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!

Friday, April 24, 2015

Wild Fires in South Florida. Memories of 1986 Fires in the Glades & Miami Beach.

Let's go back in time to 1986. There were fires in the glades that year and the smoke spread across a good part of South Florida..........including and all the way to Miami Beach. When the wind shifted out of the west even the beaches could feel the taste of the fires in the back of our throats.

Usually smoke from wild fires are a problem for people who live out in Homestead, Kendall or Westchester what we call South Dade or SW Miami. Neighborhoods that were built over land that only existed after early developers drained the Everglades by blowing up the rapids on the Miami River. At the time.. it seemed like a good idea....

What's that you say? You didn't know there were rapids on the Miami River once upon a time?

The picture above is from the always wonderful site below:

The "rapids" which were at that time a pretty picnic site for young lovers to sit and watch the water race over the rapids around 27th Avenue and the Miami River. That's not really far from downtown Miami and it allows you to understand how much of the Everglades were drained and how we paved paradise and put up a lot of parking the song goes.

Most of Miami at the turn of the previous century was just small communities along the river built up on a small ridge of land between the glades and the mangroves near the mouth of the Miami River. 

A good read of the history of the area from some of the best Miami historians is below:

A nice link with more recent historic pictures of the Miami River.

Basically people went out to watch the dynamiting venture and saw the water rushing down the river. Upstream the land was suddenly exposed, dark, murky, rich soil that had never really seen the light of day was now available for orange groves and the eventual suburban subdivisions.

Allapattah was one of those early distant suburbs..on the other side of the river but still within view practically of downtown. After the rapids were dynamited the whole area to the west of there was fair game for whoever had the money to invest in land. Next time you fly into MIA airport... remember it was once covered with a river of grass... commonly known as The Everglades.

Here's a beautiful song by one of my old time friends from way back when ;)

Incredible song... Lanny Smith aka "Earthman"

The truth is there were wild fires in the Everglades before man began recording the history of South Florida. Lightning from the sky, from May storms and the monsoons that hit Miami every year in May (and sometimes April) ignite fires that are part of the process of keeping the whole ecosystem going. Unfortunately, now days meaning the last 100 years or so, homes, highways and people are thrown into the mix. The fires create health problems, traffic jams and incredible sunsets. Sometimes they get too close to subdivisions that have come too close to the Everglades and need to be monitored, put out and then usually the rains come. This year is one of those years.

Back in 1986 I had a small baby who had shown a few signs of possibly having asthmatic problems. His older brother had asthma, an older sister had a bit of asthma and I have this was not that surprising. He was young, not yet a year old and I kept hoping against hope it was just a cold or a runny nose. I was at work and his sitter called me saying he was having problems breathing. She was just a few blocks away but when I left the school where I taught I could smell the smoke as if it was just across the Bay not miles away in the Glades. The sky had a dark, gray almost brownish orange look to it. I took the baby to the doctor whose office was on Arthur Godfrey Drive a few miles away and he sent me to Mt. Sinai a block or two away for him to have better breathing treatments than he could get at his office. "Fire season" he told me... "riles up all the allergies, every kid in town with asthma is sick today."  Official diagnosis.. asthma. Nope, I'll never forget seeing that much smoke on Miami Beach in the air driving down Alton Road. It looked as if the golf course was on fire... It was I may add a pretty sunset from his room overlooking Biscayne Bay facing the west ...and the setting sun. It reminded me of how beautiful the sunsets were in California on a smoggy day.

It was a slow season in ways in 1986. We were coming off of an El Nino. The fires were bad. Andrew in 1986 stayed far from South Florida. Fires however plagued us in the mid 1980s. And, then things change as they always do. The 1980s were strong years for Gulf Coast storms as hurricanes moved north through the Gulf of Mexico towards landfall and Miami built like we would never see a landfalling hurricane again. When I moved back to Miami in 1985 the joke was that if you stood too long on Dixie Highway they would start building a condo on top of you.

1986 Atlantic Hurricane Season.

I'm not saying this year will be a year like 1986. I'm just saying I'm remembering and I'm watching things evolve. The Gulf of Mexico is HOT HOT HOT. The waters off of South Florida are hot. Storms keep forming and moving north in a similar pattern almost daily and I don't see that ending any time soon...though there may be a brief respite for a week or two.

Today the storms are more of the twisted kind as chasers get into place for tomorrow in Texas, Oklahoma and all those tornadic ports of call.

rb-animated.gif (720×480)

Keep watching...

Have a wonderful weekend.

Stay tuned, time keeps slipping closer and closer to Hurricane Season.

Besos Bobbi

Sweet Tropical Dreams

Ps... yes they did it in Hawaii too... and a lot of other places including the beautiful beach cities of LA ;)

Looks a bit like Miami doesn't??

Now you can relax to the beautiful song below...

Monday, April 20, 2015

El Nino? Severe Wxr in South 6 Weeks Before Hurricane Season. WRAL Aimee Wilmoth

Battle lines being drawn between a winter that does not want to go away and Gulf of Mexico heat streaming north feeding a giant cold front moving eastbound out to sea. The battle ground for today is in North Carolina and parts of the Appalachian Mountains and moves on towards the North East and Long Island in time.

See the cartoon like map that the NWS puts out for short term weather. Big system.

Looks so innocent when you look at it this way. 
Lines and colors, 
Greens and blues,
Arrows and isobars, 
Nothing new.

Just another Spring like day in the Eastern Half of the Nation. Note...the Eastern Half of the Nation has been in play since before last winter. Note moisture from the Gulf of Mexico has been pumping up into the Deep South for months now. The map looks kind of easy and innocent. A bit of rain for parts of the South and the Mid-Atlantic moving up into New England.

Don't they look so innocent? An interesting time, not so innocent but it had a playful feel to it. Good song. Says a lot, yet we view the song through the framework of what it means to us and our messy minds. It was a political song. To me it's deeply personal and extremely meteorological.

Funny you look back at Middle School and remember being annoyed to death by some boy who pulled your hair or made fun of your frizzy curls when your hair wasn't limpy or wimpy and yet you can't remember the name of your math teacher or who sat next to you. You remember a note passed around the class or the taste of hot cinnamon toothpicks burning your tongue before you popped Sweet Tarts into your mouth. And, you remember which class you were in when the teacher was late and boys ran across the street to get sweet, spicy treats for the girls who sat neatly in short skirts awaiting their return. Times like that burn a memory into your brain.

And, I wonder why we never had weather classes in school as in retrospect from my perspective weather is way more important than learning the lyrics to "That's Amore" in music class.

It's all a matter of perspective I suppose.

Let's take El Nino for example.

The Hurricane Season is coming up in a little more than a month, yet everyone wants to make predictions on the El Nino instead. I've heard everything from "this is the biggest, baddest El Nino since.... " to "other indicators show that it may be moderating and we are flipping over to Neutral" but hey that's the way it goes with weather people. No two can ever agree on anything even when in theory they do agree, yet it's all about the details. Whether you are discussing the weather, global warming or El Nino no two meteorologists agree completely. End result is the same, but some variable in the mathematical equation differs and the rate vs the height vs the depth and size and ... let's change the analog years to better ones and redo the formula...

I like the maps on as I can pick and choose from a meteorological buffett of what food I'm interested in on any particular day.

I'm worrying on the weather in my part of the world.
Right arrow.
I'm curious on the latent heat in the GOM for down the line.
Left arrow.

Today I'm in Raleigh. 
Stay tuned, won't be here in a few weeks.
Always on the move like the weather.

A woman died when a tree fell on her home in Georgia yesterday.
Storms. Spring Storms Gone Wrong.

Most people will never hear about this story today.
To her family and the children she taught it is their story.

Weather is like that.
Hurricanes happen.

Where in any given year depends on temporary atmospheric patterns.

Let's look at El Nino a bit.

A lot of talk on the early 1980s and 1984 in particular lately.

1984 Hurricane Season

1983 Hurricane Season

What you see from comparing the 3 years above is..

It's about WHERE they happen.
They always happen.
Where is the big money question...

We will have tropical weather somewhere...

To me that's more important than obsessing on El Nino... 
Each El Nino is different, keep that in mind.
Like snowflakes .. no two are exactly the same.

Nuff said on El Nino.
You can read more on the following page.
Tampa Bay NWS
All you need to know on El Nino

(note historically Tampa gets hit by big hurricanes in slow seasons...)

Last night I enjoyed the Country Music Awards.
After the show was finally over... 
Aimee Wilmoth came on and did a great job covering the weather in Raleigh.
The weather was the lead story and she covered it well!
She's one of my favorites on WRAL.
I wish she was on more.

Bachelor of Science in Meteorology, 2001, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas

Funny but before I started doing this I never noticed the details.
Note the women are in matching red dresses but the men don't match.
Not even their ties match... again emphasis on how women mets dress.
And, I like fashion... remember that, just hits me funny.

Maybe it was a Valentine's Day Picture??

Or a This is OUR State statement... 
as I'm a Wolfpack family works for me...

Either way I like songs about red high heels 

and I do love the song about Lady in Red

Suppose I can't complain.
A great pair of heels or sandals can take you places...
sometimes you have to take them off  when climbing
the stairs to the top of the NWS building in Key West.

Wish I had the red dress that Harvey used to call my Princess Leah dress..

Yup, looking back and looking ahead
6 weeks til the start of the Hurricane Season

Ps Yup words and music and weather... That's Amore....

Monday, April 13, 2015

Pine Pollen Storm in Raleigh . . and across the South....wherever there be pines...Liz Horton & West Miami's Marco Rubio

Ever have that sense of Deja Vu like you've been here before and you keep forgetting how bad it is until it happens again and again.

Let's look up close at this nice anonymous car that was parked in the Trader Joes parking lot yesterday.

That's not a Pollock painting that's Pine Pollen up close and way too personal.

"Mural on Indian Red Ground”

People ask me how I live in Miami when they have so many hurricanes. Let me explain it to you like this: We don't ALWAYS have hurricanes! We go years and years and decades without a hurricane. We went from 1965 to 1992 without having a real hurricane. There are kids who were born 9 months after Hurricane Betsy who grew up, went to school in West Miami and graduated from Coral Park Sr. High and went off to University of Florida and moved away from South Florida and never, ever went through one hurricane. They look back from their home in Seattle or San Diego and wonder what it would have been like to go through a hurricane.

Every year in North Carolina whether there is a hurricane or a snow storm we suffer through Pine Pollen. Yes, Pine Pollen is an entity, it's a noun and it does get capitalized on my blog.The same pollen that works it's way up from somewhere near the Florida Georgia Line and meanders through Georgia, South Carolina and Fayetteville as the weather warms up the little yellow pine devils and they finally pops in NC. Watch out Virginia. it's coming your way sooner rather than later.

You see we have these things here called Pine Trees and they are everywhere and every year like clock work sometime in late March or early April the pine pollen rains down upon Raleigh with more consistency than any Atlantic Hurricane that may or may not hit land in Florida. Whether it's El Nino or La Nina or their cousin No Nino... there is Pine Pollen. And, every year we remember it but we don't really remember how bad it it until it falls. Every year since I have spent part of my life here I've heard old timers say "I don't remember it ever being this bad...." and am pretty sure they have been saying that since way before global warming came along or the dreaded polar vortex.

As the song goes... I keep on forgetting to forget about you...or should it be remember you?

You see the problem down here is that... it never falls the same time exactly so you never know when to leave town and it never falls the same two years in a row. A lot depends on the rain and how much rain we have and how often. The more rain we get the more the skies clear up for an hour or two and yellow puddles form in the gutter like yellow pollen art.

I'm going to use pictures to tell the story from here on in...

NC beautiful....after the rain, early in the morning.

Later that day.... 
note small yellow spots on wind shield... 
Still pretty but polluted by pollen ...

The infamous deck shot from Raleigh.
Usually seen covered in snow.........
That's yellow snow in Raleigh... 
Pine Pollen coating everything..

You see lots of postcards showing Dogwood as the State Flower

It also shows itself every year around Easter & Passover

Truly beautiful.
Sadly I'm watching from inside looking out...
As I'm staying as far away from the pollen as I can get..

And I wonder........
Does Big Pine Key have pollen too?


I may have to go north this time or just stay inside and hide :(

As for my women in meteorology post today I'm a little annoyed. It's harder than I thought it would be to post stories on women as it seems sometimes the men are covered more than the women. Or, the women are shown off more for their beautiful outfits vs the boring suits that the men wear.

Remember the story of the news anchor in Australia who wore the same suit for a year and no one seemed to notice... 

It's true and interesting. Hilary Clinton is running for President and the biggest story is how she will be packaged. Seems women don't always like how she wears her hair or her make up. Hmnnn. I'd worry more on other things. Marco Rubio is announcing his candicacy for President today at the Freedom Tower in Miami and no one is wondering what suit he will wear. Personally I'm excited. I grew up in West Miami not far from where he did and I have a lot of respect for him on many levels. 

This morning I was watching the woman meteorologist on Channel 11 talk on the weather for the day. She is on air every 10 minutes on News on the Ones and's hard to find information on her. Sort of bugs me. Personally when weather is breaking I like watching Gary Stephenson, he does a great job when live when there is severe weather nearby or a random hurricane off the coast. Mind you I say "random" as hurricanes don't happen as often as Pine Pollen Storms!  ??? Why isn't the woman featured I wonder, sort of odd... I know she's on as she's on air talking about the weather...

One thing I love about Raleigh is local weather every 10 minutes.. case you miss the more boring coverage on TWC
TWC meaning The Weather Channel
Time Warner Cable


Luckily we have many excellent weather forecasters in Raleigh. On Channel 11 the ABC affiliate here has Liz Horton doing a great job on air covering the weather.

She studied at Mississippi State University.. 
She does a great job and should be an inspiration for..
...any girl who has a passion for weather 
...and wonders what it would be like to study meteorology!

Besos Bobbi
Ps Very old school version of "In the Pines" by Bill Monroe

Michael from Mountains... the Judy Collins song I always think of when I see the yellow pine pollen art in the puddles

"there's oil in the puddles in taffeta patterns that run down the drain in colored arrangements that Michael will change with a stick that he found..."

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Great Lightning Site... Passover Funk. Where to go today ????

Love this link to active, live lightning strikes across the nation..

or you can see the whole wide world at once . . .

Should come in handy during the hurricane season
or any season
or any night when you're bored and restless
Click on the link and watch it like a big moving screen saver

It's featured on

As for the weather today it's happening out in the Plains.
The South is ASLEEP under a blanket of yellow pollen


In the tropics nothing much is happening in our basin..

I'm in the Carolinas today... looking for a new place to play.
It's Passover, we hit the road every day
Picnic, Mall, Theme Park
Anything to stay busy with kiddies... 

Back in Miami my kids were at Marlins Stadium AGAIN last night...

Yellow seems to be the color of the day.... 

Miami... always on the move, always fun

Woman Meteorologist of the Day is Karlene Chavis
She's with the always excellent WSVN weather team in Miami

Old video from May of 2013
shows you how we do the weather in Miami... 

53 Days Til Hurricane Season
Besos Bobbi

Ps... Passover Funk....

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

DUKE WINS! RAINS ON MARLINS. 54 Days Til Start of Hurricane Season.. Kellie Pickler Song

Quick round up of semi weather related stories if you blur your eyes a lot . . .

First off is the rain delay at Marlins Stadium to close the domed roof on opening day. It seems someone thought there wouldn't be any problem with the rain and... left the roof open. Not only did they leave the roof open, but embarrassingly announced the roof would "Stay Open" which is nice in theory it off does in rained.

This is why we call Miami the Banana Republic ...fondly ;)

Hey who can blame them for leaving the roof open... it's a beautiful view....

Truth is South Florida is surrounded by water on all 3 sides and even to the NW there is the Lake and with temperatures in the high 80s on any given day it can and will rain on your parade. We are used to it. Miami is the Seattle of the South. You just expect a brief passing shower, but unlike Seattle the sun will come out in an hour.

NatLoop_Small.gif (600×282)

On almost any given day both Puget Sound and South Florida will have some rain nearby sometime.

Seems he looked at the wrong APP or can't read the radar or thought the open top with cold up north would be a great publicity stunt...who knows ..... but the roof S-L-O-W-L-Y closed and the AC went on and the game played on. They lost. But, it's Miami and it's a holiday so who cares... every day is a holiday.

Either way and every day Miami is packed with tourists for the holidays and everyone has a cousin this week in Miami ... place is booked solid between Easter Vacation and the Passover Holiday.

My son drove back with his sister after the Passover Seders to be there for school...and opening of the Marlins Season. I'm wondering if this sudden unexpected rain shower is a bad omen for the end days of the Baseball Season that conflicts often with the Hurricane Season. Think on it........

Back in Raleigh where the pollen is falling instead of rain.... yellow snow is putting a damper on the excitement over the town painting the city blue over Duke winning the National Championship.

Great picture.........

Note Our State Magazine never shows the pollen when they show off the pines.

74d5053ece0aa27d15d930cecd717499.jpg (236×311)


But we don't care today because Duke won and they painted the Empire State Bldg Blue..

Listen after the horrible way UNC treated Duke earlier this season...
...and the classy way Duke just ignored it and went on beating them...
Duke so deserved this win...

Been rooting for them ever since Chapel Hill UNC trashed their locker room...

As said online... over & over... Duke just kept playing classy & winning.

Class, maturity & a team playing great basketball won the end game.

Funny thing is in Raleigh where doors in cul de sacs are painted blue, red & light blue..
It's more a NC thing than a National Title

Either way.... March Madness is over.

April Showers & Pine Pollen cover the south...

And we move slowly on towards June...

To paraphrase F. Scott Fitzgerald

So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back towards the Hurricane Season

54 Days til the start of the Atlantic Hurricane Season... 

You can follow this on Mike's counter seen above...
...along with whatever breaking weather is going on... 

Besos Bobbi

Ps For kids going to DUKE this year...
or even NC State who supports Duke over UNC
This is the Best Days of their Life...

Kellie Pickler... a NC native... love her..

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Best April Fools Tropical Meteorology Joke Ever

Funniest April Fools Day Post

Name Invest 92L Retired ;)

Really not worth even bothering to write a blog post today as I am still laughing at the one I linked to above......... just click on the link above.

Sometimes just learn to go with the flow. It's April Fools Day. The birds are singing, it snowed up north somewhere and in Miami no one knows what it's like to have snow in March let alone December. 

A sample of the link above that illustrates why you must click on that link if you haven't already.

Funny post. Funny pics. Read, watch, laugh and enjoy life. I'll post again tomorrow. Back on the East Coast though my inner body is still on the West Coast. Life goes on. 

Besos Bobbi

Ps It is 60 days until the start of the Hurricane Season... more or less. We have lots of time to talk on that later. Laugh today, deal with reality tomorrow.

He may not be a female meteorologist but his bio begs to be read.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Spring Twisters. Spring Snow. All Depends on Your Location. Miami Beach Turns 100...

A quick look around the nation shows a mixed bag of precipitation and weather stories. 

Chicago is dealing with snow (no real big surprise there..) and many are discussing the lack of warnings in Oklahoma for twisters earlier in the week in Moore, Oklahoma. There's nothing new under the sun to tornadoes ripping their way across the landscape in the Sooner State and if you live in Moore it seems a tornado will get you sooner or later.

It's a murky line on the Prairie as the potential for severe weather was in the forecast. Hail was highlighted and indeed there was baseball sized hail in some areas. 

You can read the discussion on the of discussion in the forecast package from the NWS and you can be the judge.

A sample from the link below:

Happens often in the world of weather forecasting, even in 2015, that something is missed and usually it's the big stuff that gets missed in a busted forecast. The milder temperatures and a little more rain goes unnoticed. When you blow it in the world of forecasting... it's always the big ones. These tornadoes could have been worse, they were not of the F4 or F5 category, however someone did die, many were without power and they drilled home the point that Spring has sprung in Twister Country.

In Seattle yesterday it was BLUETIFUL in that the sun came out and I now have the hint of a sunburn across my nose. It was delicious. I spent most of the day at Pike Place and then a walk with the kids around a nature preservation area behind the University area that faces out over the water complete with a view of Mt. Rainier. In Seattle when the weather is going to be clear...they say "the mountain is out today" and so it was............and it is such a beautiful sight to see.

(Ps the Mtn was not crooked.. I was ... fast shot in traffic...)

Seattle feels so much hillier than San Francisco.
Love it.
It's not a street here and there...'s everywhere.

It's not Kansas and it's not Miami Beach.

Speaking of Miami Beach it just turned 100!

See even Drudge was celebrating the fact...

Hey .. I'm on vacation.
Got to get the news somehow.
My kids don't use Cable TV... 

As for the women meteorologist I'm highlighting today we look to snowy Boston, home of my beloved Red Sox to Cindy Fitzgibbon who does a great job at juggling her love of weather with a fantastic career as well as her love of her children and being a mother by enjoying the morning shift.

You see.. you can follow your passion and have it all. Takes hard work and dedication and believing in yourself!

Besos Bobbi... 

Ps I'll update the blog with a song...but for now I'm late for a party ;)

Pss... Updated... enjoy. I still think it's a stupid movie. If you have EVER flown cross country to Seattle you would know... you don't fly cross country just to stand around outside and stare at someone, chicken out and fly back. It's a long, long, long, long, long flight to Seattle....

A wink and a smile... from Seattle...