"But seeing they could not See; hearing they could not Hear"
“The views expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the National Weather Service or affiliate/related organizations. Please consult .gov sites for official information”

"From its chamber comes the whirlwind, and cold from the scattering winds." - Job 37:9.

"The wind blows to the south and turns to the north; round and round it goes, ever returning on its course".

Thursday, August 11, 2011

UPDATE TO: "Are You Ready?" Facts vs Fiction

Not Likely...However, these tracks are alarming for Florida.
Can Central Florida (namely the east side)...Really Get a High End Category Storm though?
See the text below, From the Florida Emergency Management web site:


Hurricane Igor 2010

"Brevard (or Indian River/St. Lucie/or even Volusia) will never be hit by a major hurricane "
There is an old "tall tale" that persists, and is believed by some, that
Brevard County (for instance)  will not be hit by a killer hurricane. The "tale" claims that
the Federal government located the space program at Cape Canaveral and KSC
because Brevard’s geographical characteristics and location made it immune
to hurricanes. 

I present these years. Cleo is of most interest because it most closely represents the current situation this morning that 'could' occur with Irene..Cleo was in 1964. It is interesting, as a friend pointed out, that Cleo was followed by DORA only a few weeks later...this came out when I pointed out that Cleo hit almost TO THE DAY in August that Irene Is expected. DORA took a very odd course..coming in from the East...and wouldn't you know..there's another storm abrewin' off of Africa this morning.

It is also worth noting that the worst drought in Texas History prior to the current one was generally 50 years ago...and as all droughts are caused by..high pressure that will not budge..that has been the case this year in the Southern Plains.  I am a firm believer in 20, 30. and 50 years weather cycles...addtio

"Are You Ready?" UPDATE: Fact vs. Fiction

nally, it was within the Cleo (during a La Nina) occurred...such is the case (or close to it) this time.

Emergency Management Web Site: 
Brevard County has been hit by major hurricanes in the past and it is only a matter of time when, not if, Brevard will be hit again. In 1871, 1880 and 1885 major hurricanes slammed into Brevard County, at and south of Cocoa Beach. The 1885 hurricane’s storm 
surge pushed the ocean over Cocoa Beach and into the Banana River, flooding
out homesteaders and discouraging further settlement. The beach near the
Canaveral Light House was so severely eroded, the government was prompted to
allot money to move the light house one mile west. Historical information
reported that the eye of a "terrible hurricane" took four hours to pass
northward over Eau Gallie in 1876. In 1873, a major hurricane exited Florida
near Melbourne. In 1928, a major hurricane caused heavy property damage from
South Brevard to St. Lucie County. In recent history, Hurricanes Donna in
1960, David in 1979 and Erin in 1995 proved again that Brevard was not
immune from hurricanes and the Andrew type "Big One" looms out there in our
future. Brevard’s population has exploded since the late 1800's, even since
Donna in 1960, and consequently, even a moderate storm will cause
considerable damage and danger to its citizens. 

Given that we are not entering the more 'tropically inclined' part of the Hurricane season, and there are storms out there (Irene) that could actually pose a threat (with more to come)it would seem appropriate a quick-n-dirty on most of what one needs to know (and then some) would be in order.

Note that only 2 other years (one being 2005) have had as many named systems this early in the season...

AS FOR IRENE: I'm willing to be that if there is only minor changes to the forecast track through Tuesday, the evacuations could be a very real possibility, namely because the uncertainty in strengthening is tremendous..with a Category 1 most likely, although the latest stats I've seen imply more like a Category 2. Even if it comes in over South Florida first it could strengthen over the Everglades/Lake Okeechobee area. That, plus a storm moving upriver...(upwind as used for thunderstorm discussions)..and strong category 1 hurricane could submerge the causeways...leaving the barrier islands land-locked. This would occur from the tremendous upriver surge of water upwelling combined with rainfall anticipated (if it tracks across Florida from the South)..could exceed 7-10" on the east coast.

On the other hand, if the storm is within, say perhaps 75 miles of the coast an north north west bound..who's to say it might not suddenly stall..loiter a while..then move ashore at any given location from Port Canaveral to Miami?...the risk is high...especially when considering were that the path of storm's preference, it could get stronger while off shore (One model shows a Catergory 5 hurricane in this instance..which likely could be tossed out..just like the ones showing nothing but a depression..if even that).

The special issue post will cover :
1. Some Basic Geography. Are you irritated when TV weathermen throw out latitude and longitude coordinates left and right as if we know where 10N Latitude actually Is?...or where are the Lesser Antilles, the Leeward and Windward Islands, (the U.S Virgin Islands fall in there somewhere right?), the Bay of Campeche (com-pay-che)...or the Greater Antilles? No fear's all here.

2. Hurricane Preparedness: Be advised that most guidelines are prepared for the event of an evacuation due to either inland flooding depending on ones geographic location or coastal flooding due to the ocean's "Storm Surge".  But, even inland locations can succumb to long term power outages due to downed power lines. Where would you go if you live on or near the coast or what would you do if you have a pet?  What if you want to just avoid the whole mess no matter where you live, on the coast or inland?  Wouldn't it just be altogether best if no matter where you live to just leave the entire state (especially Florida) for the mountains of North Carolina with your family and pets (after boarding up the windows) and just forget the whole matter entirely? Probably, yes.

3. Mental preparation. NOW is the time to prepare mentally with the information provided in the back of your head..and to get at least your own tailored check list ready..or simply print this one out and add what ever other items happen to enter your head...whenever that might be. Just leave it on the kitchen counter and pencil things in as the urge strikes.  

First Geography:
I've added below a map of the Caribbean Sea...the island chains are noted on this map. No explanation required:

NOTE where the US/British Virgin Islands are located. The Leeward Islands are there, with the windward islands further South. Both the Leeward and Windward Islands make up the Lesser Antilles. The Greater Antilles (not often referred to) includes Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic/Haiti, and Cuba.

The West Indies are composed of the islands of the Caribbean Sea and can be
divided into the Greater Antilles and the Lesser Antilles.

The Greater Antilles are the four largest islands in the northwestern
portion of the Caribbean Sea and include Cuba, Hispaniola (Haiti and the
Dominican Republic), Jamaica, and Puerto Rico.

The Lesser Antilles include the smaller islands of the Caribbean - the
Virgin Islands and the Windward Islands and Leeward Islands.

The Windward Islands and the Leeward Islands are part of the Lesser Antilles
of the Caribbean Sea.

The Windward Islands are southeastern islands of the Caribbean and include
Martinique, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, the Grenadines, and Grenada. They're
called the Windward Islands because they're exposed to the wind ("windward")
of the northeast trade winds (northeasterlies).

The Leeward Islands include the Virgin Islands, Dominica, Guadeloupe,
Montserrat, Antigua, Barbuda, St. Kitts, Nevis, and Anguilla. They're called
the Leeward Islands because they're away from the wind ("lee").

I also wanted to mention those 'coordinates'. Here's two things to remember...10N Latitude. Most storms that form along that line off of Africa are more likely to impact the U.S. than those that form north of it (but not always). Here is where that line is located, and it's relation to the islands mentioned above. I've also included some fictional sample storm plots as they related to that line, which is highlighted in yellow:

 Hurricane Preparedness:

Below is the checklist prepared by the National Hurricane Center. I will add a few items as well: Items 1 -3 and the 'preamble' are of my own, with reasons...but above all:

KEEP YOUR HEAD ABOUT YOU: Rumors run rampant as a storm approaches. People will say this and that about what they heard, think they heard, or claim to know. Trust only ONE reliable source..the National Hurricane Center and your Local National Weather Service Office. They will dispense the information you need to know...rumors can grow like an infectious disease...the rumor turns into a lie or gets that by the time it has passed through the lips of 3 different people the story might be in no way related to the original.  Do not get caught in the HYPE ..the media is equally as guilty. Take care of your business, do what you need to do..and do it very timely. 

#1: Weather Radio with back up batteries! Nothing worse than NOT KNOWING WHAT IS GOING ON. These can be purchased at Wal-Mart, Publix, and Radio Shack to name a few.
I like the ones produced by a company called "MidLand" with the S.A.M.E. alert feature. Essentially, the feature after it is programmed (very simple)..will only sound alerts appropriate for your general or immediate area of residence.  Remember, this radio is good not only for hurricane season..but any other time as well when strong or severe thunderstorms (including tornadoes) are threatening. Additionally, if you are in the hurricane or storm area..the radio will sound tornado warning during the course of the hurricane. fact, tornadoes can be spawned well removed from the Hurricane or tropical storm as was the case in Florida when Hurricane Agnes and Storm Earl hit the Florida panhandle...yet the tornadoes were over the peninsula.

#2: Plan ahead if you KNOW you will evacuate. If you plan on heading for a motel, make reservations at least 2-3 days IN ADVANCE. Also, leave AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. Otherwise, you could very end up in a huge traffic jam on I-95. Nothing like running out of gas THEN!
Also, contact several individuals to inform them on where you plan on going..and when you hope to be there. If possible, include a destination phone number. Find out if your motel (if so chosen) allows pets (if you have one)

#3: SAND BAGS if necessary. Depending on where you live such as in a very low area or on the ocean...a minimal storm could bring the ocean waves to the front door..or flooding low areas (as was the case after Hurricane Erin in the Melbourne, Fl area)..which happened the day AFTER the storm had passed.  If your area floods after a heavy rain event..imagine it 2 to 3 times worse. "It Could Happen Tomorrow".  

#4:  BOARDING FOR WINDOWS: Do you have the supplies at hand to board windows. Good window boarding supplies can come at a great cost as it becomes to be in high demand. Think about it. A lot of which windows to board depends on what direction the storm will approach and pass your area..and the same rule from one storm won't necessarily apply to another storm.

=========Official List Put out By The NHC===============(*with comments)
Water - at least 1 gallon daily per person for 3 to 7 days***It is also said to fill the bath tub with water...but I believe gallon jugs of water stored ahead of time is better
Food - at least enough for 3 to 7 days
non-perishable packaged or canned food / juices/ jerky
— foods for infants or the elderly
— snack foods
— non-electric can opener
— cooking tools / fuel (?) If you are a camper type..this might work. Learn to eat from a can is what I say. Besides..having fire starter items around is a major hassle and presents a fire hazard
— paper plates / plastic utensils  (I say, learn to eat from a can)
- EXTRA plastic bags for trash
Blankets / Pillows, etc.

Clothing - seasonal / rain gear/ sturdy shoes  (more than 1 pair!)

First Aid Kit / Medicines / Prescription Drugs

Special Items - for babies and the elderly

Toiletries / Hygiene items / Moisture wipes

Flashlight / Batteries

Radio - Battery operated and NOAA weather radio!!

Telephones - Fully charged cell phone with extra battery and a traditional
(not cordless) telephone set

Cash (with some small bills) and Credit Cards - Banks and ATMs may not be
available for extended periods


Toys, Books and Games

Important documents - in a waterproof container or watertight resealable
plastic bag
— insurance, medical records, bank account numbers, Social Security card,

Tools - keep a set with you during the storm

Vehicle fuel tanks filled

Pet care items
— proper identification / immunization records / medications
— ample supply of food and water
— a carrier or cage
— muzzle and leash

Can you think of anything else? least have this list in mind....
Personally, I began saving canned goods whenever they were on sale a few months ago..they can always be consumed later even if no evacuation or power failure ensues/ harm done:

Canned Goods can include fruits, vegetables, and meats like tuna and chicken. Also peanut butter eaten right from the spoon if no bread is available will work and won't go bad after opening.

I think this image is overly kind for a Cat 3 hurricane and above. Anyone outside reporting in those winds would NOT be standing unless in a sheltered area...they also forgot to include the flying debris that might whack the broadcaster on the head like a Coconut Head Bonk on the Bean, or a Trash Can Lid Instant Head Decapitation. Even in a Cat 1 I don't think the makeup would last long on her face. A Forced Evacuation can happen for even only a Cat 1 Hurricane depending on the geography of the coast in relation to what approach the storm will make.

Very few deaths occur during a big storm from drownings in the ocean..but it does happen. Beware..even when a storm is well offshore rip currents can be treacherous beyond belief. You only have to take one look at the ocean to know it is just plain ridiculous to venture into the's the "Victory at Sea" - Epitome

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Showery With Some Storms South Florida, Early to Late Evening Possible East Side of State Late/Tonight

Very difficult forecast today as we transition OUT of a pattern. Deepest Moisture is over South Florida at time as surface to upper level troughs linger later today just off the entire East Coast

TODAY: Hot North Central to North East Florida. Today is the day the water balloon of high pressure over Texas is being flattened from storms systems riding over its is spreading outward west and east into Florida and a bit into New Mexico. Net result is warm air on the wings of westerly winds for higher than normal temperatures for August due to lack of cloud cover by late morning through peak heating . The east coast sea breeze is expected to develop...but perhaps fairly late today after peak heating which should allow the temperature to reach near record highs from JAX to MLB. Most of those highs will likely be realized though in locations where official observation points are not located (near A1A) we might never know. Mid 90Fs should be the norm..with upper 90Fs in many locations. South Florida might become quite warm as well with the lack of a seabreeze and a small delay in showers toward the east side (later than yesterday)..but records are not expected.

RAINS TODAY: Showers have gone up early off the tip of SE Florida as shown in this recent radar image. Those showers are moving slowly off to the east.  Further north, a pocket of mid level moisture resides over East Central Florida as noted by the fog report at Daytona and near foggy conditions at Canaveral. A RARITY for August at the beach! More anomalies abound as has been the case all summer.

The best chances for rain today are all along and south (east to west) of Lake Okeechobee..from near West Palm to Port Charolette where the high PWAT (precipitable water) resides at and over 2". Moisture decreases the further north one goes. South Florida is capped only at the low levels this with some day time heating the wheels should be set in motion for another day like the past has been noted, South Florida recovers very quickly..or at least, that has been the ongoing theme all summer.

The trend in this pattern has been for each subsequent day to exhibit less believe this will again be the case today over South Florida.  The keys have some showers now..and could again see some storms today, however, any storms further to their north could spread high anvil clouds south and shut the keys down by late afternoon. Storm motion should be west to east over South Florida at 10-13mph.  The only fly in the ointment would be if, like yesterday, activity over SW Florida sends out an outflow boundary eastward. This would progress storm motion coupled with forward motion propagation..leading to shower/storm activity over-running itself. Thus, that would account for lack of significant storm storms over-run before getting well formed. The best chances for lightning in that case, and as pictured above, will be along the west and east coasts. No sea breeze is expected over South Florida today.

CENTRAL/NORTH FLORIDA: CONDITIONAL on forward (eastward) motion of the Mid-and upper level troughs now departing. Last night a generous lightning storm moved SSE from St. Augustine to Daytona...this was in a area depicted to be of much lower PWAT air, due to a dry slot in the mid-levels. This activity was likely instigated by a mid-level vort max rotating through the mid-level trough as it pulled offshore.  IF that trough moves very little...or in fact remains nearly in place today just off shore (but a bit further south)...moisture could 'pool' near the base of the trough. A sea breeze is expected today as noted in the previous paragraph...with a deeper westerly flow at the surface..and moisture convergence would superficially rise the low level PWAT air due to moisture convergence very close to the St. Johns River and south..just west of I-95 toward Vero Beach. With that in mind, moisture convergence/sea breeze convergence storms could form on the east side of the state after 4pm (especially South of SR 50) in Brevard County to Vero Beach.  Further northward progression of isolated storms is also possible as noted in the image.  Much of this is 'conditional' as stated and might not ever materialize at all. 

 This overall forecast portion is based on two consecutive runs of the NAM model (Not Always Manifested) has been the case all summer.  However, latest RUC runs (Run Under Cover) are showing storms to form between 4-5 pm and last until well after dark almost right over the coastal area of Brevard (and nothing further north). The 2AM run of the GFS...the Goofus...hasn't been so goofy this year at all except in long range tropical outlooks, as would be expected well out in time.  In looking at the Going For Something 2am is running close to the earlier NAM runs..with showers/storms as I've included this area as shown in the image.

FRIDAY: Much of the same pattern, but less of it even more so...and activity should be much further west late in the day...but I'm not fully sold. The GFS has been less aggressive with the extent of the ballooning high pressure from Texas to affect Florida in the latest 2 runs. I also definitely recall another point in time when it over forecast this to occur..and what was to be a long duration dry spell for Central and North Florida amounted to maybe 2 days....Shower activity over the Keys looks to continue..with less activity over South Florida except SW Florida..but with sea breezes at play from both well as likely a Lake breeze as the gradient decreases..Okeechobee County and the east side of the Lake toward interior Palm Beach and Martin Counties might also get in on some rainfall. Another hot day to start..but believe sea breezes will play a big factor further north late in the day..just exactly where will have to be determined tomorrow morning. My guess is that it will be more toward the interior of West Central in toward Orlando and Central Osceola County...near Kissimmee or just to the east of that location.

SAT/TUESDAY: Transition back to a modification of the last 4 days. The only difference this go around is that the mid-upper level troughs are not expected to dig as far south  this go around. Even that will have to be reassessed..although last time (for the past several days) the GFS had a good handle on the evolution of what eventually transpired.

Net affect with the above given, SW-W flow will develop, but since the steering troughs will not be as deeply entrenched, the winds aloft should be a bit lighter, allowing for development on most days of an east coast sea breeze. Sunday through Tuesday are shown for afternoon storms to development along these sea breezes and shift off the east coast mid-late afternoon to early evening. Since these troughs will not be as entrenched..and no tropical moisture is looming to the south, South Florida might not be fully into the playing fields for bigger rains... dependent more on moisture convergence associated with Lake and Sea breezes...combined with outflow interactions.

TROPICS: Beyond Tuesday or Wednesday...much of Florida's weather appears will be dependent on the extent of the high pressure over Texas. For now, I'm riding with PERSISTENCE..and that high over TEXAS has been persistent since early spring. Until we see the writing ON THE WALL..see no reason to deviate, even though the GFS is trying to weaken it and bring tropical entities this has done that in the past all why should it be any different next week? 

With is more likely that the trough over Florida and the SE states will persist...with storms possible over the interior and toward the East side through Friday of next week...although that might be stretching it.  

The run of the 2pm GFS last night showed 2 tropical Storms or perhaps Hurricanes to affect Florida either directly or indirectly in about 12 days, 6 hours..those were all but completely gone. The next run was showing a tropical wave to affect the state late next week.......which is dwindled down from two tropical waves on the 8pm run to one wave on the 2am run early this morning at 2am . Thus, the trend has been to weaken the high over Texas..and shift Florida into a tropical, showery regime at some point in time later this month. I mention this because sooner or later..this regime is likely to come into play...I'd be watching the last week of August time frame..or anytime after the 23rd for a big change, since climatologically this is when Central Florida starts to wane on day to day storm activity to a very small degree. But on the other hand..and has been mentioned time and time again in previous posts since spring..this year has been anything BUT climatological~!

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