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!

Friday, June 22, 2018

Friday. Tropical Thoughts to Think On While Staying Cool This Weekend. African Waves and Pin Ball Machines.

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Keeping this simple today. Please feel free to read yesterday's post that has more solid information. The main point to take away from today's blog is that there is a wave moving through the Atlantic into the Caribbean as I type this post. Another strong wave is leaving Africa later today. It is a process and when you get a wave cruising through the Caribbean that sailed through cool water and Saharan Dust you do not count out the season as "nothing to worry about" because Academics discuss degrees of water in June and how much ACE we will end up with later in the year. To an academic numbers and details are exciting. To a homeowner or someone who lives in a poorly maintained apartment house near the coast those details mean little if your bayou is going to flood or your roof is going to blow away in a hurricane. ACE is something we often talk about online. Do not concern yourself with it if you live in Hurricane Country. Concern yourself with how you will secure your property and where you will hunker down or evacuate to if a hurricane makes it to your port of call.

As for our wave entering the Caribbean.
This is what the NHC says about that.
Note they used many words.

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Follow the orange "ball" as it moves into the Carib.

As my friend Dabuh says they often come out of the stealth mode they are in when traveling through the SAL. Note the cold water colors shown in blue with variations in the blue (cold water) and yet when the wave got to warmer water it blew up. Then the shear at the door post of the Caribbean tries to kill it but enhances it and then it wobbles West into the heart of the Caribbean. Something could surprise us or nothing could come from this wave. But, there is another wave behind it and another wave behind that.  Check Dabuh out... no one knows waves to surf or track like him.

Think of this time of year the way you remember a great pinball machine. One ball dies and you miss your opportunity. Then you pull the plunger and shoot out the next ball, and the next ball after that until you get one ball that you use the flippers properly and spend a long time watching it bounce about wracking up ACE and there are even times when you get more than one ball to play with as you continue on and on. And, that is what the hurricane season really is like. ACE is that ball you played with for the longest time. Ever play pinball? Try it. Some cute new places where Millenials and Baby Boomers hang out. It's obsessive much like tracking tropical waves. 

Stay cool. Have a great weekend. Those gorgeous sunset pictures on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat the last few days along the SE coast were enhanced by bits and pieces of SAL that made it to our world. Where SAL goes tropical trouble often follows. It's a really large High setting up in place and the waves coming off may be hindered by the cooler water but they seem to be healthy waves.

Huge High.

As for #NationalSelfieDay.

That's me.
Last week in the Florida Keys.
Hurricane Monument.
1935 Labor Day Hurricane.
Actually was Home Grown Trouble.
A year with lot's of close in storms.

Miami was hit 3 times in an El Nino Year
1926, 1965, 1992
Great Miami Hurricane.
Hurricane Betsy.
Hurricane Andrew.

Don't get lost in academic terms.
Preparation is the key.
Be #hurricanestrong.

Have a great weekend. Enjoy the sunsets. Find a cool movie or a breezy beach if you can. And as I said yesterday... always be yourself and do the things you love and be Hurricane Strong ;)

Besos BobbiStorm
@bobbistorm on Twitter
Keep watching something will eventually catch our attention

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Thursday, June 21, 2018

Summer Solstice 2018 - Flooding in Texas As Expected from No Name System - Mid Atlantic Heat & Weather. Tropical Thoughts.

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Only real discussion today is how much rain Texas actually got from a system with no name that originated in the tropics as was briefly labeled Invest 91L. I like to call it #X91L as in today's world it seems everything needs a Hashtag. How much flooding there was will be evaluated today though late yesterday it was very sketchy in some areas and even if it doesn't have a name the result is the same. I'm also curious where the rain is going down the road and it seems it's going to where all the weather has gone as of late. Graphic below from Cranky on Twitter. 

What is in a name?
Won't ask why Cranky chose Storm Hamster.
There are things I don't question.
Happy to have their input.

Some thoughts from Twitter

As so often happens in late June.
Texas and Tex Mex area got slammed with rain.
Shelters are open in several areas.

As far as the rest of the Tropics.

Oddly the only game in town is off of Africa.
It's a short lived area to watch.
Generally anything strong there....
...fizzles in the cool waters of June.
Still it begs us to watch.

Note the colder water is the NW of the wave.
African wave. 
More to follow.
Sometimes waves are hard to see.
Showing the SAL image below.
It's current.
The wave is the area of missing SAL.

Each wave takes a bite out of SAL.
Each new wave finds warmer water.
At some point the water warms up.
The SAL is less of a factor.
Waves spin up into systems.
Well sooner or later they do.

There has been much talk on social media about a cooler than average MDR (Main Development Region) and the possibility of El Nino coming on stronger later in the year. There is also some discussion on Kelvin Waves that help give pizzazz to tropical waves helping them develop being aligned in such as way as to help a few of the early westbound, tropical waves in a moisture starved part of the atmosphere swimming in cooler water. Time will tell. At some point the water will warm enough to support some development. The later a wave develops - if it develops - the further West it gets and the less likely it is to be a Fish Storm. The term "Fish Storm" for newbies means that they get stronger faster and tend to curve gracefully to the NW and swim out to sea like a fish. Waves that had problems developing in marginal conditions often can end up like Andrew in 1992 that didn't really develop until later, was almost deactivated and around where the Great Labor Day Hurricane spun up changed directions, tactics and intensified close in to a Category 5 Hurricane aiming for the Miami area. So understand each year and every set up in the Tropical Atlantic has it's own problems to worry on as the saying is so true in that it only takes 1 hurricane; especially a Camille or Andrew to wreck your world. This is 2018 and it is NOT 2017 and there will be less named storms, probably way less ACE and few years in history will compare to 2017 with regard to ACE and tropical misery.

I agree with Mike.
Each year stands on it's own.
Even below average years...
...produce Killer Hurricanes.
This should be an Average Year.

Mike @tropicalupdate (was he so smart to grab that Twitter Handle?) suggested last night on Twitter  that people watch the video I posted below. It's a good video. Much of the information has been out there discussed constantly on Twitter, however Twitter leaves much to be desired and it's way better to listen to Phil Klotzbach explain his thoughts than to read them in parts on Twitter. Like Phil I love Twitter as it is a fantastic source for live reports of weather events in real time that provide us with good information (and discussion) faster than we were able to receive such information previously. As always you have to weed out the nonsense of fake information but it's very relevant and it gives us a new way of devouring and sharing information/knowledge. There were meteorologists years ago who studied hurricanes by reading ship logs and piecing together pieces of information to see the whole picture of what happened and where it happened. If the ship went down in the middle of the Atlantic there was no ship log to read and radio was not invented so there were no "last radio reports" to study to piece together what happened. There was a time before we had radar and a time before we had satellite imagery and a time before we were able to share live breaking weather events in real time as they are happening as we do in Twitter today. You can follow Phil on Twitter @philklotzbach.  

I have great respect for Phil, but the only thing I want to say is that although we all look to the MDR for hurricane action and yes #ACE is highest when that part of the world has low shear and warm water with long tracking CV Hurricanes but disaster can strike and often does from hurricanes that form closer in and are more "Homegrown" sorts of trouble. So keep that in mind while speaking on the cooler water temperatures near Africa out in the MDR region of the Atlantic. To name a few Major Hurricanes that rocked our world that formed close in and the list is way longer that what is below... know that sometimes a storm that rapidly intensifies close to landfall is harder to prepare for or predict than a hurricane that has been heading WNW around a Bermuda High obviously set to make landfall in PR or Florida the way Hurricane Maria and Hurricane Irma did. And, few years will ever have as many hurricanes that could not develop without becoming Major Hurricanes. 2017 was a year to remember and study forever. I'm also adding that Phil is doing an awesome job keeping the memory and lifetime work alive that the incomparable Bill Gray began and his many students are continuing today. 

You may want to Google the following historic hurricanes to see where they in fact formed and they did not form deep in the MDR region. 

Great Labor Day Hurricane of 1935

Hurricane Camille

Hurricane Katrina

Hurricane Sandy

Camille technically was the remnant of a CV wave that did not form. Camille formed in the Caribbean as did Sandy. Katrina formed off the coast of Florida (hitting Miami first as a hurricane before moving into the GOM) in the same area as the 1935 Hurricane. So understand on one hand the MDR is cooler now, it will warm up, but it will not produce the number of hurricanes that we suffered through in 2017. However, storms that form close in and rapidly intensify with less lead time to prepare and evacuate are their own breed of trouble.  Sandy also slammed into Cuba before becoming the huge East Coast threat later delivering a large blow a good part of New Jersey and New York. So again remember data is interesting to study, but the bottom line is that you need to prepare no matter how much shear is there in the GOM today and how cool the water is in the MDR as things have a tendency to change after July 20th when the real part of the Hurricane Season normally begins. 

Thank you.

So those are my thoughts on the Summer Solstice as we are officially into Summer even though we have been dealing with the heat for the last several weeks. On a playful let's have fun level I bought a new eye shadow palette from Cargo that is called Havana and is filled with tropical shades and well put together with names that reflect Havana and in general the tropics. I'm in Raleigh this year for the Summer Solstice. Often in the past I was in Key West visiting friends and even once in Seattle where the day is really, really long. This year I'm here so the closest I can get to tropical vacation is playing with my make up and listening to a Jimmy Buffett song.

Besos BobbiStorm
@bobbistorm on Twitter

Ps. Always be true to yourself. Whether you are an academic or a salesman be true to yourself. Whether you are a teacher or a life long student be true to yourself. Whether you are an artist who sings, dances or writes or a philosopher or brain surgeon be true to yourself. Enjoy the things you love and do what you love and share what you love with others... as long as you are trying to make the world a better place than how you found it. If you don't like the world the way it is... help make it better and if you don't like the ending of a movie..... get out there and make up your own story. 

Cuba could be in play later in the 2018 Hurricane Season as could the Mid Atlantic region. Time will tell.... I'll be here blogging and sharing it all at and on Twitter @bobbistorm. 

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Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Wednesday. Tropics Quiet. Texas Dealing With Quite A Lot of Rain From the Tropics. Extreme Early Heat Across Parts of USA. Manatees Swim North to Warm Water Off East Coast

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In South Texas they have had torrential rain.
Over a relatively short period of time.
Flooding ensues when that happens.
However it's not a Tropical system.

You can see the RAIN on Spaghetti Models Main Page.
The NHC grid is there too.

No new Tropical Cyclones are expected . . .

Understand Tropical Rain doesn't get a name or a designation and it's covered by the local NWS offices, the local TV stations, online media and you probably have at least two WhatsApp Groups going on talking about the heavy rain and localized flooding from the remnants of X 91L that never developed. The irony is that had it developed into a small Tropical Storm it most likely would have made less of a mess across the wider area. It might have actually moved inland and been caught up by a diving frontal boundary. If.... we had diving frontal boundaries which we do not as we are in the midst of a Heat Wave in parts of the South and along the East Coast. What we have are West bound Tropical Waves and nothing more. Kind of normal for June during the Hurricane Season. The images below with discussion are from the NWS Discussion this morning at 8 AM.

The last wave mentioned has the most discussion. It's a wave and it covers a large area as it is not organized; it's when we talk about a wave axis. Note it extends from Venezuela to the  Mona Passage. Sometimes, but rarely, a part breaks off and that part makes a run at trying to organize. Or a piece of it makes it into another area where development is more favorable. That is what Dabuh talks about on Twitter when he discusses the area near the Mona Passage. 

Satellite image of the large Tropical Wave.

Bottom Right corner.... another smaller, intense, W bound wave.
Running Low in the water.

June in the tropics.
NHC weighs in on Texas.

NWS graphics

Note the orange color along the SE coast.
That's the "Heat Wave"
More on that later in this post.
Texas coast lit up with warnings from X91L

"weak trough" "with little effect"
No cold fronts diving down this June.
Extremely warm water along the East Coast.
It's only going to get warmer.
Speaking of warm water.
Manatee spotted at OBX.

When I speak of "warm water" I do so as foreshadowing discussion down the road of Home Grown possibilities either in popping up seemingly out of nowhere or from Tropical Waves that did not develop further out near Africa and traveled to our side of the world where they find welcoming, warm water that if there is no shear there can bring development close in to the coast. A manatee was seen in waters near the Outer Banks and that's rare for June. While they do wander their way North from Florida they usually only go where they can live and that is where the water is warm. If the water pools it's way North they follow the water and strike out for exotic ports of call. Normally this time of year when we go to the Outer Banks I won't even walk in the water up to my ankles as it is ice cold. Being a very warm blooded creature born and raised in Miami I don't swim in the Pacific and I don't dash into the waves at the Outer Banks screaming "it's not that cold!!" so I know what the water is like generally there this time of year. I remember in 2012 we went there for a bit and not only did my husband stay in the water (usually he seems to need to prove it's not that cold in June by jumping in and then coming out fast... he's from upstate New York not Miami)  I actually played in the water thinking how odd it was for the water to be that warm. It was a beastly hot summer in the Carolinas. 2016 was another year with anormaly warm water close in to the coast and often when that happens Manatees travel further North than normal and stay sometimes too long and then hurricanes move close in along those same waters. 

Only showing the storms close in to the East Coast.

Hermine was a coastal cruiser.
Julie formed so close in...
..she was named over Florida.

Just some things to think about.

A "heat wave" is defined as "a prolonged period of abnormally hot weather" and that's the short definition. Many meteorologists will argue what exactly is or isn't a "heat wave" indefinitely until the said heat wave has dissipated. People do love to talk about the weather. In truth deciding if several days of excessive heat is a "HEAT WAVE" is  like describing an operation. If it's happening to you it's a major operation, if it's happening to someone else it may be a minor operation. If a Heat Wave comes early in the season before it's officially Summer than panic often sets in as people worry this will go on and on through August. Panic leads to rash actions, depression and arguing over topics such as "what is a heat wave" and that's where we are at today in the South.

Note the video from JULY 27th, 2017 that shows how local news outlets cover heat waves. July not June is usually when we see these long spells of "feels like" 104 degrees more so than June.

There was a memorable heat wave in 2012 in our area. I'm finding parallels to 2012 to this year.

Sometimes Summer comes early followed by an early Fall and Winter lands too soon at people's door that either love the Summer heat or love to complain about how hot it is . . .

If you believe in MJO know that Joe Bastardi is following Dabuh's tropical wave with references to an expected MJO to show up in that area. There is nothing officially happening. Models are hinting at lower pressures near Florida over hot water down the road. All I can say is you have to watch a pattern that produces Home Grown Trouble also known as coastal cruising Hurricanes or Tropical Storms.

My daughter Dina got that shot.
She grabbed my phone and leaned out the window.
Great pic

In 2014 my daughter and I spent the day at the beach in July in New York watching Arthur pass by offshore and shower the area with strong cells that made for great pictures. These storms do sometimes just pop up off shore of Florida and with an absence of stronger steering currents they travel North with the Gulf Stream visiting exotic Northern coastal Ports of Call much like our wayward manatee. Something to think on during these hot Dog Days of June when the heat came on way too soon and the water temperatures off the East Coast are hot to trot so to speak and very inviting for tropical trouble.

So stay tuned. I'll update when there is something to say.

Besos BobbiStorm
@bobbistorm on Twitter

Ps Will see how hot it really gets today ....In Miami people would be thrilled to have it in the 70s at 9 AM but round these parts the hottest part of the day is late in the day just before Sunset. Yesterday it was 95 degrees at 8 PM and the feels like was closer to 100 degrees.

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Monday, June 18, 2018

Tropics Quiet. Texas and Louisiana Getting Tropical RAIN. Heat Wave Hits Early Before Summer Officially Arrives. Go to the Beach or the Movies.Cool Off. Eat Ice Cream...

Monday in the Tropics.

Atlantic Side


Wave discussion....

A Westbound Wave...

Yes there's a wave.
It's the 3rd wave mentioned.
Shear is there.
But so is the wave.
This is the dance of the tropics.

There's a frontal boundary.
East of Florida.

The real story in our part of the world is the extreme early heat on the East Coast. I think the issue here is timing in that it came on like gangbusters. The weather was nice, it was getting warmer, it's only June and the Summer Solstice hasn't set in and then suddenly it feels like late Summer in early June. It throws people off in ways that are hard to explain. People get testy, they drive crazy, they don't feel like things are aligned properly. We have such an illusion as to the actual control we have in the world with regard to Mother Nature. It's as if she is programmed at some point and continues marches to her own tune. She starts Summer too soon and Winter often lasts too long. And, that's weather you can't control it but you can watch and have a great ride like on one long wave to shore. The shore in the case of most of America is Winter and it follows after Fall and we capitalize them as they are raised to a level of a person such as the President and the Governor. Let's just treat this June as if it's early July and move on.

Waves form off of Africa and roll West not giving a damn if there is Saharan Dust out there because there's always SAL out there. That's life in June and June is always a crap shoot in the Tropics. Either it's way too quiet or it's way too hot. And, people online in the weather community get nasty, testy and extremely judgmental. And you know why? They want something to really track the way a surfer wants a wave and someone up at bat wants that pitch that's gonna be just right for him to make a grand slam out into the stands. Yeah, if you had lots of money and time you can jump on a plane and go anywhere you want until the weather gets to where you want it on the TV dial and then fly back and get back in the race. Life really isn't a song but we can live our life like it is a song as Jimmy says, so if you don't like the weather today just take a deep breath, stay in the AC, drink some Iced Tea and wait it out cause time is a moving fast this year. And, no this Heat Wave is not epic as much as early and that makes people nervous because if it's this hot in June what will August bring?

Something to think on with regard to the Tropics in these quiet days while we watch Carlotta wash up on the shores of the EPAC and we watch the little yellow X make it's way steadily towards the Texas coastline and it will rain in Beaumont Texas and parts of Louisiana will get rain. And, that is life in the Tropics on the Monday after a wonderful Father's Day Weekend where I ate some sort of Espresso Chocolate Ice Cream and I'll sip cold vegetable juices today and do penance and Thank God I'm alive and not complain it's hot today because it's gonna be even hotter as the Summer marches on. But I am watching for that really great wave that is going to make it past the Saharan Dust and develop somewhere close in to the coast and hopefully I'll be at the beach to see it roll by. Trust me as a Miami girl I know HOT and July in Miami is HOT but eventually I'll be back there. Til then I'm enjoying the Carolinas and my friends online and my kids on Snapchat. Life is good. It's hot.. eat Ice Cream! Or sip Iced Tea. Get in the groove we are just starting this Summer Game we play and it's going to move towards a crescendo as July moves towards August and then things will really shake, rattle and roll.

So go buy a kiddie pool and put it in your backyard and climb in even if you don't have any kiddies. Throw some ice cubes in it if it's really hot. Go take a ride to the beach or to the lake or put on a beach movie.. go to the movies and stimulate the economy and find a theater that cranks the AC up real cold and enjoy. This is how we live, this is what we do. My kids went to the beach yesterday in Seattle (oh what a beach) Alki Beach always beautiful with palm trees and mountains in the distance and my son in Miami took his baby daughter to the beach for the first time and let her toes tangle down so she could feel the sand between her toes because that's who we are... And, way Up North in Up State NY where it was so hot it felt like Miami my daughter put her little boy into the pool to cool off and for the always important photo shot. Be like a child, enjoy and embrace the heat or crank up the AC and enjoy.

The Hurricane Season is on it's way whether you want it to be or not. The Hurricane Season is on it's way even if El Nino is building up in the Pacific or not. The Hurricane Season is on it's way even if the water in the far Eastern Atlantic is still cool enough to feel like Pudget Sound. It won't stay that way. Trust me. Oh and if you have a Publix go enjoy the cool AC and the friendly staff and shop for some Hurricane Supplies also buy some Ice Ceam and Popsicles for those long hot summer days before the hurricanes threaten your world.

You got to think like a kid.
Or a fantastic parent.

Get your toes in the water....
...your feet in the sand!
if there's no beach.
Take a bath!

Besos BobbiStorm
@bobbistorm on Twitter

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