Archive for the ‘Tonie Toney’ Category

ALL O.K. – Irma Update – Cloudman23’s Florida Family

 

     We and all family members (including animal members) are O.K.  No damage to our home.  Much debris to clean up but no hurry for that. Helping others is high on the list.  All neighbors and friends are O.K. as far as I can tell.  In this house the comfort level increased significantly about five hours ago and I’ll take credit for it (just joking about the taking credit part).  Here’s the tale:  I felt terrible for not having the American flag on display yesterday especially since it was 9-11.  That date certainly didn’t escape me.  But it was still too windy.  I put it out in all of its glory at 12:37 pm today and our electricity came back at 12:38.  So the air conditioner is on, the refrigerators and freezers are working and we now have water.  And obviously we have an Internet connection.  And most important of all, my father-in-law has Fox News (the only station his television set receives).   I guess I should have put the flag out sooner!

– AS OF THE TIME OF THIS POSTING –
     My oldest daughter and her husband in Lakeland:  All services have been restored.   
      Her daughter in Lakeland with her husband:  Water but no power.  Estimate for restoration is 6-12 days.  Hope that changes!  9:50 pm 9-12-17 update: Power restored.  Amazing! 
 
      The next daughter in Saint John’s south of Jacksonville with her son:  Everything working.  Her oldest son in Valdosta, Georgia is fine but I have no details.
     The mother of those two daughters (in St. Johns) is in fine shape.  A recent text message indicated that she had services except for Internet.
     My youngest daughter in Lake City with her husband: No damage.  No power, no water – but they have a generator for lights and refrigeration.  9:50 pm 9-12-17 update: I was wrong.  They do not have a generator.   9:50 pm 9-12-17 update: Power restored late AM today, 9-13-17.  Biggest concern now is predicted flooding of the Santa Fe River nearby which will close down Interstate 75 at Fort White, which is near Lake City.  This will freeze their commuting which takes place between Lake City and Gainesville and also interfere drastically with those who are attempting to return from the north.
     My son in Crystal River with his wife.  No damage.  Everything restored.  My wife drove to their future house under construction (6 miles north of here) and it is fine.  The block side walls are up but the roof is not yet on.  She found that the elderly couple living next door were almost out of ice and that he (92) had insulin that must be kept cool.  They now have all of our ice.  If they want, they can come here.
    
     My father-in-law, nearly 97, who has lived with us for over 12 years handled the storm well.  He is not only a veteran of World War II but also a veteran of hurricane Donna (1960), and hurricane Betsy (1965) – both of which were memorable for him at one time.  But, he doesn’t remember them anymore.  However, he does still remember Andrew in 1992 when we all evacuated Homestead together and then came back to what looked like ground zero for that little twerp in North Korea.  The night of Irma’s visit was very loud but he didn’t hear a thing – slept right through it.  I guess that there are times when it is advantageous to have diminished hearing. 
    
     We stored a great amount of water prior to the storm specifically for the purpose of toilet flushing and taking spit bathes.  Praise the Lord for that.  It was difficult to school my father in law in the fundamental mandate, “If it’s yellow, let it mellow.  If it’s brown, flush it down.”  That was really no problem.  We have lots of water remaining in convenient containers as the two photos below show.  Though my little sailboat has 450 pounds of ballast in the keel, I’ve added a boatload of water ballast to her – plus more in the garage in those 20 pound cat litter containers with the big screw-on caps.
    
     Now for the first time we are able to see on television some of the devastation caused by this storm.  It reminds me that everything is relative.  My thoughts and prayers go out to those who are suffering.  Our experience with Andrew taught me that the effects can be far reaching.  The fear, tension, discomfort, and the unknown can really take a toll.  Post traumatic stress disorder is common.  It’s bad enough for those who are healthy and happy; it must be so much worse for those who are not.  Now it’s time to look for those around us who need help.  We have supplies they might be able to use and some energy left.  What’s on my mind right now are the myriad people, many of them volunteers, who are busting their posteriors to help others in need – including those workers who are doing their best to restore services and also for those who are protecting us in so many other ways.  It did not escape me, for example, that the first two Irma-related fatalities in Florida were two law enforcement officers in a head-on crash southeast of Tampa. 
 
 
God bless you all.
 

 

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Hurricane Irma Entry – 9-7-2017

NOAA 9-7-17 8P ET

The image above is from the NOAA National Hurricane Center.  It is the 8 PM EDT Intermediate Advisory for hurricane Irma. 

Here is a link to that site:  http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/

I have no particular “feel” for the path that this storm is going to take.  It appears that my “zinger” notion yesterday for a right turn greater than the experts were anticipating might have been about as meaningful as a small rat’s flatulence in a Fujita-5 tornado.  But, I’m still clinging to hope.

The mass migration from South Florida is effecting us here in Citrus County.  Log-jammed I-75 is about 17 miles due east of my home.  Today I took my father-in-law to our “late breakfast” in Inverness where we get together weekly with some other buddies. The drive home northward on U.S. 41 involved extreme congestion.  What was happening is this:  Some northbound traffic on I-75 was exiting at eastbound U.S. 44 and driving on in to Inverness before heading back north on 41 – many probably guided by the GPS features in their vehicles. Sadly, even before that started happening, our gas stations were on empty. 

I understand from television news that lodging in Florida is getting extremely difficult to find.  Even in Atlanta, I-75 has been experiencing overload.  This is one reason why we are not migrating.  I fear we would end up in a traffic jam of monumental proportions.

So, I’m hoping that the morning brings favorable news.  My wish is that this storm goes out into the open Atlantic leaving us all in peace. But, that is most certainly NOT in the forecast.  As each hour passes, such a lucky turn seems more and more like an irrational fantasy.  My heart goes out to all of those who are traveling tonight – not knowing what they will be returning to once this is all over.  Actually, my heart goes out to everyone threatened by this storm.  I remember clearly what it was like returning to our totaled home in Homestead, Florida after Andrew plowed through on August 24, 1992.  That event changed our lives forever.  Driving in we hardly recognized the scene.  Even the street signs were down!  Because of debris we were unable to get down our street in my van.  Paradoxically, only one pane of glass on our house was damaged and that was a mere crack.  It was something that could have been easily taped to prevent air from getting through until I got around to replacing it.  You see, we had storm shutters on every window.  The trouble is, the roof failed!  So much for preparedness.  LOL  I admit that I have higher hopes this time; every window of this Citrus County home is protected also and it was surely built to a higher standard.   We’ll see.

I won’t go into specifics but, as has happened so many times in the past, I was surprised today by a few of the misconceptions about hurricanes that I heard expressed while I was out and about.  For those of you who are interested in common misconceptions about hurricanes, here is a link: 

https://cloudman23.wordpress.com/2008/09/23/952/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IRMA POSTING – PLUS

– click mouse twice for full enlargement of this image –

 

 

FIRST ENTRY IN MORE THAN A YEAR – 9-6-2017

I apologize to those few of you who have been consulting this weblog. My last posting was August 31, 2016. I’m still going strong and my interest has not waned. I’m still in the learning mode and intend to stay there. But it’s been a long time since I retired from teaching full-time college geosciences in 2003 and a lot has changed. I continued adjunct teaching after I retired but then moved away from South Florida in 2005. From 2006 into 2013 I taught 14 short-term courses at the College of Central Florida. Interest in this weblog seems to have diminished since I stopped formal teaching. However, when I checked this site this morning I saw that it has gotten tons of hits over the last few days, probably due to hurricane Irma. Prior to this current event almost all geoscience questions and observations that have come my way have been from a few family members, a few neighbors, and one buddy at church. It is very rare for me to hear from former students.

In-so-far as weather reporting is concerned, the information available to the public has blossomed since I retired and, for the most part, its quality has improved to the point that there is little if anything I can add (beyond basics). Many of my notions concerning tropical weather events fall into the category of hunches or intuition. I don’t believe that my 37 years of teaching meteorology full-time gives me license to clutter minds with my ideas unless I’m honest about them. Instead, in the comments below about Irma, I will share the four tropical weather resources I consult most often.

I am planning a change of theme and/or purpose for this site soon – more in the realm of discovery, opinions, observations, analyses, experiences, and perhaps some attempts at humor. The “About” page for this site was updated earlier today and if you wish to contact me, you will find my address there.

 

 

MY INPUT ON OUR CURRENT TROPICAL WEATHER

WHICH IS BEING DOMINATED BY HURRICANE IRMA.

My four primary resources are:

  1. Dr. Jeff Masters’ weblog (blog) at WeatherUnderground.com. It can be found here: https://wwwwunderground.com/cat6

  2. The Weather Channel on television and on-line – including apps. There are things about the Weather Channel presentations I don’t like. Nevertheless I appreciate the convenience and their efforts.

  3. The National Hurricane Center. I go to this site to get a grip on what is going on in their world. I consider that they might tend to err on the side of caution, subconsciously at the very least. What an awesome responsibility they have. Http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/

  4. The ECMWF Model – commonly referred to as the European Model.

I rely upon it heavily because of it’s premier reputation due to its accuracy over the last few years. It has done well for the “Irma type” storms. To be sure, I don’t ignore the other models. The following paragraph is for those who have been trying to understand that model.

You are likely to have heard many references to the European Model. I admit it is confusing. For example, here is a quote from Dr. Jeff Masters. “The European Center does not permit public display of tropical storm positions from their hurricane tracking module of their model, so we are unable to put ECMWF forecasts on our computer model forecast page that plots positions from other major models.” Thus, even though on television or on-line you may see comparisons of the European Model to the myriad other models, you might have noticed that it’s not included in the spaghetti charts that show models from multiple sources. What you will see is either the European “operational” model track or the European Ensemble (a spaghetti graphic). For that spaghetti ensemble the operational model is re-run at a lower resolution (called the control run) and this is then repeated 50 times, each with slightly different starting conditions.

I get my favorite animated European model track from Penn State’s Department of Meteorology at http://mp1.met.psu.edu/~fxg1/ECMWF0.5_0z/ecmwfloop.html

Please note that this link is time-sensitive.

Of the four charts, I focus upon the one on the upper right as I scroll through f24 through f240 ( which means “24 hours into the future” through “240 hours into the future”).

You might fry your brain with the time signatures on the bottom – depending upon your comfort level with time at the prime meridian (Universal, Greenwich, Zulu) and your knowledge of Victor time.

 

THE CORIOLIS EFFECT

I’ve been thinking all day long about the Coriolis Effect as it relates to Irma. If you are my former student you might recall that the steering currents at high altitude are, in part, a function of the Coriolis Effect (the Penn State chart on the upper left) and I’ll bet you remember that the counterclockwise circulation of Irma is due to the Coriolis Effect. If you’re still sharp on the subject you might also remember that the outflow at the top of the storm is likely to be clockwise for the same reason – the Coriolis Effect. I know that sounds like a contradiction to those of you who are unfamiliar with this subject. If you are interested in the Coriolis Effect go here:

https://cloudman23.wordpress.com/2008/10/02/the-coriolis-effect-in-the-real-world-a-tutorial-part-1/

and here:

https://cloudman23.wordpress.com/2008/10/07/the-coriolis-effect-in-the-real-world-a-tutorial-part-2-cyclones-anticyclones/

 

MY NOTIONS TODAY ABOUT IRMA

Here is my zinger that comes from the “gut level” and is therefore probably not deserving of any classification other than “pure speculation.” (That’s the honesty I referred to in the second paragraph of this blog).

I am expecting (or is it hoping and praying for?) slightly more turning to the right than the experts are indicating. The itty-bitty turn last night was encouraging to me. I keep telling myself that the hurricane is a separate entity of its own and that the Coriolis Effect is influencing it’s path independent of the steering currents and the rotational motion. That path is the consequence of what is referred to as translational motion. Furthermore, the further north the storm gets, the stronger the Coriolis Effect will be. The Coriolis Effect is zero at the equator and increases to 100% at the poles. Maybe I’m just overly excited about last night’s noticeable veering of Irma’s path. Perhaps this is merely a good example of wishful thinking. We’ll see.

 

FOR CITRUS COUNTY, FLORIDA

Finally, for those of you who live in my county of Florida, Citrus, you might be interested in this August 2014 posting about hurricanes.

https://cloudman23.wordpress.com/2014/08/22/citrus-county-florida-and-hurricanes/

 

 

Invest 99L Has Become Tropical Depression AL09

REMINDER:  THIS IS A TIME-SENSITIVE REPORT

As of late this afternoon, 8-29-2016, Invest 99L has strengthened to a tropical depression.  For up-to-date information on the system, I recommend Dr. Jeff Masters’ weblog (blog).  See link below:

https://www.wunderground.com/

Go to the top of the page and click on News & Blogs.

As of the time of this writing, Dr. Masters expresses reasonable confidence that the system will track in such a way that a landfall will occur somewhere in the Florida coast north of Tampa.  I urge all interested persons to pay close attention to Dr. Masters’ postings, the Weather Channel tropical reports, and your local news.

Here is the most recent version from my favorite spaghetti chart source, the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado (CLICK ON IMAGE TO ENLARGE):

2016-8-29 Model tracks

 

Virgil Oren Toney

Photo - October 2013

Photo – October 2013

Virgil Oren Toney (my uncle Oren) died peacefully on Sunday, June 29, 2014 in his Indiana farm home. He was 89. He is the focus of this web-log entry*.

 

*I’ve entered this posting primarily for family and friends.  “Friends” include neighbors, my former classmates and other school chums, members of my church, my dear former students (who more than likely heard me make references to farm life and/or my wonderful family) and others.  I do not participate in social media communication because I fear that I might spend too much valuable time doing so.  Therefore, I’m using my web-log as an outlet. 

 

♥     ♥     ♥     ♥     ♥     ♥     ♥     ♥     ♥     ♥     ♥

My young mother was 16 when I was born in California in 1939. My father was 24 and had already served a full “hitch” in the Navy; however, he was pulled back in by World War II and served in the Pacific Theater as a Seabee. He returned in February, 1946 with both physical and emotional issues – both of which went untreated.  Insult added to injury when his group returned from the War without fanfare and he had a tough time finding a job.  Also, he more or less returned to a mess and his usage of alcohol increased.  My dad, Don, had a good mind and a good heart but, in spite of that, things pretty much feel apart.   He and my mother separated in 1949.  He stayed on as a bartender in California while mom, Margaret (Maggie) and I bused to Muncie, Indiana to live with my maternal grandparents. This occurred shortly before my 10thbirthday. I was in the third grade. Thus, mistakes made by both of my parents led to an eventual divorce. The situation in California would have been bad for any child; there is no need to go into more detail. It suffices to say that the breakup, though painful, was in my best interest; I feel certain that my welfare was one of mother’s leading considerations.

I spent almost 3 days with dad during the late summer of 1950 when he took me to New York to see the final game of the World Series and then visited his Hoosier family.  Then there was a two day period in 1954 when he came back to Indiana for the funeral of his brother, Elvyn.  I did not see him again until 1961 when my dear Uncle Oren and Aunt Marge drove all the way out to California with their three young boys and me in their small Ford station wagon.  Elvyn, named for the uncle he never saw, was in diapers.  We did a lot of camping on the way out and back and, because of the places we visited (e.g. Yosemite) my interest in geology and meteorology blossomed.  Shortly after I returned from this trip I changed my major at Ball State to earth sciences, now often referred to as the geosciences, and eventually completed a graduate study there.  Thus, Oren and Marge were instrumental in my selection of a career and also instrumental in my having the will to stick it out in spite of the long hours of my full-time job.  They had a great deal to do with the fact that I never felt alone.  In fact, I’ve never felt alone in my entire life.  I’ve always felt loved.

NOTE:  After 1961 my father and I spent time together more frequently until the day he died in 1991.

My father’s parents, Ansel and Stella Toney, lived on a farm less than 15 miles east of the Muncie home. So, after mom and dad “split,” I was blessed with the great advantage of having both sets of grandparents in my life. I went to school in the city of Muncie and was technically, I suppose, a city kid. But I was able to spend considerable time, especially in the summers, on the farm working and playing and learning at a rapid rate.  Learning a bit about honest, hard work was a blessing for me; much of it seemed like play.

Three of dad’s 5 siblings were close to home – the youngest “boy” Bill, the only “girl” Hazel, and Virgil Oren. Of the 6, Bill is the only one who remains alive today.  Ivan Dunlap was in Los Angeles with his wife, May, and Elvyn was in Indianapolis with his wife, Lucille. Oren was a recently married 25-year-old when he became my primary role model. This happened very soon after I arrived in Indiana. At that time he and his brother, Bill, worked on my grandfather’s farm. Hazel lived in town (Farmland, Indiana) with her husband, Orpheus. Grandfather, Ansel Toney, later became well-known as the Hoosier farmer turned kite man.

Grandpa had a powerful influence upon me as did Bill. The same is true for my maternal grandfather, Harley, an absolutely wonderful man who set such a good example for me. But Oren was the one who I observed closely more than any other man, at least until my mother re-married when I was 15. Oren positioned me under his wing but he did not baby or spoil me. In other words, his wings were not typically soft and gentle; they sometimes came down hard but they were none-the-less good for me.  He never did me any harm beyond triggering occasional and very brief hurt feelings in a hypersensitive boy.  Timewise, that quickly diminished as I became more and more secure in my own skin.  I credit him mostly for my experiencing that essential growth.

The importance of his wife (Aunt Marge) cannot be overstated. Describing her would require a very long chapter in any story of my life that included discussions of those who influenced me the most. Oren and Marge, as a loving couple, provided a model for those of us lucky enough to have the opportunity to observe. Additionally, his sons are like brothers to me.

Oren had already gone through the school of hard knocks by the time I got to Indiana. As a boy on the farm he grew up under conditions that were frequently difficult where he and his siblings had plenty of hard work to do. After the U.S.A entered World War II, he deliberately accelerated and increased his high school course load and managed to get enough credits for graduation before the end of the school year. At age 17 he joined the United States Navy. Enlisting prior to and thus missing his graduation exercise – his presence was symbolized by an empty chair. He served in both theaters of that war, European and Pacific. Miraculously, he lived through it. For the rest of Oren’s life the tender qualities of his heart and mind surfaced unmistakeably whenever he thought of those who didn’t survive. Among other terrible things, he had witnessed the direct hit of the light cruiser, U.S.S. Savannah (CL-42) by a radio guided German glide bomb. This occurred on September 11, 1943 during the invasion of Salerno, Italy. The Savannah had been the first American ship to open fire against the German shore defenses in Salerno Bay. The death toll aboard the Savannah from that glide bomb was 197 and 15 others were seriously wounded. From his battle station aboard his ship, the light cruiser Philadelphia (CL-41), Oren saw it happen and the memory stuck with him all of his life. I don’t ever remember hearing him mention it without tears in his eyes – pain and hurt in his voice.  NOTE: Philadelphia narrowly evaded a glide bomb during that same operation, although several of her crew were injured when the bomb exploded.

Like all humans I know, Oren was not perfect. But he was perfect for me from the time I came home to Indiana with my mother until the day he died. He had more positive influence upon me than any man, with the possible exception of my stepfather. He played a most significant role in my internalization of an identity. Especially when he teamed up with his great brother, Bill, I was one of the luckiest boys in the world. As time marched on and we all got older, his importance in my life did not diminish.  Decidedly different than Bill, there was one glaring similarity and that was their willingness to help others – whether or not they were family members.  Once, not many miles short of a routine Air Force Reserve meeting at Wright Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio – my car broke down.  Bill and Oren together rescued me; Bill drove his truck (his pride and joy) to tow the car all the way back to a Muncie repair shop where I had been given the privilege of paying off my repair bills in installments – without interest.  It was run by the wonderfully helpful couple, Hank and Olive Swain.

  Oren was clearly good to all of the spouses and the children of each generation loved him. People from all over the community, farmers and town dwellers alike, were so very fond of him.

Another World War II vet is gone. I’m not entirely joking when I often say, “Without him and others like him, we who now occupy the U.S.A. would probably be eating sauerkraut with chopsticks whether or not we wanted to – that is, assuming we had lived through the takeover.

My 4-year-long Muncie factory job (Beckett Bronze) that paid my college expenses and supported my small family was acquired on the basis of Oren’s reputation established when he had worked there. His recommendation got me in the door. He and his teammate, Marge, fed me and my family countless times at their kitchen table – the table that my daughter, Gina, has written about in a piece I have linked you to near the end of this posting.

I loved him so much. I’m sure that others have been similarly inspired by the goodness of Oren and Marge and I’m not the only person who has been guided by the two through times that would have been much tougher without them.

 

Here is his obituary written by his oldest son, Doug:

 

FARMLAND (Indiana) – Virgil “Oren” Toney, 89, Farmland, died Sunday, June 29, 2014 at his home.

Oren was a retired farmer. He also was retired from Warner Gear where he was a machinery repairman for twenty-seven years.

Oren was born on June 3, 1925, in Farmland, to Ansel and Stella Toney. He was a 1943 graduate of Farmland High School.

Oren joined the Navy at the age of 17 during World War II. He served proudly on the light cruiser USS Philadelphia in the Atlantic and Mediterranean Sea. He participated in the invasions of Sicily, Salerno, Anzio and Southern France. After Germany’s surrender, he was assigned to the destroyer USS Bordelon, where he served in the Pacific until February 1946. Note added: The Bordelon operated as a part of the occupation force in Japan.

He was a lifetime member of the Farmland American Legion Post and enjoyed attending annual reunions with his former shipmates from the USS Philadelphia.

Oren was married for sixty-five years to Marjorie Truex Toney, who survives. Other survivors include his brother, Wilbur “Bill” Toney, Farmland; two sons, Marc Toney, Parker City, and Doug Toney and his wife, Patty Ryan Toney, New Braunfels, TX; eight grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; numerous nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews.

He was preceded in death by a son, Elvyn Boyd Toney; his parents, Ansel and Stella Toney; three brothers, Ivan, Don and Elvyn, and a sister, Hazel Mae Meranda.

No visitation or public services are planned. A private ceremony for family will be conducted at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that memorial contributions be directed to the Rehoboth United Methodist Church, 3955 North 1000 West, Parker City, IN, 47340.

 

Related Links:

 

Written by my daughter, Gina in 2012: https://cloudman23.wordpress.com/tag/oren-toney/

My young mother (written Dec. 2, 2010): https://cloudman23.wordpress.com/2010/12/02/my-mother-12-2-2010/

Oren’s father/my grandfather: http://www.farmlandindiana.org/ansel-toney-the-kite-man.htm

Note: In the previous photo at the very bottom of the link grandpa Toney is with his son Bill (on the left side of photo wearing glasses) and Oren is on the right side of photo.

Light Cruiser Philadelphia, CL-41

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Philadelphia_%28CL-41%29

 

Destroyer U.S.S. Bordelon, DD-881

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Bordelon_%28DD-881%29

 

U.S.S. Philadelphia Service Record

http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USN/ships/dafs/CL/cl41.html

 

Shortly after enlisting in 1943.
Shortly after enlisting in 1943.

 
U.S.S. Philly 43 t– left click on this photo to enlarge –

 

Oren landed in occupied Japan in this ship.
Oren landed in occupied Japan from this ship.

 

Flag lowered to half-mast moments after Oren passed away.  Half-mast is the nautical term for half-staff.

Flag lowered to half-mast moments after Oren passed away. Half-mast is the nautical term for half-staff.

CLOUD SEMINAR UPCOMING FOR THE SENIOR LEARNING INSTITUTE

Cirrus cave

left clicks of mouse will enlarge

I am pleased to announce that the Senior Learning Institute (SLI) of the College of Central Florida in Ocala is providing me another opportunity to present a geosciences topic that is near and dear to me.

IMPORTANT SPECIAL UPDATE (5-10-2015):  The Senior Learning Institute no longer exists.  It has become the non-profit Senior Learners, Inc. and classes are still taught at the College of Central Florida in Ocala.  Here is a link:

http://seniorlearners.org/

IDENTIFYING AND UNDERSTANDING CLOUDS will be presented on Feb. 5, 7, 12, 14 (2013) – from 10 until noon  (for a total of 8 hours).  Click on the following link for my outline which will be distributed at the beginning of the first class meeting.

Clouds 2013

I have presented a dozen seminars at the SLI since 2006 and thoroughly enjoyed them.  Since I taught a 12 hour course on clouds in April, 2007 I have received requests from a number of people who missed it and also from others who wished to do it again as a refresher.

SLI is a membership group composed of some terrific people who seem to consider “learning” to be an integral aspect of their life styles.  When I am with them, though my official roll is that of a presenter, I learn so very much.  I learn from them and I learn in the processes of preparing and presenting.  There are some significant differences between these courses and the courses I taught for 41 years at colleges and universities:  1) the SLI seminars are non-credit courses, 2) they are short in duration compared to most college courses, 3) there are no academic prerequisites to the courses, 4) there are no exams to fret over, 5) there are no grades,  6) all who enroll are there voluntarily and, from what I can tell, gladly and 7) many have a great deal of experience acquired through time and by their sharing are able to enhance the quality of the course.

2011 Hurricane Season Comments – Tonie Toney (Cloudman23)

left click image to enlarge

Since I began this site on August 24 2008, it’s been averaging about 12 “hits” per hour. So, I’m not setting the Internet world on fire. I’m sure that many of my “followers” are either friends and neighbors, family, or former students.  Of course a number of people reach this site as a consequence of a search term that blends with something I’ve discussed.

 This is my first posting in over three months. That might be strange for a site devoted mostly to tropical meteorology but those who know me understand that I devote most of my tropical weather attention to those systems that cause alarm to folks in Central Florida where I now reside.

The six month long official hurricane season whose last day was November 30 was an active one but not for Central Florida. There were some storms in the Atlantic, Caribbean, and Gulf that caused concern but, if you have been following this site you have no doubt noticed that I ignored most of them. I choose to refrain from alarming anyone unnecessarily when I deduce that a storm in question is not likely to bother us.  On the other hand, the National Weather Service errs on the side of caution and consequently the “coverage” was vigorous and reports were easily obtained through the media.  Though I think that the media does a good job, generally speaking, I am inclined to suspect that they are spectacularizing their reports. There were times when it appeared that a storm would be coming our way here in West-Central Florida but my information and gut-level feelings indicated a very low probability.  SPECIAL NOTE: It appears that in using “spectacularizing” I’ve used a word whose acceptance is debatable; it appears to be a mere colloquialism but that fits me well.

This year’s hurricane season was very active! An average northern hemisphere Atlantic/Caribbean/Gulf of Mexico season has 11 named storms, 6 hurricanes, and 2 intense hurricanes.

 For the 2011 season there were 19 named storms, 7 hurricanes, and 3 intense hurricanes.

But for the U.S.A. specifically – the season was unusually timid. In his summary of the season, Dr. Jeff Masters (one of my important sources) wrote: “Only two named storms made landfall, Tropical Storm Lee, which hit Louisiana with 60 mph winds, and Hurricane Irene, which hit North Carolina on August 27 with 85 mph winds, and made two additional landfalls in New Jersey and New York the next day.” By the time tropical storm Don reached Texas it had weakened to a tropical depression.  There seems to be general agreement that favorable steering currents were the principle reason for our good fortune in the U.S.

I made no entries concerning Irene, in spite of the scare in New York because we were being flooded with media information and for those with cable or satellite, the Weather Channel was right on top of things. Since it wasn’t threatening our Central Florida region I held back in the wake of such comprehensive coverage.

The way our season luckily turned out has indeed caused me some considerable concern over the tendency that we humans have toward complacency. In the 6+ years I’ve lived in Citrus County, Florida there have been no tropical systems of any severe nature but the year before I arrived, 2004, was a busy one with Jeanne, Ivan, Frances, and Charlie. None of those named storms were strong enough to create a county-wide wake-up call. Some people were without power for a few days but the storms did not create events comparable to those which reverberate in our heads for years to follow – like Andrew, for example, which destroyed my home (in Homestead, Florida) in 1992.

I have heard tales of real estate agents in the area boasting that Citrus County possesses some sort of special immunity for whatever reason. I refute that notion absolutely. There is nothing about the environment that affords it the luxury of special protection other than the high sand ridges that minimize storm surge potential for those who live far enough inland from the Gulf. For example, my house sits at an elevation of 55′ above mean sea level so I don’t anticipate storm surge events. However, high water from heavy rains is a distinct possibility.

In any event I urge you who live in my area to NOT ignore the fact that you live in hurricane country. There are so many things about hurricanes that should not be discounted. For example, doubling the wind velocity actually quadruples it’s potential force. So a 60 mph wind has four times the ability to do harm compared to a 30 mph wind. Here is a link to a site which I put together regarding “hurricane misconceptions.” http://ztechzone.net/learningzone/science/science55/hurricanes.html

Coming next:  My Christmas Greeting and Reflections.

CONNECTION DIFFICULTIES – Cloudman23 – Oct. 17, 2008

MY NEW TITLE FOR THE IMAGE ABOVE IS – “WILL HE EVER GET BACK ON LINE?”

This post is for the purpose of letting my “regulars,” mostly friends interested in tropical weather or family members looking in to see what’s happening, know that I am currently dependent upon a very weak wireless signal up here in the mountains.  On my retirement budget I can’t justify at this time the expense of a more sophisticated and reliable connection.  The signal I get, in addition to being weak, is intermittent.  This is the first time I’ve been able to get on line since yesterday morning.  So – if there is inactivity, please know that all is O.K.  I hope that all is O.K. for you too.  My only weather source under these conditions is the weather channel but my ability to communicate with you is temporarily very limited.  I hope, within the next few days, to be able to improve the situation.

Yours Truly,

Tonie Toney

The Coriolis Effect In the Real World – A Tutorial (Part 2) – Cyclones & Anticyclones

Left Click To Enlarge Image

I suggest that, though there may be some repetition, please read Part 1 first.  To go to it quickly, either scroll down or click on this link:

https://cloudman23.wordpress.com/2008/10/02/the-coriolis-effect-in-the-real-world-a-tutorial-part-1/

The set of weather maps, provided by NOAA, shows the remains of Ike after it began to head toward the northeast. At this latitude there is a tendency for weather systems in the middle latitudes to travel generally from west to east.  Notice the cold fronts which indicate that Ike had changed from tropical to extratropical.  The cold fronts represent the leading edge of cooler air being thrown out of the anticyclone (high with rotation) centered over the Eastern Dakotas. That air is coming “down” from some component of the north whereas the air on the “warm” side of the cold fronts is coming up from some component of the south and is being thrown out of the anticyclone centered off Florida.  So, we have a cyclone (low with rotation), Ike, between two anticyclones.

The only alterations I have made to the first map are 1) cropping of the original, 2) labeling of the fronts 3) placement of the red L and the two blue H’s, and 4) darkening of two of the isobar values making it easier for you to read.

Isobars are imaginary lines, of course, and plot equal pressure.  For example, every point on the 1020 isobar was believed to have had a pressure of 1020 millibars at the time of observation. In many ways isobars are analogous to contour lines on topographic maps.  In fact, the two “highs” on a topographic map would be hills and the “low” would be a trough-shaped valley between the hills.  Sticking with that analogy, surface runoff water would tend to flow down the hillsides along a stream gradient (or gravity gradient) toward the lower valleys.  In the simplest of topographic and geological settings the water would flow down the hills in a radial pattern, just as air would flow out of the highs were it not for the Coriolis effect.  Though water flowing down hillsides in stream channels does not respond to the Coriolis effect, air flowing on the scale depicted here does by deflecting to the right of the pressure gradient direction.  So, in the second version of the weather map I have drawn blue lines of which two are comparatively long, showing the direction that the air would flow if the earth did not rotate on it’s axis.  But, remember, rotation of the globe causes the Coriolis deflection to the right in the northern hemisphere and to the left in the southern hemisphere.

It’s important to note that the deflection is with reference to the object or fluid in motion.  For example, if someone driving directly toward you turns right, he/she will have turned to your left.  Though that person’s turn would be to your left, it is still a right turn.  So, in northern Texas the green line shows that the air is moving to the right of the pressure gradient direction (light blue) – even though that green arrow points toward the left side of the map.  Just put yourself in the position of the air in motion and you should not have difficulties with this.

This, then, shows why air in the northern hemisphere moves clockwise around anticyclones and counterclockwise around cyclones.

Near the end of my first tutorial on the Coriolis effect I revealed that the following question had come up often during my teaching career: “If the Coriolis effect is an important influence in large scale weather systems, and since hurricanes are synoptic scale (a type of macroscale) system, why do hurricane winds turn left in the northern hemisphere and right in the southern hemisphere?”

The “obvious” left turning of air within hurricanes causes confusion among many people who are trying to understand air circulation – particularly if they are starting from scratch without knowledge of the Coriolis effect or the pressure gradient force and how the two engage in a tug of war.  I understand the confusion because seeing the shape of hurricane rain bands on radar and arcuate cloud band alignment clearly shows how the air turns left as it gets closer and closer to the hurricane’s eye wall.

Not too many years ago I heard a person who should know better, during a television weather report, explain to the viewing audience that hurricanes were so powerful that they did not respond to the Coriolis effect – referring to the “left turns” that she was showing on the satellite loop that was being projected.  I don’t know whether or not in some previous weather report she had mentioned the Coriolis effect but it seemed to me that might have been the case.  In her honest attempt to educate some of her audience, she gave them information which was entirely incorrect – perhaps because of misinformation given her or maybe some general assumptions she had made.  You see, it is the Coriolis effect that forces the counterclockwise rotation in the first place!

In this last illustration (below) you are looking at a satellite image of hurricane Fran (1996).  I have drawn blue pressure gradient lines and red air flow lines which clearly show the rightward deflection (in spite of the fact that the air does turn left as it approaches the eye wall.  Notice, however, that no matter where pressure gradient lines are placed along the air flow lines, the deflection of the “real wind” is always to the right of the pressure gradient line.

Once again, as in Part 1, I have not truly explained the Coriolis effect; I have merely described it and illustrated it.  I have not explored the nitty-gritty.  I have implied that it is only an apparent force.  You might want to explore other attempts to describe the Coriolis effect – perhaps via an Internet search.

Finally, in the interest of accuracy, I must admit that I have simplified to the point of leaving out some important forces that play a roll in determining the actual direction that air moves (from high toward low) in its quest to reach pressure equilibrium.  Among those are friction, centripetal force, and centrifugal force.  The conservation of angular momentum is an important consideration and accounts for the increase in wind velocity as the air gets closer to the storm’s center.

Left Click To Enlarge Image
Left Click To Enlarge Image

CLOUDMAN23’s WEB-LOG – AN INTRODUCTION

For an explanation of this photo please go to the “Assorted Pics” page; the tab is near the top of this page.

DISCLAIMER: Some of the information on this site is published close to “real-time”  particularly as it applies to tropical weather;  so – check the posting date carefully.  It is important to remember that this web-log is not an “official” source of environmental information.  Please do not make any decisions based solely on the information found on this site or any other sites that are recommended here – unless they are official. Listen to your local authorities when conditions are life-threatening or there might be loss of (or damage to) property.

Caution – I often leave “dated” posts available because of certain potential tutorial value.  I apologize if this causes you any inconvenience.  Also, I do not recommend this site for comprehensive coverage of weather.  There are times when I do not address significant storms.  Above all, do not consider me to be an authority.


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