Musings & Thoughts for Wednesday, September 28, 2022, or: Wait! Is That a Hurricane I See Approaching? (Unfortunately, It Is!)


Looks like Ian is coming ashore further south than previously thought. Note the location of the clearly defined eye and the yellow-white dot that pinpoints my location. We are getting rain, but so far the winds are “only” at 25 MPH in Lithia. They’ll get worse as Ian moves closer, though!

Hurricane Ian Update

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Hi, there, Dear Reader. It’s a gray, gloomy, and rainy Wednesday here in Lithia, Florida on September 28, 2022. As Hurricane Ian gets closer to the Gulf coast of Florida, the weather deteriorated considerably.

The latest forecast track of Ian. Image Credit: National Hurricane Center/NWS/NOAA

As I write this, it is raining. It’s not yet the dramatic tropical deluge you see in footage of hurricanes on the Weather Channel; it’s more like a longer-than-usual rain shower unaccompanied by lightning or thunder. At least, that’s been our experience here in Fish Hawk Ranch, the huge – and by that I mean sprawling – development near Lithia that makes my former neighborhood in Fountainbleau Park in Miami look insignificant by comparison.

However, even as Hurricane Ian – now a Category 4 storm – makes its turn to the north-northeast and on a course that will bring it to landfall just to the south of the Tampa Bay area, its forward movement has slowed. This will delay its arrival somewhat, but it also means that the weather will be lousy for a longer period. Flooding is guaranteed to occur, especially near rivers and canals, and while – of course – I hope our area is spared, we can also expect power outages throughout the west central part of the state, including Tampa Bay and its environs.

Advisory No. 24

Geez. Ian is close….but look at how the wind stretches the clouds from one side all the way to Canada’s Maritime provinces!

Here is the latest public advisory from the National Hurricane Center in Miami:

BULLETIN

Hurricane Ian Advisory Number  24

NWS National Hurricane Center Miami FL       AL092022

1100 AM EDT Wed Sep 28 2022

…EXTREMELY DANGEROUS EYEWALL OF IAN MOVING ONSHORE…

…IAN WILL CAUSE CATASTROPHIC STORM SURGE, WINDS, AND FLOODING IN

THE FLORIDA PENINSULA SOON…

SUMMARY OF 1100 AM EDT…1500 UTC…INFORMATION

———————————————–

LOCATION…26.3N 82.5W

ABOUT 45 MI…75 KM WNW OF NAPLES FLORIDA

ABOUT 50 MI…80 KM SSW OF PUNTA GORDA FLORIDA

MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS…155 MPH…250 KM/H

PRESENT MOVEMENT…NNE OR 15 DEGREES AT 9 MPH…15 KM/H

MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE…937 MB…27.67 INCHES

WATCHES AND WARNINGS

——————–

CHANGES WITH THIS ADVISORY:

A Storm Surge Warning has been issued from the mouth of the St.

Mary’s River to the mouth of the South Santee River, South Carolina.

A Hurricane Warning has been issued from Sebastian Inlet, Florida

northward to the Flagler/Volusia County Line, Florida.

A Hurricane Watch has been issued from the Flagler/Volusia County

Line to the South Santee River.

A Tropical Storm Warning has been extended northward to Little

River Inlet, South Carolina.

SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT:

A Hurricane Warning is in effect for…

* Chokoloskee to Anclote River, including Tampa Bay

* Dry Tortugas

* Sebastian Inlet to Flagler/Volusia County Line

A Storm Surge Warning is in effect for…

* Suwannee River southward to Flamingo

* Tampa Bay

* Lower Florida Keys from Big Pine Key westward to Key West

* Dry Tortugas

* Flagler/Volusia Line to the mouth of the South Santee River

* St. Johns River

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for…

* Cuban provinces of La Habana, Mayabeque, and Matanzas

* Indian Pass to the Anclote River

* All of the Florida Keys

* Flamingo to Sebastian Inlet

* Flagler/Volusia County Line to Little River Inlet

* Flamingo to Chokoloskee

* Lake Okeechobee

* Florida Bay

* Bimini and Grand Bahama Islands

A Storm Surge Watch is in effect for…

* Florida Keys from the Card Sound Bridge westward to east of Big

Pine Key

* Florida Bay

A Hurricane Watch is in effect for…

* Flagler/Volusia County Line to the South Santee River

* Lake Okeechobee

A Storm Surge Warning means there is a danger of life-threatening

inundation, from rising water moving inland from the coastline, in

the indicated locations. For a depiction of areas at risk, please

see the National Weather Service Storm Surge Watch/Warning Graphic,

available at hurricanes.gov.  This is a life-threatening situation.

Persons located within these areas should take all necessary actions

to protect life and property from rising water and the potential for

other dangerous conditions.  Promptly follow evacuation and other

instructions from local officials.

A Hurricane Warning means that hurricane conditions are expected

somewhere within the warning area.  Preparations to protect life and

property should be rushed to completion.

A Tropical Storm Warning means that tropical storm conditions are

expected somewhere within the warning area.

A Storm Surge Watch means there is a possibility of life-

threatening inundation, from rising water moving inland from the

coastline, in the indicated locations during the next 48 hours.

For storm information specific to your area, please monitor

products issued by your national meteorological service.

DISCUSSION AND OUTLOOK

———————-

At 1100 AM EDT (1500 UTC), the eye of Hurricane Ian was located

near latitude 26.3 North, longitude 82.5 West. Ian is moving toward

the north-northeast near 9 mph (15 km/h). This general motion with a

reduction in forward speed is forecast today, followed by a turn

toward the northeast on Thursday. On the forecast track, the center

of Ian is expected to move onshore within the hurricane warning area

in a few hours, move over central Florida tonight and Thursday

morning and emerge over the western Atlantic by late Thursday.  Ian

is forecast to turn northward on Friday and approach the

northeastern Florida, Georgia and South Carolina coasts late

Friday.

Maximum sustained winds remain near 155 mph (250 km/h) with higher

gusts.  Ian is a category 4 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson

Hurricane Wind Scale.  Ian is forecast to make landfall on the west

coast of Florida as a catastrophic hurricane.  Weakening is expected

after landfall, but Ian could be near hurricane strength when it

moves over the Florida East coast tomorrow, and when it approaches

the northeastern Florida, Georgia and South Carolina coasts late

Friday.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 45 miles (75 km) from the

center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 175 miles

(280 km).  A Weatherflow station on Sanibel Island recently reported

sustained winds of 58 mph (93 km/h) with a gust to 75 mph

(121 km/h).

The estimated minimum central pressure is 937 mb (27.67 inches).

HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND

———————-

Key messages for Ian can be found in the Tropical Cyclone Discussion

under AWIPS header MIATCDAT4 and WMO header WTNT44 KNHC and on the

web at hurricanes.gov/text/MIATCDAT4.shtml.

STORM SURGE:  The combination of storm surge and the tide will cause

normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by rising waters

moving inland from the shoreline.  The water could reach the

following heights above ground somewhere in the indicated areas if

the peak surge occurs at the time of high tide…

* Englewood to Bonita Beach, including Charlotte Harbor…12-18 ft

* Middle of Longboat Key to Englewood…6-10 ft

* Bonita Beach to Chokoloskee…8-12 ft

* Chokoloskee to East Cape Sable…5-8 ft

* Anclote River to Middle of Longboat Key, including Tampa Bay…4-6

ft

* Suwannee River to Anclote River…3-5 ft

* Lower Keys from Key West to Big Pine Key, including the

Dry Tortugas…3-5 ft

* Flagler/Volusia County Line to South Santee River including St.

Johns River…3-5 ft

* St. Johns River south of Julington…2-4 ft

* East Cape Sable to Card Sound Bridge…2-4 ft

* Florida Keys east of Big Pine Key…2-4 ft

* Patrick Air Force Base to Flagler/Volusia County Line…1-3 ft

* North of South Santee River to Surf City NC…1-3 ft

The deepest water will occur along the immediate coast near and to

the right of the center, where the surge will be accompanied by

large waves.  Surge-related flooding depends on the relative timing

of the surge and the tidal cycle, and can vary greatly over short

distances.  For information specific to your area, please see

products issued by your local National Weather Service forecast

office.

WIND:  Catastrophic wind damage is likely where the core of Ian

moves onshore.  Hurricane conditions will begin along the west

coast of Florida within the Hurricane Warning area shortly, with

tropical storm conditions ongoing.

Hurricane conditions are expected to begin along the east coast of

Florida in the Hurricane Warning area starting overnight.  Hurricane

conditions are possible in the Hurricane Watch area on Thursday

through late Friday.

Tropical storm conditions are occurring in the warning area in the

Florida Keys, and will continue this morning.  Tropical storm

conditions are occuring in parts of the warning area on the east

coast currently, and should spread up northward through the Georgia

and South Carolina coasts tonight and Thursday.  Tropical storm

conditions are expected within the warning area in Cuba for the next

few hours.

RAINFALL: Ian is expected to produce the following storm total

rainfall:

* Florida Keys and South Florida: 6 to 8 inches, with local maxima

up to 12 inches.

* Central and Northeast Florida: 12 to 18 inches, with local

maxima up to 24 inches.

* Eastern Georgia and Coastal South Carolina: 4 to 8 inches, with

local maxima of 12 inches.

Widespread, life-threatening catastrophic flash, urban, and river

flooding is expected across central Florida.  Widespread

considerable flash, urban, and river flooding is expected across

portions of southern Florida through Wednesday, and northeast

Florida, southeastern Georgia, and coastal South Carolina later this

week through the weekend.  Limited flash, urban, and river flooding

is possible over portions of the Southeast and southern Mid-Atlantic

U.S. later this week through the weekend.

TORNADOES: Tornadoes are possible today and tonight, especially

across east central Florida.

SURF:  Swells generated by Ian are affecting the northern coast

of Cuba, the northeastern coast of the Yucatan peninsula and

west coast of Florida. Swells will increase along the east coast of

Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina tonight and Thursday.  These

swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current

conditions. Please consult products from your local weather office.

NEXT ADVISORY

————-

Next intermediate advisory at 200 PM EDT.

Next complete advisory at 500 PM EDT.

$$

Forecaster Blake

The Wait…

Looks like Ian will come ashore south of the Tampa Bay area.

Here, we are about as ready for Ian’s passage as we can be. The Caregiver – belatedly, I might add – bought hurricane supplies, and with her boyfriend and her three young adult kids, she brought in everything that could be turned into a potential missile from both the front and back yards. The house was built in 2012, and I’ve been assured that the windows are hurricane resistant, so there’s none of that “put tape on the glass so it won’t shatter into tiny pieces” nonsense or even the more sensible “put plywood boards on the windows as makeshift storm shutters” thing here. I would feel safer if the lady that owns the house installed real hurricane shutters, but that’s not my call.

Been there, done that. This is what a tropical storm looked like from my previous home a decade or so ago. Photo by the author.

Even though by now I have been through quite a few tropical storms and hurricanes since 1992 – Hurricane Betsy of 1965 does not count because I was only two then and I have no memory of the event – I still get stressed out whenever one of these storms passes through an area where I live. Partly, of course, because I am not quite ready to die, my current circumstances notwithstanding. Mostly, though, I hate the aftermath of hurricanes and tropical cyclones, especially the power outages. It’s still hot and humid in Florida at this time of year, and – at least twice so far – I have endured life in a house without electricity, cable TV, and Internet for long periodsL, and that was one time too many.

So, until Ian arrives onshore tomorrow, my goal is to try to keep distracted as much as possible for as long as possible. That means:

Photo by Ekaterina Belousova on Pexels.com
  • Avoiding the fixation on news about Hurricane Ian
  • Sticking to my routine – blogging, hanging out online, gaming, writing, watching movies, reading, listening to music, etc. – as best I can
  • Staying sober (easy to do, even though I do have a case of Seagram’s Escapes on hand)
  • Trying to think about things that make me happy, whether it’s great sex that I’ve had (or would like to have) or Star Wars action figures
  • Preparing for the worst, but hoping for the best

The Inevitable Regiments Update

The aftermath of an air attack on a Warsaw Pact unit during a recent Skirmish. (All game design elements in this and other screenshots are (C) 2022 Bird’s Eye Games and MicroProse.)

As part of my “keeping my wits about me in the face of potential catastrophe” project, last night I played Regiments not once but twice.

I stuck to playing Skirmishes, the campaign is too much of a time-suck, for one thing, and I am not doing too well in the second Operation as it is (I need to figure out what I’m doing wrong and try to correct my tactical approach in that one). So I played the familiar Runway scenario twice – once as the West Germans, once as the Americans.

I am getting better at keeping casualties among my ground units low and inflicting more casualties on the enemy.

As you can see, the Blue force “kicked ass and took names, but I still lost 10 helicopters. That’s a lot of choppers!

In my second Skirmish from last night’s gaming session, I lost:

  • 48 dead
  • 149 wounded
  • 6 missing

The Red force (elements of a Soviet motor rifle regiment and an East German panzer regiment) lost:

  • 117 dead
  • 331 wounded
  • 26 missing

My Blue force also lost fewer vehicles (tanks, infantry/cavalry fighting vehicles, self-propelled mortars, etc.) than the Red force: 25 to 69. Most of the losses were Bradley M2/M3 IFV/CFVs, although I also lost some M1 Abrams (of various models) to enemy anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs).

I only lost 1 A-10A Thunderbolt to Red force anti-aircraft fire, while the Red force lost 3 SU-25 Frogfoot ground attack aircraft to my anti-aircraft defenses, mostly my Vulcan DIVAD and my Chaparral surface-to-air missile battery.

I believe those are East German soldiers and BMP-1 infantry fighting vehicles. (I also love how Regiments gives you different time-of-day/weather conditions rather than just night/day ones.

Where I did lose heavily, though, was in attack helicopters – 10 in all. In this Skirmish, the Soviets/East Germans did not deploy attack helicopters, so of course, they lost none. Again I reiterate: AH-1F Cobras and AH-64A Apache choppers are cool, deadly, and useful, but they are astonishingly easy to shoot down if you deploy them willy-nilly or if the enemy’s AAA is skillfully sited and holds its fire until you send a flight of two choppers too close to where the ZSU-23-4s and Strelas are lurking.

On balance, though, I am getting better at Regiments, at least with NATO forces in general and with U.S. units specifically.

Well, Dear Reader, since I am a slow typist, two hours have passed since I started this post, so I better wrap this up and publish this. I have no idea if I will be able to write tomorrow (unless I end up staying up all night and posting something in the predawn hours); I hope that I will, partly because my blog is part of my daily routine, and partly because I don’t want to end my “streak” of consecutive days of posting on WordPress – today marks my 811th day of uninterrupted blogging here. So, until next time, stay safe, stay healthy, and stay away from hurricanes!  

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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