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, February 26, 2010

Brooklyn Snow Pics

Unreal amount of snow here. My ex-husband told me he has never seen so much snow here... he is sure it has to do with me being here :)

He's in Manhattan where they have close to 20 inches so far...the snow in Crown Heights is over a foot and closer to a foot and a half...fluffy light stuff but underneath is a layer of ice so not so easy to get around.

Enjoy the pics... more to come...understand in Manhattan in Times Square things seem to be moving but in Brooklyn not much is plowed except the big streets and you can walk through the sidewalks where someone else walked...

big snow of 2010...

besos bobbi

Thursday, February 25, 2010

From the EYE of the SNOWCANE :)

Arrived in Brooklyn just ahead of the heavy snow. Roads were so empty we made record time. Sunny skies in Virginia and Maryland and windy going through Washington, some snow in Southern New Jersey and made it to Brooklyn as it turned back from light rain into snow.

Drove into Brooklyn into a winter wonderland. Beautiful. Nothing like driving down Ocean Parkway with the benches covered in snow... down along Prospect Park which is ALWAYS beautiful covered in snow... and into Crown Heights.

If the eye of a hurricane is the center of the storm, the eye of my personal spiritual storm is always the corner of Kingston Avenue and Eastern Parkway. And, as always it's the calm in my storm, my quiet center that makes me smile the moment I see it. I know I am really, really home. See? Tonight... just as the snow began to fall again...

Anyway, will see how much snow we get tomorrow and Sunday but hoping not so much as I have places I want to go and things I want to see in my little corner of Brooklyn.

So, safe and sound and going to bed to start over in the morning.

Where ever you are in this mess of another winter storm... hunker down and enjoy, it will be a winter many will remember for years to come. On warm winters, without a lot of snow falling ....people will look back and they will remember where they were in the Winter of 2010!!

Night from the eye of the Snowcane :)


Bastardi... Hypecane or Snowicane?

Time will tell...

Watching the water vapor loop, as the snow is coming down outside in small, fluttery flakes swirling about on their way down to covering the landscape..

This snow was supposed to come in here around 1pm yesterday, local forecast most definitely was wrong...

Now we see... if Bastardi was right or wrong with his possible teleconnections of the Arctic feed and the low being pulled inland... I ever heard tell this low does loop de loops over Pennsylvania..

Will see...but one can see from the feed of moisture being pulled towards New York and New England I wonder if the bulk of the snow is going to be upstate New York and Vermont, Lake Champlain or something like that ;)

Out my window as I pack, snow is coming in pretty heavy. Pretty. Smiling.

Okay, by the time I am done with this trip I have a feeling I'll have seen as much snow as I want to see ever in my life. Well, for awhile.

And, my mind is dreaming of Spring Training and wondering on baseball games in Florida after talking to my younger son whose mind was obviously taken over by someone a long time ago :)

Got Snow Fever here ;) and the girl from Margaritaville is humming Sweet Carolina!!

Snow and Kisses...

Besos Bobbi

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Snowicane? Last Blast of Winter?

Snowicane? Even I wouldn't use that term... I don't think.

Seriously hope Accuweather is wrong on this one...

On my way to New York for the Jewish Holiday of Purim, to be with family and enjoy being in Crown Heights for a long holiday weekend. Unfortunately, the drive north may include crummy weather and am wondering if I will see any color other than white snow, gray skies and brown trees...

Salient part for me:

"In the hardest-hit areas, it will seem more like a "snowicane," as a mere blizzard may not adequately describe conditions of this soon-to-be powerful nor'easter.

Wind gusts can reach 70 mph in some areas, just shy of hurricane force. Many locations in the mid-Atlantic and New England will endure gusts topping 50 mph at some point Thursday to Friday.

Winds of this strength will down trees and power lines. Expect flying debris ranging from trash cans to shingles. Significant property damage can occur."

I mentioned the thought of going over to the coast to watch the surf come in... no one seemed interested but me... Oh well...

So far the fog did not pan out, the snow has not snowed in my neck of the woods... I am praying that the Snowicane warnings also won't pan out because as much as I would LOVE a hurricane... a little nervous on Snowicanes...

If you scroll down through these many photos... shows what happens from start to finish in a snow storm in my favorite part of Brooklyn...

And, now after looking... I am thinking.......... why am I doing this?

Because it's Purim, the Jewish holiday of merriment, dress up, giving gifts and being happy and I want to be happy in Crown Heights with some of my kids and my grandchildren, little grandchildren of course ;)

And, as for me... I'm going to be a Gypsy Dancer for Purim.. of course, what else would I be?

The man at the bank this morning asked me if it was really going to snow today? I told him, maybe... late, a snow/rain mix. So far on this snow prediction thing I am batting 100% and the bank teller is getting pretty impressed, funny but true. Wait til the hurricane season starts...

So, when will the last blast of winter really be?

One wonders... I wonder... Everyone wonders...

El Nino is predicted to remain a while longer, which makes me think it will be a late start to the real hurricane season and if that were to happen, there would be a lot of latent heat in the Ocean and things might come alive later in the Cape Verde season.. IF El Nino goes away and the winds don't blow the tops off the developing tropical waves...

Who knows... will see..

My attitude about the hurricane season is like my attitude about Passover. I do NOT deal with Passover until Purim is over!

First things first... everything in it's time.

Right now... this is my destination for this weekend....

Hopefully, the snowicane won't be so bad and if it is... suppose I'll get some nice photos...

... seriously...

And... when winter departs ... then I'll think seriously on the hurricane season ;)

Besos Bobbi and Happy Purim!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Snow, Mud and Valentine's Day in the Weather World

There's been so much going on in the world of weather over the last week and when you connect the dots you get El Nino sending frozen, wet valentines to cities across the Globe. A snow globe in Texas and a muddy mess in multiple cities far, far away.

My point to get across today is "GLOBAL" and the reality that we do not live in a vacuum. Everything is connected. It is like those games we played as children where we connected the dots and suddenly we had to draw a really big line from 23 to 24 which ended up being the bridge of the nose on a unicorn.

Mud has been the issue the last few days in places as remote as Madeira and Indonesia.

Over 40 people have been killed in Madeira, the death toll will climb much higher as they find more bodies and figure out where the missing are ... if they are safe or still buried under a river of mud. Three days of mourning were scheduled and yet the rescue crews are still trying to find the missing and get a handle on a situation that many cannot remember ever happening before.

That's a scene from Madeira, not a scene from Flash Forward...

A good link to video on the story, after you get past the sappy Verizon commercial.

A world away in Indonesia a similar storm created havoc with rain and mud and landslides in an area that is remote and has no land moving machinery to help find victims. People are digging through the mud with their bare hands... much the way they did in Haiti in last month's earthquake.

This has been a violent sort of year for Mother Earth... earthquakes, threatening volcanoes and muddy torrents of death in remote regions around the world.

What links it all together? Weather.. Meteorology and Geology, Earth Sciences.

We truly have so much to learn about how the Planet works, how the jet stream moves and how the tectonic plates work beneath the Earth's surface. It's a great natural ballet or opera, which ever you can relate to and it has it's beauty and tragedy. We are just beginning to learn to put the pieces all together.

So much needs to be done in the realm of research across the Globe to put the pieces together "more better" as they say down south...

One of the best fields of study I ever studied was something called "Linkage" and in my case how it related to the world of International Relations. That same concept can be applied to weather and geology as everything is linked in some way.

A storm forms in the far Pacific, moves east towards the West Coast of America and lashes Los Angeles, moves towards Arizona and gets enhanced by a deep diving Arctic blast and suddenly snow in Dallas and it moves on to the east in a Global Ballet of sorts, gets tugged northeast towards Baltimore and DC and on to it's final American destination as a cold, wet storm off of the tip of Long Island, blows a farewell kiss to Montauk and moves across the Atlantic... England or France or maybe even Portugal that is usually blessed with beautiful weather... and the same moisture in those clouds that rained on L.A. and snowed on Dallas continues east... circling the globe, only visible to the naked eye by watching the water vapor imagery or from the Space Lab looking down onto Planet Earth.

What a beautiful planet, but so much more we need to learn about how to predict violent weather and even more violent volcanoes.

Luckily, back around Valentine's Day the Meteorological community had a breakthrough of sorts when an incredible study was done on Global Warming and how it relates to Hurricanes by several of the world's best meteorological experts in their respective fields of expertise. Often they have disagreed, but this time they worked together on a paper that will be read, studied, commented on and possibly even revised with new discussion added as that is how things are done in the scientific community.

It's time to come together and share knowledge and expertise. There is still disagreement, but now there is discussion and there is discovery going on as we come towards some semblance of agreement.

You don't go into a scientific experiment with a conclusion decided in advance and then juggle things about trying to prove your pre-made conclusion. You have a process of discovery, you test, you run models, you share information... you evaluate, you explore possibilities and then you write the paper with your results.

Kudos to some of the world's best meteorologists for coming together and publishing a paper on a topic that everyone wants to know more on without political bias or 2012 sort of End of the World disaster predictions.

I will discuss the paper in this blog soon, I have to digest it. It's not easy to read nor is it easy to digest. Less Hurricanes but stronger hurricanes would be the basic cliff notes version. Where would they hit? Why would they be stronger along this coast or that is up for discussion. Wetter hurricanes possibly... Of course, Andrew was a five but was not a wet storm... was that an anomaly or just a random storm. Katrina? Well, the 1926 Great Miami Hurricane was a VERY BIG WET storm, a category four storm.

A big wet hurricane can do more damage than a small, tightly wound windy storm..

More damage over a wider area and deaths from flooding vs wind.

You can often hide from the wind, but you cannot as easily hide from the water..

Hide from the wind, run from the water... that's the saying.

Sometimes water has mud mixed in and the dramatic footage from Madeira, Portugal shows us all how hard it is to run from a river of mud.

And, in Dallas it is the snowiest winter on record.

El Nino will give up soon, he will get tired of causing this meteorological madness and he will depart and go into whatever hole he crawls out of every several years. So, we were lucky, no strong hurricanes in the Atlantic Basin... how nice. But, as I have said before, you cannot kill off Hurricanes as they are part of the incredible way the world works. They transfer energy from the equator towards the poles when everything is working properly. When it isn't... rivers of mud, snow in the south and DC buried in Epic snowfall.

Everything is related, everything is linked.

More has to be learned, more needs to be studied. We need to figure out what it is we need to study and luckily with parts of the meteorological community coming together to work in partnership on papers and research we may be that much closer to some much needed answers.

So, thank you for the long paper to digest with a cup of coffee and some left over chocolates and a whole ton of emails to read regarding this very important paper.

After I finish analyzing it.. I'll give my thoughts. Like good scientific research, good analysis can only be done when all the facts are read over carefully and much thought is given to details. So often, the devil is in the details.

As for Senor Nino.. I think it's time to shuffle off to Buffalo and take a long hike so we can take a break from the cold and wet weather that is circling the Globe.

Globalism... it's not just about politics!

Besos Bobbi...

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Joe Stack's Storm in Austin Texas - An American Tragedy

Tragedy takes all shapes in America.

We worry on firestorms and electrical storms and hurricanes and volcanoes going bump in the night raining misery down upon us and yet we go about our daily lives unaware that at any moment something out of the blue can change our lives forever.

It's all about being at the right spot at the right time or not being there.

How many people called in sick today in Austin or went to work late after stopping to take care of some annoying problem and it may have saved their life. The fact that so few people were injured or killed is a miracle in itself.

How does a plane come crashing through a building, setting it on fire and the death toll is so little? How do we explain that?

And a sad angry storm raged in the mind of Joe Stack this morning so that he felt he had no other way to take control but to take his life and in doing so bring attention to his ongoing plight of desperation and depression over a life that was not being lived the way he hoped to have lived it when he was young.

Dreamers are fragile creatures. They have a dream, a perfect vision, an ideal they want to live up to ... an end result they hope for and long for and so often those dreams come crashing down against the hard rocks of reality. Reality bites as they say and sometimes it bites hard and often.

We pick ourselves up and start over and try a new path and we reach another dead end, a wall, a "do not pass go and do not collect $200" and most of us keep going, keep dreaming and coping as best as we can.

Some people, like Joe Stack lose the ability to find a way out that they think will work and they give up. Giving up is different for every person. Some people walk out on their lives, live in public parks with masters degrees and law degrees and a whole lot of degrees of insanity yet that is their way of taking control. I worked as a reference librarian and had the privilege to meet some of the sweetest, lost, smart souls who made the library their home away from home. They took a quiet path.

Joe Stack took a different path.. one that he knew would create a news storms of attention to the problems of his own life as well as the problems that many of us face today.

So many are angry, bitter and frustrated over a government that bailed out the rich and famous and yet has done little to help the little man, the middle class family that is struggling on it's own with no bail out money to afford Mama a chance to go to a spa or get her nails done.

One politician after another rethinks running for re-election this coming year and the one thing that has become a non-partisan issue is the reality that people are not happy with their politicians, their representatives in Washington or State Capitals and when the middle class feels threatened in history, time and time again chaos began to reign and a door to trouble opened.

This is an issue that begs to be addressed.

Joe Stack took control the only way he knew how... the only way he sadly thought was left to him ... he destroyed everything he had and hoped to take out a few people at the IRS office it seems along the way.

Bad decision for a man who could write so well in his own way of the tragedy of his life, a tragedy that many can empathize with despite disagreeing on the way he handled his problems.

But, this is America in 2010... a plane of any kind is now a weapon in the sky that can be wielded against anyone on the ground. A sad legacy of 911 it seems.

He committed suicide and that in itself is a murder even if only of his own life. He may have tried to kill his wife and step-daughter... time will unwind the strings of the messy story he left behind.

A domestic terror attack? Seriously?

We have become so big in our new world order that we now have a title to describe the acts of a desperate man taking control of his last moments?

This is a Great American Tragedy ... just as much as Willy Loman who lost his dreams and Death of a Salesman. It reminds me of the character in Network who couldn't take it anymore. Perhaps Joe liked that movie, who knows? I imagine in the next week will come to know everything about Joe Stack.

All I know is that his words, posted on a website that was immediately taken down because of the "sensitive matter" of the letter are well written and show himself to be exactly what he was... an angry man, frustrated with a storm running through his brain. He reminds me of those men that no one understands, the ones who hurt no one but themselves that refuse to leave their porch as Ike moved onshore... were they crazy? Was Isaac Cline crazy trying to be a good government employee and not issuing any cyclone warnings and following the plan and believing that the city of Galveston could withstand any hurricane and it was safe from storm surge. He was wrong... and his pregnant wife floated away in the debris of his life's decisions and drowned along with thousands of other people in the wrong spot and the wrong time that night.

Isaac Cline was wrong, he tried to be a good government employee and to follow the plan but the plan was flawed.

It is a flawed world, we all need to find a way to cope, function and keep on going when our dreams do not come true.

Joe Stack I would guess was a weather lover, as he used the word storm to explain the scene inside his mind... raging away.

First paragraph of that suicide letter is below:

"If you’re reading this, you’re no doubt asking yourself, “Why did this have to happen?” The simple truth is that it is complicated and has been coming for a long time. The writing process, started many months ago, was intended to be therapy in the face of the looming realization that there isn’t enough therapy in the world that can fix what is really broken. Needless to say, this rant could fill volumes with example after example if I would let it. I find the process of writing it frustrating, tedious, and probably pointless… especially given my gross inability to gracefully articulate my thoughts in light of the storm raging in my head. Exactly what is therapeutic about that I’m not sure, but desperate times call for desperate measures."

Somewhere between the beginning of his life when he was a young man worrying on a poor elderly lady living next door living off of cat food...and crashing his plane into a building filled with the lives of other people is a story of a tragedy worse than any mother nature can throw at you.

We expect hurricanes and volcanoes to destroy our lives, we wait for blizzards and floods to affect loved ones but the saddest, slowest tragedy is the one that went on in the life of Joe Stack...the ability to not be able to cope any longer with one tragedy after another until he turned his anger into his last statement on his life.

Was he crazy? You decide over the next few days? He made a bad decision, one of many I imagine but I wonder how many more Joe Stacks are there out there that we can still be rescued from amidst the debris of their lives.

If it was a hurricane or an earthquake we would send help or donate to the Red Cross.

Where do we go to help the many who are besieged by their own storms, walking around barely functioning until the moment that they no longer can function and they give up either quietly or they decide to go out with a bang?

Time moves on but the theme is always the same... a desperate man or woman not able to take it anymore.

How do we help those before they make horrible decisions...

Before Joe ends his manifesto:

I saw it written once that the definition of insanity is repeating the same process over and over and expecting the outcome to suddenly be different. I am finally ready to stop this insanity. Well, Mr. Big Brother IRS man, let’s try something different; take my pound of flesh and sleep well.

The communist creed: From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.

The capitalist creed: From each according to his gullibility, to each according to his greed.

Between the young man worrying on his elderly neighbor eating cat food to survive and the older man not worrying on the lives of the people in the building on fire in Austin is a true American Tragedy... and truth is often stranger than fiction and as Rob once said, if you wrote this as a story no one would believe it.

Besos Bobbi
With prayers for all those in the wake of Joe's fury and storm surge..

Monday, February 15, 2010

Weather and Politics

An interesting weather story that I came across on the the web to think on ...and how weather and politics don't always go together.

There is a frustrating story about Dr. Van Heerden in the NY Times who was it seems fired for speaking out about Katrina. It's not politically correct it seems to criticize the government (who knew?) and especially so if you work at a government run school vs a private college. He was Deputy Director of the LSU Hurricane Center.

What I find odd is that I am more upset that for years people had been complaining how unprepared New Orleans was for a levee failure and it was one of the highest rated worst case scenarios yet we waited for it to happen and then tried to figure out how to handle it.

The State of Louisiana seems to have felt it was a problem for the City of New Orleans to deal with (not their problem) and yet... anyone in the Parishes in danger had to be moved to another part of the State of Louisiana so it seems that it was in fact their problem.

A disaster where everyone passed the buck and tried blaming someone else and a professor with a great reputation ends up without a job.

Again... in order to keep one's good government job it seems you are not allowed to speak out on issues that are important but keep your head down, lay low and keep quiet. Sad... very. Some details from the article.

"Now Dr. van Heerden, the former deputy director of the L.S.U. Hurricane Center, is suing the university to get his job back. His lawyers filed a lawsuit in Louisiana state court on Wednesday morning, charging harassment and wrongful termination.

Dr. van Heerden, who was born in South Africa, joined L.S.U. in 1992 and rose to prominence as an expert on storms and the region, becoming a research professor and director of the Center for the Study of Public Health Impacts of Hurricanes."

Now ...why does this bother me?

Because we are at that half way point in the hurricane season and we are going into the 2010 Hurricane Season without the use of QuikSCAT and except for a few obits written by NASA there has been less heard on this topic than there has been heard from the now defunct satellite.

Jeff Masters wrote about it in his excellent blog back in November of 2009.

And, this was no surprise... we knew it was coming. Everyone in the tropical meteorological world knew it was coming. The Director of the NHC a few years ago Bill Proenza complained about the coming loss of QuikSCAT in an article in the Miami Herald and took massive heat for going public with a problem that the government preferred he keep silent on. That of the lack of government funding to replace a dying satellite that was used daily in tropical analysis and forecasting.

Again, if you want to keep your good government job it is preferred you keep your mouth shut and be part of the solution and not discuss the problem. But, how can you get to a solution of a problem if you don't admit there is a problem??

After a long drawn out drama that was highlighted by discussion that he had a problem leading the NHC and it wasn't about his being so outspoken the man who had no problems leading the Southern Command of the NWS was told he had a problem being a leader and working with others. Ummmnnnnn....

He was reassigned, back to the NWS and the new director is a rather wonderful man named Bill Read but the satellite is now not so wonderful and IS DEAD.

Congressman Ron Klein in 2007 asked for a new satellite to be made to replace QuickSCAT. Nothing so far is in the works, in design, up in the air... on the launch pad...§iontree=23,50&itemid=440

Bill Proenza is happily back at work at the NWS where he seems to have no problems being a director and has many accomplishments to be proud of....

The Satellite is Still Dead... it also had a long list of accomplishments.

So... weather and politics... it's nice to work for the government, lots of good benefits but one of them is not the power of free speech without fear of reprisals.

Choose your jobs carefully. I would hope that Dr. Van Deer finds a nice privately funded Academic job that allows him to speak his mind and continue his work. He is at least alive and kicking which is more than can be said for QuickSCAT.

This coming hurricane season may be active, as we come out of El Nino we often have very active hurricane seasons. It would be nice to have an eye in the sky to help forecasters when storms are forming far beyond the range of hurricane recon.

Amazing considering all the stimulus money that has been doled out of Washington that they could not find any ways to replace QuikScat and help forecasters at the National Hurricane Center with a new eye in the sky.

Just my thoughts.... on weather and politics in 2010.

Besos Bobbi

Life Imitates Art

Sometimes it's just easier to give up... go with the flow... let Crazy Person drive my life. It's the sort of day I need to coast as I am very at lost ends.

There is no football. None. Not real football. I love football.

It's not yet Spring Training even and there are no Red Sox. I miss the Red Sox so much I read some bible blurb someone sent me while I was half asleep and I misread the part about the Red Sea and thought it was talking about the Red Sox. I immediately dumped out my coffee and made Cuban Coffee. Obviously, today is the type of day that calls for the Real Thing. Planning on drinking Coke today too... Coca Cola. It's a caffeine sort of day.

My son is lucky, he has NASCAR... I'm not that into NASCAR. It gets him through the dry period between football and baseball and the hurricane season.

As for me... I am studying up on Tampa. Planning on making a trip there soon and need some information. Note to Jay... if you read this... get me information!

And, as for the Olympics.. I'm just not an Olympic sort of person. I mean I turn on The Weather Channel for WEATHER not a Travel Channel and I don't want to hear about little boys drowning in a frozen pond? What do these people NOT get here. People watch TWC because they don't want to watch the local news and hear gruesome stories like that... I don't want a scroll across my TV telling me some mother lost her two baby boys in a frozen pond. If I wanted to see stuff like that I would be watching or watching CNN!! Wake up and smell the coffee... give me back my weather or I am going on strike.

So, going to spin class. Really. Die laughing, go ahead... I'll send chocolate covered strawberries and Birds of Paradise to the funeral.

It was a beautiful Valentines Day here, I had chocolate malted milk balls... and I love Malted Milk Balls... no not Whoppers but Malted Milk Balls... and red roses and well it was nice. Not dried corn stalks but hey... some people are traditional ya know ;)

And, lastly... I have a lot of people who ask me what it means that weather and history go hand in hand. This is a good example. See the story below from Wiki on Tampa. Because of a devastating freeze, people had to sell their citrus groves or gave up trying to grow frozen OJ on the tree and the land became available for more subdivisions .... etc, etc. Weather affects life... the economy, history and in some case psychology as some people have SAD and go stark raving out of their mind and pick up and move to places like LA and Miami and help create the colorful crazy places we know and love ... it was 62 degrees this morning in Miami. BRRRRRRR Chili!! Cold!!

"In the Great Blizzard of 1899, Tampa experienced its one and only known blizzard, with "bay effect" snow coming off Tampa Bay.[53][54] The last measurable snow in Tampa fell on January 19, 1977. The accumulation amounted to all of 0.2 inches (0.5 cm), but the city, unprepared for and unaccustomed to wintry weather, came to a virtual standstill for a day.[55] Three major freezes occurred in the 1980s: in January 1982, January 1985, and December 1989. The losses suffered by farmers forced many to sell off their citrus groves, which helped fuel a boom in subdivision development in the 1990s and 2000s.[56][57]"

So, take care... wear your overcoat and don't go totally crazy and Spring is around the corner...soon the Poincianas in Miami will be blooming (can't wait) and the trees up north will have little buds on them and then dogwood and azalea and lions and tigers and bears.. oh my!

Go for it... make my day!

love and kisses and lot's of cafecito

Besos Bobbi

Ps...did I mention I miss hurricanes???

Friday, February 12, 2010

And the Beat Goes On... Cuban Earthquake Near Gitmo and snow falling across the South....

A 5.4 Earthquake hit just off shore Cuba near Gitmo earlier today. Obviously, the earth is settling a bit and shuffling around trying to find it's new center after the larger Haitian Quake.

5.4 is pretty big for Cuba, an island not immune to problems of the geological kind as well as hurricanes. By land or sea, Cuba is often under the gun though we rarely hear of quakes this strong.

Some background on Cuban Earthquakes.

As for me... I am smiling as Mobile finally got it's snow and I am getting more snow over the weekend. The clouds here are so low you can almost touch them.

I'm a real Deep South girl so to me when they say "South" it has to be the REAL SOUTH... along the Gulf Coast or Northern Florida or even possibly a bit further north into Georgia, Savannah, Charleston... those are our real Southern Ports of Call!

So... the beat goes on... Montserrat is still shooting ash high up into the atmosphere and if all you have to deal with this weekend is some snow... enjoy it!

Great site from a Volcano Chaser... stunning photography..

As for me I got Red Roses for Shabbos and Chocolate Covered Malted Milk Balls :)

Let it snow!

Besos Bobbi and Good Shabbos!

Snow Flakes in the South, Snow in Mobile and the Coasts of Carolina??

Usually Down South when we see snow flakes they are used to decorate cakes or on a crocheted scarf... not in the air and on the ground. Cute pic from a cute blog online. Wondering if Godiva is making White Chocolate Snow Flakes for Valentines Day??

And, I keep wondering what the pirates hiding out down in the Bayou in that part of the country would have thought had snow started to fall from the sky back when?

How often does snow even threaten the area of Mobile Bay? Really rare..really rare.

Atlanta is like Raleigh, gets snow every once in a while. Augusta gets snow and then comes the Azalea blossoms of Spring.

But, a year when the Baltimore Area gets 31 inches and snow flakes fall on Alabama is rare indeed.

I think we should sit back, enjoy and take pics because we are not going into an Ice Age nor are we going into doing some crazy disaster movie neither.

This is indeed WEATHER gang.

Weather in all of it's glory. Dry one year, cresting rivers the next year. No hurricanes hit Miami in 20 years and then WHAM in your face Ma'am meet Sir Andrew. Then we get four or five in one year hitting Florida and the next five years they surf past Florida on their way to the Gulf of Mexico.

Weather changes. It is never constant, it is always in flow. The daily illustration on the ground of ongoing changes in the atmosphere up above.

Climate is the accumulation of weather records in the same way that it took a whole lot of snow to cover Baltimore in one season. It's the accumulation of the records of weather over the decades, over the centuries studied my meteorological scholars.. not astronomers or physicists and when those climatologists start coming into agreement on Global Warming or Cooling then you can all worry. And, I mean really worrying, not picking up a popular banner to gain government grants or to have books sold. You know how that goes, they say to put words like "Sex" "chocolate" or "Death" in a title and people will pick it up in Barnes and Noble. If you wanted to sell a book on nature over the last few years you needed to put in Global Warming, such as "Global Warming and How it Affects the Sex Lives of Starving Penguins" ... well you get the idea.

So as the first flakes of snow fall on Jeff Morrow in Mobile, Alabama I thought I'd post here something I found earlier while looking for information online about previous Deep South Snowfalls.

The song the Stars Fell on Alabama is about an event made memorable in Alabama history in 1833 when an amazing meteor shower fell across the state and became part of the folklore and stories told by old timers of when their Grandpa saw stars fall over Alabama. One of the beauties of Jimmy Buffett is his knowledge of folklore and literature that he weaves in and out of his ballads with gossamer threads that sound like guitar strings that make magical tunes that only Jimmy can create in a Ballad Buffett Majesty :)

Is that man amazing or what? If you love music and literature and history, you got to love Jimmy Buffett!

As for Jeff Morrow waiting in Mobile for a Category 1 SnowCane... the temperature has now fallen to 34 since he gave this report. The question is which would Jeff Morrow prefer to cover? A snow fall or a land fall?

The last time Mobile, Alabama got snow was in 1996. It does happen but it happens rarely so grab those coats and go outside and enjoy the snow flakes.

As for me I am planning on enjoying watching the snowflakes fall that may accumulate up to 3 inches round these parts. We seem to be on a line, just south of the heavy northern snows and north of the heavy southern snows. Maybe the Mason Dixie Line Should have been drawn between North Carolina and Virgina but that would be a meteorological line not a political one :)

And, for all of you people living in Baltimore and Raleigh who are whining how you moved away to Northern Cities like Buffalo and Poughkeepsie to get away from the snow. Well, you should have paid more attention in Geography and moved down to Tampa or Miami if what you wanted was year round sunshine...

Going to a Bar Mitzvah this weekend that was billed as "Deli and Dancing" and I plan to dance my little heart out. I would prefer "Sushi and Samba" like we do down in the tropics but hey... I'll take what I can get and always nice to celebrate happy times with good friends.

So... from up north ..down south... I'm wishing y'all a nice snowy weekend and enjoy your snow in Atlanta and that makes life easy for the crew at TWC to get good photo ops without going anywhere.

And, Charleston is next down the snowy road... as it seems it is possible that The Battery will be covered in snow tomorrow... as will Wilmington and some other Carolina Coastal cities.

Enjoy the winter of 2010 and maybe somewhere some child will remember it and write a beautiful song about it. Because once, long ago Jimmy Buffett was just a child dreaming of pirates and stars falling on Alabama like the rest of us except he wrote the words and music he heard in his head and made our world that much better.

Besos Bobbi

And... someone make sure Jeff's got some hot coffee down there and grab some Mardi Gras beads for me ;)

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Volcano in the Caribbean... Snow in Atlanta, Augusta and Across the South...

Well, shut my mouth as my Grandma used to say. I mentioned Natural Disasters and the lack of any volcanoes and wouldn't you know it... Soufriere Hills volcano erupts. A very active volcano in our part of the world.. Western Hemisphere..

The picture above is the cloud from the eruption showing up on satellite imagery.

Another good pic and excellent link to keep is below:

Another good link shown below, but only good if you view this Thursday Evening. You might want to bookmark it though for the next time it erupts. It shows the cloud rushing off to the east... whoosh...

This story is being covered throughout the media and on which is always one of the best places around to follow weather or geological weather news in the Caribbean.

This is again, a geologically active site and an ongoing situation. You can read up on it at wiki or any number of sites online.

As for the world of weather..

Is it just me or are other people getting tired of TWC's constant use of
FEBRUARY FURY??? Enough already, can we get a little more creative...

The schools are closed in Dallas and snow is possible in Pensacola tonight. The snow storm is moving west along I-10 and to the north of it... Mississippi, Mobile, Atlanta and up towards Columbia... possibly parts of North Carolina depending on which forecaster is right and which one is wrong.

Augusta is in the path of the snow and a good friend of mine, may get enough to make a snowball and throw it at someone :),%20GA%20-%202-4%20inches%20of%20snow%20tomorrow...

So.... enjoy some family time if you are off work tomorrow somewhere or have children home from school.. Take pics, throw snow balls, enjoy it and years from now you will look back at the Winter of 2010 as the year it snowed almost everywhere in the USA... From Florida to Maine and across most of the country snow has fallen and given us all a reminder of what winter is all about.

Stay warm and enjoy the music of the always incredible Jimmy Buffett!


El Nino Does Dallas - Deep South Snow Storm Up Next

Dallas is under a winter warning and about to get a blast of what Baltimore has been feeling, a siege snow. A white winter wonderland... that should melt faster than the snow in Brooklyn and Washington DC.

This is the fourth day that Washington DC has been closed for business.

3 feet of snow and the airports are closed.

If you thought you were traveling somewhere today..... well there is an old German saying "Man Plans, God Laughs" or something like that.. Germans have a lot of cute sayings like that, my ex-husband was German and there is always some cute pithy saying with a heavy German accent by some adorable older relative.

Speaking of Europe.. remember those heavy snows they had in Europe and in China... what goes around the planet comes around and the whole Northern Hemisphere is getting some of the winter white decorative ground covering. Of course, along with the saying of God laughing... Vancouver that has the Winter Olympics is one of the only places that needed snow.. What's next a hurricane in Rio?

Anyways... here's a nice picture from Brooklyn yesterday, beautiful picture and nothing more beautiful than Crown Heights after a snowfall.

As for North Carolina, the wind was fun...nothing too terrible unless of course it was your 60 year old Oak Tree that you planted that fell all over your house. A sad interview on TV with an older woman who remembers planting the tree and how scared she was when she heard it fall. Really sad... to witness that in your life time.. a tree that provided you so much fun, happy memories... watched it grow.. gone is sad. In the Torah a child is a compared to a tree. Trees I am sure have a soul of their own.

The snow in Texas is a slushy, messy snow not like snow in Wyoming, but I am sure kids will love it and remember it for years to come. And, from Dallas the snow is moving east and should spread across the Deep South as it links up with some nice Gulf moisture.

Stay warm where ever you are and for my friend in Maryland... well... stay warm, eventually it will melt.

I was wondering on that today.. I mean if we are worried on the temperature and sea levels in the oceans, wouldn't all this melting snow cool things off a bit that way? Either way... there is going to be a problem in a lot of places this Spring when the snow finally does melt and expect flooding down the road.

For now.. drive safe, enjoy and hopefully you will all have a picturesque Valentines in Washington. Red roses in the snow... reminds of me of that last scene in Phantom of the Opera..

Besos Bobbi

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

DC/NYC Blizzard - Nature Run Wild

Not sure what El Nino did that pissed Mother Nature off but... seriously.....

Got a total white out at the White House in Washington and it is moving north up the coast towards New York City after having Philadelphia for brunch.

An small but respectable earthquake hit Chicago and they are still trying to figure out which fault like to blame. Anything over 4.0 gets my attention, I'd start worrying where that fault line is and make sure it does not run south towards the New Madrid Fault Line.

A beautiful, but deadly cyclone in the Pacific named Pat is headed towards the Pago Pago Islands, which may not mean a lot to you but if you lived there it would indeed rock your world.

A stunning storm is moving in towards California and do I have to point out that after it hits California it will keep moving east...

And, the death toll in Haiti has now been estimated to be as high as the Tsunami that was on the other side of our world, reminding up that death from a natural disaster is not a geographical, far away thing but something that can happen anywhere on Planet Earth... even just to out south.

Links to stories below, pick your natural disaster or place of geographic interest.

Chicago Earthquake:

Death Toll

Cyclone Pat:

NY Blizzard:
For great nonstop updates go to

If you need more to worry on:

And, as for me when not writing or huffing and puffing at the gym today I will be here, watching The Weather Channel..where you get the best coverage from on the scene snowmen/weathermen with great updates & commentary on life in the Winter of 2010!

"This is mounting up faster than the National Debt!" Mike Seidel on The Weather Channel speaking on the snow totals in Washington DC!

IF you are planning on flying anywhere today in the USA and there is a connecting flight from may want to check with the airlines as many of the nation's largest airports are closed today... as is Washington DC.

Stay warm...stay safe and know that the winter of 2010 will be remembered for a long, long time because Mother Nature is most definitely on the war path!

Besos Bobbi

ps...will update as time permits and if they can find Mike Seidel who was last scene hiding from Fed Ex trucks who seem to be the only vehicles in DC on the road...

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

High Wind Warnings.... Sustained Winds of 35 with Gusts to 45 or 55.... More Snow for Baltimore, DC all the way up to NY

Watching the barometer drop here in Raleigh.

29.67 and FALLING...

I've tracked Tropical Depressions with higher barometric pressure.

Tomorrow, around 2 or 3 pm we are due for sustained winds of 30 to 40 mph with gusts 45 to 55 mph.

SUSTAINED @35 to 40 mph.

Amazingly, there are no preparations to shut down any part of the city, except for some dumps down near Fayetteville?? On top of that ....the ground is saturated from melting snow and rains today and we are told that some trees may fall down and possibly take out power lines. You know, those old trees that are in bad shape in the wooded areas...they may go BOOM and cause a problem.

Still have snow here against the house... a snow/ice mix .. this picture was taken this morning on the way to Stretch/Ballet/Yoga class...

Amazes me that only one weather person on air pointed out that this is EXTREMELY RARE as normally this area would ONLY see winds that high with a hurricane off shore or making landfall on the coast or a rare, severe thunderstorm.

They seem a bit nonchalant if you ask me.. but will see tomorrow how this plays out.

Current Conditions:

36.8 °F
Windchill: 37 °F
Humidity: 97%
Dew Point: 36 °F
Wind: Calm

Wind Gust: 0.0 mph
Pressure: 29.65 in (Falling)

From Discussion out of NWS:

"Have not seen winds this
strong in a while. Will likely not realize winds this strong at
the surface but steep low level lapse rates should support wind
gusts 40 to 45 knots...especially across the north. Topsoil remain
saturated with little drying anticipated. This supports idea of
numerous downed trees and a few power lines. Thus...will upgraded
high wind watch to a warning for the entire area."

Okay.......... meanwhile my kids in New York vary between believing in the Winter Weather Warning and thinking it won't pan out as the last few have not and yet... I think they will be surprised on how much snow they have.

In DC it's beginning to look a lot like the White House in the Kremlin not the USA! much more snow can they get?

We will know tomorrow...

El Nino... Story of the Year... barely spoken about... Why?

Today's blog is dedicated to the bad boy of this winter that has been hiding in the Pacific while we worry on politics and bills in Congress and money that needs to go to rebuild Haiti and whether or not Sarah Palin is smart enough to write down reminders of the 3 most important points she wants to make vs men who have been President who could not remember where Estonia is...

In the play of politics and life and love... El Nino is the secret killer of this 2010 Winter Wonderland experience that is beginning to be a lot like Groundhog Day. What day is today? Oh, there's more snow... it must be the weekend.. or Tuesday.

El Nino is getting about as little play as heart disease for women usually gets, everyone worries on the man playing tennis or shoveling snow but forgets how many women die from what they think is a pain in their back or the flu. (check out warning signs)

But, back to 1997. Seems it was a slow year. We had some measure of economic prosperity and there wasn't much to talk about other than smoking cigars in the White House... and El Nino took center stage as the Media played his presence up big time.,9171,986853,00.html

Good articles, can still learn a lot from that article and many others but every El Nino is a horse of a different color. They set up in different parts of the Pacific, at different depths of the ocean...they grow at different rates.. each has it's own inherent problems. When it was the Hurricane Season everyone on our side of the Pacific was cheering, those on the other side were dealing with nonstop tropical events. Now that the Southern Jet has been enhanced and the Pineapple Express is in place (meteorological term ...not the movie.......) we are besieged with one bout of snow from Oklahoma to the Mid-Atlantic States. Los Angeles is a muddy mess and homes are sliding down the hillsides faster than the cake that is melting in the rain near McArthur Park.... and I worked near McArthur Park in an El Nino Year in LA and telling you it was messy. Where's Dr. George when you need him?

The real McArthur Park in LA... pretty isn't it?

Very few articles out there today about El Nino, which I find odd as it is the reason that we are having an endless winter with record setting cold, snowfall and yet... it's barely being mentioned. It should be. Possibly, it is not politically correct to talk about the reality that Global Warming is a No Show for this year's Olympics.

So, do we pretend it doesn't exist and any day now we will go back to a busy hurricane season and warm temps somewhere and the snow will melt and we will move on with the misguided GW movement? Or is it time to possibly admit that we don't know as much as Dr. William Gray and other pretty infamous weather experts who ride their bikes to work and have great legs but have not totally bought into the Global Warming Conspiracy. And, that is what it is... a conspiracy .. because when you have friends (and I do) who have been told to talk about it on air and/or not to give their own negative thoughts on it for fear of losing their jobs... that's a conspiracy. That is not science working at a free market level of sharing data and doing research first before they publicize their work... flawed work.

I do believe in recycling, carpooling, riding a bike to work and leaving behind a smaller carbon footprint, but not because I believe in Global Warming but because I believe we need to be better stewards of this beautiful planet earth.

And, this winter El Nino is the man about town even if no one is talking about him. Even if he is an illegal alien denied entry to the party and we are just hoping he will go away like winter usually does and Spring does it's thing.

Shrimpers are talking about it, fighting over their fleet's productivity. It is a big issue in International Law.

Here in the States... I did find this mention online... a good mention, well written!

To quote the President just now speaking live, "over time will gravitate towards the truth" and though he was not talking about Global Warming I think it's a good comment.

The West Coast Press cannot ignore it. After the next snow storm hits New York City and creates havoc... will they be able to ignore it on this coast?

So, I ask again why is El Nino suddenly the odd man out in the media? No, it did not cause the earthquake in Haiti and no it did not cause the Economic Recession...though it will set back recovery some as food prices are affected at the market place.

My brother in Greece says Americans still have their head in the ground like the proverbial ostrich and only think on their part of the world.

In the Philippines it's a story...

And, we are a global world and what affects another part of the world will affect our world. Our snow storm came due east all the way from Colorado to Oklahoma to Arkansas to North Carolina..

I wish newscasters would not dumb down weather to the general public and teach them, explain to them what is going on.

Dr. George, one of the best doing his thing out in KTLA land in Los Angeles in the 1980s.

Watch that man explain the weather, so few do that today...

Then again, there are a lot of things from my life in L.A. in the 1980s that I cannot begin to understand... oh what a time it was...

If you want to read a bit more about El Nino, this is a great place to do so..

I'm a little out of it today, it's cold and gray and dreary in Raleigh. Missing Miami and worrying a bit on a few things down there that need to be taken care of and I will take care of when I get back. Have another Bar Mitzvah for a friend's son this weekend and then I am Bar Mitzvahed out and am moving on to the Jewish Holiday of Purim. I need warm weather and warm water and I do mean Wrightsville Beach lol. I mean a Florida Beach... but for now am going to enjoy the weather I have as a friend of mine likes to say... it's the only weather I got.

Chow for Now

Monday, February 08, 2010

New Orlean Saints Came To Play & they Played to Win the Game -

And, that is about as simple as I can put it.

This is a picture I took down in Key West earlier this year that I have kept on my phone waiting to see the Saints win... knew in my heart back then that somehow this team would win the Super Bowl :) and....they did!

I can start with cute sayings like "when the Saints went marchin in" but the truth is they came to play and they played to win the way they did the whole season.

It was a great game and a great season and a team effort though the prize goes to Drew Brees...we will look back and remember Porter's interception, a gutsy on side surprise kick and a goal line stand at the end when it counted the the fourth quarter.

The Colts rode into the Super Bowl with a cockiness of having a well rested Payton Manning and an assumption that they would ultimately beat the Saints. Pride goes before the fall ..or so they say and in this case there has been a smugness and a pride the whole season that they would win the Super Bowl. They gave up a chance to win a spot in history by taking Payton Manning out of the Third Quarter when they were ahead and "letting him rest up for the bigger games" and were upset by the New York Jets who wanted the win more it seems. You don't take your star player out of a football game, you come to play, you play to win. It is that simple. Who is to say they would have not lost the first play off game as on any given Sunday any team can win or lose... including Super Bowl Sunday. The Colts did not come to win when they played the Jets that Sunday back in December, they were dreaming of the Play Offs and the Super Bowl. Dreams won't get you there and ego won't get you there... not even an award winning Quarterback will assure you of a team win because it is about the total team playing to win, every game.

You win some, you lose some...that is the way of football but you show up to win. The Saint's showed up to win and despite a 10 point deficit in the early part of the game, when sports forecasters were reminding people that no team has ever come back from being down 10 - O to win the Super Bowl...they did what they do best, they played their hearts out and they won!

My father always said defense wins football games. I always hated that saying. I liked the high flying aerial shoot out games, he liked those score less games that went down to one team making a mistake. He loved no hitters in baseball, I could not stand baseball... until crazy friend drove me crazy and made me love the Red Sox. My father was right after all it seems, baseball is a great game and defense does win football games. And, this defense did not give up, even when they could not get to Payton Manning and he had all the time in the world to find a receiver, they waited til he made a mistake and took an interception into the end zone for 7 points. They had a great goal line stand to defy Payton Manning of his chance to do one more 4th quarter victory and come back to win.

I was upset when they got gutsy and went for it on 4th down and did not take an easy 3 point Field Goal, please note had they done that the score would have easily been 34-17! You always take an easy 3 that early on as those 3 points can come back to haunt you and yet in this game they didn't. Yet, it was the same gutsy play that brought us our first surprise onside that early in a Super Bowl that took the Colts by surprise and gave the ball back to the Saints. Gutsy ... it worked. And, I keep spelling that wrong and correcting myself, gusty... gutsy, it's all the same thing.

Video of one of the gutsiest calls in Super Bowl history and the longest time people around the country held their breath to see who was at the bottom of the pile with the ball.

Yes, they played a passionate game and came from behind like the Redskins did to beat the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl 22 and the New Orleans Saints beat the Colts in Super Bowl 44.

Again.... all the sports forecasters in the world can be wrong when they said we wanted the Saints to win, but the Colts were the stronger team with the stronger quarterback. Sportscasters like weather forecasters are often wrong and they were wrong this time. An on air sportscaster during the game, pointed out how no team had come from behind to win after being down 10 points in the beginning, he was wrong... it's been done before as pointed out in the below link. Both good games, 22 and 44!

So, the city made famous by a hurricane wins the Super Bowl in another city made famous by Hurricanes...both in football and in weather. Seems only right that New Orleans should get it's win in Miami.

And, for the record it's not all about one quarterback but a team effort. That PERFECT SEASON record was won in Miami WITH a second string quarterback.

They came to play, they competed, they played, they did not give up or sit back but they played their heart out.

The Miami Dolphins had a perfect season because they continued to win games with Earl Morrall as a back up quarterback when Bob Griese was injured. Again, they came to play... they played to win and the Miami Dolphins of 1972 were one hell of a team!

The 2009 New Orleans Saint are one hell of a team. I fell in love with them earlier this year, they have been so much fun to watch. Yes, I have always loved Nola and followed them years back when Craig Erickson was playing for them briefly...out of curiosity but this year being out of Miami part of the season I was able to watch the Saints play more than normal...and I fell in love with them. They were pumped, alive, kicking and not giving up. Yes, they lost a few games this year but they did not collapse or give up. They kept going, they kept playing...even 10 points down in the first quarter they just kept going.

Great game.... not a perfect season but a fun season and a great Super Bowl Game and Party. Been partying all week here in Raleigh where I attended the Bar Mitzvah of my friend's son. He did an amazing job as he has his whole life, overcoming amazing problems to persevere and beautifully read from the Torah scroll during the day and partied at night with his family and friends. A young man, adopted in an orphanage in Guatemala where many children were abandoned and dying from malnutrition by a couple in America who ended up in Raleigh. And, their winter baby born in a tropical rain forest who now lives a blessed life one hell of a young Jewish man studying his chosen religion and playing sports in his spare time as well.

As I watched the snow fall through the windows during his Bar Mitzvah this Saturday I was amazed again at how complex and beautiful life is.. the twists and turns, the good...the bad... the good... what a beautiful, rich, colorful tapestry the crazy quilt of our life really is... it's filled with memories, special souls from rich diverse heritages and backgrounds blending together to make one team, like a football team. To win you need lots of good players who excel at certain positions and can work together with one goal in mind. It was an inspirational beautiful weekend up here and it ended up with us all eating leftovers at a Super Bowl Party... a friend from Nova Scotia, a couple from Denver, my friend who was raised in "The Valley" and her husband from Alabama and a few New York Jets fans who wanted badly to see the Colts go down as much as the Southerners up here wanted to see the jewel of the South win... and they did! I think it's the first time I ever cheered with someone from Pittsburgh in a football game...

Most everyone wanted the Saints to win... but the 2009 New Orleans Saints Football Team MADE IT HAPPEN!

Congratulations and... I am still proud of my Miami Dolphins for holding the record...I watched some of those games at the Orange Bowl...the 72 Dolphins will forever be my team, go Fins and YAY Saints!

Some great videos of the perfect season:

And, another with both Bob Griese and Earl Morrall speaking on that season and a very special charity they have raised a lot of money for and can help as well if you so desire by donating to the link below...

Sorry for me going long on this one, but you all know how much I love football, how much I love New Orleans and this is my personal recollection of a Great Super Bowl Game during one of the nicest weekends of my life. My blog... my forty four cents ;)

As I am a big believer in helping another's a link to a pretty good video, stick with it for a few seconds... and enjoy a great song and memories of the players who showed up with a musical reminder of just who won the game :)

Gonna be humming that tune all day... me and millions of others ;)

Besos Bobbi

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

A Tale of Two Groundhogs... When Will It Be Spring?

I guess it depends on which little groundhog you prefer... the traditional Puxatony Phil made famous in the Bill Murray movie or General Beauregard Lee in Jo-ja who lays claim to being the infamous Southern groundhog. Okay, Puxatony was on the map before the movie but everyone now remembers the movie. General Beuaregard Lee conjures up groundhogs living on golf courses with magnolia trees and Spanish moss ..

And, seriously why would one day in Puxatony predict weather for the whole United States? I mean come on, it does not take a brain surgeon to figure that a ground hog in Alaska (which is pretty close to that part of Pennsylvania snow wise) is going to see his shadow and a Groundhog raised down in Georgia is probably only going to see Azalea's beginning to bloom. I mean... Aren't we really saying if snow is on the ground... keep dreaming on Spring?

Do we really need the Groundhog? And, ever notice how that little groundhog in Pennsylvania always looks like he is being shlepped around by the guy in the up north old fashioned clown suit? I mean I've seen times where the men are all gathered around in their long coats and top hats and the groundhog looks like he wants to bite them rather than pose for pictures. What kind of people wake up a groundhog for a photo op?

Now the one down south with the ground is barely frozen looks a whole lot healthier, happier and well he looks ready to roll if you ask me..

I never really understood Groundhog Day. In Miami we always see our shadow and it's not really winter. What does shadow have to do with weather forecasting? It's all locational it seemed to me. Turns out Groundhog Day is sort of a big hoax, it is really a Celtic festival that supposedly has pre-Celtic roots called Imbolic. People light up the sky with fires and dance in a circle, some sort of "make it stop snowing" snow dance. It's a spoke on the Calendar. It's that point in mid-winter or the end of winter (depending on where you live) that you can soon expect to see Tulips pushing up through the snow. A sign of Spring down the road, you have turned the corner so to speak...

Course it's a Snow Day in the Triangle today as the State of North Carolina spends more money trying to bust people for moonshine than they do clearing the streets from a half a foot of snow that fell four days ago. Yes siree.. the kids in Durham are on a 3 day SNOW DAY Pass while they play away their Spring Vacation which will be much shorter this year and possibly non-existant if we get snow again. But, no they were out busting the Willie Nelson show gang that rolled into town with small amounts of weed and moonshine. I think they busted the owner of the place also, this was not just a bust on some of Willie's band members. And, the people in Kenansville are not worried on how this is going to hurt the booking of future rock acts who will I imagine be carrying a lot more than a little bit of moonshine. But, we all have our priorities don't we? Getting kids back in school and people back at their jobs where they can make money and clearing streets of snow or busting people who are not buying liquor from the State Liquor stores. Seems to me they have their priorities a bit mixed up personally, do you know how many kids up here were probably out partying last night, smoking weed in the snow and drinking moonshine because they could stay out late as there was no school? Hmmmmmmmn...

As for the Groundhogs... it all depends on your point of view? Do you believe in cute American myths? Celtic Legends? The Caleb guy from the Almanac? Or your local weatherman or girl on the television. Spring is coming, but for now we got lots of snow up here still and in Miami it's a bit chilly at night and I would venture to guess that until the Sub-tropical Jet slows up and El Nino stops playing games we will have a few more strong storms and some late season snowfall somewhere. It's just that kind of year. Not that I don't love Spring, I do... can't wait but if I am going to watch a rat singing you can bet your ass it's going to be the Rat Pack not some little tired, sleepy looking hairy rodent that looks like he wants to bite the people who dragged him out for some photo shoot!! Where is Peta when you need them???

As for me.. I am off to the gym where I will watch the snow melt while doing some stretch class.. Have a great day...Spring is coming, trust me... you don't need no groundhog to tell you that...

Besos Bobbi

Monday, February 01, 2010

Canary Island Storm? Shades of Christopher Columbus...

An intense little storm system has developed in the North Atlantic near the Canary Islands that may bring rain to Portugal down the road... in February, out of the season, not really tropical and yet it looks pretty tropical while watching loops.

Subtropical? Tapping into warm moisture from the ITZ it gives the illusion of being a hurricane ....yet we know it's not hurricane season and it's not really tropical.

But, it is worth looking at and remembering that Columbus has often been criticized for what he referred to as a cyclone in February on one of his voyages. It was obviously a cyclone like storm and exceptions to the rule often happen and this might be the same sort of storm that he wrote of in his logs. I mean it was before the actual dictionary of meteorology was written and a storm is a storm by any other name, especially one that spins like a cyclone.

Take a look and see....

On his voyage back to Spain the storm hit and he became separated from his other ship, both ships thought the other went down in the storm and indeed when he did reach port he discovered that over 100 ships had been said to be lost at sea. After some time in the Azores and Lisbon he made it on to Spain. Over time his account of the storm at sea (unusual for that time of year)was viewed as possibly a made up excuse to not go directly back to Spain. Accounts from other ships and records show he did indeed experience some Valentines Day sort of storm in Mid-February but that was before we had terms like hurricanes, tropical storms, sub-tropical storms, gale centers...etc.

Again... a storm by any other name is a storm. And, I think it deserves some mention at least here on Hurricane Harbor.

Now, my next thought would be... was 1493 an El Nino year? Okay, this is how we think, tropical weather people... everything relates to the tropics.

Here in North Carolina, I have a bar mitzvah this weekend for a good friend's son and next week another bar mitzvah before returning to the land of the eternal sunshine and intermittent thunderstorms and tropical showers. Hard to believe a week ago I was walking on freshly, fallen orchid petals on the walkway in near 80 degree weather. There is a little area down the hill where the snow melts and turns into a little river of water which froze over last night into an ice pond...which is about to melt as the temperature flirts with getting above the freezing line. Wondering if next week's bar mitzvah is going to get another snow storm as a guest, there is talk up this way.

Torn between taking a walk in the snow and lying here and watching the sun make patterns with the shadows from the trees across the white, glittering snow covered lawn. I need to do some writing... maybe a walk after lunch.

And, here in NC it's a snow day. Seems it's cheaper to let the snow melt today and worry on ice tomorrow than to try digging out the buses and clearing the roads. Temps in 40s tomorrow with possible rain may get rid of the snow... or cause an ice problem. Surprises me that snow in NORTH Carolina can shut down a big city, I mean it's not like snow in Florida. And, my daughter living in Ottawa is amused as she said she walks to work in snow drifts taller than she is but I suppose it's all relative. Sort of woosy, wimpy place if you ask me... it's like they want the seasons but not the snow and there is nowhere to go around here anyway at night so easy to stay home and make a fire and eat. Food and liquor I notice are real cheap up here and they raise eating and baking to an art form. Seems, they go sometimes years without any real accumulation so their way of dealing with it is to wait for it to melt. Reminds me of how Russia dealt with Napoleon...

So, that's it from my little winter wonderland where I am always...watching the tropics. No snow day for my son today in Miami, he returned to school from his winter vacation with a new "hot" black cast on his elbow and in a different carpool, one I hope and pray will not take out a palm tree on the way to school. Hey, if I had to hit a tree, would hit a palm tree any day over a pine. One day in the summer I was here, looking at some flowers on the butterfly tree and out of the corner of my eye this big, tall, pine tree s l o w l y fell over, slammed into the house, broke up into pine logs. A few people came out, opened their doors and went back in with the comment, "oh they do that all the time" ... as in no wind, nada... nothing just TIMBER... maybe a fat squirrel doing gymnastics or something. I looked into the little woods that are now snowy woods and there lay two or three other pines trees that had simply fallen over as "they do that" ....

Let's hope my son heals fast as he and my brother and counting on that Category 5 storm that some psychic Nicky someone predicted will wipe out Miami...

Up north they have snow days... in Miami we have hurricane days ... it's pretty much all we get. I'd rather have a hurricane than an earthquake or Volcano any day and twisters are fun to watch on TV but well...we all pick our poison don't we?

Besos Bobbi

Get out and enjoy the weather where you are today and remember sometimes storms hit even out of season, especially El Nino seasons. Still waiting for that Ice Storm ... never seen an Ice Storm up close and personal.