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, March 17, 2018

Weather. Hurricane Season? Everybody's Got An Opinion. Update on FIU Bridge Collapse...

"breakdown of the vast subtropical high across northern Africa is allowing equatorial moisture to rise into higher latitudes. Indeed, the area from the Sahel all the way into South Africa is in a humid regime, with multiple cases of mostly diurnal thunderstorms (strongest signal now just above the Equator). If this pattern is maintained through spring, predictions for an active tropical cyclone season in the Atlantic Basin stand a better chance of verifying"

Meteorologist Larry Cosgrove is a great read when it comes to weather world wide with a keen eye to geography that many young mets seem to miss while getting lost in modeling and computer graphics. I love modeling, computer graphics and young mets, but seriously Larry's understanding as a meteorologist of the subtle variations and complications that occur across one region and more so how they link up, connect and interact with each other in both the short term and the long term is a thing of beauty. Reading his weekly discussion or topical updates if something big happens suddenly helps put the whole picture together in a way that few mets are able to convey as well. Long run on sentence but necessary to try and begin to explain how wonderful Larry Cosgrove is at explaining all parts of the weather forecast.

I've been watching Africa. Every day there are subtle changes going on from one pattern to another. Day by day it's more common to see clusters of thunderstorms departing Africa into the Atlantic at very low levels. Over time, over months those clusters of thunderstorms we call "tropical waves" climb in latitude as the Hurricane Season approaches. Before June 1st or even late August when the African Tropical Waves become players this process starts with baby steps, with baby clusters of waves working their way west becoming a steady reminder that things are slowly changing.

Not ready for prime time.
But still beautiful as always.

It's a process.
Nothing happens over night.
Currently there are cyclones...
...but not in our part of the world.

Some people have talked on their sites about early predictions for the 2018 Atlantic Hurricane Season. I think it's a bit too early to go there, but I will soon enough. So much depends on things that have not totally played out and the biggest player has not shown it's hand yet. Not going to go chase the MJO nor as am I going to prophesize making predictions in March about June 1st is basically just that. I can say I do think it will be another active hurricane season with possibly multiple landfalls. However, how strong any given hurricane will be where at what point and when is too soon to say.

Jim Williams from the Hurricane City website discusses what cities are most likely to be impacted and I'll go with that being the real priority. And, while he has his own way of coming to his predictions I'll say that we are too deep still in a winter like pattern with no clear end in site to start waxing poetic on the Hurricane Season. What I can wax poetic on is the need to buy things when you see them on sale now that have a long shelf life and can be used if something is springs up suddenly off the coat of Florida or in the Gulf or Mexico and threatens to make an early landfall. Late season slow moving cold fronts that die slow deaths and dawdle over the Gulf of Mexico and the North Florida border are notorious for creating havoc in May along the Florida, Alabama coastline. 

Currently in Raleigh it's a see saw between using the heat at night once in a while or putting on the AC once in a while during the daytime. I have some allergy problems so I am not prone to opening up the windows wide and letting in the pollen. And, as we had a very warm February the pollen started early this year. Then it rained which helped and then it got cold again and then......     Every day is like a Mystery Package these days. Predicting the 24 hour forecast is harder than saying what it will be like in April in North Carolina. Not that I am planning on being here much this April...  run towards the snow and hide from the pollen is my plan. Got places to go.. people to see.

The forecast for this weekend was rain off and on and more often on than off. Today it never really did rain and tomorrow it's presence has been taken out of the forecast changed over to "intermittent cloudiness" with a chance of rain. Time will tell rules this question.

As for the pedestrian bridge collapse in Miami time will tell that story. It's easy to get lost in headlines about cracks and who is responsible while the investigation has just begun. Easy to discount the New York Times article about cracks that were found in the cement on Thursday a few hours prior to the collapse but someone I know well who was under investigation once for something big told me the NY Times knows what they are doing. I may not like their slant on stories and constant editorializing but when it comes to their investigations they often do know what they are talking about. For now it's about the recovery of bodies, extraction of flattened cars and the beginning of multiple investigations. 

I'm a Miami girl and when away WSVN is usually my go to source for local Miami news; KTLA from my LA days. Currently six people have died and they hope no more are found. Currently no more are missing but one never knows until this tragedy is totally over. 

Officially that's the word above.
Below shows the story in one picture.
That was a car at one time.
Sobering. Sad.

This is the map of my life.

To the far left is the campus of FIU where the NHC is located. Few people will mention that will they in their discussion on FIU and the bridge collapse? Along the Expressway that runs to the West of FIU is the NHC. The NOAA library where I've spent many hours doing research is at that location. On the map above is the University I graduated from and the High School I graduated from ... the Westchester Shopping Center I grew up hanging out at and just to the right of the map is the house where I lived for part of my childhood. The street that is to the North of the FIU campus is 8th Street AKA Tamiami Trail AKA "The Trail" and on the North side is the town of Sweetwater. The area to the South of the Trail is known as "Westchester" and my Middle School is just to the right of the map. My life for years was that grid shown above. My mother was never one to stay in a house for too long. Her older sister, my Aunt, told me once she moves the sofa from the North to the South to the East to the West and after moving into the center of the living room she moves to another house. That pretty much sums it up my early childhood. At some point we moved to Miami Beach where I lived through my college years commuting to FIU or sleeping over at my Aunt's house in Little Havana aka "The Roads Section." Miami has lots of AKA names for the same neighborhood. Miami Beach became my world after that for years and years. Even Jimmy Buffett used the Tamiami Trail in his lyrics.

NHC hiding behind the palm trees.
They are sneaky like that ;)

My son attends FIU as does my nephew. My daughter-in-law attended FIU and got her Masters there ...  my son is graduating this year with his Masters in Architecture. My brother went to FIU and graduated from there. Half of Miami seemingly has gone to FIU. Once it was the small little school opening up in South Florida and it currently is one of the largest State Universities in the whole country.  Many of the dorms and cheaper apartments are on the North side of FIU in Sweetwater as are several school buildings. Finding a safe way to cross the Trail was a big priority as many people have died trying to cross it on foot. My son says there is a plaque on a little bridge over the Tamiami Canal that lists the many names of students killed trying to cross over the Trail. This bridge was built to solve the problem, to forget forward towards a commitment to help bridge FIU with Sweetwater in many ways.

FIU is a great public institution of higher learning. That's one reason I find the Governor's rush to detach himself from the University to be kind of pathetic. He basically said this was not his problem being Governor of Florida, but it was FIU's problem. Spoiler Alert for the Governor but FIU is a part of his State University system and all the various agencies involved were also involved on this project in some way. If it was the UM where my father went to college, a private University, okay but noooo this is a something he as Governor is connected to and hopefully he has figured that out. Nice to rush in for sound bites and photo ops but it's Florida International University part of the same system as FSU and UF.

Tamiami Trail is the road that was built across the Everglades to connect Tampa to Miami or possibly vice versa. It's the road my family took when they went back and forth to visit the relatives up in Tampa. It's now an 8 lane highway and one of the busiest traveled highways in South Florida. So the bridge was built in a manner that FIU has been very involved with known as Accelerated Bridge Construction. Why you ask is that important? It's used to replace bridges in large metropolitan areas that need to be rebuilt yet because they are so heavily traveled it's impossible to shut them down for construction. This method has been used all over to shorten the time that shuts down heavily traveled roads but to put up better, stronger bridges. In America as in many places parts of our infrastructure are always in need of repair. But when we go from one Model T Ford to an 8 lane highway it's a lot harder to get long term projects that are needed approved. No one wants old, bad bridges but no one wants important highways shut down in areas where there are few alternative roads. So the construction is done in parts just to the side of the road seen below in a recent Google Maps picture.

The dorms in Sweetwater on the left.
FIU main campus on the right.

Now is the time for prayers.
Now is the time for investigations.
Time will tell.

My radar tonight as I type this post.

So yeah back to weather. We just had a short thunderstorm in Raleigh. I'm typing in the dark with the lights off so I can watch the light show through the window and get the full effects. Does that mean it will snow in the next 10 days? Did this thunderstorm sneak in under the wire as Spring starts in a few days after the Spring Solstice. Old wives tale... 'if you hear thunder in winter you will have snow within 10 days" or so they say. Time will tell. Maybe up by the Virginia-NC border?

Oh look at that.
Possible snow in 5 days?
Check that out.
So much for old wives tails.
Now you know what people did...
...without Spaghetti Models ;)

Getting closer and closer... Hurricane Season.

Thanks Mike.
 You're a man for all seasons.

From Tampa to Miami.

Besos BobbiStorm
@bobbistorm on Twitter

Even Jimmy Buffett knows..

Hope it snows before I go back to Miami.. 

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