Hurricane Michael

Well, I get a hurricane with my name in it… Hurricane Michael.

In reality, there was another Hurricane Michael in 2000, so I get a “double dip” ;-) Here’s the NOAA PDF on the prior one:

Expected to hit the panhandle of Florida about in the middle of the turn. Storm surge up to 12 feet per CBS News.

The story is going to develop over the next several days, so not a lot in this “story” right now. More just a place to track it as it happens.

CNN says they are having live updates here:

Oddly, there’s a live update page in the UK as well. All those UK folks wintering in Florida?

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
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90 Responses to Hurricane Michael

  1. philjourdan says:

    If you lived in the UK, wouldn’t you winter anywhere else? :-)

    It is supposed to bring us rain by mid week. We have not had rain in 7 days! I think that is the longest period so far this year.

  2. Larry Ledwick says:

    Windy dot com is showing a nice compact circulation shooting the gap between Cuba and the Yucatan peninsula.,-85.825,5

  3. H.R. says:

    We’re headed to Gatlinburg TN, on the 18th. It looks like it will be way past TN and up in the Northeast by Saturday.

    It was moving slowly and I thought the heavy rains would be hitting about the time we arrived in Gatlinburg. But it looks like I won’t need pontoons on the trailer after all.

  4. corsair red says:

    Well, I get a hurricane with my name in it… Hurricane Michael.

    Me, too; and also middle name.

  5. cdquarles says:

    This looks like another Opal. We’ll see. A key is its forward speed and that of a trough headed my way. If the trough gets through here first, it’ll bounce Michael more eastward and have it ingest more cold/dry air. Again, we’ll see. I’m watching Joe Bastardi’s feed. It is impressive, though, given the amount of sheer it’s under. That sheer will relax some then increase later. Remember that trough …

  6. ossqss says:

    Cranky did another good job analyzing the challenges the storm has earlier today, along with updates at the end.

    Here is the last hunter run.

    And a page you can view other hunter missions.

    Hopefully, the wind shear & dry air keep it minimal.

  7. Steven Fraser says:

    GFS model has it getting caught by the cold front, and shovels it across the Atlantic as the diameter of the Low increases, all the way to the UK. Strong winds all the way.

  8. ossqss says:

    Gulping some dry air at the moment. That will help slow the strengthening some.

  9. Larry Ledwick says:

    Current projections for Hurricane Michael.,-85.935,7,m:enRadLv

  10. ossqss says:

    Not sure I see a Cat3 going to 4 here, but best wishes to those in the path. Not good regardless.

  11. E.M.Smith says:

    It will be a long night in the Pan Handle… and tomorrow will be the big show…

  12. Larry Ledwick says:

    Looks like it will be making landfall near mid day per projections.

    This image represents expected location near mid day today.

  13. ossqss says:

    Well, timing of observations is important. Quite a difference one hour can make last night for this storm.

    Recon showed a 931 mb pressure reading a little while ago. That is approaching Cat 5 if not there already.

  14. cdquarles says:

    Dang, it’s going to be rough in Panama City and Panama City Beach. :( Many prayers being made right now. It’s a lot like Opal was, only some 100 miles east. That trough didn’t get here fast enough.

  15. ossqss says:

    In the 920’s now. Not good.

  16. Larry Ledwick says:

    Storm is just off short panama city right now from both the model run and direct radar observation, will come ashore in the next hour or so. model run

    Actual current radar image from WeatherTap

  17. Larry Ledwick says:

    Current public advisory on Hurricane Michael – max sustained winds near 143 mph, peak storm surges near 9-14 ft near Tyndall Air Force Base


    WTNT34 KNHC 101450

    Hurricane Michael Advisory Number 16
    NWS National Hurricane Center Miami FL AL142018
    1000 AM CDT Wed Oct 10 2018


    LOCATION…29.4N 86.0W


    A Tropical Storm Warning has been issued for the coast of North
    Carolina from Surf City to Duck including the Pamlico and Albemarle

    A Storm Surge Watch has been issued for the coast of North Carolina
    from Ocracoke Inlet to Duck.

    The Tropical Storm Watch for the Gulf coast west of the Mississippi/
    Alabama border has been discontinued.


    A Storm Surge Warning is in effect for…
    * Okaloosa/Walton County Line Florida to Anclote River Florida

    A Storm Surge Watch is in effect for…
    * Anclote River Florida to Anna Maria Island Florida, including
    Tampa Bay
    * Ocracoke Inlet North Carolina to Duck North Carolina

    A Hurricane Warning is in effect for…
    * Alabama/Florida border to Suwannee River Florida

    A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for…
    * Alabama/Florida border to the Mississippi/Alabama border
    * Suwanee River Florida to Chassahowitzka Florida
    * North of Fernandina Beach Florida to Duck North Carolina
    * Pamlico and Albemarle Sounds

    A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for…
    * Chassahowitzka to Anna Maria Island Florida, including Tampa Bay

    A Storm Surge Warning means there is a danger of life-threatening
    inundation, from rising water moving inland from the coastline. For
    a depiction of areas at risk, please see the National Weather
    Service Storm Surge Watch/Warning Graphic, available at

    A Hurricane Warning means that hurricane conditions are expected
    somewhere within the warning area.

    A Tropical Storm Warning means that tropical storm conditions are
    expected somewhere within the warning area.

    A Storm Surge Watch means there is a possibility of life-
    threatening inundation, from rising water moving inland from the

    A Tropical Storm Watch means that tropical storm conditions are
    possible within the watch area.

    Interests elsewhere across the southeastern United States should
    monitor the progress of Michael.

    For storm information specific to your area, including possible
    inland watches and warnings, please monitor products issued by your
    local National Weather Service forecast office.

    At 1000 AM CDT (1500 UTC), the eye of Hurricane Michael was located
    near latitude 29.4 North, longitude 86.0 West. Michael is moving
    toward the north-northeast near 14 mph (22 km/h). A turn toward the
    northeast is expected this afternoon or tonight. A motion toward
    the northeast at a faster forward speed is forecast on Thursday
    through Friday night. On the forecast track, the core of Michael is
    expected to move ashore along the Florida Panhandle early this
    afternoon, move northeastward across the southeastern United States
    tonight and Thursday, and then move off the Mid-Atlantic coast away
    from the United States on Friday.

    Data from NOAA and Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft
    indicate that maximum sustained winds are near 145 mph (230 km/h)
    with higher gusts. Michael is an extremely dangerous category 4
    hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Some
    strengthening is still possible before landfall. After landfall,
    Michael should weaken as it crosses the southeastern United States.
    Michael is forecast to become a post-tropical cyclone on Friday, and
    strengthening is forecast as the system moves over the western

    Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 45 miles (75 km) from the
    center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 175 miles
    (280 km). A private weather station at Bald Point, Florida,
    recently reported a sustained wind of 54 mph (87 km/h) with a gust
    to 61 mph (98 km/h). A wind gust to 46 mph (74 km/h) was recently
    reported inland at Tallahassee, Florida.

    The latest minimum central pressure based on data from the
    reconnaissance aircraft is 928 mb (27.41 inches).

    STORM SURGE: The combination of a dangerous storm surge and the
    tide will cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by
    rising waters moving inland from the shoreline. The water has the
    potential to reach the following heights above ground if peak surge
    occurs at the time of high tide…

    Tyndall Air Force Base FL to Aucilla River FL…9-14 ft
    Okaloosa/Walton County Line FL to Tyndall Air Force Base FL…6-9 ft
    Aucilla River FL to Cedar Key FL…6-9 ft
    Cedar Key FL to Chassahowitzka FL…4-6 ft
    Chassahowitzka to Anna Maria Island FL including Tampa Bay…2-4 ft
    Sound side of the North Carolina Outer Banks from Ocracoke Inlet to
    Duck…2-4 ft

    WIND: Tropical storm and hurricane conditions are spreading
    onshore along the U.S. Gulf Coast within the warning areas.
    Hurricane conditions will also spread well inland across portions of
    the Florida Panhandle, southeastern Alabama and southwestern Georgia
    later today and tonight.

    Tropical storm conditions are expected to spread northward within
    the warning area along the southeast U.S. coast beginning tonight
    through Friday.

    RAINFALL: Michael is expected to produce the following rainfall
    amounts through Friday…

    Florida Panhandle and Big Bend, southeast Alabama, and portions of
    southwest and central Georgia…4 to 8 inches, with isolated maximum
    amounts of 12 inches. This rainfall could lead to life-threatening
    flash floods.

    The remainder of Georgia, the Carolinas, and southern Virginia…3
    to 6 inches, with isolated maximum amounts of 8 inches. This
    rainfall could lead to life-threatening flash floods.

    Florida Peninsula, eastern Mid Atlantic, southern New England
    coast…1-3 inches.

    SURF: Swells generated by Michael will affect the coasts of the
    eastern, northern, and western Gulf of Mexico during the next day
    or so. These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf
    and rip current conditions. Please consult products from your local
    weather office.

    TORNADOES: Tornadoes are possible across parts of the Florida
    Panhandle and the northern Florida Peninsula through this afternoon.
    This risk will spread northward into parts of Georgia and southern
    South Carolina this afternoon and tonight.

    Next intermediate advisory at 100 PM CDT.
    Next complete advisory at 400 PM CDT.

    Forecaster Brown

  18. Larry Ledwick says:

    Landfall in progress at this time just south east of Panama City passing almost directly over Tyndall AFB

  19. Larry Ledwick says:

    Poking around appears they are staging power repair equipment in Pensacola.
    Renee Beninate
    15 hours ago

    Hundreds of power trucks are being staged at the #Pensacola Fairgrounds in preparation for #HurricaneMichael. Workers say the companies are from all around the south @weartv #C3N #NWFL #FLwx

  20. Larry Ledwick says:

    Video clip of Texas storm chasers where they should not be, as Michael comes ashore.
    (strong language)

  21. Jon K says:

    I can’t imagine those storm chasers are still uninjured. That’s the craziest hurricane video I’ve ever seen.

  22. E.M.Smith says:

    With 155 mile / hour winds at landfall, those storm chasers are / were in grave danger. one 2 x 4 chunk through their window and it’s all over. They need an armored vehicle with iron bars over the windows to do that kind of stunt.

    Per truck staging: On several runs, I’ve “got out of Dodge” as some hurricane or other was moving in. On a couple of runs I’d be maybe 100 miles away from projected path, and there would be miles of power company trucks parked on the shoulder waiting for the time to enter. All sorts of brands and several States plates… It’s just amazing to see this small army of guys ready and waiting to put the place back together.

    Watching CBS at the moment, their crew ran into a hotel just in time (needed to help the staff tie the door shut as it was not staying shut…

    One image out a window showing a roof coming down into the parking area. Likely some kind of parking area roof. It’s just a load of junk on the cars now.

    The CBS guys said a lot of other media crews were in the building with them. I suspect some folks are discovering what Cat 5 means… It means don’t do any outdoors shots and even through windows on the downwind side “has issues”…

    Looks like present projections have it running over most of Georgia and S. Carolina…

    Weather Nation has video from inside a car with water flushing up the windshield. The story says they abandoned their vehicle to get to higher ground… While they are saying these are professionals who know what to do – looks to me like they got caught out in surge. Any time you must abandon your vehicle you’ve done something wrong.

  23. E.M.Smith says:

    NBC just went to ‘Lester Holt live!’ and he was in a hotel room with the crew putting a mattress against the patio door / window. So barricading the place. His report? “We’d like to keep reporting but we need to take care of the crew. Lester Holt signing off” as a paraphrase…

    I think we’ll be seeing some bedraggled reporting after the eye passes ;-)

  24. Larry Ledwick says:

    Damage image from Mexico beach Florida.

    Panama City Beach Area

  25. E.M.Smith says:

    Watching WCTV Tallahassee local news on the Roku, the weatherman was mid spiel and the weather radar went down. They were undoubtedly getting a feed from a major common provider (like NOAA) and it just quit.

    I find it fascinating to be able to just “drop in” to a local station in the area where something is happening and get the local flavor and color on things. That, alone, makes the Roku worth it to me. Hundreds of stations from all over the globe on demand.

    Right now the Mac McNeill Jefferson County Sheriff is being interviewed about what they are doing (staying out to about 35 MPH wind, then heading to a bunker, then back later). 150 folks in a local shelter. Detail you just don’t get from the “Majors”…

  26. E.M.Smith says:

    WJHG Panama City is “currently experiencing technical difficulties” with their Live Stream – No Duh!

    Interesting that you can map the extent of storm impact by what the various local stations are reporting, or unable to report…

  27. E.M.Smith says:

    Useful place to find call signs to search for to pick out stations that might be near:

    Panama City TV Channels
    7 WJHG NBC

    ID: “News Channel 7”
    City: Panama City, FL
    Owner: Gray Television
    Web Site:
    Station Info: Digital Full-Power – 316 kW

    13 WMBB ABC

    ID: “News 13”
    City: Panama City, FL
    Owner: Nexstar Media Group
    Web Site:
    Station Info: Digital Full-Power – 316 kW

    28 WPGX FOX

    ID: “FOX 28”
    City: Panama City, FL
    Owner: Raycom
    Station Info: Digital Full-Power – 1260 kW

    (47) WPCT Tourist

    City: Panama City Beach, FL
    Owner: Beach TV Properties
    Station Info: Digital Full-Power – 126 kW

    51 WBIF Daystar

    City: Marianna, FL
    Owner: Daystar Television Network
    Station Info: Digital Full-Power – 50 kW

    56 WFSG PBS

    City: Panama City, FL
    Owner: University of Florida
    Web Site:
    Station Info: Digital Educational Full-Power – 1150 kW

  28. cdquarles says:

    Yep, it’s going to be ugly. Eye crossing I-10 and along US 231. Dothan is going to be hurt some. US 90/98, which runs along the coast in places, is going to be impassable for some time.

  29. cdquarles says:

    I’m some 200 miles north … getting light to moderate rain and light winds. Guessing we’ll get less than an inch of rain from Michael; but there’s a nasty cold front to the west. That won’t help. Forecast low for tomorrow night is going to be upper 40s, which is below average for mid October and more like November; though not unheard of around here.

  30. E.M.Smith says:


    Hope you fair well and get those light rains with the storm drifting off east (and not going too far north…). Yup – warm storm then cold. Not a good combination.

    I’ve taken those 90 / 98 coastal roads sometimes for variety. Plenty of fun places to see and visit (took a “bath” in the gulf at one little “3 cars and a bathroom” beach once along the panhandle there). I hope it doesn’t get too messed up 8-(

  31. E.M.Smith says:

    WCTV Tallahassee reporting over 60,000 without power in the city along with about 30,000 out from Duke and another power company in the surrounding area. I wonder if the station will stay up…

  32. E.M.Smith says:

    Tallahassee Stations ( some may have direct internet sites / b’casts as well as Roku or other apps)

    Tallahassee – Thomasville TV Channels
    6 WCTV CBS

    ID: “WCTV Eyewitness News”
    City: Thomasville, GA
    Owner: Gray Television
    Web Site:
    Station Info: Digital Full-Power – 97.7 kW

    11 WFSU PBS

    City: Tallahassee, FL
    Owner: Florida State University
    Web Site:
    Station Info: Digital Educational Full-Power – 316 kW

    24 WTLF The CW

    City: Tallahassee, FL
    Owner: KB Prime Media
    Station Info: Digital Full-Power – 1000 kW

    (22) WTXL ABC

    ID: “News Channel ABC 27”
    City: Tallahassee, FL
    Owner: Southern Broadcast Corp/Calkins Media
    Web Site:
    Station Info: Digital Full-Power – 2690 kW

    40 WTWC NBC

    ID: “NBC 40”
    City: Tallahassee, FL
    Owner: Sinclair
    Web Site:
    Station Info: Digital Full-Power – 3160 kW

    (43) WSWG CBS

    City: Valdosta, GA
    Owner: Gray Television
    Web Site:
    Station Info: Digital Full-Power – 1700 kW

    49 WTLH FOX

    ID: “FOX 49”
    City: Bainbridge, GA
    Owner: New Age Media
    Web Site:
    Station Info: Digital Full-Power – 1000 kW

  33. Larry Ledwick says:

    Before and after picture of an office building

  34. Larry Ledwick says:

    Tree damage

  35. E.M.Smith says:

    Looks like WCTV is actually in Ga though they talk like they are in Tallahassee… and has a live stream here:

    this one WTXL is ABC in Tallahassee and claims to have a live feed on the ‘net:

  36. Larry Ledwick says:

    Video clip

  37. E.M.Smith says:

    WTXL reporting road closures “I-10 has trees over it… it doesn’t really matter what road you are on there are trees down”…

    Uh, yeah…

  38. Larry Ledwick says:

    This is interesting, I remember the news coverage of Camille, although Camille made land fall at night as I recall but the stories of hurricane parties getting washed away were shocking news for the time.

    NEW: Hurricane Michael is the strongest storm to hit the U.S. since Hurricane Camille in 1969, and is the 3rd strongest ever on record – AP

  39. E.M.Smith says:

    WBS in Atlanta also has coverage as the hurricane is now in Georgia…
    Also has a radio station:

    Some other choices to search in Georgia:

    Atlanta TV Channels
    (39) WSB ABC

    ID: “Action News 2”
    City: Atlanta, GA
    Owner: Cox Enterprises
    Web Site:
    Station Info: Digital Full-Power – 1000 kW
    Subchannels: 2.1 WSB/ABC, 2.2 Me TV

    4 WUVM-LP Azteca America

    City: Atlanta, GA
    Owner: Northstar Media
    Station Info: Low-Power – 2.5 kW

    (27) WAGA FOX

    ID: “FOX 5”
    City: Atlanta, GA
    Owner: Fox Television Stations
    Web Site:
    Station Info: Digital Full-Power – 1000 kW

    8 WGTV PBS

    City: Athens, GA
    Owner: Georgia Public Broadcasting
    Web Site:
    Station Info: Digital Educational Full-Power – 21 kW

    (10) WXIA NBC

    ID: “11 Alive”
    City: Atlanta, GA
    Owner: Tegna Media
    Web Site:
    Station Info: Digital Full-Power – 80 kW

    (51) WPXA

    City: Rome, GA
    Owner: Ion Media Networks
    Station Info: Digital Full-Power – 1000 kW
    Subchannels: 14.1 Ion, 14.2 Qubo, 14.3 Ion Life, 14.4 Ion Shop, 14.5 QVC, 14.6 HSN

    (20) WPCH Independent

    ID: “Peachtree TV”
    City: Atlanta, GA
    Owner: Time Warner
    Web Site:
    Station Info: Digital Full-Power – 1000 kW

    22 WSKC-CD MBC

    City: Atlanta, GA
    Owner: KM Communications
    Station Info: Class-A Digital – 10 kW
    Subchannels: 22.1 WSKC/Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation (Korean)

    (30) WTBS-LD France 24

    City: Atlanta, GA
    Owner: Prism Broadcasting Network
    Station Info: Digital Low-Power – 15 kW
    Subchannels: 26.1 France 24, 26.2 Untamed Sports TV, 26.3 Tuff TV, 26.4 Jewelry TV, 26.5 Oldie Goldie, 26.6 Prism TV, 26.7 This TV, 26.8 Tr3s, 26.9 LATV, 26.1 Vida TV

    (21) WPBA PBS

    City: Atlanta, GA
    Owner: Atlanta Public Schools
    Web Site:
    Station Info: Digital Educational Full-Power – 55.4 kW

    32 WANN-CA Shopping / News

    City: Atlanta, GA
    Owner: Prism Broadcasting Network
    Station Info: Class-A – 18.2 kW

    (24) WGTA Independent

    City: Toccoa, GA
    Owner: Marquee Broadcasting
    Web Site:
    Station Info: Digital Full-Power – 240 kW
    Subchannels: 32.1 Heroes and Icons, 32.2 Decades, 32.3 Movies!

    (48) WUVG Univision

    City: Athens, GA
    Owner: Univision Communications
    Station Info: Digital Full-Power – 1000 kW
    Subchannels: 34.1 Univision, 34.2 Unimas, 34.3 GetTV]34.4 Escape

    (25) WATL My Network TV

    ID: “My ATL TV”
    City: Atlanta, GA
    Owner: Tegna Media
    Web Site:
    Station Info: Digital Full-Power – 500 kW

    (19) WGCL CBS

    ID: “CBS Atlanta”
    City: Atlanta, GA
    Owner: Meredith Corporation
    Web Site:
    Station Info: Digital Full-Power – 1000 kW
    Subchannels: 46.1 CBS Atlanta/WGCL

    (41) WATC Religious

    City: Atlanta, GA
    Owner: Carolina Christian Broadcasting
    Web Site:
    Station Info: Digital Educational Full-Power – 165 kW

    (44) WHSG TBN

    City: Monroe, GA
    Owner: Trinity Broadcasting Network
    Web Site:
    Station Info: Digital Full-Power – 700 kW
    Subchannels: 63.1 WHSG/TBN, 63.2 Church Channel, 63.3 JCTV, 63.4 Enlace USA, 63.5 Smile of a Child

    (43) WUPA The CW

    ID: “CW 69”
    City: Atlanta, GA
    Owner: CBS Corporation
    Web Site:
    Station Info: Digital Full-Power – 1000 kW

    14 Full-Power Television Stations in the Atlanta market.

  40. E.M.Smith says:

    WTXL showing a very wet “drowned rat” like CNN reporter talking about the aftermath and damage caused… A guardrail on a road behind him was blown over – you know, those metal things set in cement… I suspect it was where the shoulder fell away and the dirt washed out.

    This guy sure looks like he’s thinking “How did I get signed up for this?” as the photographer is wiping the lens every 30 seconds or so…

  41. Larry Ledwick says:

    Storm damage clip

    damage in Panama City

    Train cars blown over in the rail yard

    ABC7 news video clip

    Damage to boat storage lot

  42. Larry Ledwick says:

    Lots more pictures here in this twitter thread:

  43. Larry Ledwick says:

    Central pressure vs sustained wind speed chart.

  44. ossqss says:

    I would note, we had planes flying in this storm constantly. More than one most times. That did not happen 10 years ago, let alone 50. Just like Patricia (EPAC), we garner data from direct obs, vs Sat interpolation as was done in the past since sat’s existed.

  45. Larry Ledwick says:

    Some more storm images
    Before and after of shore properties, one completely disappeared.

    wind damage video clip

    Panama City

    Mexico Beach

  46. ossqss says:

    Interesting data. Remember this was a 155 mph storm at landfall. The AF base was right at the center point of landfall, right on the water.

    These are gusts.

  47. E.M.Smith says:

    Will be interesting to see if the AFB was hardened for this so “no problem” or the usual light ‘abandon if leaving’ buildings and it’s a clean slate…

    Good thing the eye was small and the damage zone wasn’t a long lingering walk along the coast for days…

  48. Larry Ledwick says:

    Eye wall video during eye passage.

  49. Larry Ledwick says:

    Another video of hurricane conditions and damage in Panama City.

  50. ossqss says:

    Larry, that eye thing was increadible!

    EM, they said there were a few people staying on that AFB. Tells me something was hardened there. I would imagine old hangars would be a problem.

    It will be interesting to see how buildings from different code requirement times do in the end. There is a good learning opportunity here. Florida has had several significant changes on construction code since Andrew (1992) and the benefit was show after Wilma (2005). We shall see after this one too.

  51. E.M.Smith says:

    I know I’ve learned:

    a) Get The Hell OUT! It isn’t that hard to leave early.
    b) IFF you get stuck find a high concrete component parking garage and pay to park if needed!
    c) It is very easy to drive faster than the wind if you leave early.
    d) You can not resist the wind if you didn’t leave early (but lots of concrete can…)

    I’m actively studying this as I’m going to be living in it soon enough. Learning by proxy, sitting on a couch sipping Texas Trailboss Coffee, is far far easier than learning the hard way…

  52. Larry Ledwick says:

    Larry’s after action report:
    In the last couple years I have actively tried to provide hurricane updates / forecast info for some friends and co-workers and have a few observations as a result.

    The free windy(dot)com web site is probably the best single zero cost resource out there. If you load the page you will see in the lower right a 3 value bar that represents the weather models being displayed.

    It appears to default to displaying the ECMWF9km model, this morning the NAM5km model was a best match with real world radar info. By using the effective date slider in the lower left you can get predictive model output for several days in the future, very handy to predict things like land fall time and location.

    I now do most of my monitoring using the windy display, and using the default wind plot but occasionally clicking to the gusts icon to see peak gusts or going down to the waves icon which allows you to see wave heights and swell heights, there is also a sea surface temperature option.

    The windy plot is visually intuitive to understand and clear so very good to take a screen cap to send to someone. During both Florence and Michael the predictive locations and actual events were very close under 2 days.

    I also use a subscription weather service called weathertap which for only about $6 a month allows you to get real time radar (rather than the slightly delayed radar seen on the news channels) and if you go to their radar lab HD+ display you can do all sorts of things like measure distance to a radar feature etc. Under their severe tab on the main page you can pull up the full text warnings issued by the weather service and on the HD+ display you can set custom locations (like your home or friends homes or work place on the map) This allows you to predict arrival of weather features to a resolution of about 5 minutes of actual time.

    For the storm surge predictions you need precise terrain altitude figures to compare to predicted surge heights to figure out risk, the best solution I found for that, was to use this map viewer from the US govt.

    Like google maps you can zoom all the way down to street level info, and by picking some options precisely figure the terrain altitude above sea level to a precision of about 4 inches.

    On the top bar are some icon options near the left side is one that looks like a stack of 3 pieces of paper called “layers” using it you can turn on various layers for display.

    If you select the “elevations contours” layer it enhances the topographic contours so they are easier to see. “Transportation” enhances highways etc. “geographic names” adds locations for smaller towns etc. The icon that looks like a ruler lets you make measurements between features and the one labeled XY and a mountain allows you to pick a specific location high resolution elevation.

    Between those three sources and just watching twitter feeds you can get a very good picture of what is going on or will likely happen some time in the future without having to hover over a TV broadcast hoping they will have a feature on what you are interested in.

    The wind speeds reported in the media are higher than the surface wind speeds reported on the windy display but you can sync the two by using the elevation slider on the far right side of the display – today best agreement with reported wind speeds in the media and weather service bulletins was by using a wind velocity reporting altitude of 330 ft (100 meters) or 2000 ft (600 meters)

    For what it is worth to all the weather geeks.

  53. A C Osborn says:

    Larry, some MSM are using the 100-300m wind speeds to compare to 6ft wind speeds thus we have the headlines that this was the second most powerful storm in US History, others say the 4th worst.

  54. Larry Ledwick says:

    A little PDF from the air force researching wind speed variation with height for missile sites.

    Ballistic missile silos have an upper limit wind speed above which they cannot launch the birds due to the wind trying to tip the missile as it leaves the silo and also if the wind pressures push the missile over too far for the guidance system to compensate, it can result in loss of control and break up of the missile body.

    Click to access 274240.pdf

    Just because it is interesting (missile wind launch limits paper)

    Click to access 19660007269.pdf

  55. Larry Ledwick says:

    From twitter: (Tyndall AFB severely damaged by Hurricane Michael)

    Lucas Tomlinson

    Verified account

    6 minutes ago
    UPDATE: ‘Widespread catastrophic damage’ at Tyndall Air Force Base near Panama City, Fla., Air Force says. ‘Roof damage to nearly every home’ on base. Evacuation order remains for all personnel. Ahead of Hurricane Michael’s landfall, more than 50 F-22 stealth fighter jets moved

  56. cdquarles says:

    Why? Local weather conditions. Strong trough to the west, moving slowly. Strong ridge to the east. Warm enough water. Relaxed wind shear. Storm that big making its own weather. That strong trough is expected to reach me tonight. Had it gotten to the coast two days ago, things would have been different. Overnight lows to be in the 50s in the area tonight (was 70s). Overnight lows in the 40s where I am.

  57. H.R. says:

    @Larry: Thanks for the link to the national map. I landed there several years ago – looking for fishing info, of course – but it was bookmarked on my old computer and didn’t get carried over to this computer. Yes indeedy! it is a great resource.

    I’ve searched for it a few times, but I didn’t recall to search on USGS. Duh! No wonder I couldn’t find it again.

    Thanks, again. It’s bookmarked on this computer now.

  58. ossqss says:

    Here is a good site for surge type info also. I know some of the programmers who have worked on this.

  59. H.R. says:

    @E.M. – Add “Stash of fuel in a safe place for the car and generator when the all clear to return is given.”

    It takes a while for gas stations to get up and pumping and it takes a while to resupply them.

    Of course, if you go with a fifth-wheel rig, you just arrange to stay away from home base for a month or so. No harm in leaving early and arranging to go to a place you’d find interesting anyhow. Gotta get that fifth-wheel out of the wind or it’s a goner.

    Hey! You never lose your home to a hurricane that way. Chalk up another plus for a fifth-wheel instead of buying a house.

  60. Larry Ledwick says:

    Capturing links to a few more damage pictures from Hurricane Michael

    Damage at Mexico Beach Florida

    Panama City Florida

    (has 104 photos in an album – you can get full resolution images if you right click on the album images copy the link and edit off the crop information following the question mark)

  61. Larry Ledwick says:

    video aerial view

    Tyndall AFB damage video airborne

    News crew drive around video Panama City video

    Mexico Beach video clip

  62. Larry Ledwick says:

    Last post probably got gobbled by spam for too many image links

    [Reply: It went to “moderation” not SPAM, but yes. Links. Approved and up now. -E.M.S.]

  63. E.M.Smith says:


    We’re sort of “negotiating” over the terms of the move ;-)

    Original intent was likely a Class A (the 5th Wheel has potential but usually the bedroom is uphill and the spouse is not “stair friendly”… and yes, we’re working on the entry stair problem with the Class A type with a “basement” meaning a ladder to get in… 8-{ pah.)

    Spouse has visions of 3 Guest Rooms so everyone she’s ever known or can call a relative 12 times removed can come visit and go to Disneyworld together… That’s not going on wheels.

    So somewhere along the line we’ll need to narrow that gap into something that can actually be done. First step is that we’re going to rent an RV for a week and run around the East Coast monuments and such tour. That will give us a read on how much we like the experience and is it long term acceptable or only on weekends… Then the rest will sort out more rapidly.

    I’m not keen on the idea of sinking a lot of asset value into something that can be “Gone with the Wind”… OTOH, near Orlando you get Tropical Storms and only very very rarely a low cat number hurricane petering out, so lots of possibles to have a sturdy structure there. (Though lots of sinkhole issues…)

    Yet with a big ‘ol RV, we’d have to leave the rest of the fleet behind “somewhere”… so in any case assets are going to be “at risk”.

    We’ll just have to see how it evolves as we work through the conflicting goals and desires. It is likely about a year away anyway. Still lots to finish up here, and I’m not getting it done anywhere near as fast as I ought to…

  64. E.M.Smith says:

    Oh, and from the Odd Even plate years during the Arab Oil Embargo:

    Part of why I have excess cars is that they are a mobile gas tank and electricity source. The Diesel gets about 450 miles on a tank and the fuel is stable for a year or two+. The gas cars are about 300 to 350 miles each. All up, it’s about 1500 miles of fuel on wheels or lots and lots of days of electricity via the 1 kW inverter in my kit. As long as the cars survive, we have fuel and power.

    Most insurance and CC&Rs and even local ordinances forbid on site storage of more than a couple of gallons of gasoline; but they don’t limit the gas in tanks of your cars… I’ve got something like 60 gallons of gasoline and 18 of Diesel when they are all full, and I keep them filled each week or two.

    We do intend to drop a couple of vehicles in the move, so those numbers will drop ‘going forward’. Then again, an RV with big tanks holds a lot too… so post move it might go back up. The present plan is for the 2 4×4 vehicles to move to Florida along with the Baby Benz. That’s about 50 gallons of gasoline. The Diesel stays in California as long as we are flying back in (it does NOT need any smog test to renew the reg – just pay the fees – and the fuel is stable in storage) but it will not go to Florida. It is having issues with not being water proof (very old seals and the AC drain clogs so it dribbles in my feet ;-) plus the paint has pits in it that will be come rust buckets in Florida). What will happen when that day comes is unclear. Don’t really want to sink $5000 into the fix-up, but really love the car. (Maybe I’ll get a house with a 4 car garage ;-)

    So that’s how I’ve handled the “Post quake” gasoline and power availability issue until now. And yes, some are Odd and some are Even plates ;-) Learned that trick in the Arab Oil Embargo and never forgot it. We had 3? cars in the family and 4 drivers then, and Dad picked up a “junker” with a big tank for nearly nothing – that we kept full and ready as needed. When someone ran low and it wasn’t “their day” they used whatever had fuel in it. Never had any problems at all…

    What Florida adds to the problem is the question of how to keep the cars safe as we bug out. So sturdy garage with hurricane proof door is a requirement. (The garage door is the typical failure point in losing the home and roof – I’m going to be learning a lot about garage doors next year ;-)

  65. ossqss says:

    Interesting drone footage that is a visual testamate as to how construction code changes over time relate to building damage in a hurricane. Some of those newer buildings look untouched.

  66. ossqss says:

    Go Pro video of the storm. Makes me wonder if I should build a house out of gas station signs?

  67. E.M.Smith says:

    Or maybe whatever the GoPro was bolted to…

    Or just order a bunker like house from folks like these:

    In a Nutshell
    What is this website all about?

    It is not difficult to build low-cost, energy-efficient homes that will totally protect the lives and property of those who live in them from the most severe natural disasters*:

    Fire Storms

    * Not valid for direct hits from atomic bombs or meteor strikes.

    What you need to know about HOW TO DO IT is discussed in this website in as much detail as is needed to get the job done — and then some. In summary:

    I’ve seen one example with a rebar / concrete construction with integral roof (metal roll down shutters over windows) that had a pickup truck parked on top… just to make a point.

    Has one example approach is to put the home under a concrete dome…

    A newer concept that is starting to catch on in Oklahoma is to build the house under a concrete dome structure. The rounded shape of the dome presents less wind surface loading, making the home much less vulnerable to wind impacts; it’s also possible that the rounded shape makes debris more likely to glance off rather than hit square on, or to miss entirely. While it’s still too soon to say that these designs are tornado-proof, they are almost certainly more resistant than traditional home designs.

    Is it possible to build a tornado-proof house? originally appeared on Quora – the knowledge sharing network where compelling questions are answered by people with unique insights.

    Answer by Kelly Kinkade, storm spotter in Illinois since 2008, on Quora:

    Not easily, and not without spending an extraordinary amount of money. The strongest tornadoes can generate winds in excess of 300 miles per hour. Storms with these speeds can literally hurl chunks of rock, pieces of buildings, and even whole cars around like a toddler having a tantrum with a PlayMobil playset. Thus, to make a structure totally tornado-proof requires that the structure be designed to withstand both the impact of a one-ton boulder being hurled at it at 100-150 miles per hour as well as wind loads of 300 mph or more. This means you need a structure made out of either foot-thick reinforced concrete or two to three inch thick solid steel armor plate. Doors must be solid steel with reinforced frames and extra strong locking mechanisms (otherwise the storm will just suck the door open). No windows.

    Here’s a basic design for a tornado-proof safe room:

    Many homes in Oklahoma have a “safe room” along this design. The tornado may destroy the house but the safe room is likely to survive.

    While building a house along these lines is possible, the house would be extremely expensive, and most people would not enjoy the idea of having a house with no windows.

    A newer concept that is starting to catch on in Oklahoma is to build the house under a concrete dome structure. The rounded shape of the dome presents less wind surface loading, making the home much less vulnerable to wind impacts; it’s also possible that the rounded shape makes debris more likely to glance off rather than hit square on, or to miss entirely. While it’s still too soon to say that these designs are tornado-proof, they are almost certainly more resistant than traditional home designs.

    This concrete dome house in Blanchard, OK took a direct hit from an EF4 tornado in 2014. While the windows were blown out and there was significant damage, the structure survived. Most other structures in the area were stripped to the foundation.

    (Image: A Testament to the Dome Shape)

    But that picture shows a really beaten up dome (click through the dome picture to #2 and it’s got big holes in the walls…

  68. jim2 says:

    EM – Maybe a concrete dome home built up on concrete columns?

  69. jim2 says:

    Oops! Never mind!!

  70. E.M.Smith says:


    The domes are better than the squares. On stilts avoids surge damage. Thick concrete is better than thin. Some domes are “thin shells” and while good for modest wind are not going to stand up to a tornado or Cat 4-5 hurricane. For that you need bunker thick concrete.

    The homes I saw being advertised where about a foot thick rebar rich concrete walls, floor, and roof; then with heavy duty (blast proof?) roll down steel window covers outside (and who knows what else inside – I’d likely have a few inch thick steel shutters…).

    Make a dome like that and it will be even better.

    The best designs have the concrete shell under gently sloping ground (about 2 foot of dirt cover minimum is desirable) with a ‘wedge’ of open for the front entry and some kind of doors to cover it when weather is bad. Entry facing away from typical wind approach direction.

  71. Pouncer says:

    Just down the road (I-35E) from me is the Monolithic Dome company.

    A little further along and off the interstate you get the EcoHaus / RealPeople concrete and steel builders.

    Nothing is completely tornado “proof” but there are ways to mass produce reasonably priced structures that tend to hold up better than most traditional construction.

  72. E.M.Smith says:

    Clicking through from a link on something else that Larry L. posted in W.O.O.D. was this article about Tyndall Air base with photos, before and after, from Satellites.

    They call it heavy damage, but it looks to me like most (all?) of the buildings stayed standing and only a few lost their roofs (one hangar has roof gone for example).

  73. ossqss says:

    An example of constuction (code) levels over time. Gone vs. Not.

    Mechanical connections from roof to wall to floor and ulimately foundaton/depth of column (in this beach instant) is important.

  74. Larry Ledwick says:

    Yes Hurricane clips to tie the roof to the walls (and better wall anchors to the foundation) and shatter resistant windows that don’t allow the winds to pressurize the house and lift the roof were two big lessons from Hurricane Andrew. If the roof lifts the walls lose top support and the whole house just disintegrates. If flying debris punches holes in the walls or windows (good reason to board them up) it inflates the house like a balloon and it just explodes.

  75. E.M.Smith says:

    Also, some years back it was figured out that the largest weakest spot was the garage door as there was no requirement really other than “goes up and down”. Wind would easily collapse them, then pressurize the house and lift the roof. After that much more attention was put on the garage door and paths from the garage into the attic.

    I don’t know if there are any actual codes now per garage doors, but it is an important thing to not cheap on them. I’d hope there are now “hurricane rated” garage doors.

    I also am a big fan of the metal shutters (powered or manual). I like the idea of flip a switch and the windows are all covered in steel (even if not all that thick). I’ve often wondered why so many folks keep putting up plywood instead of something more permanent. You even see houses with fake shutters and plywood. Why not just put on real shutters?

  76. ossqss says:

    @EM, garage doors are about rail bracing and track anchors. Alternatively, bracing it with a car against it, and a 2×4 or more, works well too.

    @Larry, they are typically large missle impact resistant windows. They shatter, but the glass has a laminent in it that keeps it together. Big difference from throwing glass like bullets.

    On the balloon affect with openings and pressure, not so much with hurricanes with proper construction, more so with Naders. One of the code changes dealt with roof base/plywood nailing patterns to trusses and strapping to walls. Connection from wall to floor was not as big, but important, as long as you were not dealing with storm surge.. No staples was big on roofs.

    There were many studies done after Andrew (that initiated code changes), then Wilma and Charley that detailed the benefits of construction improvements in these situations. You see them last week.

    In Florida, the best way to make a safe house for a Cane, IMO, is to build up high enough, to have a basement, above flood level. Near the coast, that is a challenge.

  77. A C Osborn says:

    Most of the severe damage was done by the Storm Surge and not very high wind speeds.
    Compare those after photos to the ones from Andrew & Camille where the trees were not only stripped of all their leaves and some of their bark but a lot of them were snapped off at just above ground level (1 – 2 ft) and over a massive area.
    Take a look at the photos that Tony Heller provides.

    There is a bit of repitition but well worthing viewing.

  78. Larry Ledwick says:

    Short video clip of a drive into Mexico Beach this morning.

  79. Larry Ledwick says:

    A little confirmation of our discussion above about small things that keep houses from blowing away in Hurricane force winds.

  80. E.M.Smith says:

    @Larry L:

    Yup. I built a shed in my yard designed to match my house (down to the singles!). Even for it, I used “rafter hangers”. Just little metal sheet bits that the nails go through. Turns a pull on the lumber from “extract the nail” into “sheer the nail” and that’s a LOT harder to do!

    “houses were built beyond code with hurricane ties, thicker lumber, windstorm plywood and metal roofs.”

    Those “hurricane ties” are, I think, the same idea. Don’t know what “windstorm plywood” is, but it sounds interesting.

    Here in California new homes are bolted to the foundation. Old ones just sat on it. During the Loma Preta quake, many of the old ones just got shaken off the foundation. Make a good poured concrete foundation with decent deep anchorage, bolt a strong frame to it, sheath that in strong materials, protect the strong windows and metal doors and bolt / metal attach the roof and you are “good to go” against all but the worst (i.e. big tornadic winds)

    I was surprised to see some of the homes where the first floor is cinder block and they blocks were just knocked out. All it takes is some rebar inside each block and poor some grout down them and it’s a good solid reinforced wall. Very cheap to do.

    I find it telling that the article states old homes were well built, and new ones up to code were OK, but the post war boom homes where on the cheap. Good to know… I like old homes ;-)

  81. Larry Ledwick says:

    Looks like the windstorm plywood is a custom length of plywood sheet that goes all the way from the foundation footer up to the roof trusses header in one single sheet. Says it allows dropping hurricane clips in many areas and faster construction (lower cost)with some energy saving advantages.

    If I was building down there, I would use both the windstorm rated sheathing and hurricane clips and tie straps and be very liberal with the use of modern construction adhesives. One of the weak points on homes in high winds is at the roof corners, sheet vortex as the wind dumps off the edge of the roof greatly increases roof lift at the corners, so they need extra attention (or use hip roof designs which do not have square gable ends).

    There are some new condos going up near my place and they are tied at each floor with long nail strips down the floor below and the floor above. Structure design is a tall narrow 3 story floor plan so not a lot of shear strength laterally, and they are built way to close together for my taste.

    Colorado has required bolted anchors to the foundation through the footing as long as I can remember (had them on our home built in 1955).

    Click to access The-role-of-corner-vortices-in-dictating-peak-wind-loads-on-tilted-flat-solar-panels-mounted-on-large-flat-roofs-Banks-2013.pdf

    Click to access 0-MATERIALS-Residential_Roofing_Materials.pdf

    Use of a central shaft to pull negative pressure inside the house to help hold down the roof.

  82. Larry Ledwick says:

    I like that central shaft idea, it mimics something they used to do at the green house.
    During high wind events they would close all the doors, and turn on the exhaust fans and crank them up to pull a low pressure inside the green house to help keep it on the ground.

    It could be used double duty with an exhaust fan to be used as a whole house vent fan as well.

  83. Chuck J says:

    My wife and I just retired 11 months ago to an area 20 miles inland from Mexico Beach. The eye of the hurricane went over us. We happened to be on vacation when it came in so we didn’t ave to experience the hurricane first hand. We got back home on Sunday afternoon. The road we traveled down from Dothan Al approximatley 80 miles north of where we live to our house was devastated. A good portion of the trees snapped off anywhere from 2′ off the ground to 30′ in the air or completely pushed over roots and all. Between Dothan and my place most houses I saw where damaged in some fashion usually the roof. Lots of homes had trees that came down on them. In places where there where fields rather than forests the buildings themselves suffered more structural damage. In some towns we saw brick buildings with some walls demolished.
    The whole 80 miles down either trees came down on the power lines or the utility poles where snapped in half or bent over and this was just road down.
    At our house we lost 14 trees and another 21 trees with damage that may require removal of them and this is on a 1/2 acre lot with trees only around the property lines. Even with all trees down only a few touched our house but with no damage. I had just installed a new roof this summer and it held up fine. In our town most roofs have had damage either losing shingles or even down to the plywood. If this storm had not been moving so fast and if hadn’t had some many big trees here, the destruction here would have been much greater. The wind blew 2 foot diameter oak trees and snapped trees that where up to 2 foot in diameter. I had a 30 foot tall pine tree 20 inch diameter that snapped at about 2 foot above the ground and started to pull up the roots. My neighbors that grew up and have lived through several cat 3 hurricanes said they have never seen destruction like this.
    I’m posting this on my computer using my cellphone hotspot and a generator. We have been fortunate here because they have brought in over 700 power crews so we might have power soon. We were at first told it might be Nov 17th before we would have power. We have temp cell towers they install Monday so we have 3g and Tuesday evening we got water back but with a boil water notice. This really was a strong cat 4 hurricane.

  84. jim2 says:

    @Chuck J says

    Happy to hear you came out relatively well. I’ve seen pix of Mexico Beach. Maybe that was all “just” the hurricane, but it looks like tornado damage to me.

    I hope all goes well with you guys here on out.

  85. Larry Ledwick says:

    Glad to hear you avoided serious structural damage @Chuck J
    Sounds like wind break tree bands set back from the main structure enough to avoid hitting it if they blow down might be something to consider if living in that part of the country. If I remember correctly wind break trees slow the wind velocity for about 2.5 times their height down wind.

    The other thing I have thought about for wind damage is a spoiler that you could put on the roof as you board up the windows to cut down the airflow induced lift on the roof. I did that in an ad hoc manner at a rental place I used to live in that was in a high wind zone, I put a line of cinder blocks 8x8x16 spaced about 2 ft apart a couple feet back from the gutter line on the upwind side of the roof. (it was a low pitch gable roof). Based on the noises the house made during high winds I feel it probably helped create a pressure zone near the eves.

    They recommend using a spoiler board on aircraft in high wind conditions to help keep them securely tied down, see pg 13 this booklet

    Click to access Secure_Your_Aircraft.pdf

  86. jim2 says:

    This guy estimates it took from 15-20% more money to bolster the hurricane defenses of this house, a rather large one built not long ago on Mexico Beach. That’s a small price to pay considering replacing it.

    “When The New York Times published an analysis of aerial images showing a mile-long stretch of Mexico Beach where at least three-quarters of the buildings were damaged, Dr. Lackey saw his sand palace still standing, majestic amid the apocalyptic wreckage, the last surviving beachfront house on his block.

    “We wanted to build it for the big one,” he said. “We just never knew we’d find the big one so fast.””

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