Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.

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Sunday, September 05, 2021

The one nice thing about waiting out a tropical storm: The pre-storm winds are blowing delightful ghost-pattern wavelets across the surface of my lake. They give the impression of invisible forms chasing each other atop the water.

- Costa Tsiokos, Sun 09/05/2021 04:01:12 PM
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Just battening down for Tropical Storm Frances, due in several hours. To pass the time, I’ll be going stir-crazy.

The fun will start once the manhole covers pop off.

- Costa Tsiokos, Sun 09/05/2021 11:04:38 AM
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Saturday, September 04, 2021

I’m feeling ripped off. Having resolved to stay in tonight due to the expected rotten weather ahead of Hurricane Frances, I haven’t left the house all night. I figured it would be non-stop rain and high winds anyway.

As of this writing, it’s ridiculously calm outside. No rain, and the gusting winds from earlier have settled down. Absolutely no impediment to spending a night on the town.

So I cooped myself up for no reason. Damned hurricane.

Yes, I know Frances has landed in Vero and will bring its mess here in the next day. But for the moment, it’s turned out to be as much of a no-show here as Charley was. Hopefully, the comparison won’t end there, as far as Tampa Bay is concerned.

- Costa Tsiokos, Sat 09/04/2021 11:24:07 PM
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labor day
I’ve already said that, given Hurricane Frances’ location on the opposite coast, I don’t much care about it. Of course, it will make it’s way across Florida to me, in tropical storm-form, so as things now stand (and that can change), it will affect me somewhat.

The latest status has Frances stalling off the Atlantic coast, with its massive outer bands still lashing the coast and downing power lines, along with other headaches. I can’t figure out why it’s slowing down, and again, I wouldn’t be surprised if it took an unexpected veer to the north or south (due to another unforseen opposing front, as with Charley). But for now, it’s supposed to make landfall sometime tonight, and come through the state by tomorrow afternoon.

My local weather has shown signs of something on its way. It’s been extra-windy every since yesterday afternoon, although not tremendously so. It was sunny as usual this morning, to the point where I was going to lay out and tan for an hour (I got caught up in household chores instead, but others were out by the pool). The afternoon did bring beaucoup cloud cover that periodically made the sky dark. Rain showers have come through, but again, nothing particularly out of the ordinary.

I’m sure things will get worse, but for now, it’s barely far from business as usual. It’s impacting me in terms of abandoning plans to go out tonight; I figured as much heading into the weekend, and had my fun last night (mainly Cafe Alma, unexpectedly on fire).

Officially, the airports are closing, I’ve heard a rumor of power going out elsewhere in Pinellas (I haven’t experienced it), and I’m in an area that’s under voluntary evacuation. That’s voluntary, not mandatory, which is a crucial difference; it means I ain’t moving, and there’s no compelling reason to do so. I have taken all the stuff off my patio just in case, but otherwise, I’m not making any special preparations for what will likely be nothing more than one of the many kick-ass rainstorms we get here.

So, that’s the Frances report from Tampa Bay. It’s obviously putting a damper on the Labor Day weekend, but if the worst of it ends up with me doing nothing but getting some extra sack time, all the better.

- Costa Tsiokos, Sat 09/04/2021 07:30:39 PM
Category: Weather, Florida Livin' | Permalink | Feedback (2)

Friday, September 03, 2021

the likely weekend
Yes, there’s yet another hurricane coming at Florida.

I don’t care.

There’s even less reason for me to give a hoot about Frances than there was for Charley. Frances is approaching from the Atlantic and will hit Florida’s east coast. I’m on Florida’s gulf coast; there’s no chance at all of getting a direct hit. Depending on where Frances make landfall, it could come across the state and retain some punch, but it’s just as likely to dissipate. The worst we’re supposed to get is a ton of rain — which, frankly, is nothing unusual for the Tampa Bay area.

And, as with Charley, there’s as much chance that Frances will veer off into a completely unanticipated direction. Just this morning, I noticed a distinctly cooler snap in the air. This instantly brought to mind the “surprise” cold front that ended up pushing Charley off its practically-certain Tampa Bay course. I wouldn’t be surprised if, once again, the weathermen end up wrong, and some monstrous cold front that they somehow missed before, blows across the state to push Frances north, south or wherever.

So, basically, I’m prepared for a wet weekend. Nothing new. The east coasters have my sympathies for the hassles they’re going through, but so far, it’s not affecting me.

- Costa Tsiokos, Fri 09/03/2021 09:50:45 AM
Category: Weather, Florida Livin' | Permalink | Feedback (1)

Thursday, August 26, 2021

wet 'n wild
Almost as soon as I got home from the office yesterday, it started to storm. As usual, it felt like it was directly on top of me, with near-incessant thunder and lightning. The building shook, my power went out three times (the 2-second outages that are typical in these situations; most annoying aspect is turning the TV back on and resetting clocks), and things outside got drenched.

Really didn’t seem like anything too out of the ordinary, especially for a summer evening in Tampa Bay. The continual lightning flashes tend to make me a bit jumpy, but otherwise, I hardly noticed it.

Turns out, this was no typical storm:

At 6 p.m., lightning was striking the area at a rate of about 1,500 times every 15 minutes, meteorologists said. The number slowly tapered, and by 7 p.m., it was about 500 to 600 strikes every 15 minutes. Lightning was believed to be the cause of a fire that destroyed a home in South Tampa, fire officials said. No serious injuries were reported.

Yes, this is why the local hockey team is dubbed “Lightning”.

This brings to mind a thought I had during the trials and tribulations of Charley: Why do we even have weather anymore? Haven’t we advanced beyond it? Can’t we put our technological resources toward doing away with it? Let’s just turn this planet into one gigantic Biosphere, with a constant temperature of 70 degrees, low humidity and moderate sunshine year-round. Scienticians, get to work!

- Costa Tsiokos, Thu 08/26/2004 04:06:51 PM
Category: Weather, Florida Livin' | Permalink | Feedback

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

up a tree
In light of the Hurricane Charley-induced hassles I went through (which I realize were nothing compared with what happened where it actually made landfall), I’ve since been loathe to talk or think any more about the storm than I’ve had to. I’ve contributed to relief efforts, but past that, have avoided most of the latest news about the post-Charley recovery.

But the above image caught my eye. It was snapped in Punta Gorda, the heart of the hurricane’s path, by Kinfay Moroti as the companion to an article about some of the personal, priceless items lost to Charley.

Mainly, I just liked the juxtaposition of what appears to be a largely intact Bible amid strewn debris. That it’s open to the New Testament is especially apt: It conveys a sense of the more compassionate, forgiving God arriving in the wake of some Old Testament-style destruction.

- Costa Tsiokos, Tue 08/24/2004 11:21:12 PM
Category: Weather, Florida Livin' | Permalink | Feedback

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