Nothing like checking the BlackBerry and seeing not one, not two, but four areas of potential tropical development in the Atlantic. While the storm in the Caribbean (#2 on the map above) has the best shot at developing soon, the storm near the Lesser Antilles (storm 4) could see some slow development over the next few days and might be worth watching. Read tonight’s Tropical Weather Outlook for more. They said it was going to be a busy year — I suspect we’ll see a lot of outlooks like these over the next few months.
Introducing Tropical Depression One, which will likely soon become Tropical Storm Alex before it rumbles onto the Yucatan Peninsula. It’s too early to reliably tell if this storm will impact the oil disaster area in the Gulf, but if some of the forecast models play out, it does not look good for the Gulf. It’s worth noting that the HWRF and GFDL, two models specifically designed for tropical forecasting, both favor a scenario that take the storm into the oil slick. (Let’s hope they’re wrong.)
There’s lots of remembrance in the Lowcountry today in recognition of the 20th anniversary of Hurricane Hugo.
You might be surprised to know that I wasn’t here for it.
My family moved to Charleston (specifically, Goose Creek) in the summer of 1988. But during the summer of 1989, my dad’s job relocated us to Dalton, PA (yes, I lived near Scranton before it was popular). We rented out our house (with the full intent of returning once my father was finished with his assignment in PA), and watched nervously as Hugo made a direct hit on the Lowcountry. Fortunately, just the fence took a bit of a hit, and we only lost one tree (and it evaded the house). We returned in the summer of 1990, and in the winter got a fun snowfall (that has unfortunately yet to really repeat itself).
I was a weather nut before Hugo, but I have to wonder what my attitude toward hurricanes would be today had I gone through it. I remember talking to a lot of my peers when we returned, and most said they slept through it. But others told tales of howling winds and trees snapping and general chaos — and the silence of the eye. The stories of the eye were the most fascinating to me, and are probably a driving force for me to try to experience what it’s like in that eerie calm, on the stage in a stadium of destructive power.
But somehow I might find that what happens prior to and after that calm might dissuade me.
In case you forgot, it’s hurricane season in the Atlantic. (Easy to do when there’s been nothing out there.)
Say hi to Ana and Bill. Ana’s got a shot at a South Florida landfall on Thursday, while Bill’s a bit too far out to call, though the early model guidance is encouraging for a recurvature before it hits the U.S. Time will tell — and these things are notorious for being unpredictable.
I’ll be doing periodic updates on the Charleston Weather blog as we learn more about the storms’ implications for our weather. TheDigitel’s hurricane page is a good place to monitor as well, and if you’re into maps and data and more maps and more data, I must recommend SCHurricane.com (@schurricane on Twitter) by the good guys at WCBD News 2. It’s pretty much every relevant map conveniently linked in one place.
So, stay tuned. It wasn’t going to stay docile out there forever.
The National Weather Service in Charleston initiated local statements on Fay at about 7:00 tonight. Weather Underground is a good place to read these statements, as they do some processing to make them mixed case and thus a bit easier to read. The latest statement from NWS Charleston as of this writing came around 9:00 tonight.
Every year or so, we get a reminder of just how unpredictable tropical systems can be. Tropical Storm Fay is proving to be that storm. It’s done very little to plan at this point; it surged more westward than expected; came onshore weaker than expected, and now it’s done what is usually unthinkable — it’s strengthened over land.
I’ve been running across some neat stuff on the ‘Nets these days, such as…
- The redesigned last.fm. It’s really improved; the social networking aspects are far stronger now, as friend requests are actually highlighted better, and they’re even adding a little News Feed-like action. It’s also nice that I can see my loved tracks (I do a lot of lovin’ on last.fm). My favorite part? The graphical breakdowns now are more than just “last week” and “overall” — you can get breakdowns from a year, six months, and three months as well. Killer; helps me identify a lot of musical trends. Check mine out and maybe even friend me!
- Fail We Can Believe In. This Obamaized Fail Whale graphic is oddly appropriate seeing how Twitter took a dump in the last couple days and screwed a lot of people’s follower/following lists up. They’ve been getting those restored, but the whale still reigns supreme. (More on Twitter’s barf in a later post, this one is supposed to be positive!)
- The Tropical Weather FriendFeed Room. This FriendFeed room pulls in feeds from the National Hurricane Center as well as Dr. Jeff Masters’ tropical blog on Weather Underground into an easy-to-follow, and easy-to-discuss format that FriendFeed is great for. It’s been a wonderful time-saver with the recent tropical activity in the Atlantic.
- Identi.ca, the open-source, federated Twitter-like network. If things keep progressing at the pace they’re progressing, Identi.ca could stand a serious challenge to Twitter. They are adding features at a monstrous pace, and was just added as the latest supported microblogging service in Twhirl. Best part? Anybody can run the software powering Identi.ca (it’s called Laconica), making for a truly federated microblogging platform.
Seen anything you’ve liked lately? Throw it in comments. :)
This past week marked the return to classes at the College. Because of my new job, I’m taking an abbreviated, part-time course load — and honestly, I like the way the classes break up my workday. Because my job no longer involves me going out of the office except for lunch, it’s nice to be able to still get out there every once in a while and trudge my way through thousands of students trying to get to where THEY need to go, too.
The real shocker in the first week of classes isn’t necessarily the classes — no, it’s the throngs of PEOPLE. Charleston effectively adds what, 7,000 at least to its population when classes resume? I definitely feel that when I’m walking by the King Street Subway and see a line 20 deep. I’m sure I could just tell the line that I’m Jared and cut through, but I digress. I get so used to the city and the campus being relatively deserted in the summer months…and then BAM! Oh well — it’s cool to see people back. These days, most of my friends live in Charleston year round, but it was nice to see a few people return from their hometowns.
Last Saturday I saw Superbad with the roommates. It was grotesque, outrageous, and oh, so hilarious. It’s a must see. (Leave the kids at home.)
Ryan Farish came out with some more tracks — it seems as if he’s getting back to that 2002 sound. I’m loving every minute of it, and highly recommend it. I’m getting them through his SNOCAP store on his MySpace page. (A topic for another day: How MySpace Effectively Destroys Attempts at Good Grammar Simply Through Its Name.)
Dean was a monster storm. Cozumel and Cancun sure dodged a bullet, though, didn’t they? Whew. Houston — and the rest of the Midwest, rather — got a little too acquainted with Erin, though. We would have gladly taken that rain off their hands — they certainly didn’t need it, as the flooding shows. The tropics are settled down a bit but it’s that time of year where things can just kick up and get going — and have a lot of time to grow. Keep an eye out. I love how Weather Underground is now tracking not only the defined tropical systems but also the Invests — pre-classified disturbances that the Hurricane Center watches closely for development. Previously, you had to dig around NOAA’s site to get at that stuff, so Weather Underground exposing it is a huge help.
I may redo a few things around the site in the next couple weeks. I need a new header picture (my hair hasn’t been that shaggy for months now) and I think the post interface could use a bit of work (and standardization, for that matter). We shall see. I’m off to hit the showers and the bookstore to get a refund on a book that was incorrect. Peace…