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!

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Goodbye 09 and Hello 2010! And, why El Nino should get Man of the Year Award for 2010!

Seriously, it is one year I am not sad to see go..

Not a terrible year just been hard on so many people financially and weather wise it was boring in the Atlantic and horrifying in the Pacific where they had a record, bumper year of storms.

The winter is making up for it big time as El Nino holds court on the Atmospheric throne of meteorological troublemakers.

If El Nino could win an award for Man of the Year, this might be his year to win the award!

Example ... this coming two weeks we will experience some of the coldest weather since 1977/78 and that was one cold winter!

A random sampling across a large part of the Southeast and East has the following text in their forecast...from the NWS:




Those are fighting words if you ask me... a gentle warning of what is to come that is not so gentle.

El Nino gave us a quiet hurricane season from Texas to the Carolinas...however he has dumped winter upon us with a vengeance. And, it's not going to stop and the Mason Dixie line and will cause a mess up in Boston and New England. Boy, bet it will be a cold, cold weekend out on Cape Cod this winter for any who feel the need to be near the sea... and see Martha's Vineyard in January...

Some great footage online from that infamous winter. Don't you love youtube? Wish there was youtube of my life from way back when before 1977.. I always remember Paul Harvey's news broadcast the day it snowed in Miami... he ended it with something like.. it would be a cold day in hell... well, am sure it's on youtube somewhere.

Understand I am not saying this winter will be the same... I am saying it is progged to be a cold, cold January, snow needs moisture and maybe we will just get cold, blue skies with no snow, no ice and no freezing rain but I wouldn't bet the farm on it .. Mother nature does whatever she wants and right now she has run off with El Nino :)

Another great video from youtube... great jazz there too..a more personal account:

Some great pics of the Florida Snow Fall in 1977... no music but you get the idea, hum something you like..feel free to pic a tune :)

A good site to check frequently over the next few days might be this one:

Save it... because it may be lit up in pretty colors before the week is over... think of it as "weather art" and remember something... weather changes lives, it changes history, it changes the news. It is the news.

As I said, if you read somewhere that El Nino should get the "Man of the Year" Award you heard it here first.... as I was one of the first to report on El Nino back in the Spring of 09 when people were sashaying around the topic, flirting with it and being very cynical and not ready to jump in and call it an El Nino.

Old post with great pictures:

Truth is you can smell El Nino before he shows his nasty little face, you can see it on the water vapor imagery, on satellite sites with water temps, you can see the pattern emerging way before he gets an official pat on the back from NOAA and NASA and the NWS.

2009 was a year when a lot of icons died or their image died. From Farrah to Patrick Swayze, the faces of decades... or the last of the brothers Kennedy ... tough fighters who battled cancer and diseases and made lasting impressions on our lives. Tiger Woods and the death of the illusion of perfection, he is just a man afterall and we go on and so will he but our lives should not be judged by our faults but by our accomplishments, by our quest for our dreams and the good we have done for others in this world.

I know.. I am a dreamer, I am a product of my times. I am a muse who is not always amused but often amused ...very amused... by the product of the artists who use the muse lol. This muse is in a silly mood this January of 2010. I am watching TWC still, listening to the weather radio, playing with my Itouch, listening to my CDs from my favorite music maker who sends me musical notes to fill my face with smiles and he does a damn good job!! I talk to weather friends, I talk to my kids, I talk to fellow writers and dance at the gym doing Zumba lol and I pass notes on facebook to friends that I used to pass notes in the hall to in High School.

I'm Bobbi, what's your name?
What's your game?
Why are you here?
What is your favorite weather?
What is your favorite song?

Sing along with me on New Years Day as we start a new decade the way one would open up a new can of coke so I make a toast to all of you... my friends...

Happy 2010 from me to you.. I haven't changed much from the girl that I was... I'm still a dreamer looking for world peace and wild weather ;)

Stay warm ...stay safe....stay happy and content and have a wonderful 2010!

Besos Bobbi

For Burns... Good night Gracie <3

Monday, December 28, 2009

How to Make a Hurricane :)

So explain it to me... There I am standing in some book store and out on the sale shelf next to all the cookbooks and kids books is a "How to Make a Volcano" book on sale for $7.99!!

Cool, but there must be a million sites online for science projects on how to make a volcano yet someone... somewhere put it in a book with all the necessary items to make some little child feel like he's Jules Verne or some wild scientist making his own Volcano.

And, I began to wonder... Where are the "How to Make a Hurricane Books?"

I mean, would think you could put together something...drop it in the bathtub... possibly food coloring to watch the water go down the drain and simulate intensification or wild banding?

A little fish tank?

This can't be that hard....

Why do Volcanoes get so much press and hurricanes are just a name for football teams. I mean somewhere there must be a Volcano Football Team but I haven't heard of them and am not googling them neither.

And... you know where all the lonely geologists go? To Hurricane boards or Snow boards online because they have to sit around longer than The Weather Channel trying to find a Twister to get to enjoy a real, live volcano!!

Got to almost feel bad for those little junior geologists playing with their rocks, reading their little books, getting their little kits that some cheapo grandparent bought them (no parent would ever buy a kid a messy thing like that...) and then they grow up... study geology and spend the rest of their life thinking "what if" this or that fault goes...

I mean the San Andreas... come on we have been waiting for that puppy to blow since the 60s! And, the one out in the Atlantic that is going to make a tidal wave that eats Manhattan.... since Atlantis fell we have been waiting for that one.

Krakatoa... the volcano legends are made of..

Anything you can simulate in a box can't be that exciting...

But a hurricane... they remain the most mystifying, exciting, wild rides on the planet.

Try and catch a hurricane... as it swirls and spins it's way across the Atlantic to some place near you or me... it's rain will sometimes fall far away in Canada or even Michigan though Iowa I believe is exempt :P

So.... how do we make a hurricane?

Well... seems to be the year after a strong El Nino is your first ingredient.. not sure why but that's for the big boys to discover in their research. El Nino dust left behind and the beating of butterfly wings and a little meteorologist somewhere on some message board tired of hearing bored geologists talk on "earthquake weather" is dreaming of a hurricane the way other kids dream of snow for Christmas.

This year was slow...
Next year may not be so slow...
One day soon we may know...
But for now...where you gonna go when the Volcano blows?

I don't know... but I'm gonna go when the Volcano blows lol...

Here's a great Volcano video for you bored geologists and for anyone who loves the incomparable Jimmy Buffett...

That's it for me today... should be back soon blogging again but then I have a best friend who always says "never say should" so... I don't know when I am gonna blog again but hang in there... shouldn't be long lol.

Key West ... by the way.... is the most beautiful place on planet earth... love it!

Besos Bobbi

Ps... the other day I watched the sun set behind the infamous Southernmost point... slid down behind the big painted buoy and I wondered what those partiers were watching on Mallory Square... hope they were enjoying it as much as I was on my side of the island!

Recipe for a Hurricane:

of course...

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Blown Forecasts and Flooded, Stranded Shoppers...

How did this happen?

A blown forecast. Plain and simple.

The forecast for today in South Florida did NOT call for a foot of rain and localized flash flooding.

It called for a strong chance of rain, possible thunderstorms and stronger weather tomorrow.

The Malls are open til midnight in some places... people are at the movies while their significant others are shopping. People were out at Holiday parties and at the Heat game. People are parked in parking lots that are now flooded and stranded at the mall and downtown and on the highways.

Nice to say "do not venture out onto the roads" except that is it too much too late and more a matter of like locking the barn door after the cows were gone a shopping.

Around 3pm we drove up to Barnes and Noble. When we went inside the sky was purple and little dangling cloud formations were hanging low, possibly waterspouts nearby in the Bay. A few minutes after taking this picture the sky opened up. We came out an hour later and the parking lot was predictably flooded (it's a block from the Bay and always floods a bit in a strong storm) and I took my shoes off and waded through ankle high water. I took this picture before going into the heavier water as I didn't want to lose my cell phone into the lake that was in front of me...

Bad pic taken in heavy storm of streets beginning to flood... this should have been the first clue but nothing big on the news... nothing about 11 inches of rain..

Took almost 45 minutes to get home through flooded, congested streets..a ride that normally would be 15 minutes. They were saying on the radio that I95 was backed up from the Julia Tuttle to the Ives Dairy. That's a lot of back up...

At six thirty or so it started raining again. Everyone came over for a big Chanukah party my family was having.

At eight pm my son called from Hollywood.. Harrison Street was flooded out, water in the stores six inches high..nothing draining and he was having problems keeping traction on the road when buses went by... the car floated... They gave up their plans, drove down to pick up my daughter and take refuge here...

At 8:30 it started to flood where we were...

Around 9 pm the weather radio went off and began issuing a Flash Flood Advisory.

I'm sorry...that's a little too late..

Around 9:30 people began to pack up... during a slight stop in the rain ...

One son made it home ... passed cars parking on people's lawns and flooded out.

One son got home and they had to walk up 7 flights of stairs as the elevator was out and the garage flooding.

One son..the one stuck earlier in Hollywood who has always been a hail/storm magnet had to abandon his car a block from where these pics were taken and had to wade home with his wife and my daughter in water above their knees... he told me high tide is around 9am and they will see then what is going on.. He lives on the Bay...sort of.. well he does now.

A very blown forecast and it's nice that the Hallandale Police are driving up and down with loud speakers telling people to park their cars and get out and off the roads.. but why was this not forecast earlier?

"Turn around and don't drown" is a nice saying but there was no warning out even at 3 pm or 4 pm that this could happen. Some streets are flooded with water in their homes and businesses. The Malls who have storage on the ground floor are going to be a mess.

Miami is used to rain but it hasn't rained like this for months, it's been a quiet summer and we have barely had afternoon thunderstorms, no tropical storms or hurricanes and this came out of nowhere during what is pretty much the beginning of our dry season.

Tomorrow the forecast is for more rain.. more of the same.

Flash Flood Warning current now until 1:30 am...

Okie Dokie... reminds me of the flood on Miami Beach earlier this year..

Wind gusts to 25 mph, cloud to ground lightning strikes, torrential rains, localized flooding... "do not drive your vehicle through flooded roadways"...


My neighbors lights are out.. am sure FPL will come out and fix it... they are good ..they do their job...

Somehow I think the local forecasters fell down on their job... missed this particular flood.

Good thing Noah listened to God and not the weathermen...

Night... Bobbi
"remember turn around...don't drown"

Some good news links:,0,3099700.story

Heavy Flooding in Aventura, Hallandale, Hollywood, Dania... thigh high in some places

Not kidding there, no exaggeration....

11.31 inches and counting in North Miami Beach.

People are abandoning cars on people's front lawns and walking through water that is knee high or thigh high depending on how tall you are... we aren't tall in my family. My daughter walked thigh high home after they abandoned the car in Aventura ...the Lofts are high and dry. Aventura is not.

Police are going up and down Hallandale Blvd with loud speakers telling people to pull over and get off the roads.

We keep losing power, the neighbors lost power. Through the heavy rain you can hear transformers popping...

Heavy, heavy rain... crazy storm.

More rain expected tomorrow but frankly not sure how anyone is going to get to work tomorrow.

Posting this before we lose power again..

Like a Hurricane... amazing...

Anything you read on flooding in Miami and Ft. Lauderdale ...believe it.

Besos Bobbi...

Ps... earlier this morning we waded through ankle high water to get out of Barnes and Noble... the storms just never stopped..

Monday, December 14, 2009

Cyclone Ward and Our Awesome World

This is a beautiful beach...

This is Cyclone Ward headed towards that beautiful beach. Seriously, it's a cyclone in December! I know...sounds a lot like a place they send tropical weather people to when they have gone tropically insane doesn't it?

Normally it's hard to find things to blog about of a tropical nature when there isn't much going on in the tropics. Fog blankets parts of the Southeast this morning, snow covers parts of the country and ice coats highways in the Northeast. Winter is definitely here!!

Course if winter is here it is summer somewhere else and if you look really hard at our planet you will find tropical action somewhere. In this case it's Ward moving towards Nepal. Really, I am not making this up and I have a special interest in this as one of my closer friends here is from Sri Lanka. We compare notes on palm trees and frangipangi and tropical weather memories of our childhood.

Here is a page from the CIA Fact Book on Sri Lanka... amazing information available online at that the way. The world is bigger than Wiki but wiki is so much fun!

Nice blog I found online ... in case you are thinking of taking a trip somewhere beautiful beyond our shores. Picture used at the top is from the blog.. wouldn't you love to go there?

Now, see if you had not read my blog you would have thought I put up a picture of the Florida Key! Live and learn... always keep learning, stretching the edges of your universe. Of course my universe is counted in mile markers and I'd rather surf the Internet from the Florida Keys, tapping my fingers across the keyboard in paradise. But, hey.. my paradise is your paradise as we say down here! Okay... I played with it a little but you get the idea.

As for facts and details on Ward, I will leave that for Wunderground who does a great job of watching the whole tropical world while most of us sleep. He's a minimal storm but a storm none the less.

If you are looking for a storm in the atmosphere...there is one there as well called the Geminids Meteor Shower. Increasingly stronger every year..not due to Global Warming but due to the proximity of an extinct comet. See how much there is to learn that you didn't already know? Here is a teaser from the site below to tantalize you into reading on the story behind the story.

"Geminids are pieces of debris from a strange object called 3200 Phaethon. Long thought to be an asteroid, Phaethon is now classified as an extinct comet. It is, basically, the rocky skeleton of a comet that lost its ice after too many close encounters with the sun."

Amazing picture said to be of a meteor, looks like it was painted. Found online and passed around at and elsewhere. #Meteorwatch image by Bjørnar G. Hansen in Norway. Stunning, simply stunning!

So there you go.... what an amazing world. From the heavens above to the oceans down below. Our world is a truly awesome world. And, the music of the spheres be it from the sounds of a piano or a singer or comets and meteors whizzing through space or the sound of the wind in a hurricane is always awesome.

Besos Bobbi
Ps...tomorrow Tanzania and TWC showing video of Chanukah Menorah being lit in Washington DC ;)

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

How Long Does It Take to Clean Up From a Hurricane?

A surprisingly long time. Especially when major roads and highways were under water for a long time. The picture above is North Roosevelt Boulevard under 6 feet of water. Other areas of the Overseas Highway suffered damage that takes a longer time to repair than most people would think. I mean... you can use it and drive over it but damage was done that needs to be addressed, repaired and improvements made. We are still it seems cleaning up from Wilma. And, may I add on a personal note I know many older Conchs who have yet to finished repairs to their homes as they live on limited budgets, are not wealthy and the damage done was severe. Not everyone living down in the Keys is rich and famous.. nope, not at all and people get by with less often while enjoying the other benefits of living in Paradise.

I received an email today from Monroe County warning me of road closures in case I was going to drive down to Key West this week. Oh I wish...

Generally I don't click on all the Monroe County emails, but today I did. Probably because I am planning a trip down there soon and wondered how the big new highway was coming along, how close they are to all the road work being completed.

This surprised me but shouldn't have surprised me... because this illustrates how long it takes to clean up from a hurricane. Road work takes forever to be done, so many steps have to be taken...from designing the improvement or making a plan, getting it approved, money budgeted and work crews hired and the work scheduled on a calendar and well... Hurricane Wilma was a while ago but still the clean up goes on..

S.R. 5 (US 1/Overseas Hwy) Hurricane Wilma Repairs at MM 15.80 to MM 16.00

Week of December 14, 2009

Lane shifts are expected on a daily basis between MM 15.8 and MM 16.0 on Monday, December 14 thru Friday, December 18 along the northbound lanes from 9:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M. Please obey the speed limit. Motorists are encouraged to call 511 before they drive or log on to to get real-time traffic and lane closure information. For more information, please contact Will Thompson at 305-797-0962 or via email at

Some interesting comments and pictures online referencing Wilma in the Keys:

Good pics there of the highway ... scroll down...

Cute story and lesson learned:

Good picture...illustration of the fury of Wilma:

Best site is the official site that I took the picture above from...

Interesting blog site...

Actually, think I have a picture of his scooter watching the sunrise parked at the edge of Duval Street... who scooter looks a whole lot like another in Key West.

As for me... my old conch roots are calling me and ongoing, forever road construction or not I am going down to look around and hear the call of the sea and check on some of my friends.

How long does it take to clean up from a hurricane?

A long time... sometimes things are rebuilt better...other times not.

In the old days in Key West after a storm the local conch teens would go down to the highway (Roosevelt) and look around for buried treasure... beer bottles floating from the liquor store... wasn't really thought of as looting but just a modern day twist on the old wrecking days that first put Key West on the spot as the wealthiest city in the United States "per capita" .... after a good storm you went down to the water to see what the ocean gave forth...

If you are driving down to Key West this week... know that for a small stretch of the way you will have to wait if traffic gets busy... and by the way... it's been YEARS since I went down to Key West and they were not building fences to keep the Key Deer in or rebuilding the road or working on the new widening project.

Put on a good Jimmy Buffett CD and kick back and enjoy the view... why are you in a rush to get to the end of the road?

Besos Bobbi

Ps...sample some of Jimmy's newest from Buffett Hotel. I already ordered mine ;)

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Snowless Sunday In Syracuse.... Hmmmmnnn

So, there is no snow in Syracuse and snowed in Baton Rouge....

Got to go hmmnnnnnn on that one.

Maybe global warming is a southern event? Sort of a last Dixie Land Stand for ye olde global warming argument?

Snow in Baton Rouge, Houston and the other Gulf Coast States but no real snow in Syracuse? I mean seriously? People live and die for snow in Syracuse, I know people who go there just for the snow. But today...this Sunday in Syracuse people are out on the golf links getting their last shots in before snow finally finds he cookie crumbs that mother nature left for it and finds it's way to Syracuse.

In Miami people are putting on their sweaters and leather jackets and enjoying the cool air. In the Carolinas it's cold and bright blue skies and in New York City they had their first snowfall last night...

Hope Santa doesn't forget Syracuse...

As for me I am wondering why Victoria Secrets does not include fleece lined mittens with their pjs? Bought a pair of really cute pajamas with really warm nice fleece lined slippers but no mittens... went outside the other day when in NC to take some pics of frost on the ground and almost froze my poor little Miami fingers off... can't Victoria do something about this? The matching slippers are nice and warm :)

Sort of makes you think of that song from White Christmas... about Snow...or no Snow in Vermont...

That is what I did last night... bundled under the covers in my Victoria Secret's snowflake pajamas and watched one of my all time favorite movies..White Christmas.

Come on Santa... help Syracuse get some white stuff for Christmas before The Weather Channel has to send their snow prize to the University of Syracuse lol.

What is Syracuse..with noooooo snoowwww...


Going to take a nice hot shower... and get out and enjoy the nice cool air and sunshine and then watch football on Sunday... got to love this time of year!

Besos Bobbi... enjoying watching El Nino play with the Southern Jet and as for the Gators loss... my friend Mark from Alabama says... they lost because Alabama had better bible verses!!! Okay, so there you have it..was not bad officiating (I swear my nephew said that) or anything else... just the way it least they couldn't blame it on the snow!! Heard Buffalo blamed their loss to the Jets on the warm temps in the dome in Canada... seriously??

Friday, December 04, 2009

I'm back and blogging and it's snowing in Texas..

This will be the second time in back to back years that it snowed in Texas...south Texas not talking Perryton Texas darling but deep down south in Houston...

Back to back snow events, two years in a row? And, where else will it snow this winter in the south? Seems pretty chilly and not so hot huh?

Truth is the atmosphere is always, constantly in flow ... moving around... cold here, warm somewhere else... it's just one big lava lamp of moisture moving around the planet, up and down and all around constantly.

No big storms in our basin, lots of big storms in someone else's basin!!

And, some people think it is a good idea to stop this process and damn up the flow of energy around the planet with weather modification? I don't think that's a good idea...

Personally, after suffering a severe bout of sinusitis and knowing what happens when things get all dried out inside... it's really not a good idea ... things need to flow, whether it's weather and storms or phlegm and love and laughter and smiles.

A bit odd to say but the truth Virginia is often hard to take...

Damning up a river is only good for one part of the population... and stopping hurricanes from forming is what disaster movies are made from... fiction and they always end with "what were they thinking??"

As for me..I'll be back later today or this weekend with a yearly wrap up and my thoughts on the 2009 Atlantic Hurricane Season and other meteorological stories that went bump in the media's night.

Who knew ... meteorologists email each other and talk on the weather? And somewhere someone is always hacking some account and finding their meteorological paper trails... Scary thought, trust me as there are many emails I hope stay dead and buried and alive only in people's memories ;)

Besos Bobbi and enjoy the holiday decorations... it is our way of saying the seasons are changing and winter is here!! But, in Lumberton Texas the palm trees are covered now in snow...not just Christmas lights...

Ps..."wetballing" don't you just love those crazy meteorological terms... ;) Got to love Jim Cantore...