Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report
Wednesday, September 30, 2015: Well, the stinkin’ waiting begins. Storm-watches nowadays are insanely drawn-out affairs. It’s the speed of a lunar eclipse times days on end. Hell, the arrival of the storm is damn near anticlimactic.
Note: A storm-watch as I’m terming the early waiting-and-watching process is NOT an official “hurricane watch” or the likes. That official criteria goes like this (per the Hurricane Center):
“A watch lets you know that weather conditions are favorable for a hazard to occur. It literally means "be on guard!" During a weather watch, gather awareness of the specific threat and prepare for action - monitor the weather to find out if severe weather conditions have deteriorated and discuss your protective action plans with your family.
“A warning requires immediate action. This means a weather hazard is imminent - it is either occurring (a tornado has been spotted, for example) - or it is about to occur at any moment. During a weather warning, it is important to take action: grab the emergency kit you have prepared in advance and head to safety immediately. Both watches and warnings are important, but warnings are more urgent.”
That in mind, we are currently only getting “advisories” from the boys at storm central. For example, today 11 am ...
SUMMARY OF 1100 AM EDT...1500 UTC...INFORMATION ----------------------------------------------- LOCATION...24.7N 72.6W ABOUT 215 MI...345 KM ENE OF THE CENTRAL BAHAMAS MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...80 MPH...130 KM/H PRESENT MOVEMENT...SW OR 230 DEGREES AT 6 MPH...9 KM/H MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...971 MB...28.68 INCHES
Keeping storm-watches dancing on a livewire are the usual suspects, like the National Hurricane Center, The Weather Channel and meteorologists of every ilk.
Below: "Look ... It's Jim Cantore! We're ll gonna die!"
Here's a technical read from the NWS to show just how all-over-the-place the forecast is at midday today:
SAT/SUN...JOAQUIN...MOSTLY LIKELY A HURRICANE WILL BE RELEASED FROM THE SW ATLANTIC AND TRACK NORTHWARD. STILL PLENTY OF DIFFERENCES IN THE 00Z MODELS. THE EC STICKS WITH THE SOLUTION FROM YDAY AND KEEPS THE SYSTEM OFFSHORE...ALTHOUGH IT HAS TRENDED A BIT WEST. THE 00Z GFS IS VASTLY DIFFERENT CAUSING JOAQUIN TO BE CAPTURED IN THE ERLY FLOW BETWEEN THE HIGH (OVER CANADA) AND THE LOW OVER THE SOUTHEAST. THIS BRING THE STORM ONSHORE OVER THE TIDEWATER AREA. A SOLUTION THAT WOULD BRING BIG IMPACTS TO OUR AREA. THE UKMET IS SOMEWHERE IN BETWEEN. IT IS TOO EARLY TO STATE WITH CERTAINTY WHERE THE STORM WILL END UP...SO WE WILL BE WATCHING THE STORM OVER THE NEXT FEW DAYS AND THE HURRICANE CENTER WILL HAVE THE LATEST OFFICIAL FCSTS FOR JOAQUIN. IT IS A GOOD TIME TO REVIEW AND PREPARE HOWEVER. LOOK AT THE WEBSITE...READY.GOV.
But nothing keeps a storm-watch insanely crackling like social media. There’s no doubt that we love our storms – and can’t say enough about them. OK, so maybe we love our storm-watches and discussions far more than the storm themselves. We know the final McCoy can offer an impact that disrupts life to a crippling degree, which is what I hate to hell and back. I’m a sucker for everyday normalcy, which I can then mold in whatever way I see fit. Nothing is normal until a hurricane situation is over.
NO FORECAST HERE: I’m not saying H. Joaquin is destined to be a ruiner. It's still too early for a storm that has no direction in life … lacking steering currents, as it were.
Historically speaking, if he manages to drift up here and comes ashore he may very well be reduced to a mere, albeit wet, blowhard -- little more than a 12-hour “hard” nor’easter.
However, I can’t hide from the fact this blog has been all but griping about the absurdly warm ocean water we’re seeing for early fall. It is still in the upper 60s along the beach. What’s more, it’s way warmer out in the Baltimore Canyon, the last major ocean-surface point where a tropical system can fill up with energy, should it drive ashore in Jersey.
Another disturbing data point is the 10 days of northeast winds we’ve just seen. That unprecedented stretch of north-easterlies ate away at our beachline. Even today, after the winds have subsided, Surf City has high-tide ocean water licking at the legs of the dune fencing. I hate to get all military at a time like this -- I still have nightmares over the military presence after the last big storm – but all those days of onshore wind were a lot like a “softening up” of the beaches before the main assault – should it come.
Below: "Wir sind bereit für Joaquin."
Which brings us (by my thinking) to the beach replenishment. For those with manually widened beaches, you have to feel a helluva site safer than folks without reinforced sands.
I have my suspicions over why Beach Haven didn’t get its sands on schedule. Whining seemingly won the replen day. So now the piper gets paid – hopefully only in worry and not actual shoreline damage.
If I was a weather worrywart – I’m actually not, despite the data above -- I’d be sweating it out for mountain folks in Virginia, Pennsylvania and even New York. Those locales often get dangerously dumped upon should tropical systems come straight ashore, relieving themselves of all their moisture in a very small area. So much for abandoning the coastline to head to the safety of the hills.
Below: Aftermath of the Johnstown, Pa., flood.
But back to the frickin’ modern-day waiting.
While an official “watch” is not in effect, we’re effectively watching Joaquin as if it’s knocking at the back door. I have no doubt many folks are already out “stocking up.” Not that that’s a bad thing.
Actually, per the hurricane preparedness people, we should always have the "survival list" filled out and at the ready. That list is akin to a woman packing for a weekend trip. No disrespect gals but you know as well as me you’re not inclined to leave much behind.
For a sober smile, here’s a suggested hurricane preparedness list. It’s from Channel 5 News, located in a place that truly knows hurricanes: Charlestown, South Carolina.
Below: It's important to remain well-fed as a storm approaches ...
START GATHERING THESE ITEMS TODAY FOR YOUR HURRICANESURVIVAL KIT.
FOOD AND WATER:
***Stock a 3-day supply for each family member including pets. Store in sealed unbreakable containers. Identify the expiration date and replace every six months.
(That’s pretty much the same list as for your everyday apocalypse, sans weaponry – though you know every good South Caroliner will have firearms at the very top of the locked-and-loaded list. J-mann)