Friday, September 9, 2011

Going South

11:30pm UPDATE: So here's some on-the-ground reporting.  We left for TGIF at about 6pm and were surprised when we left our cocoon and encountered some surprising winds (30 mph?).   As we hung out at our happy hour spot (pics tomorrow), the winds continued to pick up and by 7:30pm were whisking drinks out of people's hands.  Rain started coming down sideways and all windows were shut.  By 8, the storm was gone, as was the breeze, and off to the Shiggidy Shack we went.  It's now 11:30pm and the winds are rather quiet, the seas are non-existent and the storm is sneaking up on us. Hope we're ready!!

5pm UPDATE: OK, here's a quickie. TS Maria has sped up a little to 16 mph (yay), but is now coming right over us (boo).  Winds might be 60mph then (per Storm Pulse). Most other websites, including NHC, have the winds much lower, at more like 33-39mph, so let's hope they're right. Times differ, but it'll be at its closest point later for some reason too - 2pm per Storm Pulse/5pm per Storm Carib. Obviously, we'll be feeling the effects before then.  It's still really nice out although it still looks like a small band of rain is coming our way soon.

2pm UPDATE: Not much change, although the NHC says "ERRORS FOR TRACK HAVE AVERAGED NEAR 175 NM [201 miles] ON DAY 4 AND 225 NM [258 miles] ON DAY 5."  That's quite the spread!  I don't see how it can go north of the Leewards at this point unless it continues to slow down (which would be baaad). Most of the models now agree. Of course, they can always shift and agree to that too...

Storm Pulse
The worst of it is still even with Barbados right now (although 135 miles east). TS Maria certainly doesn't look as menacing as she did at 7 (much less red & black), but a lot can happen in 20 hours, so who the heck knows what we'll wake up to.

The storm has slowed to 14mph.   It needs to stop doing that. The south seas are getting a bit white cappy, but it's still pretty out (a little misty, but nice enough).  The next NHC update is at 5pm and we should be getting some rain from the rain bands extended in front of the main event by then.  I won't be updating though, because I'll be at happy hour (I made brownies!).  If anything changes with the 8pm NOAA update, I'll do one last post for the day.
Meteo France
11am UPDATE:  While StormCarib's closest tool has moved the timing of the storm's closest pass-by, to about 2:15 on Saturday and 55 miles south, Storm Pulse agrees with the more southerly crossing (about 60 miles, hitting Montserrat instead), but has it much earlier - at 8am. I agree that the earlier time is more likely since the NHC expects the center to be over the Leewards tonight. The wind probabilities give us a more than 50% chance of feeling winds of 34 knots (39 mph). Considering the storm winds are currently at 45 mph, I'd say we can count on winds of at least 30mph.  TS Maria is expected to strengthen a bit, but neither NHC nor Weather Underground think by much.  Rainfall total forecasts have gone up to 4-8". Wave heights have also gone up a bit (8-12' tonight and up to 16' Saturday night - !!). On the one hand, I think we'll escape the worst of it; on the other I look at the spaghetti models on and can't believe I'm still seeing so many northerly versions of the thing - what do they know???  Well, we'll know soon enough. Winds should be getting stronger as the day goes on.

7am: I do weather "correspond" for Storm Carib, but have discovered a # of you readers reading the blog for weather info too, so figured since TS Maria is just about upon us, I'd get a bit more detailed. Just remember, I'm not a meteorologist. I know how to look at a lot of websites and digest the info thanks to 3 years on a sailboat when understanding the weather was a big deal. Take what I say with a grain of salt (what does that mean anyway??). It seems after some final foot placement, the worst of TS Maria is actually going to go slightly south of us. The storm got rather large overnight, but the "ugly" areas (grey/black) on the satellite are more likely to hit Dominica or Guadeloupe.  You can see how the satellite pic correlates to the current radar (green is rain). St. Lucia and St. Vincent & The Grenadines are getting some rain this morning.

The forecasted "path" is having it clip us to the south and give us winds of 45 mph at that time (gusts higher). She's still flying along at 18mph, so hopefully won't overstay her welcome.

Crown Weather

The closest point tool from StormCarib puts TS Maria about 20 miles south of here early Saturday afternoon. We should be getting some weather from her starting this afternoon, with the worst of it affecting us on Saturday.  According to Accuweather, the rain won't taper off until Sunday afternoon. If that's true, flooding is going to be a problem (predicted 3-5"). Swells are going to be from 6 to 15' through Sunday - that's quite a range (we're north of 15 Lat and east of 65 Lon for you storm watchers). Winds are supposed to be in the 20s today and I can't say I'm complaining about it. All the windows are doors are open already.  Aaaaah, relief.

You can get updated from the Nevis Disaster Management website, although personally I think it's so busy I don't even know where to look. They do Facebook updates too. Storm Pulse allows you to track named storms and it's fun to turn all the layers on and see what's what.

The expected cruise ship came in, so  that's a good sign. Passengers might want to keep tabs on their boat(s) though, as they don't want to get left behind (like with Irene - and yes, the same cruise ships are involved).

I'm going to enjoy the day while it's still nice out and bring a few things inside. Businesses on the southern beaches need to be getting ready because they're going to get walloped pretty good with winds and swells.  Vacationers run for the beach while you still can!!!