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, May 19, 2024

Tropics Quiet. Signs & Signals Exist. Houston Derecho Clean Up Goes ON.... How Long Will the Power Be Out in Houston? Time for Hurricane Prep Use the NHC Website, Think on Generators & Post Hurricane Problems. Hurricane Season 13 Days Away!!

Tropics generally quiet.
Storms over Mexico....
(near BOC)
Convection in the Caribbean.
Hot in S FL... very HOT!
Wave moving off of Africa.

I want to talk today about lessons that we should learn from the recent derecheo disaster in Houston where the power is still out at my friends house where the temperature is forecast to be 92 degres and "feels like" you don't want to know. And, that is what will happen to any town that gets hit by a hurricane or even a near miss but the weather is strong enough to take down the power grid. When the power grid goes, life as wek now it goes with the downed power grid. Nothing is normal and that means lack of power, utility services, grocery stores may be closed for a long while and if you have kids... no school, no day camp and no day care! Let that sink in a bit. If you have medical needs, appointments with doctors and non-emergency surgeries may be post poned; make sure you always have an extra does of regular medication during Hurricane Season! If you have small children, buy crayons and coloring books at the Dollar Store or make a big stash with all the ones that they give out when you go to the restaurant! 

So below are images of headlines from Houston, all mentioning loss of power (yes power still out in many places) and the clean up of debris in the downtown Metro area. Power outages in some areas could take weeks to restore. And, that was a fast moving Derecho not a Hurricane that has had your city's name in the 7 day Cone for at least 3 days.... giving you the time to put your plans into action and prepare! Tornadoes and Earthquakes do not give that much lead time, so as Hurricanes are the only real natural disaster you get that much warning for .... what are you waiting for as Hurricane Season beings in 13 days! At least make a list of priorities and things to do even if you have not stocked up on water and crayons. Note, with the temperatures that high you can use some of the crayons as art supplies as they melt in direct sunshine making for an art project you can ketp for a life time. Joking, but being serious also. Anything to catch your attention!!


NWS confirms it was a Derecho that hit Houston.
Now getting power back on is the problem.
Misery in High Heat & Humidity in Houstin.

I really think the biggest take away from Houston's very recent disaster is you really should rethink your plans for how you will live with the electric out and the general order of life shut down as stores are closed as well as the schools and day care. After a hurricane hits.... and I'm talking about anywhere you are in the path of hurricane damage vs "just the eye" or "the cone" because areas far from the eye can lose power and the normal flow of life takes weeks to get back to normal. There is no normal after a hurricane has visited your general area; no normal for days and often weeks if not months.

Take grocery stores for an example as they are either destroyed or closed due to lack of power. Take a you local favorite grocery store, all the old produce must be thrown out and you need employees to be able to get to work to do that AFTER the power is back on and it takes restocking, trucks coming in with new produce and supplies. Talking after you were hit by a Category 2 impact from a nearby Category 5 Hurricane making landfall somewhere else. IF that's the scenario vs a strong Cat 1 hurricane took the power out in your town and stores are closed and  power needs to be restored. Food goes bad fast and add in standing water creating mold issues can make recovery a very long process. And, if it's the scenario I mentioned the wider the damage field is the longer it takes to get back to normal, vs a small tight hurricane hitting West Palm Beach and Miami only getting some gusty winds.

Construction workers flood into your area faster than a storm surge, faster than a fast moving Derecho. Traffic goes from "normally" not that bad to "oh my God what happened it took me an hour to get to..."

As much as a hurricane can sound like a nightmare, you can often hunker down in an interior room and hope and pray what covers your windows holds and survive the storm and then when you open your doors and everything outside is a mess, huge trees knocked over and long oak branches fell onto now crushed cars and transformers down the street are down and there's broken glass everywhere from a busy street a block or two away from your home is littering your street. The awning of the local dry cleaners advetising their "one day services" is now lying on your front lawn. The ficus tree tipped over and took the rest of your lawn with it.  The Weather Channel has been blown away with the wind as the Cable is out...I know because post Andrew I didn't get cable back until late October ...two months after Andrew made landfall far to the SW of my home. Oh and by the way they changed all the graphics so TWC didn't even look normal!!

I remember all I wanted was "normal" and when I say that I didn't just mean power back on, though it was nice to have it back on eventually. The "grid" has so many aspects you don't think on ...such as every traffic light was out or blown away and we had little unique stop signs put in asking people to treat every street crossing as a 4 way stop. People did not obey I may add... 

Takes a while to rebuild from a disaster. A direct hit on Key West, God Forbid, could take life back to the way it was when my ancestors lived there in the 1800s. How do you like being a Conch now? 

So how you will get through the AFTER the Hurricane is as important to think on as BEFORE and DURING the Hurricane.

For example, say you decide you can't manage staying there with your baby from your second marriage and unruly teenager from your first marriage and the husband who is stationed overseas in the Army and your 2 Pekingnese Puppies and may I mention the Gold Fish isn't doing too well either so you decide to pack up what you can and hit the road to your parents back in Ohio and you then join the army of people who have also hit the road and are stuck on the Interstate without many gas stations open and it's one long traffic jam from West Palm Beach to at least Atlanta on the Turnpike and the gold fish in the bowl placed carefully in a box may not make it.......

You might try this trick from What About Bob?
Great movie it while you have Netflix.

There are layers to a Hurricane coming to your town.

When I'm lecturing and people ask me "isn't it dangerous to chase a hurricane?" I respond that it's not so dangerous if you are with a team that knows the dangers well, knows where to set up and move in tandem if needed according to the change in the wind ..........than it is to have a hurricane chase you to your own house. It is way better to chase a hurricane with professionals than to have a hurricane stalk you to your front door and tear down all the normal you ever knew.  Better to go home to the nice normal house you love than to have a hurricane rip it away from you!

So that's my lecture .. my rant... my need to feed my need to type at 9 AM as my headache fades into the distance thanks to a great cup of coffee and get this out while it's fresh in my head. I couldn't sleep at 3 AM and I was thinking how to convey what it's like AFTER a Hurricane if you are all lucky enough to survive the hurricane but normal has been ripped away from you! 

Hurricane Preparation has 3 parts.
Before the Hurricane (stock up on sale canned food and nonperishables at Publix in May not July )
During the Hurricane...where do you set up and hunker down or get out of town fast?
After the Hurricane...... how do you go about life when nothing is nornal and your little kids are using old coloring books and crayons you bought at the Dollar Store "just in case you lose power" and they want to know when they can go back online. It'll be worse than "are we there yet" on a road trip to Grandma's house.

Hurricane Website of the Day

(haha u knew that was coming)

How to use it.
3 Steps.

1 step.

Link on botton takes you the 2 Day page.
Click on blue map shows you sat image.

2nd Step
Click on the link that says "7 day"

Blue Screen says nothing for 7 days...

3rd Step...
...scroll down to the right.
Hit Tropical Weather Discussion

If you are still reading this blog, you obviously like words so there's a treasure chest of words all about the tropics from the coast of Africa to the Caribbean to the Gulf of Mexico, oh my gosh it's delicious! Obviously you will zoom in on the area you are interested in the most.

Monsoon Trough.
Out in the Atlantic.

A weak front is in the Atlantic is drifing Eastward and a Subtropical Ridge is forming and tropical waves are moving off of the Guinea Coast (just south of Senegal) and if you love weather it's better than a Stephen King novel in that it goes on and on with lots of drama, innuendo and mysteries from now through the end of November. For a real weather person it doesn't get much better than this or well, until those of us in the Carolinas begin wishing for snow. You know how that goes. Then again I'm almost ready to pack for Florida (Home Sweet Hot Home) for a family event and to touch base as we head into the 2024 Hurricane Season. If you have not seen Jim Williams list of his top 20 cities for 2024 with his highest chances forecast know that Miami is number 8 on his list and FLL, WPB and nearby Bimini all up there too! 

So whatcha gonna do if a hurricane looks as if it wants to hit South Florida but you are sure it's going to curve away and oh no it doesn't curve away. Mike put up this graphic that others did as well the other day. It's something to think on with only 13 days til Hurricane Season.

What if the big, bad hurricane doesn't turn?

Oh there's a page for that too on NHC site!
(under Educational Resources link)

This was AFTER Hurricane Katrina hit Miami.

That was a ficus tree most likely.
You know the trees you see in Tarzan.
Lots of shade til they tip over.

They take the lawn with them too!
Whoosh with the wind!!!

Sweet Tropical Dreams,
NHC website very usetful!
Use it now...
.....don't wait for watches and warnings to go up!

@bobbistorm most places..

Ps Thanks for reading.
Will refer to this post later in the season.

Cute summer movie.
A friend in Miami asked me where to go.. know for vacation.
From the Feels like 105 temperature.
I said...MAINE!
Maine is wonderful ;)
Cape Cod? 

As for the song...


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