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This was the last update from John on Tuesday, the only thing that has changed is the gas stations have run out of fuel and the hurricane could be closer to them than first expected. We are hoping it will weaken more if it hits land in Florida before Miami.

 

Our thoughts are with John and Pete Wright (Froogle) who lives just north of Orlando.

 

On 9/5/2017 at 21:19, allardjd said:

This is a serious storm and we're definitely keeping a close and wary eye on it and making preparations.  A P3 penetrated the eye a few hours ago (big brass ones) and measured 180+ sustained winds in the storm (but not in the eye, of course).

 

Went out today and got some essentials, including getting the gas tank filled in case our stay/flee criteria are breached.  Gas prices rising quickly - up to $2.69/USG from about $2.25 a week ago.   Part of that is due to some major refineries in Texas being down from the effects of Harvey last week and part is in anticipation of not being able to bring fuel into the port of Tampa at some point from the oncoming Irma.

 

Stores are busy/swamped - bottled water is getting scarce already.  We have plenty of food, beverages, meds and emergency supplies to take care of both us and the cats.  The house is cement block construction and somewhat sheltered by surrounding homes so pretty wind-proof unless we get something well over 100 mph winds - not likely since we're about 30 miles from the Gulf and about 90 from the Atlantic.  A fast-mover coming off the Gulf could bring those kinds of winds but probably not.

 

Flooding can't be ruled out if the rainfall is heavy enough, quick enough, but not likely.   We're about 90' MSL but local flooding could still be an issue.

 

Our flee criteria is a Cat. 3 or higher, projected to go ashore between Tampa and Cedar Key (those are Gulf-side).  If it looks like that's in the cards we're out of here, otherwise we stay.  Jacksonville (NE from here) would be first choice because of relatives there, but we could easily go NW, N, E, SE or S too if any of those look better.

 

Worse case for us would be if it threads the needle between Cuba and Florida, stays strong, goes into the Gulf and hooks NE to come back into the Florida Gulf coast.  That's not a likely scenario at this point but can't be ruled out.

 

John

 

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Not evacuating - all the roads are clogged and the stations are out of gas.

 

The forecast track keeps shifting west, worse for us.  We still have the option to get on the road - have a full tank of fuel - but it's not looking like an ideal situation.  Will very likely ride it out here.  

 

House is sturdy and sheltered.  Have plenty of non-perishable food and beverages, water for bucket-flushing toilets, and every other measure we can think of has been or will be taken.   Loss of electricity for some period of time is a virtual certainty.  Storm surge from either coast is not an issue for us but local flooding could occur if enough rain falls quickly enough.

 

Storm is currently down to a Cat. 4 with 150 mph winds, so is weakening for now.  Once it gets over land it will weaken quickly.  The further south on the peninsula it goes ashore the better for us, but the westward trend of the predictions doesn't bode well.  If it gets into the Gulf things may start looking considerably worse.

 

NOAA publishes a new track map about every two to three hours and we're watching those closely.

 

I expect we'll see a few hours of near-hurricane force winds early Monday, bearing in mind that every update seems to move the forecast path a little and the forward progress of the storm center as well.  There's still a lot of guesswork in this.

 

John

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Looks like you have a good handle on it john.

 

I saw this and quote and thought it made good sense, just what you would advise?

 

Quote

Repost from Tampa Bay Meteorologist Paul Delgado:

"I am getting a lot of questions asking about when we should evacuate. You only evacuate to escape storm surge flooding...You do not evacuate from the wind unless you live in a mobile home. Water is the killer. Wind is not. You run from water. You hide from wind. We can not evacuate the state based on the fact there may be strong winds. Given the options you would be better off riding out a storm in a well built home, out of an evacuation zone, than trying to drive up I-75 to a motel in Valdosta. You do not want to become part of the caravan driving up I-75. Trust me. It is a miserable option!"

 

The hurricane is #1 news over here with so many British protectorates being affected too.

 

Let's hope all you get is a miserable tropical storm.

 

Joe

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Love the quote - I've never seen that put in words so succinctly, but it mirrors my own instincts on this. 

 

I'll take my chances in a cement-block construction house with built-in toilets over being caught out in an automobile immobilized on a highway in Yeehaw Junction with nothing but what I was able to bring along, including two unhappy cats, one of which (whom?) is diabetic and needs insulin injections.  It's not a hard choice.

 

John

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SeaTac is a Floridian too, and located much further south than me.  Hope he's doing OK and has a plan...

 

John

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1 hour ago, allardjd said:

SeaTac is a Floridian too, and located much further south than me.  Hope he's doing OK and has a plan...

 

John

 

+1 on that John, Richard is a long time member here..

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Given current events, somewhat embarrassing how we in the UK are famous for complaining about the weather. It's estimated that 9 out of 10 Brits have spoken about the weather in the last six hours. We have no idea what real weather is.

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...somewhat embarrassing how we in the UK are famous for complaining about the weather.

 

Nothing to be embarrassed about.  We talk about it here all the time too, but unless there's a hurricane in town (first one to affect Ocala in about 12 years) the WX is pretty much always just some degree of great.  The WX is the main reason we live here (along with no state income tax) and you take the fairly uncommon bitter with the usual sweet.

 

John

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All the best to you John and any other members in Florida, hoping the storm moves out east instead.:)

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As the man who fell from a skyscraper was heard to say as he passed the 12th floor, "So far, so good."

 

John

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Best wishes to you John, Froogle, and any and all in Florida for this epic hurricane. I have a friend in Naples who just got the heck out...took 26 hours to get to Georgia, but I'm very happy she is out of the way.

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That's about 500 miles - sounds like a rough trip.   Naples is about where landfall is predicted now - looks like Miami dodged a bullet.

 

John

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best of luck to you John and anyone else in the area, can't imagine what it's like and the worry it causes, we may get crap summers in the UK but at least we don't have to deal with what you get, take care and baton down the hatches....

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Dropped to Cat 3, but expected to intensify back to a Cat 4 as a result of the warmer water around Florida. Hopefully by the time it reaches Ocala it will be 3 or less. 

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Stay safe guys, we have friends over there who have just been evacuated to a nearby hospital. It's very worrying.  If anyone wants further proof that climate change and global warming is happening I think this is the ultimate proof. and things stand to get a lot worse over time. Keep your heads down and fly safely.

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It still hasn't made the turn.  The later that happens the further west it will be and that will have a significant impact on the path past here.  The further east the sooner it gets over the peninsula and begins to weaken - the further west the more distance between us and the storm as it passes. 

 

The forecast track continues to be nudged a little further west with each report and now has the center passing west of us, but pretty close.  There will be another NOAA update at 2:00 PM my time - a little over an hour from now.  

 

The thunderstorms are supposed to start tonight and the wind will begin increasing tomorrow during the day.  Storm passage should be early on Monday morning.  Current WX is calm and sunny.  If you didn't know, there's no indication.

 

Our County has issued a mandatory evacuation order for anyone living in a mobile or modular home.  It doesn't apply to us, of course.

 

So far, so good.

 

John

 

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There's nothing new about hurricanes - they've been happening forever.  Detailed, accurate record keeping doesn't go back very far in the climactic scale of things, so any talk of "record-breaking" storms is relative - the key word is "record".  

 

John

 

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Fair well John and stay safe. I imagine you've got this sorted anyhow but our thoughts are with you and the family.

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The 1400 9/9 update has wind speed at 125 (down), movement still west at 9 (hasn't turned yet) and pressure at 940 mb (up).  Nothing there that's any more ominous than what we already knew.

 

John

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2 hours ago, dodgy-alan said:

Stay safe guys, we have friends over there who have just been evacuated to a nearby hospital. It's very worrying.  If anyone wants further proof that climate change and global warming is happening I think this is the ultimate proof. and things stand to get a lot worse over time. Keep your heads down and fly safely.

 

 

Attributing a single weather event to climate change is tricky, but what we do know is that as the planet warms, the severity and frequency of weather events such as hurricanes will increase.  We do seem to have witnessed an increase in frequency and severity. The real "proof" or climate change of course is in terms of factors like the radioactive signature of the CO2 in the atmosphere, which matches the signature of the CO2 we emit.  Basic climate science, for example the "water vapour positive feedback loop" then tells us the degree of warming that we should be experiencing as a result of the CO2 we know we've put into the atmosphere. 

 

 

 

 

Edited by MartinW

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