Who Am I?

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A nobody; a nitwit; a pilot; a motorcyclist; a raconteur; a lover...of life - who loves to laugh, who tries to not take myself (or anything) too seriously...just a normal guy who knows his place in the universe by being in touch with my spiritual side. What more is there?

23 August 2008

T.S. Fay: I Spake Too Soon

Ah well, win some/lose some.

In my previous posts discussing Tropical Storm Fay, the thinking was that it would hit Cuba, turn north and then exit the scene, missing the Florida Panhandle by a mile. Or two. Well darnit, Fay had other plans, as you can see.

In the image above, there is a white line marked "Sunday AM." Just to the right of this is where Pensacola is (by the "m" shaped outline of our bays). So we're not in the dead center of the projected path, but close enough. Either way, it's going to be a dismal, wet weekend. Bands of rain have already begun moving into the area.

And although the white lines indicate where the center of the storm will be at any given time, we should remember that the worst weather of a tropical storm (including a hurricane) is always on the east side (at least here in the northern hemisphere). So while the eye of T.S. Fay might not get to Pensacola until early Sunday, the worst of the weather associated with it won't arrive until sometime later. Oh, goody.

Weather events like this...and storms in particular...are of keen interest to us Floridians. We watch intently for squall lines, isolated nasty thunderstorms, waterspouts, tropical storms and of course hurricanes. With so much coastline, both on the Atlantic Ocean side and Gulf of Mexico side, we have quite a lot of opportunity for storms to hit us. Sometimes, like in the case of Hurricane Ivan (and others) and T.S. Fay, they strike the coastline more than once.

Sure, other parts of the country have their issues too, and I don't mean to minimize them by focusing on our little problems. My mom lives in Long Beach, California. It would be tragic, but none of us would be surprised if that section of the country cracked off and fell right into the Pacific Ocean someday. Even knowing and acknowledging this, mom continues to live there.

The Midwest has its share of "tornado alleys," where twisters and those who chase them abound. Odd fascination, that. Sure, a tornado is a magnificent event, but I'd prefer to observe it from afar, thank you very much.

The east coast of the U.S. has been hit by some awful storms too - and not just Atlantic hurricanes in the summer. In my lifetime there have been more than one winter "storms of the century" that have struck the New York area or Northeast Corridor.

Still, down here after dealing with Hurricane Ivan, we Pensacolians have become rather jaded and blasé about storms. We watch them coming but it's with a ho-hum - no big deal attitude. And that’s not a good thing. Although all of the signs point to T.S. Fay as being a non-event (our local t.v. weatherguesser was almost yawning as he gave his report last night), the season is long and there will certainly be more behind her, one of which that could certainly kick our ass again.


David said...

Storms of how many centuries??
Couldn't resist.

Stay Safe,

Bob Barbanes said...

David, offhand it seems like I can recall at least two snowstorms in the recent past that were termed the "Storm of the Century" up there in New York. They talk about "50-year storms" or "100-year storms." Eh- when it comes to the weather, the past is no reliable predictor of the future. And I think people kind of forget that down here.

Anonymous said...

December 11, 1992 - THE STORM OF THE CENTURY!!

My wife delivered my 3rd daughter that night. It was wild!!

High winds and heavy rain that day, canals overflowing into the streets in Wantagh. Then, changing to snow, along with wind the next day... YEAH, to us it WAS the storm of the century!

I got video.

From one New Yorker to another.