Musings & Thoughts for Friday, August 13, 2021, or: Trouble Brewing in the Tropics!

Fortunately, Fred is not this big or organized. Photo by Pixabay on

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.

Image credit: National Hurricane Center, NOAA.

Here is the latest advisory on Atlantic tropical activity, including TD Fred, from the National Hurricane Center in Miami:



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.

Image credit; National Hurricane Center/NOAA.

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.

Image Credit: National Hurricane Center/NOAA.

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.

I took this photo in my former Miami house’s backyard after a storm passed through South Florida. This was debris from a neighboring unit in East Wind Lake Village that was blown by the wind into our patio. (Photo by the author)

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.

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.

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