970s and 1980s without knowing what it was like to be in a real hurricane...until 1992 and Andrew gave them a lesson in hurricane preparation.

Weather happens every day somewhere. While you wonder where the hurricanes have gone someone on the other side of the planet is wondering when the typhoons will stop coming. A few weeks from now ... or maybe a month from now some town in Louisiana may worry on a tropical storm making landfall after they just begin to put life back together again.

It has a name. It's called WEATHER. Not as sexy as saying Hurricane Beyonce or as terrifying as a Twister or the February Nor'easter of 1969 but 20 inches of rain over one low lying area filled with bayous and prone to flooding is a major weather event. With a name or without a name. Don't blame the NHC they didn't name it to get some publicity... blame the media for not covering it until it became a visually exciting story to show on the Nightly News. Spoiler Alert...less and less people are watching the Nightly News so perhaps the NWS should start putting together a SNAPCHAT or whatever is the most popular social media used today. Possibly add in a weather related Pokemon character to pop up with weather warnings. Do whatever you got to do but get the word out and I'm preaching to the media as much as everyone else.

Besos BobbiStorm
@Bobbistorm on Twitter

Enjoy a loop of 1996, an active year in the tropics. The last of a few active years before the big bad El Nino of 1997 shut down the Atlantic Hurricane Basin. Note Fran had a problem getting going as Edouard was intense and then at some point... Fran found her groove.

Pay attention, shorter video. Over fast.

Around 1:50 in check out Ginger...

Every year is different and it only takes one... or as they say on Twitter from NHC

For those of you wondering on the tropics heating up anytime soon ??

It's been a long, long time...  since can't remember when...

Some models develop two systems down the road in the Atlantic from Cape Verde Waves. Nothing exciting but it's something. Oh and there are some areas of convection in the Caribbean so not really bone dry ...but far from a named storm.


Post a Comment

<< Home