Hurricane watch

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jfurr
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Re: Hurricane watch

Post by jfurr » Tue Oct 11, 2016 12:43 pm

While I've been lucky, many in our state still without power and rising waters are causing flooding still. It's bad in some places.
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Re: Hurricane watch

Post by jfurr » Sun Aug 27, 2017 5:17 pm

I feel for the families in Houston and other flooded areas of TX. Looks terrible.
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Re: Hurricane watch

Post by bryan k » Mon Aug 28, 2017 7:49 am

I have colleagues in Port Lavaca and Aransas Pass, TX. The good news is that they were forced to evacuate. They are all okay, but they were expected to return to work this morning at 8:00 since we technically run emergency communications in those areas. I don't think that's gonna happen.

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Re: Hurricane watch

Post by jfurr » Tue Sep 05, 2017 9:32 am

Irma is looking like bad news
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Re: Hurricane watch

Post by DougE » Tue Sep 05, 2017 5:11 pm

It's presently tracking right at my old home town in St. Thomas. I can only imagine what everyone is doing there right now. Tracking hurricanes, well actually low pressure systems forming off the coast of Africa, was our daily pastime during the summer months each day. All the yachties would hang out at the bars and that was the main topic of conversation. As they got closer or increased in strength, we all made plans as to what we were going to do if things continued to worsen and/or the track stayed on us. During the time I was there, we somehow managed to avoid the worst of all the storms, but this one is not looking good. Glad I'm no longer in St. Thomas, but my thoughts are with those who are in harm's way. I can picture the major hustle and bustle going on in Red Hook Harbor at this moment. Many will be trying to take their boats up into the mangroves, however, if this passes directly over, or even just south of St. Thomas, the devastation will be catastophic. There is no real protection anywhere from a direct hit.

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Re: Hurricane watch

Post by srogers13 » Tue Sep 05, 2017 7:27 pm

Out of curiosity, how much lead time would be needed to outrun the hurricane, if at all possible?
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Re: Hurricane watch

Post by DougE » Tue Sep 05, 2017 9:49 pm

srogers13 wrote:Out of curiosity, how much lead time would be needed to outrun the hurricane, if at all possible?
If you are talking about outrunning a hurricane on a sailboat, that's really difficult to say. Too many variables. Hurricanes and other low pressure systems don't always move where the forecasts expect them to. There is a projected path, but it can vary by a lot over a few days. On a sailboat, using Irma as an example, you would need a few days to get far enough south to get out of the projected path. However, since you would probably only be able to make 100-200 miles a day, depending on wind direction, sea state and size/design of the sailboat, if you headed out 3 days before the storm were projected to hit you might be able to get out of the way. Of course, the storm can change direction over those three days and stay much further south than anticipated, putting you directly in the path. The closer the storm gets, the more difficult the seas will be to get away. So, my attitude was always to stay put, prepare as best as you can, and hope for the best.

Now, if you are the commander of a Navy ship, you head out to sea and track the storm so you stay away from the worst of it. It can be a rough ride, but is much safer than being near a leeward shore in shallow water, where there is a great opportunity for damage and/or sinking. Even a sailboat is safer at sea than on a lee shore or on a dock in a hurricane. Unfortunately, odds are better that you will keep your life, if you dock or moor the boat and get yourself off and inland. Though your sailboat may survive through a hurricane at sea, odds are good that you personally won't. A sailboat can roll over in 25-35 foot seas. Not a far-fetched wave height in a hurricane. It will get damaged, but unless it is somehow holed, won't necessarily sink. A sailor in those same conditions on a boat that rolls over a few times, probably won't fair as well, even if the boat doesn't sink.

I have been in huge seas in gales at sea for 18-24 hours, as well as many major squalls with downdrafts/microbursts and 60-70 knot winds for short periods. I have battled 25 foot seas (on more than a few occasions over the years) and prayed to God to get me through it each time, making promises to myself to never go to sea again in a sailboat if I got home safely. (I broke those promises many times.) I am talking 40-50 knot gales and 60-70 knot squalls, not 140-150 knot hurricanes. Wind pressure grows exponentially. A 40-50 knot gale is nothing compared to a hurricane at sea.

I'm rambling. Sorry. To answer your question, you don't really outrun a hurricane in a sailboat at sea, if it's headed directly at you. You do your best to stay on the left side of the eye (where there is typically less apparent wind) and then you pray.

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Re: Hurricane watch

Post by jasonfish11 » Tue Sep 05, 2017 9:59 pm

That's crazy. I've been in 12' seas in a power boat and was not happy about that. I couldn't imagine doubling that wave size. I know power boats are completely different than sail boat in high seas but power boats have some agility so you can at least put the bow into the waves. I would feel terrified in 12+ foot seas with out that ability.
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Re: Hurricane watch

Post by DougE » Wed Sep 06, 2017 8:14 am

I have been in 20-25 foot rolling seas (with intermittent breaking waves) and 12 foot short, choppy, breaking seas. Rolling seas can be both scary and exhilarating at the same time. A short, 12 foot breaking sea can easily sink a boat if not handled correctly. Those are not fun.

Wave size in general is only part of the equation. The state of those waves, including the period between each wave, the angle of each wall, the main direction of the waves relative to the boat, the confusion of the waves (coming from different directions, which is very common at sea due to converging winds and weather systems, among other things) and whether or not they are breaking on some, most or all, are things that contribute to the difficulty of keeping a boat upright and on course.

In a hurricane, everything is out the window. On a sailboat, your only hope would be to prepare the boat the best you can. Reduce sail to nothing. The mast and rigging alone will be enough windage to move the boat at 15 knots down the backside of waves. Lash down anything that can move above and below decks. Get your liferaft cannister out and lashed to the boat, ready for deployment, but not where it can be ripped away and lost. Odds are very high that the boat will roll over at least once...or more. So when it starts to get to a point where you can no longer control the boat, protect yourself. Lash the helm and get below. Close up the main hatch behind you and secure it. Get to the smallest space you can find. Surround yourself with berth cushions and start to pray. There is nothing you can do in 150 knot winds to help the boat. The boat will be at the sea's mercy. A well-founded sailing vessel, built for the rigors of bluewater ocean passages anywhere in the world, can take a rollover without much damage to the hull. It can be a safer, albeit petrifying experience for anyone inside that cacoon. It could keep you alive. You are likely to lose some or all of the mast and rigging on a rollover, which can damage the boat if it does not stay clear of the hull. It is common to carry hydraulic cutters on a large sailboat to cut away the rigging if you lose the mast so the seas don't smash it over and over into the hull. (Of course that means someone has to risk their life to actually go on deck to cut it away.)

Once the worst of the storm is on top of you, it is totally up to fate as to whether you survive. All you can do is prepare ahead of time and hope you get lucky.

FWIW, a sport fishing vessel would have virtually no chance. Their hulls are not designed or built to take rollovers. Once they go over 180 degrees, they don't typically come back up. A sailboat is designed to roll. Well, at least one designed and built to go offshore is.

Hurricane Irma looks to be an exceptional storm right now, with winds sustained at 185 mph (About 165 knots). Anything in its path is in dire danger of utter obliteration. Fingers crossed for the Caribbean islands. They are so unprotected.

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Re: Hurricane watch

Post by bkuehn1952 » Wed Sep 06, 2017 9:15 am

The news mentioned that some of the Keys average 5-6 feet above sea level and the storm surge will likely be 9 feet. Some of the Keys will be completely under water.

Some of the big players in providing reinsurance for "Named Storms" and catastrophes are shitting bricks.

BTW, that was an interesting series of posts, DougE. Thanks.
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Re: Hurricane watch

Post by jasonfish11 » Wed Sep 06, 2017 9:25 am

DougE wrote: FWIW, a sport fishing vessel would have virtually no chance. Their hulls are not designed or built to take rollovers. Once they go over 180 degrees, they don't typically come back up. A sailboat is designed to roll. Well, at least one designed and built to go offshore is.
Either way it isn't fun. Like I said the worst I've been in is about 12' seas (14' in the rips) off Islamorada. That was pretty awful as waves were breaking over the top of the bimini. We were in a 25' single engine boat. If the engine had gone out we were screwed as the boat was only 10' wide and would have surely rolled if caught broadside. But the epirb was tied onto me as I was busy on the back deck where my dad was in the helm (and my dad would rather it be on me than him).

One of the guys we crossed over to the bahamas with got stuck half way to west end when the wind flipped from the north unexpectedly. He had a 28' bertram and the seas got around 18'. The bow rail was holding on by 2 screws when they got across the reef the windshield was busted out and 2 guys had used bungee cords to strap themselves down in the cabin.
DougE wrote: Hurricane Irma looks to be an exceptional storm right now
I'm watching this thing, I'm not sure I've ever seen a hurricane so symmetrical before. This thing is a perfect circle, the eye is dead center and also a perfect circle. The intense areas around the eye wall cover 3/4 or more around the storm where they are normally just the NE eye wall. From a pure hurricane perspective this is one of the most impressive storms I've ever seen (I was a little too young to remember what Andrew looked like). Even Katrina wasn't this well formed. I really hope everyone gets out of it's way in time.
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Re: Hurricane watch

Post by legitimatebeef » Wed Sep 06, 2017 9:34 am

This thread is making my palms sweat. :oh
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Re: Hurricane watch

Post by jasonfish11 » Wed Sep 06, 2017 10:57 am

So here is a weather buoy that is north of Puerto Rico.

http://solspot.com/buoy/south-western-atlantic/history/

It will continue to register wave height until it goes offline. Current wave height is around 17' and climbing quickly. I remember monitoring these buoys during Katrina (except I was looking at buoys in the Gulf) and I saw one registering a wave height of about 55' about 6 hours before the eye passed the buoy. Then it went offline (ie lost satellite contact). Also the Gulf of Mexico is relatively shallow so waves that are 20+ feet are pretty few and far between. A 55' wave in the gulf is just insane to think of. I wouldn't be surprised if this buoy registers some wave heights around the same in the next 24 hours. Even though the storm is expected to pass south of the buoy a little.
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Re: Hurricane watch

Post by legitimatebeef » Wed Sep 06, 2017 4:00 pm

jasonfish11 wrote:So here is a weather buoy that is north of Puerto Rico.

http://solspot.com/buoy/south-western-atlantic/history/

It will continue to register wave height until it goes offline.
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Re: Hurricane watch

Post by jfurr » Wed Sep 06, 2017 4:15 pm

People are starting to freak out a little here. Governor declared emergency. People planning coastal evacuations. People buying all the bottled water in the grocery stores etc....

Supposed to be here Tuesday, if the forecasts are correct but who knows.

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Re: Hurricane watch

Post by sjduffers » Wed Sep 06, 2017 5:49 pm

Stay safe out there...

Doug, thanks for your stories on sailing in tough conditions. Quite awesome, literally. SMH.
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Re: Hurricane watch

Post by Duke of Hazards » Wed Sep 06, 2017 7:03 pm

This is scary stuff.

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Re: Hurricane watch

Post by DougE » Wed Sep 06, 2017 7:56 pm

Jason, keep an eye on this thing. If it turns north and misses FL altogether, the Carolinas and even Virginia may be in its sights. Probably not, but stay in tune. Are you near the shore?

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Re: Hurricane watch

Post by jasonfish11 » Wed Sep 06, 2017 9:33 pm

DougE wrote:Jason, keep an eye on this thing. If it turns north and misses FL altogether, the Carolinas and even Virginia may be in its sights. Probably not, but stay in tune. Are you near the shore?
Yeah I'm watching it. Mainly because I have family down in Florida (west coast thankfully).

I'm about a 10 min drive from the ocean. Virginia Beach is a really shitty place to be for a big storm. 100% surrounded by water and it will turn into an island quickly.
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Re: Hurricane watch

Post by DougE » Wed Sep 06, 2017 10:32 pm

I have family (Mom, 2 sisters, nephews, etc.) in Sarasota. I am not too worried about them, but this storm still has the potential to go up the west coast of Florida, so I too am keeping a close eye on things.

It looks like my old friends in St. Thomas got battered.

I have not heard much about Necker Island (in the BVIs), but that is where Richard Branson (of Virgin Atlantic) has his private resort. I think the eye went directly over the island based on the graphics I have seen. He had said he was not going to evacuate a couple days ago. It is a very low lying island. I can't imagine that it wasn't totally devastated.

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Re: Hurricane watch

Post by jasonfish11 » Thu Sep 07, 2017 6:53 am

My parents are out of town so my 94 year old grandmother is planning to just ride it out from their house in Clearwater. Their house is basically the highest point in Clearwater, where as her house is in the 2nd flood zone. I offered to go down there and bring her up to Virginia but she insisted that she is ok. One of my parents neighbors is going to keep an eye on her and there is a shelter about 1 mile from their house if things get bad.

To be fair my grandma is like a tank I worry more about Irma than her. Lol
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Re: Hurricane watch

Post by srogers13 » Thu Sep 07, 2017 8:08 am

jasonfish11 wrote:My parents are out of town so my 94 year old grandmother is planning to just ride it out from their house in Clearwater. Their house is basically the highest point in Clearwater, where as her house is in the 2nd flood zone. I offered to go down there and bring her up to Virginia but she insisted that she is ok. One of my parents neighbors is going to keep an eye on her and there is a shelter about 1 mile from their house if things get bad.

To be fair my grandma is like a tank I worry more about Irma than her. Lol
She probably has enough experience to know where you are is more screwed than where she is. :thumbs :school
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Re: Hurricane watch

Post by jfurr » Thu Sep 07, 2017 10:45 am

All these graphics are showing Irma coming right the hell at us, but will be down to Cat 1 by that time
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Re: Hurricane watch

Post by jfurr » Thu Sep 07, 2017 5:59 pm

We went from the Path of Totality to the Cone of Uncertainty
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Re: Hurricane watch

Post by Duke of Hazards » Thu Sep 07, 2017 11:47 pm

jfurr wrote:We went from the Path of Totality to the Cone of Uncertainty
South Carolina's got it going on!

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