Thursday, July 20, 2017

Dog Days Arrive...

We have been rather fortunate for most of this summer in that all the rainfall has kept temperatures just hot and not obnoxious…until yesterday and today.  Yikes!  95+ sucks as it really places the body at stress if you are outside for any length of time.   It appears our rain chances will go back up tomorrow into the weekend as an upper low over north Florida heads our way.  Upper lows have cold air with them (as opposed to upper highs with warmer air) and that makes for an unstable situation where daytime heating will bubble up daily storms.  The benefit is less hot temperatures and I can put up with the scattered storms. 


Speaking of upper lows, we have many over the Tropics and that is good news as they make for a hostile environment for any development.  None of the models are showing tropical storms/hurricanes in the Gulf or Caribbean during the next 10-14 days.  Stay tuned!


Finally, am I the only one who thinks the coverage of the O.J. parole hearing was overblown by the media?  Every network (even the financial ones) covered it live.  OMG…was it that dull a news day?  Even the soap operas were pre-empted & I promise many loyal viewers were hacked about that!   One wonders about the judgment of those in charge.  Grand Isle Tarpon Rodeo begins next Thursday.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Tarpon Rodeo Begins Next Thursday...

One of the annual highlights of summer for me is the Grand Isle Tarpon Rodeo.  It begins one week from tomorrow culminating in the awards ceremony on Saturday night.   You can go to for rules & regulations.  Registration allows you the opportunity to win a fully equipped boat & trailer so even if you can’t make it down to Grand Isle, you can give yourself the chance to be lucky and win a nice boat.  Barry Kern is this year’s President and he is throwing a “Tarpon-Gras parade” Saturday morning on the island.   You can come down for just a day or stay for all 3.  It’s a great way to introduce your kids to fishing and/or crabbing the beach.  Jim Henderson will join me to be Master of Ceremonies so come on down and say hello.  All we need is some good weather…and I’m working on that!


Looking back, it’s almost embarrassing how quickly Tropical Storm Don faded away.   Why waste a name on a system that appears to be, at best, a strong tropical wave?   Long range computer models continue to show nothing developing in the Atlantic during the next 10-14 days.  The Eastern Pacific continues going “nuts” with several named storms, a depression and another likely storm later this week.   That is where the MJO is in the favorable (rising air) phase.   None of these systems will be a threat to land.  The western Pacific has no storms so only EPAC is keeping hurricane trackers busy.  I’m sure we’ll get our opportunities later in August & September to be nervous, but for now enjoy the quiet.


The Summer heat is on in full force as is typical for this time of the year.  Watching the network newscasts, you would think this has never happened before.  You do have to use common sense if you work or play outside during the heat of the day.  While golfing today, I drank 2 bottles of Gatorade light and didn’t have to pee.  I sweated it out!  If you don’t hydrate, you’ll quickly find yourself disoriented and in need of medical attention so start drinking water or the sports drinks BEFORE you get thirsty.   Also wear a hat & use sunscreen if you’re outdoors for many hours.   David indicates the next 2 days will see below normal rain chances resulting in above normal temps. until an upper low increases clouds & showers for the weekend.  We hate all the daily showers but without them highs will be in the mid to upper 90s with the heat index topping 100-105.  I still remember the summer (1980 I believe) where Dallas topped 100 for 42 straight days!  Can you imagine that!  Stay tuned!

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Don a Wasted Name...

As Trop. Storm Don enters the eastern Caribbean, he will likely be sheared apart and downgraded to a Depression shortly.  In fact, back in the days of Dr. Neil Frank & Bob Sheets, this system probably would never have been named.   Since we have such high quality satellite pictures added to the longer ranges of hurricane aircraft, storms are named far sooner now than back in the 60s, 70s & 80s.  It makes comparing decade to decade total named storms rather useless, much like who was better…Jim Brown or Walter Payton, Bill Russell or Kareem Jabbar?    But let’s give it a try.  Weather Bell’s Joe Bastardi pointed out the 1950s had 99 named storms versus 145 for the past decade.  However, the 99 storms of the 50s were far stronger than the 145 storms of the past decade on average.   Are we seeing a dramatic increase in the number of storms due to global warming?  Or, could it be our vastly better technology allows us to classify systems that years ago would have been nameless?   Regardless, it appears we are seeing more storms that are weaker, not stronger than in the past.   What gives?   I don’t know.  What I do know is we are currently in a streak of 11+ years without having a major (Cat.3+) hurricane cross the U.S. coastline.  That can’t go on forever.  There are indications that the MJO will shift into the favorable (rising air) phase sometime in the first 1-2 weeks in August.   You should be knowing where you will go & how you will get there BEFORE a storm threatens us.  Evacuations are very expensive & stressful.  I suggest you minimize both by contacting relatives and/or friends (who are inland away from storm surge) to find out if they can provide you with a place to stay during the threat.  Let’s hope this is not our year again, but it’s better to have your plan set up BEFORE the threat arrives. 


In the short term, any storms that form tomorrow will again be slow movers allowing for 1-2”+ totals in less than an hour.  This is the worst time of the year for the TV weather folks as they try to keep you interested in watching when you already know what the forecast will be.  Until the fronts start coming, expect highs 90+ with some daily storms somewhere.  Wow, what a brilliant forecast!  Stay tuned!

Monday, July 17, 2017

Active Cycle Coming?

Yes I’m back from a long trip to Europe.  Very nice if only we could eliminate the 10 hour+ flights.  Those of you who have followed me over the years know I’m a big believer in CYCLES whether it’s Global warming/cooling, sunspots, El Nino/La Nina etc.    The MJO often predicts an active uptick in tropical activity like back in June with Bret & Cindy.   Today we have a very active EPAC and a lessor active MDR in the Atlantic.   NHC did upgrade a system east of Barbados to Tropical Storm Don this afternoon, but his life cycle will be very short as the Caribbean has strong wind shear that will quickly affect Don.  Behind Don is another system that computer models take farther to the north well east of the islands later this week.  There is nothing showing up in the models in the 10-14 day period that threatens the Gulf.  That will get us into August when, historically, the heart (most active) of the hurricane season occurs.   Usually, Aug. 15th thru Sept. 30th is our crunch time IF we are to have any tropical threats.  What I am seeing tonight is a pattern of upper lows (TUTT) stretching from the SW Gulf back across the Northern Caribbean Sea  that makes for a hostile environment.   We know hurricanes need upper level highs to allow the low level convergence to vent, so upper lows are good news for us. 


In the short term, our current pattern is NOT totally “typical summertime” in that the movement of storms is slow and erratic, unlike the more “normal” SE to NW movement around the Bermuda High.   This slow movement results in 2-3” of rain in less than an hour over small areas that leads to brief street flooding.  Expect more of the same on Tuesday.  A drying trend sets in for Wed-Friday meaning we should see hotter temperatures.   If you think positive, we only have about 8-10 weeks before real cold fronts start to return.  Stay tuned!