Hurricane season peaking, with records already set
Records were set last month in the hurricane world.
the first time since records were kept, two Category
5 storms made landfall in one season. Hurricane Dean
and Felix hit the Central American/Mexico coastline
within two weeks. Both had better than 160-mph winds
when they struck the coast.
followed tracks that were almost identical, and landfalls were only about 500
miles apart. We’re talking nearly straight
east-to-west paths from formation to making it to shore.
there was loss of life in both landfalls. Damages are still to be determined.
As we reach the peak of Atlantic Ocean
hurricane season, Anna Maria Island and Florida have been spared. So far.
But the end isn’t quite in sight.
Dr. Philip J. Klotzbach and Dr.
William M. Gray, the hurricane gurus from Colorado State University, have updated
their report for the 2007 season.
“Climatologically, September is
the most active month of the hurricane season,” the pair wrote in a report
earlier this month. “Through August, we have observed weaker-than-normal
tradewinds and lower-than-normal sea-level pressures in the tropical Atlantic.
These conditions tend to persist from month to month, and therefore we
expect to see fairly weak tradewinds and lower-than-normal sea-level pressures
in the tropical Atlantic during September as well.
“We are forecasting an active month
for September,” the team concludes.
The Old Farmer’s Almanac 2008 is
out. For some of us weather twits, it’s a time to both look ahead and
review what’s happened. Sometimes we can grin and point, sometimes nod
sagely at the insights revealed in the weird little book, with its hole-punched
pages for easy hanging by the front door, published since 1792.
For Florida in 2008 comes this weather
“Winter will be cooler than normal,
especially across the south, where temperatures will be more than a degree
lower than normal, on average. Watch for freezes in Central Florida in early
to mid-December and in mid- to late-February. Rainfall will be a bit above
normal in the north and near normal in the south. April and May will be drier
than normal, with near-normal temperatures.
“Summer will be hotter and drier
than normal, with temperatures 2 degrees above normal, on average. The hottest
periods will be in early June; early, mid- and late-July; and early and late
August. South Florida will be especially dry, with an enhanced threat of wildfires.
“Despite widespread t-storms in
mid-September, September and October will be drier than normal overall, with
There is no mention of any tropical storms
in the 2008 prediction, by the way.
So how did the Almanac do for 2007?
Pretty much accurate.
Yes, we had a warmer than usual winter.
Yes, we had lower than normal rainfall.
Yes, we had a much drier than average
April and May.
Oops: no, we didn’t have summer
rainfall above average, at least not in our part of the world.
And the jury is still out for September
and October to be “cooler and drier than normal, with temperatures cooler
than normal, on average, and well-below-normal rainfall.”
Don’t you just love to track the
Trouble for Trouble?
Now, onto the wacky front.
Leona Helmsley died last month. The money
maven was a familiar sight on Lido Beach, where she and her late husband, Harry,
owned the Harley Sandcastle Resort. It was one of Harry’s favorite haunts
before his death, and was therefore near and dear, apparently, to Mrs. Helmsley’s
Despite press reports of Mrs. Helmsley’s
demanding nature, a slew of friends have worked at the Sandcastle for years
and years and doted on Mrs. Helmsley. They speak of her generosity, her kindness,
her just being a nice lady. The press paints her as the “queen of mean,” but
none of the folks who worked for her in Sarasota caught any of that action.
So fast-forward to the latest: Trouble.
It seems that her little yappy dog, named
Trouble, was the recipient of $12 million in her will. You’ve probably
seen the reports about how she cut a couple of grandkids out of receipt of
any of her zillions of dollars in favor of charities and, yes, the dog.
Mrs. Helmsley’s brother, Alvin Rosenthal,
was to be caretaker of the little mutt. He’s declined, according to wire
reports, and one of the grandchildren who did get some of her financial largesse
is next in line to care for Trouble.
But, of course, there is more trouble
afoot for Trouble, because Mrs. Helmsley’s will calls for the dog to
be interred with her and Harry when it dies, which apparently violates New
And a former housekeeper is claiming that
since Trouble had trouble keeping its fangs out of her, she wants a piece of
the $12 million doggie trust fund.
Trouble in doggie paradise, eh?
The dog that lets me feed it has been
acting weird of late, as evidenced by the bite marks on my arm.
Yapping is a bit more than usual as well,
although with this little yappy dog, that gauge is a hard one to read.
It’s not a full moon. I don’t
know what’s going on. Anybody got any clues? Is anyone else having dog
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