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, April 28, 2011

Death Toll Climbs to 178, still climbing, storms still forming

Like something out of a really bad B movie this night of tornadoes continued on towards the dawn when more twisters formed as they marched across the south north towards the Mason Dixie Line and beyond.

It is too early to give any real figure on how many twisters have formed with this storm in particular or how many states it will affect. New Yorkers have been put on notice for strong weather and hail later today, while the latest tornado warnings have been in the Maryland area....

This may surpass the 1974 outbreak and brings to mind the 1925 Tri-State Tornadoes, the 1999 Oklahoma Outbreak. These tornadoes have affected so many large metropolitan areas as well as small towns that have almost been wiped off the map and that will take years of help to rebuild what is left of their lives. The death toll of just under 200 is most likely a low one, but one can hope it will stop here and not continue to climb. Search and rescue is just going out into most of the affected areas from last night, so what we don't know will most likely hurt us. Schools have been destroyed, hospitals, anything in their path..

I stayed up most of the night watching reports online that storm chaser friends were trying to keep up with, with reports flowing faster than they could be reported. My youngest kids were southbound on a train that thankfully stayed just to the east of the worst of the weather throughout the night. A lot of prayers going on here for both people I know and for people I will never know who were in the path of these storms.

Most overused phrase from April of 2011 will probably be "debris ball" as we are now covering the debris ball on radar in real time on TWC and other weather services. I don't remember ever hearing that word as much as I have heard it this April. It was the phrase of the hour when tornadoes were touching down in North Carolina a few weeks ago and the word has marched on into the lexicon of weather watchers.

Death and destruction has marched on as well.

I will be back later with more definitive information but know the lessons we learn from this outbreak are as follows:

1) Tornadoes will and can hit anywhere they want to .... mountainous areas and metropolitan areas alike, they don't just hit trailer parks on the plains.

2) They can travel far distances even faster than the NWS predicts they will, as the last two big outbreaks moved at a faster forward speed than expected. You can go to bed thinking the bad weather will hit around noon and find out you have one hell of a sunrise show slamming into your neighborhood.

3) Big Supercells can maintain their energy even late into the night after the hottest temperatures of the day have faded, these energized systems can keep on going on the energy within the storm and within the larger steering pattern, a sort of inertia.

4) A debris ball is not something that falls out of the sky, like the aluminum siding and insulation material that landed in our driveway two weeks ago, but a signature on the radar that compells us to take immediate action.

5) A wedge tornado looks like a wedge that comes down out of the sky and can be as wide as a mile and travel for a long period of time on the ground, causing extreme damage over a widespread area. This is what caused most of the severe damage in Alabama and other places this April. Not the pretty little rope like tornadoes we see in movies.

Some great weather blogs out there, a few in particular are listed below.

A list of North American Tornadoes from Wikipedia, find your town or region:

Be back later, stay safe and stay informed.

Besos Bobbi
Ps ... condolences to anyone who has lost loved ones and prayers for only good news for those who are still waiting to hear news from those who are still missing.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Historic Night of Twisters 2011.. The Year of the Twisters?

I'm beginning to wonder if that is what 2011 will be remembered for? Or is there more to come that will eclipse this Springtime outbreak of Tornadoes across the South?

A few days back I mentioned the 1925 Tri-State Tornado Outbreak that reigns supreme as to destruction across a wide area and loss of life and property damage. This event may eclipse that event, a record not to be very proud of possessing but this April will be one for the record books.

Over 140 Tornadoes reported so far this evening and 72 people dead with hundreds missing and the reports have yet to really come in... Power will be out for days in some areas and it will take a long time to limp back to "normal" in an area that easily can be hit again if the weather patterns do not break. A diving cold front, a tight low pressure system to the north pumping this system and whipping it round like a mean child playing swinging a jump rope round his head despite being told it's dangerous to do that... this system is still flying tonight when "normal" systems die down without the strong feed of mid-day temperatures. This system is different. This system is a killer and has a history for death and destruction and it is dragging it's dark imprint upon the land tonight.

In the morning light we will see how bad the destruction is and just how many people will be mourning their loved ones later this week. Tonight The Weather Channel continues on with it's live coverage as other weather stations around the country try and cover parts of it like 7 blind men trying to describe an elephant while live on air.

It's a wicked night with evil weather out there, say a prayer, kiss your loved ones good night and hope they are alright in the morning. Be glad for what you have and grateful you are safe and try and find ways to help those who will be in need tomorrow.

An easy start is to donate now to the

Stay safe and stay informed... Bobbi

Ps...that is one nasty water vapor image... the loop is nastier.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Subtropical Arlene Forming in the Atlantic or Just Hype?

Just saying... there is a lot of talk going round in meteorological circles and the National Hurricane Center has drawn a yellow circle around the suspect area and given it a 20% chance for development.

Going to err on the side of caution and not jump to conclusions and wait and see if it is there tomorrow, before jumping all over it. A few models take it out to sea, a few take it west towards Florida.

Storms do form in April, rarely but they can and I remember Ana 8 years ago almost to the day. I remember it, because I was up online with a tracker friend very late at night sort of blown away that a storm did indeed form in April. Mind you, it does not bear any relation statistically to how busy a season it will be IF a storm of some kind forms early. That's what they always say...anyway. Was a fun night, will say that much.

But, that was then and this is now and going to wait and see what develops or doesn't.

Been busy with Passover here, restlessly reminiscing on other times and lost in thought a bit. The kids on the train were almost 2 hours late, due to traveling VERY SLOWLY through the ravaged area to the south of Raleigh where the most devastation occurred. They said every tree in the area was sheared in half and it looked like Miami after a very bad hurricane. Weather warm now. Snow up north, warm down south, severe weather in between and a possible subtropical storm forming.

Fish kills in the Pacific off the coast of California portend to some... a possible shake up it seems. Still watching geology I see on weather sites.

Posting my first "water vapor loop" of the 2011 Atlantic Hurricane Season it seems:

Has a little swirl there and TWC is covering it with both Cantore and Norcross. Talk on the Dream Team ;)

Sweet Tropical Dreams... Bobbi

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Storm Death Count Hits 24 as Clean Up Continues

High, but nowhere near as high as in years back when the Weather Service was not able to warn people as well as they can now in today's modern era of online warnings, television scroll warnings, text messages and every friend you know on Facebook reporting the news and the weather.

A look back into history shows us how lucky we are in today's modern world.

Some great video online everywhere, this video below shows the storm system as it descended upon downtown Raleigh. There has been massive damage in Moore Park with many centuries old trees damaged and uprooted and a friend who works at the RBC Bank Building downtown said that many of the windows were blown out. This was a direct hit on a major downtown area, something rarely seen but a good reminder that they don't only hit trailer parks out in rural areas.

Another shot from a video online:

Going out to do some shopping ...where I can for what I need and will post pics and info later as things become more official as to what is really going on. Much of Raleigh has no power but thankfully my area does. Events like this really make you appreciate how lucky you are when you are not hit and how lucky you are when you are hit and your lives are spared. I have a lot of friends with pitted cars from the hail and trees in their living rooms. Personally, the trees up here really make me nervous when there is a weather event. I prefer my palm trees to pine trees. Once I was outside watering some flowers and out of the corner of my eye this big, tall pine tree just "timber like" came crashing down slowly, barely missing the corner of the house. Someone came running out to make sure if I was okay. I was not okay mentally, I was like "A TREE JUST FELL DOWN....there was NO WIND...NOTHING... just TIMBER... SLAM BAM onto the ground" He looked up and said, "yeah they do that sometimes" and went back in the house. Huh??? Well, they don't do THAT in Florida I can tell you that. Something about old wood, rot, my opinion there are way too many trees too close to homes but hey some people like that it seems.

Me, I like a good clear view of the sky when a storm is coming in and being able to watch the sunrise and the sunset every day. But, you have to enjoy where you are at and the Azalea today here in Raleigh is beautiful, pink, purple, rose colored and next time I return the Hydrangeas should be in bloom. There are a few dogwood flowers clinging to the tree, yesterday it was white still.. Stupid storm, I feel guilty being upset about the loss of the dogwood blooms when so many people lost so much more.

More later... Bobbi

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Mother Nature Doesn't Take a Holiday... Tornado in Raleigh, Golf Ball Size Hail

So, while I try to take a vacation here to get ready for Passover... Mother Nature it seems does NOT take a vacation.

The storm system that formed out near Oklahoma, half a country away marched east creating havoc, destruction and so far has claimed the lives of 17 people across four states.

I imagine by daybreak there may be a higher death toll and we will have more information about the tornadoes that rampaged their way through the Carolinas today.

As for me... I'm fine but a lot of people around me are not fine. Siding came off of businesses and homes, trees fell down, lights are out and further away people lost their homes and loved ones.

This was to be my "peaceful Shabbos" before the family descends upon me for a Meyer Family Passover Reunion. Florida Meyer kids are meeting the Crown Heights Meyer kids halfway in North Carolina later tomorrow. I just wanted one nice, quiet, relaxing day to play and possibly see some severe weather. I got my wish... except I got a lesson in hail and am up at 2:27 AM taking a break from Passover cleaning.

Around 3 PM today it got really dark and windy. A tornado touched down around Sanford to the south of Raleigh and moved towards Raleigh and beyond over the next hour or so. Haven't seen all the video online yet, but I know what it looked like on this street.

What amazed me was the size of the hail and the way the hail fell. I'm used to pebble sized hail, possibly penny sized hail slamming the ground in a fast moving squall line. This was more like God was lobbing chunks of ice down to the ground at odd angles while listening to guttural, moaning sort of thunder that sounded more like the soundtrack from Twister than anything else. It looked like tennis balls being lobbed towards some unseen net. The hail was falling sideways almost, or at the most a 45 degree angle and it was BOUNCING around on the ground. It was too nasty looking for me to go and get some of the bigger hail but when it slowed down I grabbed some out of the water (where it was slowly melting) that was rising to the first step of the porch where I stood, protected by the house staring to the north at the scene before my eyes. Awesome, amazing and very aware that somewhere not too far away had to be a tornado.

The deck in the back to the south was getting pounded by hail, but the trees were swaying and looked about to fall down onto the hail covered deck so I went back to the safety of the sheltered north porch and watched trees bending in directions Northern trees don't normally bend, but none on our street broke.

The picture above is a a few miles from where I am staying as the crow flies.

Which again brings me another interesting observation. Just prior to the world going crazy, there was this one, beautiful hawk like bird hanging high up above the house catching the wind in the same way a kite hovers, high up above the ground. It was majestic, beautiful and no I did not get a good picture as it was Shabbos and I don't use my camera on Shabbos.

I'll post some pics tomorrow of the hail that is in the freezer, one of which looked alot like the state of North Carolina. Go figure..

Prayers for those injured or whose homes and lives have been destroyed by this historic, tornado outbreak across the South.

It was amazing. And, I did get some rest before and after the storm system raced through, in fact after the storm was gone the sun came out and it was bright and beautiful and it seemed like an illusion that we could have had such a storm except... I have hail in the freezer in a zip loc bag and there is nonstop local coverage of this weather event on the television.

Going to bed. Much to do tomorrow. The weather should be nice this week, warm, hot and hopefully no rain to interfere with the clean up.

More info tomorrow as my time permits and as the facts unfold as to how many tornadoes made touchdowns and the strength of those tornadoes.

Give thanks when you are safe and always be awed by the power of Nature.

Besos Bobbi

Friday, April 15, 2011

So...Sort of Been on Hiatus Getting Ready for Passover

Got to be honest here. Between having to take care of some family things and cleaning for Passover and buying food for Passover... which is sort of like a scavenger hunt where I am for Passover this year. One store has Kosher for Passover Mayo, another store has Kosher for Passover Ketchup. Kroger got in Kosher for Passover Coke which is a rarity in these parts and is made WITHOUT Corn Syrup so it tastes like the old stuff you remember as a kid and is ten times healthier than the new stuff that is not Kosher for Passover. Trader Joes brought in a few wines, Sara Bee wine which is Kosher and bubbly and tastes a bit fruity. Alas so far the red wines have not reached the East Coast but heard in LA Trader Joes has about 5 different really good wines.

Yes... am definitely OCD on Passover right now which is fine, because the football season is far away and the Hurricane Season is also far away..

After Passover is done, I will be writing more seriously on the upcoming Atlantic Hurricane Season of 2011 or possibly even something forming in the Pacific which begins on May 15th, two weeks before our season.

So, just a note of explanation I have not Gone Fishin' as much as I have Gone Shoppin' and will soon be Cookin' my cherry, delicious chicken and my carrot nut cakes and Turkey with all the trimmings (potato stuffing, of course) and will be relaxing and enjoying Spring and family.

So... sorry for not writing and being in touch (this message is for you know who you are especially, you know how to find me you really need me to blog??? All you got to do is whistle and not a day goes by in my life (as you once said) that you do not touch me... so end big parenthesis) forgive my absence but it is without malice just taking a Spring Vacation.

Enjoy life, be good to others, do acts of goodness and kindness, enjoy the weather and if you don't like the weather... go to wherever there is weather you like. If you don't go after something you love in life then you are just spending your life on dream mode. Live, engage, love, enjoy.. be happy...

Besos Bobbi

Ps ...some great songs to enjoy by...the children of some of my closest friends over time ;) Such talented parents, such talented kids... and remember the Best is Yet to Come when it comes to the Hurricane Season of 2011 ;)

Miami's own Aaron Holder

"Ya'alili" by 8th Day: The official music video
(this video by the talented Marcus Brothers band 8th Day is taking Israel by storm.... )

Real Passover Song...

(that's what I'll be listening to while I clean and cook and a lot of Jimmy Buffett)

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Severe Weather in Miami

My son Levi took this picture this afternoon as the squall line hovered over the City. Awesome pic from his perch up in the sky :)

My daughter called me hysterically, wanting to know why I did not give a heads up and tell her there was a tornado watch. I'm sorry, she's 30... I figure she is online 24/7 she would have noticed something about it even if just other people's status updates. My bad...

The sun came out here finally, the wind is blowing yellow pollen everywhere and the birds are chirping.

And, I am wondering on if we will have an early start to the Hurricane Season.

Still, getting reports from the NWS on damage reports last night.

Enjoy the weather... the change of the seasons, the wind and the rain and keep watching your favorite weather girl..

Besos Bobbi

Wild Weather Races Through the South

Really wild weather :) Windy, wild storm racing at a forward speed of 80 mph last night in the darkness as people slept and lost their electric all across Georgia from one end of the State Line to the other before sunrise. Another line is now developing and moving through the Carolinas at over 40 mph forward speed with straight line winds in excess of 55 mph.

Before going to bed last night, I looked at the National Radar and thought that parts of Georgia would get meterologically raped today with possible tornadoes or funky, severe, strong, straight line winds. Kept trying to figure out where the cold wind would hit the warm wind coming up from the south and what coastal town might get it this morning... those coastal South Carolina towns I love so much. I was right on who would get hit, was wrong on the timing....

The wind is currently howling here in Raleigh as a developing thunderstorm cell is racing across the city as the bottom part of the frontal boundary is racing across Central Florida. What a late season winter cold front this is turning out to be. There is a Frost Advisory for tonight in the Triangle area and last night I was walking around North Hills on the way to a movie in a tee shirt and short skirt and sandals, the temperature at sundown was 86 degrees though it felt cooler but wonderful.

1,032 storm reports in the last 24 hours, making this the most "prolific" storm day in Weather History according to The Weather Channel...

So, going to go to the gym and dance my little heart out and enjoy what is left of Spring and pray there is a dogwood tree or two still left with blossoms by the time this "weather event" leaves the area. I love the dogwood, azaela festivals all across the south this month. If there was one month a year I could spend in the Carolinas it would be April, which in my case coincides with cleaning and preparing for Passover and hosting a big family reunion.

If you've got the time and money, check it out:

And, as always I wonder on how these long, frontal boundaries dipping down into the Caribbean will play into the Atlantic Hurricane Season which is less than 2 months away.. Also, the Loop Current is hot as the blazes this year so there is the fuel to generate some early season Gulf Storms I would think in climatolgically active areas in May and June.

Just saying...

Besos Bobbi
Ps ...the lights keep flickering.... and Tampa where I would love to be right now is getting nailed by a line of wild storms.