The Problem with IDA now Tropical Storm IDA
Picture from local beach cam this morning on Florida Coast:
The Problem with IDA is....... she is in the midst of shape shifting into a large, messy baroclinic system also known as a Subtropical or Extra-tropical or BIG MESSY MASS OF STRONG WINDS AND RAIN elongated and going to cause more weather over a larger area than a small, tight knit storm would have otherwise had she stayed a neat Hurricane.
Also.. Climo wins and Climo wins always. Learn that.
Climo is the average of weather over the history of time. My definition, no one else's but it works and is worth remembering. It's why it is so rare to see a Hurricane hit the Upper Mid Gulf Coast in November... can happen but those are very rare once a century sort of events .... and our recorded memory of Gulf Coast storms is limited to about 150 years or so... as often captain's logs go down at sea with the boat. Usually a hurricane is downgraded to Tropical Storm Status or Subtropical.
Ida has now been downgraded to a Tropical Storm and she is racing at 17 mph forward speed towards the coastline.
Think of some storm off the coast of Maryland or Delaware suddenly moving to the NNE or NE at 20 plus mph... even more towards New Foundland and blowing tropical windy kisses to Cape Cod.. because that IS what Ida is doing in the Gulf as she is merging with other weather conditions such as a frontal boundary to her north and an area of rain to her west that was in the Western Gulf of Mexico and now instead of a need storm like she was yesterday she has turned into a big weather system... that will affect an area from New Orleans (and places west) all the way east to the entire Florida Panhandle.
She will bring with her rain, wind AND HIGH TIDES and flooding.
Why high tides if she is not a hurricane anymore?
Because...she has pushed a dome of water with her for days out ahead of her and it has nowhere to go but move inland across the small barrier islands of the Florida Peninsular.
How high will this water rise be??
4 to 6 feet along the Mississippi Coast at least...and a good couple feet along Mobile, Pensacola... minor unless it's your beach it's rolling across and washing out your beach roads..
A wet front is back by Woodward Oklahoma (one of my favorite towns) and moving slowly east...
Flash Flood Watches will be posted throughout Alabama and Georgia as she moves throughout the Southeast and ends up over the Carolinas on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Local Channel 14 in the Carolinas is covering this as a big rain event for the Carolinas later in the week and explaining how the rain will be tropical in nature and possibly heavy.
Beyond that... IDA will either wallow off the East Coast as the NHC shows...
Or it's a matter of semantics.
IF there is anything left of IDA she will be where the NHC says but if she goes where the NWS shows she will have shape shifted into a large area of rain and in some homeopathic way the rain in Charleston later this week will contain rain from the Yucatan Channel.
Weather is the proverbial butterfly wings theory in action...
Watch the Water Vapor loop...
So... the trouble with Ida is that there will be some areas that get strong weather and they will start complaining they were far from the point of projected landfall.
I personally had this conversation with Bill Read (Director at the NHC, who does a GREAT job) a few times last year. Inland flooding and the affects of tropical weather rarely gets talked on as all the attention by the media is paid to landfall shots and sexy shots of people standing on the beach by the waves and PEOPLE look at the CONE and all they see is the point that the storm crosses the land.
It is NOT a horse race or a car race..it's not about the finish line. There is no finish line until it stops raining and the INLAND EFFECTS of a storm like this are huge.... not necessarily as deadly as a big hurricane but the property effects, down trees, power out and car accidents because people are running around doing their thing because they don't live down on the beach...
Yes...the National Weather Service covers inland areas but they don't get the sexy press or coverage that the NHC does and places like The Weather Channel talk about the coastline... and have to say people like Joe Bastardi is worth is weight in gold and that's a lot of a weight lifter because he does focus on the whole event more than other online places.
So.........my answer to the problem is to use this page:
Put in your zip code and use this as much as any other site.
And, if the remnants of Ida appear in the Atlantic off the Carolina coastline and finds a way to create problems further north in the Mid Atlantic or New England... well don't say I didn't warn you because I was too busy trying to decide if the "center" of IDA hits Mobile Bay or Pensacola Bay.
Well I am trying to look at the whole picture here... and all possible problems inherent in IDA and not looking at the models anymore though they were worth posting above.
Also..leaving some links on a few stories I collected this morning with reading. While all the attention was on the political fall out over Katrina places like Grand Isle and Waveland have not gotten the money or focus to rebuild and move past Katrina.
As for my brother in New Orleans.. he is having fun, not expecting that much bad weather and sightseeing around conference meetings that are going on and well... happy for him... he needed a good vacation, a tropical one specifically.
Besos for now and I'll update later as events warrant but again.. it's a big messy mass of rain and wind and high surf and it will affect the whole entire area even if the cameras are only focusing on the best beach shot!
Take care and enjoy the weather...as Bastardi says so often.. it's the only weather you got or... move to where you like the weather the most.. DUH...
Great version of Stormy Weather set to music...
stick with it... gets incredible...
Links and stories worth reading:
Interesting articles worth reading..
note still thinking on rebuilding levees there...
Note low lying road to Fort Pickens just reopened after Ivan..
NOTE: the road is already seeing overwash ...
Kwirky story of the storm:
in harms way...they will only know if the power goes out I imagine...
nice blog for people who love the National Parks and are seashore fans :)