Musings & Thoughts for Saturday, August 14, 2021, or: Fred, Grace, Insomnia, and Nocturnal Activities

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Hey there, Dear Reader. It’s early afternoon in New Hometown, Florida on Saturday, August 14, 2021. Since it’s midsummer here in the Sunshine State, the weather picture is typical for the season. Currently, the temperature is 86˚F (30˚C) under mostly cloudy skies. With humidity at 64% and the wind blowing from the east at 7 MPH (11 KM/H), the heat index is 95˚F (36˚C). Today’s forecast advises residents to watch for scattered rain showers, and the high will be 91˚F (33˚C). Tonight, light rain is expected, and the low will be 76˚F (25˚C). The Air Quality Index (AQI) is 22 or Good.

Goodbye, Fred…Hello, Grace?

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

On this hot, muggy, and cloudy Saturday, New Hometown residents can rest easy. Tropical Depression Fred was downgraded to “Remnants of Fred” status this morning and is no longer a “big bad” storm threat. However, because it’s summer and the Gulf of Mexico is a large body of warm waters, residents of the Gulf Coast, including Yours Truly, should keep an eye on the Remnants of Fred[1]

Per the National Hurricane Center in Miami:

000

WTNT21 KNHC 141448

TCMAT1

REMNANTS OF FRED FORECAST/ADVISORY NUMBER  20

NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL       AL062021

1500 UTC SAT AUG 14 2021

CHANGES IN WATCHES AND WARNINGS WITH THIS ADVISORY…

THE TROPICAL STORM WARNING FOR THE FLORIDA KEYS HAS BEEN

DISCONTINUED.

SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT…

THERE ARE NO COASTAL WATCHES OR WARNINGS IN EFFECT.

INTERESTS IN THE NORTHERN COAST OF THE GULF OF MEXICO FROM

MISSISSIPPI TO THE CENTRAL FLORIDA PANHANDLE SHOULD MONITOR THE

PROGRESS OF THE REMNANTS OF FRED.  WATCHES COULD BE REQUIRED FOR

PORTIONS OF THIS AREA LATER IN THE WEEKEND.

REMNANTS OF CENTER LOCATED NEAR 23.3N  83.2W AT 14/1500Z

POSITION ACCURATE WITHIN  40 NM

PRESENT MOVEMENT TOWARD THE WEST-NORTHWEST OR 300 DEGREES AT  10 KT

ESTIMATED MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE 1013 MB

MAX SUSTAINED WINDS  30 KT WITH GUSTS TO  40 KT.

WINDS AND SEAS VARY GREATLY IN EACH QUADRANT.  RADII IN NAUTICAL

MILES ARE THE LARGEST RADII EXPECTED ANYWHERE IN THAT QUADRANT.

REPEAT…CENTER LOCATED NEAR 23.3N  83.2W AT 14/1500Z

AT 14/1200Z CENTER WAS LOCATED NEAR 23.0N  82.6W…DISTURBANCE

FORECAST VALID 15/0000Z 24.1N  84.2W…DISTURBANCE

MAX WIND  30 KT…GUSTS  40 KT.

FORECAST VALID 15/1200Z 25.7N  85.5W…TROPICAL CYCLONE

MAX WIND  30 KT…GUSTS  40 KT.

FORECAST VALID 16/0000Z 27.4N  86.7W

MAX WIND  35 KT…GUSTS  45 KT.

34 KT… 50NE  50SE   0SW   0NW.

FORECAST VALID 16/1200Z 28.7N  87.4W

MAX WIND  45 KT…GUSTS  55 KT.

34 KT… 70NE  70SE   0SW  40NW.

FORECAST VALID 17/0000Z 30.0N  87.7W

MAX WIND  45 KT…GUSTS  55 KT.

34 KT… 70NE  70SE   0SW  40NW.

FORECAST VALID 17/1200Z 31.5N  87.5W…INLAND

MAX WIND  35 KT…GUSTS  45 KT.

34 KT… 30NE  30SE   0SW   0NW.

EXTENDED OUTLOOK. NOTE…ERRORS FOR TRACK HAVE AVERAGED NEAR 150 NM

ON DAY 4 AND 175 NM ON DAY 5…AND FOR INTENSITY NEAR 15 KT EACH DAY

OUTLOOK VALID 18/1200Z 35.0N  86.5W…POST-TROP/INLAND

MAX WIND  20 KT…GUSTS  30 KT.

OUTLOOK VALID 19/1200Z…DISSIPATED

REQUEST FOR 3 HOURLY SHIP REPORTS WITHIN 300 MILES OF 23.3N  83.2W

NEXT ADVISORY AT 14/2100Z

$$

FORECASTER BEVEN

Well, at least we here in New Hometown seem to be out of the metaphorical woods as far as Fred is concerned.

Image Credit; National Hurricane Center/NOAA

However, as I write this, another, better-organized storm is churning out in the Atlantic. Its name: Grace.

Here is the latest on that new member of the Hurricane Class of 2021:

000

WTNT32 KNHC 141453

TCPAT2

BULLETIN

Tropical Storm Grace Advisory Number   5

NWS National Hurricane Center Miami FL       AL072021

1100 AM AST Sat Aug 14 2021

…GRACE A LITTLE STRONGER…

…CONDITIONS EXPECTED TO DETERIORATE IN THE LEEWARD ISLANDS LATER

TODAY AND TONIGHT…

SUMMARY OF 1100 AM AST…1500 UTC…INFORMATION

———————————————–

LOCATION…16.2N 57.9W

ABOUT 265 MI…425 KM ESE OF THE LEEWARD ISLANDS

MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS…45 MPH…75 KM/H

PRESENT MOVEMENT…W OR 280 DEGREES AT 23 MPH…37 KM/H

MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE…1005 MB…29.68 INCHES

WATCHES AND WARNINGS

——————–

CHANGES WITH THIS ADVISORY:

The government of the Dominican Republic has issued a Tropical

Storm Watch for the south coast of the Dominican Republic from

Punta Caucedo eastward to Cabo Engano, and for the north coast from

Cabo Frances Viejo eastward to Cabo Engano.

SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT:

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for…

* Antigua and Barbuda, Anguilla, St. Kitts and Nevis, and Montserrat

* Saba and Sint Eustatius

* Sint Maarten

* St. Martin and St. Barthelemy

* British Virgin Islands

* U.S. Virgin Islands

* Puerto Rico, including Vieques and Culebra

A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for…

* South coast of the Dominican Republic from Punta Caucedo to Cabo

Engano

* North coast of the Dominican Republic from Cabo Frances Viejo to

Cabo Engano

A Tropical Storm Warning means that tropical storm conditions are

expected somewhere within the warning area within 36 hours.

A Tropical Storm Watch means that tropical storm conditions are

possible within the watch area, generally within 48 hours.

Interests elsewhere in the Dominican Republic, Haiti, the Turks and

Caicos Islands, and the southeastern Bahamas should monitor the

progress of Grace.  Additional watches and warnings will likely be

required for this area later today and tonight.

For storm information specific to your area in the United

States, including possible inland watches and warnings, please

monitor products issued by your local National Weather Service

forecast office. For storm information specific to your area

outside of the United States, please monitor products issued by

your national meteorological service.

DISCUSSION AND OUTLOOK

———————-

At 1100 AM AST (1500 UTC), the center of Tropical Storm Grace was

located near latitude 16.2 North, longitude 57.9 West.  Grace is

moving toward the west near 23 mph (37 km/h).  A motion toward the

west-northwest with a gradual decrease in forward speed is expected

during the next several days.  On the forecast track, the center of

Grace is expected to move over the Leeward Islands tonight, over

the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico on Sunday, over the Dominican

Republic on Monday, and then between the southeastern Bahamas and

Cuba on Tuesday.

Maximum sustained winds are near 45 mph (75 km/h) with higher gusts.

Some strengthening is forecast during the next day or so.  Grace is

likely to weaken while it moves near and across the Greater Antilles

Sunday night through Monday night.

Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 35 miles (55 km)

from the center.

The estimated minimum central pressure is 1005 mb (29.68 inches).

HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND

———————-

Key messages for Grace can be found in the Tropical Cyclone

Discussion under AWIPS header MIATCDAT2 and WMO header WTNT42 KNHC

and on the web at www.hurricanes.gov/graphics_at2.shtml?key_messages.

WIND:  Tropical storm conditions are expected within the warning

area in the Leeward Islands by tonight or early Sunday, and in the

Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico beginning on Sunday.  Tropical storm

conditions are possible within the watch area in the Dominican

Republic Sunday night into Monday.

RAINFALL:  Grace is expected to produce the following rainfall

amounts Saturday into Tuesday:

Over the northern Leeward Islands and Virgin Islands…3 to 6

inches. This rainfall may produce scattered areas of flash and urban

flooding.

Over Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic…3 to 6 inches with

isolated maximum totals of 8 inches. Heavy rainfall could lead to

flash, urban, and small stream flooding as well as potential

mudslides.

By mid to late next week heavy rainfall from this system could

impact portions of Cuba, the Bahamas, and Florida.

NEXT ADVISORY

————-

Next intermediate advisory at 200 PM AST.

Next complete advisory at 500 PM AST.

$$

Forecaster Berg

Grace is still over a thousand miles away, and I am not overly concerned about it today. I will, of course, keep track of its progress as it gets closer to Florida.

Insomnia Strikes Again

Photo by KoolShooters on Pexels.com

Last night I did not sleep well. The Caregiver did not serve dinner till 11 PM, and even then I had to cajole her into it because, ironically, I was getting sleepy. We had homemade chicken soup. It was decent, yes, and I am grateful that she made it, but I think the combination of my annoyance at the lateness of the hour plus the energy boost I received from the soup contributed to my bout of insomnia.

So, what did I do?

Well, I tried to lie down and fall asleep, but when that didn’t go as planned, I watched two movies – Star Trek Beyond (2016) by Justin Lin and Unfit: The Psychology of Donald Trump (2020) by Dan Portland.

At one point – I think it was around 2 AM, but I can’t be sure –  I did doze off while watching the third (and for now, last) Kelvin Timeline Star Trek film. But I woke up during the film’s third act and stayed awake.

After I ejected the Star Trek Beyond Blu-ray from the player and placed it back in its plastic case, I went to my Amazon Prime Video streaming app and watched most of Unfit. It was interesting and I even got a few psychological insights not just about Trump himself but also his loyal MAGA base. For the most part Unfit doesn’t say anything that has not been said on cable news and opinions shows, but what did grab my attention is that many of the film’s interviewees are psychiatrists and mental health experts, and they basically agree on one point: Donald J. Trump clearly is not fit to be in any elective office, much less the Presidency of the United States.

I stopped Unfit before it ended and turned off my TV sometime before 5 AM in a last-ditch bid to fall asleep. I managed to take, at best, a two-hour nap, but by 8:30 AM I was up again. And, of course, now I’m tired, cranky, and wishing I was elsewhere – preferably in a house near a Denny’s or even my favorite place to eat in Miami, Arbetter’s Hot Dogs.

On this note, Dear Reader, I will take my leave of you. I still have a shower to take and some grooming to do, and I really need to get away from my desk for a while. So, stay safe, stay healthy, and I’ll catch you on the sunny side of things.


[1] Hey. Wouldn’t “Remnants of Fred” make a great name for a garage rock band?

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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