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.

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Sandy Alert – There Is No Shame In Evacuating!

What concerns me most is the number of people who will not address and act upon hurricane Sandy’s threat maturely. As a man who grew up in an environment where “being a man” meant being able to handle, support, protect, and defend – I can identify with the need to have it “together” in these types of situations. It was hard for me on the morning of 8-23-1992 to “order” my wife, two children, father-in-law, and mother-in-law into my van so that we could evacuate our two homes (separated by less than a mile) in Homestead, Florida to escape approaching hurricane Andrew. But, when we returned 3 days later we were thanking the Great Guy In the Sky that we were not there when the storm hit. It would have been a most traumatic experience and could have been deadly. Our house was a total loss and my in-laws’ house was severely damaged but not beyond repair. There are people today of all ages still suffering post traumatic stress syndrome over that hurricane of 20 years ago. Admittedly, the aftermath and rebuilding processes were extraordinarily difficult but we were together and healthy and I had very good insurance and did not lose my job. Thousands of people lost both their dwellings and their jobs! We had much for which to be grateful.

But, sometimes, in an attempt to handle, support, protect, and defend – people (men in particular, I think) tend to make macho decisions that they later regret – if they live to experience regret. One example is: Failing to evacuate dangerous areas that are subject to flooding, landslides, storm surges, etc. Believe me – there is no disgrace in fleeing in such circumstance. Sure, one wants to stay and protect his/her home and the “things” within it but such a mindset can backfire resulting in fatal consequences. Take my word for it, “things” can be replaced in time but once you lose your life of worse, that of a loved one – there is no going back or rebirth back into this dimension.

 Hurricane Sandy is a storm that has it all. Oh sure, it’s not a category 5 storm as was Andrew but it is a huge storm taking up an area more than the size of Texas one and one-half times! And – it has a strong pressure gradient. It has a very long fetch (distance of water over which the wind blows) which increases significantly the potential height of the storm surge.

 Just because the winds are within the category 1 range, remember that slight increases can cause exponential increases in the potential force. In fact, doubling the wind velocity quadruples the air’s potential force upon a surface that it strikes at right angles.  Early on in my teaching career it because quite apparent to me that most people assume that doubling the velocity simply doubles the force.  But that is far from true.  For example, an 80 mile per hour wind has FOUR TIMES the potential force of a 40 mile per hour wind. So DON’T think to yourself, “I know I can deal with a 40 mile per hour wind; in fact I and my dwelling can deal with one that is 80 miles per hour because that is just two times that of a “40.” YOU WOULD BE VERY, VERY WRONG! If you are interested in more on this subject, including an equation – go here:

https://cloudman23.wordpress.com/tag/wind-velocity-relative-to-force/

 A great deal of precipitation over land is expected with Sandy – so much that many of the drainage systems, both natural and man-made, will not be able to handle it. Trees will be less stable because of saturation of the soil and rock into which their roots are anchored. Combined with the wind force, many will come down. Unhealthy trees will snap. Mother Nature WILL do a great amount of pruning. Electricity will be cut off due to line damage from falling debris and flooding. Water pressure may drop or reduce to zero. Even modern gravity-feed systems require boosting due to the effects of friction and that usually requires electricity. If you have an electric pump with a well and no emergency generator, you could be out of luck. If your toilet is relatively modern you will still need about 1.6 gallons per flush. “If it’s yellow, let it mellow; if it’s brown, flush it down” might become your rule of thumb even if you have a lot of water stored (as in a tub that doesn’t slowly leak at the drain).

 Since much moisture will be drawn in by the storm from off the Atlantic and much cold air will be drawn down from the north, there is a very strong chance for SNOW with this storm.

 The bottom line, in my opinion is – If you are in the path of Sandy and:

  1. in a storm surge zone – evacuate.
  2. in a wooded area with big trees so close to your home that upon falling they are likely to do structural damage – evacuate.
  3. upon a hillside or mountainside where your area or an area above or below you has been stripped of most vegetation – evacuate.  Slides are a real danger in these cases.
  4. in a region that can easily flood  – evacuate.
  5. in a neighborhood where there is a lot of loose matter that could easily become damaging airborne projectiles – evacuate.
  6. in a mobile home or R.V. – evacuate.
  7. in a dwelling where, when you look out a front window you are looking down a street that is at right angles to your street – evacuate. The Venturi Effect can channel much higher winds and debris right into your dwelling!
  8. in any kind of a topographic restriction such as a narrow valley between two hills or mountains – evacuate for the same reason as in item 7.
  9. NOT prepared for many days without water service and/or electricity – evacuate.
  1. in an evacuation zone – evacuate!
  2. one who feels as though fleeing is a cowardly act – engage in a very quick but thorough attitude adjustment and ERR ON THE SIDE OF CAUTION.

BUT DON’T EVACUATE IF THE STORM IS UPON YOU UNLESS YOU FEEL THAT THE MOVE IS ACTUALLY SAFER THAN STAYING.

ISAAC SHOULD NOT BE IGNORED

This is the 4 pm EDT advisory for August 30, 2012.

Two left clicks on the image will enlarge it fully.

By the time you see this posting, the forecast graphic for what remains of Isaac (above) will probably be obsolete. Here is where to go to get a comparable update (however, the advisory above might be the last):

 http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/index.shtml

 In spite of modern technology the tasks of the National Hurricane Center’s forecasters are not easy and I guarantee they burned the midnight oil as this event unfolded. They have so many variables and unknowns to deal with.  I think they do a wonderful job.

Where I live, in west-central Florida about 18 miles inland from where the tiny Crystal River flows into the Gulf of Mexico, there are long-term concerns about our fresh water supply. So I had hoped that Isaac would provide just the right amount of water WITHOUT damaging and costly winds and flooding. Like most humans, I want all of the good but none of the bad that can come from Nature’s wonders.  At this time, Thursday evening, 8-30-2012, we are still getting some rain directly related to Isaac even though its center is about to move into Arkansas.  Hopefully the system will provide needed rain to drought stricken areas in it’s predicted path.  My retired-farmer uncle in Indiana indicates that it’s probably too late for the field corn but could be helpful to the soybeans.  As I write, flooding and potential flooding in certain areas of Louisiana are creating real headaches there.  There are some places claiming to have more water than with Katrina, albeit for different sets of circumstances.

There is so much information available today and I understand the great value of our acquired knowledge about tropical weather since I first began studying it formally (over 50 years ago) but sometimes, I confess, I think fondly of the days when we had little notion of what was going on until much later in a tropical cyclone’s life cycle. Now, it seems that the media devotes an inordinate amount of time telling us about the negatives and potential negatives that are going on all over the world and I can no longer bask in my ignorance as I used to because I haven’t the will-power or inclination to ignore the resources that are available. But, I concede, there are limits to the notion that ignorance is bliss.

I wish you peace, good health, and happiness.

Weather/Climate Seminar Upcoming for the Senior Learning Institute

First Posted January 30, 2012 – revised July 18, 2012
Filed under: Anticyclonic Circulation, Central Florida Weather, Climatology, College of Central Florida Senior Learning Institute, Coriolis Effect, Cyclonic Circulatiion, Extratropical cyclones, Florida Weather, Florida’s Rainy Season, Humidity in Florida, Hurricanes, Learning Opportunities in Central Florida, Meteorology lesson/tutorial, New Weather Seminar in Ocala, Ocala Educational Opportunities, Senior Learning Institute, T. Ansel Toney, Tonie A. Toney, Tonie Ansel Toney, Tonie Toney, Tropical Weather, Weather (other than of tropical origin), Weather Physics | Tags: , , , , , , | Edit

In the illustration above you are actually looking at the same weather system in the two images above.  It is hurricane Ike early in the morning of September 9, 2008.  On the left you see the circulation at the top of the storm and on the right you see the circulation at lower levels.  The faint gray arrows show the direction of the pressure gradient force which is the direction the air would flow if there were no Coriolis effect (caused by the earth’s rotation on its axis).  The Coriolis effect will be explained graphically in class and demonstrations will be shown on the classroom projection screen.

January 30, 2012 (revised March 3, 2012).

A new 8 hour course for Senior Learning Institute participants at the College of Central Florida is being offered in August  in four two-hour sessions. 

Meetings are scheduled for August 21, 23, 28, 30 (Tuesdays and Thursdays) from 10 AM until noon.

 

Here is the course title, description, brief instructor profile and at the end you will find a link to the 6 page guide which will be distributed in print on the first day of class.   Additionally, here is a link to the Senior Learning Institute web page:

http://pathways.cf.edu/SLI/index.htm

Lower Atmospheric Winds That Influence Weather and Climate.”

 

No science background is necessary to have a gratifying learning experience in this new 8 hour course. It is structured differently than any of the 11 earth science seminars I taught for Senior Learning Institute participants from July 2006 through May 2009; 6 were on meteorological subjects and this most resembles the 12 hour course “Becoming Weatherwise” taught once in Oct./Nov. of 2006.

Wind is responsible for most weather changes (and has a great influence upon climate). I will capitalize on what I learned about SLI participants’ learning styles and preferences during my earlier teaching activity. The course will begin with basic fundamentals concerning the cause of wind and will proceed to a discussions of lower atmospheric motion which has the most profound effect upon our weather. Emphasis will be upon cause and effect, interactions and interrelationships. Upward and downward air motions will also be discussed. Whenever I am able, I will use every day analogies for clarity and will show on-line, real-time examples.

During class meetings I enjoy questions, contributions, and observations from participants. But with much to discuss in 8 hours those which are too detailed for the scope of the course may be addressed after class. I am also happy to communicate via e-mail. For those who have never studied weather, this course will make media weather reports and other weather observations more meaningful. For those who have had occasion to study weather, this will be a nice refresher which could very well enhance your understanding.

Instructor: Tonie Ansel Toney first became interested in the weather as a part-time Hoosier “farm boy” and that interest played a role in his enlisting in the U.S. Air Force at an early age, where his appetite for learning about weather was whetted. He is a retired college/university earth sciences professor with 37 years of full time experience bracketed by 4 years of part-time experience. He taught physical geology, meteorology, macro-climatology, physical oceanography, and environmental sciences. He developed a reputation for having the ability to teach science effectively to non-science majors – increasing the probability of it being “fun” in the process – and earned many teaching excellence awards. He is the most widely quoted faculty member in the 1985 book, Access and Excellence (Roueche & Baker of the University of Texas). He and his family had first-hand experience with 1992’s hurricane Andrew which “totaled” their former Homestead, Florida dwelling. They now reside in Citrus County.

OUTLINE – 6 page guide

(here is a link to the 6 page handout to be distributed

at the beginning of the first class meeting – just click on for this PDF file):

6 page guide winds

Debby Does the Gulf

– two left clicks will fully enlarge –

For the last few days, weak tropical storm Debbie has been slowly working her way northward keeping residents of the Gulf coastal states on alert.  A huge volume of warm, moist air, some originating all the way from the eastern Pacific (see image above), has been racing northeastward and northward into the storm’s core generating numerous alarming situations conducive to tornadic development.  The environment around her has made it very difficult for forecasters to interpret the numerous computer tracking models because there has been little agreement.

At this moment, (6-25-2012) about 2 pm Eastern time, it looks as though she will extend her stay over the Gulf well into the week and eventually work her way eastward to cross Florida and then enter the Atlantic.  Where I live in Citrus County, Florida that means we could experience the right-hand leading quadrant of the system.  It is that particular quadrant of northern hemisphere tropical systems that usually has the highest wind velocities and the greatest probability for tornadoes and significant sea surges upon the shore.  However, I am optimistic that upwelling of cooler water in the Gulf below the storm will further diminish the strength of the storm.  Typically, when strong winds skim over warm water and push it aside, that which takes its place is cooler water that “wells up” from below.

There are many factors that can cause a tropical system such as Debby to strengthen and/or weaken – the sea surface temperature changes being but one.  However, it is my hope that she does provide us more much-needed rain in a slow and steady manner so that it infiltrates into our groundwater zone instead of  traveling as surface runoff.   I hope she does decide to take that trip across Florida and that she will be sufficiently mild-mannered to be a great benefit to the region.

Enjoy the satellite view above which shows the extent of Debby’s influence this morning (6-25-2012).

LET’S SAVE THE YELLOW RAT SNAKE

Almost all photos in this web-log,

including the five below,

will enlarge to the fullest

with two independent mouse clicks.

I have never been fond of snakes. I know why but that’s a long story for some other time. I do believe that if you happen to sit on a rattlesnake and incur a bite – that’s when you find out who your real friends are!

 I do appreciate the role that snakes play in the whole scheme of things but still have difficulties being at peace with the notion that the eastern diamondback rattlesnake might be declared an endangered species after the conclusion of a year-long study that recently began.  I know a bit about the food chain and environmental niches – but still, that’s a critter I would just as soon not engage in guarded cohabitation.

 But I have been very concerned about the number of snakes that are killed needlessly simply because of the fear that so many of us possess. That concern was accentuated about 4 years ago when a man who lives in my neighborhood called me to come over to his place to identify a snake he had run over with his lawnmower. The dead snake was a yellow rat snake, one of the most beneficial snakes we have here in the Southeast. But they are very unpopular with people who fear snakes because they grow to be very long (the record is 90”) and they are excellent climbers often seen high in trees. To encounter one in a tree at eye level can generate goose-bumps upon goose-bumps and prompt records for the backwards long jump.

 In spite of the fact that the mower-victim snake was dead I was encouraged to see it because it was the first I’d seen in the 3 years I’d lived in my West-Central Florida home. So, I’ve had my eye out for them ever since and have encouraged close neighbors to leave them alone and appreciate them. They are terrific for managing rodent populations; they are natural exterminators. If so many of the snakes were not killed by frightened or misguided humans the pocket gophers that leave holes all over this area would be culled out to a manageable number.

 Well – I’ve been discouraged since then because though I’ve seen little ring-necks, and a few southern racers I haven’t seen a single rat snake, not even the red rat (or corn snake) – in spite of my efforts to create a favorable habitat for them.

 But yesterday was a day of joy because I learned that they are still around here in my neighborhood – that they have not been completely killed off. My wife noticed that our cats were very focused as they looked through the glass of our porch window. A 5′ 6” yellow rat snake had their attention. I went outside and enjoyed the snake from a distance snapping a few pictures as the beauty took a tour around the perimeter of the house. They are egg layers and next week when I do my regularly scheduled gutter cleaning I won’t be surprised if I have to bypass some eggs. By the way, the hatchlings are generally mistaken for different species of snakes, as they look different from adults. They have a dark appearance and are strongly marked with irregularly shaped spots or blotches, against a gray background.  The one pictured here is an adult with its characteristic long-axis stripes.

 Please don’t kill them. They are not mean to humans.

The only time I’ve ever heard of one being aggressive to humans was when cornered or prodded. If you encounter one don’t expect it to scurry away in fear. They are generally docile and don’t scamper if you remain calm. This one let me talk to it for over half an hour and when I used a garden hose to place water up in the gutter it enjoyed the cascade from the downspout as the last photo illustrates.

Appeal To the Great Spirit – my favorite prayer.

To date, this is my favorite prayer. I first encountered it many years ago in the bulletin of the Church of the Epiphany in South Miami, Florida. I am uncertain as to its author. The church bulletin linked it to the Red Cloud Indian School in Pine Ridge, South Dakota.  I have also seen it attributed to Lakota Sioux Chief Yellow Lark who is said to have translated it in 1887.

Every single day when I went to school and returned home from both McKinley Junior High and Muncie Central High (in the 50’s in Muncie, Indiana) I passed and admired a replica of the “Appeal to the Great Spirit” cast in bronze, and erected on a site just east of the Ball family homes on the north side of the White River in Muncie. The original sculpture was created by Cyrus Dallin in Paris in 1909.  The statue in Muncie is one of three full-sized replicas.

 I love this poem for many reasons but mostly because of the emphasis upon our being a part of Nature along with the notion of which I am convinced – our most formidable enemy is seen each time we look in a mirror.

 This is it – from memory. Let’s say, it’s paraphrased. A few words and phrases might be altered a bit from the original.

 

Oh Great Spirit,

Whose voice I hear in the winds,

And whose breath gives life

To all the universe . . . . PLEASE HEAR ME !

 

I am small and weak;

I need your strength and wisdom.

Let me walk in beauty.

Make my eyes ever behold your red and purple sunset.

 

Make my hands respect the things that you have made,

And my ears sharp to hear your voice.

Make me wise so that I might understand

The things that you have taught my people.

 

Teach me the lessons that you have hidden

In every leaf and rock.

I seek strength and wisdom,

Not to be greater than my brothers and my sisters,

But to fight my greatest enemy, MYSELF.

 

Help me to be ready to come to you

With clean hands and straight eyes

So that when life fades, as the fading sunset,

My spirit will come to you without shame.

 

Amen.

THE KITCHEN TABLE – Gina Toney Lavatai

I am blessed to have four terrific children.  Their birth years are 1962, 1966, 1986, and 1989.  The first three are my daughters and the last is my son.  I’m thrilled to be their daddy and thank the Great Guy In the Sky for the privilege.  1966 daughter, Gina, sent this to me a few days ago.  I thought I’d share it.

Tonie Ansel Toney (Cloudman23)

Oren & Marge Toney farm – 2010 – CLICK ON IMAGE TO ENLARGE

The Kitchen Table

Gina Toney Lavatai

Farmland, Indiana is your typical Hometown, USA. The population is small enough where people know you, or know someone who knows you and everyone seems to know the details of your life. Where ice cream socials, street fairs with cake walks and hometown parades still exist. It is here where I spent many summers growing up and here is where my heart calls home.

I miss those summers spent in Indiana on the farm I am often transported back to those summer days with the smell of fresh baked snicker doodle cookies or seeing children catch lightning bugs in a jar. Sometimes its seeing my own children playing outside at night with flashlights or hearing a family story thats been shared time and time again. Whatever the trigger, I love how it always brings me back to the hours spent at the kitchen table.

My Aunt Marge and Uncle Oren are technically my Great Aunt and Uncle on my dad’s side. However, I would consider them to be as close as grandparents to me. They live on a farm and have lived there since the beginning of time. Every summer when we would go home, we would stay on the farm with them. My days were filled with playing outside in the fields, making homemade ice-cream, walking around collecting Queen Ann’s Lace, playing in the barn, visiting cousins or cutting the tons of grass on the riding mower. My evenings were filled with catching fireflies, playing flash light tag in the pines, arm wrestling with my cousins in the front room, and waiting for my uncle to get home from work.

Uncle Oren was a farmer by day and a factory worker at Warner Gear in Muncie at night. When we would visit, he would love to call home on his CB radio and pretend he was racing to cross the tracks before the train came through. Half the time, he would pretend like he didn’t make it and came to a horrible demise! That always caused our hearts to skip a beat!

Our nightly ritual was to get out the cheddar cheese and saltines and lay them on a plate. Aunt Marge would typically start pulling out some leftovers from our earlier supper too. One of the things Aunt Marge was known for, was never letting you leave her kitchen hungry.

When we heard the gravel spitting from the tires, we knew he was home. The final step was to pull out a cold Michelob for Uncle Oren, or Orenry as I liked to call him.

There we would be, excited as kids would be hoping to see Santa at Christmas, waiting for Uncle Orenry to come through the mud room door. He would sit down, pop his top on his cold beer and we would start talking about his day or just telling family stories as he munched on his cheese and crackers. Uncle Orenry is the best story teller. We would sit there laughing for hours until we had to pull ourselves away and go to bed.

The table in that kitchen is more than a piece of furniture where meals are shared. It is a place were sorrow and loss have been worked through. It is a place were life has been celebrated. It is a place were hard decisions have been made. It is a place where heartfelt laughter and joy have resonated and most of all, it is without a doubt the best definition of LOVE.

I truly miss my summers around the table and being on the farm. I hope my children get the opportunity to experience a piece of life at the Toney Farm Kitchen Table one day soon. It is one place that really reminds you what life is supposed to be about.

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.

TROPICAL STORM LEE 5 DAY PRECIPITATION FORECAST – VALID 8am EDT SUNDAY

Thanks to the National Weather Service Hydrometeorological Prediction Center for this graphic. 

What you see is a 5 day forecast for the total rainfall in inches between 8 AM Eastern Daylight Time Sunday and 8 AM EDT on Friday .  The feared 15″ of rain in the New Orleans area predicted 36 hours earlier seems highly unlikely.  For ease in reading, left click the image two times independently for full enlargement.