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, May 16, 2018

Tropics Wednesday. Attention Turns Towards the Caribbean As NHC Starts to Pull the Plug on GOM Blob with a Swirl. Keep Watching. By the way......WHO Do you Watch? Who do you FOLLOW? Lot's of Great People to Follow on Twitter & Other Social Media Platforms.

The NHC is officially pulling the plug on the yellow X.
Every once in a while check back in... make sure they didn't plug it back in.

Our attention towards in many directions.
Africa is far away.
Waves are rolling off.
Way too low today.
But that will change.

Down in the Caribbean there is moisture.
It's juicy and intense at times.
Too early to be concerned.
Never too early to pay attention.
Keep it all in perspective though.

Models do show things could develop.
Could, maybe, keep watching.
Shear is forecast to weaken...

Nothing there now except moisture.
Warm water.
Shear that may lessen.
Keep watching.

Keep watching.
Time will tell.

Oh...on Facebook.
Tell Mike where you are from.
He wants to know.

Keeping the #longread part of my blog down at the bottom today so you can read it or not read it or just listen to the music. Have a wonderful day... hope you keep reading I take no apologies this is me, I'm a #longread sometimes ;)

Years ago they had something called "paperboys" even though sometimes they were girls. Kind of like today's version of "weatherman" even though many of them are women. We also say "weather girls" using the term "girls" vs women which may sound sexist, but personally I'd rather be called a girl than a woman so it's a hard subject to discuss without offending someone. Always good to know who you are talking to and about before you go shooting off your mouth. Yet people online on social media, using social media love to look down at others on social media making fun of them for using social media to discuss the tropics. Sort of seems like the pot calling the kettle black if you remember that reference. I believe there's jealousy involved personally. Take any name.... let's say "Joe" and he spends a lot of money getting his degree, sacrificing good times at the baseball park to study for his finals, get his degree and then try and find a job,  work his way up the very difficult ladder of governmental jobs in meteorology and he watches as he is regularly ignored by the multitudes on Twitter or Facebook while some yokel from nowhere who seems to know weather and has some vague weather education gets lots of followers as he talks about various waves moving westbound and model data up available on the internet for anyone to read. Yet... people aren't following "Joe" other than his own cronies and rather than do their thing they slurk around on Twitter making fun of people also using social media for talking about long range model solutions available on the web. You can't make this stuff up.

Back when they had newspapers and "paperboys" they would stand on street corners screaming "All the news that's fit to print " or "hot off the presses" "read all about it" and people would grab a copy of the paper on their way rushing off to work. News is only "news" if it's written about somewhere and IF someone wants to read it. Otherwise the story would get shuttled to page 38 in the A section of the old newspaper. People either want to read a story or they don't and no amount of dressing up a story will make it interesting IF the people do not want to read about it. And, if it's news fit to print and available online you are not hyping something you are discussing it. Well, unless your tweet reads "Puerto Rico destroyed by Hurricane Bertha" when in fact there is no Hurricane Bertha and all the models show is there is a westbound tropical wave that has the potential for an upgrade to a designated system that could become Bertha.

You know I remember personally back when people made fun of Matt Drudge for telling tails about Monica and her blue dress and things Bill may or may not have done. Spoiler Alert he is good at checking his sources. Look where he is now. We live in a fast paced, ever changing world where today's most popular social media will be made fun of the way we look back and talk on how much fun AOL message boards were and debate whether MySpace was more fun than Facebook. More than 50% of your teenagers today won't touch Facebook with a ten foot pole that they will post a picture of on SnapChat and did you know people now use SnapChat phone service more than they do WhatsApp? BuzzFeed is a thing if you haven't checked it out it's not a cartoon in the Sunday Morning Newspaper which by the way is one of the only reasons people buy newspapers anymore is to read the comics in the bathroom. Hate to admit that but it's true on many levels.

The web is a wonderful place where you have to avoid every click bait possibility or you get lost on some back road lost in the woods where someone is trying to see you something. It's also a place with sites that are filled with a good measure of news, discussion and interesting weather data for people who want to know the weather details themselves because many of them no longer trust what they get from their local "weathermen" or the official forecast as they have gotten burned more than once by a hurricane. That's the truth here that old Joe who works for some government office who barely says anything of value not repeated in the official forecast on social media who is only followed by his immediate cronies doesn't seem to get.

The reality is that many times, over time people have read the official forecast and were told that Hurricane "Josie" was going to move up into the Gulf of Mexico aiming at an area between Biloxi and Mobile and they were safe in the Big Bend area of Florida; they let their guard down and went about life and then it began to rain and the creek began to rise and their sense of safety began to unravel. Seems "Josie" was more fickle than they thought and the GFS that was mostly ignored out of respect for the European model was actually right and "Josie" did not intensify as tightly as the Euro model indicated and much of the "weather mass" went right and was far removed from her weak center. The NWS put up watches and warnings and at 11 PM the NHC wiggled the cone to the right and raised their watch to a tropical storm warning. Then suddenly and not quite predicted by either the GFS or the EURO "Josie" intensified closer to land (read the Big Bend) and small towns like Navarre Beach were suddenly concerned with high winds, coastal flooding and the threat of tornadoes. It seems like the front was stronger than expected, dipped down and grabbed "Josie" and it never took the path further west towards Mobile or Pensacola and the earlier cones and model discussion that it could get as far West as Mississippi were wrong. Oops. Sorry "Charlie" (which is another story for another day) and there were lots of explanations on how the models had been unreliable and underestimated the strength of the frontal boundary.

That sort of story plays out frequently be it people in Naples who insisted the earlier cones showed Hurricane Irma was aiming for the Miami - WPB metro area and they could safely ride out the storm in Naples. The NHC reminded them that they put all of Florida in the cone and they were supposed to take precautions just in case and their local weather forecaster on air pretty much blamed the models for bad modeling and the NHC for not explaining the situation properly. Trouble happened is what happened and let's say "Charlie" who lives in Naples no longer feels safe just looking at the cone or following their local weather people on air who mostly give over the official forecast. "Charlie" begins to follow social media and as "Charlie" is pretty savvy they know how to ignore the click bait and follow the people with a proven record of trying to provide early warning of possible tropical problems on their favorite form of social media. They want to watch the models themselves, they want to view the loops in the morning when they get up before they go to work and they sit stuck in traffic jams on the way to work looking over Twitter fast for information from people who they have seen have a good track record. "Charlie" no longer cares about degrees and positions at the NWS or which weather person on air has the best ratings they want to see for themselves what is going on. And, the truth is in today's savvy social media world people are not so dumb anymore.

In 2018 you don't need a meteorology degree to know watch a satellite loop, run a model for yourself and then go to people who you have learned to trust because of their accuracy over time for advice.  This is the world our kids live in.... and when you are burned online you stop following someone, you ignore "click bait" and you learn to weed through the garbage that comes in with the proverbial storm tide. People are more informed and not as dumb as "Joe" thinks but they also love to shoot the breeze, watch distant waves and even once in a while make jokes about distant, far off westbound waves. People appreciate brains and a sense of humor in today's world, because Lord knows with all those crazy, ever changing headlines online we could use to laugh more and get a heads up earlier rather than later. News at 11 no longer really sells anymore and the loneliest guy at Crabtree Mall is the guy at the booth trying to sell subscriptions to the local newspaper along with an offer of a free umbrella. You know why people carry umbrellas all the time in their car? Because weather is unpredictable and it often rains even when it's not in the forecast so people keep umbrellas around just in case.

And that dear "Joe" is why people who live in areas where tropical storms form who have been burned often by models that were wrong and official forecasts that went awry like to read what other's have to say on the social media. You may have a great degree and a good government job, but you may not be the most popular Joe on the Internet. Welcome to 2018. Do not click on "click bait" and always verify from multiple sources your information, run the meme through Snopes and yes you can get "news" from BuzzFeed.

This rant is brought to you this morning while it's somewhat slow in the tropics, because yesterday someone's Tweet annoyed me as they kept tweeting making fun of people on Twitter who follow long range models. The models are there for a reason and the people on Twitter he was making fun of had been very clear they were long range models and nothing currently to worry about. Sue me I'm loyal to people I care about and dislike people who sit in glass houses throwing stones at others who live in the same glass houses. People who follow so and so follow them because they want to hear long range models, discussion and possibilities and they actually enjoy shooting the breeze. There's a follow button on Twitter and an unfollow button, use them wisely as per your individual needs.

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It's May in the tropics. The models will present solutions and then take them away so fast you can get whiplash. The water is warming up in the Caribbean and every week that goes by the new wave off Africa gains in latitude and every front dies out a bit further to the North than the last one. People discuss possibilities and if you are burned by someone there is a button named "unfollow" and you become somebody that you used to know" . . .

I don't want to be boring and I don't want to live a boring life. I like shooting the breeze with my friends online who have often given me good advice, early information and been just as fast to comment that it looks as if the models were wrong. By the way... the models are wrong often. The models are getting better and well in honesty it's a crap shoot. I hope you enjoy your good government job or your position at a studio somewhere that someone younger who talks faster may be gaining on your reputation. It's good to laugh, it's good to listen to music and it's good to see what is trending not on Twitter and what pattern is evolving in the Atlantic or Caribbean that may bring tropical trouble to your town in the long range future. Control over our lives is basically an illusion. Ask anyone who bought a beautiful retirement home in Leilani Estates where all the wonders of the tropical landscape were mentioned but very little mention made of possible lava flows or toxic gas down the block from your home. The same thing happens in the Florida Keys where realtors wax poetic on hibiscus and the ocean breeze but play down the hurricane threat to make a sale and tell you that the coral reefs protect your home from tropical trouble .... not true but I used to hear it all the time down in the Keys repeated to me. No coral reefs do not protect the Florida Keys from a hurricane.. just ask Hurricane Irma.

The Internet and Social Media operate under the same rules that people buying real estate live from that being "buyer beware" and any realtor who tells you that the lower Florida Keys don't get hit by hurricanes is either living in fantasy land or looking to make a fast sale. Kind of like today's "click bait" on Facebook or Twitter. Buyer beware means you do your own research and don't believe what just anyone will tell you about Leilani Estates or a sweet little home on Cudjoe Key without knowing that Mother Nature could step in and mess up your little piece of paradise. You don't live in Florida without worrying about hurricane season and you mitigate those fears by going online and going to the people you trust to give you a heads up because when Hurricane Andrew blew through someone on air told you to have a nice weekend and check back in on Monday after telling you that Andrew was going to catch the front as per the forecast and go up to the Carolinas. The models have gotten better, but they are also spitting out garbage just as regularly. Becareful what you wish for and know that if there is a volcano on your island that has blown in the past it will blow again. If you live in Florida at some point you will get a Hurricane Warning and possibly even the eye of the storm. Staying informed is good. Nuff said.



Florida Paradise.


Well the view of the ocean is always beautiful, even if you have a blue tarp on your roof but many places do not have a roof let alone the blue tarp.

Giving a thanks to all of you who know who you are who are often attacked online for mentioning a new wave off of Africa or a shear forecast that shows possibilities for development (carefully worded statement note) in the Caribbean and thanks for making me laugh, sing, smile and keeping me informed. I can't imagine going through Hurricane Season without you even if some Joe somewhere has his panties in a wad (you may want to check the Urban Dictionary for that one if you aren't familiar with it) and as far as I'm concerned live and let live is my motto and if I don't like what someone is hawking on Twitter I hit the "unfollow" button. It's that simple.

People made fun of P. T. Barnum for years until they stopped making fun of him. Good movie if you haven't seen it.

Besos BobbiStorm
@bobbistorm on Twitter

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