Friday, August 18, 2017

Upper Low Moving into Gulf...

Satellite loops show a well-defined area of low pressure entering the SE Gulf centered near Key West.  Fortunately, this low is not at the surface but high aloft where the pilots fly.   David Bernard had a good graphic indicating upper low equals hurricane crusher as it creates a hostile environment for any tropical (warm core) development.  As this upper low moves westward, it should increase our shower coverage resulting in less hot temperatures for the next 2-3 days.  Today was an oven as highs reached the middle 90s with the heat index approaching 110.   I can tell you, playing golf today was a struggle as the heat literally zapped my energy.  I tried to stay hydrated, but with this heat you really need to pay attention when working or playing outdoors.  Heat exhaustion or heat stroke can sneak up on you quickly.  If you see yourself not sweating or getting dizzy, quickly get out of the sun and into air conditioning if possible.  There is a reason they are called the “dog days of August”.  Even Bailey doesn’t want to go outside during the heat of the day.  Relief is starting to show up on the north slopes of Alaska where temps are in the 30s tonight.  We are several weeks away from any real cold fronts, but at least the end of the summer tunnel is in sight.


Harvey continues a westward course over the Eastern Caribbean.  Most model tracks keep him way south, but there is a small chance he could curve more northerly late next week, cross the Yucatan and get into the western Gulf. NHC suggests he will struggle gaining intensity and keeps him a tropical storm.   No model brings Harvey near Louisiana.  92L will probably become Irma tomorrow.   Models suggest she will approach Florida before turning to the north early next week.   6 weeks until October to pay attention.  Stay tuned!


Monday’s eclipse hype is getting me nervous.  It will be a once in a lifetime event, however there is great danger to your eyes without the proper precautions.  With all the modern technology covering the eclipse, I suggest you just watch it on TV.    Every network will have extensive coverage and you won’t need to worry about cloud cover, plus you won’t need to worry about your eyes!

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Bad Memories are Sometimes Good...

Most weather events are usually teaching events.  In the case of Hurricane Camille making landfall on this date back in 1969, I’ll always remember Dr. Neil Frank showing before & after pictures of the Richelieu apartments.  It was a 3 story brick structure that wasn’t right on the beach, yet all that was left was the foundation.    I knew then the power of moving water was enormous.  Fast forward to 2005 and Hurricane Katrina.  We now know if the levees had been constructed correctly, Katrina’s impacts would have been less deadly & far less expensive.  Yet it was the force of water that blew breaches in the levees.  We have learned a lot about reducing the risk of water from a hurricane, but the fact remains you can hide from the wind, but you must flee from the water.  Of course, Andrew showed us the power of Cat. 5 winds.  Fortunately, during modern times, there have only been 3 Cat. 5 intensity at landfall hurricanes ( 1935 Labor Day storm, Camille 1969 & Andrew 1992) to cross our coastlines.   They are rare events, but they can and will happen again.   People should not only fear the major storms, but respect their power too.  We all too often believe, since we have the protection levees, we are safe from rising waters.   Katrina showed us we are not.  As a past Director of the Army Corps of Engineers once told me,…”there are 2 kinds of levees, those that have failed and those that will fail.  Our protection is not absolute.  When a major (Cat 3,4 or 5) storm comes, many of you must leave.  I’ll have more on that tomorrow.


Tropical storm Harvey was named this afternoon and I expect Irma to be named tomorrow.  Harvey is about to cross the Windward Islands tonight and will enter the eastern Caribbean on Friday.  All models keep Harvey at a low latitude and bring him across the Yucatan early next week.  He should not be our problem.  Irma to be could be a different story as she is at a higher latitude and some models do bring her into the Gulf early next week.  It’s far too soon to know if we need to get nervous, but if we are to have a threat, it will come from Irma.  The disturbance farther out could also become a named storm (Jose) but models track him farther to the north recurving him away from the SE U.S. coast line.  It’s pay attention time for the next 7-10 days.  Stay tuned!


In the short term, Friday should again see below normal storm coverage allowing highs back into the mid-90s.  As an upper low approaches this weekend, rain chances go back up and that should mean temps less hot.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Hostile Environment...

While the Tropical Atlantic continues to show potential for our next named storm (Harvey), areas closer to home are dominated by upper level lows.  One is over the south central Gulf with another over the eastern end of Cuba.  These upper troughs create wind shear and make tropical development unlikely in the short term.  The systems out in the Atlantic are far removed from these upper lows.  The closest in disturbance sure looks like it has a low level circulation and T-Storms are out ahead of it tonight.   The second system doesn’t appear as well defined and the third just off the African coast is so far out that we need not pay attention to it.  Noticed how most models are struggling to develop any of these systems.  Some models do develop, while others don’t.   Regardless, they are all so far away and none of them appear destined for the Gulf.   I think out threat, if we have one, will come during the second or third week in September.   That is not a prediction, just my hunch.  But for now, we have nothing to be worried about during the next 7-10 days.  Stay tuned!


Today’s storm coverage was far less than yesterday’s and ,as high pressure builds over us on Thursday, we may see few, if any,  storms develop during daytime heating.  Consequently, NWS has issued a heat advisory as highs could reach the mid –upper 90s.  We have not seen many highs that hot this summer since we have been unusually wet.  Rainfall at the airport in Kenner places us near the top 10 wettest with still 2 weeks to go.  The next 2 days should see a chance to dry out before daily storms return by the weekend.  I don’t need to stress the need to use common sense if working or playing outdoors.


Thanks for all the positive comments from yesterday.   We need to remember the extremes on both sides are what divides us.  The majority in the middle is what unites us.  Peace will only come when we listen, understand, and tolerate our differences.  I often listen to Martin Luther King  JR.’s “ I have a Dream” speech.   It was back in the 60s when I was at Michigan in Ann Arbor.   I suggest you google it and listen to his message that is still relevant today.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Gert Gone...More to Come...

As we say goodbye to Hurricane Gert tonight as she pulls away from the U.S. east coast, our attention will refocus back on the MDR (Main Development Region) or TNA (Tropical North Atlantic).  There are 3 distinct waves that could develop into 3 named storms during the next 7-10 days.  The closest in wave is projected to stay way south, much like Bret & Don, and track thru the southern Caribbean.   The second system is expected to be at a higher latitude and could threaten the Leeward Island over the weekend.  The 3rd wave could end up being the strongest, but it too is expected to stay at an even higher latitude and recurve long before threatening the U.S. East Coast.  I’m sure there will be more to come, but I’m encouraged by what appears to be a “ recurvature” track established by Gert that is followed by the next 2 storms.   No model is projecting any storms in the Gulf during the next 10-14 days.   That will take us into September which often is the most active month.  If we can just get thru the next 6 weeks into October, I’ll begin to relax as the fronts will be coming by then.  Long time to go so stay tuned!


I’m sure many of you are as disturbed, disgusted & depressed by the events in Virginia this past weekend.   There are and always will be hate groups in this country & our Constitution protects their right to exist.  Though I don’t accept their views, I understand how they have them.  For instance, where I grew up in North West Indiana, it was a very ethnic mix of white eastern European immigrants.  There was such prejudice that I remember my Mama telling me she had to ask my Dad’s Mother for permission to marry my Father.  Why?   Because she was Polish & my Dad was 100% Slovak.  Seems these Eastern Europeans didn’t want to “inter-marry”.   They had their own Catholic Churches & Schools & didn’t like being around each other.   I often thought if these white folks couldn’t get along with each other, no wonder they couldn’t like the blacks & Hispanics.  Fortunately my generation started the turnaround of thought, but the battle for civil rights was ugly & sometimes violent during the 60s.   I understand because I was raised in a very prejudiced environment.  My Grandmother hated all ethnic groups (poor Mrs. Finkelstein down the street) & races.  But I’m proud that I was able to change that thinking in me & my family.  Understanding, tolerance for different viewpoints, & a willingness to co-operate.   We are the World and let’s hope the majority of us remember what America really is…the United States.