Monday, September 11, 2017

Thank You Cuba...

For Florida, Irma has now left the building as her center is located in southern Georgia.  She will continue to cause problems with her heavy rains, gusty winds and small tornadoes.   Many flights into and out of Atlanta have been cancelled and since that is the 1st or 2nd busiest airport in the country, many travelers will be impacted.   For all the issues (power/cable outages, evacuations, property damages, flooding) Irma caused, it could have been far worse.  I thought the NHC forecast track was excellent as her real  track always stayed within the error cone.   However, NHC did not anticipate so much of Irma’s circulation interacting with Cuba disrupting the intensity and drawing in drier air on the south side.  Sure she was still a Cat. 4 over the keys and a strong 3 at landfall on Marco island, but she became a northern dominated storm so,  when the eyewall passed, the southern part didn’t have the same punch.  Also her slight shift to the east spared much of western Florida (Sarasota, Tampa-St. Pete) from the huge storm surge and highest winds.   My friends in Tampa and Orlando still had power plus cell phones.  Remember in Katrina, power & phones didn’t work for days & weeks.   It seems the Gold coast really got hammered by high winds & water.  That was the result of Irma being a much bigger storm than say Andrew back in 1992.  Video out of Havana shows waste deep water flooded the streets as Irma’s  eyewall pounded them for hours.  We never wish bad stuff on others, but it’s because of Cuba that we didn’t have it worse in south Florida.  Networks are saying 10 people died in Cuba while I haven’t heard about any deaths in Florida.


Now what about Jose?   Models are forecasting Jose to do a slow loop during the next 3-4 days with the possibility of nearing the U.S. coast near the outer banks of N.C.   We’ll have plenty of time to watch him but with an upper trough over the Gulf, we are protected from Jose coming our way.  Stay tuned!

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