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!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Let's Keep Hurricane Forecasting at the National Hurricane Center!

In 2008 Nikki the psychic predicted Miami and South Beach would be basically wiped out and gone with the Storm Surge. This is why we rely on the National Hurricane Center for our hurricane and weather predictions. They did NOT predict South Beach would be blown away by a wild hurricane in 2008!!

"Wild Weather Predictions

"A giant tornado in Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas. More fires covering most of California because of the Santa Ana Winds with even drier conditions in 2008 including Los Angeles. A wild hurricane season in the Caribbean and Florida including a category five hurricane wiping out parts of Miami and South Beach, and a hurricane that moves towards New York and Toronto, Canada."

As for the weather mongers, they are all out there this season, all over the place waiting for the 2010 Atlantic Hurricane Season to begin.

Basically, no matter who you listen to, you will hear that the Atlantic is warming up and just waiting for tropical trouble as the El Nino that has brought the South the Winter Wonderland of 2010 is about to let go of his previously tight grip and go back to where he came from just in time to rock and roll in the tropics.

Well, will see. Time will tell. Not sure it's time to put on the Jimmy Buffett CD just yet, though anytime is a good time for Jimmy Buffett.

My own predictions would probably be that I wouldn't be surprised to see a more active Cape Verde season than we have had in the past. Longer trackers. You know, like a bonus two CD :)

It has been a year of extremes and there are many reasons to believe that this Hurricane Season will have some shockers and some headline grabbers.

Earthquakes, blizzards and now the suddenly active Eyjafjallajokull Volcano in Iceland. Looks what's peeking up through the snow and ice...

Good blog:

Good Article:

Salient Point: "Eyjafjallajökull has erupted three times since the settlement of Iceland in the 9th century AD, in 920, 1612 and 1821. All three eruptions were rather small but caused flooding. However, there is a short distance to Katla, Einarsson said, which is a powerful and vicious volcano, reports."

My point being, part of living on Planet Earth is surprises and things geological and meteorological that rock our world. Three times in 920, 1612 and 1821. Try predicting volcanic eruptions and you might want to move on to the Lotto. Try predicting which city will be wiped off the face of the earth with a Category Five storm surge and you might want to try your luck picking the numbers for Powerball!

It ain't easy.

The National Hurricane Center does a bang up job of it!

And, though I read Joe Bastardi and a lot of bloggers and mets around the web writing their thoughts the bottom line is always the National Hurricane Center.

Until June 1st, 2010 it is all conjecture, smoke and mirrors and fancy pronouncements on how wild and wet a ride this Atlantic Hurricane Season will be. Until I see some clouds pulling together, forming into little tropical disturbances and threatening to develop low pressure it's all just part of the game.

How many hurricanes will we have?
How many majors?
How many will make landfall?

This is what tropical meteorologists do in March of 2010, that and watch volcanoes erupt in Iceland.

And, hey... Bobbi Storm CAN read tropical minds and will tell you this:

Every time a tropical met reads a story about a volcano erupting in Iceland they think, I wonder if we were to have a big eruption at Soufriere Hills how it might effect a strong, westbound Cape Verde Hurricane.

Trust me, you can bank money on that one. They might also look up any info on the hurricane seasons of 1612 and 1821 for possible analog years!


As for me, moving on to Passover where I will be spending time with children who live in various parts of the world and cleaning, cooking and reading up on some good meteorological emails and journals.

Spent the weekend in Wrightsville Beach and it was not very tropical, can't wait to see my beach again ... which I will soon. Working my way back home one beach at a time. Nice Chabad House if anyone is looking for a place to spend the Jewish Sabbath in Wilmington, beautiful.

As for me I predict less snow in the New York City Region this coming April, azaleas to be blooming in Atlanta, Dogwood about to bloom in the Carolinas, the cold temperatures of the last few weeks about to be a part of the history books in Miami where my brother will start complaining about humidity and traffic and afternoon thundershowers. Blue skies in the Florida Keys. The Royal Poinciana in front of my family's old home will open up and cover the sky with crimson and bits of blue peeking through. Those are predictions you can count on, put em in the bank. The Winter of 2010 will let go in the same way that El Nino will let go and soon the tropical trades winds will start to blow and we will see what they will bring this hurricane season.

Besos Bobbi

Ps...for now winter still is holding on to her Icy Grip. See the storm system that is moving East into the Southeast and Mid Atlantic:

Monday, March 15, 2010

Cyclone Tomas Does Fiji - Live Coverage Link Below

If you have ever wanted to go to Fiji for a vacation, honeymoon or leave the troubles of the world far, far away? Today, is not the day to spend in Fiji as they are bracing for a Category 4 storm that is hitting as I type this blog.

Beautiful picture in blues and greens but not of palm trees but of twin storms and the one furthest to the right is Tomas and Tomas is causing trouble in Fiji today. The one not doing Fiji is named ULUI.

See, even paradise has it's problems.

Personally, I've always wanted to sleep in one of those huts over the water and just stare out at all the blue. No one is sleeping or staring right now as they take cover and brace for the storm. The main island should be safer than some of the outer islands.

I figured with a bona fide tropical news story I would blog on that today vs the storm in the North East that is just the latest in a string of strong storms and trying to squeeze in something tropical before another earthquake hits somewhere.

One thing I do want to complain about only briefly is that when you have a treacherous situation outside be it in the Northeast or New England it is a no brainer to stay inside, hunker down and wait for the storm to pass. And, as someone who has chased storms.. if I say that... y'all should listen. There is no reason to be out in the line of fire under some 70 year old tree that can fall on you and deprive your family of their father or son or brother. And, people have died as they just had to go out for something, somewhere rather than waiting patiently a few more hours or even a day. Storm chasers stalk out their storm, they study the geography and know where to set up to safely view and photograph the storm, they are experienced and professional. We have a wonderful National Weather Service that issues warnings and alerts and there just is no reason to no pay attention to said warnings and do what people do in storms... run from the water, hide from the wind.
We are so lucky to have professional mets who spend their time watching the globe from every angle and issuing warnings for the public safety, heed those warnings please!

Now, for anyone who wants to watch continuous coverage of the deadly cyclone pinwheeling around in circles is provided on Jim William's excellent Hurricane City. Incredible live feed from a local radio station there with classic rock interspersed with a very calm man with a strong accent explaining how to seek refuge from the storm. A must for hurricane lovers in any basin.

Great coverage and so like Jim to provide a link on You learn a lot about a place from their music, oldies go figure. The 80s seem to be alive and kicking in Fiji. A great sense of humor, they keep playing Ground Control to Major Tom.

As for me... letting Tomas spin on my laptop this morning as I try and recover from a mild case of the flu or something with fever and try and make some sense of Passover while Tomas passes over Fiji.

Besos Bobbi

Sunday, March 07, 2010

The Passing of Joanne Simpson - Meteorologist, Scientist, Extraordinary Woman

1923 - 1910

I was saddened the other day to hear of Joanne Simpson's passing. This blog today is dedicated to her life, her memory and her legacy.

The first time I heard about Joanne Simpson, I was told she is a meteorologist who was married to Bob Simpson. I thought, my gosh... "Can you imagine she is married to Bob Simpson who was Director of the National Hurricane Center!" Eventually, I came to think of Bob Simpson as the man who was lucky enough to be Joanne Simpson's husband.

You see over time I became friends with people who work at the Hurricane Center and who have spent their lives doing research on hurricanes. They told me personal stories of Joanne. I saw their love and respect for her, they asked me to sign a Get Well card for her when she was very ill a few years back, my brain became filled with stories of her doing cloud seeding projects, raising a family as well continuing in her career, her work on TRIMM and came to think of her as the first woman who attained a Doctorate in Meteorology. I didn't know what to write. I wished her a speedy, complete recovery and prayed she would have one.

I pictured her as Dr. William Gray described her as a young woman in a crop duster in Africa taking off from a bad runway into bad weather with other meteorologists who developed bad stomachs and yet she persevered to crawl through the belly of the plane raising her camera to window height to snap pictures of the clouds. Visions of Raiders of the Lost Ark and adventures in a time long ago filled my mind. Over time I saw with my eyes a woman who was small with short hair and reminded me of Leah Adler (Steven Spielberg's mother) who was my friend and always inspired me to go after your dreams. A tough, focused lady who knew what she wanted and yet had a hear of gold. A woman who didn't let things stop her.

I wrote about her in 2006 in this blog after attending a hurricane conference and had the privilege of sitting around with some of the best in the field and listening to them tell stories of Joanne, as she lay in a hospital unable to attend the conference and sorely missed by those who had hoped to hear her speak and loved her.

She was quoted as saying: "I have experienced three difference classes of sex-linked problems in my lifetime. The first is discrimination simply from being a woman. The second comprises difficulties from being a married woman. The third arises from being a mother" and yet... she didn't let it stop her from achieving in her lifetime all the things she achieved as a wife, as a mother and as the cream of the crop of Tropical Meteorologists.

Joanne Simpson was President of the American Meteorological Society and was the chief scientist of so many projects it is impossible to list them all and to me the list is not the point ... the point is she is a woman who did not let being a woman stop her. She is a woman who did not let being a mother stop her.. nor a wife. She was unstoppable until a few days ago when she succumbed to an ongoing illness and left a legacy of her work and research that continues to be ongoing. Every time I look at a hot tower in a hurricane I will think of Joanne.

I will remember her as I saw her once walking up the aisle talking to someone and I had no idea she was Joanne Simpson until someone told me who she was... before that she just looked to me like some excited, bubbly woman talking to old friends, dressed casually and looking not like I imagined. Appearances can be deceiving.

She was a giant in her field. It's easy to say that a woman with her brain could have gone into medicine, discovered the cure for cancer or made millions of dollars. Possibly she did more... as meteorologists who work for the government are grossly underpaid and often discover facts that help protect the multitudes. We owe them and yet we rarely hear about them as they continue their work every day quietly.

Bob Simpson, her husband, was Director of the National Hurricane Center. To a generation his name was synonymous with hurricanes. He is the Simpson in the Saffir-Simpson scale.

Now days I simply think of him as Joanne Simpson's husband.

My heart goes out to him and many of his colleagues who spent a lifetime studying what they love together with Joanne who was always easy to pick out in pictures as she was in those days "the woman" in the pictures.

Today, many women go on to receive Doctorates in Meteorology and they soar through the clouds into hurricanes in Hurricane Hunter aircraft.

I am sure somewhere Joanne's spirit is soaring through those clouds that she loved so much and we will miss her presence down here on Earth.

Besos Bobbi
Ps Some biographies and statements with lists of her many awards below: