My Tropical Depression

Rob Temple

Well, it’s that time of year again.

The tropics are starting to heat up and I’m staying tuned to and trying not to take it personally.  I’ve always advised:

My Tropical Depression

If you want to keep out of the path of a hurricane, just find out where I am and then go somewhere else!  They seem to have my name and address.

Last week we watched what the meteorologists were calling “invest 99L”  which rolled off the African coast as a strong tropical wave and “could not be ruled out as a threat to the SE United States.”  Late in the week as it moved farther west, it began to appear headed for the Florida Straights and Gulf of Mexico. Perhaps the weather gods had forgotten I no longer hang out in the Bahamas and South Florida?  I began to breathe easy.

Then, three days ago I woke up, logged onto the tropical forecast and … OMG! Here comes a brand new system that just formed southwest of Bermuda and, according to all available computer models is making a bee line for Ocracoke!  They called this one 91 L.

Wait a minute, didn’t this just appear after 99L?  (That’s right  -- if they made it logical we might be able to figure these things out for ourselves and wouldn’t need meteorologists!)

But waking before dawn and checking the websites the following morning I was shocked and relieved that there was no longer any mention of 91L. That news turned out to be too good to last. Well before noon the system was back on the map as Tropical Depression 8. Soon thereafter, 99L was christened Tropical Depression 9 predicted to turn around in the Gulf, cross the Florida peninsula and head right this way later in the week!   

It’s frustrating for all of us as we wait to see if our last few big spenders will be chased off by the weather.  But before we heap on the self-pity we should remember that things could be worse: consider the poor souls in emergency management who have to weigh the disaster of an unnecessary evacuation order against the worse disaster of another Hurricane Alex. 

Like hundreds of other residents and visitors, I took the weather folks at their word when they said Alex would be no big deal. Could have taken my two cars to higher ground but why bother for such a minor weather event. We sat on the porch and watched the rising water in our driveway submerge both cars clear up to the windshields.

Trump has a YUGE problem with high winds.
Trump has a YUGE problem with high winds.

With all the more or less dead months of the off-season, why do these storms always have to come near the peak of our earning cycle?  Perhaps Trump alone can fix this?

Heck, I’d even vote for him!  (Not really. Just kidding!)  

Editor's note: Capt. Rob stays tuned to NOAA weather and to Dr. Jeff Masters's blog.  


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