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, October 30, 2017

Tropics Mid Atlantic. Winter Storms in October. Stormy Weather Continues in 2017 - Chabad Sea Breeze Restored 5 Years After Hurricane Sandy.

Nothing much happening in the tropics today. There is an orange colored circle over the Atlantic far from the East Coast and the Caribbean where a subtropical or tropical storm may develop. It currently has a 40% chance of developing. Systems such as these are common this time of year as the season winds down. It is also important to keep watching cold fronts that move down towards or over Florida that linger too long as stationary fronts where additional tropical lows can spin up.

The big winter storm (insert your favorite online name) hit along the coast and caused heavy damage in some areas. A link to a story in Maine shows what a Fall Storm can do. It's worth noting it snowed in North Carolina and though that is the Smokey Mountains... it's the East Coast not Colorado or Wyoming. It's cold this morning in Raleigh, but the sun looks warm and it's hard to figure what to wear that you can slowly take off as the temperatures rise.

Looking back at Hurricane Sandy.
Sea Breeze is a beautiful place to live.
Unless a storm surge is headed towards your home.

A story on a place in Brooklyn that just reopened restored finally five years after Hurricane Sandy. Sea Breeze is a cute place close to the water as the name implies. They were one of the areas most damaged in that part of Brooklyn from flooding and it's taken them a while to recover. Each place rebuilds differently and after the storm the Rabbi, his wife and the staff helped many in that area to get through the day to day of life. It shows how long it takes to recover from a large disaster and the scope of Sandy five years ago was huge as it covered a large area in an extremely populated part of the country. I mention this as a reminder for places like Houston where the rebuilding in the 4th largest city of our country will take years not months and the rebuilding and recovery in Puerto Rico from Maria will take even longer I fear. Harvey, Irma and Maria are names that will forever be remembered as part of this destructive hurricane season. There is a video in the story below.

I'll update if anything happens later today worth noting. It's a watch and wait as currently the orange area for the five day has a yellow circle for the two day so you know that drill. Enjoy the cool weather, it won't last and somewhere between cold fronts and warm sunny days ... tropical systems tend to develop. Luckily, whatever develops for the rest of the season "should" be mild compared to what we have been through so far...

Besos BobbiStorm
@bobbistorm on Twitter

Some Hurricane Sandy Videos

Hurricane Sandy... 5 years ago...

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Sunday, October 29, 2017

Phillipe Moving Away From Florida. New Area of Interest in Atlantic. Winter Storm AKA October Gale Messes Up TRAVEL Across NE NYC Many Cities. Check With Your Airlines if Traveling.

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11 AM Sunday.
TS Philippe.

"best it has ever has"

Tropical Discussion a bit poetic this morning.

Where's it going?

Cone for TS Philippe
As it sails away.............

Reminds me of a song........

Please keep reading if you have not.
And if you have... well Thank You!
Have a wonderful day...

* * *

8 AM

Two meteorologists are on the set of TWC. The guy points to an area of convection East of Florida not as strong as the larger area of convection closer to Cuba and says "I think this is the area of low pressure that they are tracking this morning...." the female meteorologist next to him has her hands folded and she's nodding in apparent agreement. Both look totally disgusted and  are working hard to try and sound deeply concerned and serious yet there is a touch of sarcasm in his voice.

The truth is the models did show this solution several days ago. A low formed that was broad, then it tightened up closer to Key West and sort of "moved" towards Bimini and then suddenly it disappeared and reappeared up further along the coast near North Florida and the wind gradient tightened up again off the Outer Banks. It wasn't a pretty model as it seemed to miss a few frames and moved around in a Slim Shady sort of way as if it was playing Trick or Treat with meteorologists. Now you see me... now you don't and not a totally clear cut tropical cyclone, yet multiple centers moving around within a larger gyre containing strong Tropical Storm and there and everywhere.

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There he goes....
Cold Front Dives Down
(look at that cold air in GOM)
Moisture down by Cuba remains.
Here today, everywhere yesterday.
I see a Post Tropical Cyclone Philippe coming.
Tropical Depression Philippe?

A post from Mike's Facebook last night.

Indeed. It's not that hard ... in 2017 it's important.
We have more transparency and honesty is needed.

Once the NHC gets another permanent director who hopefully stays for a while... they need to sit down and have a long Pow Wow and figure out this idea of Potential Tropical Cyclone and Post Tropical Cyclone and set up a way with dealing with scenarios such as this as they are now forecasting Pre Storm Status. It's a good idea if a hurricane is going to form just off shore Alabama headed towards the coast within 12 hours and not such a great idea to name a PTC18 and then feel pressured to put up a name and advisories on a system that never would have been named ten or fifteen years ago before the ever changing rules.  Note when you say "potential" it carries the possibility it won't happen so you're forecast for potential does not have to verify. Old terminology for this was a "tropical disturbance". 

Wind History of TS Philippe Below.

Recently for example we had a "center" they were tracking SW of the Florida Keys...then they found one SW of Key West that continued North (not NE) and then NNE and now ENE (never wanted to do the NE movement) and made it's way across South Florida without officially ever having a "landfall" because basically it pole vaulted over land or never really had a true center to find the point of landfall? You can't make this up....

And, yet........this is a true October Tropical Disturbance merging with a Cold Front during a time of weather transition perfectly in tune with Climatology. 

I wrote this last night in an update to yesterday's blog and I'm putting it here again as it's as basic as it gets.  Why they cannot do this I don't know. I get the need to be accountable with meteorological lingo and try to validate the previous forecast so that it verifies but in the end it leaves the "general public" with a lack of faith in what they are trying to do... that being "warn the public of approaching tropical weather and it's inherent dangers" and it should be in language they understand.

What's more interesting is the topic of "landfall"
Did it or didn't it?
Only the NHC knows...

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As if Philippe was a broad Tornadic Tropical Gyre (new term I made it up) and it started off offshore Key West, crossed South Florida and never made "landfall" and you can see this in the loop above. The strong convection that did not have an actual center did stay down over Cuba where their original cone showed Philippe being. A small vortex (additional "center") popped up near Fantasy Fest near Key West, cross the state yet never made landfall. If a tree falls in the forest and there is no one there did it make a sound? It should be interesting to see if they downgrade this in Post Season Analysis. 

Now what you are wondering? I see a downgrade very soon and the NWS is going to have to figure this one out fast as it has the ability to mess up a lot of NFL Football games and make a mess if the weather itself stays close to the coast. In Raleigh it's foggy this morning and warm enough that I didn't even need a jacket despite being officially 61 degrees when I woke up. I went outside, took some pictures of the fog and came inside and nudged the thermostat so that the AC would come on long enough to make the place feel better. Then I opened the sliding glass door outside to let whatever "cool air" is out there inside. October is a nowhere place to be sometimes when it comes to weather prediction. Better to play with pumpkins and dress up in costume popping candy corn in your mouth and debating whether to chew them or let them melt slowly than to try and pin down a tropical system or a cold front this time of year. It's an odd time of year. No one would drink Pumpkin Spice Latte most any other time of year, but in October ... anything goes.

In a world where we can do the most amazing computer graphics showing multiple ideas easily it's hard for 2 dimensional graphics to catch our attention or truly show us everything in one picture. In a world where I "talk" to my younger kids on Snapchat mostly  just using pictures as we convey what we are up to and what we think the other one will think is interesting... we can do so much better than most government agencies do as they are tied down in lots of red tape. And, that's why I get most of my best information online from friends who I trust. These graphics below explain the story of what will evolve and happen easily. All the characters are on the map and the arrows show the plot development. The image below is shown over the radar image.... in 2017 it's easy to do this and private meteorologists do and they do a great job. 

The images below show what Philippe did in South Florida.

Tropical Crime Scene... indeed.

The tropical system known as Philippe did cause damage from multiple possible tornadoes across South Florida.  Heavy rain in some areas and extreme happiness over the cold front pushing down providing cool relief to what was an extremely hot, long summer. Tonight it's forecast to be 55 degrees in South Florida.

Have I mentioned Travel Delays?
From the JetBlue site

Boston is watching ...
Remnants of Philippe and the Cold Front.

Merging together into one heck of a Winter Storm.
Winter Storm in October.
So maybe call it an October Gale ;)

Politically correct Fall Colors Shown Below..

NE expecting storm conditions.
NYC expecting something....

Portland Maine further up the coast.
Weather only Stephen King could love.

Winter moving in before Halloween.
Going to be an interesting winter.
You can quote me on that!

I'll update later.

Oh wait.......
There's an area in the Atlantic.
Orange like a pumpkin...

A  meandering Low.
The plot thickens...
Non-tropical... moving away.
"We see it... but just ignore it"
Keep watching.

To be honest I saw this scenario coming but it's hard to explain what you know without explaining it in proper terms and correlate that with models that were offering different solutions. And, in truth I knew this was going to play out like this.... a messy October "kind of a tropical storm" yet mostly a "tropical disturbance" that was going to ride the Florida Keys with wind displaced from the stronger rain and then merge with the Cold Front... 

October 23rd.
In discussion on Twitter.

No one wants to tell the Lower Keys they may get tropical weather.
So the NHC didn't....they made Craig Key famous.
S Florida was told to watch carefully.
Tornado Warnings by the NWS
Nuff said... let's move on.

Besos BobbiStorm
@bobbistorm on Twitter.'s agenda calls for some shopping, planning, watching football and listening to some Country Music.

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Saturday, October 28, 2017

Updated...TS Philippe Does Florida Afterall... Heading North Towards Florida .. Crossing Cuba... Into Bahamas.. Whole US Coast from NC to NE Needs to Watch It Carefully

11 PM 

Estimated arrival of winds.
Shows Cuba and Key West.
Key West has no warnings.
Wind History below....
Um... Key West in it.

Sure looks like they have warnings.
Nope they don't.

Totally inconsistent.
Luckily it's a weak TS
Maybe no one noticed.

We are headed towards the year 2020... next year it will be 2018. Yet we are locked into parameters set back decades ago when it comes to forecasting by the US Government. Many of the best, brightest meteorology students are going into private meteorology; it pays better and there is more they can do. Why could they not simply put out a statement warning of a storm with Tropical Storm force winds that was headed towards the Florida Keys and South Florida after passing over Cuba on it's way towards the Bahamas. Why could they not just say clearly "a large area with multiple vortexes with tropical storm-force winds in the overall weather package will be moving North Northeast into the Florida Keys and across Florida. The name of this storm will be Philippe and it will start out tropical but soon merge with the frontal boundary and lose it's tropical characteristics?"

Without having to name it Potential or discuss whether it's a Hybrid or go long on "absorption" as this is what happens all the time in October. And, it's common for a weak, forming TS to have multiple centers (people get that it's not a Hurricane) and not be afraid to put South Florida into a Tropical Storm Watch early on when it was apparent to almost every meteorologist I know that Philippe would impact Florida. You can hope it won't but forecasting is not about hoping it's about explaining what is...

I'll talk long on this another time. So posting this more for continuity sake and to be on record. The forecasters at the NHC are awesome, but they are operating with one hand behind their back and so many archaic rules that it seems no matter what they do they end up holding the wrong side of the cone.

Wind Probs for the rest of the storm as of 11 PM.

Thankfully I was out tonight at a friend's house celebrating his 50th birthday and enjoying random conversation with nice people and a few good friends. Nice to get out and not to obsess about the tropics and luckily that saved me from going crazy on Twitter complaining about how messed up this was... has been and  probably will be as the storm moves North doing whatever it wants to do irregardless of forecasts, discussion or modeling. 

October is a hard time to be right on the money. I wore thin leggings a long sleeve v neck and a short black lacy skirt. I left the sweater in the car "just in case" and sat out on the deck listening to music... sipping wine and hanging out. Cheesecake may have been involved while music played ... playing everything from Edith Pilaf to Buck Cherry. I've got interesting friends. The rain was originally forecast to start in the  middle of the night (3am) then it was moved up to 1 AM... I knew it would rain by 11 PM. The timing has been wrong on this system and this was the prefrontal rain not the real forecast Sunday Rain.

It's raining heavy now... more a tropical rain than a cold front rain. It's beginning to snow up in the far mountains of West Virginia. My husband, an ex-skier, just made the comment whimsically "there'll be skiing for Thanksgiving" and that's how we progress in late October into November. Seems our minds are on winter while we watch tropical weather over Cuba with one of it's centers further to the North and while the NWS tries to play catch up on pin the head on the storm in the Mid Atlantic, Long Island and New England. 

In Miami it's also raining.

There should be a rule for forecasting weak tropical storms in June and October.. the rule should be "there are no rules" just "tell it like it is" and prepare the public for what they will get. 

Besos BobbiStor
@bobbistorm on Twitter

Ps... I'll update Sunday AM fresh with thoughts on Philippe "up the road" after it leaves Florida and the Bahamas. It's okay in Raleigh they can't forecast what sort of P Type (snow, sleet, etc) we will get in a winter storm 24 hours out ...not sure why we should expect more from a developing Tropical Storm with multiple centers merging with a Cold Front then transforming into a Weather Bomb with some sort of precipitation.... 

multiple vortexes with tropical storm-force winds in the overall weather package will be moving North Northeast into the Florida Keys and across Florida

Craig Key North....
Does not include Lower Keys.
 Phillipe wants to do Fantasy Fest.
NHC says NO!

Note remnants of an old wave to the E of Philippe

Weather over Cuba.
Weather over Florida.
A center near Key West

The link to the discussion is below and it goes long in discussing why TS Philippe is actually moving North currently not NE as a previous discussion said it would... something about multiple centers and  new vortex that formed close to Key West. Note it didn't "move" it formed... but they do expect it to move off to the NE rapidly at some point.

Salient part of discussion from NHC

 NWS Miami Discussion.

Let's go look at the National Weather Discussion out of Miami to see what they are saying. As obviously TS Philippe is getting way closer to the Miami then previous NHC discussion led many to believe. As I said on Friday depending on where and when Philippe developed things could change and were very fluid. Timing and Location of Formation = Trouble when trying to perfectly pinpoint an exact tract for a Tropical Storm that is moving 29 miles per hour forward speed.

Earlier in the week I posted an image from Larry Cosgrove and I reposted it on Friday as I was obviously pretty sure that his track pulling North moving towards the front was more logical than the discussion coming out of the NHC. The image is below from LAST WEEK. You can blend the two tracks (NHC earliest tracks) with the one above and get the best track scenario.

Bottom Line here with regard to TS Philippe and Miami is that it's going to be a rainy night with severe weather carrying with it the continued possibility of tornadoes. They have had tornado warnings throughout the day and everyone needs to be aware this will continue throughout the night. I'm not going to split hairs with the NHC discussion that isn't including the Lower Keys and KEY WEST but let me say this about that... ANYONE in Key West tonight should hunker down in Key West and enjoy Fantasy Fest. Stay around Duval Street... do NOT decide to drive back up to Miami tonight if you can stay there. It's just what it is...the weather along the WHOLE length of the Overseas Highway are going to be rancid IF you are there when a strong cell pushes through. Key West is a better place to be tonight than on the highway in the dark. Same goes for people in South Florida... a good night to stay close to home and enjoy the windy tropical weather before the next cold front pushes through.

Philippe should eventually get with the game plan and pull North East... after moving NNE and end up off the coast of Florida. Where energy will transfer to another Low Pressure area forming off the Carolinas (Outer Banks) and then it moves up towards NYC, Long Island and the NE. I will put out a long discussion tomorrow as to what I believe what will really happen.

It's important to note it is possible someone gets snow from the eventual winter storm most likely in mountainous areas but it depends on timing and how much "tropical moisture" from TS Philippe is wrapped into the approaching storm coming in from the South. So the jury is out on that one in my opinion currently. As a good example it's worth noting the strong weather South Florida and the Florida Keys have been getting all day when much discussion yesterday was on it crossing Cuba and heading NE into the Bahamas. That might have happened, however the new center "formed" and well it's best not to pay too much attention to the models in October and spend more time actually watching the storm itself in real time and staying two steps ahead of it.

What I suggest is following the NWS.
If you are in the track of this possible storm.
Tropical or HYBRID or Winter..
It has tons of stormy weather.
Dangerous conditions.
Flash Floods.
This includes ALL of Florida.

And then it moves away.
And it's someone else's problem.

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Friday, October 27, 2017

Potential Tropical Cyclone Forms and Forecast to be TS Philippe by Saturday.

Based on information from Recon
The NHC decided to post PTC warnings.
PTC 18 

Close up map for Floridians

PTC 18 in motion

Cones galore

Note it's important to remember....
.... there is not currently a well defined center.

Link to whole discussion:

Actually there are multiple centers in a larger overall Gyre, however one is expected to develop sufficiently to attain Tropical Storm force status and the NHC is putting out information in advance of that actual predicted development. Models have been very consistent as I said earlier so the track is set as is the intensity. Where exactly it does form could alter the exact path within the overall cone.

Tropical Storm Watches and Warnings.
Cuba and the Bahamas.
South Florida asked to pay attention.

The N GOM is being protected by Cold Air.

Cuba however is NOT protected by the front.

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This is more like a November Caribbean Set up.

As for South Florida.
I'm going to show this Tweet.
Sort of says it all.

Up the coast.... this may play out differently.
Or it may go out to sea.
After TD18 aka Philippe is ABSORBED..
The energy becomes part of a winter storm.
A "SouthEaster" not a Noreaster.
That tropical energy will keep it wet.
Otherwise they have been dealing with snow.
This is a transition storm ...
We are transitioning towards Winter weather in October.
Stay tuned...'s not over til it's over.

I'll update tomorrow evening.
Til then check out Mike's Spaghetti Models.
As always... Besos BobbiStorm
@bobbistorm on Twitter

Ps... Images I showed earlier this week.
That track still could verify so watch it carefully.
And winter is definitely happening sooner rather than later.

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