Friday, August 22, 2008

Adios, Fay

Fay is mostly gone, now. We're still getting squally showers off and on, and probably will through the night, but nothing bad. Thank God.

Here's a weird little thing: Little earthworms have been crawling up the outside walls of my house the past couple of days, looking fore safety. They drown when the earth is saturated with water.

I took a picture of this little guy who made it all the way up a window, seeking higher ground:

I emptied and washed out my rain barrel the first of the week, in preparation for Fay. It's been overflowing all week. I got this neat shot in this morning's rain:

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Waiting on fickle Tropical Storm Fay

I'm sitting here listening to the rain fall. It's rather nice, actually — the steady drip of rain falling from the roof, mixed with softer and heavier rainfalls.

It's been raining here for a few days now. I count myself fortunate, because my house sits fairly high and dry, and because I haven't had 30 inches of rain like they've had in southern Brevard County. Maybe 6-8 inches, instead. I haven't had the high winds, either. Just a few gusts.

According to the weather forecasts, I should have been getting 30-45 mph winds this evening. That forecast, like most of them, has been wrong. I'm not ruling them out for the night, though.

Fay has been a cypher all along, defying the standard conventions and what is expected of tropical weather.

For one thing, what tropical storm comes on land, then gets stronger? That's just what Fay's done. I've been covering her all week.

It wasn't until she came onto the Florida Peninsula she developed into a tighter cyclonic system, and even developed a rudimentary eyewall, both signs of a hurricane.

It was thought Fay might turn into a hurricane before she made landfall in South Florida. She didn't. She was expected to weaken after she made landfall. She strengthened.

Even after cutting across the state, Fay was still packing 60 mph winds, sometimes edging up to 65 mph.

She got to the Space Coast and sat. And sat.

She finally moseyed up the Atlantic a few miles to Daytona Beach. And sat, and sat.

She finally started moving inland this afternoon -- at 2 mph.

Fay, what's your hurry?

Fickle Fay, move away and don't come back another day -- this NOAA shot was taken this afternoon, not long before Fay finally started making her dramatic 2 mph turn inland, around the Volusia/Flagler county line in East Central Florida.

Fay gave herself the luxury of dumping horrendous rains on Brevard, and now parts of Volusia County, but not on my little patch of it.

I thank God, and pray Fay won't stay.

If she moves west back across the peninsula into the Gulf, who knows what she'll do?

A forecaster I talked to said Fay will be one for textbooks, and a case study, because her behavior has been so unusual. She's proof cyclonic storms aren't all just about wind or even storm surge. Fay is a rain-maker extraordinaire.

Monday, August 18, 2008

St. Pat's weather central - Tropical Storm Kay

Tropical Storm Kay stepped all over Cuba and is now ready to pounce on Southwest Florida tomorrow morning. She's now about 105 miles south of Naples, FL. Sustained winds are around 60 mph, but Kay may make it to hurricane status, 74 mph, by the time she makes landfall.

(TS Fay water vapor image cribbed from NOAA/National Weather Service)

The saintly household, with the rest of the county, is under a tropical storm warning. We're expected to get winds of 40-50 mph, with perhaps higher gusts, starting late tomorrow afternoon, as the the storm pushes up the Florida Peninsula. There are chances of isolated tornadoes tonight and tomorrow.

Fay's exact path is uncertain, but it looks like we're in for bad weather whichever track she takes. Wind shear will keep her from turning into another Hurricane Charley if the one model is correct, predicting Fay will cross the southern portion of the peninsula, go eastward into the Atlantic a bit, then make a u-turn for Central or Northern Florida.

I'm kind of thinking and praying we won't get anything really nasty here.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Home improvement

The floors of the saintly household have been changed out. They're now lined with ceramic tile, instead of worn out, chewed up wall-to-wall carpeting.

It's been an exhausting couple of weeks. First, there was getting ready for the tile setters to come. Then, there was have the tile setters (actually, one setter and an assistant) in the house all week. Then, there's been trying to put the house back together.

Then, there was the lack of sleep. Poor little Jack the Brat cat was traumatized. He's scared of strangers, and runs and hides under the bed at the first sign of invasion.

Jack not only had strange men invading his domain, his whole domain changed!

The tile setters left my bedroom until last, and Jack stayed hid out by day. By night, he wandered the house, crying, because he didn't understand the changes. I could soothe him for only moments at a time.

The real trauma came when they pulled out the bed (his safety blanket) and tiled the bedroom.

Jack is just starting to recover. I got him drunk on catnip one night, and that seemed to help. I left out a catnip-infused scratching board, and he loves it. He rubs his face on it, then rips into it.

Betsy aka The Best Dog in the World got another hair cut - short - in an effort to reduce the amount of fur flying through the air. Hah.

I'm still trying to put the house back together, but not too much, because I want to paint first.

Meanwhile, I'm keeping an eye of Tropical Storm Fay, now near Cuba. The storm is expected to hit the Keys. She could strengthen into a hurricane, if she moves on into the Gulf.

So far, it's been a quiet hurricane season. I'm praying it stays that way.