Flood Pictures

Not much coverage on this in the national news AFAICT – seems everybody is concentrating on other topics. According to CNN, the hot topics of the day are “George Carlin”, West Nile Virus”, “Gas Prices”, “Iran”, and “Election Center”. I wonder if this has something to do with the folks being affected by the flooding.


Update – Those pictures were posted on Boston Globe’s new photo blog – The Big Picture.



Tropical Depression 10

I had a feeling something was brewing out in the gulf on my jog last night, strong winds sucking air due south, that’s not very common here. Even stranger was the reaction of my cat to the change in weather, she refused to go outside last night. She’d just stick her head out the back door, take a couple of big sniffs and high tail it back indoors. Strange behavior for a cat that spends most of its time outside.

No complaints though about the formation, we could use the rain. Unfortunately all TD10 has given us so far is gray sky. Sniff. The depression is estimated to form into a storm, and track west, making landfall over Louisiana or Mississippi in a day or so.

Check out the cool radar image of TD10 on weather.com. It has pretty well formed circulation!

110° In The Shade

It’s 95 degrees in Destin today, with super high relative humidity of about 75%. There’s so much water in the air you can see it. The combination of the two creates heat indexes that reach about 110 degrees during the day. It’s so hot my air conditioning can’t keep up, the thermostat reads 76 degrees, with the temperature gauge set at 72. Whew!


Hurricane Season Downgrade


There’s absolutely nothing out of the ordinary,” Gerry Bell, a hurricane forecaster for the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, said of the Atlantic season’s first two months. “It’s not slow. It’s not fast.”

In other news, Al Gore was recently spotted crawling back underneath his rock.

Hurricane Season Begins Again

Let’s hope the folks up in Colorado are as good this year as they were in the last at predicting the number of named storms.

The chance of a major hurricane hitting the Gulf Coast between the Florida Panhandle and Brownsville, Texas, is 49 percent; the long-term average is 30 percent. There is also an above-average chance of a major hurricane making landfall in the Caribbean, according to the forecast.



Here comes the cold weather. For the last two weeks Destins enjoyed 70+ degree days and sunny skys. (I can’t remember the last time I had the top on on my Z4.) I guess it couldn’t last forever. Apparently we have a mild El Nino in effect this year, but it’s not fairing well against the current arctic shelf dropping down over the United States. Hopefully it won’t last long.

El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is a global coupled ocean-atmosphere phenomenon. The Pacific ocean signatures, El Niño and La Niña (also written in English as El Nino and La Nina) are major temperature fluctuations in surface waters of the tropical Eastern Pacific Ocean. The names, from the Spanish for “the child”, refer to the Christ child, because the phenomenon is usually noticed around Christmas time in the Pacific Ocean off the west coast of South America.[1] Their effect on climate in the southern hemisphere is profound. These effects were first described in 1923 by Sir Gilbert Thomas Walker from whom the Walker circulation, an important aspect of the Pacific ENSO phenomenon, takes its name. The atmospheric signature, the Southern Oscillation (SO) reflects the monthly or seasonal fluctuations in the air pressure difference between Tahiti and Darwin. As of September 2006, El Niño is currently active, and is expected to continue into 2007.


In North America, typically, winters are warmer than normal in the upper Midwest states, the Northeast, and Canada, while central and southern California, northwest Mexico and the southwestern U.S., are wetter and cooler than normal. Summer is wetter in the intermountain regions of the U.S. The Pacific Northwest states, on the other hand, tend to experience dry but foggy winters and warm, sunny and precocious springs during an El Niño. During a La Niña, by contrast, the Midwestern U.S. tends to be drier than normal. El Niño is associated with decreased hurricane activity in the Atlantic, especially south of 25º N; this reduction is largely due to stronger wind shear over the tropics.

Ahh Wikipedia, what would we do without you? 🙂

The temperature outside has dropped from 69 degrees to 59 degrees in just the last 45 minutes. We’re supposed to have freezing temps down here starting tonight, lasting for a day or two at least. Yuck. I guess I shouldn’t complain, my friend Steve Mays has been frozen in a block of ice for over three days now. Yow!

[ In the time it took me to write this post, the temp dropped another 3 degrees to 56! ]


Following this is my coverage and somewhat cavalier introductory commentary leading up to the United States most devastating natural disaster in history. My initial attitude was the result of having been pummeled by two major storms (Ivan and Dennis) and arriving on the other side of each unscathed. Needless to say, I ultimately learned a very valuable lesson. I’ve spent some time volunteering to help these folks out after the storm passed, I’ve also met quite a few of the people affected by Katrina who have temporarily relocated here to Destin. These are all good people, and I hope they and their states manage to recover fully. We here on the Gulf Coast all take a financial risk living here, but we don’t have to take a personal risk if we simply, well, try to be a little less cavalier.

Of course, I’ll probably take this risk in the future, because I really do love a good storm. 🙂

Hello Katrina

“I dated a girl in high school named Katrina, boy she was a fireball. I expect no less from this storm.”

Here We Go Again

“I can’t keep track of the number of times in the last year I’ve stared at a hurricane forecasting map that looked just like this. But hey, I’m a hardened hurricane veteran now… come on Katrina, let see what you’ve got.”

Katrina Update

“If you live between New Orleans and Biloxi Mississippi, I’d suggest you start paying close attention to this storm. The farther west it goes, the more time it will have to sit out in the Gulf, where it can build strength.”

One Big Storm

“Katrina is now a category three, and is expected to strengthen to a four or five before it makes landfall. Unfortunately, she’s painted her bull’s-eye directly on New Orleans, which has never been hit by a four or five.”

New Orleans Local Coverage
Additional Local Coverage

Destin Weather Report

“Very very windy, little rain though. I’m about 200 miles from the center of the storm. We’ve had some power issues, but it always seems to come back on.”


“Looking at some of the footage of Biloxi, MS, I’m astounded.”

The Difference 135 Miles Make

“I’ve always been fairly cavalier about these storms, most recently “getting in Katrina’s face”, but I’m thinking now – if Katrina had made landfall 135 miles to the east, Destin would look like Gulfport. My house, which sits a precarious 16.5 feet above sea level, would be sitting in anywhere between five and fifteen feet of water. I’d probably be one of those unlucky few who stayed and were either killed, or found sitting on top of their roofs the next day looking for rescue. Anyway, it’s a humbling experience for me, even though the storm made landfall quite some distance west of where I live.”


The computer models continue to slide Ernesto’s path to the east. To me this is starting to look a little bit more serious, but not for Florida, I’m more concerned with the east coast. If the storm slides far enough east, Ernesto could strengthen over the Atlantic and walk it’s way up the eastern seaboard, doing quite a bit of damage. This reminds me a little of Hurricane Gloria which hit the east coast back in 1985. Wikipedia has more on that storm.