Archive for October, 2012

ON THE ROAD AGAIN

Yesterday was a travel day; 350 miles in 7 hours (including three trips through downtown Dallas, Texas at morning rush hour).  One pass throughDallas would have sufficed.  But just as I emerged triumphantly on the northeast side of Dallas, my phone rang.  It was my daughter – I had left my wallet on the counter.  She was kind enough to head my way as I turned around and traversed the Dallas morning rush hour a second time.  We met on the south side of downtown and I made yet a third trip through the 57 billion vehicles trying to get into downtown Dallas.  The rest of the trip was very uneventful.

SUPER STORM SANDY

I heard from Rich Goldman and Dave Ball yesterday.  They are fine.  They hope to have electricity in two or three days.  I am relieved. 🙂  I also talked with Kyle Moran yesterday.  He said the wind is finally subsiding at the Florida Sea Base.  Dr. Masters’ blog is definitely worth a read.  There is a link to Angela Fritz’ post within Dr. Masters’ post.  The last I read, Sandy was responsible for at least 65 deaths as it passed through the Caribbean.  The highest report I have seen for US deaths is 50 so far.

BSA AQUATICS TASK FORCE

The plan was to have dinner with Brad Smith last night.  Brad is the PADI liaison with the BSA.  He is also a PADI Course Director, personal friend, and all around good guy.  We were going to discuss a minor change for the Scuba BSA Award (NOT the Scuba Diving Merit Badge) but his plane had mechanical problems and his flight was delayed.  We will discuss the possible revision with the BSA Aquatics Task Force this morning at Gus Blass Scout Reservation near Damascus, Arkansas.  I’m optimistic  it will be a non-issue and I’ll try to remember to post details tomorrow.

BSA AQUATICS WORKSHOP

The bi-annual BSA Aquatics Workshop starts tomorrow.  As always, it will be very difficult to cram two years worth of improvements, issues, comments and suggestions into three and a half days.  Aquatic programs are crucial to Scouting.  The “Every Scout a Swimmer” program began in 1924 and the BSA continues to work towards ensure that happens.  Cubs aquatic program are the specialty of Jay Fox, Ph.D., member of the BSA Aquatics Task Force.  The task force has been looking at creative ways to encourage Cubs to learn to swim for several years.  The limited availability of year ’round swimming pools is a key impediment.

 HMS BOUNTY

Click to enlarge

The HMS Bounty sank during Hurricane Sandy.  Fourteen survivors were recovered by the US Coast Guard.  One victim was recovered and I believe the Captain has not been located.

Captains Harold and Margie Ochstein are the Eco-Adventure program at the Florida Sea Base.  They also have asuccessfull private sailing charter operation.  Captain Harold posted this comment:

I thought you might want to read my thoughts on the HMS bounty sinking and hurricane prep on our blog at http://sailingtheislands.com/2012/10/30/should-the-hms-bounty-have-stayed-in-port/.
Harold

I’m running late.  Have a great day.

Capt. Steve Willis
Professional Scuba Bum™
PADI Course Director #39713

30Oct

1033

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This is my 1,033rd post.  In many police radio codes, 10-33 means “emergency”.  How appropriate that post #1,033 is being made the morning after Hurricane Sandy, being touted as the largest US storm of my lifetime, made landfall in New Jersey.

I have very limited time this morning; I have to get on the highway for an 8 hour drive to Gus Blass Scout Reservation, just west of Damascus, Arkansas (which is about an hour north of Little Rock).  The BSA National Aquatics Task Force will meet early tomorrow morning followed by the 2012 BSA Aquatics Workshop Wednesday through Sunday morning.

Rich Goldman sent an email yesterday saying all was well with him and Dave Ball in New Jersey.  Hopefully they remain safe.

I am headed out the door.  I am sure the media is covering the aftermath of Sandy much better than I could.  It’s far from being over; in some ways it has just begun.

Capt. Steve Willis
Professional Scuba Bum™
PADI Course Director #39713

29Oct

SANDY UPDATE 6

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FLORIDA SEA BASE

The Florida Sea Base is still experiencing significant winds from Hurricane Sandy.  The conditions may be bouncy and uncomfortable in the harbor, but I am certainly glad we are not in the New Jersey/New York area.  The local winds have clocked a little more towards the north and are from the NNW at 20-25 knots.  A few more degrees to the north will make life better at the base.  There is a tremendous amount of hype on the TV and internet about Hurricane Sandy.  If only half of it is true, they are going to have a MISERABLE week – or longer.

Captain Rich Beliveau returned to the base safely and triumphantly from the Sea Scout meeting in Dallas.

PENDING LANDFALL

This was copied from the National Data Buoy Center website around 14:50 (2:50 pm) Sunday.  This specific buoy is at the New York Harbor Entrance (15 nm SE of Breezy Point, NY).

Station 44065
NDBC
Location:
 40.369N 73.703W
Date: Sun, 28 Oct 2012 18:50:00 UTC

Winds: NE (50°) at 23.3 kt gusting to 29.1 kt
Significant Wave Height: 10.8 ft
Dominant Wave Period: 11 sec
Mean Wave Direction: SE (130°)
Atmospheric Pressure: 29.70 in and falling
Air Temperature: 59.4 F
Dew Point: 54.7 F
Water Temperature: 61.3 F

This buoy is was near the right edge of the cone for Sandy at that time.  I was just investigating new resources.  The center of the cone was laying nearly dead atop the Atlantic City buoy, but unfortunately, that buoy does not provide wind data.

At 2050 (8:50 pm EDT) the buoy was reporting 35 knot winds and 13.8′ waves; an increase of 4 knots of wind speed and 4 feet in wave height.

At 06:50 this morning the wind speed was 40.8 and the waves were still 13.8′.

There is no limit to things I do not know.  But if I lived in New York City and read this part of Dr. Jeff Masters’ blog, I would have made my way to the Greyhound Bus terminal and gotten out of town.

Sandy’s storm surge a huge threat
Last night’s 9:30 pm EDT H*Wind analysis from NOAA’s Hurricane Research Division put the destructive potential of Sandy’s winds at a modest 2.6 on a scale of 0 to 6. However, the destructive potential of the storm surge was exceptionally high: 5.7 on a scale of 0 to 6. This is a higher destructive potential than any hurricane observed between 1969 – 2005, including Category 5 storms like Katrina, Rita, Wilma, Camille, and Andrew. The previous highest destructive potential for storm surge was 5.6 on a scale of 0 to 6, set during Hurricane Isabel of 2003. Sandy is now forecast to bring a near-record storm surge of 6 – 11 feet to Northern New Jersey and Long Island Sound, including the New York City Harbor. While Sandy’s storm surge will be nowhere near as destructive as Katrina’s, the storm surge does have the potential to cause many billions of dollars in damage if it hits near high tide at 9 pm EDT on Monday. The full moon is on Monday, which means astronomical high tide will be about 5% higher than the average high tide for the month. This will add another 2 – 3″ to water levels. Fortunately, Sandy is now predicted to make a fairly rapid approach to the coast, meaning that the peak storm surge will not affect the coast for multiple high tide cycles. Sandy’s storm surge will be capable of overtopping the flood walls in Manhattan, which are only five feet above mean sea level. On August 28, 2011, Tropical Storm Irene brought a storm surge of 4.13′ to Battery Park on the south side of Manhattan. The waters poured over the flood walls into Lower Manhattan, but came 8 – 12″ shy of being able to flood the New York City subway system. According to the latest storm surge forecast for NYC from NHC, Sandy’s storm surge is expected to be several feet higher than Irene’s. If the peak surge arrives near Monday evening’s high tide at 9 pm EDT, a portion of New York City’s subway system could flood, resulting in billions of dollars in damage. I give a 50% chance that Sandy’s storm surge will end up flooding a portion of the New York City subway system.

Click to enlarge.

Six feet of surge would seriously compromise the Galley, Ships Store, laundry, and Annex (staff housing) at the Florida Sea Base.  Eleven feet of surge would be close to the ceilings in those structures.

Angela Fritz’s WunderBlog

The above post is too large for me to copy and paste the whole thing.  PLEASE click on the link and read her post.  Wow!!!

INTERNATIONAL

Here are some snippets from the National Hurricane Center Atlantic Tropical Weather Discussion:

THE GULF OF MEXICO...

BROAD MIDDLE LEVEL TO UPPER LEVEL NORTHWESTERLY-TO-WESTERLY WIND FLOW COVERS THE AREA. THIS 
PATTERN IS TO THE WEST OF THE DEEP LAYER TROUGH THAT SURROUNDS HURRICANE SANDY...
THE DEEP LAYER TROUGH THAT ENGULFS HURRICANE SANDY AT THE MOMENT SUPPORTS A SLOWLY-MOVING 
COLD FRONT THAT PASSES THROUGH THE ATLANTIC OCEAN NEAR 32N77W...BETWEEN GRAND BAHAMA ISLAND 
AND FLORIDA...ACROSS CUBA NEAR 23N80W...TO THE SOUTHEASTERN YUCATAN PENINSULA...TO THE 
ISTHMUS OF TEHUANTEPEC.
A SURFACE RIDGE PASSES THROUGH THE DEEP SOUTH OF TEXAS TO 19N96W IN COASTAL MEXICO...TO 
15N87W IN HONDURAS.
PLEASE READ THE HIGH SEAS FORECAST...MIAHSFAT2...AND THE OFFSHORE FORECAST...MIAOFFNT4...
FOR DETAILS ABOUT THE 20 TO 30 KNOT WINDS AND 8 TO 10 FOOT SEA HEIGHTS IN THE NORTHEASTERN 
HALF OF THE GULF OF MEXICO.
THE CARIBBEAN SEA...

THE MIDDLE LEVEL TO UPPER LEVEL TROUGH THAT ENGULFS HURRICANE SANDY PASSES THROUGH 32N72W 
IN THE ATLANTIC OCEAN...TO THE CENTRAL BAHAMAS...ACROSS JAMAICA...TO 15N79W IN THE CARIBBEAN 
SEA. COMPARATIVELY DRIER AIR IN SUBSIDENCE IS TO THE WEST OF THE LINE THAT PASSES THROUGH 
20N70W TO 16N76W TO 10N80W AT THE PANAMA COAST.
PLEASE READ THE HIGH SEAS FORECAST...MIAHSFAT2...FOR DETAILS ABOUT HURRICANE SANDY. A SECOND 
AREA OF INTEREST HAS TO DO WITH A 991 MB LOW PRESSURE CENTER THAT IS NEAR 35N41W AT THE START 
OF THE FORECAST...MOVING TO 991 MB NEAR 36N37W AT 24 HOURS...AND MOVING TO 993 MB NEAR 
34.5N 32.5W AT 48 HOURS. EXPECT 20 TO 30 KNOT WINDS AND SEA HEIGHTS RANGING FROM 8 TO 14 FEET 
IN AREAS AROUND THE LOW PRESSURE CENTER.

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION PLEASE VISIT
WWW.HURRICANES.GOV/MARINE

If you are not prepared to survive on your own, without electricity and possibly without running water, GET OUT. One of the advantages we have living on boats is we carry a fresh water supply, most use propane for cooking, refrigeration is battery powered, and many of us have onboard generators or other means to generate electricity (wind generators and/or solar panels).

Our thoughts are prayers are with those in the path of this historic storm.  I keep thinking, “This is ONLY  a Category 1 hurricane.”  Try to imagine if this was a Category 3, 4, or 5 storm.

Capt. Steve Willis
Professional Scuba Bum™
PADI Course Director #39713

28Oct

SANDY UPDATE 5

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FLORIDA SEA BASE

The effects of Hurricane Sandy are diminishing gradually at the Florida Sea Base.  [I am not able to open the National Data Buoy Center website this morning to review the official wind speeds.  Many of the NWS services were recently moved to Maryland.  I do not know if if that move combined with  effects from Hurricane Sandy are responsible for the site being down or if it is just a coincidence.]  The land data is showing NW winds at 13-15 mph.  Based on past experience, I’m guessing the wind is still in the 15-20 knot range over the water and in our harbor.

The Florida Sea Base was very fortunate.  I have read that the estimated death toll from Hurricane Sandy currently stands at 48 including deaths in Jamaica, Cuba, Haiti and the Bahamas.  Locally the wind was gusting to more than 30 knots yesterday afternoon.  Captain Carol Beliveau was kind enough to send me a text yesterday to let me know that Escape was still afloat.  She said this is the third worst wind event we have experienced in her time at Sea Base.

US ATLANTIC COAST

For those of you living in the projected landfall area of Hurricane Sandy, please don’t under estimate this storm.  Just a few days ago the forecast was for Sandy to enter the Bahamas as a tropical storm; it struck as a Category 2 hurricane.  We have under estimated storms at the Florida Sea Base from time to time and Sandy could have caught us sleeping this time around.  Florida Sea Base Scuba Instructor Dave Ball says he has secured his home in New Jersey and is bringing his mother-in-law in from her home on the New Jersey shore.  Scuba Instructor Rich Goldman said he is okay and has made preparations.  I have not heard from Captain Scott Costa, who also lives in New Jersey.  All three of these gentlemen and many of Dave Ball’s family are EMTs or firefighters.  They will likely have some stories to tell after this is over.  DRINKING WATER and a way to STAY WARM are key elements to your survival.  It looks like power outages are going to be massive.  This would be a good time to visit west coast family or friends.

Click to enlarge.

SEA SCOUTS

Captain Rich Beliveau reported a productive meeting with the Sea Scouts in Dallas yesterday.  I do not have any details at this time but he sounded very upbeat.

AQUATICS WORKSHOP

The bi-annual BSA Aquatics Workshop is being held next week in Arkansas.  The majority of registrants are from the areas that will be effected by Hurricane Sandy.  I am wondering if that will impact the attendance.

Capt. Steve Willis
Professional Scuba Bum™
PADI Course Director #39713

 

27Oct

SANDY UPDATE 4

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FLORIDA SEA BASE

The further Hurricane Sandy get from the Florida Sea Base, the worse the conditions at the base.  That’s because Sandy passed to our east and while she approached the winds were from our protected north and east sides.  Now that she is passed, the winds are coming from the unprotected west into our harbor.  The Molasses Reef Buoy is reporting winds from the WNW but the buoys at Sombrero Reef and Long Key are showing NW.  All three are showing winds speeds in the 25 to 30 knots range.  The more westerly (like at Molasses Reef) the more uncomfortable the conditions are at the Florida Sea Base.

US EAST COAST

The computer models are forecasting landfall somewhere between Virginia Beach, VA and Providence, RI.  The center line goes through New Jersey.

Click to enlarge.

Based on the forecasted timeline, it looks like Sandy will come ashore late Monday night to very early Tuesday morning.  The graphic below shows the forecasted wind speeds over time.

Click to enlarge.

Since the midpoint of the computer models is Atlantic City, I pulled up this graphic from the National Weather Service for 6pm Monday through 6pm Wednesday.

Click to enlarge.

SURVIVAL

The biggest threat to the Atlantic Coast seems to be flooding and a potential loss of electricity and possibly water for several days.  If I lived there, I would be looking for water; a gallon per person per day for drinking and possibly cooking.  Then fill the bath tub and sinks with water for washing.  (Make sure the drains don’t leak.)  After the water has been used for washing (you, dishes, whatever) it can be placed in the tank on the toilet for flushing.

They teach you all of this good stuff in Scouting – or used to when I was a kid.  Survival, First Aid, emergency preparedness, communications, tying knots, lashing poles, swimming, lifesaving, marksmanship, archery, stalking game, camping, hiking, sailing, boating, care and safety using cutting tools like knives and axes, whittling, the list goes on of Scouting skills that have served me all of my life.  Scouting is not for wimps.

Bring in the lawn furniture.  Move all of the furniture upstairs.  Secure some supplies for about a week, and hang on to your hat.  Or evacuate to the Florida Keys. 🙂

Capt. Steve Willis
Professional Scuba Bum™
PADI Course Director #39713

26Oct

SANDY UPDATE 3

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SEA SCOUTS

Assuming conditions from Hurricane Sandy do not cause the airport to close, Captain Rich will fly into Dallas today for the Sea Scout dinner.   He will attend the Sea Scout meeting on Saturday and fly back to Florida Saturday evening.

SANDY

The Florida Sea Base is weathering the storm so far.  They have experienced quite a bit of rain and strong breezes from the north.  The wind is clocking  to the NW this morning and will assault the harbor from it’s unprotected flank.  The winds are forecasted to be in the 30-35 knot range this morning, diminishing a little tomorrow.

Click to enlarge.

PENDING EAST COAST IMPACT

We have several staff members who live further up the US Atlantic coast; Dave and Barbara Ball, Rich Goldman, and Captain Scott Costa all live in New Jersey.  We have several other staff members living in the NE region of the US.  They will have much more serve conditions than what was felt at the Florida Sea Base and my thoughts and prayers are with them.  They may need to evacuate and come to the Florida Sea Base to escape Hurricane Sandy.  The Weather Channel says, “Forecasters warned that Sandy will likely mix with a winter storm to create a monster storm in the eastern U.S. next week whose effects will be felt along the entire Atlantic Coast from Florida to Maine and inland to Ohio.”

IN SANDY’S WAKE

The Weather Channel also reported,

Hurricane Sandy raged through the Bahamas early Friday after leaving 21 people dead across the Caribbean, following a path that could see it blend with a winter storm and reach the U.S. East Coast as a super-storm next week.

Sandy, which weakened to a category 1 hurricane Thursday night, caused havoc in Cuba early in the day, killing 11 people in eastern Santiago and Guantanamo provinces as its howling winds and rain toppled houses and ripped off roofs. Authorities said it was Cuba’s deadliest storm since July 2005, when category 5 Hurricane Dennis killed 16 people and caused $2.4 billion in damage.

Sandy also killed one person while crossing Jamaica on Wednesday and 10 in Haiti, where heavy rains from the storm’s outer bands caused flooding in the impoverished and deforested country.

21 deaths so far; 11 in Cuba, 1 in Jamaica and 10 in Haiti.  It’s early in the morning, but 11 + 1 + 10 = 22.  Regardless, we can only hope that no lives were lost in the Bahamas and that no one will perish in the US.

Hurricane Sandy is a very large system.  Don’t focus just on the “cone of death”, serious impacts will be felt for hundreds of miles on either side and hundreds of miles in shore from the cone.

Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.

Capt. Steve Willis
Professional Scuba Bum™
PADI Course Director #39713

25Oct

SANDY UPDATE 2

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FRUSTRATION

Keep in mind that weather forecasting still involves a great deal of art and interpretation.  In this day and age we rely on computers to answer a lot of our questions and solve a lot of outs dilemmas.

Based on the information that was available over the past two days I decided to not return to the Florida Sea Base for Hurricane Sandy.  Through the thought process my concern was that if I drove back it would be for naught and if I didn’t go the system would intensify.  I was right about the latter part.

Tuesday the forecast said the system would be in the Bahamas late Friday.  Yesterday the storm accelerated in forward motion and the system has already crossed Cuba an is approaching the Bahamas.  Yesterday Dr. Masters of Weather Underground posted, “Passage over the rugged terrain of Cuba should weaken Sandy’s winds by 20 – 30 mph, and will likely destroy the hurricane’s eyewall. It will be difficult for the storm to rebuild its eyewall and regain all of that lost strength, in the face of the high wind shear of 20 – 30 knots it will encounter Thursday and Friday.”

As I am writing this, Sandy is clearing Cuba as a Category 2 hurricane, a scenario not forecasted by the experts at the National Hurricane Center, The Weather Channel, Weather Underground or any other sources that I saw.

FORECAST FOR THE FLORIDA SEA BASE

Frustrations aside, it is what it is.  Conditions are forecasted to be a bit tough at the Florida Sea Base Friday and Saturday and maybe even into Sunday.  As you can see from the chart, the wind will have a northwest component by very early Friday morning and will be gusting in the 35 knot range for a couple of days.  This will not be devastating, but I am concerned about the boats (including Escape)  being hammer broadside by the wind and waves for so long.  More accurately, I am concerned about the pilings securing the vessels.  Captain Rich will oversee the situation and several good captains are at the base tending to the boats.

Click to enlarge.

CONCERNS

I mentioned yesterday that there was a disagreement about whether the system would turn east as predicted by the US computer model or turn west as predicted by the European computer model.  There is much more concern this morning that the European projection will come to fruition and the east coast of the United States be seriously impacted by Sandy early next week.

The rainfall in Haiti will be devastating.

We have Florida Sea Base captains and vessels in the Bahamas.  Communications are limited there.  The potential for boat damage and personal injury is high if they have prepared for a tropical storm and get slammed with a Category 2 hurricane.

GOOD NEWS?

There is a bit of good news.  There was concern that the system would spread out if it was diminished in intensity when crossing Cuba.  It looks like that won’t happen.  (However it’s hard to argue that a broad tropical storm is worse than a more compact Category 2 hurricane.)  More good news is that the specific data provided by Chip Kasper (NWS-Key West) for the Florida Sea Base seems to still be spot-on.

SEA SCOUTS

The Sea Scouts are celebrating their 100th anniversary and have a meeting in Dallas this weekend.  Either Captain Rich or I will attend.  While our sailing programs are filled near capacity, the Florida Sea Base in interested in a stronger relationship with the Sea Scouts and making our facilities more available for their use.

Capt. Steve Willis
Professional Scuba Bum™
PADI Course Director #39713

24Oct

SANDY UPDATE 1

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SANDY

Senior Marine Weather Forecaster Chip Kasper sent an email yesterday regarding potential impacts from Hurricane/Tropical Storm Sandy on the Florida Sea Base.

Winds should hold from the northeast or north through Thursday night.  It looks like they probably will back out of the north-northwest  (~25-30 knots) on Friday, and then northwest (20-25 knots) Saturday as Sandy’s expanding cyclonic circulation moves north of the Bahamas.  Diminishing (but still fresh) northwest breezes likely will persist into Sunday, before a veering back to north ensues early next week.

As I have mentioned dozens of times in past posts, the harbor at the Florida Sea Base is very vulnerable to west winds.  Forty-eight hours or more of westerly winds at 20 to 30 knots is not great.  It could be MUCH worse, so we will take it!  Another GOOD note is dry air feeding into the west side of the system.  That is good news for the Keys but VERY bad news for Haiti.

Long term, the European model shows the system intensifying after passing Florida, potentially becoming a very strong storm and slamming into New York.  The US computer model shows the system veering to the east towards Bermuda.

Last night he National Hurricane Center issued a tropical storm watch for waters outside the reef line (about 3 to 4 miles offshore) from Craig Key to Ocean Reef.  This morning the watch has been expanded to include the shore and bay side of the Keys and extended north to Jupiter, Florida.  The Florida Sea Base is about a mile and a half east of Craig Key and is included the warning area.  The Brinton Environmental Center is 50 miles west and NOT included in the warning area.

Click to enlarge.

BULLETIN
TROPICAL STORM SANDY ADVISORY NUMBER   8...CORRECTED
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL       AL182012
500 AM EDT WED OCT 24 2012
WATCHES AND WARNINGS
--------------------
CHANGES WITH THIS ADVISORY...

A TROPICAL STORM WATCH HAS BEEN ISSUED FOR THE EAST COAST OF FLORIDA FROM JUPITER INLET SOUTH
TO OCEAN REEF.

A TROPICAL STORM WATCH HAS BEEN ISSUED FOR THE FLORIDA UPPER KEYS FROM OCEAN REEF SOUTHWARD
TO CRAIG KEY... INCLUDING FLORIDA BAY.
 Yesterday’s 5pm NHC update had Sandy wiggling a tad to the west, a concerning change.  The 8pm update had the storm traveling nearly due north.  The forecast line will likely continue to wiggle.  Hope for the best!  The 5am update looks a little better.  Wiggle,wiggle.

8 pm – Click to enlarge.

5am – Click to enlarge.

I may not have time to post an update tomorrow.  I will be relocating from the D/FW to SE Texas this morning.  That puts me 4.5 hours closer to the Florida Sea Base.  I will decide Wednesday evening/early Thursday morning if I am going to drive back for the storm.  If I drive non-stop (except for gas and potty breaks of course) I can make it from there to the Florida Sea Base in about 19 hours.  Yahoo!!!

NEWTON #5

General Manager Captain Paul Beal has confirmed that the order for Newton #5 (name pending) has been placed and the first payment submitted.  Hopefully the vessel will be ready for an early spring delivery.

Capt. Steve Willis
Professional Scuba Bum™
PADI Course Director #39713

TROPICAL UPDATE

Shortly after making yesterday’s post, Invest 99L was upgraded to Tropical Depression 18 and within 12 hours was upgraded again to Tropical Storm Sandy.   Conditions are favorable for development (that the fancy term used by meteorologists) and MAY become Hurricane Sandy tomorrow after passing over Jamaica as a strong tropic storm.  They system should weaken gain as it crosses Cuba and is then expected to be impacted by very strong wind shear in the Bahamas.  The system bringing the wind shear to the fray should keep Sandy to the east of the Florida Sea Base.  Per usual, Dr. Masters has a great synopsis in yesterday’s blog.

Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.

LOCAL FORECAST

National Weather Service forecast for the Florida Sea Base:

Today: Partly sunny, with a high near 87. Breezy, with a northeast wind 15 to 20 mph.
Tonight: A slight chance of showers. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 77. Breezy, with a east wind 15 to 20 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20%.
Wednesday: A chance of showers. Partly sunny, with a high near 87. Breezy, with a northeast wind around 20 mph. Chance of precipitation is 30%.
Wednesday Night: A chance of showers. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 77. Windy, with a northeast wind around 25 mph, with gusts as high as 30 mph. Chance of precipitation is 30%.
Thursday: A chance of showers. Partly sunny, with a high near 86. Windy, with a northeast wind around 25 mph, with gusts as high as 30 mph. Chance of precipitation is 30%.
Thursday Night: A chance of showers. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 78. Windy. Chance of precipitation is 30%.
Friday: A chance of showers. Mostly sunny, with a high near 86. Windy. Chance of precipitation is 30%.
Friday Night: A slight chance of showers. Mostly clear, with a low around 76. Windy. Chance of precipitation is 10%.
Saturday: A slight chance of showers. Sunny, with a high near 85. Windy. Chance of precipitation is 10%.
Saturday Night: A slight chance of showers. Partly cloudy, with a low around 75. Breezy. Chance of precipitation is 10%.
Sunday: A slight chance of showers. Sunny, with a high near 84. Chance of precipitation is 10%.
Sunday Night: A slight chance of showers. Clear, with a low around 72. Chance of precipitation is 10%.
Monday: A slight chance of showers. Sunny, with a high near 82. Chance of precipitation is 10%.

NWS Marine forecast for the Florida Keys

Today: Northeast to east winds near 20 knots and gusty. Seas 2 to 4 feet. Nearshore waters rough.
Tonight: Northeast to east winds near 20 knots. Seas 2 to 4 feet. Nearshore waters rough. Isolated showers.
Wednesday: Northeast to east winds near 20 knots and gusty. Seas 2 to 4 feet. Nearshore waters rough. Scattered showers.
Wednesday Night And Thursday: Northeast winds 20 to 25 knots and gusty. Seas 3 to 5 feet. Nearshore waters very rough. Scattered showers.
Thursday Night: North to northeast winds near 25 knots and gusty. Seas 3 to 5 feet. Nearshore waters extremely rough. Scattered showers.
Friday: North winds near 25 knots and gusty. Seas 3 to 5 feet. Nearshore waters extremely rough. Scattered showers.
Friday Night: North winds 20 to 25 knots. Seas 2 to 4 feet. Nearshore waters very rough. Isolated showers.
Saturday And Saturday Night: Northwest winds near 20 knots. Seas 2 to 4 feet. Nearshore waters rough. Isolated showers.

The harbor at the Florida Sea Base is well protected from the north and east so impact from Sandy should be minimal, provided she follows the forecasted track.  If the center moves to the western most edge of the cone, the Florida Sea Base could be in for a rougher ride.

Stay tuned.

Capt. Steve Willis
Professional Scuba Bum™
PADI Course Director #39713

22Oct

INVEST 99L

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GOOD NEWS

Most of the computer models show Invest 99L staying east of the Florida Sea Base and Invest 90L is moving to the NE and is not a threat.

BAD NEWS

The weather system pushing Invest 99L is a high pressure system.  It is coming from the NW.  Wind rotates clockwise around high pressure so this system should bring NE winds of 20 knots to the Florida Sea Base.  Invest 99L is (by definition) a low pressure system which rotates counterclockwise. Since it will pass to east it too will generate NE winds at the Florida Sea Base.  The combination of the two systems could result in 25 knot sustained winds with 30+ knot gusts.

The current track has the system moving through the Bahamas.  Several of the Florida Sea Base Coral Reef Sailing captains are in the Bahamas for the winter.  Our thoughts and prayers are with them and the residents of the Bahamas, CubA, the Dominican Republic and Haiti.

On the below graphic for Invest 99L you can see the SHIPS (Statistical Hurricane Intensity Prediction Schemewind intensity forecast.  It shows wind speeds of 53 knots 4 days out (Friday).  However, there are other wind models and the HWRF model shows the winds peaking at 79 knots.  (The SHIPS model is generally the one to bet on but with this system it is the lowest of all of the wind models.)

Click to enlarge.

MEANWHILE

Stay tuned.  I’ll keep you updated.  (In the unlikely event that you don’t have time to watch The Weather Channel.)  I am scheduled to be in Arkansas next week for the 2012 BSA Aquatics Workshop but will remain poised to zip back to the Florida Sea Base if conditions warrant.  “Have Civic.  Will Travel”.  (Rushing towards a hurricane may sound bass-ackwards.)

Life at the Florida Sea Base continues; conferences are meeting at the Brinton Environmental Center, the Sea Base Galley remodeling continues, Kyle Moran and Emily Sepeta are selling used scuba gear, overhauling the used gear we are keeping and assembling the new gear for 2013.  Scheduling and staffing for the 2012 winter season and 2013 seasons is underway and preparations are continuing for the 2012 Divemaster Academy.  “We may doze, but we never close.”

Capt. Steve Willis
Professional Scuba Bum ™
PADI Course Director #39713

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