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!

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Spring Is Not Playing Ball... Spring Won't Let Go of Old Man Winter. What Season Is It? Nascar Got the Big Chill From Too Much Snow...

There's a reason they go to Florida... play ball.

Old man winter ain't leaving anytime soon.

NASCAR got the big chill this weekend.

Martinsville is just up the road in Virginia.
Note Virginia is just up the road.
Great track. 
Been there.
Snowed last night....

Maybe they should try a snow shovel derby!!
You can see the snow on the satellite this morning.

Good site for NASCAR fans

What season is it?
Depends where you are...
In Miami it's warm, hot and humid.
In the Carolinas and Virginia... cold still.
Note my summer wardrobe is in Miami.

Oh Look....
Buffett is going to play in Boston!
Know why?
He's not stupid.
He knows where to go during Hurricane Season.

It's snowing somewhere in Winter.
Especially this year.
Go South if you want to see the sun...
...feel the warmth on your neck.

Besos BobbiStorm
@bobbistorm on Twitter

Ps... You expected Sweet Caroline? 

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Hurricane Season and FIU Pedestrian Bridge - ABC Construction during Hurricane Season. Hurricane Irma. Just Wondering...

Damage at FIU shown below.

On a rainy cold night in Raleigh during a thunderstorm that reminds me more of a Miami Monsoon than Raleigh rain I'm thinking on the Hurricane Season and the construction of the FIU Pedestrian Bridge Collapse. The possibility of snow flakes falling tomorrow morning here keeps taking a back seat  in my mind as I wonder on how far into actual construction they were in September of 2017 when Hurricane Irma moved towards the Miami area. Yes, Irma made landfall in the Lower to Middle Keys, however the Miami area was slammed with torrential rain, wind and debris flying in the wind.  I wonder just how far along they had gotten when Irma slammed into Miami. I'll wonder on the possibility of snow flakes tomorrow morning if and when I see them. I'm wondering tonight on what things might have gone unseen during the early stages of the construction of the FIU Pedestrian Bridge.

I know most large construction sites do not take the materials away and store them safely somewhere else. I watched the slow construction of the Overseas Highway new bridge and noted how even when it seemed a storm was nearing the area the construction material stayed where it was and to be honest they got lucky and no strong storm tangled with that project.

But this project began in the months before Hurricane Irma and a very busy, wet hurricane season. I'm sure the site was inspected but when and how long did it take to inspect the materials? No one was working for a good week in many places as debris had to be picked up, roads cleaned and electricity restored. Miami wasn't exactly working normally during that time.

So I keep thinking about the construction of the bridge and how far along they were when Irma slammed into the Miami area.

Note the picture below taken from Google. As you travel down Tamiami Trail you can see most of the ABC Bridge Project behind tarp and signs that show it as a "construction site" ...

FIU was busy also with flooding at the Biscayne Bay Campus. They were wonderful with updates on how things were progressing towards normal but nothing really was normal in September of 2017. Even Tamiami Trail Campus far from Biscayne Bay had flooding problems as well as debris that was blown by the storm's winds every which way as the song goes. Irma was not fast moving Andrew with it's precise buzz saw shape where damage was kept to a small area where the wicked eye wall sliced Miami Dade County into two parts; the part with the damage and the part where there was total destruction. Irma lumbered along after a wet period and the damage path for Irma stretched from Cuba to the Florida Keys all the way North to Jacksonville that had historic flooding.

Way before Irma made landfall...
Miami was getting copious amounts of rain.
Bands lashed Miami ...
...when it was on the coast of Cuba.

Then Irma obliterated the State of Florida.

How in any way did the hurricane impact the construction site I wonder. How far along were they? The picture above taken by Google in August the month before shows the Accelerated Bridge Construction had begun. In late October another system soaked the Miami area adding insult to injury known as Tropical Storm Phillipe. 

track.gif (640×512)

I tell myself there were inspections and they took into account what might happen if the project sat for days, maybe longer waiting for inspections and for workers to be able to get back to work with everything else that was going on during a State of Emergency. Do we know for sure? What one variable could have impacted the project that did not impact other similar projects constructed the same way? I wonder. As I look at that picture above and see it how it looked in August I wonder how it looked after the hurricane. And, when I look at the picture my son took below while stopped at the traffic light admiring the beauty of the construction I'm grateful he wasn't at the wrong place at the wrong time. It was just a balmy, beautiful Miami evening and he was at the right place to admire the beauty of a bridge that would we thought would take FIU another step into the future. 

FIGG designs beautiful bridges that have been built everywhere ... far beyond the reaches of Florida politics. They do beautiful work and the MCM construction company has been around for a long time. Accidents happen that's why they are called accidents. But sometimes there's one or two variables that are part of the equation and I'm wondering tonight just how far along they were in construction of any part of the bridge when Hurricane Irma began to douse Miami with record rain, flooding and destructive winds.

The picture below my son took.
A night or two before it collapsed.

Besos BobbiStorm
@bobbistorm on Twitter.

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Saturday, March 17, 2018

Weather. Hurricane Season? Everybody's Got An Opinion. Update on FIU Bridge Collapse...

"breakdown of the vast subtropical high across northern Africa is allowing equatorial moisture to rise into higher latitudes. Indeed, the area from the Sahel all the way into South Africa is in a humid regime, with multiple cases of mostly diurnal thunderstorms (strongest signal now just above the Equator). If this pattern is maintained through spring, predictions for an active tropical cyclone season in the Atlantic Basin stand a better chance of verifying"

Meteorologist Larry Cosgrove is a great read when it comes to weather world wide with a keen eye to geography that many young mets seem to miss while getting lost in modeling and computer graphics. I love modeling, computer graphics and young mets, but seriously Larry's understanding as a meteorologist of the subtle variations and complications that occur across one region and more so how they link up, connect and interact with each other in both the short term and the long term is a thing of beauty. Reading his weekly discussion or topical updates if something big happens suddenly helps put the whole picture together in a way that few mets are able to convey as well. Long run on sentence but necessary to try and begin to explain how wonderful Larry Cosgrove is at explaining all parts of the weather forecast.

I've been watching Africa. Every day there are subtle changes going on from one pattern to another. Day by day it's more common to see clusters of thunderstorms departing Africa into the Atlantic at very low levels. Over time, over months those clusters of thunderstorms we call "tropical waves" climb in latitude as the Hurricane Season approaches. Before June 1st or even late August when the African Tropical Waves become players this process starts with baby steps, with baby clusters of waves working their way west becoming a steady reminder that things are slowly changing.

Not ready for prime time.
But still beautiful as always.

It's a process.
Nothing happens over night.
Currently there are cyclones...
...but not in our part of the world.

Some people have talked on their sites about early predictions for the 2018 Atlantic Hurricane Season. I think it's a bit too early to go there, but I will soon enough. So much depends on things that have not totally played out and the biggest player has not shown it's hand yet. Not going to go chase the MJO nor as am I going to prophesize making predictions in March about June 1st is basically just that. I can say I do think it will be another active hurricane season with possibly multiple landfalls. However, how strong any given hurricane will be where at what point and when is too soon to say.

Jim Williams from the Hurricane City website discusses what cities are most likely to be impacted and I'll go with that being the real priority. And, while he has his own way of coming to his predictions I'll say that we are too deep still in a winter like pattern with no clear end in site to start waxing poetic on the Hurricane Season. What I can wax poetic on is the need to buy things when you see them on sale now that have a long shelf life and can be used if something is springs up suddenly off the coat of Florida or in the Gulf or Mexico and threatens to make an early landfall. Late season slow moving cold fronts that die slow deaths and dawdle over the Gulf of Mexico and the North Florida border are notorious for creating havoc in May along the Florida, Alabama coastline. 

Currently in Raleigh it's a see saw between using the heat at night once in a while or putting on the AC once in a while during the daytime. I have some allergy problems so I am not prone to opening up the windows wide and letting in the pollen. And, as we had a very warm February the pollen started early this year. Then it rained which helped and then it got cold again and then......     Every day is like a Mystery Package these days. Predicting the 24 hour forecast is harder than saying what it will be like in April in North Carolina. Not that I am planning on being here much this April...  run towards the snow and hide from the pollen is my plan. Got places to go.. people to see.

The forecast for this weekend was rain off and on and more often on than off. Today it never really did rain and tomorrow it's presence has been taken out of the forecast changed over to "intermittent cloudiness" with a chance of rain. Time will tell rules this question.

As for the pedestrian bridge collapse in Miami time will tell that story. It's easy to get lost in headlines about cracks and who is responsible while the investigation has just begun. Easy to discount the New York Times article about cracks that were found in the cement on Thursday a few hours prior to the collapse but someone I know well who was under investigation once for something big told me the NY Times knows what they are doing. I may not like their slant on stories and constant editorializing but when it comes to their investigations they often do know what they are talking about. For now it's about the recovery of bodies, extraction of flattened cars and the beginning of multiple investigations. 

I'm a Miami girl and when away WSVN is usually my go to source for local Miami news; KTLA from my LA days. Currently six people have died and they hope no more are found. Currently no more are missing but one never knows until this tragedy is totally over. 

Officially that's the word above.
Below shows the story in one picture.
That was a car at one time.
Sobering. Sad.

This is the map of my life.

To the far left is the campus of FIU where the NHC is located. Few people will mention that will they in their discussion on FIU and the bridge collapse? Along the Expressway that runs to the West of FIU is the NHC. The NOAA library where I've spent many hours doing research is at that location. On the map above is the University I graduated from and the High School I graduated from ... the Westchester Shopping Center I grew up hanging out at and just to the right of the map is the house where I lived for part of my childhood. The street that is to the North of the FIU campus is 8th Street AKA Tamiami Trail AKA "The Trail" and on the North side is the town of Sweetwater. The area to the South of the Trail is known as "Westchester" and my Middle School is just to the right of the map. My life for years was that grid shown above. My mother was never one to stay in a house for too long. Her older sister, my Aunt, told me once she moves the sofa from the North to the South to the East to the West and after moving into the center of the living room she moves to another house. That pretty much sums it up my early childhood. At some point we moved to Miami Beach where I lived through my college years commuting to FIU or sleeping over at my Aunt's house in Little Havana aka "The Roads Section." Miami has lots of AKA names for the same neighborhood. Miami Beach became my world after that for years and years. Even Jimmy Buffett used the Tamiami Trail in his lyrics.

NHC hiding behind the palm trees.
They are sneaky like that ;)

My son attends FIU as does my nephew. My daughter-in-law attended FIU and got her Masters there ...  my son is graduating this year with his Masters in Architecture. My brother went to FIU and graduated from there. Half of Miami seemingly has gone to FIU. Once it was the small little school opening up in South Florida and it currently is one of the largest State Universities in the whole country.  Many of the dorms and cheaper apartments are on the North side of FIU in Sweetwater as are several school buildings. Finding a safe way to cross the Trail was a big priority as many people have died trying to cross it on foot. My son says there is a plaque on a little bridge over the Tamiami Canal that lists the many names of students killed trying to cross over the Trail. This bridge was built to solve the problem, to forget forward towards a commitment to help bridge FIU with Sweetwater in many ways.

FIU is a great public institution of higher learning. That's one reason I find the Governor's rush to detach himself from the University to be kind of pathetic. He basically said this was not his problem being Governor of Florida, but it was FIU's problem. Spoiler Alert for the Governor but FIU is a part of his State University system and all the various agencies involved were also involved on this project in some way. If it was the UM where my father went to college, a private University, okay but noooo this is a something he as Governor is connected to and hopefully he has figured that out. Nice to rush in for sound bites and photo ops but it's Florida International University part of the same system as FSU and UF.

Tamiami Trail is the road that was built across the Everglades to connect Tampa to Miami or possibly vice versa. It's the road my family took when they went back and forth to visit the relatives up in Tampa. It's now an 8 lane highway and one of the busiest traveled highways in South Florida. So the bridge was built in a manner that FIU has been very involved with known as Accelerated Bridge Construction. Why you ask is that important? It's used to replace bridges in large metropolitan areas that need to be rebuilt yet because they are so heavily traveled it's impossible to shut them down for construction. This method has been used all over to shorten the time that shuts down heavily traveled roads but to put up better, stronger bridges. In America as in many places parts of our infrastructure are always in need of repair. But when we go from one Model T Ford to an 8 lane highway it's a lot harder to get long term projects that are needed approved. No one wants old, bad bridges but no one wants important highways shut down in areas where there are few alternative roads. So the construction is done in parts just to the side of the road seen below in a recent Google Maps picture.

The dorms in Sweetwater on the left.
FIU main campus on the right.

Now is the time for prayers.
Now is the time for investigations.
Time will tell.

My radar tonight as I type this post.

So yeah back to weather. We just had a short thunderstorm in Raleigh. I'm typing in the dark with the lights off so I can watch the light show through the window and get the full effects. Does that mean it will snow in the next 10 days? Did this thunderstorm sneak in under the wire as Spring starts in a few days after the Spring Solstice. Old wives tale... 'if you hear thunder in winter you will have snow within 10 days" or so they say. Time will tell. Maybe up by the Virginia-NC border?

Oh look at that.
Possible snow in 5 days?
Check that out.
So much for old wives tails.
Now you know what people did...
...without Spaghetti Models ;)

Getting closer and closer... Hurricane Season.

Thanks Mike.
 You're a man for all seasons.

From Tampa to Miami.

Besos BobbiStorm
@bobbistorm on Twitter

Even Jimmy Buffett knows..

Hope it snows before I go back to Miami.. 

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Friday, March 16, 2018

FIU Pedestrian Bridge Collapse. Miami Tragedy. Thoughts from a FIU Graduate with An Incredible Son Who Attends FIU

So many tragic ironies in the tragedy of the FIU Pedestrian Bridge Collapse. Yes I used a form of tragic twice in a sentence as this is the most tragic story on so many levels. I'm into redundancy today. The bridge over the 8 lane highway was designed to save lives and connect the general FIU campus with the City of Sweetwater where there are several FIU buildings as well as several dormitories. There have been many deaths previously where students trying to get across the large, busy highway that always seems busy have died. In Miami "rush hour" is from 6 AM until 8 PM basically; it's an all day event. 

My son attends FIU and he is working on a Masters of Architecture. My son loves photography and takes photos constantly capturing all angles from shadows to reflections to well... every little detail he captures and records. He's a deep thinker. He and much of FIU was looking forward to this bridge's completion and we've talked on it often the last few weeks. He was at attendance at a special ceremony this past weekend when the bridge was finally lifted into position. It was not finished, but it was on it's way towards completion.

Time is short here and I just wanted to record the irony and sad tragic event on the blog today. Worried on shutting down the major street known affectionately in Miami as Tamiami Trail .... they chose a manner of construction that has become popular in large busy cities of late. Something went horribly wrong. 

The close up pictures are too graphic to show.
Everyone in Miami wonders on hurricanes.
How will a bridge stand up to a Cat 5 Hurricane?

The artist rendering below is what it should have looked like.

What would have been a beautiful walk...

But now it's in ruin, laying across the highway.
Crushing cars below.
The death toll will go higher.

Category 5 Level Horrific.

To put this in perspective my son took this picture the other night while stopped under the bridge at the light where the cars shown above were stopped waiting for it to turn green. He grabbed the moment to snap this picture and admire the bridge still under construction. Normally I don't post his pictures, but he posted it on Instagram so I'm showing it here. 

There's been hours of discussion.
I've watched Miami News online.
CNN moved on to Stormy whats her name... 
Back to politics..... pathetically.

But in Miami the tragedy goes on.
We will soon find out .... many people were in those crushed cars.

Pray for their families.
Because FIU is an incredibly wonderful school.
What was meant to be a wonder...
...has become a sad, tragic story.
It's a Miami story it seems.
So I'm writing about it.
It's personal to me.

I'll write more when I have time.
A good article below details the many details.

Besos BobbiStorm
@Bobbistorm on Twitter
FIU Graduate.

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Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Why Deal With Winter? Move South Even IF Just For The Winter.... Carolina is Good... Snows and Then Melts Fast. South Florida Truly Paradise. Live Like It's Margaritaville ALL The Time!

Just why?
I don't get why people live there.
I've been to Boston (in the summer)
Even August can be cold!
But in the winter?

Granted my Great, Great Grandparents came from over there, up north where it was cold all the time even in the summer (by Florida standards) and dealt with winter for a good part of the year. But over time we evolved, migrated and some distant relative heard about a "beautiful place after a long sea voyage" and he docked in Key West and found it good and put down roots. He opened a tinware shop, dabbled in tobacco and invested in Real Estate. Several generations later my son sells Real Estate in places that truly look as if they came from a magazine touting the beauty of the Garden of Eden. I mean look at this picture below. You could be lying on that chase lounge feeling the rays of the sun (with sun screen of course) listening to the gulls circling high up above with a view worth every dollar you spend. Why do people live where winter can last more than the three calendar months? 

My great, great uncle sold real estate in Tampa.
Anna Maria Island and Holmes Beach.

Yes once every few decades there's a hurricane.
Once every winter there ARE Nor'easters
3 Nor'easters this March.
Another on the way...
Why can't they just call them:

I miss hurricane season.
I miss watching west bound tropical waves.
I enjoyed the snow flakes that fell yesterday.
They are mostly melted.
You know why?
Cause we live Down South!!
Go Carolina!

It snows. It melts.
The sun is out the next day.

Soon I'll be back in Florida.
Can drive it in one day easily!!

Apparently the Gov of CT is on... 
Apparently CT is closed.
Amtrak isn't running.

Just why do you need to be that person?

Okay it's a lot of money for a lot.
But oh my goodness what a lot it was..

The breeze on that lot is awesome.
A warm, soft, balmy breeze.
Think about it.
Move South.

Look at that house.
Palm trees.
Green Yard!
No snow.....

Great schools!!
Kids playing outside all year.

Just do it.
Live the Florida Lifestyle.
Even if just for the winter.
Be a Snowbird!!!
Fly South...

Dig out, get your power back and find a place in paradise. Even if it's just for the winter... seriously the only people who should be out in a Nor'Easter are people being paid to who work for The Weather Channel!

Besos BobbiStorm.

Ps... On any given day my other son Moe and his wife and baby are having breakfast here in Hollywood Florida. They get in the car around the block (hang left at Hollywood Blvd) and order coffee and breakfast with a view. This can be your view....

Just across the street from Margaritaville!

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Friday, March 09, 2018

March Madness. Ten Things I Hate About You ... Great Movie, Great City But So Far Away. Been On The Road... Home for a Few Days.


I've been asked to write a new blog post. I'm writing a new blog post. Don't say I didn't warn you. This may not be your normal BobbiStorm blog post!

#1  There is no tropical weather in the Atlantic Ocean.
#2  The Hurricane Season is getting closer.
#3   84 Days to go before the Hurricane Season begins in the Atlantic.
#4   Hurricane Seasons don't always begin on June 1st but often earlier.
#5   Snow Storms are back and cold fronts are on the move once again.
#6   Early GOM action could be possible with all those dangling stalled out cold fronts.
#7   Forecast for 2018 Atlantic Hurricane Season is "more of the same" aka BUSY.
#8   Bet you aren't stocking up at Publix at things on sale you could use come June....
#9   Some people in Florida STILL have blue tarps on their roof tops.
#10 Some people in the Florida Keys still do not have a roof top :(
#11 I'm not done.
#12 Seattle and the NW has had a very wet, cold, snowy winter.
#13 Spring Weather Season is starting early in the South.
#14 Pollen is at "oh my God!!" levels in parts of the South.
#15 Tampa, Florida IS part of the South and busy with pollen season.
#16 The Pine Pollen is about to fall in Jax from personal observation.
#17 Azaleas are beginning to bloom in Savannah.
#18 Spring creeps it's way up from South to North.
#19 My daughter moved from her bay view post Sandy house up into the country in NY.

Um yeah........

#20 Luckily my daughter likes to camp out she is snowed in and without power.
#21 Good news she figured out how to power her coffee pot from the car battery.
#22 The deer there look like reindeer (OMG)
#23 It was extremely windy in Miami last week .... even too windy for me at the beach.
#24 Mango trees are in full bloom ... pollen and small little itsy bitsy mangoes.
#25 No I am not done this is fun.
#26 The small itsy bitsy mangoes are flying in the wind... #onlythestrongsurvive
#27 For some reason Aventura Mall added a Disney Slide ride in the parking lot
#28 Spent the last several months going back and forth to Florida.
#29 Did not drive through the blizzard on the NJ turnpike and stayed in NC.
#30 It is much colder in NC than it was in Miami #justsaying

And that's the way my world has been the last few weeks. I love Miami and Hollywood Florida but I need a small studio like little itsy, bitsy apartment down there. Love the sunrise from Ormond Beach it is always beautiful and reminds me of Myrtle Beach and the fact that things remind me of Myrtle Beach make me realize how much of a Carolina Girl I have become. I also love Jax for many reasons so deal with it. I love my bed that I'm in as I type out this new post so that I stay relevant and keep some unsaid promise that I'd blog to make at least a few people happy..... I'm waiting to hit the road again and drive back to the 305/954 County Line area once again.... but babies come when babies come and you just got to go with the flow and breathe deep and wait it out and think good thoughts, etc, etc.

I want to go to the following places badly and probably in this order.

a) Seattle Washington for four various reasons along with loving Seattle in general.
b) NY or more specifically Brooklyn, 770, Crown Heights and yeah the new house.
c) Pawleys Island  (yes pathetically I'm a Carolina Girl)
d) Savannah (it would be higher up on the list but I was just there on Tuesday)
e) Key West (yes it's below the other places... gotta think on that one day.
f) Tampa to do some genealogical research.
g) Ireland with Malka (long story, maybe one day)
h) Jerusalem again if only I could twitch my nose and just appear there. Long plane ride.
i) Asheville is possibly on the list to go back... in the late Spring.
j) Havana... some day when the time is right. No mas Castros?

So those are my lists today. Pretend this was a visual Bullet Journal. Songs below to show
Below are more photos and songs that go with the mood and the mode of the day. And, I'll be back posting semi-normal posts soon about the tropics and Spring weather and things like that ...that go bump in the night.

Besos BobbiStorm
@bobbistorm on Twitter

Ps... Someone once told me I have to think on who my audience is when I write. Despite this blog going way over a million .... anyone who really knows me knows I started this to write for one person and it sure wasn't me ;) but writing gives me a big, big smile always so it's a gift that seems to keep on giving. Thanks for being a nudge!!!!! Did you really think I was going to show Sleepless in Seattle song? Nope.

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