Friday, September 8, 2017

Another of This Week's Wee Hours Hurricane Irma Comprehensive Overviews Plus Brief Me Update -OR- Miami-Dade and a Big, Wet Wind

The full Moon as seen inside the eye of Hurricane Irma late on September 5, 2017 in a photo captured by the U.S. Air Force Reserve 53d Weather Reconnaissance Squadron (the "Hurricane Hunters").

The "stadium effect" of the inner eyewall clouds of this monster category 5 hurricane is awesomely visible. Other in-the-eye images of Hurricane Irma from the 53d WRS twitter feed are available here.

CORRECTION 10:38PM 9/9/2017: The Moon was basically full (the "Corn Moon") at the time the above picture was taken. The caption has been revised to reflect this fact.

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This is this week's nightly Hurricane Irma update.

Hurricane Irma remains a category 5 hurricane -- though now borderline with maximum sustained winds down to 160 MPH from a peak of 185 MPH -- and it is still on target for a South Florida strike, quite possibly directly on Miami-Dade, which would be a trillion dollar mega-disaster.

Coastal Miami-Dade evacuation zones A, B, and C map.

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Mass self-evacuations are underway from South Florida including the Miami-Dade area there with caravans of people heading north -- even out of the state. There are reports of few, if any, motels available all the way to Georgia.

Traffic on the Florida Turnpike leaving the Florida Keys as seen near Homestead, Fla., September 6, 2017.

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Flights out of Miami Int'l Airport and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood Int'l Airport, not to mention the smaller airports, are sold out and airlines, which were price (fare) gouging like crazy the other day (if only because of their wildly complex automated fare systems), now are capping fares (presumably with human intervention on the part of the carriers and, if only, to avoid legal trouble, but sometimes the right thing happens even if for the wrong reason). Airlines are even waiving pet fees (thank you, Delta).

A throng of people at a gate at Miami International Airport fleeing Hurricane Irma, September 7, 2017.

MIA will be closing as soon as winds reach 35 MPH -- well below hurricane force.

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Needless to say, people are understandably and very wisely taking with their pets with them. There have been some stories of airlines not allowing people -- including this story that aired on CNN earlier tonight -- to board who have dogs without pet carriers (except pet carriers cannot be found*)

Man with his dog being interviewed on Sept. 7, 2017 by CNN explaining why he was not able to evacuate by jet.

The man's dog name is Mika. The man might be named Matthew Vargas. Unable to fly out, he said he is going to ride out the storm in Kendall, Fla.

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*Rush Limbaugh, a.k.a., the Vulgar Lying Pigboy, can add this to his flatulence-based conspiracy-mongering that Hurricane Irma is just a Deep Liberal Media State Conspiracy to deceive True Americans into believing in "Al Gore Democrat climate change." What a fucking idiot.

Al Roker's pair of tweets on September 6, 2017 responding to the Vulgar Lying Pigboy's verbal excreta about Hurricane Irma.

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Anyway, here are the 2AM EDT (0600UTC) stats on Irma:

Location: 21.5N 73.3W or about 20 miles (30 km) ENE of Great Inagua Island or 535 miles (860 km) ESE of Miami.

Maximum Sustained Winds: 160 MPH (260 km/h)

Movement: WNW or 290 degrees at 16 MPH (26 km/h)

Minimum Pressure: 925mb (27.31" Hg)

Hurricane Irma is presently traversing (pounding) the Turks and Caicos Islands.

Below are two satellite images from earlier today -- one infrared and the other visible -- at different times:

Infrared satellite image centered on Puerto Rico showing Hurricane Irma, 1645UTC (12:45PM EDT) Sept. 7, 2017.

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Visible satellite image centered on Puerto Rico showing Hurricane Irma, 2045UTC (4:45PM EDT) Sept. 7, 2017.

Note the lower-angled sunlight is allowing the portion of the eyewall to cast a distinct shadow inside about half the eye.

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The 11PM EDT National Hurricane Center (NHC) update has Hurricane Irma's most likely track going up the middle of the state. The center actually rides up into the Ohio River valley (possibly over Kentucky), so here in the mid-Atlantic, we probably won't get any effects (rain or wind).

NHC Advisory 36 information graphic for Hurricane Irma issued 11PM EDT September 7, 2017 showing the most likely track and cone of uncertainty out to day 5.

There is a slightly newer Advisory 36A information graphic issued with the intermediate 2AM EDT September 8, 2017, but I'll stick with this one.

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Of note, NHC is not forecasting Hurricane Irma to gain any additional strength and, in fact, is forecasting a gradual weakening to about 145MPH top sustained winds (or strong category 4) at landfall, despite the instance of the operational GFS and NAM models that the tropical cyclone will as it nears landfall. (Yes, I know that the GFS has been over-intensifying hurricanes this year, but it's the persistence of the trend to which I'm referring.)

This was the NWS NDFD forecast for Miami Beach, Fla., for the next five days from earlier on Thursday (Sept. 7th) showing peak wind gusts of 170 MPH.

Yikes. We're that to happen, most of the structures in Miami and Miami Beach would be severely damaged or destroyed.

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Landfall is forecasted to happen in the wee hours of Sunday -- again, assuming the current track verifies. Having said that, there is still the question of when that sharp turn to the right occurs since the present trajectory would put it almost over Key West. Below are the 12Z Sept. 7, 2017 GFS and Euro ensembles showing Irma's forecasted track:

12Z Sept. 7, 2017 GFS Global Ensemble Forecast System (GEFS) ensembles track forecast of Hurricane Irma.

This is through hour 192.

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12Z Sept. 7, 2017 Euro's Integrated Forecast System (IFS) ensembles track forecast for Hurricane Irma .

This is through hour 120.

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The latest operational GFS run -- the 0Z Sept. 8, 2017 run -- shows the center passing near Atlanta and then dying over northern Alabama. I should point out that the 0Z 9/8/2017 NAM runs (to include the 3-km, 12-km and 32-km resolutions) show a much more easterly route with the turn occurring east of Miami. In fact, the 12-km and 32-km runs that go out to 84 hours have the system striking the Outer Banks on a northerly route (which would bring heavy rainfall into the Baltimore/Washington area). However, this track is being firmly discounted by NHC.

12Z Sept. 7, 2017 GFS total precipitation (in inches) through hour 168 /  12Z Sept. 14, 2017 for the SECONUS, as prettied up by WeatherBell.com.

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As for my dad, dad in Flagler Beach, or rather, just north of Flagler Beach in a trailer park a few hundred yards from the ocean, has decided not to evacuate. At least that's what he said in a brief text reply to me. So he is going to ride it out.

Based upon the NHC most likely track, the center would pass to his west (and rapidly weakening at that point). However, I still don't think staying there is a good idea -- especially since the exact location of this sharp rightward / northward turn has yet to be determined.

New York Times online headline, 12:34PM Sept. 7, 2017.

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Needless to say, Irma has already caused widespread destruction on the small islands its inner powerful core has traversed to include Barbuda, Anguilla, and St. Martin over the past two days. The death toll is preliminarily put at 10. Here are some images from Barbuda and St. Martin:

Destruction on Barbuda due to Hurricane Irma, September 6, 2017. 

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Aerial view of the widespread destruction on Barbuda from Hurricane Irma, September 6, 2017.

Much of the infrastructure of the island has been damaged or destroyed. 

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Puerto Rico suffered some damage and flooding but both it and Haiti -- a country far less able to handle powerful tropical cyclones -- both were spared catastrophic destruction and loss of life.

Storm surge flooding and destruction on St. Martin as a result of Hurricane Irma, September 6, 2017.

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As a brief personal update ...

I am home at this late hour watching TV -- my Me-TV 11PM - 1AM lineup of old shows to include Carol Burnett and Friends, Perry Mason, The Twilight Zone, and Alfred Hitchcock Presents. The Perry Mason episode was "The Case of the Screaming Woman."

That episode was made in 1957 or early 1958 -- the same year that an actor featured in it, Don Gardner, was killed in a car accident. The episode aired originally April 26, 1958 and Don Gardner was killed on Sept. 21, 1958.

Don Gardner was only 26 years old. Had he lived to the present, he would have been 85 years old, a full life that never happened.

Earlier, I had a good gym workout tonight -- jog (made it to 6 miles), weightlifting, and swim -- and now I'm home cooking dinner while (as mentioned above) watching TV.

A lone small, pretty rose grows in a small rose bush thicket in the 1700 block of Corcoran St NW, Washington, D.C., 6:46PM September 7, 2017.

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At work, I really need to finish up an assignment -- writing up the notes to the Cleveland workshop -- tomorrow. That being the case, and because of the severity of the hurricane situation, I am not going to attempt any BIG Y'EYEMAH Friday Night Creature Feature entry tomorrow.

You see, I was going to have an episode in which BIG Y'EYEMAH -- a.k.a., the BIG YO' YEY'MAH -- would be towed down to Florida and save Miami from the hurricane by a well-timed, corned cheese-and-cabbage-fueled breaking of wind.

KA-BOOM!!!

Everything turns out well -- or would have, except all that methane produces a most unintended outcome.

Sent to me by my neighbor-friend Fred.

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For tomorrow after work, I'll probably meet Fred at Annie's and then go to No. 9 and/or Trade later at night. Saturday is a gym day and Sunday is my free day -- the usual weekend stuff. However, Hurricane Irma will be fully occupying my attention, especially given my personal connection in the form of my father.

OK, that's all for now.

--Regulus

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