I used the Nikon D7000 to shoot Hurricane Irene’s big waves in Cocoa Beach on Friday as the storm missed Florida but, nonetheless, churned up the Atlantic. It was challenging getting the focus right with all the glare. Guess I have to bring a blankie to cover my head next time. Still, the waves were pretty awesome! This is a one-minute look.
Usually, in Florida, this is about the time we hold our breath and check to make sure our belongings are as secured as they can be and doublecheck the boards (or shutters, or whatever) on the windows. But it appears Hurricane Irene’s worst will be reserved not just for the Carolinas, but for the northeast. I’ve always wondered how the northeast would react to a storm like this. Unfortunately, we’re about to find out. I’d encourage residents up and down the East Coast of the United States not to take this storm lightly. Secure small objects, lay in a supply of water (one gallon per person, per day) and batteries for flashlights, and have enough nonperishable food to last three days. Even being without power for a few days (let alone weeks) can be miserable, and if you don’t have the right supplies, it’s much worse. You might also stock a cooler with ice. It won’t last forever, but it can tide you over. We also make sure we have gas for our generator and propane for our grill. The grill, which also has a burner, meant we ate pretty well in 2004 when we were without power after both Frances and Jeanne. Plus it’s a way to cook meat that’s in your freezer before it goes bad. Also make sure you have a car charger for your cell phone, make sure your car has gas, and get some cash ahead of time.
Here are my links to tropical weather data, including model tracks.
Here are FEMA’s hurricane preparedness tips.
Want to learn more about hurricanes? See the Sky Diary kids’ hurricane page.
For entertaining, thorough weather discussions of Irene and Florida weather in general, check out Steve Sponsler’s High Speed Dirt blog.
We’ve had much-needed rain this week in the form of daylong gully-washers. The National Weather Service in Melbourne recorded 2.48 inches of rain June 29, a record. The next day, it noted 1.29 inches. June had 5.9 inches, compared with 16.91 for the year overall – more than a third of the year’s rainfall, much of it in two days!
At least, the storm driving has begun. I started Friday afternoon in Florida, and now I’m in Norman, Oklahoma, missing my dogs and hubby but enjoying the Mexican food.
I should admit that I’m a little bit obsessive. If I want to get something done, I’ll dive in until it’s done. If I want to get to storms in northern Nebraska, I’m willing to get up before dawn to drive there. And it looks like that’s what I’ll have to do to get into play, possibly near the South Dakota border, in time to catch whatever might fire. And, as always, I hope whatever fires gets into the juicier air before dark. A lot of ifs, as usual.
I’ve already had a lot of alone time in the car and caught up on some of my “This American Life” podcasts and listened to Tina Fey’s “Bossypants,” a funny, quirky memoir that convinces me I have a lot of her neuroses and southeast Pennsylvania background, minus the mostly gay theater camp, but only 1 percent of her success. I also came up with some ideas for the novel I’m writing and took some audio notes. But I can’t really write that way. I need a chauffeur so I can write while he is driving. Meanwhile, I’ll stockpile ideas and hope I still have the inspiration when I have more than five minutes to sit down and write.
My friend Steve Sponsler spotted this video on YouTube. Give it a minute. The tornado emerges between the buildings, and its power and speed are incredible. I’m not just talking about the wind speed … the land speed is stunning. This thing was racing across the city.
I recently had the chance to take some photos of my friend Heidi and her beautiful little boy, Ryan, who was on the cusp of his second birthday. It’s fun finding that moment of joy and capturing it on camera, but I love all the expressions that cross a child’s face, including the grumpy ones. I wonder what I was thinking at that age. Probably, “Can I have a cookie?” I added a few photos to that gallery this weekend when I dropped by Ryan’s birthday party.
At another party, at a lovely location along the Indian River Lagoon, I shot a few photos of friends and their kids. We have furry children (dogs), so it was fun to see the real kids playing among the rocks, stalking one another with Nerf guns and making s’mores. All of that marshmallow-roasting is enough to make a girl nostalgic.
The weather has been gorgeous here in Florida, but I’m waiting for the pattern to change out west so I can hit the road for my annual storm-chasing trip. After last week’s violent tornadoes, the atmosphere seems to be taking a breather.