Seven Rules For Hurricane Season

Even though there have already been two named storms in the 2016 Atlantic hurricane season, the season officially began yesterday.

Here in Tampa, we’re blessed to have a great meteorologist in the suspender-wearing Denis Phillips, who heads the weather team at WFTS, better known here as ABC Action News. A few years ago, he came up with seven rules to follow during hurricane season, which apply just as easily if you live in New York or Houston than if you live in the Tampa Bay area.

They are as follows, though if you live in another area, change the wording slightly:

1. Storm track errors past 3 days can be HUGE. Don’t get caught up on forecasts that far out. You’ll go crazy.
2. Models flip flop back and forth all the time. Look for trends, don’t look at individual model runs
3. If you didn’t prepare in June (which you probably didn’t), do so now. Check your hurricane kit and guide to see what YOU and your family need.
4. Don’t freak out.
5. Don’t freak out. Ok? We live in Florida. It goes with the territory. The odds of a storm affecting us directly is usually low.
6. If things get bad, KNOW that we will be there will you 24-7. You’re going to hear a ton of information. It can get confusing. Stick with us. We won’t steer you wrong.
7. Stop freaking out….until I tell you to. We’re fine.

Looking like it may be a busier year than the most recent seasons, but all it takes is one bad storm to make a bad season.

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The Big Chill Of 2010

Some of you in the Tampa Bay area may have noticed that it’s a wee bit cold out.  Well, what we consider to be cold.  I’ve seen it colder here, but don’t get me started on that whole Global Warming nonsense.

Actually, it’s been colder than this wave we’re currently getting.  Here’s what I shot off of local TV back on January 9, 2010 off of the FOX, ABC, and NBC stations.  Sheena Parveen, who currently works as the lead weatherperson on one of the big Philadelphia stations, leads off on WTVT’s coverage.

Watching Sandy

Tampa Bay is getting it’s first real chill of the season.  It was in the 50’s this morning in Tampa, about 60 here in Pinellas Park.  When the temps start dipping below 60, you know fall has arrived here.

Having lived in some colder climates in my lifetime, I find it humorous when the older people in the neighborhood break out the cold weather gear when it falls below 70.  But then again, I’m not them.  They may be more sensitive to the cold then I am.

But Sandy is the lady of the hour.  It is (as I type this) an 85 mph hurricane, it is expected to lose its tropical characteristics today as it hits lower New Jersey as it merges its energies with a cold front.  So you have the bizarre situation of a hurricane hitting the Jersey Shore with NO watches and warnings preceding it.  Our local ace meteorologist Denis Phillips over at WFTS (ABC Action News) in Tampa pointed out this loophole in how this kind of storm situation is handled yesterday.

And I totally agree: perhaps during the hurricane off-season a month away, the governing bodies of weather in the United States can get together and close this kind of loophole for the 2013 hurricane season and beyond.

A Jump To The Right

Just got back from the local Walmart here in Pinellas Park. Not seeing a lot of concern on the faces of the shoppers.

Last night, that lack of concern was well-advised. But as I visit the Weather Underground blog section hosted by Dr. Jeff Masters, we may have to revisit those concerns. The operative word there is may.

The latest models have Isaac just off of us once again, in varying distances:

Isaac Spaghetti Models, 8/24/2012

As Denis Phillips often says on WFTS (the local ABC station), when watching a hurricane you never get a high sense of optimism, nor do you get a low level of optimism. You watch, you wait, and hope things go your way.

The models shifted a little east, they can shift back west again. If it’s still looking like this on Sunday, then it will be time to prepare.