Hi there, Dear Reader. It’s late morning here in New Hometown, Florida on Friday, August 13, 2021. It is a warm, humid day; the current temperature is 83˚F (28˚C) under partly sunny skies. With humidity at 90% and the wind blowing from the east-northeast at 6 MPH (9 KM/H), the feels-like temperature is 89˚F (32˚F). Today’s forecast calls for scattered thunderstorms in the afternoon and a high of 91˚F (33˚C). Tonight, we can expect light rain and a low of 76˚F (24˚C). The Air Quality Index (AQI) is 28 or Good.
On this hot and muggy Friday the Thirteenth, all eyes are on Tropical Depression Fred, which is making its way toward the island of Cuba and, eventually, the Gulf of Mexico.
Here is the latest advisory on Atlantic tropical activity, including TD Fred, from the National Hurricane Center in Miami:
ZCZC MIATWOAT ALL
TTAA00 KNHC DDHHMM
Tropical Weather Outlook
NWS National Hurricane Center Miami FL
800 AM EDT Fri Aug 13 2021
For the North Atlantic…Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico:
The National Hurricane Center is issuing advisories on Tropical
Depression Fred, located near the north-central coast of Cuba.
1. Showers and thunderstorms have become a little better organized
since yesterday near an area of low pressure located about 850
miles east of the Lesser Antilles. Environmental conditions are
becoming more conducive for additional development, and a tropical
depression is likely to form over the next day or two while moving
toward the west or west-northwest at about 20 mph. This system is
expected to reach portions of the Leeward Islands Saturday night
and then the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico Sunday and Sunday night.
Tropical storm watches or warnings could be required later today or
tonight for portions of the Leeward Islands, the Virgin Islands, and
Puerto Rico, since strong winds and heavy rainfall are likely to
spread across those areas over the weekend, regardless of the
system’s development. Interests in these areas should continue to
monitor the progress of this disturbance.
* Formation chance through 48 hours…high…80 percent.
* Formation chance through 5 days…high…80 percent.
Fred – what an unimpressive name for a tropical storm! – is too far away from New Hometown now, so no one knows just how directly it will impact us. I hope that when Fred strengthens after crossing the Florida Straits and enters the Gulf of Mexico, it will stay far enough out to sea so that we only get the outermost rain bands.
And, of course, since August and September are traditionally the busiest months of the Atlantic hurricane season, this is the most stressful time of year for this Floridian. When I lived in Miami with my mom – and, briefly, on my own – I experienced enough hurricanes, tropical storms, and even strong tropical waves to last me a lifetime. I don’t have a phobia, mind you, but I don’t like the stress that they cause and the awfulness of the aftermath of a big, destructive storm a la Andrew (1992) or Wilma (2005). Even if by the luck of the draw your home escapes serious damage from a storm, like our townhouse did when Andrew hit Miami-Dade County 29 years ago, you still face many days or even weeks of being without electricity. Believe me, Dear Reader, when I say that Florida heat is unbearable without air conditioning.
So, yep. I fervently hope that Fred steers away from my part of the Sunshine State and remains weak and unimpressive. I also hope that whatever system that develops in Fred’s wake doesn’t hit anywhere nearby.
Well, I don’t have much else to report on, so I will take my leave of you, Dear Reader. Until next time, stay safe – if you live in Hurricane Alley, get supplies ASAP if you haven’t already – stay healthy, and I’ll catch you on the less-stormy side of things.