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!

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Hurricane Forecasts 2017 - Will They Pan Out or Be a Bust? Average to Above Average Year? What Happened to the forecast El Nino?

Enjoy the quiet times....
...they won't last forever.

The only thing constant is change.
Weather changes day by day ....
9 Days Until June 1st and Hurricane Season.
Are you prepared? Mother Nature is always prepared!

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Let's talk Hurricane Forecasts for the 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season. First off remember it's a forecast of future possibilities based on scientific study so understand forecasts are only verified in the rear view mirror. There are so many factors to consider and most of those factors have not shown up but are forecast in the long term by other forecasts. One piece of bad data can throw off the whole equation. You know the old saying "garbage in, garbage out" that we use for computer programs? Hurricane Forecasts are made by computer programs vs a Ouija Board or picking cards from a Tarot Deck. 

Before Stephen Colbert & Jimmy Kimmel ...
...there was Johnny Carson.

Times were not so politically correct...

But people laughed... and we knew it was a comedy routine. No one laughs if the forecasts officials put out do not pan out. So, many forecasts are drawn wide on purpose so the range is easier to hit. If you have ever played archery with me in Middle School you will understand that reference. I was better at the balance beam, baton and pinball then archery...

So that said here are some of the forecasts put out. Note they are vastly different from earlier forecasts that were put out when based on an El Nino forming and slowing down this coming season. That in itself shows how poorly previous models operated in predicting an El Nino that would ramp up fast. And, to be honest that is because there were many indications that an El Nino was forming and then.... something happened. With that knowledge it's worth remembering things can change again just as fast. Weather is fluid and follows it's own rules from year to year! El Nino is named El Nino for a reason as it historically appeared around the time of Christmas.

Mike from Spaghetti Models posted TWC forecast earlier.
There's a lot of great discussion on his Facebook page.
You might want to check it out...

Below is the "official forecast" from CSU

They update it throughout the season in real time.

Link to actual forecast is below:

Way back years ago when the Internet was young and we were all talking on the only real forum around we would discuss these reports in great detail. AOL Hurricane History Board became for me an educational experience in tropical meteorology. And in order to keep up I'd have to read the report very slowly and it forced me to understand things I knew intuitively but not in the proper meteorological terminology. If you have the time go through the report slowly and learn the many factors experts use to come to their forecast conclusion. You will learn much and view the whole process with more respect. For me personally I love the analog years that are used to view this coming season in the proper perspective. As a Hurricane Historian I love the details and it goes without saying, but I'll say it again... KNOWLEDGE IS POWER and HISTORY REPEATS.


You can use the site below to study those years.

Again the CSU forecast that is now dedicated to the memory of Dr. William Gray a pioneer, iconic figure in the world of tropical meteorology. He was awesome, amazing and a totally original person who knew tropical meteorology better than anyone else. His views were often controversial but he was a compelling genius with a deep soul and sparkle to him. 

And, again the CSU forecast is updated throughout the season as factors either form or disappear and new factors previously not  predicted appear. It's easy to get a rain storm on a summer day but it takes many different variables to get a hurricane spinning. 

Jim Williams who runs also puts in a tremendous amount of time researching different cities in his data base to predict where those spinning hurricanes may make landfall. He is less about how many then he is about where... though his research is different for a busy season vs a slow season. Again, so many variables. He is right way more often than he is wrong. Putting the link to his blog that shows how much work goes into his forecast process.

Places below that need to stay vigilant!

Although they use vastly different methods many of the places Jim picked were affected by storms in the analog years that Phil put in the CSU report. Something to think on...  

For example in 1965 Hurricane Betsy crossed the Florida Keys affecting both Marathon and Key Largo. If you had a sailboat docked near Key Largo back then... you would know what I mean.

Different angle of track but landfall location exactly.

The link to the youtube video is below:

Feel free to discuss it or ask questions on a tropical weather forum online if you aren't on Twitter or some other social media. Note that his map for 2017 is shown below. Also note that his map for 2016, also shown below, came close to showing Matthew's track and the areas nearby were impacted by Matthew.



Jim being extremely detail oriented posted this:

Compares and contrasts previous forecasts.

I'll make a forecast myself. Someone... somewhere... in Hurricane Country NEEDS to be knowledgeable about how to survive a hurricane as it's very likely we will have similar hurricanes this year to Matthew that forms and tracks close in along the coastline. In a world where you can't be safe from a terrorist attack at a concert or at the Boston Marathon you can be safe from a hurricane either by properly preparing or following evacuation routes. Knowledge is power and history does repeat. Stay #Hurricane Strong.

Life would be easy if you could just ask Alexa if you were going to have a hurricane hit your city this year, but trust me that's way above Alexa's pay grade... 

You are in denial if you think it's as easy as calling Miss Cleo and sadly Miss Cleo is no more so don't you bother calling that number.. unless you know how to reach her in the world beyond. Listen to the experts and as always be #HurricaneStrong.

Besos BobbiStorm
Follow me on Twitter at @bobbistorm and check back again soon!

Ps Take a look at Hurricane Betsy doing her thing in the Florida Keys...

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Monday, May 22, 2017

Hurricane Season 10 Days Away. Learn How to Evacuate ... Prepare and Be #HurricaneStrong

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10 Days Til Hurricane Season.

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You can watch as moisture moves West from Africa.
Across the Atlantic Ocean.
Moistening up the ITCZ
Moisture oozes N into the GOM
Clashes with cold fronts far inland.
But it begins to pool and fill in the E GOM.
Dry air pushes down, stretching everything out.
Everything is in flow, related, connected.

And we move closer to June 1st.

Water temps are warming up...

...well around the Florida coastline.
Epac is hot for sure...

East Africa has tropical waves.
But it's too soon to obsess.

Note the cold clouds above the ITCZ

It's just a matter of time.

Your local television channels are showing specials warning you about the Hurricane Season. How to prepare, how to be #Hurricanestrong and how to survive the aftermath of a hurricane. There are videos showing people boarding up businesses at the beach, stocking up on supplies for the days after landfall and how to get to your Emergency Shelter. And yet the season is really quite a ways off with the exception of that early Tropical Storm that forms down South of Cuba and threatens South Florida. Once in a while an early subtropical storm forms .... oh snap that happened already. It could happen again so watch those stagnant, stationary Upper Level Lows in the Atlantic. Stay on top of your game is the point I am making. Don't believe early discussion on forecasts for the season as they are forecasts... mere predictions based on scientific data that can be viewed differently by two different people. I'm purposely being redundant today if you haven't noticed.

Spoiler Alert if you see these near you....
... find out what they mean!

In truth we have miles to go of tornado chasing before we get into the heart of the Hurricane Season. Weather never takes a vacation it merely changes faces faster than kids did on AOL in 1997. We go with the flow, run with the tides and wait our turn and before you know it there is a 2 AM advisory because somewhere, someone has a watch or a warning. Not every storm is a Perfect Storm but you know them when you see them.... And, our perception of a perfect storm varies from "Oh Lord Please let it stay far away and go out to sea..." to a friend I had who always wished the storm would come and wash her world away so she could start over. A scientist wants to study, a forecaster wants to warn us and some of us want to be in the eye of the storm. Either way we are all in the same boat... waiting for Hurricane Season to begin on June 1st "officially" and that's 10 days away.

Besos BobbiStorm
@bobbistorm on Twitter... follow me on Twitter.

Ps . . . 

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Thursday, May 18, 2017

Severe Weather, Tropical Moisture in Caribbean. Life Threatening Flooding, Mudslides and Twisters. It's May... Anniversary Mt. St. Helens. BOOM!

Lead Weather Story Today

Warnings up for tornado weather.
Today into tomorrow big threat.
Tonight, night wrapped tornadoes.
Severe Weather for sure...
Sneaky, missiles of death and destruction?

Excellent article below on Elk City Tornado.

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Frontal Boundaries.

So many words, names we use to describe the same basic weather feature. It's in this year to say DRY LINE (those who watch the movie Twister weekly know what that is) as we used Fire Hose a few years back incessantly. Much like the blast of water in the form of heavy rain that came with that set up the word was tossed about like some family's trailer in the wind on the plains. Nice places to live in unless a Finger of God Twister comes down and picks yours up and tosses it somewhere else. 

Yeah, that happened 37 years ago today.

Life is like that whether you live on the plains or at the beach. Today is the anniversary of Mt. St. Helens that rearranged the landscape and the air people breathed in a place that was usually filled with pristine air and panoramic views of a natural paradise. Mind you paradise for you and paradise for me may be two different things. I like the ocean, the moving water, the wind and rivers that end at the ocean. Some people love the view from the mountains, the air, the panorama ...the feeling of standing on top of the world closer to God. Yet I find God at a sunrise at the beach. Then there are places that have both such as Santa Barbara or La Jolla in California. 

A picture I took Monday Morning.
Waiting for that moment when the sun crosses the horizon.

Mother Nature finds you where ever you are... one way or the other. She's kind of like a Blondie, out there somewhere waiting to come and rearrange your world. And, then... life goes on. That's the reality of life. The coast of Carolina dealt with flooding rains and storm surge from Hurricane Matthew last year and except for a few signs not repaired it's beautiful there. Inland flooding creates a longer drama that is harder to recover from ironically though we think of landfall as being the worst a hurricane can do to us... Not true. Most of the people who died from Hurricane Mitch died from mudslides after it was downgraded to a Tropical Storm far inland, not at landfall.

I really didn't mean this to be so dower but the forecasts for today's tornado out break have been pretty dower and depressing. Again it's a matter of perspective as for young chasers and meteorology students who long to see their first tornado ...they may get lucky today.

That same system dumped snow out west late in May or I guess this is still the middle of May. Moving East, dipping down as warm tropical moisture from the GOM sucks up into the system, the clash of different air. You know it's sort of like sexual energy. Going to try not to wander too far from the topic this morning but they do say opposites attract. Sometimes someone you have much in common with and like and is a nice sort of guy or gal gets away from you and you wish them well and hope they find the right person. I've had some boyfriends like that over time, good guys .. good men... nice, it didn't work out. And then there's one that gets under your skin as you have so much in common and so much you don't and there is this yin yang, push me pull me energy that makes it hard for you to forget them. 

Love/Hate relationships are like that and yet usually the love outweighs the "oh my God he makes me so crazy" or maybe some people like being crazy? Weather people are like that. We love weather and we love wild weather and yet we hate the pain they bring, the drama they dump down onto good people in their path. And, yet "oh my God look at that sky" as line of storms is moving fast at you with the air beginning to change, the wind blow and you try to go with the flow and watch it evolve while trying to think as a scientist. Right brain, left brain all clashing about inside you at that wild moment. And whether you are out on the plains or out in Florida Bay in the Everglades it looks the same, feels the same.

Pick your poison or your pleasure.

And down in the tropics being ignored...

Our Caribbean Blob of Convection.
Note the energy oozing about.
Not organized.
Life threatening flooding still.

NHC kind of blinked in that they spoke on it today.
Well in their way. 

Water Vapor Loop

The irony is that though this will most likely fade away.
Models play with another system down the tropical road.
Models are like girls looking for fun.
They like to play.
They tease. It's true.
They are not always consistent in the long term.

My father always said..
"easier to bet on horses than Jai Alai players"
But he so loved watching Jai Alai.

So stay tuned.

If you live in the path of severe weather.
Over the next two days.
Check your weather often.

Whether a tornado forms today or not.
A hurricane will form later this year.

Be prepared.
#hurricanestrong Google that Hashtag.

Nuff Said.

Have a good day... 
It's 2017 "it's all good!!

Besos BobbiStorm
Follow on me at @bobbistorm on Twitter

Ps... It's not the 80s in LA where I was losing my mind ;)
No tropical meteorology only geology... 

And Dr George...
...and Boy George!

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Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Jamaican Flooding. Rain for Haiti and Maybe Miami & FL. Carib Blob a Hot Mess of Convection. Stay Tuned...

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This is a big story today in the Caribbean.
Not because it is going to get a name.
But because it has caused destruction in Jamaica.

You can Google it ...

Or I will for you...

And as the rains end in Jamaica...
...the rains begin in Hispaniola 

Phil Ferro on WSVN in Miami highlights the concerns.
He also highlights the hope for rain in South Florida.

Parts of South Florida need rain, most of Central Florida needs rain and North Florida is in a dangerous drought with forest fires plaguing parts of the area. Usually late May brings monsoonal rains in South Florida. The truth is the chances of rain are higher because it is disorganized. Large disorganized areas of convection meandering around in the Caribbean masked by a trof that isn't moving anywhere fast usher in the rain faster than anything else this time of year. Happens, a frontal boundary stalled out, moisture coming up from South America, caught in the flow being pulled north as yet another frontal boundary dips South. The system that caused dramatic footage of Twisters on the planes shown by storm chasers across the Internet yesterday will also dip down and take a look around the Caribbean to see what more damage it can do later in the week.

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For now there is a trench of High Pressure.
A finger or foot down in the Caribbean.
As always it's an atmospheric drama.
Stay tuned.
Stay informed.

I'll update if anything changes.

In other parts of the world we are having a tropical heatwave. The heat bubble that has been situated over Florida is moving North. A taste of summer in May along with cherries and tomatoes in the market on sale everywhere.

It won't last forever but it is a sign of the times.

Besos BobbiStorm
Follow me on Twitter at @Bobbistorm

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Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Caribbean Blob of Convection. Jim Williams 2017 Predictions for the Hurricane Season.

Being late May people are watching the loops.
And this ball of convection is entertaining.
There is shear present.
Storms are pushing off to the East.
You can see that above and below.

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High Pressure is to the North.
High pressure is pressing down into the Caribbean.
Does have a look doesn't it?
Note the graphic below.

People have asked me so here's my thoughts.
It's early, but convection is in the Caribbean.
There is a "purple splotch" on the maps.
A blob of Caribbean Convection.
Sounds like a Jimmy Buffett song doesn't it?

As I said on Twitter I'm tired of ignoring it.

Embedded in a trof.. 
(old frontal boundary) a hot mess of convection.

It looks better than it is...
Actually whatever center there is to the West.
Not really a "center" as much as in impulse.

Shear could decrease a bit for a day or so.
Allowing some dramatic May water vapor loops.
But the odds are not in it's favor.

The models:

The Euro sees it and then loses it.

It's a temporary feature.
If anything changes I'll update.
But, it's real hard to ignore.
So I thought I'd clear that up for everyone.

Sadly there is flooding going on in Jamaica.
Stationary convection that's intense.

You don't need a tropical storm to cause misery.
A situation that needs to be monitored.
Flooding is flooding with or without a name.
That time of year...

The 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season begins SOON...
..we are in fact on the B storm.
So unofficially it already began.

Time to think seriously... 
Jim Williams has a video up.
He gives his top city picks for possible landfall.
His predictions for the season.
More seasons than not he is dead on.
And often more "on" than "official predictions"
So those who know...
...know to pay attention to him!

He lists the cities he is most concerned with for 2017.
Watch the video. 

Note the picture of Jim on a panel with Max Mayfield.
That's a panel of experts answering questions.
When it comes to hurricanes he is an expert.
So check out his site and his predictions.

I know I do.

Keep watching those loops.
And in places like Tampa where it's 95 degrees..
.. I'd worry on the hurricane season.

Besos BobbiStorm
Follow me on Twitter @bobbistorm

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Sunday, May 14, 2017

Mothers Day and the Tropics

Official Mother's Day Post...

I wanted to wish everyone a Happy Mother's Day as that's the name of the day on our side of the world. I know some awesome mother's who put up with so much, pray so hard and work just as hard trying to make the lives of their children as perfect as they wish they could and they are always wishing they could do more... 

Mike from Spaghetti Models has a wife who is an awesome mother to their two children. And, she puts up with Mike and his passion for weather and life in general and she really deserves a shout out. They say behind every great man is a great woman. I'm not sure if that's true, but pretty sure she deserves an awesome Mother's Day. And, other women I know out there who do double duty showing us the weather and teaching us how to prepare and at the same time they are there kissing their kids tonight and sending home a pizza for dinner because they had to work later than expected. It's not easy being a mother, that's the truth of it and it has few retirement real vacation days or mental health days (Lord knows we need them) and no gold watch when the kids graduate. But women are up to the job and even the most unconventional mother teaches their children lessons. My mother taught me you could move anything in a house from here to there even if you are five feet two and weight 92 pounds. That was my mother... 

In the tropics today there is a wave that departed Africa early and is going to end up near South America as it's losing latitude fast. That is what happens in May, that and Mother's Day. As for me I'm going to the beach and we also have a holiday called Lag Bomer which involved bonfires, cookouts and a celebration of nature.

Watch the wave on it's journey through life... 

Today above.
Yesterday below.

Time moves fast. Enjoy the day!

Besos BobbiStorm
@bobbistorm on Twitter

Mother's Day... home made cards and eggs.
Or a day out on the town..

As for me stuck on the song Aime...
Whatcha gonna do...

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Friday, May 12, 2017

Miami Gets Visit From Hurricane Hunters. Opa Locka Airport 2:30 - 5 PM Walk Thru Hurricane Planes, Meet People, Get Stickers and Learn How to Be Hurricane Strong

Today... Go ... 

Take a friend or two!!
Send me a Selfie I'll post it ;)

Seriously it's a great event. I went in Raleigh this week.
Luckily I went with the Press early in the day.
Then I stayed... the rest of the day.
I went on the Gulfstream Jet which was new for me.
A hurricane hunter and some press conferences.
The Governor spoke as always talking on need for more $$$.
People asked questions and got private tours and interviews.
I'll write more about this another time. 
Today I want to get the message out that if you can please go today!

You just walk right in...
...ask any question as they love questions..

I stayed inside and took notes and pictures.
Later the general public came and waited in lines.
It was worth the wait.

This post today is really geared towards my friends in South Florida. There is a program today at the Opa Locka Airport where you can learn how to be #Hurricanestrong during this upcoming Hurricane Season. It begins at 2:30 (go early to get a parking space, be in line first) and it ends at 5 PM. However, don't go running in at 4:48 PM like you are trying to get into Publix fast before they close. It doesn't work that way, as at some point they will have to shut down the line. In Raleigh the line was through the building, outside and wrapped around the control tower. The crowd in Raleigh was larger than expected, however after Hurricane Matthew there is a stronger awareness in the area of the dangers of a hurricane even far inland. In Miami the danger is always present, even if we go years without a landfall and then...........BOOM! LANDFALL!!

So let's take a quick look back at the consistency of hurricanes over time in Miami. The constant is damage, loss of power, destruction and often death. If you have properly prepared, hunkered down in a safe place and prepared your home in ADVANCE then you will be in a stronger position to survive a hurricane than otherwise. Yes, I used the word "prepare" twice on purpose. It's all about preparation and having a plan. Super Bowl teams do not simply go out there once the day of the game and play as if they are doing a pick up game on a street somewhere. And, often even a team that has prepared all year collapses under the stress of the BIG ONE and just like the Super Bowl is the BIG ONE for football players, a Hurricane making landfall in your city is THE BIG ONE.

Black and white.
All shades of gray say the same thing.
Damage, destruction, death.

1992 Andrew.
Destruction in color.

2005 Wilma Above.
Those were "hurricane proof" windows...
...they said. 

Note this picture below.
History repeats.
Be prepared.... HurricaneStrong

Wiggle it a few miles up or down the coast.
Ft Lauderdale - WPB - Florida Keys.
Naples, Tampa.
Everyone pay attention.
This happened.
It will happen again.

So.. Learn More.

See the red donut view of landfall from Andrew?
Top Left Corner... 
...they did it to remind you!

You know people ask me sometimes what do "they" do in the "off season" with regard to friends I have at the National Hurricane Season. Seems people think it's an easy job where they basically work only a few months a year. Nice government job there and well they must play golf or Dungeons and Dragons or color weather themed coloring books. Perhaps you think they sit around throwing darts and staring at a time clock on your dollar. No, not exactly and they don't get enough dollars. Most of the younger meteorology students I speak to are going into Private Industry as it pays way better than spending years protecting the public by way of education and constant research to best warn us in advance of a dangerous life threatening event. Hard job, pays poorly all things considered and they put on nonstop programs to educate the meet them face to face, up close and personal and spread the word. Don't sit there 24 hours before some Hurricane like Franklin is bearing down on your town. I don't want to hear discussion on cones that seemed different or what your Aunt or Baby Momma told you about where Franklin would make landfall. Nope............Don't want to hear it. You were busy playing some game somewhere or doing a pub crawl and no one said nothing about a Category 3 Hurricane somewhere. You most likely were not paying attention. Pay attention!! Get stickers...  just go!

Bring Money...
...they sell tee shirts and hats!!
Great Mother's Day gifts!!!

Now is the time to learn, prepare and ENJOY a tour of a Hurricane Hunter plane. While there pick up the literature from the vendors such as FEMA, Red Cross and other agencies trying to educate you how to make a plan, prepare and survive. And, got to tell you ... you will have fun and the kids if you take them ...they will remember always. Every year, every hurricane season they will remember they walked through a hurricane hunter aircraft themselves! Go for it take #selfies. 

Watched this incredible demonstration.
Kids got to participate and kids loved it.
Some adults loved it too...

Video I took in Raleigh this week.
Then he showed why they build a levee...

So go...
That's it.

I'll write up some personal observations later.
Be HurricaneStrong as they say these days.
Knowledge is power.

Besos BobbiStorm 
@bobbistorm on twitter

Ps... names for this season.
Do you see a name that resonates with you?

Things change over time.
There are two constants.

Music and weather...
Get ready, get ready....

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