Today was my sister Carol’s birthday up in NW Indiana. Their HIGH was 35! Burrr! Oh how I remember those days back in Ann Arbor in the late 60s when I’d give anything for warmer weather. The winter cold usually started in full force by late October and often lasted into April. At that time, I thought the cold was “normal”. I didn’t know any better. My 1st job in Tampa brought me to a new world where winter didn’t mean snow and often meant shorts and tank tops at Christmas time. After 38 years here, I could never go back to those month after month of boots and heavy coats. As I say now…”if you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen!” I love being in the Kitchen! We won’t have summer-like warmth this weekend, but it will be very nice as we say goodbye to February. No rain is likely before next Tuesday so get out and enjoy it!
This will be my 39th hurricane season in 2016. In my 1st few years, we didn’t have any major threats. Oh sure we had the 1st male named Hurricane (Bob!) back in 1979 in July with Frederic following in late August. Neither had much impact here. The next storm I remember occurred in August of 1983 when Alicia formed south of the Louisiana coast and headed into Houston as a Cat. 3. That storm showed me the real power of a hurricane as it battered the high rises of downtown Houston. I wondered what would happen here if a Cat. 3 hit us? The 1985 season was our 1st real active season in many years with Elena and Juan making multiple loops and Kate being a Cat. 3 in the Gulf in November! Back then I loved when hurricane season came around as I knew that is when folks really paid attention to the weather. That all started to change when big storms started to come closer to us. Hurricane Andrew in 1992, Georges in 1998, Ivan in 2004 and Katrina and Rita in 2005. We went from near misses to being the bulls-eye with Katrina. Isaac in 2012 was the storm that really drained me as its slow motion forced us to stay on-air for several days. I was whupped! I began thinking …”perhaps these storms are for the younger meteorologists?” My endurance wasn’t the same. I finally decided I needed to give it up. I will still be available if needed this hurricane season, but only as a consultant. David, Bruce, Nicondra and Shelby will handle the daily shifts with me lending a helping hand if a storm enters the Gulf. I’ll be at the National Hurricane Conference with David next month where the gurus will try to predict the number of storms for 2016. Let’s hope it will be another quiet season.