Thursday, August 31, 2023

Idalia's Damage to Condo Is ...


Ok, this is NOT, I repeat, NOT our condo, not our street, not even near to was a good 15 miles to our north.  But this is what many people are faced with, in many cases even worse, up and down the west coast of Florida from below Tampa all the way to Tallahassee. 

Our condo did not have any damage at all.  Below is one of the many BING camera videos that were captured looking out our patio towards a neighbor.  I have this camera pointed that way because behind that condo is where we keep our motorhome in storage...I have two cameras on the motorhome and this camera to keep an eye on things.  While gone, I left this camera active just so I can monitor storms.

If you click on the image above, and then in the bottom right of the video open it to full screen, it will show you just how windy and rainy it was Tuesday night.

Got this email from the Condo Board this evening:  

Relax, we are not aware of any damage to any of the units. There was no flooding. We did not even lose electrical power. It was a non-event. 
Everything is back to normal.

The Board

Last year we were in Florida when Hurricane Ian came for a visit.  It had a direct line on our community, and so we went over to the other side of Orlando where Marcia's brother lives.  Then we awoke to find out the Hurricane took a turn right into the Fort Meyer's area.  From there it was headed right for the Orlando area.  So left and drove north, got to I-10 and drove west, dropped south to Perry Florida where we stayed safe and sound.  Well, Hurricane Idalia did a real number of Perry this time around.  Above is just an example of what it did to a gas station.  Here is a link to see a video of this falling over: Click Here for Video

I was awake for much of Tuesday night / Wednesday morning, but before hitting the sack tonight I just wanted to let everyone know that our home is safe and sound.  My heart goes out to those who lost everything.  The amazing thing is just how quick some of the flooding has gone down.  The Sponge Docks in Tarpon flooded, and they were quickly cleaning up the water so that they can open again on Thursday, Friday at the latest.  Crystal Beach, where I have taken some nice sunset shots over the year, had water all the way up on the roadway Wednesday morning, but by Wednesday evening the water had receded and people were taking sunset pictures.  Three deaths were attributed to the weather, two were separate automobile accidents.  So now Floridians clean up, and get ready for the next hit.  Thank goodness, there is nothing threatening Florida or any other area of the U.S. on the horizon.

We have 7 more days here in Cromberg before we head back to the Sacramento area.

Monday, August 28, 2023

Predicting Hurricane Paths


One thing about Florida have to watch for Hurricanes from June through November.  96 percent of the major hurricane days occur from August to October, (according to NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration)  The ONE good thing about hurricanes is that unlike tornadoes, where your provided perhaps a half hour, but sometimes only minutes of a warning, a hurricane gives you days of warning, if you heed the warning.

Paul Dellegatto has been with WTVT, Fox 13, in Tampa for 33 years, and has more experience with Hurricanes for the Tampa area than just about anyone else.  From June through November I monitor his Twitter page consistently.  Above is his first tweet of what is now known as Idalia.   

But the site I follow even more closely is NOAA's National Hurricane Center.  Above is what they posted on Thursday, August 24th, four days ago.  I first saw this, then went to Paul's Twitter page, and then had my first big GULP with a slight lump in the back of my throat.  By the way, I had been following Hurricane Franklin from when it was a Orange is headed north and then north east, away from land.  I first saw Idalia (pronounced  ee-DAHL-yuh) when it was a Yellow X, and then it went from Yellow to Red and really got my attention.

On Saturday it became a Tropical Depression, and then quickly a Tropical Storm by Sunday morning.  Once they are a Depression, you can start to get a path, as shown above. At the tip of the red arrow is where our Condo sits, just over three miles from the Gulf.  Our condo sits at just at 13' in elevation...we are not considered in the flood zone, although a few of the condos closer to the entrance are in the flood zone.

So this is where we are as of 1 pm Pacific Time (our current time zone).  The forecast calls for it to hit land Tuesday night/Wednesday evening. Current impact with land is 100 miles to our northwest, as the crow flies.  

This is a close up view of where it 'might' hit landfall.  I say 'might' because this far out, it is too hard to predict it.  Since it turned into a depression, this 'line' has ranged from being over Perry, which is the top red circle, and as low as Chiefland, which is the bottom red circle.  The distance along the shore is about 33 miles in length.  

So, why did I use the word "MIGHT" in the above paragraph?  This picture above is of Hurricane Ian, last year.  The paths shown were the ones they thought it would follow as of September 25th.  Three days later it slammed into the coast far below each prediction.  So much so that many of the people down south of Punta Gorda where it hit said they were unprepared because 2-3 days earlier it was going to hit well above Tampa.  Then about 24 hours before it hit a forecast had it hitting Tampa...then a few hours later it was moved down closer to where it did hit land.  Those people fell asleep because they were looking at the dark line...ignoring the 'cone' of where it could hit.  

Above you can see the 'cone' in light grey...and it clearly shows that Punta Gorda was in play as where it 'could' hit.  But people saw the 'red line', which is where most models showed where it probably could hit.  

This is the 4 pm release, not much of a change.  Except that the center of the Tropical Storm has not moved very far since it became a Tropical Depression...only about 80 miles.  Monday was suppose to be the day of more rapid has not happened yet.

So Paul says that this 'could' be good news...perhaps the storm won't be as strong as first predicted.  We can only hope so.  And being on the edge of the cone still leaves that lump in the back of my throat...and since we don't have any cats, and Indy does not shed very much, it surely can't be a furball stuck back there...

NOTE:  We are in California, far away from the danger posed by this up and coming Hurricane