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, August 10, 2018

2 Areas Being Watched in the Atlantic With Low Chances of Development. A Good Time to Review Your Hurricane Preparation Plans.

20% chances in the 5 day.
Mid Atlantic Tropical Wave.

There are two areas in the Atlantic that the NHC has highlighted to be watched and observed for a low chance of possible development. The first area is one of the robust waves that came off of Africa recently and has maintained it's integrity after hitting the water where other waves before it have fallen apart and fizzled. This is a normal slow change in this area that occurs as we move further into August and shear while there is lessened and Saharan Dust weakens it's strangle hold on the Main Development Region known as the MDR in the Atlantic. Often these waves develop a low pressure area, continue to move West as a recognizable entity yet they are usually not ready for prime time and rarely get a name the way Beryl did earlier this year. Each wave moistens up the environment there helping the next few waves that come off and there is a small possibility that this one could develop enough into a designated system. The area below shows the uptick in enhancement along the ITCZ but no sign of any low pressure systems.

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20% chance of development in the 5 day.
In the North Atlantic not threatening any place.

Another area that is being watched is in the Mid Atlantic again, similar to where Subtropical Storm Debby formed, where a subtropical or tropical low could develop. I know it feels like it's the Year of the Subtropical Storm doesn't it? In truth these are the areas we watch often for signs of some development. Most likely it will move towards the NE over time not threatening the East Coast. Still though the NHC watches these areas as that is their job. A good but slightly terrifying story is told in the link I am posting below that shows what happened back in the middle of the 1800s when a strong hurricane moved towards a barrier island in the Gulf of Mexico with no more warning than some windy weather and strong surf until it began to rain and the strong surf washed over the island filled with happy summer beach goers trying to escape the heat further inland. 

The story above illustrates what happened frequently in the days before the NHC studied, tracked and warned us of storms moving our way. No matter how bad Hurricanes Andrew and Katrina were one can only imagine how much more horrifying the death toll would have been had the residents of Florida and the Gulf Coast states had no warning until it was too late to evacuate or prepare for the those two deadly hurricanes. Even in 1938 the fast moving, strong hurricane now known as the Long Island Express took most of it's victims by surprise and scarred a generation of New Englanders with a real fear of hurricanes.

The time to prepare for hurricane season is now, not when you get to the market after a Hurricane Warning has been issued and there is no tuna, no peanut butter, no jam and no diapers for your two babies under the age of three. Now is the time to make sure your medications and the medications for your parents or loved ones are filled and that you have enough of those medications should a hurricane quickly intensify offshore and it rips into your town with more intensity than expected and days... no weeks... or maybe months before your Safeway or Publix or Kroger market reopens. It gets pretty hairy after a major hurricane makes landfall and those who are prepared or who have possibly evacuated do way better than those who thought for sure the media was hyping the hurricane and sure that this one would curve away and go elsewhere and not make landfall.

Wishing hurricanes away doesn't work out well... trust me... and sometimes worse case scenarios really do happen. Andrew actually was an "almost worse case scenario" as the eye bobbled to the South just enough that it made landfall and traversed areas less populated than South Dade in the Homestead area where nurseries and farms share space with subdivisions and swamps. That track across South Dade spared extremely populated areas from getting the deadly winds of a Category 5 Hurricane. And, we were warned, prepared and given time to either evacuate or hunker down. And, trust me as a Miamian I can tell you that those who did not evacuate for Andrew in South Dade hit the roads when Hurricane Irma took aim at South Florida last year.

A few examples of historic hurricanes in relatively quiet years...

Hurricane Andrew
Hurricane Donna
1935 Labor Day Hurricane
1938 Long Island Express
Hurricane Betsy

And all of those incredible articles written by academics online about how cool the water temperature is in the Mid Atlantic and how strong Saharan Dust is only lead people to a false sense of reality that because 2018 is not like 2017 that we all do not need to worry about this hurricane season. Ironically, oddly or not so oddly, some of the strongest, more deadly hurricanes in history have happened in relatively quiet years with similar set ups to this year. Last year was a real rarity. Let's say someone won the lotto and ran out and spent all the money and then went to the store and bought a second lottery ticket with the winning numbers? That doesn't happen often. Most people would not mind having a sequel to winning the lottery but people who have been threatened by multiple hurricanes in one year will tell you the fear is real and many end up with post traumatic stress. In fact the divorce rate after people survived Hurricane Andrew in South Florida was at an all time high. Hurricanes bring stress, even when you survive and your home has minor damage and your job is only closed a few weeks. Pressure along the weak points in our lives is heightened after a hurricane.

Knowledge is power. So when you see these early yellow bubbles in the Atlantic with a low chance of development be glad that the NHC is doing their job and giving you a heads up and Mother Nature is giving you a reminder that it's time to stock up on supplies when you see them on sale in Publix vs waiting until they are all gone by the time you finally drag yourself to the store to go shopping. 

So think about that this weekend when you see something on sale that would be useful while being trapped in your house with electric out, water not usable and all the street signs in your neighborhood have been blown away.

Besos BobbiStorm
@bobbistorm on Twitter

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