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, February 26, 2015

RDU 6+ Inches of Snow. City Closed. Rant on Local Media Coverage ;)

Life after a snow storm in the South... Raleigh specifically...but could apply to Dallas, Atlanta, Charlotte or anywhere that snow rarely falls.

Snowy woods, small branches in the snow...

Small branch, LOUD BANG when it hit the roof & ground

Bigger branches fell around town taking out power lines.

Like any on air weather event the local channels send people out reporting who is open and who is not open and then tell people not to leave the house. An hour later they are surrounded by people who suddenly needed pancakes cause IHOP was open . . .

Think a Hurricane and the way every station lines up along the beach warning kids not to come down and join the kids already there surfing in the storm surge.

Staying home inside as I don't snow well. I mean I put on a few layers, find my socks, boots, coat and go outside a bit... take pictures... come back inside and watch it melting from inside in my warm house. Happy to have power as many nearby do not have power. My friend who lives nearby goes skiing, hiking, she made a snowman!

There were at one time over 200,000 customers of Duke Energy without power. Not everyone is happy about the snow, but many seem to be rolling with the punches. It's not like we didn't buy out half the stores in Raleigh yesterday. Got food, firewood and we know it will be 60 degrees in a few days. Okay, maybe 4 or 5 days but it will be up in the 60s again. Yesterday I didn't even wear a sweater when I went to Trader Joes; boots but no sweater.

The Governor is speaking. He says rarely have we seen two storms cover the entire state back to back in one year. (Note trees are covering some of the streets . . .) and he's happy with the way the State is handling the winter weather event. Personally I'd like someone to pick up my garbage as they missed the pick up with the last storm, then the surprise snow "event" threw their schedule off further and then this "winter weather event" has made me skeptical we are getting it picked up before Wednesday :(  Hey it's cold, it's not like it's rotting food after a hurricane in Miami with temperatures in the 90s.

Elizabeth Gardner is on WRAL smiling and telling people not to worry so much as if you just got a boo boo and she's looking for a Hello Kitty Band-Aid. That is not a sexist comment it's an annoyed comment on the way WRAL covers weather "events" spending most of their time trying to make a skunk not smell like a skunk and explaining how it's not that bad.  WRAL doesn't want anyone to think it's melting, the temperatures are not that warm. Listen, I don't know how high up the thermostat is set in their studio but snow is falling off my roof and the tall pines in my yard like an Avalanche and expecting the ghost of Topper to show up any minute on the deck. Honey, it's melting fast............. wake up and smell the coffee.

She's a good meteorologist, but it seems to be the method of WRAL to make Raleigh feel they are the official Raleigh News Service. They remind people every 20 minutes "Wake County Public Schools are Closed Today" (uh huh...and yesterday and tomorrow.......) naming which colleges are not having classes.  In Miami we just scroll that information during a Cat 3 Hurricane as it's pretty clear no one is running out in the middle of the eye to see if Miami High has opened for classes.

I don't like chit chat when there is real news out there. I'm not a big fan of the View or the Chew or whatever the rip off of the View was . . .   If I am watching the news I want info, hard facts, reporters on the ground and people who look like every day people disseminating information that is really needed. Reminders how to handle a traffic light that is out (treat it like a 4 way stop) and where the traffic lights are out. I also don't want to hear Greg Fishel (told you this rant was not sexist) endlessly hem and haw about how and where he was wrong with his pre-storm forecast. There is so much apologetic discussion and patting themselves on the back it feels like someone there is running for office.

Time Warner Cable has a local news channel that shows the news round the clock. Every 10 minutes they show the weather. Yes, it was one of the first things in Raleigh I fell in love with . . .  Everyone who is watching WRAL is watching on cable as .. most the dish users are complaining they aren't getting a good signal on Twitter. Message from Taylor Swift: SHAKE IT OFF!!  When an "event" called a "weather disaster" in most other parts of the country is going on... Channel 14 is LIVE and wonderful.

The NCDOT spokesman is on the current press conference. He just called this a "Winter Weather Event" you see what I mean... it is not a storm.. or a disaster but an "event" here in North Carolina or as I like to call it Eastern Tennessee. I can't wait to see how they handle a Hurricane Fran or Hazel like hurricane... is that a "tropical weather event" ????

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Hazel 1954

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Fran 1996 
(big snow year for Raleigh)

It's coming guys... will happen me.
Get your act together.
You are not ready for prime time in the tropics.

So if I don't watch Greg Fishel who do I watch?  Mostly Wes Hohenstein ..

I've developed a real appreciation for his honesty, intelligence and honest explanation of what might happen, what is happening and what did happen without all the whiny excuses. 

As he just said "it's pretty clear we are not having school tomorrow" so deal with it. He also explained how everything is slushy from the melting. His socks got wet trying to get into the studio. There are little "dams" setting up where the snow is MELTING. 

Explain to me how WRAL doesn't want to get anyone's hopes up on the snow melting and WNCN Channel 6 is explaining the problems of the snow melting, falling from rooftops and snow laden trees coming down taking power out.

He doesn't apologize or try to explain where things went wrong he explains what happened.  He's good. I'm very critical (you think..) of on air local weather people. So many look like people who would never talk to each other in a line outside of IHOP waiting to get served yet have forced fake smiles on the set. The people on WNCN look like they actually would talk to each other if there were not being paid to do so...

Mike Gonzalez, who I learned was from Miami, but found out before I thought he was doing a good job... does a great job. They all do a good job. They also look and sound extremely normal to me and in a world where we no longer want Ted Baxter type of newsmen that's good.

To be honest, I started watching them because I enjoyed Pam Salsby who is no longer there. I remembered her from the South Florida market, she's good. Then I saw Wes do the weather... and I thought why do I HAVE to watch WRAL??

I'll confess I switch back and forth and I do watch ABC that comes on at 4 PM after General Hospital (since I'm confessing) and they're good. 

Mike Maze on WRAL is good. 

So giving credit where credit is due. 

Bill Reh is explaining the reason it looks like it's snowing is because the snow is melting, falling off of the pine trees and the concerns for old pine trees that could snap any wires. As I write this sentence a chunk of snow the size of a picnic basket just fell past my window. I sit here under my nice winter covers watching the snow fall I ponder things like why when the snow falls it is silent, yet when it falls off the trees and roof it sounds like Rudolph is up there on the roof doing a tap dance??

I didn't get much sleep last night ... I was up watching the snow fall and talking to friends online. 

I have tremendous respect for the job Nate Johnson does on Twitter and everywhere else.

I'm just a little picky about how weather is presented on air. Tell what might happen.. best guess and go with it. AS I have said before Bryan Norcross showed 3 possible tracks for Andrew, but he gave his own thoughts even when they didn't jive with the NHC. 

I get it. Snow "event" develop in real time just before missing or slamming into Raleigh. You never know til you know. And, then the sun does come out and life goes on back to normal. Soon we will be complaining about the Pine Pollen. But, today all that is falling from the pine trees in my back yard is chunks of snow and sometimes small branches.

I put on ABC 11. I got tired of hearing about the IHOP.

Okay I'm not easy to impress. Been to way too many conferences at the NHC and been around so many legendary tropical meteorologists that chit chat on the local weather doesn't impress me much. Once you've seen Bryan Norcross or Bill Gray hold a large room filled with meteorologists spell bound... you have high standards. I've studied with climatologists and experts in demography and geography and how it affects International Relations. Hey once you have almost knocked over Bob Burpee at a conference you look at the world differently (I was distracted.....) and well to each his own.  If I could I'd move to Charlotte to have Brad Panovitch doing my weather... but I'm here in Raleigh when I am not in Miami.

And, speaking of Miami.. it's HOT HOT HOT down there today.

Something to think on... 

Water is heating up early in the Tropical Atlantic.
Something to think on come May in the GOM..

Besos Bobbi 

Ps Forgive me for ranting a bit but I want .. I need a real hurricane season.
Being honest, cause that's who I am.. 
Nothing lasts forever... 
A guy at the IHOP said he had been here 19 years & never lost power..
Trust me... if you are in Raleigh you have time today.
Read up on Historic Hurricanes


Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Snowing Heavy in Raleigh...Thundersnow. . . Snow, Sleet Dancing an Apache Dance

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Note this post was written at 2 AM...
Updated totals 6 feet at my house.
As forecast by my own personal meteorologist.
One of the best..

Read on and I'll update later today.
Lots of power outages.
Stay warm. Take pics.

* * * 

This loop shows the story.
Look at how fast this system is moving.
Light & Dark... 
Wet & Dry
The real 50 shades of grey

No I can't sleep.
The snow is coming down steady and heavy in Raleigh.
The trees are covered, weighed down in heavy white snow...

It looks like this outside..if you are crazy enough to go look at 2 AM.
Easier chasing a hurricane trust me, less layers... 
And, the snow is really cold... melts on your hair 

Note the snow is nearing the top of the step.
I didn't want to wake my husband... 
Not sure where he put the ruler..
I used his backscratcher :) 
with a pencil.
Then I measured it against my phone... 
4.5 inches of snow exactly... so far.

Hey you got to be resourceful at 2AM

So it's like this for you tropical folks...

There is a snow line 
(think dry line.)

And, where it sets up explains a lot about what you get..
Snow, sleet or wintry mix.

This is the "line" hovering over Raleigh

Above and below defines what you are getting. snow is quiet 
Sleet has a rap music.

This system is moving fast... 
And, the "line" is doing a dance back & forth
A Texas Two Step
Or an Apache Dance... 

Nice view from the Canadian of the snow/sleet storm

Note in the North Atlantic... near Iceland
There is a storm with hurricane force winds 

As the ship captain in Seattle reminded me
Hurricane is a wind speed description.
Not just a named Tropical Entity.

Sipping tea.. listening to an old weather radio.
(soothes my old school soul)
Listening to the feed on

Listening to the beat of the sleet like someone is tap dancing out there.

Oh and there was thundersnow also... 
Earlier, just before the transition to sleet.
Whole sky lit up with a flash.. distant rumble
Cray Cray

I miss the hurricane season.
I miss my hurricane friends
I miss my hurricane chasers

It's late February I'll take any real weather I can get ;)

Sweet Tropical Dreams

Ps Wind Chill of 22 degrees ...
Windier but a lot warmer in a hurricane...
Note... in the time it took to write this..
We had close to another inch... over 5 inches here..

I-85 Winter Storm. All About the South... From College Station to NC State

More Snow on the way for parts of the South

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Yes it's All About the South.... all the snow in all the right places.

Yeah it's pretty clear... we have more snow coming.

Every inch of us is covered from the bottom to the top

Southern kids like a little more snow to play in day or night..

They tell their Mamas not to worry about the snow....

Gonna plan snow angels like Barbie Dolls...

Okay this morning's blog is brought to you via Meghan Trainor and my silly mood.

Hard to take more snow seriously when my back yard looks like this.....

Note the morning's cover of the News & Observer says it all... Kids are loving it!!

A lot of us transplanted Floridians are loving it also.

The people from Pittsburgh are pissed to put it plainly and honestly. They moved to Raleigh to get away from the snow (failed geography in the land of the Steelers huh???) and as Raleigh and a good part of the South from Tennessee to Texas is currently closed for local business... it's just an extended snow holiday for those of us loving it. For those who have to go out to work (outside their homes) lots of luck. Department of Transportation is trying hard to clear those roads today ...and then...they will do it again on Friday when Raleigh tries to reopen... 

Message from DOT to BOBBISTORM on Twitter says it all 

Note this attack on the South started this in Texas............yes that's the culprit right there.

#REMUS if you are a TWC believer........

And, it's moving our way by any name bringing snow and winter weather..

This is becoming known as the I-85 Storm... note stay OFF I-85 if you can...

(speaking of snow princesses....)

Haters gonna hate hate hate... but I'm gonna shake it off and enjoy it! Winter weather is my consolation prize for moving here... a long with a lot more time to write about the weather and enjoy married life. So.... last night as we were snowed in we had a nice Anniversary dinner by the fireplace. Mine you I actually had a fireplace in LA and Miami Beach...go figure.  Either way... real wood not those easy to use 3 and a half hour logs.

But, before I move on and try to make a break for the store with the rest of Raleigh, Charlotte and other Southern ports of call along I-85 let me say this. It's not really just about the South. 

A friend posted this online yesterday. She's lived in NY/NJ but never remembered it looking like this before.

My daughter in Bayswater (think Far Rockway by the water) posts pictures every day "from Siberia" of her backyard... frozen solid.

And for some reason there was a pile up in Maine... 

That's Maine not Atlanta or Raleigh..........

And, woke up this morning to this incredible picture online on Twitter. Stunning.

Thank you Denis!

As for me I'm gonna go layer up... and go shopping...

Stay safe out there along the I-85 corridor which the weather from this system is tracking up from College Station to the Wolf Pack Nation.

This Miami Girl is loving the winter weather...or any weather as I'm kind of a weather nut..

Besos Bobbi


PS... I'll update later this afternoon when the exact track of the winter storm takes form...
The timing and the track is important in getting the snow totals right.
Wrong timing, wrong track and you get rain, sleet or an Ice Storm.
Bring on the snow...

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Surprise Snow in Raleigh. Not So Surprising ... Very Beautiful. Busted Forecast ... better 3 inches of snow than a bad NHC forecast for a Cat 3 ;)

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Let's take an up close and personal look at this loop above.

Note snow is pretty much covering a good part of North Carolina.
Oddly, the NWS didn't feel this would be such a significant event.
Sort of not seeing the forest for the trees.
Focusing on the BIG event later this week... 
They missed the big snow event in front of their noses.

Rhyming with noses........
Today is my 6th Wedding Anniversary.

I got snow and roses :)

Okay I took them in but left one outside ...
Figured it was better than a ruler..

Yesterday I tweeted this ...
Note I said moving into the Piedmont tomorrow.
Tomorrow is today.
If I can read a Water Vapor Loop why can't the NWS?
Well the NWS can... but they are so bogged down with models.
Models were made to assist weather forecasters not confuse.

Hooks up thru the Piedmont Tomorrow.

Forecasting is all about timing.
If you blow the timing you blow the forecast.

For the most part this was a blown forecast.
Or more so an ignored forecast as it was a strong possibility.

Last night I went on a rant on Twitter about the ridiculous cat & dog videos that WRAL were showing... rather than talking on the strong possibility of snow falling during the morning commute. It's not that I don't like dogs and cats, but I knew it would snow and there were some models that showed more than a dusting for this morning, yet those models had been mostly dismissed. I put on WRAL news at 10 PM to see what they had to say and they had a cat in Canada jumping through snow and some dancing dog. A real FAIL if you ask me. I knew any dusting on untreated roads in the Raleigh area during the morning commute would be a mess.

Raleigh is a lot like Miami in ways that they never, ever, never want to cry snow or tropical event as people may pack up move somewhere else or decide not to book their Convention in our area. As said in Absence of Malice you never say a shark was sighed in Miami unless it walks up onto Biscayne Boulevard and bites a tourist.

You see that is why I pay attention to forecasters NOT in the Raleigh area. Norfolk covers our weather sometimes in their maps. Brad in Charlotte is awesome. Jim in Atlanta is great.  They are not afraid to show that there might be snow in Raleigh and then worry their forecast doesn't verify... too much fear in forecasting these days with forecasters having to look over their shoulder on Twitter, Facebook and every other social media where arm chair weather fanatics follow the models.

Cantore, who has been brought in from Boston, is watching.

Here's the Water Vapor Loop... 
You can see how this zoomed across the South..
And...hooked up towards the Piedmont.

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I made that big on you can really see it well.
Moving FAST.
I saw that yesterday.

Gary Stephenson is good. 
He's with the weather team on our local Cable News Station
Know as... TWC lol Time Warner Cable.
Better than the other TWC..

He was insistent yesterday... snow showers possible.

Also Mike Maze on WRAL does do a good job.
Greg Fishel went on & on about his doubts on Wed/Thurs Snow..

Mike Maze kept reminding people to check in early before work.
Gary Stephenson kept reminding people to wake early & check the updated forecast.

As for me... my husband asked me last night where I wanted to go to dinner tonight for our Anniversary. Fiction Kitchen came to mind or Vegetarian Indian place.... I asked him if we had steaks in the freezer. We only eat kosher meat... it's in the freezer in Raleigh ;)

He said this morning after his morning meeting was cancelled and he drove home on local roads as the highway was a traffic jam, when I told him to take out the steaks he figured it was going to snow ;)

And, it did... and it is..........still coming straight down..........

My snow covered rose ruler tells the story. 

Raleigh is covered in snow.
The Museum has it's own snow globe.
Museum closed for snow today...

Enjoy. Stay safe. Stay home if you can. And, note there is more winter weather on the way so when it stops snowing.... go buy those things you never got around to buying for this morning's snow. 

Wednesday or Thursday depending on timing... there's more winter weather on the way.

Last loop. Watch carefully as 1... you can see why it is snowing and 2 why it will snow more later this week.  Moisture from the tropics (GOM) moving up connecting with the Southern Jet Stream giving us........Southern Snow.

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I still dream tropical dreams. I chase hurricanes. I study hurricanes. I write about hurricanes. Momma didn't raise no fool.. not chasing snow it's way too cold and too many layers. Just laying here in bed listening to the round the clock coverage on TV and enjoying the snow falling.... 

Besos Bobbi