Hurricane Frances hasn’t moved much since I last checked last night around 11 p.m. It’s been downgraded to a Category 2 storm with sustained winds at 105 mph, and it’s pounding the snot out of Freeport in the northern Bahamas. Presently located 110 miles east of Palm Beach, it’s sending feeder bands of wind and rain squalls across South Florida. We’re getting gusty winds and rain as they move in from the northwest. This will be followed by clear skies, then another band. Lather, rinse, repeat.
The weather forecasters are saying that once the center of the storm makes landfall – now predicted to be sometime late today or early tomorrow – we’ll get hit with heavy rains here in Miami-Dade County and it could include tornadoes. There are still reports of power outages here in Miami-Dade, and we haven’t been hit that hard. According to my new and improved WeatherBug software, we’ve been getting gusts of 45 mph, which in New Mexico would be a gentle spring zephyr.
I have a palm tree in my front yard. It’s about twenty-five feet tall, and when one of these bands passes through it does the hurricane hula that you see on the news – fronds lashing and waving in the wind. There are a couple of dead palm fronds in the street. Out back things seem to be okay.