CAMP INSPECTION

Personnel from the American Camp Association will be at the Florida Sea Base and Brinton Environmental Center today to evaluate our programs and facilities for ACA compliance.  This inspection occurs once every three years.  We passed our BSA accreditation several weeks ago.  The ACA inspection is more frustrating because we don’t fit their mold.  But we will do fine and other than a few staff members, no one will know the ACA has ever been here.

BUDGET

We will officially begin our 2014 budget process on 26 July.  2013 was the first year of dividing the sailing and scuba budgets.  Because of that, there is a lot of work that needs to be done on the Excel Workbooks used by Captain Luke and I.  I have jumped on my revisions early so I can help Captain Luke with his later.  I have spent most of the last three days working on the 12 worksheets for my cost center.  I came to the Keys in 2000 to go scuba diving and sailing.  I dive into spreadsheets and sail through numbers; living the dream.

SAILING

Speaking of Captain Luke, here’s a photo he took of S/V Stormalong, owned by Captain Chris Jennett, returning to the Florida Sea Base T-dock after a successful week at sea.

Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.

SCUBA

The last rotation of divers aboard in our Friday rotation Scuba Liveaboard program completed a whopping 17 dives during their stay.  The Scuba Liveaboard program strives for 15 dives per week, weather allowing.  The divers in the group had to be really hard core to accomplish so many dives, several on days with less than ideal conditions.

WEATHER

Invest 98L has been upgraded to Tropical Depression 4 and is making its way across the Atlantic from Africa.  The track has shifted further south for now, but the system is a long way off.  Yesterday’s information was a bit confusing.  Most sources reported that the system would intensify (which it did) but that it will likely fall apart well before it becomes a threat to the US.  But the models and track forecast don’t seem to support that.  I realize I have very limited to weather data and I am certainly no meteorologist.  But yesterday’s message was confusing for me.  Hope for the best, prepare for the worse.

Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.

Stu Ostro, Senior Meteorologist, The Weather Channel
Jul 23,  2013 4:14 pm ET

ATLANTIC

Satellite images show a center of circulation. The only thing lacking from tropical depression classification is that there hasn’t quite been enough convection (deep rain clouds & thunderstorms) that has persisted and been more symmetric around the center. A modest increase, and NHC would upgrade Invest 98L.

No major changes from previous trosums on the future prospects. The system is within a window of opportunity for development, while challenges lie ahead for it to have to overcome to become anything more than a tropical depression or low-end tropical storm, or for that matter to even survive. There are also significant differences in models’ track forecasts, from over the northern Caribbean islands to far north of there. If it were to reach the Leeward Islands and Puerto Rico, that’d still be 5-6 days away and so there’s plenty of time to monitor the progress.

Dr. Jeff Masters also feels there is little chance of 98L developing into a major storm.

Posted by: Dr. Jeff Masters, 2:23 PM GMT on July 23, 2013

The reliable computer models for tropical cyclone genesis do not predict that 98L will develop this week. In their 8 am EDT Tuesday Tropical Weather Outlook, NHC gave 98L a 40% chance of developing into a tropical cyclone by Thursday. 98L should maintain a west-northwest track through the week, and may spread heavy rains and gusty winds to the northern Lesser Antilles Islands beginning on Saturday night or on Sunday.

The National Hurricane Center confirms that the system will likely develop but then encounter less favorable conditions for sustainability.

TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
800 PM EDT TUE JUL 23 2013

FOR THE NORTH ATLANTIC...CARIBBEAN SEA AND THE GULF OF MEXICO...

1. SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS ASSOCIATED WITH A SURFACE LOW PRESSURE
SYSTEM LOCATED A LITTLE MORE THAN 100 MILES SOUTH-SOUTHWEST OF THE
CAPE VERDE ISLANDS HAVE CHANGED LITTLE IN ORGANIZATION.  AN
INCREASE IN THE AMOUNT AND ORGANIZATION OF THE THUNDERSTORM
ACTIVITY COULD RESULT IN THE FORMATION OF A TROPICAL DEPRESSION...
ALTHOUGH THE LOW WILL BE MOVING INTO AN ENVIRONMENT THAT IS LESS
CONDUCIVE FOR DEVELOPMENT IN A DAY OR TWO.  THIS SYSTEM HAS A HIGH
CHANCE...60 PERCENT...OF BECOMING A TROPICAL CYCLONE DURING THE
NEXT 48 HOURS AS IT MOVES WEST-NORTHWESTWARD AT ABOUT 20 MPH.

ELSEWHERE...TROPICAL CYCLONE FORMATION IS NOT EXPECTED DURING THE
NEXT 48 HOURS.

FORECASTER BERG

I feel a bit of reprieve this morning as now it appears the experts are unsure of TD 4’s future.

Michael Lowry, Hurricane Specialist, The Weather Channel
Jul 24,  2013 5:21 am ET

ATLANTIC

The forecast ahead for newly-formed T.D. Four is tricky. In the near term the system will track generally west-northwestward. There’s been a notable shift in the intensity guidance, with the historically best performing intensity model indicating steady intensification to a Category 1 hurricane by early next week. It’s premature to buy into such an aggressive forecast and it’s also worth noting that even the best performing intensity models have large errors at 5 days. That said, the American model (GFS) is now advertising a more favorable environment ahead than previous runs, so continued development cannot be ruled out.

There’s also been some change to the thinking behind the forecast track. By late week a strengthening dome of high pressure to the north of the cyclone will likely force the system on a more westward course. Although model guidance is now in good agreement on this scenario, subtle changes could mean big differences in possible impacts to the Caribbean islands. All of this, of course, assuming the system holds together.

Bottom line: although more than the usual amount of forecast uncertainty exists, significant near-term development is not expected and the system still remains 4-5 days from any possible land impacts in the western Atlantic and Caribbean.

Our local weather will be perfect for the lobster mobsters today.  Which also means it will be perfect for our scuba crews and snorkeling for the Coral Reef participants.  What’s for dinner?

Capt. Steve Willis
Professional Scuba Bum™
Aboard S/V Escape

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