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, April 16, 2010

Volcanic Ash Disrupts Flights... What Next? (Ginn bites the dust....)

Yes, here at Hurricane Harbor we are continuing covering the Year of Geology and Earth Science, that is what 2010 may most be remembered for... Earth Gone Wild...

A volcano in Iceland is now responsible for days of travel delays and flier frustration. It has also continued to vent and the eruption continues...
A good articles below:

Relevant paragraph is this one below:

"Vulcanologists say the ash could cause problems to air traffic for up to six months if the eruption continues. The financial impact on airlines could be significant."

We aren't talking Star Trek guys.

This is a possible, serious problem.

It has been said it is costing 200 Million Dollars a DAY and it is not going away so fast.

Flights have been canceled across parts of England and Northern Europe, military air travel has been disrupted... that's a big story, bigger I think than is being talked about. It is being talked about as if it was merely an inconvenience for world travelers and yet it affects commerce, financial circles and potentially could become a bigger problem if there were any sort of terrorist problem or political situation.

After 911 flights were cancelled by governments, by the situation and flights "could" take off.. with this situation which is the largest cancellation of flights since 911 flights CANNOT take off which is vastly different.

A good article explaining the bigger picture is:

Great link to watch the air flow across Northern Europe ...

On a personal level....

My daughter is in Israel right now, she will not be traveling back until next week. After the tragic death of the President of Poland and most of his entire cabinet and advisers I figured what else could happen that would be out of the blue and unseen. Now the plume from a Volcano in Iceland rears its ugly head as a something else I need to worry on. Well, mothers tend to worry in general but this gets more bizarre by the moment.

According to Drudge the Prime Minister of Norway is working out of JFK on an IPAD. Good thing he's not in Israel or they would have confiscated and it would have been in customs. Seems Israel has issues with IPADS, who knew... Well Wall Street Journal knew, that's why we read it..

Truth is as Lex Luthor always knew the person that controls weather will control the world. This problem with the Volcanic Ash illustrates this better than any I can think of as... it has shut down parts of the world and cost a fortune and it is one isolated incident that could continue for an unknown amount of time. Talk about an intangible in life... Volcanoes, BOOM... PSSTT Ash...

Last time a vent in a volcano in Iceland caused this much trouble was a few centuries ago before we had to worry on air travel and air plane engines. But, it did affect the world's weather for the next year and meteorological minds are currently debating that very topic currently.

How much can this ONGOING Ash Episode affect this summer's weather, hurricane season and next winter's weather. Hey, it's what we do ... we worry on how everything will affect the 2010 Hurricane Season... no one wonders more than meteorologists. Mothers worry, meteorologists wonder...

Who can forget the memorable, campy Superman III movie with Richard Pryor?? Lex Luthor was no dummy, he was always aware if you control weather... you can control the world. I imagine if he could have made volcanoes erupt or hurricanes blow he would be able to run rampant until Superman comes to save Planet Earth. This year with earthquakes and cyclones and volcanoes oh my... all popping around the world at the same time I am beginning to think we need Superman for this coming Hurricane Season.

And someday soon we will segue from geology into the other brother in the family of Earth Science... meteorology or more specifically tropical meteorology.

And as for the tropics... pattern in the Gulf of Mexico is I think interesting as we are just a little over a month away from this Atlantic Hurricane Season.

For now... keep watching Planet Earth as she is putting on one hell of a show this Year of 2010, this year of Earth Science On a Continuous Wild Rampage...

And, for Miami Dolphin fans... the year Ginn was finally traded or sent off packing...

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Pollen Storms in the South and Thoughts on Poland

Seems this year's Pollen season in the South has been one of the worst in memory. Extremely late season cold weather for a prolonged period of time, followed immediately by temperatures in the mid and upper 80s created some sort of Pollen Bloom to end all Pollen blooms...

Some of the Crown Heights Meyer kids were in Carolina for parts of Passover. I told them we should rent a beach house in South Carolina or maybe in Miami but noooo they vetoed that. I have heard it said we are all going to Orlando next Passover... will see.

So... rather than the pollen starting to fall slowly it all fell at once in what looked like yellow snow. I walked outside and could see my footsteps. The really sweet old timer who is always working in her garden with her Azaleas told me that this is the first year ever she could make footprints in the pollen. I believe her. Especially as I have heard a lot of people tell me the same thing.

Now, being the meteorological minded person I am ... it's only a hop, skip and a jump down tropical meteorology lane before I try to start connecting the dots...

We had one of the worst winters in the South when it came to real snow, ice and winter weather. I was in New York for a good part of the winter with my children there and we had back to back blizzards with more snow than anyone could remember. I was in Miami in December and January for the wet winter rainstorm that flooded parts of South Broward and Aventura. Rivky, who is treking her way through Poland as I type this had to abandon her car with her brother and sister in law and walk through hip high flood water to their luxury loft in Aventura where they found refuge. My son in Golden Beach had to climb flights of stairs up to his apartment, power out, soaking wet after barely making it home through that record breaking rainstorm. In Miami in December and January it barely rains, dry season... very dry, but not this year. So... how many dots do we need to wonder if this coming Hurricane Season is going to go down in the record books?

All of my favorite hurricane friends have published reports from online at Accuweather to the most precious Dr. Gray to guys at the NHC who have all waxed poetic on the increased chances for mucho hurricane activity this coming season. Can they all be wrong? And, yes Virginia I called Bill Gray precious and he is in his way... especially in his purple shirt. Hey, I am allowed to smile... I haven't been to any hurricane conferences in months and I am missing Miami. I'll be back soon in time to get back to business.

For now I am putting dots together and I have to tell you as a student of Russian Studies I have a lot of problems with this plane crash. Just too many dots to connect.

Lech Kaczynski's main opposition over the most recent years has been a man named Donald Tusk who has been on friendly terms it seems with Putin.

So, we have a plane loaded with all of the people in power in Poland who were friends and supporters of Kaczynski. We even have the possibility that his twin brother was also supposed to be on the plane with him, but had stayed home to take care of an ailing mother. Had his brother been on the plane that crashed there would be no strong opposition left to lead that opposition team to Tusk's possible chance to take back control of power or consolidate power.

The plane was basically Air Force One in Poland, they tend to make sure the President's plane is in good shape. I have read that although it was a Russian made plane (as most planes in those parts) it's instruments did not work well with the Air Control Tower and that they had to rely on Air Control Tower's equipment. I have heard they dumped fuel and had to land. I have heard they did not dump fuel and it came down in a fire ball so bad that some people could not be identified. Which was it? Many people on the plane were enemies of the Soviet Union or people who at one time or another had be threatened to be killed one day... an amazing woman Anna Walentynowicz who was known as the Solidarity "Godmother" and the woman who helped change the whole world there in the 1980s.

Now, the Polish President and Putin were on such bad terms that Putin went a few days before the crash and went to his own Katyn ceremony with Donald Tusk, if so why would he be going to another one with the Polish President and why was Donald Tusk not on that plane? Well, seems Putin and Tusk met earlier this week, was said to be a warm meeting, hugs and smiles.

The plane went down on Russian territory... amidst a lot of questions. Putin is put in charge of the plane crash, the black box is found but of course its in Putin's possession before sharing it with the Poles. That is what my old boyfriend used to call one hell of a home field advantage. And, the only witnesses to the events leading up to he plane crash are the air tower controllers who work for well.. you connect the dots.

I am not a conspiracy person. I am really not.

I am someone who has studied Russian Politics and has a degree in International Relations and I know the way they work. I mean the Soviet Union denied the whole Katyn massacre for years, decades... and now we have a Tusk and Putin again meeting and offering their respects to Kaczynski's body and family.

Does this seem a bit strange ... I mean Rob Reiner would say, "you couldn't write this and get it published, no one would believe it." or something like that... can't remember the exact quote, sorry.

It concerns me. And, my question is.. Was Lech's twin brother and possible inheritor of power supposed to be on that plane? I would almost bet money yes and I am not a gambling person.

A lot of questions have to be answered it would seem and will we ever know with Putin in charge of this investigation?

See? Putin and Tusk met days before the plane crash... they had their own meeting.

Lech Kaczynski was a great man who moved Poland into the future and helped make deals friendly to both Israel and America as well as a host of EU nations. He left an amazing legacy and Putin is Putin, he has his history.

I don't know what will be but I do think there are a lot of answers we may never get real answers for and I think it odd that they were claiming it was pilot error before they even found the black box and insisting that the air controllers had told them not to land. Something doesn't make sense and when that happens I always figure some part of the equation is missing. But, if this was happening in America I am sure Michael Moore would be all over it and Drudge would have nonstop headlines and Oliver Stone would be filming already. But, it's not America.

So... that's my curious thoughts on the Polish Plane Crash... strange twist of fate and horrible tragedy? Maybe... Could be...

As for the Pollen... not going to worry on that much either.

Just living and breathing in 3/4 time as Jimmy Buffett would say while waiting for the March to post pictures every night.

Warsaw Ghetto.... a temple, a museum... a place that Lech lit the Hanukkah menorah himself not so long ago, that is where my daughter was this evening...

And, as they entered the Temple this is the sign that created them as part of the symbol of mourning...

Very heavy, heavier than the pollen falling across the Carolinas and Georgia.

Besos Bobbi, wishing there were more answers and happy to be living in America..

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Value of Bloggers - Polish President's Tragic Death in Plane Crash & The March of the Living

I learned a lesson tonight that I of all people should know myself... the value of bloggers and the Blogosphere. The spell checker may not recognize the Blogosphere but it is here to stay and of tremendous value.

Take today. Take my life... a good example.

My daughter Rivky is currently on The March of the Living in Poland and I her mother... am unaware of exactly where she is spending Shabbos, what city she is in and only has vague information as to the schedule. Why you ask? Because it is considered a security threat and for security reasons they keep a news black out as much as possible. So, I have no way of knowing what is going on with my daughter and her friends and the whole entire March and how the sudden, tragic death of the President of Poland may or may not effect their schedule, their security or they sensitivities. They have spent months in classes, giving up Sunday activities to learn about the Holocaust and to prepare themselves for what they will see at the Death Camps and Mass Grave sites where Jews and whole towns of Jews were slaughtered and buried in mass graves.

In an odd twist of fate, the President of Poland, his wife, heads of the armed services and the Bank were killed today as they tried to land in fog on their way to their own memorial of a dark moment in Polish/Russian History. Just as the March of the Living has many survivors and families of people who were killed with them on the March to tell the story... so did the plane that crashed have survivors and families of survivors with them when it slammed into the ground at a military airfield in Smolensk, those witnesses to the terrible tragedy known as Katyn were also killed today.

The Katyn Massacre was classic Stalin, Stalin at his best or worst consolidating power 70 years ago. He ordered prisoners of war from the Stalin invasion into Poland to be taken out to a forest and killed one by one and then covered up the entire mass murder of approximately 20,000 poles who after the war could become the heads of a new Polish nation that could become a threat to his power. Many of those killed were considered the future of Poland, elite academics, politicians and simple soldiers all marched off to die and then ....Stalin covered it up and acted as if it never happened. A sad, horrible chapter in history that has hampered current day Russian/Polish relations to this day. The Polish President, Lech Kaczynski was on his way to a service there today with the heads of his Navy, Army, Air Force, Bank... his wife the First Lady of Poland and over 90 people who perished today in the tragic plane crash.

My daughter is somewhere in Poland, she is just 18 years old and as fate would have it a distant relative of Anne Frank who is abroad for the first time in her life with the March of the Living to witness and remember the history of the Holocaust. My ex-husband was from a German family on both sides that went back to Frankfurt Au Maim and on Omi's side they were Franks from the Frank side of the family that did not go off with Otto to Holland but stayed in Frankfurt until the last minute, the very last minute. Germans unable to believe that Hitler would stay in power and that they would not be safe and that the nightmare of Nazism would not go away. Thankfully, Omi and Opa and a close family friend found their way out of Germany through Shanghai and to Los Angeles. Amazingly, our side of the Frank family lived out Anne's dreams. Anne wanted to go to America, she wanted to be an actress or a movie star or whatever young girls dream of always no matter if they live in a small town in Kansas or are hiding in Germany from the Nazis in the 1940s.

Rivky, more than my other girls, always reminds me of Anne. She is smart, verbal, creative, writes well and passionate on the rights of all people. She won an award in grade school on Black History and prejudice. She doesn't like to think on her connection to Anne but it is there in her mind. She was raised in Florida worrying on hurricanes, playing at the beach, learning at the Hebrew Academy, hiding in the hibiscus plants playing games with her brothers and the youngest girl in a large family. Her dark eyes eat through me sometimes, her smile is Omi's smile. She laughs, she dances, she runs, she parties... she has the life Anne and Margot Frank could only dream of and yet tonight she is somewhere in Poland with her best friend and other friends and people who will become friends in a country that is mourning the tragic death of the President of their country who was on his way to a memorial similar to the March of the Living.

Life is funny. Life is odd. Life is beautiful and wonderful and amazing and it can turn overnight into a tangled twist of mysteries and a mother sits in America unable to guard her from the harsh realities of life. At a crossroad in history for Poland it ways, a country in mourning and I am unable to watch out for her, protect her nor even know where she is tonight... as for security reasons I am not allowed to know her exact whereabouts. For security reasons they don't allow the high school students to use their phones, keep their phones, go online... etc, etc, no texting, no facebook. Kids being kids, a few sneak through phones, a few facebook but the ones afraid of getting in trouble and following rules don't. And, my Rivky seems to following the rules, her blackberry turned off and tucked away somewhere.

In August of 1992 Rivky was a little baby just 8 months old. I was on Miami Beach in an old two story, 1920s house with my ex-husband and my ... nine children. Honest, really. Rivky was my baby. We spend the night of Hurricane Andrew upstairs in the hallway that was protected and closed off from windows high above any possible flooding. The wind howled, I could hear the ocean several blocks away roaring in the night through the wind... the howling of the hurricane, transformers popping and Rivky lay a small infant below me, protected a bit by my body as I watched over her and tried my best to protect her as the hurricane raged outside on it's way inland miles away from me to my south in Homestead. I tried my best to protect her. I knew where she was... right there, beneath me, sleeping peacefully.

Tonight Rivky is miles away, somewhere in Poland and I have heard nothing from the March of the Living (as expected) and they have not yet posted pictures from Friday and in the news black out that I knew would exist... the only information I have is from bloggers.

Thank God for Bloggers.

During hurricanes people have written me many times thanking me for help and things that I posted online when their loved ones were in the path of this storm or that storm. I wrote back, got to know a few but never really appreciated my role as a blogger or the Blogosphere in general until tonight.


Because I turned to the Blogosphere and voila.. there was news, here and there from a few people on The March but not with the High school students from Miami. But still news. And, beautifully written descriptions of their experiences upon hearing of the tragic death of the President and First Lady. Because of bloggers, tonight I have a little bit of peace of mind, a little bit of news and tonight I am on the other side searching the Internet for news on my daughter Rivky.

This is the picture I have on my computer tonight.. Rivky at JFK (second from the left) on her way to her big adventure, the same trip her sister Miriam and her brother Levi went on a few years back. Never in a million years did she ever think she would be there when Poland was plunged into a week of mourning.

The other picture I keep staring at is this one... Rivky on the March with her friends, sitting and staring at a mass grave in Treblinka I believe. Lech Kaczynski was on his way to a mass grave as well yet he didn't make it and yet because of the odd twist of fate of his tragic death, many people across the world will learn of the Katyn Massacre and of the horrors of life in Stalin Russia and how important it is to remember, so that NEVER AGAIN will such a tragedy happen or at least never again will it happen easily because we will witness and remember and commemorate the tragedies of the Holocaust and all other mass murders and war crimes.

It is time for the Soviet Union to stand up and say they are publicly sorry and admit and take responsibility for what happened at Katyn.

And, I owe Joshua Hammerman a very big thank you from one blogger to another for posting news and showing pictures and keeping people far away informed and comforted in some way. Thank you.

As for Rivky, I will remember what my son Moe told me, that one third of the budget on the March is for security and she is safe and soon they will post some news, some pictures and I will keep the faith and tonight on the 6th anniversary of my father's death ... while Miriam was in Poland with a news black out and I was unable to tell her that her Grandfather died... I sit waiting again through the news blackouts.

She's so cute Rivky, she has Omi's smile. I don't even know the math on the generations of if her grandfather was Anne's first cousin or her first cousin once removed or second cousin, I was never good at that genealogical cousin math but Omi was a Frank and Rivky has her eyes and her smile. I was always better at meteorology and know that Passover has past and life is going back to normal I will be posting again regularly on the 2010 Atlantic Hurricane Season... and life as it comes and goes.

Besos Bobbi and Thank you and Bless you Joshua Hammerman for being a blogger and posting and showing me a blogger the value of blogging up close and personal in a very real way. Forgive me for any typos tonight I'm going to check my email, talk to friends and read any bloggers I find who might have some information from the March of the Living.

Some links below to stories from blogs and news sites around the Globe.

Katyn Massacre: (bloggers of all bloggers)