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!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Moore, Ok 2 Years Later. How a Tornado Forms. Cantore Explains. Storm Chasers

A great video that is worth watching multiple times.
So much information.
Great graphics.
Well done.

I complain a lot about TWC as it's a sort of Love/Hate relationship for many of us. When they are good they are great, when they are bad they are awful. This video is excellent. Cantore doing what he does best.... explaining.

Reminds me of the hurricane at Margaritaville in Myrtle Beach... wonder if that's where he got the idea...

or his public service spot for Margaritaville or
"Hurricane Myrtle"

If you have ever been there you know how realistic it is..
..until Hurricane Myrtle goes to Vegas and then back to SC...

Seriously back to reality and the reality is the Plains are alive the last few days with twisters in Oklahoma. Due to a temporary set up that seems locked in place for a bit it has become a Storm Chaser Reunion on the anniversary of the Moore Oklahoma outbreak of 2013. 

An excellent video that takes you back to that day in history when Moore got hit AGAIN by a devastating twister. People die. Storm chasers died. A little piece of a lot of people's hearts died that day... 

Tim Samaras

A good video to watch to better understand the man and his mission.
Their mission.

They were 3 of the most careful chasers in the wrong place at the wrong time. That place being a massive traffic jam not of "chasers" but people on the road trying to outrun the twisters. Some on air local weather people suggested people could get in a car and escape a tornado . . . helping to create a panic on the road similar to the mess when people panicked after Katrina and half of Houston tried evacuating from Houston..even from areas not in evacuation zones. 

Ever wonder what I look like while out there in the storm?

Truth is people ask me often "how can you go storm chasing?" or "why would you do that?" as I have done my share of storm chasing; hurricane storm chasing not twisters out on the plains. I tell them honestly I'd rather chase a hurricane than be chased by one. I'd rather be somewhere safe with trained professionals doing work that is shared and useful than be hunkered down in my house with my family about to lose electricity and praying the roof holds and we are all safe after the storm. Chasers know what they are doing out there and beyond our love of weather and being out in the elements we try to be as careful as possible to record and educate. Twisters scare me, hurricanes are easier as their movements are tracked over a longer period of time and like an 18 wheeler they take more time to turn then a small sports car. You can prepare for a hurricane, you can evacuate. Twisters have a little more lead time than an earthquake.

So in honor of this anniversary of the most recent Moore Tornado... it's good to learn the truth about them and understand them, respect them and respect all the people both on the ground, in the studio and behind the scenes who help us better understand and forecast tornadoes and other severe weather events.


Yesterday a line of strong storms with hail came through Raleigh. It wasn't a hurricane or a tornado but there was hail involved. It was short lived but fun to watch. As I'm taking video with the window open my daughter behind me says sarcastically "and she wonders why her phone stops working"  Rolling eyes. Wasn't worth explaining the rain was coming at an angle on the other side of the car from where I was and the truth is I have never dropped a camera or phone chasing a storm, yet one fell out of my lap into a puddle when I wasn't paying attention  I did once fall into the waves as Hurricane Floyd passed by Miami Beach... but I tossed the camera to the beach in time and got great shots. Wasn't far out... a little bit, so I got wet. Got great shots :) 

Hey she's not one of the storm chaser kids and yes loving weather runs in the family be it genes or upbringing. Note she is NOT the daughter I went chasing with in Bayswater as hail moved in and shut down JFK. We raced over to Long Beach to catch the line as it passed through there and my other daughter grabbed my camera and snapped the shot below . . Daughters... love them all. I even have one that is ?? terrified of thunderstorms ??? and another had to sit by the canal a little longer before we shut down the house for a hurricane...

Note... one of the first songs I ever remember hearing...
...was ...
Somewhere Over the Rainbow... 
explains a lot

Besos Bobbi

Ps 10 days to go to get out of May before we move from Pre-Season to Hurricane Season on June 1st. If you live in Hurricane Country NOW is the time to make a plan. If you live in Tornado Country...hope you already made a plan. And remember tornadoes unlike hurricanes can happen anywhere.

Monday, May 18, 2015

El Nino & California. American Pharoah & Kentucky Derby & Danica Patrick. Connect the dots..

This is how a weather person looks at events around the world. The Preakness was the wettest track since it poured back in 1983. Immediately I Googled "1983 Atlantic Hurricane Season" and voila. Weak, season as many have predicted for this coming year. Then again . . . no one horse won more than one race so I think we can throw out this statistic as any guide for this hurricane season.  Either way got to love a horse that can run like that in the rain ;)

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What it does show is that when it rains one place, it doesn't rain someplace else. California is going through a record drought. California often goes through record droughts, it's part of the way it works in California. I lived there a long time, I can honestly say that it is usually feast or famine with rainfall in LA. They rationed the water, they talked on how to get more water from Northern California into Southern California. They talked about seceding from Northern California who wouldn't "let" them have their water and shamans tried to make wells out in the desert give rain but all they got was a never ending series of small quakes out by 

In 1983 it poured............and poured and poured. It poured so much our roof leaked and we had to move out of the bedroom into the living room until the landlord tried to fix it. I say "try" as we ended up moving around the corner into a more modern apartment and left our cute little Hollywood Bungalow with the leaky roof. It rained so hard that rain rushed down the street almost over flowing the tops of the curb. They year after the drought set in again, there were fires and Santana winds. There is no "normal" in Southern California. Comma clouds line up off the West Coast and move in like planes landing at LAX or everyone complains about the lack of rain. It's not Miami.

Note just for the record most of the rain comes in huge out of the ordinary downpours over a short period and then you go back to having only 7.21 inches in one year.

Then you have San Francisco which is another whole ecosystem, as is the Sacramento Valley as is San Diego. There is no "normal" in California. Each area is different, each location has it's own micro climate. Though I traveled extensively throughout the State and studied the climate and geology I can really speak on LA where I lived many years.

As for the baby who didn't see rain... I was 17 before I saw snow and can honestly say I wasn't sure how to walk on it.

This is why the song goes... it never rains in California.... Duh.

So let's go back to Horseracing for a minute... 

(there's a method in the madness... follow the butterfly wings here)

There are adults in their late 30s who have ...

After a 3 in the 1930s
3 more in the 1940s
3 in the 1970s.

There has been a drought of triple crown winners.
Some people probably believe we will never have another one.
TWC will probably even call it "unprecedented"

It will happen.
Whether it's American Pharaoh or another...
It will happen.

Danica Patrick could one day win a big

On any given Sunday there should be football... 
...but there's not when it's not in season :(

This hurricane season will be whatever this hurricane season will be.
A season of plenty of small close in storms....
One big storm that everyone remembers
Or... one for the record books.

Which record though?
Famine or Feast?
Drought or Flooding Rains?
Go for it. It's a complicated state.

The kicker here is that during El Nino rain usually falls.
More in the South ...but there is more rainfall.

From the above Wikipedia site.

You see the song that made the rainfall problem famous ...
...was written during a slow rainfall year
and poured..

One year 7.17 inches
Next year 21.26 inches

You can't judge one El Nino by another El Nino
Like horses running a race they are similar but all different.

What will 2015 Atlantic Hurricane Season bring?
Only time will tell...

Besos Bobbi

Ps. A Horse with a name...a horse to remember...

Friday, May 15, 2015

TS Ana Finds Lost Ship. Jim Williams 2015 Predictions

I want to start this morning off with the reminder that every storm, even a weak storm, can make a difference to the shoreline where it makes landfall. Sometimes, that difference is not dangerous as much as whimsical and thought provoking. The small, compact storm Ana rearranged the sand on the beach in Surf City exposing a shipwreck that rarely was seen except at the lowest of tides. Now, the shipwreck is visible to all courtesy of Tropical Storm Ana, the first storm of the 2015 Hurricane Season. Note, that season officially begins on June 1st but this year it was ushered in early by Tropical Storm Ana.

It may not seem much of a shipwreck but it was once and the not much of a storm Ana rearranged the sand on the beach enough to show what the beach had been hiding. Shipwrecks are common sites along the North Carolina beaches. Between hurricanes and winter storms the sand on those beaches is rearranged way more than the beaches of South Florida. The Outer Banks reach far out into the ocean much further than the barrier islands along the Treasure Coast in Florida. Their sands get whipped about with every strong breeze and new inlets are made faster than anywhere I can think of along the coastline. It's a very organic place in ways that Miami Beach that I love more than anything is not. But, like Miami Beach people live in denial that it is a constant, a steady hard rock of a place to set down your roots and build a home that will last generations. In reality, the homes built along the Outer Banks (both SOBX. OBX and NOBX) will last as long as any given hurricane allows them to be there.

Most of that area was wiped out by Hazel and other Hurricanes, however.... time has removed all vestiges of destruction to a new generation that sees life in Kure Beach as a constant in their life, as a place to live all year (rare) or a place to runaway to in the summer. One day a major storm will hit that area and the homes will receive a stronger blow than either participant in the Mayweather vs Pacquiao fight and some will  be washed out to sea or need major repairs. Til then, life is a beach along the ocean.

There are MANY beautiful beaches along the Hurricane Coast that the same thing can be said and many people who have gone without a hit of a major hurricane forget it can happen. That includes, people who have moved to the area or were raised in the area with only ghost stories grandparents tell of the hotel that got washed out to sea... or the barrier island that used to be there before . . .

The skeleton of that ship reminds us of the ships that went down before in other storms and the ones that suddenly stick out of the sand are reminders of the storms that will one day come back again. Quiet times are great times for beach cities, they are boom time years where hotels get built, restaurants exist at the edge of the water and the illusion of forever is felt by almost all...or all until you suddenly see the wooden bones of a ship visible on sand rearranged by a minimal Tropical Storm and you wonder for the briefest moment "what if" before moving on looking for a shell, a shark's tooth or just staring off into the endless blue where the sea meets the sky.

Song from one of my favorite CDs

Jim Williams from Hurricane City puts out a list each year of cities along the Hurricane Coast that could be impacted that year based upon a massive mathematical calculations of past hits, frequencies between hits and this year he adds in the analog years of Gray and Klotzbach from CSU. He has many parameters he uses and more information on that can be found at and you can discuss it at a message board found on his website. Anyone can put out a random guess (even based on data) of how many storms we will have this year or next year. It's a game among meteorologists going into the hurricane season. You see them begin to talk in mathematical code 7/3/1 or 8/4/2 or in a year predicted to be busy 11/7/4 and you may wonder whether they are betting Trifectas at Jai-Alai or passing secret severe weather codes...

No it means ....  # of tropical systems/Hurricanes/Majors and the numbers vary greatly depending on the person popping out the numbers. At the end of the season there is a flurry of discussion on who was closest and who blew it badly.

Few say "WHERE" the hurricanes will happen. Often some government agency puts out some hazy, lazy sort of stab at possible targets such as "along the East Coast risk is higher than the Gulf Coast" or "Florida may be more prone to landfall this year than Texas" which is not exactly pin the tail on the donkey if you know what I mean...and I'm sure you do. If you are a younger millennials reading this, you have already Googled "pin the tail on the donkey" I'm sure so let's move on.

Jim spends mucho time working the numbers, studying the maps and doing calculations and he puts it out there for all the world to see. If he's right, he gets credit and if he is wrong people most likely will point it out to him his face, online or in a nasty email. Few do what Jim does and his lists have been mentioned in the media across the spectrum on news and weather sites everywhere. Jim knows hurricane history the way Joe Bastardi does weather history. He can tell you in any given year which town was hit by which storm and how many years usually go before the town is hit again. Jim lives weather more than almost anyone I know. He would never miss the announcement of Dr. Gray's Tropical Predictions for the coming year. He, like many of us, are busy in the off season analyzing things we meant to get around to studying that we didn't have time for in busy hurricane seasons. He, like many of us, keep scattered, weathered bits of scraps of headlines and old hurricane maps the way many collect old recipes or football trading cards. For instance, I have a vinyl nice map you can use erasable markers, one printed on a hang up cork board and a metal one you can put magnets on. Weather people love maps ...random fact but true across the board.

Note the Hurricane Coast as many of us call it is a long, long, long coastline that stretches anywhere from the coasts of Mexico and Central America to the end of the road along the Maine Coast. You may not think of Maine as Hurricane Country, but trust me it is just gets hit less often. When you live in Maine you talk hurricanes in the summer, but that is tempered by more talk on Nor'easters in the Winter. In Miami you talk Hurricanes the way you talk Hurricanes (capital H) in New Orleans, Galveston and places lesser know like Tampa, Matagorda and Gulf Shores, Alabama. Every year the pages of the calendar get tossed away and you turn the calendar to June and you wonder for the briefest moment if this will be the year.

Jim's list for 2015 is below. He put out a great video this year with images of the towns as well as historic information on the town as well as what the town's industry is as well as year round population. It's like the CIA Fact Books of Hurricane Towns.
Great information on any place on the globe. For instance look at Belize below or imagine you needed to get a plane to Afghanistan...where would any librarian suggest you go? Yep, CIA Fact Book ;)

Moving on........

Jim Williams is like the CIA Fact Book for Hurricane Country...not just Hurricane City.

I'm not going to LIST there for you... you have to watch the video ... but I will discuss his city picks in the next few posts and I will give MY thoughts as well. I will tell you his Gulf Coast concerns are on the money and that is a big concern of mine. I'll discuss this more later. Watch and tell me what you think @BobbiStorm on Twitter or here as a comment.

Note, these cities are REAL cities where people often do live all year even if some of them have population booms when the fisherman come down to the coast to fish and enjoy time alone with the beauty of nature. Sometimes nature hits you back in the face and those towns get rearranged or take a hit that shuts them down for a year or two until things get quiet and they rebuild thinking names like Hazel and Fran are only ghost stories or stories told by old timers who must have embellished how bad it really was back when Hugo hit in 1989....  They are not Hollywood sets they are real homes to people who love living by the ocean, knowing a hurricane could happen in any given year; sometimes people live in denial and think the town up the coast or down the coast will get hit more often. An example of this is Jacksonville and Tampa who rarely do get hit, but have in the past and will once again.

Keep it in mind if you live along the Hurricane Coast... your time could be coming and MATHEMATICALLY your number is coming and your chances of being hit by a hurricane are more realistic than winning the lotto. Oddly, you will dish out money to win the lotto.... yet you will put off getting new shutters or a generator for the hurricane season. Hmnn. It's all about the MATH.... History repeats.

Today is the beginning of the EPAC Hurricane Season and in 2 weeks, the Atlantic Hurricane Season will be upon us all. You can follow it and everything at as well as any number of hurricane websites or follow us on Twitter or here... at

Besos Bobbi

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Hollywood Margarittavile Opening Soon ... Tropics Gone Fishin

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Nothing much going on in the tropics today . . .

Some small purple off of South America

Flare up of activity for the EPAC

Watching showers off of Galveston...La... 

Been a semi permanent feature in the GOM

The Front caught Ana & took her out to sea

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Beautiful sunrise in Hollywood this morning.

You know Hollywood... 
Canadian Tropical Vacation spot...
(it's not REALLY Canada....duh...)

But, things they be a changing....

We have 2 sunrises here...
The first one that lights up the sky...
The second when the sun comes up over the neighbor's house..
The sun shines strong on the patio here...
..and I'm goin shoppin....
as the tropics have gone fishin

Besos Bobbi
Ps ...or the beach....

Monday, May 11, 2015

Mothers Day Holiday - TS ANA Catching the Front

WPC issuing advisories on ANA...

Today's post game wrap up on Tropical Depression is brought to you by way of the Weather Prediction Center. Seems this is the way it's being handled, which is logical... but well it's an entity with low pressure and very light winds (15 mph...woo hoo) but a lot of rain on it's Eastern Side. Most of the "weather" is over water and barely affecting the Outer Banks right now let alone "Central North Carolina" so... let's go with their hand off to the WPC. Note the low pressure seems to be over the mainland NC...the weather is over the ocean. Hope that makes sense...

By the way there really wasn't much damage to talk about (as expected) other than some tree limbs down here and there.

Read discussion in depth below from the WPC ...not NHC...well written, does sound a bit the same.

It's a pretty simple scenario and nothing more has changed. Ana slowly slides NNE and then gets scooped up by the front.

Discussion is below:

Flood watches (in case)
Models agree...
Headed to SE VA...
Then Front GRABS her... 

Maximum Wnds sustained ...near 15 MPH

Nice trial run of how we handle Tropical Systems this year!

Hope your Mother's Day was Fantastic!
Mine was a party... pool party.

Worth noting EPAC season starting on May 15th.
Time to watch the Eastern well...

Also as long as there are cold fronts....
...gotta watch the tail end of them... see if Bill is out there somewhere...

Besos Bobbi
Ps...Thank you everyone for making yesterday a real Holiday ;)

Sunday, May 10, 2015

TS Ana Makes Landfall Myrtle Beach... 3 weeks before June 1st...

Landfall: Myrtle Beach
Headed slowly North into NC

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Sort of impressive. May 10th & Ana on the cover of Spaghetti Models

Be aware in "slow seasons" its sometimes common to have an early storm.

But, it will be a while til we know what kind of season 2015 really will be...

Ana is a minimal, compact, slow moving Tropical Storm.

Her slow motion may add in the rainfall totals in her path.

Becky Elliot a meterologist for Accuweather puts it well:

Small but there.

Actually like a lot of us mothers... doing our thing.

Yes, it's Mother's Day.

I'm in Miami doing Mother's Day at home with my kids.

I love Mrytle Beach ...but I'll let Ana do MB this go round...

Future track is as follows:

Simple set up:
Ana moves slowly NNE into NC...
Gets caught up by the larger front ...
Zooms faster NNE  & out to sea.

The models did a bang up job of predicting Ana & her track.
Good to know...

Happy Mother's Day to all and here's a picture present for my weather friends.

Besos Bobbi

Ps. Do you know where your evacuation route is?
You imght want to double check...
2015 Hurricane Season IS here

Saturday, May 09, 2015

Tropical Storm ANA Landfall . . .Winter Storm Venus??

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Tropical Storm Ana is making landfall...

Close up it definitely is a Tropical Storm still...
(for now...)

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Mind you it's a small storm compared to...
The bigger storm system moving across the plains
Barely noticeable...
TWC is covering Winter Storm Venus
(apparently they name winter storms forever...)

And Oklahoma City & Dallas are watching for Twisters

But for tropical weather people.. 
it's all about Ana...


I'll update this blog tomorrow morning with landfall information and possible long term ramifications. It's an interesting comment on this season that was predicated to be SO SLOW that there is already a landfall of a Tropical Storm on the US ... in a predicted slow season.

What this means?

Not a lot for where it's making landfall.. other than rain, some wind and beach erosion.

It is a good wake up call to everyone to not take too seriously predictions of slow seasons and to keep your plans together for what you would do "WHAT IF" another storm makes landfall this year near you!

She's actually very pretty.
Small, not much but a nice ...

Besos Bobbi

Ps... Yes, the 2015 Atlantic Hurricane Season has begun....