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!

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Jim Leonard Passes On...Tropical Update on Yellow X with Low Chances of Forming

First I am going to cover the tropics because that is what most of you come here for...

At the bottom of the tropical update there is information and video about Jim Leonard who passed away November 2, 2014 losing his battle with cancer. Some great videos from some of his get togethers in the Florida Keys and my own thoughts or at least the ones I'll share with you here. Jim loved weather and so .......I'm starting with the weather and ending with my thoughts on Jim and my fellow storm chasers. AT the very end is a great interview of Jim Leonard by Jim Williams at a BBQ in 2010. Got to love it. As sad as I am to hear he passed on... I know what it's like to be talking on the phone and suddenly.........that's the last thing you said before losing service. Whoosh... Whoosh with the wind.

Tropical Update ... feel free to skip to the's just a Yellow X... 
#thereisnohurricane just a yellow X from the NHC

Where would it go?

Temporarily it would go NNW towards land or better said an approaching cold front. 

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This is typical rotation at the base of an old cold front.
However, it's really too little too late this year.

When you look at the Visible satellite you can see the cold air & strong upper level winds.

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The interaction of the elements is helping the system flare up and look better than it is...

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So..........the NHC checked it out and is giving it a 10% chance of forming.
They have already pointed out it could become a subtropical system for a brief time.

You can see the plume of tropical moisture in this loop, however you can also see the Trof to the NW.

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It's the end of the season. 
There is always the chance that some late season storm will form... 
Rarely does the hurricane season go out in a blaze of glory.. 

The truth is and I really don't want to write about it but I am.... is that a weather hero passed away this week. He didn't die in a blaze of glory, he lost his long battle with cancer but to the end he was aware of the love and support of his fellow chasers who tried to help him financially with his battle against cancer as well as show their respect for one of the early, original storm chasers that used videography, photography and any means he could to convey to the public the beauty and the fury of weather. Long run on sentence but I'm not in the mood to edit my many thoughts. It's life... Jim Leonard led a life that we all respected and admired. He was one of the most true to himself spirits out here... just very real, very himself. It was never about HIM ... it was about the was about the weather.

He is missed by many, mourned by many and his life and love of storms is celebrated by all of us who learned from him and his legacy.

Storm chasers are close friends. There is a camaraderie between us that is hard to explain to others. We just "get each other" in a way that most people cannot. But, it's not just about wild Cat 3 Hurricanes with storm surge and wind and screaming "wahooooooo" on video or posting endless pictures of the same lightning strike that looks different to us.... but not to you.

It's about the love of watching the clouds, the rain, the water, the sky, the stars and lines of thunderstorms moving in over water or an open field. It's about keeping clippings under your bed of hurricane headlines, stories and pictures. It's about decorating our homes in portraits of Donna, Andrew and Hugo. It's about having scrapbooks not of our best game or favorite prom picture but of storms we tracked, chased and photographed. Okay I have a few prom pictures, but every where you look there is a note pad with information scribbled old school on a notepad or a bill. We understand each other even though we are different in many other ways.

I can remember the first time I saw Jim Leonard's name in a post online YEARS ago and stopped, went back to double check because my brother's name is Jay Leonard. I thought I was imagining things. Nope, he was a chaser who was well respected by some friends I respect greatly. 

I've always respected Jim a lot. Sort of teased him and gave him a hard time a few times. Storm chasers seem to love to tease each other about as much as they like to get tee shirts with the word HURRICANE on them. They love to sit outside, BBQ, shoot the breeze and hope for bad weather to move in ...  And, the best place to do that is the Florida Keys. Always thought he was one smart man to live a good part of his life down in the Keys with a view of the water and sky at all times. A life well lived if you ask me, even if it was ended way too soon.

Here's a video of one of many stormchaser parties he held at his place down in the Keys. 

A lot of stormchasers were there having a good time, hanging out with Jim.

On air... with Jim Williams at Hurricane City setting up for a live broadcast. Note we all have the same decorator... Hurricanes R Us ;)  

There was a time in my life people would ask me online where I live and I'd say "I'm from Miami, but I sort of live at Hurricane City" and that was true. I spent so many hours of my life talking with friends on the message board CaneTalk hosted by Jim Williams.. a good friend of Jim Leonard. I know a lot of people are hurting today, and have been for a while trying to help him through his illness in any way they could.  There were of course tee shirts involved..  I want to thank all of my friends and readers who wrote me that they bought a shirt and donated to the cause. Wear them proudly.

And, here's some video from a chase Jim Leonard was involved in during Hurricane Gustav in Morgan City, Louisiana. I always remember hearing warnings go up for "Morgan City" growing up. It's one of those names of places like Marathon that makes me think of hurricanes making landfall.

Besos Bobbi

Ps Great video from the 2012 party and some awesome fly on the wall listening to chasers talk with the beautiful water of the Florida Keys behind them ...where Jim Leonard lived his life.  ( a MUST WATCH... just listen and get a feel for the life and the stormchasers Jim Leonard hung out with... shooting the breeze, talking hurricanes.


At 3:34 PM, Blogger GordonFerguson said...

When you say that you are from Miami and live in Hurricane city, do you mean that Miami experiences a lot of hurricanes? I ask, because on the roof of our condo, there are tons of amenities (detailed list here: and I am a bit scared that they might be in danger of such weather changes.


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