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


  1. You guys need to move. Seriously, you have an entire six months to worry about hurricanes? I would never survive that. I would literally die from the stress. I'm praying it goes away from your house and you suffer no damage. Especially since you already remodeled your kitchen. It's good you are in California.

    1. Well, in California you have the threat of fire, earthquakes and the constant threat of what I call "Newsom Disease", the most deadly form of bacteria known on earth! lol

    2. The year my first husband died...I went through 5 hurricanes alone....well with me and my dog..Bubba... You learn how to survive...when it gets really bad you go to your safe interior room... It seems non-Floridians have the hardest time...I asked my brother what to do to deal with hurricanes and I took his advice. Marcia Burdick...Dave's wife


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