Starting to feel some of Hurricane Irma

After a tense few days of watching Irma and its forecast tracks, some of the effects of Irma are starting to reach us here. The eye of Irma is only just reaching the Florida Keys this morning, so this storm is pretty broad in reach. Pretty much all of Florida is going to be battered up by the hurricane.

Hurricane Irma forecast 201709101200Z
Hurricane Irma forecast 201709101200Z

The eastern coast managed to dodge what would have been a pretty catastrophic storm had it followed some of the earlier forecasts, but we’re not out of the woods yet. There are still warnings for strong winds, heavy rain, and flooding from rain and storm surge.

Jared’s Medium post has a good summary of what Charleston can expect from Irma.

Charleston is already beginning to feel the effects on the periphery of this extremely large hurricane, as a pressure gradient has developed between a strong high pressure wedge centered over the Great Lakes and the very deep low pressure associated with Hurricane Irma. The interaction between the two pressure centers is driving gusty northeast winds across the area, similar to the effect one would feel standing between two large buildings.

The EarthWindMap website offers a pretty nice visualization of winds at different altitudes and lets you step through the GFS model to see how things might change over the model duration.

For the next couple of days, forecast shows surface winds that will push a lot of water toward the SC coast, causing a fair bit of flooding especially when combined with the already anticipated higher than usual tides.

I’m expecting a lot of rain and pretty windy conditions, but we’re far enough inland so surge related flooding isn’t a big concern. Fortunately the land around our subdivision is still largely undeveloped so there’s plenty of ground around us to soak up the rain water. I expect that will be gone over the next couple of years though, so the flooding probability might change.

Just a few more things to move around so they don’t get blown away, and then we see what Irma brings us.

Prepping for Irma

All the weather talk the last few days has been about Hurricane Irma, which is a Category 5 hurricane with 185 mph winds as of the 2017-09-05 2100Z update.

Irma becomes only the fifth Atlantic basin hurricane with a peak wind speed of 160 kt or
higher.  The others are Allen (1980), the Labor Day Hurricane of 1935, Gilbert (1988), and Wilma (2005).

Still a little early to know what kind of weather to expect from Irma in South Carolina, but it looks like Florida will have a good chance of taking a big hit.

Hurricane Irma forecast 201709042100Z
Hurricane Irma forecast 201709042100Z

The intensity forecast shows some weakening over the next few days as Irma plows through the islands. Irma is still going to pack a pretty big punch when it reaches Cuba and Florida though.


INIT  05/2100Z 17.1N  59.8W  160 KT 185 MPH
 12H  06/0600Z 17.6N  61.8W  155 KT 180 MPH
 24H  06/1800Z 18.5N  64.6W  150 KT 175 MPH
 36H  07/0600Z 19.5N  67.3W  145 KT 165 MPH
 48H  07/1800Z 20.4N  70.1W  140 KT 160 MPH
 72H  08/1800Z 21.6N  75.3W  135 KT 155 MPH
 96H  09/1800Z 22.7N  79.3W  125 KT 145 MPH
120H  10/1800Z 24.4N  81.5W  120 KT 140 MPH

It will be another two or three days before the forecast track becomes reliable enough to see what will happen here. In the meantime, we’re preparing things to either hunker down or leave depending on what happens with the forecast.

Lovebugs everywhere

The lovebugs seem to be especially abundant this summer. I suspect it has something to do with all the rain we’ve been getting this year.


I was putting up the antenna this morning for the Tennessee QSO party and there were hundreds of them swarming around the side of the house.

Lovebug swarm
Lovebug swarm
Lovebug swarm
Lovebug swarm
Lovebug swarm
Lovebug swarm

All those small black specks on the house are bugs. They seemed to find the antenna mast a good spot to rest.

Lovebug swarm
Lovebug swarm

Eclipse rainout

I am disappoint.

Unfortunately our eclipse experience here got rained out. We were all disappointed here, but had a good time hanging out with friends.

The day started off fairly decently with some high thin clouds, but then the cloud cover started getting denser, and by the time 2PM came around, the sky was getting pretty dark out to the west.

A few minutes later, the lightning started and a steady rain followed.

At least I was able to experience everything slowly getting dark, and then getting brighter again.

There’s another eclipse happening in 2024. Maybe we’ll have better luck with that one.

An unusually cool morning

18°C in the morning wouldn’t be unusual around here in the fall, but on a July morning, it’s very unusual. 28°C is a more typical temperature for a July morning.

I’ll take it.

The dogs were certainly enjoying the “cooler” weather this morning.