Monday, June 26, 2017

A Salute to a Great Man...

I learned today that my long time eye surgeon, Dr. Richard Hesse passed away last Saturday.  He was only 73. Dr. Hesse was a giant in his field and I trusted him to Botox the muscles around my eye that were causing the left side of my face to “twitch”.   I have a condition called “Blepharospasm” caused by a wandering artery in my brain.  Most of you never knew it since Dr. Hesse was so good at keeping this condition under control.   It required not only steady hands & expert touch, but Dr. Hesse had to insure the proper dosage of Botox was used.   It is a great loss for me, but a greater loss for his Family & our community.   I will miss his wit and smile and his skill.  RIP Doc.


Finally a dry day!   It’s rare to get a front down to the Gulf coast in late June.  In fact, we don’t want fronts coming into the Gulf during this time of the year as that’s how Hurricane Alicia formed back in 1983.  However, just to have some drier air move over us was a real treat.   It won’t last very long and I expect the daily spotty storms to be back by Wednesday.  We still haven’t seen any signs that a heat wave (95-100) is coming and we’re almost through 1/3 of Meteorological Summer.   In the Pacific, Hurricane Dora has developed a sharp eye on satellite loops but it is moving away from land.   Nothing is happening in the Atlantic and that’s the way we want it.  Stay tuned!

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Record Wet June?

The good news is this June has not been Gawd Aweful Hot as most days have stayed below 90.  The bad news is the reason for the less hot is way too much rainfall.  In fact, with 5 days to go we only need another 3+” to become the wettest June ever.  Currently we are at # 4 and should stay there as the next 2 days are likely to be dry.  That should change later in the week as our typical daily showers return.   This afternoon’s satellite loops show a flair up in T-Storms over the southern Gulf.   NHC isn’t talking about it and it appears the activity is related to the interaction of a weak tropical wave with another upper level low.  The MJO has gone back to a less favorable phase so no development of this system is likely.   Still, I hate to see any storms flair up over the Gulf at this time of the year.


Bubba update…picked 5 more tomatoes(18 so far) Friday and had to cut back on the upper branches since the winds from Cindy bent them over.  One tomato is left so Bubba is on life support.   Once it ripens, it’s time to replant something different.   Cindy knocked off one of the satsumas from Bozo leaving one left.    If that doesn’t ripen, Bozo is toast.   My grapefruit is loaded again with hundreds of fruit.   I’m enjoying watching things grow, produce, die & replant .   Stay tuned!

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Cindy's Convoluted Circulation Continues...

Wow…I’m not sure where to begin.  Let’s start with the IR satellite loop that still shows the center of Cindy totally exposed with all of the storms now wrapping around to the north & west sides.  To me Cindy has really slowed down and that is why her large wind field has not weakened very much.  Persistent SSE winds are not allowing water to recede out of Lake P. and, coupled with the runoff from today’s heavy rains across the Lake, water levels are actually rising despite the fact Cindy is over 200+ miles to our west.  I don’t think the center will reach shore until sometime Thursday morning.  Here’s my concern.  As David pointed out on the forecast model, we’re likely to see several bands of heavy rainfall develop overnight.  Where these band set up will make a huge difference in what kind of weather you get tomorrow.  If you are lucky and stay between bands, Thursday will be mostly sunny with just a passing shower.  However, if you get stuck under one of these bands, you will stay rainy with another 3-6” possible on top of what we’ve had already.  Until Cindy gets farther inland and her wind field decreases, I expect more high water outside the levee protection system.   Some rain bands could still be around on Friday, but I expect to see gradual drying.   It will take probably until Saturday for waters to drain out of Lake P.


Now to recap.   Let’s be honest.   Long range computer models hinted at a tropical system in the Gulf 7-10 days ahead of time.   Where they were wrong was on the timing and location.  NHC original had a track much closer to us before finally settling along the TX/LA coast for landfall.  Here’s what surprised me.   I have never in 45+ years tracking storms & hurricanes seen a system that was so lopsided initially and then became totally devoid of storms during its lifetime.  All of the weather stayed away from the center.  In addition, I was surprised by the power of the winds from such a disorganized storm.  We all should take note how high the waters rose in the Lake,( with only a weak Tropical Storm) and outside the levees all because of days of strong SSE winds.  It really matters what side of the storm you are on.  This will not be our last tropical threat this season so we must pay attention to where that “centerline” track goes. Cindy clearly showed us what side of the storm is the worse, however, as she has slowed down approaching the coast tonight, much of the strongest storms are now rotating over the western side.  Typically, the east side will get the heaviest rains and strongest winds & storm surges.   Cindy should also tell us that when a real storm comes (Cat. 2+), you better think EVACUATION.  I know I’m thinking full house generator!  My concerns going forward?   After seeing all the water over the roads down to Grand Isle, on the NOLA lakefront and along the Mississippi Gulf coast, I feel we have not addressed the low spots that will flood blocking the main evacuation route out of NOLA.  It bothers me that going out I-10 to the east just before you get on the long bridge, it would take only 4-5 feet rise in Lake P. to cut off that route to safety.  In addition, we know the same problems exist going out I-10 to the west at La Place and I-55 to the north.  The state has done nothing to fix those issues exposed during Isaac back in 2012.  Bottom line…if you choose to evacuate, leave early to 1) avoid the gridlock and 2) to avoid having the roadways flood closing them down.  We can hope this will be our only threat this season, but signs point to more problems coming down the road.  Stay tuned!

Midday Update on Cindy...

What a convoluted system she is…a still exposed (lack of storms) center, but worse yet she has multiple centers that are rotating around a large circulation that (to me) appears to have come to a halt once again over the NW Gulf.  This slowdown in movement keeps Cindy over water   and that is keeping active feeder bands coming in from the Gulf.  One band has set up from Grand Isle northward up Barataria Bay right across metro NOLA.  Cells are moving up the band, but the training of cells is setting up the potential for flooding rains this afternoon.  In addition, we have a threat for quick lived, fast moving small tornadoes.  I’ll be curious to see if NHC is seeing this slowdown in forward motion.  If true, we could stay in strong south winds,  high tides & minor flooding into Friday!    Their next update comes out at 1 PM.  I’ll have an expanded blog update later tonight.