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, January 30, 2012

Busy Day... Coldest Temps Ever Recorded in Alaska... 3.2 Quake in Va...again and Nuclear Plant in Illinois Puts Out Steam

Crazy day in the world of Earth Watching...for the Earth Science Crowd.

That nuclear plant shown above is in Illinois, not far from Chicago as the crows fly and those crows may be inhaling some nuclear steam for the next day or so. The plant, owned by Chicago based Exelon Corp in Byron. An offsite problem caused a power loss which was resolved, but not before the plant vented steam... as it is set up to do in case of a problem.

Good to know the back up generators kicked in...

As steamy as it is at Byron... the coldest temperature ever recorded in the United States was set today in Alaska when it was so cold the thermometer broke when the battery at the weather center went out. So, we aren't sure just how much colder it was but it stopped recording just prior to and still going south... as it approached NEGATIVE 80... that's cold.

Of course, there is an imbalance in the weather world as Alaska is the coldest it has been since 1971 and we can barely get snow in Virgina or Illinois.

It truly is an amazing planet...

While Virginia is low on snow this winter, it's strong on aftershocks and tonight's aftershock was registered 3.2.

Interestingly busy day in the world today from an Earth Science perspective.

I'm wondering if some storm will brew down the road that will mix up the atmosphere a bit and create some balance but then balance is not a word that La Nina seems to know.

Sweet Tropical Dreams..

Bobbi interesting afterthought here is that Alaska has been pretty active geologically the last few days, mild quakes . . . still . . . catches my attention:

MAP 2.7 2012/01/31 00:53:00 62.843 -148.225 57.7 CENTRAL ALASKA
y/m/d h:m:s LAT
deg LON
km Region
MAP 3.2 2012/01/30 23:39:47 37.947 -77.984 3.0 VIRGINIA
MAP 2.5 2012/01/30 23:11:30 35.883 -117.909 3.7 CENTRAL CALIFORNIA
MAP 4.8 2012/01/30 19:56:07 -25.056 -179.881 483.2 SOUTH OF THE FIJI ISLANDS
MAP 4.6 2012/01/30 19:38:23 -1.335 137.808 38.2 NEAR THE NORTH COAST OF PAPUA, INDONESIA
MAP 4.9 2012/01/30 18:25:21 -2.841 129.546 42.6 SERAM, INDONESIA
MAP 2.5 2012/01/30 17:02:23 36.020 -117.820 2.7 CENTRAL CALIFORNIA
MAP 4.6 2012/01/30 16:34:13 -7.093 128.844 149.9 KEPULAUAN BARAT DAYA, INDONESIA
MAP 2.7 2012/01/30 14:58:47 62.215 -145.763 1.3 CENTRAL ALASKA
MAP 2.6 2012/01/30 14:57:48 44.231 -114.137 15.4 SOUTHERN IDAHO
MAP 5.2 2012/01/30 13:20:35 2.030 96.611 38.7 SIMEULUE, INDONESIA
MAP 4.3 2012/01/30 12:33:17 15.867 -93.715 138.0 OFFSHORE CHIAPAS, MEXICO
MAP 3.3 2012/01/30 10:42:01 59.855 -152.955 20.7 SOUTHERN ALASKA
MAP 3.5 2012/01/30 10:34:20 19.061 -64.239 55.3 VIRGIN ISLANDS REGION
MAP 2.5 2012/01/30 09:13:03 59.911 -152.185 123.4 SOUTHERN ALASKA
MAP 2.9 2012/01/30 08:10:46 61.764 -150.318 5.6 SOUTHERN ALASKA
MAP 2.9 2012/01/30 08:09:42 60.348 -152.411 107.8 SOUTHERN ALASKA

Smoke and Haze Become Deadly Combination in Florida - 10 Dead

It always amazes me that people worry on global terrorism and space invaders, flesh eating bacteria and natural disasters yet they don't worry on the every day dangers such as smoke and fog covering a dark highway in the middle of the night.

They worry on aliens out there who don't like the job we are doing on Planet Earth, yet they don't check the many sites available online before they take a short trip across the state.

Why would you drive fast on a foggy road in the middle of nowhere? And, yet...they do.

Fog in Florida in December is common, not a rare Category Four Hurricane and it is deadlier as people are out on the road racing back to school or cutting across the state on their way somewhere and they don't appreciate the dangers out there the way they hunker down and stay inside when a Category 4 storm is about to make landfall.

I can save more lives on this blog by begging people to check out weather conditions before they travel locally, than ironically warning people to board up for a hurricane in Florida. Go figure... ironic but true.

Read this article and think on it next time you travel and then do a quick check on the web for traffic road and weather conditions before you decide which route to take and when to travel. Speed kills and speed kills absolutely on a smokey, foggy night in the middle of the night.

While Florida is known for sunny beaches, lightning strikes in Tampa and tropical weather...December and January often bring foggy nights. Add into that mix a nearby brush fire and you have a deadlier cocktail than Camille on the Beach.

Happens frequently, yet people don't seem to worry on it in the same way they worry about sharks swimming offshore near Cape Cod. has a travel page that allows you to pick your form of travel, your direction on a highway and shows you in details where you need to be careful and not speed.

The State offers sites. is another site.

One car on the highway was warned by a friend traveling up ahead to slow down because of the poor visibility before they got caught in the traffic jam, seconds before the accident that took the life of the man who was sitting in the car next to them talking to them through their open windows about the traffic delay.

I grew up in Florida, piled into the car at 4 AM in Miami with friends and family headed north towards Disney World thinking "what the heck" or some other words I won't publish here. We drove north thinking it would lift and yet it didn't. It took two hours to get north of Ft. Lauderdale as we slowly made our way northbound waiting for the sun to burn off the worst of it. Mid-Winter Vacation was always marred by foggy trips on the Turnpike. Add in smog and it creates a death toll bigger than a Category Two hurricane.

I didn't have to surf the web to know students would be involved on their way back to school.

Steven R. Camps of Gainesville described it as looking like the "end of the world" and so it was for the people in the car next to him who died upon impact in the deadly accident.

Again, next time you decide to take a trip in the middle of the night... check out this site or others like it to find out what the possible weather conditions might be. And, sometimes staying over an extra few hours or a day is worth the delay than taking your chances on a foggy road in the middle of the night and hoping some car in a rush behind you is not going 80 mph despite the dangerous road conditions.

Besos Bobbi

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Solar Storms 2012 & The Northern Lights

Many have called this year 2012 to be the Year of the Solar Storms. Of course, many said that about last year and yet the storms have gotten stronger and the Northern Lights are being seen further south giving many the chance of a lifetime to view the Northern Lights for themselves, up close and personal ... with their cameras and posting these pics online.

Beautiful pictures of what to many is the Holy Grail and one of those things to do on their bucket list. They are up there with the Taj Mahal and the Great Pyramid's of Egypt or Mayan Ruins. Only problem is...they are harder to arrange to see unless you live in Alaska or Norway. You can book a cruise to the Caribbean or a flight to India but on any given day you may miss a chance to see the Northern Lights, even if you book a long term stay. They either happen or they don't and the forecasted period doesn't allow cheap airfare unless you are a very wealthy person where money is not a problem. I mean you can't just hop on a flight and hope and pray you might get lucky ...can you?

Hey.... the Taj Mahal is not going anywhere so perhaps you'd rather look for a cheap, doable flight to see it instead.

There are a list of Webcams that advertise that you can watch from your computer at home, if that is not the most meteorolgically voyeuristic idea... I don't know what is..

But, give it a try and let me know if you were able to see the Northern Lights tonight on one of them. <---great link i think ;)
and-forecast.html (good overall site with lots of info)

Maybe order in some great Indian food, turn on the heat, relax by the fireplace and watch the webcams online or... go to youtube, lot's of great video ;)Best one I've seen in a long time... beautiful music, sites, definitely want to take that cruise ;)

Another great option ...if you have money... is to take a cruise and hope to get lucky. Some beyond beautiful pics on this page and am thinking if I ever win the lottery (of figure out how to make money from this blog) I may take one of these cruises.

Of course there are people who will blame dropped calls (oops) and migraines and moodiness. Then again... you might just be really unhappy with your life, looking for something to blame it on and need to take a cruise.. (just thinking outloud here) but there is a lot of scientific data to support these beliefs.

Either way... somewhere today there will be Northern Lights and there is a good chance based on the predictions of many scientists that this year will continue to be one filled with Solar Storms and more Northern Lights.

In my neck of the woods this morning there is a "Dense Fog Advisory" and people are cleaning up in Alabama still from yesterday's tornadoes. It's snowing in Marquette and it's warm in sunny Florida.

I started a new blog this week to follow how the weather may or may not affect this year's Presidential Elections.

Weather changes everything and I find myself trying often to explain how and why I took so much meteorology along with geography and demography for my degree in International Relations. It's easy to say Russia needed a warm port and Napolean didn't fare well during the deep, long Russian winter. It's easy to try and explain how El Nino became a newstory when it became a famous International Law Case about fishing boats seized off the coast of Peru but still... few people realize how much a rainy day on election day or bad weather while a candidate is making public appearances at the State Fair can make a difference. Weather affects the economy, a hard freeze destroys oranges still on trees or strawberries in the field, the prices go up and people lose their farm or their profit for the year.

Weather, both Space Weather and Earth Weather, changes the course of history time and time again just very few people point it out. I do.

And, I am sure many people reading this blog have had just one day in their life when they meant to go vote in some small municipal election but the weather never cleared up or they were too cold, or they made another excuse about why they didn't bother to vote... happens, it's even happened to me and I'm the type who signed up to vote on my birthday as soon as I turned old enough.

I'm a registered Independent. I vote the man or woman not the party and gave up trying to fit into the Democratic Party or the Republican Party.

So, if you enjoy my blog here... check me out there as well and have a very, beautiful day.

Besos Bobbi

Ps if you live anywhere in the shaded area in the map above... don't forget to bundle up, go outside for a walk (weather permitting) and make a wish and look up and hope to see a shooting star or a glimpse of the Northern Lights.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Night of the Tornadoes... Real Life NOT the Movie

Word went out last night in the storm chase community that it was going to be a bad night for the South. The worst kind of night actually, as the twisters would swarm through the south under the cloak of darkness and that usually wreaks the most havoc when it comes to loss of life. Last night lived up to it's publicity as there are already two deaths reported in Jefferson County, Alabama.

The news reports this morning from the areas north of Birmingham, small beautiful little towns that have been partially flattened will be heartbreaking. Maplesville, Alabama was under the gun last night or rather very early this morning. Nothing sweet about this mess and nothing unusual in that severe weather is one of the biggest threats we face every day somewhere, anywhere in this country.

This is the region that is going to be reporting damages this morning... Maplesville, not just a name in the news but a place on the map:

We worry on Alien Spaceships and the nuclear bomb in the hand of rogue nations and nasty nations and we worry on politics and primaries but the reality is any given moment on Planet Earth someone is under the gun and their life is about to be ripped apart by fast, forming, sudden, severe weather. This morning it's Alabama, last night it was Arkansas and tomorrow it may come to a town near you.

Atlanta is protected by a cold wedge of air that is delivering gray, rainy, cold weather. No snow, some fog, a lot of SAD for people who like to wake up and see the sunshine. Further up the road in Raleigh the sunrise was punctuated briefly by a touch of mauve before it defaulted back to dreary, gray skies and a foggy commute. Why anyone would want to live in cities this far inland, the sky hidden by a wall of green pine trees and rarely ever getting snow is beyond me. Then again, I'm a beach girl.... Miami Beach, Long Beach, Santa Monica Beach, any beach will do...

Note at the top part of the cold front there is snow, ice... and the bottom part that is dragging it's tale across the south there is rain and severe weather forming. Tornadoes are a natural occurrence, they happen when the warm, hot air from the south moves up and punches into the cold, dry air that is descending and especially in a "warm" winter like this one when a cold front marches across the Deep South.... and you get slam, bam and thank you maam ... Personally, I'd rather have a hurricane or a blizzard than a tornado, but that's me.

You can follow the developing news out of this region on the following links, I may add more later as more news develops but at least the home folk in Atlanta feel they are safe from any damage due to their "cold wedge" however as the temperatures rise and the cold front moves on someone, somewhere is going to get an early taste of what would normally be strong, Spring storms as we are still deep in winter.

To these towns the Super Bowl is no longer a big exciting news story and the Florida Primary is not really relevant. What is relevant is finding the remains of their lives that are now scattered across the landscape.

As for me....going to take a shower and try and figure out what to do while hiding from the fog and cold air and wondering...strangely, did Stephanie Abrams color coordinate today with the severe weather or was that just a coincidence or was she trying to stay warm this cold, gray morning in Atlanta.

Alexander City... you are under the gun next for severe weather...

Welcome winter.... would have preferred a small Southern Snow Storm not this Spring like mess which makes me spring coming early this year?

Besos Bobbi

Ps... if I lived in the Atlanta Metro or anywhere in Georgia I'd keep watching the weather. It seems to me the NWS is hedging a bit on their protective wedge...


Hmmmmnnnn looks like a BIG "IF" to me... time will tell and that is why we call it a forecast...

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Where's Snow? Ice Storm in NW???

Seems that SNOW is missing from a good part of the nation this week. It IS snowing mind you, but not where it usually snows.

It's snowing in Seattle where it rarely snows. As anyone who was a baby boomer knows.... it rains in that part of the woods, rains a lot.

But, this week even the University was closed down...even the library at the university was closed down which is about as rare as it gets. <---Bottom line for students... a SNOW DAY

Seattle-Tacoma Airport is closed, no flights in or out and they are hunkering down for a possible ice problem on top of the snow problem.

Here's a good blog about the truth about snow in Seattle:

Actually............there are Ice Warnings for Seattle this morning and an Ice Event in Seattle is rarer than a Snow Event.

Here on the East Coast it's been a strange winter. After last year's ongoing blizzards this year there have been barely a few flakes falling that you most likely missed if you did not take out the garbage in the middle of the night or did not park yourself on the porch waiting to see snow fall. Flakes, small, barely there flakes that did not stick and did not cover the ground.

That strange area between the Mid Atlantic and the South has yet to really see a good snow fall unless it's in the ski resorts where they are pumping snow and keeping the ground covered in white. Neither North Carolina or Virginia have really seen snow, unless you count a few flakes falling in the western part of the state where the mountains reach high into the cold winter sky.

It's all a matter of perspective I suppose.

Seattle got snow. No one should be sleepless in Seattle, they should be either freaking about how to get to work or making snowmen or snow girls.

In the South, people are enjoying sunny blue skies and wearing their flip flops. I took out my white, furry boots the other day expecting it to be cold enough to wear them and threw them back into the closet for when I am up north next. Yes, I did wear a sweater but I did take it off about an hour later after the last "really strong cold front" pushed through into Miami.

I keep checking the 10 day forecast for North Carolina and New York... barely a flurry and no forecaster is putting his reputation on the line forecasting that event long range.

Meanwhile, the snow in Seattle will move east and Chicago will look more like Chicago than it did the other day when people were out jogging around Lake Michigan in shorts.

We have crossed that bar of January 15th and well into winter and yet... nothing much has changed... we are still waiting for snow to show on our side of the country.

As for me... I've traveled a lot for family events and enjoyed a beautiful day away from everyone and everyone thing at Rock Reef Resort in Key Largo, truly a pristine paradise for those who want to get away from it all and breathe and stare out at the ever changing watery landscape.

Watched a strange, quiet sunset, stared at the water for a long, long time and was cold enough at midnight to put on a sweater when I went out to look at the moon. Trees were down from the wild storm that passed through Key Largo and took the top off of the Manderlay's new oceanfront dining area. More on that later... but today's post is not about severe weather in the Keys but snow missing in action in my neck of the woods and the other part of the woods is buried in snow.

So....where ever you are Snow.. (probably hiding in Alaska with Superman in his Icy Fortress not ready to deal with prime time emotions).... I miss you. Miss you a lot.

If I'm gonna be up north and it's gonna be this cold... I want to look snow in the face, eye to eye and feel it wrap itself around me, taste snow on my tongue and dance with the storm.

Still waiting... still holding on.... and wearing layers and memories to keep me warm.

Sweet Dreams of Snow... Bobbi

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

I Dream of Snow...and a Good Dolphin Draft Day

Sitting here in North Carolina and headed back home to Miami very soon and thinking how somehow it does not feel fair for a place to be 28 degrees and for it not to snow.

Bone Suckin Sauce yes...bone cold But, bone cold is what we have across most of the East coast this morning.

Sitting here texting with my brother in Miami who is waiting for the cold temps and am thinking it somehow is not fair to go home to the sun and have it as cold as it is up north.

People in Miami have, by the way, stopped talking on how we crushed the Jets playoff hopes and moved on to the weather again.

We always talk weather in Miami, we don't get a lot of up north weather but we talk about it a lot. We long for those days when we can take out our boots, our jackets and dress up like Wintertime Barbie Dolls in leather boots with five inch heels and layers that will come off as the temperatures climb around noon. I remember a day when I was in school and I wore a "maxie skirt" over a "mini skirt" and a fun jacket over a tee shirt finished off with really sexy boots. I began unbuttoning the "maxie skirt" button by button until I took it off completely, ditched the coat and ended up walking home barefoot. So much for a Miami cold front....

Sometimes, we get longer cold spells.

This is the first real cold front they have had up in Raleigh this winter. A little flirting with the 30s but mostly mild. The coldest day I have had this season so far was a Friday night in North Miami Beach, went for a walk with my best friend and daughter and a cold front came through, winds gusting the way they do in Miami the night the front blows through and I was freezing. Thinking this Friday night on the canal is going to feel the same way though the front will have backed off a bit.

The Dolphin really didn't crush the Jets season, the Jets crushed it themselves when they did not secure a place for themselves. That's the reality of life... either you put the game away and tie up the playoffs or you hope for three teams to win and you to beat your division rivals on the last day of the regular season.

Football is a metaphor for life and you either get it or you sit wondering what happened to your life and your play off dreams.

You settle for a penny and a penny is all you get. You set your sights low and accept mediocre and you end up hoping next year will be better than this year... and yet it won't be unless you do something to change things. As a Dolphin fan I've been there hoping two teams will lose and we would beat the next to the best team in football on the last Sunday of the season. Rarely the way. That's not how winners play, winners play to win every game, every week, all year.

You settle for a washed up quarterback rather than trading up to grab a winner or settle for a player who never really made it with some crummy team when they were drafted in the first or second round two or three years ago.

Football is like life.. you got to know when you have a gem in front of you and guard it with your life and not let it get away from you. You have to tell em you love em... you have to play to win, not watch from across the room wishing you could go for who you really want rather than dancing alone.

There are no second chances sometimes, it's not baseball... no double headers and only so many games and then the season is over.

Take a chance, go for the right player, the player you really, really want and believe in him and spend the big money and hope like hell he can connect with his receivers and the fans start showing up again and the money keeps rolling in. Doesn't have to be a quarterback, can be a good receiver, coach.... kicker. Watched Arizona win the other day with one of our cast off kickers. We let a lot of good players get away over the years, it's time for that to stop. Personally, I think we need to get rid of Jeff Ireland. How are we ever going to get something different, with the same person picking the flowers for dinner? Hmmmnnn??? I mean seriously? The man would come in last in the Iowa Caucus and has more baggage than a wagon train but we are letting him pick our new coach? Makes no sense...

So... as I listen to Sting sing "I dream of rain" I am really dreaming of snow... wishing I could see snow... at least once this year. Got weddings to go to and parties to attend and unfortunately Iowa and New York are not on my dance card the next few months... what's a Miami girl to do when snow is not on her dance card?

I don't know the answer, except to keep on dreaming, keep on wishing and hoping the Fins pick a good coach who knows how to make the most of his team and who refuses to settle for mediocrity and is given a wallet that is wide enough to buy the best players available.

Speaking of someone who knows where the sun shines the sweetest... congratulations to Lebron and his high school girlfriend and the mother of his children... seems they are getting married. Not sure what took him so long, but well he's a Capricorn and I guess he wanted to be really, really secure before he popped the question ;)

Sweet Tropical Dreams Miamians... gonna dream on snow for a few months until the tropical season returns again.


In a Sting sort of mood today....