weather

Live blog: Michael in Central Florida (3)

9:32am – Woken up by an automated call from my doctor’s office. At least, it isn’t “Rachel from Cardholder Services.”

10am – Tropical Storm/Surge Watches are now in effect for Coastal North Carolina… but have been lifted for the Alabama/Mississippi border region.

11:20am – A still graphic from TWC shows Tampa Bay is out of immediate danger, though strong outlying bands are still expected throughout the day into Thursday.

11:57am – However, NWC office in Tampa says that while most of Central Florida will be “uneffected” by Michael, Tampa Bay can still get “high storm surge, extensive coastal flooding and severe damage to docks, marinas and coastal dunes.”

12:04pm – Eyewall of Michael coming ashore along the coast of the Florida Panhandle…life threatening storm surge and catastrophic winds moving onshore.

12:37pm – Thank you to people calling/texting me, but as I said above, “Central Florida is under no immediate threat due to this storm” (I’m just bored, lol)

1pm – Hurricane Michael intensifies (cat 4) as it makes landfall near Mexico Beach Florida (nowhere near me) with life-threatening storm surge, hurricane force winds and heavy rainfall occurring over the Florida panhandle…

1:09pm – Duke Energy is predicting that at least 100k customers will lose power due to the storm.

1:13pm – Gov. Rick Scott activated the Florida Disaster Fund to help with the aftermath of the storm

1:37pm – Unfortunately, all the news stories I’m seeing now are “live coverage” (which do me exactly zero good, lol) so, I may have to end today’s live blog a bit early…

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Live blog: Michael in Central Florida (2)

10am: While Central Florida is not expected to see a direct hit (aside from periphery rain/wind), the governor warned that the Panhandle, Big Bend and Gulf Coast cities as far south as Tampa could see dangerous storm surges of 8-12’ as the storm approaches.

Noon: Yahoo News is reporting that Michael is now a category 2 storm.

1:04pmThe Atlanta Journal-Constitution is reporting that Georgia has declared a “State of Emergency

1:45pm – Governor Rick Scott orders mandatory evacuations for 11 Floridian counties.

1:50pmThe Orlando Sentinel is reporting that, with winds of 110mph, Michael is “nearing a category 3 storm” with winds tomorrow topping 125mph.

2:14pm – United Airlines has canceled flights scheduled for Tuesday evening through Wednesday afternoon to three airports in Florida — Pensacola, Panama City and Destin.

2:21pm – Radar on TWC shows small bands of moderate rain are moving through southern Orlando. The sky over SeaWorld is dark, but the steady winds seem relatively calm… for now anyway.

2:39pmOrlando Weekly is reporting that Florida Democrats are suing to extend the voter registration deadlines due to the hurricane.

3:12pm – The Washington Examiner is reporting that Hurricane Michael could cause “13 billion in property damages

4pm – Tropical Storm Warnings are in effect for Eastern/Southern Georgia with Tropical Storm Watches in effect for both North and South Carolina (neither of which need this after the pounding they took from Florence).

4:08pmUSA Today is saying Michael could be one of the worst storms on record to hit the Florida Panhandle.

4:28pm – A larger swath of heavy rain has just descended upon Orange County, but Central Florida is still slated to get less than 3” of rain out of this storm (a change from their previous estimate of 1-2”)

5:19pm – The rain band from the previous line appears to have moved offshore as sunlight barely pokes its way through the clouds. Yet, landfall in Northern Florida is still a day away…

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Live blog: Michael in Central Florida

1:12pm – Phone is charged, so I check the forecast on TWC app: Rain chance is negligible, but the winds have strengthen a bit, so I grab a light windbreaker and my hat and go downstairs to wait for the bus. As I’m waiting, a light rain begins to fall…

1:33pm – arrive at the bus stop outside the Publix at Regency Center. The rain has now stopped, and I am able to take some pictures of some ibis feeding in the wet ground near the pond before going inside the nearby McDonalds. Oh, and the new mystery store they just built next to Freddy’s is another Starbucks so yah… I guess.

2:19pm – leave Publix to find it is once again raining lightly, but, as I am waiting there, it slowly gets heavier and is a full-fledged downpour by the time we reach SeaWorld.

2:45pm – Did I mention, my umbrella was back at the unit? Because it was, and I’m now soaking wet… and so are my groceries, but at least, we’re inside as the rain slowly winds down outside. Not sure if standard a summer storm or an early “feeder band” (landfall in Florida is still 2 days away).

3:30pm – TWC is reporting that Gov. Rick Scott has issued a “State of Emergency” for all of Northern Florida. Mandatory evacuations are ordered for three counties along the Gulf Coast.

4pm – National Hurricane Center is reporting that Storm Surge/Hurricane warnings have been issued for Florida’s Gulf Coast stretching to the Alabama border (from there west is a Tropical Storm Warning). Rainfall totals along the Northern Gulf Coast are expected to be between 4-8” (whereas Orlando, which is not expected to be hit directly, will get 2-3”)

4:30pm – FSU closes its Tallahassee and Panama City campuses in advance of the storm.

7pm – No new warnings/watches, and rainfall is still predicted to be between 4-8” in Northern Florida/Southern Georgia with heavier hit areas could get as much as 12”.

9:05pm – moderate rain is back, but it’s expected to stop again by midnight. You’ll forgive me if I don’t feel like staying up to confirm this… right?

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Summer memes

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Photos: Somewhere on 95

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Holiday week in review

Dec 21st – My flight from Orlando to Baltimore was frustratingly delayed over an hour for unknown reasons so it was already dark by the time we landed at Baltimore-Washington International. I’m used to BWI, but I was completely unprepared for cold, wind… or the 35-cent increase in Light Rail fares. Due to my relatively late arrival in HVTC (7:30pm), mom decided she would pick me the next morning so I had an awful dinner at Panera Bread and could barely find my hotel in the scarcely lit side street surrounding the mall, let alone feel my ears\nose\fingers.

Dec 22nd – Overnight in Hunt Valley. Nothing exciting to report here except that I was going to post Hanukkah memes, but couldn’t find enough that weren’t juvenile or anti-Semitic. I’m all for humor (which is why I compile these meme posts to begin with), but NOT at the expense of others.

We got back to Shamokin barely in time to meet my aunt (yes, THAT one, and while I wasn’t looking forward to it, it went relatively well) and her boyfriend at a popular pizza place in the next town over. I say “barely” because mom turned down the wrong street and got completely lost so we had to ask Siri how to get back. However, I can say with certainty that “the best pizza in town” isn’t.

Dec 24th – Normally, we spend Christmas Eve going to my parent’s friends the Nye’s house for a special holiday themed “open house” at 5:30 for dinner (featuring “Uncle Paulie” in the world’s least convincing Santa outfit) before heading over to the Candlelight Service (7pm). THIS year, instead of doing that we went to my brother’s house in Nazareth for a Christmas Eve dinner with his family (wife, and two young children). It was loud, hectic and crowded, but I got some nice pictures.

Since said dinner wasn’t until at least 5pm, mom decided it was safer to stay overnight. I was downstairs in the basement on an uncomfortable air mattress with sheets that were too small to actually be of any use. Fortunately, the ticking of the clock 3 feet away from said mattress was loud enough to keep me awake until the heat kicked on around 2am.

Dec 25th – Did I mention, the kids “slept in” until 6am? Slackers. By the time I admitted defeat and headed upstairs around 7:15am, the living and sitting rooms were a complete war zone. Toys, wrapping paper, boxes, unopen able plastic containers. On the plus side, my “gift,” a plastic card for a gas station (your brother has no license and no car and you get him a gift certificate to a gas station?) was waiting for me in a tiny box in an otherwise untouched stack of gifts on the other side of the sofa. Breakfast was at 9am and was good. As soon as we finished, we packed our stuff in mom’s van and drove 5.3 miles to my OTHER brother’s house in Bethlehem.

It was 11am by the time we arrived, and my sister-in-law had just put out the last of her Christmas brunch. My mom chastised me “how can you say you are trying to ‘lose weight’ when you had not one but TWO breakfasts in two hours?” The conversation at the table I shared with my mom, brother, SIL and her parents quickly went from light and humorous to dark and slightly disturbing (dead pets, bird attacks, death camps and Donald Trump. I pitied my SIL for trying to keep the conversation as light as possible. After less than an hour there, we left and made the roughly 90-minute commute back to the middle of nowhere, where we could contemplate our nothing lives. At least, I don’t need a password for my mom’s wifi…

Dec 26th – Before today, I would have assumed this would be a separate post. You see today is the day BOTH my brothers came to Shamokin and brought their kids with them…but we weren’t here to celebrate Christmas. We were here to work, cleaning up the garage, my dad’s den and what’s left of the basement. We got the den passable – in that one is actually able to pass through it without killing themselves.

The reason only ONE of the three areas was tackled was our mom decided since my eldest was coming in around 11am, we would meet him at a REAL pizza place along with my aunt and her boyfriend (who was able to come in because it was “slow” in his shop), my other brother came in with his family at quarter-til-12 so we weren’t out of there until almost 2pm.

After this, we were ready to work…until my middle brother got an important call on his cell which left us in limbo for almost a full hour. Finally, we get to go outside and open a mysterious chest in the garage (dad wanted “all 5 boys” present for it, but my 3yo nephew and his older sister went home with their mom after lunch). Good news, there was stuff inside it; bad news, it was boring stuff so my SIL took my remaining nephew home while the three girls stayed behind and played Clue in the living room with gramma while the three of us tackled the desk\cabinets\miscellaneous stacks of paper between them (dating back to 1973). The girls definitely won the night…

 

Categories: adventures, Baltimore, coal region, family, florida, flying, Harrisburg, holidays, light rail, Orlando, Pennsylvania, transportation, weather | Leave a comment

Live blogging: Hurricane Matthew (Fri morning)

10:01am – Good morning, I survived the storm. I woke up several times last night due to loud gusty winds and heavy rain, but my condo doesn’t appear to have taken any damage. It’s sunny but with persistent gusty winds.

10:36am – Orange and Seminole Counties are still under curfew through tonight, but will reassess their decision around noon.

11:00am – NWS has downgraded the storm to a Cat 3, but it is still causing immense damage in coastal cities.

11:17am – Orlando Sentinel is reporting at least one death in Central Florida attributable to Matthew.

11:41am – Meanwhile, Matt Drudge has theorized that Hurricane Matthew is a government conspiracy to “make a point about climate change,” a sentiment echoed by fellow radio host Rush Limbaugh (who walked his statement back)

12:01pm -Chip and Company is reporting that all 4 Disney parks remain closed and will reopen tomorrow pending damage assessment. All resorts and their restaurants remain open.

12:30pm – Gov. Scott says “worst of Matthew is yet to come”

12:47pm – Damage assessments of Gables, Rosenthal and Medical campuses have been completed. So-called “Cardboard U” is open for business tomorrow. Game on.

 

Hopefully, this is my last post on the matter.

 

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Live blogging: Hurricane Matthew (Thurs eve)

5:04pm – It’s been pouring rain on and off all afternoon here in Orlando with each band getting progressively stronger. THIS current one is the real deal.

5:16pm – Believe it or not, there are still people on the roads.

5:24pm – Various computer models still show it coming over parts of Florida, but the actual forecast hasn’t changed much 5-8” of rain with winds about 20-40 miles per hour gusts of 65mph (TWC is calling for 5-7” but with winds gusting to 70-80mph)

6:05pm – TWC has downgraded their forecast to 3-5” with winds in the 20-40mph bracket (with gusts of 65mph). Rain has stopped for the moment.

6:35pm – Making leftover chicken tenders and fries for dinner. I forgot to buy groceries while I was out earlier today. Yes, I know that was STUPID. Oh and the rain is back.

6:55pm – My FB feed is pretty much dead, sorry. I’m going to go play video games while I still have power, and hope something fun gets posted by the time I get back.

7:45pm – TWC is reporting 20 thousand people are apparently without power near West Palm Beach. I still have power… for the moment.

8:03pm – NWS shows Matthew not making a direct hit on Orlando, but still shows it looping around to effect Central Florida early next week. Great.

8:17pm – Reuters is reporting 180 people dead on the island nation of Haiti. Over a dozen in the same village.

8:32pm – Orlando Sentinel has a round-up of various county by county forecasts for the storm

9:06pm – NWS office in Melbourne is still showing Orange County under a Hurricane Warning through tonight.

9:21pm – Whatever undiagnosed stomach ailment I have has been bothering me all evening. I think it’s psychosomatic from the stress of the storm.

 

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Live blogging Hurricane Matthew (Thurs morn)

10:01amOrlando Weekly is reporting that all state offices are closed, all tolls are lifted and that some hospitals in coastal areas were evacuated.

10:03am – The University of Miami is officially on “emergency lock down” – all classes are cancelled, and all retail and offices are closed for the day. Limited dining service is available in the two campus dining halls as long as weather permits, MREs will be available in the Residential Hall lobbies for times when the cafeterias close.

10:20am – Orlando International Airport announced it will be suspending all flights in\out of their airports at 8pm.

11:15am – Sunrail suspends all service through Monday (they don’t offer weekend service)

11:20am – Universal announces it is closing all parks including Wet N’ Wild and CityWalk at 3pm. Disney parks are apparently still open as well with guests going about enjoying their day despite the weather (at the moment is light rain with relatively calm winds).

11:30amTheme Park Tourist posted that all Disney Parks will close at 5pm, Legoland Florida will close at 5pm as scheduled and SeaWorld will close at 2pm.

12:14pm – TWC is predicting 5-7” of rain through Friday night with wind of 40-50mph with gusts of about 60-65mph. It is not expected to make landfall over Orlando, but we are still under a “Hurricane Warning.”

12:43pm – Not currently raining out, but the winds are strong. The proverbial calm before the storm.

 

Categories: disney world, florida, hurricanes, news, Orlando, SeaWorld Orlando, South Florida, transportation, Universal Studios, weather | Leave a comment

Live blogging: Hurricane Matthew (Wed night)

7:34pm – I was going to pack my bags around 2 o’clock this moring and take the first plane to…I had no idea. That’s why I’m still here. I may regret this decision later this week.

8:31pm – My alma mata, the University of Miami, has announced that all classes at Coral Gables\Rosenthal campuses will be cancelled on Thursday and Friday. The medical campus will remain open. The UM-FSU game slated for Saturday will go on as planned because – duh – priorities.

9:15pm – It’s been raining (much of it heavy) off and on for most of the evening with gusty winds and occasional flashes of lightning. These are just the periphery storms – the main action doesn’t start until tomorrow.

10:50pm – Watching the “Live Feed” of FOX 13’s “county by county” forecast for Florida. Orlando will either get nothing…or take a direct hit. How comforting.

11:17pm – Latest NWS forecast models now show a direct hit over Orlando. Other guides have it staying off shore. TWC is calling for heavy rain\thunder to begin around 3am so I better get to bed.

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