“You’ve got to listen to your local officials — this storm surge can kill you. My biggest concern is people don’t understand the amount of potential storm surge. This can cover homes. And we just haven’t seen this. We didn’t see this in Andrew.” – Florida Governor Rick Scott
Here’s the latest, as of last night, on Hurricane Irma from wunderground.com…
A hurricane watch and a storm surge watch are up for Florida, from the Florida Keys to Jupiter Inlet, as Category 5 Hurricane Irma heads steadily west-northwest at 16 mph. Hurricane Irma delivered a devastating blow to the Lesser Antilles islands of Barbuda, Saint Barthelemy, Anguilla, and Saint Martin/Sint Maarten early Wednesday morning, then plowed directly though the British Virgin Islands on Wednesday afternoon, packing top winds of 185 mph during the entire rampage. Ten deaths are being blamed on the storm—six on St. Martin, two on Saint Barthelemy, one on Barbuda, and one on Anguilla. Damage photos from the islands show destruction characteristic of an EF4 tornado, and Irma’s 185 mph winds were indeed in the EF4 range of tornado wind speeds. The first island Irma hit, Barbuda (population 2,000) was judged “practically uninhabitable” by the prime minister after 90% of the buildings were damaged and 60% of the population was left homeless.
Irma slightly weaker on Thursday afternoon
Irma has been weakening slightly today. Peak winds fell from 185 mph at 1 am EDT Thursday to 180 mph at 2 am, then to 175 mph at 11 am—still solidly in the Category 5 range. The minimum pressure rose from 914 mb at midnight to 921 mb at 11 am. The most recent 11:56 am EDT eye report from the Hurricane Hunters found another bump up in pressure, to 923 mb. Infrared satellite loops show that the heavy thunderstorms that surround Irma’s eye are no longer as symmetrical or intense. This is particularly true on the storm’s west side, where some moderate wind shear near 10 knots is affecting the storm. Irma’s weakening is also likely due to an eyewall replacement cycle and interaction with the large island of Hispaniola, to the south of Irma. Total precipitable water loops from Thursday, for example, showed that Hispaniola was blocking the inflow of moisture from the south, reducing the amount of moisture in Irma’s core. Irma’s circulation is also pulling air across and then down the high mountains of the island into the core of the hurricane; the downslope winds dry as they descend, injecting more dry air into Irma.
Despite this weakening, even 175 mph winds are catastrophic, and Irma will cause extreme damage in the Turks and Caicos Islands when it moves through on Thursday afternoon, and in the southeast Bahamas on Thursday night and Friday. Parts of central and eastern Cuba and northern Hispaniola may receive localized rainfall of up to 15 inches as Irma passes by. Storm surge levels could reach as high as 20 feet in the Southeastern and Central Bahamas, and as high as 10 feet on parts of Cuba’s northern coast.
Irma maintained 185 mph maximum winds for an extraordinary 37 hours, the longest for any tropical cyclone on record, globally, in the satellite era (since 1966.) The previous record was Super Typhoon Haiyan in the Northwest Pacific, at 24 hours, according to Dr. Phil Klotzbach.
Forecast models now show Irma to be tracking up the middle of the state of Florida. Gov. Rick Scott and state authorities are doing every thing they can to get people to evacuate out of harm’s way. It is a Herculean effort which they are making and I hope that it results in a lot of saved lives.
Meanwhile, the Main Stream Media has been seeking every opportunity to turn this Natural Disaster into something political, including making false claims about the Godfather of Conservative Talk Radio, Rush Limbaugh, who lives in and broadcasts live from West Palm Beach, Florida every weekday.
Per usual, they have accused Rush of all sorts of stuff, including discouraging people from evacuating.
But here, allow me to let him tell you about the matter…
Here’s a summary of what I said to anybody in the path of this hurricane: Take emotion out of the equation. I explained how severe weather events are opportunities for big ratings boosts in the media and explained how it happens. I explained how severe weather events impact retailers and how some retailers are smart enough to coordinate advertising with television stations. It happens! It doesn’t mean it’s bad. It happens. It helps to explain things. And that’s all I do.
Severe weather events are opportunities to advance political agendas, and they are. You can’t miss all of the talk from Harvey on about climate change and people trying to persuade people that it’s behind all this, when it isn’t. I explained there are several hurricane models. They all show numerous and differing possible tracks.
I said I’m not a meteorologist. I said I don’t come to you as an expert. I’m simply telling you I’ve lived in Florida 20 years, I’ve developed my own system for analyzing the data and that I do and that I share it with you. Hurricane tracks can change quickly, unexpectedly. Hurricane Andrew, Category 5, went to Homestead, Florida. That was the last thing it was expected to do. There was no forecast that had it going to Homestead, Florida, and at the last minute it jogged west and went into Homestead, Florida. Took everybody surprise.
And these things can happen because all kinds of different atmospheric conditions are in play here, and a change in any one of them can change a forecast track, not the fault of the forecasters. It’s so complex, climate, atmospherics, meteorology, it’s so complex it can’t be predicted with certitude other than six to 12 hours out. It is not an exact science. And I said if you’re panicked that you can’t find bottled water. Turn on the tap.
I didn’t tell anybody not to drink water. I said there’s a thing in your kitchen called a sink and above that is a thing called a faucet, and there’s either one handle or two, one for hot, one for cold, or you turn the one handle in the right direction, bammo. Until the water gets shut off because of the hurricane you’ve got water out the wazoo in your house. You could fill up the bathtub. You know what you could do? You could get Ziploc trash bags and partially fill them, like 75, 80% of the way, and put them in your freezer. Just load your freezer.
There’s any number of ways to come up with water if you can’t find any bottles at a grocery store. That is all I said. But major American news outlets are out saying I told people not to drink water, you don’t need to buy water, there’s no dire emergency, there’s no dire consequences, it’s all being made up by forecasters because of global warming. I didn’t say anything was made up.
…It is being reported I’m telling people not to drink water, not to worry about it, nothing’s happening; the hurricane’s overblown.
I didn’t say anything of the sort. In fact, the environmentalist wackos should even be placed me. They hate plastic! Plastic bottles, they think, end up in landfill and they’re… Well, they come from petroleum, you know, which they also hate. Here I’m urging people not to use plastic. The environmentalist wackos should be applauding me, patting me on the back. They should be thanking me for my environmental concern.
Of course, this is nothing new as far as the MSM is concerned.
They have been attacking Rush Limbaugh for years.
But, what gets me is that they are so hard up for stories that may vilify him, that they will exaggerate and make up stuff.
I suppose if they are unethical enough to make up Fake News Stories about the President of the United States of America, then making them up about the host of the top syndicated radio program in America would be a piece of cake to them.
Meanwhile, back in the real world, my wife told me last night about the story of an elderly lady who had gone into a Lowe’s in Florida to get a generator before the hurricane hits, because her husband is on oxygen and would not survive without one.
She was told that they were out of generators and she became very upset.
A gentleman saw this and gave her the generator that he had just picked up.
That story touched my heart.
You see, I have relatives in the panhandle and my wife has a wonderful uncle in Orlando, whom she was able to reach by phone yesterday. He lives with his son and daughter-in-law. They will be boarding up their house and evacuating, like hundreds of thousands of other Americans.
And, that’s what it is all about. Americans being faced with a natural disaster beyond our control. We didn’t cause it. Man does not have that power. Nor is it a political issue.
Rather, this is a matter of survival.
And, a time for preparation…and prayer.
May God protect all those in the path of Hurricane Irma.
Until He Comes,