5:00am Hurricane Irma – Alert For West Coast Tidal Storm Surge…

Unfortunately the latest update from the National Hurricane Center shows another slight shift westward putting the South and Central West Coast of Florida in the path of immediate concern.  –ADVISORY UPDATE HERE

If you’ve followed along you might have noticed the ‘worst case scenario’ for the West coast of Florida. –Outlined Here–  However, I want to draw your attention to the forecast timing; because there’s a remarkable synergy lining up with Hurricane Donna from 1960.  First here’s the latest NHC forecast map and times:

Timing is critical here.  Between the two “M”‘s [Max Winds] (2pm Sun, and 2am Mon) you might note the geography of the coastal community, shows an inlet.  That inlet is the mouth of the Caloosahatchee River.  Also known as Punta Rassa.

During 1960 Hurricane Donna the Caloosahatchee River dropped significantly as a result of the powerful Westerly winds from approaching Donna and the local tide.   It looks like the exact same thing might happen again:

The maximum Westerly winds (top of the counterclockwise Irma) are forecast to happen during the outgoing tide.  Sunday: High Tide 5:09pm -then- Low Tide at 10:08pm (link) The current forecast timing of the top of Irma, pushing water out to the Gulf of Mexico, coincides with the outgoing river flow.

However, the important part –we continue mentioning– is the backside of the storm where the winds blow in from the West and bring the storm surge.

Unlike Hurricane Irma, in 1960 Hurricane Donna was traveling North East (she made a long loop), and the backside of the storm provided only a tidal rise of 4 to 7 foot storm surge to the Fort Myers/Estero area.  That was indeed damaging though SWFL area was sparsely populated.

WIKI – Early on September 10, Donna made landfall near Marathon, Florida with winds of 130 mph (215 km/h), hours before another landfall south of Naples at the same intensity. Florida bore the brunt of Hurricane Donna. In the Florida Keys, coastal flooding severely damaged 75% of buildings, destroyed several subdivisions in Marathon. On the mainland, 5,200 houses were damaged, which does not include the 75% of homes damaged at Fort Myers Beach; 50% of buildings were also destroyed in the city of Everglades.

Hurricane Irma is forecast to take a more Northerly (directly along the coastline) path.  Which predictably will bring a much stronger backside storm surge.  Unfortunately, that inbound Gulf of Mexico water coincides with the natural inbound tide.

Monday September 11th: High Tide 04:31 am -then- Low Tide at 11:35am (link).

In the time between the Low Tide Sunday at 10:08 pm, and the High Tide Monday at 04:31 am, the strongest of the East bound (on shore) winds are expected.

♦Irma is far more powerful than Donna was in 1960.  Irma is also far larger than Donna was in 1960.  ♦Irma is forecast to follow a much more damaging path along the coast than Donna was in 1960. ♦Donna brought a 7′ storm surge, Irma could dwarf that. ♦The coastal area is much more densely populated than when Donna hit in 1960.  ♦The Gulf Side coastal shallow water is more prone to movement by wind force.

What does all this mean?

Well, information is how we make prudent decisions.  If you overlay the National Hurricane Center timeline with the local tidal charts for the impacted communities; you see the potential worst case scenario for storm surge that could dwarf all prior forecasts of the worst case scenario.  These Maps could be under-stating the risk; they most certainly are not over-stating it.

I’m not trying to alarm anyone, but if you are near the coast -anywhere near the coast- from Ten Thousand Islands up to Tampa and St. Pete; especially in Charlotte Harbor or along the Caloosahatchee river basin; or if you are even in a moderate non-evacuated flood zone; if you live West of U.S. 41; and if you are wondering whether you should seek shelter on higher ground today…. JUST DO IT !

We have seen hurricanes carve up barrier Islands, remove and build others, and swamp coastal communities with storm surge.  We have never seen a recorded major hurricane track from South to North on, or near, the West coast of Florida.

The west coast tides and the arrival of the Atlantic region’s most powerful hurricane are in alignment for a worst case scenario for flooding and storm surge.  There is still time today to take shelter from that storm surge, and for those North of Boca Grande (North of Lake Okeechobee – 28° latitude) there’s still time to evacuate.

NHC Storm Surge Link 

(interactive map)

 

 

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211 Responses to 5:00am Hurricane Irma – Alert For West Coast Tidal Storm Surge…

  1. F.D.R. in Hell says:

    Liked by 5 people

  2. ALEX says:

    Three minutes ago…I hope it keeps West.

    Liked by 5 people

  3. Brant says:

    A few hurricanes ago (I think once it was in North Atlantic), several weather folks pointed to a “cloud” in the radar eye and said it was a flock of birds caught up in the storm. I guess struggling to keep in the calm eye and fly at the 13 or so mph of the storm.

    Like

  4. burnett044 says:

    fyi..

    Liked by 12 people

  5. ALEX says:

    Bastardi is on Hannity among others a lot and he was pretty accurate on Houston…Here is his thoughts…

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Pam says:

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Pam says:

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Pam says:

    Liked by 5 people

  9. Pam says:

    Liked by 1 person

  10. ALEX says:

    BULLETIN
    Hurricane Irma Advisory Number 42
    NWS National Hurricane Center Miami FL AL112017
    1100 AM EDT Sat Sep 09 2017

    …IRMA CONTINUES TO POUND THE NORTH COAST OF CUBA…
    …FORECAST TO RESTRENGTHEN WHILE HEADING FOR SOUTH FLORIDA AND THE
    KEYS…

    SUMMARY OF 1100 AM EDT…1500 UTC…INFORMATION
    LOCATION…22.8N 79.8W
    ABOUT 90 MI…145 KM ESE OF VARADERO CUBA
    ABOUT 175 MI…285 KM SE OF KEY WEST FLORIDA
    MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS…125 MPH…205 KM/H
    PRESENT MOVEMENT…W OR 280 DEGREES AT 9 MPH…15 KM/H
    MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE…941 MB…27.79 INCHES
    WATCHES AND WARNINGS

    Like

    • ALEX says:

      MB at 941 is definetly one to watch…If storm strengthens the MB goes lower and the more powerful the storm. It was below 920 MB when winds were in 160 MPH…..I’m thinking these stats listed above would be best case for Florida…

      Like

  11. Pam says:

    Like

  12. citizen817 says:

    Liked by 11 people

  13. wj2016 says:

    If the storm tracks just off west coast the the surge will be on the south side of the storm because that is where the onshore winds will be. This is good news for western Florida since the hurricane will weaken by the time these onshore winds come around. It seems everyone is absolutely singing the worst blues on this one when right now there are some positive signs. The real problem is if it goes too far west , remains strong and then hits the Florida panhandle. The onshore winds on the right side of the storm will be really pushing in the water.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Pam says:

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Pam says:

    Liked by 2 people

  16. ALEX says:

    You can find twelve different live stationary camera feeds on this channel including three in Key West. If you click on upper left of this video it shows the options…

    Liked by 4 people

  17. JRD says:

    Like

  18. PDQ says:

    Liked by 11 people

    • Wiggyky says:

      My daughter heard about this. It happened at a Lowes. The next day when more generators came in Lowes gave this man one free (well he had paid for the one he gave the woman). Nice heartwarming story.

      Liked by 1 person

  19. NHVoter says:

    😦

    Like

    • The counties should put those prisoners to work! It would improve their opinion of themselves as they encountered the gratitude of those they helped. Most county jail inmates are in for drinking, loitering, writing bad checks, missing a court dates, etc. Of course the counties can keep the real bad actors in jail.

      Liked by 1 person

  20. PDQ says:

    Liked by 12 people

  21. MfM says:

    Sundance is right to be concerned with the tides.

    The blizzard of ’78 along the NE coast was made much, much worse because of the addition of an incoming tide and it hitting at about high tide. A high tide that was already going to be very high because of moon cycles. Most people in New England remember this storm for the massive snow fall and thousands of cars stuck on the highway, but much of the damage was along the coast.

    More recently Sandy hit NYC hard, again helped along with the tide. Many, many people died during both these storms.

    Liked by 6 people

    • If memory serves there was 18inches average from D.C. to New England in 78. Everything was shut down.

      Was supposed to fly back to Sawyer, AFB. Had to call my First Shirt and tell him that wasn’t happening. We kinda had a good laugh when I told him 15 inches of snow had shut down the world here.
      We sometimes got that much overnight. We never closed.

      Like

  22. NoOneButTrump says:

    I’m watching the radar now compared to the predicted track. It looks like Irma is making that northward turn right now, earlier than the latest tracks predicted.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Jim in TN says:

    Our supply system is always on a small margin. This is great, most of the time. We get fresh fruit, and just about anything when we want it. But normally we don’t all want something at the same time.

    And, multiple times a year weather issues force just such occasions. Most of those quickly recover. Snow storms and such. But these big hurricanes make recovery a long term problem. Hence FEMA.

    But when we have to order evacuations, there are many more problems. The military trains to be able to support moving massive armies. Would it be possible to train and outfit all units of a states national Guard to double as a transportation force? Could each state that has to evacuate millions set up their own reserves for use in emergencies? Rest areas could be used as refueling centers. It could be paid for by the evacuees, just like they pay for gas now. They could even feed people.

    It would keep the evacuees moving, and prevent them from being stuck out in the open when the danger strikes. Could even set up cots in school gyms along the path, so the last minute evacuees can get shelter.

    True that government can’t do anything well, efficiently, or cheap. But it can do things on a massive scale.

    Liked by 5 people

    • Orygun says:

      That reminds me of the Civil Defense shelters and supplies that used to be in the County seats. Having school drills to get under your desk is still not a bad idea in an earthquake. The county I worked for in the early 70’s had a warehouse full of CD gear and supplies.
      Not a bad idea for natural disaster.

      Liked by 3 people

      • Jim in TN says:

        Not a bad idea for those who are a distance from the bomb either. Quite a few people were injured by flying glass. A high price to pay for watching the mushroom cloud through the nearest window.

        Liked by 1 person

  24. James W Crawford says:

    The logistics of evacuation were solvable with railroads. A 100 car freight train with say 300 people per boxcar moves 30,000 people. Run one such train every half hour for about one day and and you have moved 1.5 million people! No traffic jams to contend with. FEMA could have special modeules to put in the rail cars to provide sanitation.

    Alternatively, how about using school buses like the buses that were still parked in a flooded parking lot after Katrina?

    Liked by 4 people

    • Fake Nametag says:

      That is a great idea but (LOL) the idea of FEMA moving people to camps in rail cars would have scared the crap out of a lot of people when Obama was in office.

      Like

  25. ALEX says:

    Comment from another site…

    This morning I was in Ft. Myers on the coast, where I spent 2+ days. I left at 7am today for Palm Beach County. SR 80 was wide open with no traffic – it was like a ghost town all through the state. LaBelle, Clewiston and Belle Glade are boarded up well. In my opinion Ft. Myers was not that well secured yet.

    In PBC we still expect over 80mph winds at somepoint Sunday/evening. Curfews in effect tonight at 8pm. Traffic is light as nothing is open. Prayers up.

    Liked by 7 people

  26. TheLastDemocrat says:

    Baro 941 mb, sustained winds rumored / modeled to be at 125MPH.

    I believe sustained surface winds might barely be getting past 100MPH.

    I am daring to say now: 10:30 Eastern Time:
    Cuba, and other land masses, have taken the breath out of Irma. Irma has slowed. As Irma gets farther north, Florida peninsula will also cut its legs out.

    To describe wind speed, the news will continue to use the method speaker manufacturers use to describe how loud their speakers are, and it will be the same thing: over-hype.

    Newscasters will be able to broadcast outside, on the scene, as the strongest part of the storm hits Florida.

    The wind will not be a problem. The water will. People not respecting the water -like trying to drive where they cannot see how deep – will suffer the consequences.

    Like

  27. Pam says:

    Here is a livestream feed on youtube of WPTV in West Palm Beach.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. ALEX says:

    Like

  29. ALEX says:

    Good for them…

    Liked by 2 people

  30. Pam says:

    Weather Channel live feed:

    Like

  31. Richard Baker says:

    Still a very dangerous storm.

    Liked by 1 person

  32. Pam says:

    Liked by 3 people

  33. Pam says:

    Liked by 1 person

  34. ALEX says:

    Like

  35. Pam says:

    Liked by 1 person

  36. goswell says:

    I wish Sundance would get outta there.

    Liked by 3 people

  37. Pam says:

    Liked by 2 people

  38. Pam says:

    Liked by 1 person

  39. ALEX says:

    Miami and the beaches live cam…Tons of other live cameras too…

    https://www.earthcam.com/usa/florida/miamiandthebeaches/?cam=miamibeach2

    Like

  40. Pam says:

    Like

  41. Pam says:

    Liked by 1 person

  42. velvetfoot says:

    Looking at the historical track at the link below, it seems to be tracking further to the East.
    https://weather.com/storms/hurricane-central/irma-2017/AL112017

    Like

  43. Mary Kate Conly says:

    Watching the news here in sunny suburban Philadelphia and praying my heart out for our Floridians.

    My husband is not religious and felt like at an outsider at many church events and fundraisers. All on his own, he found a local charity, T&E Cares, named for our township, that gives 100% of its donations to local families. It’s not unusual to meet the family receiving your no-longer-needed dining room set. . Anyway, T&E cares had moving truck full of brand new toiletries, shelf stable food and school supplies going DIRECTLY to another local charity in Houston, and I’ll assume they’ll have the same for FL.

    My in laws are safe up here in PA, but they expect to lose their 2nd car, parked in a ground level garage in Naples. As big of an expense that is, we are dumbfounded thinking about the hundreds of thousands of people who will lose or suffer damage on every single item in their homes, those who will lose their businesses, their careers. The pets that will be hurt or worse. The elderly, infirmed, disabled. Its truly heartbreaking watching this from afar. The only bright spot is thinking about what we will send to FL as soon as we get the word from T&E.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Joe2pt.0 says:

      Mary, Thanks to you and your husband. It’s simply amazing how charitable people can be. Having survived many hurricane strikes in my 35yrs living in Houston, I am sure Houstonians are grateful.

      We moved to Fort Walton Beach FL just last year and closed the sale of the last of our real estate holdings in Texas on 8/21. One week before Harvey. Our main home in Houston survived Harvey just fine but hurricane Ike ripped a few shingles off causing $50k in damage – new roof and interior water damage restoration.

      Now all eyes are on Irma and the westerly track is at our location up here on the western edge of the Panhandle. The distance to water from my current home is measured in feet. Still, I plan to hunker down and ride it out if it comes our way. If it looks like a Cat 4-5 at the door, we will evacuate.

      Like

  44. NHVoter says:

    Like

  45. Jenny R. says:

    http://www.practicalsurvivor.com/emergencywaterfiltration
    Don’t know if there is enough time for this and just thought about it, but better late and a little than never and nothing.

    Liked by 1 person

  46. NHVoter says:

    Like

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