Musings & Thoughts for Wednesday, November 9, 2022, or: Keeping a Wary Eye on Tropical Storm Nicole!


Screenshot from my PC’s Weather app.

Life in Hurricane Alley

Here we go again.

I have lived in Florida for more than 50 years; I was born in Miami almost 60 years ago, then left the United States at some point in 1966 with my mom – Vicky, my older half-sister, was away at a Catholic all-girls’ boarding school in Parkersburg, WV then – in what my maternal grandparents envisioned as a “forever” move to Bogota, Colombia. “Forever,” though, turned out to be illusory, because less than six years later, Mom and I were back in Miami, courtesy of a cerebral hemorrhage that sent me to the hospital shortly after my ninth birthday and under the advice of the doctors who treated me at the Hospital Militar’s pediatric wing.

For the past half-century – as I’ve written in my Tempus Fugit posts – I have lived in two Florida metro area; from Spring 1972 to Spring 2016 I lived in South Florida, with only a few vacations, short trips out of state, and one study-abroad stint in Spain as breaks in that otherwise uninterrupted sojourn. I moved 254 miles to the northwest and the Tampa Bay area in early April after a high school acquaintance decided to take me in after my mother passed away in July 2015.

Florida, of course, is the southernmost of the “Lower 48” continental United States and lies in the subtropical zone of North America. Its geographical location – a peninsula that juts southward toward Cuba with the Atlantic Ocean to the east, the Gulf of Mexico to the west, and the Strait of Florida to the south – puts the Sunshine State right up Hurricane Alley and exposes its 21.78 million residents to the threat of dangerous tropical storms and hurricanes every year during the Atlantic storm season (June 1-November 30).

Hits…and Near-Misses

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

In the half-century that I have lived in this state, I have dreaded the annual hurricane season. We had a long period (roughly between 1964 and 1991) when South Florida – my hometown region – had near-misses and whatnot, but no major hurricane strikes, so before August of 1992, I experienced some scary close calls – the worst being 1979’s Hurricane David, which seemed hell-bent on hitting Miami but turned away several hours before making landfall up in the West Palm Beach area – but no direct hits.

That ended in late August of 1992 when Hurricane Andrew battered southern Miami-Dade County and caused billions of dollars in damage and killed several Floridians. Since that storm 30 years ago, I’ve been in two houses – my former townhouse in East Wind Lake Village and the one I live in now – during several hurricanes and/or tropical storms, and while so far my Lithia hurricane experiences have not been as bad as my Miami-area ones, I still get stressed out when a tropical storm or hurricane makes a beeline for Florida – and my immediate area.

In Nicole’s Path?

As I write this, another tropical storm is churning over yonder on the Atlantic side of Florida. Its name is Nicole, and although right now it’s not even onshore, it is heading toward the east coast, and the forecast track, as it stands now, brings it to my side of the state, although just as with Hurricane Ian not so long ago, I can’t say if Nicole will hit Lithia so hard that we will be without electricity or running water for at least a week. I hope it doesn’t, but right now…I don’t know where Nicole will go or how bad things will be in our neighborhood.

The Latest Forecast

Image Credit: National Hurricane Center/National Weather Service/NOAA

Here’s the latest advisory from the National Hurricane Center in Miami-Dade County:

BULLETIN

Tropical Storm Nicole Intermediate Advisory Number 10A

NWS National Hurricane Center Miami FL       AL172022

100 PM EST Wed Nov 09 2022

…CENTER OF NICOLE PASSES OVER GREAT ABACO ISLAND…

SUMMARY OF 100 PM EST…1800 UTC…INFORMATION

———————————————-

LOCATION…26.5N 77.3W

ABOUT 10 MI…15 KM W OF MARSH HARBOR GREAT ABACO ISLAND

ABOUT 175 MI…280 KM E OF WEST PALM BEACH FLORIDA

MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS…70 MPH…110 KM/H

PRESENT MOVEMENT…W OR 265 DEGREES AT 12 MPH…19 KM/H

MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE…985 MB…29.09 INCHES

WATCHES AND WARNINGS

——————–

CHANGES WITH THIS ADVISORY:

The Tropical Storm Watch has been discontinued south of Hallandale

Beach Florida.

SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT:

A Hurricane Warning is in effect for…

* The Abacos, Berry Islands, and Grand Bahama Island in the

northwestern Bahamas

* Boca Raton to Flagler/Volusia County Line Florida

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for…

* Bimini in the northwestern Bahamas

* Hallandale Beach Florida to Boca Raton Florida

* Flagler/Volusia County Line Florida to South Santee River South

Carolina

* North of Bonita Beach to Indian Pass Florida

* Lake Okeechobee

A Storm Surge Warning is in effect for…

* North Palm Beach Florida to Altamaha Sound Georgia

* Mouth of the St. Johns River to Georgetown Florida

* Anclote River Florida to Ochlockonee River Florida

A Hurricane Watch is in effect for…

* Hallandale Beach to Boca Raton Florida

* Lake Okeechobee

A Storm Surge Watch is in effect for…

* Ochlockonee River to Indian Pass Florida

* South of North Palm Beach to Hallandale Beach Florida

* Altamaha Sound Georgia to South Santee River South Carolina

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 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 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 a depiction of areas at risk, please see the National Weather

Service Storm Surge Watch/Warning Graphic, available at

hurricanes.gov.

A Hurricane Watch means that hurricane conditions are possible

within the watch area.

Interests in the remainder of Florida and along the southeastern

coast of the United States should monitor the progress of Nicole.

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

Image Credit: National Hurricane Center/National Weather Service/NOAA

———————-

At 100 PM EST (1800 UTC), the center of Tropical Storm Nicole was

located near latitude 26.5 North, longitude 77.3 West. Nicole is

moving toward the west near 12 mph (19 km/h).  A turn toward the

west-northwest is expected tonight, followed by a turn toward the

northwest on Thursday, and north or north-northeast on Friday.  On

the forecast track, the center of Nicole will move near or over the

Abacos and Grand Bahama in the northwestern Bahamas this afternoon

and move onshore the east coast of Florida within the hurricane

warning area tonight.  Nicole’s center is then expected to move

across central and northern Florida into southern Georgia Thursday

and Thursday night, and then across the Carolinas Friday and Friday

night.

Maximum sustained winds are near 70 mph (110 km/h) with higher

gusts.  Some strengthening is expected today, and Nicole is forecast

to become a hurricane near the northwestern Bahamas and remain a

hurricane when it reaches the east coast of Florida tonight.  Nicole

is expected to weaken while moving across Florida and the

southeastern United States Thursday through Friday, and it is likely

to become a post-tropical cyclone by Friday night over the

Mid-Atlantic states.

Nicole is a large tropical storm.  Tropical-storm-force winds

extend outward up to 460 miles (740 km) especially to the north of

the center. A private weather station on Elbow Cay, just east of

Great Abaco Island, recently reported sustained winds of 43 mph

(69 km/h) and a wind gust of 59 mph (59 km/h).  The National Ocean

Service station at the Lake Worth Pier, Florida, recently reported

a wind gust of 59 mph (95 km/h).

The minimum central pressure based on Air Force Reserve Hurricane

Hunter data is 985 mb (29.09 inches).  The station at Elbow Cay

recently reported a pressure of 985.7 mb (29.11 inches).

HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND

———————-

Key messages for Nicole can be found in the Tropical Cyclone

Discussion under AWIPS header MIATCDAT2, WMO header WTNT42 KNHC,

and on the web at http://www.hurricanes.gov/text/MIATCDAT2.shtml.

WIND:  Tropical storm conditions are occurring across the

northwestern Bahamas, and hurricane conditions are expected to

spread westward in areas in hurricane warning area through this

evening.  Tropical storm conditions are also occurring along

portions of the east coast of Florida and will spread northward

within the warning area through Georgia and South Carolina this

afternoon and tonight. Hurricane conditions are expected within the

hurricane warning area in Florida tonight or Thursday morning. 

Hurricane conditions are possible within the hurricane watch area

tonight. Tropical storm conditions are expected within the warning

area along the west coast of Florida by this evening or tonight.

STORM SURGE:  The combination of a dangerous 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…

* North Palm Beach Florida to Altamaha Sound Georgia including the

St. Johns River to the Fuller Warren Bridge…3 to 5 ft

* Anclote River to Ochlockonee River…3 to 5 ft

* Altamaha Sound Georgia to the South Santee River South

Carolina…2 to 4 ft

* St. Johns River south of the Fuller Warren Bridge to Georgetown

Florida…2 to 4 ft

* Hallandale Beach to North Palm Beach…2 to 4 ft

* Ochlockonee River to Indian Pass…2 to 4 ft

* Englewood to Anclote River including Tampa Bay…1 to 3 ft

* North of Ocean Reef to Hallandale Beach including Biscayne Bay…1

to 2 ft

* South Santee River to Surf City North Carolina…1 to 2 ft

Storm surge could raise water levels by as much as 4 to 6 feet above

normal tide levels along the immediate coast of the northwestern

Bahamas in areas of onshore winds.

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

the north of the landfall location, where the surge will be

accompanied by large and destructive 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.

RAINFALL:  Nicole is expected to produce the following rainfall

amounts through Friday night:

Northwest Bahamas into the eastern, central and northern portions

of the Florida Peninsula: 3 to 5 inches with local maxima of 8

inches.

Southeast into the southern and central Appalachians, western

Mid-Atlantic, and eastern portions of Tennessee, Kentucky, and Ohio:

2 to 4 inches with local maxima of 6 inches along the Blue Ridge.

Northern Mid-Atlantic into portions of New England: 1 to 4 inches.

Flash and urban flooding will be possible, along with renewed river

rises on the St. Johns River, across the Florida Peninsula today

into Thursday. Heavy rainfall from this system will spread northward

across portions of the Southeast, Mid-Atlantic, and New England

Thursday into Friday night, where limited flooding impacts will be

possible.

TORNADOES:  A few tornadoes are possible this evening through

Thursday across eastern Florida, southeastern Georgia and southern

South Carolina.

SURF:  Large swells generated by Nicole will affect the northwestern

Bahamas, the east coast of Florida, and much of the southeastern

United States coast during the next few days.  These swells are

likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.

Please consult products from your local weather office.

NEXT ADVISORY

————-

Next complete advisory at 400 PM EST.

$$

Forecaster Beven

A Change of Plans

(C) 1995 Simon & Schuster

I originally intended to write a review of one of the three books I have about Operation Downfall for today’s post. Indeed, I started writing one this morning, but after grappling with it for two hours, I decided to put the review aside and save it for another day. I’m obviously stressed, not just by the nearness of Nicole but also by last night’s election results.

While the GOP’s much-heralded “Red Wave” or “Red Tsunami” ended being more of a Pinkish Splash, the Republicans did win some crucial races, including the statewide ones for governor (yep, Ron DeSantis won his bid for re-election) and U.S. Senate; Marco Rubio, who attended the same Miami-Dade high school that I did – he’s Class of 1989, I’m Class of 1983 – also won re-election last night. Ugh,

I’m hoping that Representative Lauren Boebert (R- CO 3rd District) gets booted from Congress. The last report I saw showed she was behind in the vote count vis a vis her Democratic challenger, and already some folks are saying she was defeated and it’s over for her. I have no idea if that’s a fact or just wishful thinking. If she loses, I strongly suspect she’ll say there was a lot of voter fraud and contest the results, which seems to be the go-to strategy for the Trump/MAGA wing of the GOP these days.

We’ll find out soon enough, Dear Reader. I just hope Boebert does not have a last-minute “save” if the vote count ends up in her favor.

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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