Musings & Thoughts for August 1, 2020: or, Life in the Midst of Hurricane Alley and COVID-19

Photo by Simon Clayton on Pexels.com

Hi, there, Constant Reader, and welcome to another edition of Musings & Thoughts. It’s Saturday, August 1, 2020 , and man, is it hot outside! Right now, in my current corner of Florida, the temperature is 91˚F (33˚C) under sunny skies. With a nine MPH easterly breeze and humidity at 65%, the heat index is a whopping 104˚F (40˚C). The forecast for our area calls for mostly sunny skies and a high of 94˚F (34˚C).

That’s not the case for my former – and oft-missed – neighborhood in Miami. As Hurricane Isaias nears the southeast coast of Florida, the weather there is not as sunny or hot. Though it looks like the center of the storm will stay just offshore east of the Miami area (for the moment, anyway), they’re already getting the outer bands, which means rain squalls and tropical storm-force winds are affecting my old haunts.

The current predicted path of Hurricane Isaias, along with the Cone of Probability. Graphic courtesy of NOAA.

Here’s the latest advisory from the National Hurricane Center:

DISCUSSION AND OUTLOOK

———————-

At 1100 AM EDT (1500 UTC), the center of Hurricane Isaias was

located by an Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft and

Bahamas radar near latitude 24.7 North, longitude 77.9 West. Isaias

is moving toward the northwest near 12 mph (19 km/h). A general

northwestward motion with some decrease in forward speed is expected

for the next day or so, followed by a north-northwestward motion by

late Sunday.  On the forecast track, the center of Isaias will move

over northern Andros Island during the next few hours and move

near or over Grand Bahama Island in the Northwestern Bahamas later

today. Isaias is forecast to move near the east coast of the

Florida peninsula tonight through Sunday.

Reports from the reconnaissance aircraft indicate that maximum

sustained winds have decreased slightly to near 80 mph (130 km/h)

with higher gusts.  Little change in strength is expected through

Sunday, and Isaias is forecast to remain a hurricane during this

time. Slow weakening is expected to begin by late Monday.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 25 miles (35 km) from the

center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 115 miles

(185 km). Reports from a U.S. Navy site on Andros Island indicate

that sustained winds of 45 mph (76 km/h) and a gust to 69 mph (111

km/h) occurred about 3 hours ago. More recently, a sustained wind of

35 mph (56 km/h) and a gust to 48 mph (77 km/h) were measured at

Nassau, Bahamas.

The estimated minimum central pressure is 987 mb (29.15 inches).

The view from my old town house’s front door during a downpour. I took this photograph with a smartphone sometime in 2014. (Author’s photo files)

As I’ve said in previous hurricane-related posts here, while I miss both my late mother Beatriz and my old townhouse, I’m relieved that I don’t have to worry about either in these times of crisis. We experienced several near-misses and direct hits by tropical systems during Mom’s last years whilst she was confined to a medical bed in a small downstairs bedroom, and trust me, those were stressful times.

For instance, Mom was resolute in her refusal to be evacuated in case an Andrew-type hurricane passed through, and although my half-sister and I agreed that taking our mother out of her familiar surroundings would do more harm than good, it still was a problematic situation. Mom’s room downstairs was one of the hottest in the townhouse; it faced west, so in the afternoon the sun flooded in through the big bedroom window. Yes, there was a big lychee tree that provided some shade, but whenever the power was out or the air conditioner had issues, even a moderate amount of sunshine made that room hotter than my elderly mother could withstand.

I’m also relieved – sad, but relieved – that Mom isn’t around to live in this weird new world of COVID-19. Hurricane season is stressful enough even under the best of circumstances; the coronavirus pandemic and all of the social distancing/COVID-19 lockdowns would have made caring for an elderly woman with cognitive issues insanely difficult. Mom probably would not have been able to receive many visitors, and in her moments of lucidity, she would have worried – as any loving parent would – about her two adult children.

I don’t know what I’m going to be doing for the rest of this Saturday. I could try playing Close Combat: The Longest Day, a tactical level war game that I bought recently from Steam using a credit accrued to my Master Card account, but my heart is not in it. It’s a fun game, even though it’s not exactly the easiest to learn or master. Plus, I prefer strategic-level games, such as “old” MicroProse Software’s Crusade in Europe, a game I played plenty of times on my old Apple IIe personal computer in the late Eighties and early Nineties.  I also think I spend too much time in front of a computer as it is.

So, I’m not sure how I’m going to spend this first Saturday of August 2020. Maybe I’ll read for a while or watch TV or a movie on my Blu-ray player. Anything but sitting here at my desk!

Published by Alex Diaz-Granados

Alex Diaz-Granados (1963- ) began writing movie reviews as a staff writer and Entertainment Editor for his high school newspaper in the early 1980s and was the Diversions editor for Miami-Dade Community College, South Campus' student newspaper for one semester. Using his experiences in those publications, Alex has been raving and ranting about the movies online since 2003 at various web sites, including Amazon, Ciao and Epinions. In addition to writing reviews, Alex has written or co-written three films ("A Simple Ad," "Clown 345," and "Ronnie and the Pursuit of the Elusive Bliss") for actor-director Juan Carlos Hernandez. You can find his reviews and essays on his blogs, A Certain Point of View and A Certain Point of View, Too.

4 thoughts on “Musings & Thoughts for August 1, 2020: or, Life in the Midst of Hurricane Alley and COVID-19

  1. I know what you mean about your mom and the lockdown. As much as I miss my mother-in-law, I’m glad she doesn’t have to go through the pandemic. It would be awful not to be able to visit her. And then add something like a hurricane. ugh.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. My bete noir and I went through a similar ordeal (except that Mom was 86, not 91), so she already experienced it. She handled it totes differently, though. Instead of becoming a better person for it, she became vindictive and most unhelpful.

        Like

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