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, May 31, 2018

Best Advice and Prediction for 2018 Hurricane Season - From Ormond Beach Thoughts on the 2018 Atlantic Hurricane Season.

In Ormond Beach this morning enjoying the sunrise. I'll update the blog later today. But this is the best advice I can give you above.  Take it to the bank.  Prepare.

I also believe  GOM will continue to be in play as well as the East Coast from Florida Georgia line to Maine this year. A cooler distant Atlantic doesn't stop Home Grown from developing.  And usually only the strong waves survive the trip and can turn into deadly storms that make it to higher latitudes.

Many meteorologists make predictions as do government agencies. They can tell you why this year is different from last or the one before the last one. They can tell you there is a cool pool of water out by Africa in late May going into the season and that would inhibit tropical waves from developing into Hurricanes in the MDR. That is true, it also inhibits the development of strong, early hurricanes that become Fish Storms and curve gracefully out to sea. They point to a ton of factors all of which exist and all of which are part of the mathematical problem they are trying to solve that being predicting what the 2018 Atlantic Hurricane Season will be like. 1985 and 1989 were years with similar conditions and they brought Hurricane Gloria in 1985 to the East Coast and Hurricane Hugo in 1989 to South Carolina. The rains from Hugo spread far inland into areas where mudslides and flash flooding were caused this week by residual tropical rain from the remnants of Alberto. This May in North Carolina was one of the wettest Mays on record and it reminds me of interviews I have had with old timers who always tell me that the year of Hurricane Fran was a very wet year when the soil was already soaked before Fran made it to landfall and kept on going all the way to Raleigh.

No meteorologist, not even the best, can tell you which city is going to get impacted until after the final Cone from the NHC has been posted and after the last reporter leaves town. Jim Cantore can tell you where he's going and where he's been, but the season unfolds in real time in the rear view mirror. Andrew was the first named storm of the very slow 1992 Hurricane Season and no one in South Florida will ever tell you 1992 was a slow season, it is synonymous with Hurricane Andrew a worst case scenario that happened.

This is the truth, real truth, take it to the bank .... the ONLY thing you CAN know for sure is that you have prepared as best you can for your particular harbor ...or home. Each person has a different priority and each home has a different priority. If you are elderly and have special needs or if you have 3 small children under the age of 5 you have your own particular needs. A big house with large windows has special needs that a small condo with one sliding glass door facing the ocean on the 18th floor might have. An ocean front Studio Apartment with an awesome view or a 13 room 2 story house with multiple windows and a leaky roof each have their own point of entry where the wind could get into their home, their lives and leave memories. Many kids who went through Hurricane Andrew have ....and they were the FIRST to get out of DODGE when they thought Irma was coming to Miami.

Trust me... being Hurricane Strong is the best thing you can be to give the best chance of making it through this Hurricane Season. Do not be distracted by exotic scientific words in reports explaining why this may be a weaker year or why it is comparable to such and such a year. Prepare as if this is the year that you get your Hurricane Andrew, Fran, Hugo or Gloria. And remember far from where Subtropical Storm Alberto made landfall near Panama City, Florida people were killed in Interior North Carolina from residual effects of intense, tropical rain that caused their homes to collapse, a tree to fall on the car of two reporters covering flooding and there may be more to come.

Take it seriously. Prepare. That's the best advice I can give you. And, IF the East Coast gets to see a Hurricane up close and personal later this year don't say I didn't warn you.

Reporting in from the always beautiful Ormond Beach where we spend quite a bit of time on our way back and forth from Miami to Raleigh.

Besos Bobbistorm
@Bobbistorm on Twitter

Ps... Got to see the sunrise and the moon set this morning at the beach. How incredible is that?

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Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Remnants of Alberto Cause Flash Floods, Mudslides and Road Closures

Regarding the remnants of Alberto.
Alberto went North.
Carrying much moisture with it.
And as always rain fell far to the right of his track.
Road closures from mudslides happened.

It's not uncommon for Appalachia to have this problem.
Especially when a tropical system or it's remnants arrive.

It's an area prone to flash floods.
Due to elevation obviously.
Remnants of Hugo caused problems.
Even weak Alberto is causing problems.
It's like a country within a country.

I love to call NC Eastern Tennessee.
Or... Tennessee's coast.

And down in the Caribbean.
There is still moisture flowing North.

Much moisture.
Any old fronts going flat will cause possible problems.

Keeping this short and keeping it sweet today as I'm packing and on the road pretty much Southbound. For what it's worth and not sure what that really means but it's a phrase that keeps coming to mind.. I will be in Miami for the start of the Atlantic Hurricane Season; the official start but really that date has been mitigated by the early appearance of Earl. There is discussion that something may develop down below in the Caribbean and the rest of the chatter is about a system forming off the SE Coast that will slide up off shore and go where we aren't sure yet. Basically we aren't sure because it has not formed. Always wait to forecast storms until at least their early embryonic presence is noticeable on satellite imagery and on showing up on multiple runs of the EURO.   Hang in there and get whatever hurricane supplies you will need to get through the 2018 Hurricane Season because I think you may need them and the GOM coastline and Mid Atlantic is more at risk this year for several reasons. I can go into those reasons on June 1st so stay tuned.

Besos BobbiStorm

Ps My father who was a fan of a local rock station in Miami kept listening when they switched over to Country in the early 1980s and became a massive fan of Willie Nelson. I was listening to Willie in LA on old cassette tapes bought at Radio Shack with his most famous early hits. So it was amusing that we were living on separate coasts both listening to Willie. He liked the Beatles before I did. In retrospect my father kept on top of music trends quietly and wasn't afraid to try new music. Always think of him when I him when I hear this song. Also because I cried in the scene when Loretta Lynn said goodbye to her father when she went West with her husband in Coal Miner's Daughter and he suggested to her he might not see her again as she was moving away. Luckily I saw my father again and eventually moved back to Florida and my older kids got to know him pretty well. They were both scruffy and had much in common in ways. So I'm on the road again... to see my kids and stepdaughter and my best friends and feel the tropics up close and personal as the Hurricane Season begins!

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Monday, May 28, 2018

Subtropical Storm Alberto Makes Landfall Near Panama City in "Laguna Beach" Florida

Alberto Makes Landfall.
And puts Laguna Beach Florida on the map!

Subtropical Storm Alberto made landfall today at a small town called Laguna Beach, Florida that is part of Panama City. Why the NHC didn't simply put landfall at Panama City is beyond me, but the good news is that it seems to have put Laguna Beach in Florida on the map.

So that's a done deal.

Good night Alberto!

Besos BobbiStorm
@bobbistorm on Twitter

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Subtropical Storm Alberto Moves Slowly Towards Landfall. Weather is Everywhere Moving North Bring the Threat of Flooding.

Messy large swirling, swath of moisture on the right.
On the left is a track up into Canada.

I have a grandson who is young, but when he was even younger his father would serve him an egg every morning for breakfast. He didn't really like eggs and he preferred watching shows on his iPad that looked like an Octopus with a massive protective cover and arms he could easily grab. Every morning for what seemed like months my son would give him an egg, cut it up into small pieces and tell him to eat his breakfast. Every morning there was this battle to get him to eat. He'd take away the Octopus like iPad or threaten to .... to which Judah would respond by pretending to take a bite or two or enough to get back the iPad. After a while I pointed out he didn't really like eggs and I was told "no, he eats them" and eventually time would run out and they'd have to leave for Pre-School. After they left I'd throw out most of the uneaten egg. If I remember right he would have eaten watermelon endlessly but the eggs were a touch and go game of Judah pretending he was eating them and my son pretending he ate them.

This is how I feel watching Alberto endlessly move towards land moving as slow and tediously as he was moving when he was forming down near the Yucatan. Oh my goodness. A bit of clarity here as per the picture below in that the dark orange reds near South Florida, the Florida Straits and Cuba are not the center of Alberto. Alberto is the white donut hole that makes me want a cinnamon roll for breakfast however I'm doing Paleo this week so that's not happening. An egg may be in my future this morning... or maybe not. Note that the "center" of Subtropical Storm Alberto is shown below.

Big kudos to the NHC for NOT changing Alberto to a Tropical Storm as it is not a tropical storm but it is a very strong Subtropical Storm. And, Subtropical Storms deserve respect on their own merit not as an asterisk in the transition process to a Tropical Storm. A Subtropical Storm IS a STORM and it's not like Pre Season football vs Prime Time Monday Night Football. Both contain their own inherent dangers and it's good to give warning to people in their path as they move en masse on their way to giving multiple places across a wide geographic area misery. Ironically a Subtropical Storm can affect more people than a small Tropical Storm or even a small, dry Cat 1 Hurricane that is wound up tight and impacts a small area at landfall. Look at the immensity of moisture below and understand the problems the NHC and the NWS have been dealing with trying to warn people about the possible dangers coming their way.

The moisture down below steals your attention right?
Alberto below.
Not much deep convection.

Alberto has the lowest pressure of ANY named storm in the Month of May since 1972. There was a Subtropical Storm in 1972 and then there was Agnes. Keep that in mind for future reference. So looking at the radar imagery let's do this again.

Above is the weather mass of Alberto.
Below is the "center" of Alberto

Note a band of yellow is forming.
Close to the center.
Due South of A-Cola.
This is where Alberto will make landfall.

Again up close.

Better image below.

Within those small bands are dangers.
The danger of tornadoes is present today.
All day the tornado threat will remain.
Rip Tides.
Down near SE Florida... 
That's a lot of rain.
Mucho Moisture!

latest72hrs.gif (947×405)

So there are 2 issues here. One is this is almost a joke in the minute way we are covering it and hearing about it online as well as the famous Weather Channel. The real story is going to be down the road as all this tropical moisture that has been pulling together for well over a week moves North into the towns, hills, Appalachia, the Great Lakes and do not forget Canada. And, I really hope there is no widespread flooding that can often occur anywhere and everywhere Alberto goes. When Subtropical Storms or early June hurricanes move inland flooding is always a problem; that is what occurred after Hurricane Agnes made landfall in 1972. At least now we are better at seeing the potential for this to happen and to warn people in it's path that this could occur. There is beach erosion on the East Coast of Florida and even in North Carolina far from any path the "center" will take we have a Flash Flood Watch. Why? Moisture... tons and tons of tropical moisture. Watch the orange on the loop above ooze up, up and move into most of the SE. And, notice that a lot of it also hangs back IN the tropics. Much to think on. Cuba is getting nailed currently by the weather that is not going on in the Florida Panhandle. However, the Panhandle is getting weather, high tides, dangerous surf and everyone needs to hunker down and wait it out and then wait to see what will happen to Alberto's moisture as it moves inland over the Eastern US and Canada.

In November I finally spent some time on the Florida Panhandle at the beautiful beaches there. I've always wanted to see them up close but they are far from South Florida. Judah's father got remarried in a small, quiet beach wedding held at sunset on St. George Island. It's beautiful there though it reminds me more of the NC beaches than your typical Florida beach. The area is prone to flooding and most of the homes are built up on stilts. We had the top floor of a beach house that seemed at least four stories high and looked out across the very beautiful island. My Grandmother used to go to the Apalachicola Bay are when she was young visiting her older sister often. Grandma Mary waxed poetic on how beautiful the beaches were there. There was no big beautiful bridge they boated out to the beaches often when they went to the beach....  as they owned shade tobacco plantations up in nearby Quincy Florida. They were really large farms, but Grandma Mary being Grandma called them "shade tobacco plantations" so I'll go with it for her sake. Now I'm a grandma :) and I'll call it anything I want when I'm talking to Judah ;)

Judah and me in November.

Judah and his new Stepmother.
That's my granddaughter Olivia Eden in her tummy.

Life goes on.
Judah grew just fine even if...
...he rarely ever ate more than a half an egg.

Really all barrier islands, flat sandy beaches and beautiful sunsets. Some pictures from November to show you the beauty of life and the beach. Give me a beach to walk on barefoot and I'm happy. 

This is my blog and it's as much about my life as it is Hurricane Season and am not the NHC nor am I writing you this from TWC though the story goes I was conceived in Atlanta where my parents lived briefly before moving back to Miami. I'm tired of discussing Alberto, however I do love watching Jim Cantore talk while on the beach with beautiful gray skies and foamy surf behind him. It's a tropical event. I'm no longer going to slice and dice Alberto but enjoy the show on TV and really hope that there is no massive flooding event once Alberto moves inland and up into the heart of the the East Coast. Yesterday's horrific flash flood in Ellicott City Maryland. I think we have said enough about the details of Alberto and now we need to watch it all play out and see what happens. In truth Ellicott City Maryland is the real story today.

Remember I said I was worried about inland flooding from all this tropical moisture being carried with Subtropical Storm Alberto? It's a big concern and there are many villages, towns and cities in it's path. You add the elevation of Appalachia and you have a potential problem. Areas in Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina that are already soaked from what has been a wet few weeks are especially prone to flooding as there is a limit as to how much water the red clay soil of the South can hold. With regard to Ellicott City that is a blog for another day. As someone who studied geology and loves rocks as much as Steve in What's Up Doc did I'm curious on the geological problems Ellicott City has in that it is a granite valley near a river is prone to flooding. But why now the last two years did it suffer back to back "once in 2,000 year floods?" Did any construction nearby somehow change the nature of the flooding patterns or shake something up? It's hard to believe that's a coincidence or that evil forces dislike the beautiful old town where many in Baltimore love to drive out to for good food in a quaint pretty environment. Something there doesn't make sense. But the moisture.......oh the moisture has been in place and the way it was last week in Raleigh when we had I believe 6 inches in 2 hours there was flooding in all the usual places that flood. Anywhere you have hills you have water that flows downstream. 

So let's look at 1972 that was in general a very good year in most ways. Jimmy Buffett would play at THE FLICK near the UM when in Miami. Palm trees swayed, hurricanes went elsewhere and the construction industry responded by building on every possible empty lot they could find. It was before the Cocaine Cowboys and the Miami Dolphins were a winning team that we thought would never lose again. I was busy getting ready to go to a prom at the Playboy Plaza and there were no hurricanes threatening Miami in late May or early June though we had a Tropical Depression Dawn in September before going to becoming a wandering, looping Hurricane. 

 But 1972 did cause flooding "Up North" after Hurricane Agnes made landfall very close to where Alberto is trying to make landfall now.  It just wasn't on my particular radar that year. Alberto is not as strong wind wise, however remember the constant discussion of the "lowest barometric pressure of any named storm in May since 1972" and you wonder how this will play out over the next week.

Very wet period and flooding.
And then came Agnes.

Note the name Subtropical Storm Alpha was applied looking back at what was obviously a Subtropical Storm but we were not naming them yet. This is the environment that Hurricane Agnes entered. Think of Agnes and Subtropical Storm Alpha like an act at THE FLICK in that I believe "Uncle Dirty" was the real lead act but a young troubadour named Jimmy Buffett stole the show performing for a crowd of people who loved him. Maybe it was the other way around. Who knows I was with a cute guy home from college and the music was good and I barely remember hearing anything about Hurricane Agnes. If you Google Hurricane Agnes this is what you find.......... 

Note Florida is listed at the bottom of searches.

We forget often about Hurricane Agnes.

Headlines above from 1972
Ellicott City 2018

Let's hope this doesn't play out the same way.
Different set up. Different storm.
Same moisture moving far inland.

A current look at Alberto

Where does all that moisture go?
What will be the final ending of Alberto?
Time will tell.
Look down below into the Caribbean.
At the base of the moisture related to Alberto.
Or trying to feed Alberto...

The models in general did a crappy job with Alberto and I don't blame them.  There aren't many historic correlating systems like him and it's been an odd May weather wise as we went from a long, long Winter into an early Summer. My first thought on Alberto watching the Water Vapor Loop was that it would make landfall around St. Georges Island and Carrabelle. Then I told myself it was just because I had recently been there but really that was what the Water Vapor Loop showed. Then the models began having it intensify into a Tropical Storm near hurricane strength and lunge left towards Louisiana which I knew wasn't happening so I moved my best guest further West towards Mobile Bay. Again it really doesn't matter who gets the landfall, because everyone will get the rain and high surf.  I wonder whether there is some correlation between 1972 and 2018 weather wise or it's just a coincidence? I'll wonder on it another day. In Raleigh the brilliant blue skies we had yesterday have become gray, gauzy, white, milky skies. Rain is moving in on the radar. It's Monday Memorial Day Weekend and we are on holiday time as my husband is home from work and we have places to go and things to do. I also have to mentally at least pack for Miami.

Stay tuned. Listen to a good tune. Enjoy what you can from this Memorial Day Weekend and remember to remember those who gave their lives for this country as this is really what Memorial Day Weekend is supposed to be about. In Miami it's just another 3 day weekend, but up North and in a good part of the South it's the official start of Summer.

Besos BobbiStorm
@bobbistorm on Twitter

Ps... a song that Jimmy Buffett sang at THE FLICK back when... 
It's a holiday and not proofing this ten times as I imagine few are home reading blogs today so ...why should I?

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Sunday, May 27, 2018

UPDATED!! Noon Alberto .. Coming Together? Problem with Subtropical Storms. They NEED Their OWN CONE. Tornado Warnings over Miami. Multiple Centers.

Note the immense rainfall on the East side.
Note Alberto trying to consolidate.
Cone below.

72 Hour Rainfall Product 

Okay let me say this about that. IF the NHC is going to name and put out advisories for Subtropical Storms than they need to make a DIFFERENT Cone for this sort of storm. They need a Cone that is specific for SUBTROPICAL STORMS. I'm in agreement that they are worth upgrading to even when they are messy, huge swaths of one sided rain shields delivering Tornado Warnings far from the quiet beaches directly in the path of the center. Subtropical Storms do not have the same "CDO" signature so why should they have the same CONE vs their own different cone that shows where the "center" will go and where the actual severe weather will go? It's something that is needed that would better explain these storms and better warn people anywhere near the weather, wind or tides from a Subtropical Storm.  Better the NHC do it than to hand it off to the NWS and hope people check their local NWS site for local information. If the NHC is going to name it... the NHC should make a cone specific to it's Subtropical status.

Note the NHC Discussion below. They say it's getting more organized, stronger and soon could even be a Tropical Storm. 

Keep reading.

NHC has it as a Tropical Storm  in 12 HRS.
This is a done deal basically.
Come hell or very high water.
Their forecast is going to verify.

In truth it's common Subtropical Storms often ramp up and get a tighter circulation in the NE Gulf of Mexico on approach to landfall and become a Tropical Storm... as forecast in their advisory packages.
Nuff said..

What is upsetting is that someone has already died this Memorial Day Weekend in the Florida Panhandle. A 31 year old man died yesterday in Panama City Beach swimming in the surf and while the skies are blue the surf is stronger than usual. We owe it to the public to find a better way of communicating the real dangers of a Subtropical Storm including Rip Tides, Tornadoes far from the Cone as well as the possibility of it being upgraded at any time to a true Tropical Storm. I'll update later when Alberto becomes Tropical which seems a done deal.

 * * *

Center of Alberto to the left.                             
                Severe Weather to the right.

Tampa Radar shows Alberto

Miami Radar Shows Alberto's Weather.

Alberto's "Other" Side so to speak
Great picture from Twitter below.
Key West....

There was a Tornado Warning for Miami this AM

Close up Twister Warning...

Wide view.
Note darkest convection to the East
As forecast... Bahamas even!

Officially Alberto stronger... a bit.

Wrapping up as forecast.

Nothing much to add currently as this is what we expected. The center is far to the left and even the NHC admits there are multiple centers and the exact movement is unsure as the dynamics are very fluid within the storm and changes in the location of the center are possible. Official wording from the discussion is shown below. 

 Bottom Line Cone

I cannot say this enough do not focus on where the "center" goes as the stronger weather is far removed currently from the center and throughout the day pop up Tornado Warnings will happen over all of Florida. I'm going out to breakfast. I'll be back later with updates. Please the previous post on similar analog tropical storms. If I was a betting girl I'd bet on the NHC upgrading Alberto before landfall to Tropical Storm status. 

Besos BobbiStorm
@bobbistorm on Twitter