Saturday, September 2, 2017

Friday, September 1, 2017

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Friday, August 25, 2017

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Thursday, June 1, 2017

That Time Of Year Again

June 1 is the official start of the Atlantic hurricane season.  It goes until the end of November.

It’s been twelve years since we’ve had a direct hit in Miami-Dade County; Katrina tromped through here in August 2005 before turning its sights on New Orleans, and in late October of that year we had Wilma.  In both cases I made it through relatively unscathed (can’t say the same for the kumquat tree in the back yard of the house I was in at the time), but each year brings the possibility of another hit.  Just because it’s been a while since we’ve had a storm doesn’t mean it can’t happen again.  So I’m going to be prepared (although I don’t have an Aunt Linda in New Jersey to use as my contact).

I can’t think of a place in the country where there isn’t some indigenous form of bad weather or natural disaster lurking: tornadoes in the Midwest, earthquakes and wildfires in California and the West Coast, ice storms and blizzards in the Northeast, dust storms in the desert.  At least with a hurricane we get a little warning.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Hurricane Matthew Update #9

Hurricane Matthew is off-shore and heading out to sea, and I hope that’s the last of him coming near land.  I’ll keep an eye on him, but hopefully this is the last of the updates.

There are a lot of people who have a lot of hard work ahead of them, and there was tremendous loss of life in Haiti.  If you want to donate to restoration and repair, I suggest you use Charity Navigator as your guide and find one that both meets the needs and has been vetted.

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Friday, October 7, 2016

Hurricane Matthew Update #8

Hurricane Matthew is staying offshore but is still a Cat 3 so it’s still dangerous.  It is now up off the Melbourne / Cape Canaveral area and tracking to move parallel to the coastline and possibly circle back towards the Bahamas and South Florida again next week.

The Miami Herald is reporting that 86,000 people were without power in Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach Counties.  They’re even reporting that we lost power down here in my area, which is news to me because I never did.  Anyway, FPL is on the job, but as far as I can tell, the storm didn’t do any damage in this area and all is well.

9:00 AM: The 8 AM track shows the hurricane has moved up the coast and the eye is still off-shore.  Meanwhile, I did hear from Bob that last night he lost power in his house, and he’s 3 miles north of me.  It seems to be an isolated outage; he and the Old Professor are on a small grid and his neighbors to the north have power.

11:00 AM: There’s been a reported wobble to the east which could mean trouble for Jacksonville and southeast Georgia’s barrier islands.

2:00 PM: Still a Cat 3 and off the coast of Jacksonville, Amelia Island, and Fernandina Beach.

5:00 PM: It is now a Cat 2 but still powerful and with storm surges heading for the low-lying islands off the Georgia coast, it’s still dangerous.

8:00 PM: Stay safe tonight.

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Here’s the link to the Jacksonville regional radar.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Hurricane Matthew Update #6

It looks like Daytona Beach is where Hurricane Matthew will make its closest pass to land.  Here in Miami-Dade we are expecting to see 3 – 5 inches of rain later today.  We remain under a tropical storm warning.

8:00 AM: We had some rain move through around 7:15, the first of the outer bands to reach shore.  We expect this continue throughout the day with more rain and wind.  The eye is just south of Nassau, Bahamas, and still tracking to the northwest and aiming for the Space Coast: Melbourne, Daytona, and Cape Canaveral, with wind and rain reaching as far inland as Orlando.

If for some reason we lose power down here, don’t worry about me; I have a flashlight and canned food, and I’ll report back in when I can.

11:00 AM: More rain but no wind yet; it looks like it won’t pick up until later today.

2:00 PM: Occasional rain but still no wind.  The good news is that the eye has moved north of the latitude of Miami, which means it will not come ashore here.  The bad news is that we are on the “dirty” side of the circulation, which means it moves faster and carries more rain.  The storm is also intensifying since it crossed the Bahamas so it’s going to really wreak havoc when it passes close to the coast up north.

5:00 PM: Nothing has changed here in this part of Miami-Dade County.  No wind, an occasional shower, and even a few patches of clear sky.  Based on the map, though, it is still a very strong storm and if you or anyone you know is in the hurricane warning area, follow the directions of the authorities.  If they tell you to get out, get out.

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Here’s a radar image from 5 PM. You can watch it live here.

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Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Hurricane Matthew Update #5

The east coast of the US is under some kind of watch or warning, with Florida under hurricane watch from just north of Miami-Dade to Jacksonville.  Miami-Dade is under a tropical storm warning with the storm expecting to arrive by midday Thursday.

This latest five-day forecast has the storm circling back on itself and looking like it’s lining up to take another whack at South Florida.  I have never seen that before and I don’t like it.

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Hurricane Watch

We will find out later today if my office will be closed tomorrow (Thursday) because of the approach and passing of Hurricane Matthew.  As of this writing — early morning on Wednesday — Miami-Dade County is under a tropical storm watch, but just to the north of here, from Fort Lauderdale to Jacksonville, they are under a hurricane watch.  If you want to follow the preparation and the warnings, the Miami Herald has lifted their paywall portcullis for the duration.

Hurricanes are a messy business; they radiate wind and rain miles away from the center of the storm and in my previous brushes with them in 2005 (Katrina and Wilma) even being on the outer edge brings destruction.  The authorities tell us to stock up and make plans for hunkering down or evacuation.  I’ve followed their advice: both cars have full tanks, I’ve got cash, and I have enough water, canned soup, bread, peanut butter, and Nature Valley birdseed bars to last a week.  Oh, and yes, I did renew my renters insurance.

So we wait.

Update: School’s out early today and cancelled on Thursday and Friday.  Here in the office we cover our computers and monitors with garbage bags in case the roof leaks (which, in a hurricane, is the least of our worries). So someone said, “Get the bags,” and of course I replied, “Okay, you take the blonde and I’ll get the one in the turban.” [rimshot] (HT to “Young Frankenstein”)

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Monday, October 3, 2016

Sunday, October 2, 2016