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!

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

UPDATED! Flooding in Alabama & Yellow Circle 20% Africa at 2 PM - Who Knows Where or When? Good Song But Also Applies to Tropics.

The Yellow Circle off of Africa is smaller now.
But still there and still 20%
Newer models show it staying lower.
Moving towards E Carib.
Models come, models go.
As always watching in real time.

Updating more because of flooding in Alabama today.
Sudden "intense" flooding.
There was discussion on strong weather.
Possible localized flooding. Wind.

Watch the loop carefully.
North Alabama.
There is NOTHING there and then...
...BAMN blows up fast.

wv-animated.gif (720×480)

And then the flooding began.
Maybe not Flash vs "intense" but quickly.
And then the barrage of warnings were posted.
Most people don't pay constant attn to NWS info.
Shame because it's good.
But moment by moment we get distracted.
No cones or advisories. Not a hurricane...

Pictures posted one after another.
Water rising, cars trapped.
Backyards becoming ponds.

Ironically this was the area everyone worried about with Cindy. Inland flooding of a hurricane moving up towards a frontal boundary. Flooding inland far from the coast. This is the area that is often prone to flash floods and often just weather, intense weather is the big concern. We worry too much sometimes on hurricanes and not enough on every day weather. 

Can you imagine being a child and seeing your toys underwater?
Then your yard, then it crawls up towards your house..

As much as I "love" tropical weather.
We NEED to pay closer attention to NWS.
Yet often warnings are posted after the yard floods!

Before I leave and go back to tropical weather I want to say this area has been in the news lately. They had a huge sink hole and there was new coverage of recent floods being caused partially by drains that were clogged and not cleaned out. It's a developing situation but one that happens in many places and the warning needs to be in advance but people need to learn to pay attention for fast changing weather in areas such as these. Video below is from July 19th.. a week ago. 

Please keep reading as this particular blog post is heavy on thoughts on the tropics and worth a slow read and I hope it makes you think. We all remember our first hurricane, but we also remember our first flood or tornado or any natural disaster. And then we pay attention again for the next, one burned you learn real fast. Thanks for your feedback on Twitter today.. 


Yellow Circle 20% within FIVE days.
Where or when is the big question.

Last night I lost it a bit.
It was really time to hoist a yellow flag.
Not because there is something there specifically.
But a 10% yellow circle would have been enough.
NHC rarely does 10% unless it's going down from 20%
So they went with 20% this morning.
Also notice the purple off the Carolinas.
Keep reading and I'll explain.

As I say later in this blog fronts are important.
Any connoisseur of Spaghetti Models ....
..knows there's been signs ignored.
And I get it weak waves make poor performing Invests.
More on that later in the blog... 

The info is out there.
But Mike delivers it in an easy to see way.

Also looking at other graphs show another problem.
The water is warmer closer in.
IF a wave gets close enough in warm water..
..and stays intact it could be a problem.

SAL is less today or in hiding waiting to attack again.
Warm water is close in.
2 of the 3 best performing model gets this wave there.
There.... being where the water is warmer.
Model discussion shows this later in this post.
If the wave can stay alive til then it's a win for the wave.

As the sun rose over the Atlantic..
The NHC went ahead and put up the yellow circle.

Health issues have come up with a few of my friends online this morning and my brother in Greece was under the weather TRULY yesterday. I woke up with a touch of asthma so this post was helped along by Bronkaid and Bulletproof Coffee. Warning it may go long... When will this pesky heat wave end? Well a good end for it would be for cold fronts to start parading across the United States moving a bit more South with each succeeding front. The tropics wake up a bit at the scent of new Lows moving across regions previously owned by strong High Pressure. Everything gets shunted a bit to the East and South East and tropical systems begin tilting more WNW in search of low pressure. Basically, as simplistic as it gets, Lows follow Lows and stay away from Highs. And that is why the waves off of Africa have been zooming along South of the High Pressure ridge and crashing into South America before every lifting.

And this brings us to the subject of time. When the tropics become activated is not as easily a thing to figure as it is to know how long to brew your green tea. Time is the intangible and it changes every year in real time as the fluid weather patterns change. It's not like facial hair that men grow and play with then cut off and then decide to grow again. Men are in control regarding their facial hair the same way women color their hair and play with cosmetics. And, many companies have indeed embraced men into that equation as Clinique for example has a line of cosmetics (mostly creams and cleansers) just for men. I'm pretty sure the man scrub would work just as well on women, maybe even better but who knows? I'm sure someone has tried it as their popular 7 Day Scrub has been somewhat watered down and perhaps the "stronger" male scrub is the better one to use.

Back to weather and we do have tropical weather to discuss today.

There is a yellow circle up near Africa and development possible (with low expectations) in the five day time frame. Again time is the issue... I went a bit ballistic last night as it's annoying that the NHC seems this year to change it's parameters from wave to wave. Don was a dot not threatening anyone but close to the Islands and they paid attention. TD4 looked way better than slow moving Don and they did nothing as it would eventually give it up to SAL. And that's not new. Since time began westbound tropical waves have given it up to SAL and yet they were watched and talked about once upon the time. The song below was before my time, but an Oldie Goldie, and no there is nothing wrong with the phone or computer you're on it's really sung that slow. Like an annoying west bound wave moving SLOWLY when it should, could go faster but doesn't.

There was a time when the NHC followed waves far out in the Atlantic watching what was then considered great satellite images in black and white. And they would write discussion like "ships at sea have reported" and they would call a good looking wave "vigorous" and we knew it might get an upgrade to a Tropical Depression in a day or so if it could maintain it's "slow development" and that was good. Now days with the official use of Invests everything has changed. I say "now days" as we always used Invests and we knew they didn't always develop. It's not like upgrading to a strong Tropical Depression that unravels and comes undone due to SAL and never gets a name. I like Invests, but I think there is a problem that now they feel if they crown a wave with the term INVEST it needs to perform better down the road. This isn't an medical discussion on ED it's about tropical weather and tropical weather is hard to predict where and when.

And to be honest watching the tropics is great drama. It's not going to UP the ratings at TWC unless a wave does more than travel westbound so it's just reality that people pay more attention to a strong Tropical Storm in the Atlantic moving WNW toward land than a Cat 4 in the EPAC moving W out to sea, slowly falling apart. And it doesn't give it up to SAL but cool water and strong shear. Boring. Let's be real people want to watch a drama be it on TV or HULU or Netflix.

But the Invests are not akin to a reality TV show that needs hype and high ratings based on scandalous discussion and glitzy locations. It's just an area of Invest a wave being investigated more carefully with regard to possible development. Going back years you will see I always spoke on Invests before they became politically correct enough for the NHC. And, now suddenly since they are using them and every station is hyping them on the nightly news "LIVE AT FIVE INVEST 99L Forms in Atlantic. TROPICAL TROUBLE ON THE HORIZON" well suddenly the NHC feels the pressure to perform and for their Invests to verify. I could be wrong, obviously, but the average Joe or Josie has no idea how much pressure there is on the NHC. They are a government agency and everything is under review or up for discussion. The down side of a good government job is that the pecking order up the food chain is exhaustive and the money sent down for important necessities does not come down as fast as criticism does. End game is they like their forecasts to verify. I get that, really I do.

But when enough models are talking on development of some kind down the tropical road and other sites that are used to evaluate the tropics are ignored because of the chance of poor development down the road it's annoying. It's July, this is the time when things are iffy in the tropics. TWC and your local news can hype it all they want but in the end it's hype. Sometimes the hype is good as it gives a heads up to a system that can develop close in after dawdling along for days across an unfriendly Atlantic and other times the hype is for nada as it falls apart and gives it up to SAL. In which case we can watch the two systems going nowhere in the EPAC dance with each other for amusement.

As for the models... it's like this. Who knows where or when? The models are great at sniffing out possible development yet terrible on intensity. Intensity forecasting truly is the Holy Grail of Tropical Meteorology. We can slice and dice an Invest waiting for that moment it transitions to a Tropical Depression or Storm but it's hard to know for sure because of all the variables where and when something will really form. Sometimes the forecast for low pressure and wet weather verifies and yet a closed low never does.

DaBuh loves to show models and discuss possibilities.
He's a surfer, figures he watches waves.
So I'll defer to him here.




As meteorologists we love to share.
We love to shoot the tropical breeze.
Every met has their own take on the tropics.
And over time you know who to trust.

Rob from does a great job explaining what the models show in his discussion. He's always been one of my favorites as he points to early possibilities and is even better when a closed low forms. It's been fun talking with him over the years shooting the tropical breeze. Basically 2 out of the 3 models show development of this new wave. Which wave may be another question, but two show real development. The EURO as always is slow to impress. We should call it the Shania Twain of tropical models rarely bothering to wake up until every other model has jumped on it or an eye pops out. IF the EURO likes a weak wave everyone in the world of tropical meteorology gets heart palpitations. Breathe..... take it loop by loop and model by model and watch in real time the best reality TV show out there... the Atlantic Hurricane Season.  Oh the anticipation.........

These are the 2 regions we are watching. One is the main area near the yellow circle with 20% chances but which wave is the one that performs and produces results? The one that's already swimming or the next one about to roll off of Africa?

Note remnants of SAL have been moving our way.
Our way meaning LAND.. Islands, FL, Texas, Carolinas.. 

This loop above also shows us the other area Rob spoke of today.

And what do we see?
A front and a reinforcing front to the North.
And where fronts stall out and linger needs to be watched.
The GOM has been extremely quiet this year.
However there has been weather.
Flooding has been a problem in areas.
Just regular flooding from irregular record rainfall.

A friend of mine online Cody has been affected by these rains.
I've been watching this and sharing it here.
As you see often the worst problems are not tropical.
Flash Flooding is the worst.
There is no cone or advisories.
Usually NWS goes straight to warnings.
Flash Floods happen in real time.

Tropically the GOM has been quiet though.
Except for Cindy and you know how I feel about Cindy.
No real BOC action. 
Very little off the Carolinas so far.

I've been waiting for fronts as I'm hot.
Fronts often flick the switch on tropical development.
And fronts up the odds for development close in.
Several models have shown a LOW pop up close in.
Normal but is it tropical?
Both sides of Florida need to be watched.
Up in that curve of the Carolinas also.
Rob from Crown Weather spoke on that this morning.
So mentioning it as it mirrors my thoughts well.

We are always learning.
We are always growing in knowledge.
Models get better.
Forecasters have more tools.
Once upon the time...
..just to have radar and any satellite image was a WOW.
Hurricane Donna old image indeed.

It may not be as sexy an image as the newer ones.
But I think it's a pretty awesome picture.
Don't think I've even seen it before.

Hurricane Donna is the first hurricane I ever actually remember hearing of.. and I was little. I mean they broke into regular programmings and they never went back. It was LIVE WEATHER ALL DAY for days. Maps and images and a compelling sense of something BIG happening. And I was born and raised in Miami the city where the local college team is named the Hurricanes so obviously old timers are hurricane savvy and newcomers are sadly not. There are always new comers to Miami as once people have gotten sand in their shows on vacation they often move down to stay and ditch the shoes for flip flops or sandals. And then they learn about hurricanes the hard way. Donna had warm water in the Florida Straits, soup warm water like a Turtle Soup it crawled along dowsing Miami with rain as we were in the NE quadrant. And nothing was ever the same again. Palm trees down near my house, no school and then the TV covered the aftermath for days. My neighbor flew into hurricanes and his mother's house was lined with pictures taken from the plane and nothing was the same. So yeah... I'm Bobbi and I'm addicted to hurricanes. I'd rather they not cause death and damage but if they are going to I'd rather help warn and educate people and help get the word out. And, yes I've chased and I've been chased and as I say when lecturing it's way better to go chase a cane than to have a cane chase you and come at your home and family.

And Hurricane Donna didn't just give us a few days off of school in Miami while people tried to clean up but it took it's show on the road all the way up the Eastern Seaboard. I may have been too young to read back then but I could see it on the television and I've been hooked ever since. It only takes one and for every person reading this blog they have their own Donna and it's name may be Gloria or Katrina or even Donna. 

Besos BobbiStorm
Follow me on Twitter @bobbistorm and join in the discussion.

Ps That historic footage from black and white TV may look old and different, however the damage from a Hurricane like Donna is the same today. We may have learned more, but you still have to know how to prepare for a hurricane. I've been #hurricanestrong eversince Hurricane Donna.

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home