It’s Hurricane Season…again!
Anyone who lives on the Florida Peninsula, the Gulf Coast or the Eastern seaboard is quite aware that the annual hurricane season is upon us as Isasias crawls north northwest through the Bahamas, threatening the eastern coast of Florida. In the southern states, hurricanes are a fact of life.
Awake before sunrise, I thought the hurricane would already be here, but, no… it wasn’t. Outside, the sky was relatively clear, with some high clouds to the NE, light winds, dry pavement. It was time for my morning walk. The morning temperatures here range from 75 to 82 degrees, with high humidity. Today, it was reasonably mild, pleasant with just a slight increase of wind to cool things off.
I noticed the sun had made a significant shift southward within the last couple of days, although the sun has often been obscured by morning clouds. Not this morning… there wasn’t the usual build-up of possible thunderheads out at sea or to the south, just high clouds.
Few people in the neighborhood appeared to be doing anything about preparing for a hurricane. Given all the dramatics on the weather channels, you would think a Category 5 was heading for Florida, but actually, Isasias may be more of a Category 1, possibly a Cat 2 or even drop down to a Tropical Storm after grinding across the low-lying Bahamas… islands that were devasated last year by a slow-moving Dorian. Current forecasts according to Ventusky.com have the storm reaching Miami any time from this afternoon to this evening. There’s still plenty of time to gather in the loose objects, yard furniture, and children’s toys…
While living in Florida for the past four years, I have endured two major hurricanes, Matthew and Irma, and observed Dorian chewing up the palm trees and wrecking houses in the Bahamas before making a leisurely departure and heading northward. Now, Isasias looms offshore. It is not the Category 5 monster that Irma was as she made landfall on Marcos Island in the Gulf of Mexico, an island south of Naples, Florida. Matthew never made landfall in Florida, but went ashore further north — in that favorite landing place called the Carolinas. Nevertheless, the Category 4 hurricane, which later dropped to a Cat 3 by the time it reached Daytona Beach, the slow-moving storm caused considerable damage to trees, roofs, and seashore, even well inland, miles away from the storm’s center. So, we Floridians, if I can call myself one, wait patiently for this next early storm to make its imprint upon the sands, power grid, and palms of Florida.
Meanwhile, as much of the United States swelters under high temperatures, we are going to be receiving four to six inches of rain sometime today or through the night… with bands of thunderstorms lulling us to sleep.
Frankly, I rather deal with hurricanes instead of the politicized covid issue that rages here daily — mask or no mask… At least hurricanes have the decency to move on, eventually.
Enjoy your day, wherever you live…
Fear or freedom? I choose freedom.
Eliza Ayres, 1 August 2020
Update: 2 August 2020, 07:41
Last night, Isaias was downgraded back to a Tropical Storm. To date, only a few narrow outer bands of showers and light winds have come ashore (9MPH winds sustained; 19MPH gusts). The main storm remains sitting astride the Bahamas, moving ever so slowly NNW. There are heavy clouds present in Palm Beach County, but nothing beyond what we deal with in the Florida rainy season due to periodic thunderstorms. There has been no thunder/lightning noted over the mainland; most of it is out to sea. Looking on http://www.ventusky.com at the percipitation and wind speed maps, shows the bulging bulk of Isaias is well out to sea. The storm could gain strength and momentum, but right now that’s a coin toss… Hopefully, the storm will continue its slow crawl northward. Those living on the Carolina coast should prepare for heavy surf, rip tides, possible coastal flooding and keep watching for weather updates…