HURRICANES: THE ESSENTIAL WHAT, WHERE AND WHY


During the recent depredations of Hurricane Irene, the news station based in Miami / F.L. was one of the very few to cover events unfolding on Abaco, with excellent live reports from Marsh Harbour as the storm passed overhead. I included the links on a daily basis during the last week in August.

It is worth saying that in addition to its normal weather coverage, the station has a dedicated hurricane section that is well-worth having a look at, and indeed keeping bookmarked for future extreme weather: CLICK LOGO===>>>

Here are the various topics that are covered at present – many people (like myself) unaccustomed to hurricanes will have wondered about many of these topics – especially some of the terminology. Click on one to find the answer! (Oh. You’ll have to endure some 15 sec ads. Sorry. Nice little Fiat 500, though!).

1. HURRICANE Q & A

Hurricane Housecall: Don’t Forget Your Roof

Hurricane House Call: Screen Enclosures

What Is A Hurricane?

When Is Hurricane Season?

Where Is The National Hurricane Center?

Who Are The Hurricane Hunters?

Hurricane Categories: Differences Between Each

What Is A Tropical Cyclone?

Do All Continents Get Tropical Cyclones?

What Is A Subtropical Cyclone?

How Do Hurricanes Form?

What Is A Cape Verde Hurricane?

What Is The Eye Of The Hurricane?

What Is The Dirty Side?

Hurricane Watch Vs. Hurricane Warning

What Are Spiral Bands?

What Is The Eyewall?

What Is A Storm Surge?

What Is The Saharan Air Layer?

Video Why Do Storms Weaken Over Land?

Year Without A Hurricane?

Should I Tape My Windows?

Should I Open Windows And Doors?

Can We Control Hurricanes?

Why Are Hurricanes Given Names?

Hurricanes Vs. Tornadoes

How Much Energy Does A Hurricane Release?

What Was The Busiest Hurricane Season Ever?

2. JUST WEATHER HURRICANE CENTER

Storm Tracker And Tropical Updates Continue reading

ABACO PARROTS POST-IRENE: CAROLINE STAHALA’S FIRST REPORT


ABACO PARROTS EXCELLENT POST-IRENE NEWS

The past week has been rightly dominated by concerns for family and friends, for homes and property, for the swift restoration of communications, and for many other human interests. The consequences of Irene for Abaco’s wildlife has taken its appropriate place lower down in the priorities, but there are obvious concerns for the loss of habitat through destruction and defoliation, consequent problems with food supply and so on. 

The Abaco parrots are a potent symbol of recovery from near-disaster, with the conservation programme annually leading to breeding success in the wild and numbers on the increase. Recently – it seems a while ago now – I posted about the progress of this year’s chicks and fledglings: see ABACO PARROT CHICKS   Caroline Stahala, who heads the conservation project, has now sent the first report on how the chicks have fared through the hurricane:

“…I have been out checking on the unfledged chicks and I am finding that most of the nests that should have been active still are.  This means chicks are still in the nest.  I am attaching a photo of one of the chicks that I found post hurricane.  It seems that the parrots did well through the hurricane now I hope they are able to find enough food until spring…”  

In my earlier post today – see ABACO 31 AUG POST-IRENE – I mention at the end that I feel my unexpected transformation into a storm commentator and information provider is coming to its natural end. I can’t think of a more appropriate image for taking my leave from hurricane duties than this little parrot fledgling. It’s an emblem of Abaco, and a symbol for the future after the storm. Thanks for reading the blog, following it and for all contributions and encouragement over the past week.               rollingharbour 

Abaco Parrot chick safe and sound - the first post-Irene image

HURRICANE IRENE: AUG 31 ABACO AFTERMATH UPDATE, DAMAGE ASSESSMENT REPORTS


HURRICANE IRENE: LATEST ABACO NEWS UPDATE

 AUGUST 31

FOR YESTERDAY’S MAIN POST CLICK===>>> IRENE 30 AUG       See immediately below for the important Patherfinders Task Force Report links, and below that for today’s posts in reverse time order, oldest at the end.

DOWNLOADABLE  & PRINTABLE VERSION of the Pathfinders Task Force SWEAT-MS [Sewer, Water, Electricity, Academics, Transportation, Medical and Security] ASSESSMENT FOR ABACO with detailed maps and photos of supply problems caused by Irene eg Sandy Point was without electricity when assessed  CLICK===>>> PTFSWEAT-MSAssessmentAbaco

DOWNLOADABLE  & PRINTABLE VERSION of the Pathfinders Task Force RAPID DAMAGE ASSESSMENT for Abaco. The maps are incredibly helpful in revealing the extent of damage found in many areas – Marsh Harbour, Treasure Cay, Sandy Point for example – graded by severity.  CLICK===>>>  PTFRapidDamageAssessmentAbaco

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16.00 GMT WILDLIFE NEWS: Abaco Parrots post-Irene . For a new report from Caroline Stahala, a great photo of a chick safe in its nest, and an optimistic afterword from rh  CLICK===>>> ABACO PARROT CHICK

14.00 GMT The damage assessment reports, photos and pdf download links given above are now also available on The Bahamas Weekly.com, with a comprehensive ‘SHARE’ button linking to more sharing methods than I have ever seen, let alone heard of  CLICK LOGO===>>> 

09.00 GMT  Local10.com has notified me overnight of a new short video report by Janine Stanwood on the Abaco situation. It centres (apologies for UK spelling, my spellchecker does that) on the GREEN TURTLE CLUB, GTC and on relief being flown in from South Florida by BAHAMAS RELIEF working with BANYAN AIR, including much-needed supplies for repairing properties. For the latest Local10.com report CLICK LOGO===>>>  

For direct access to the BAHAMAS RELIEF SITE / PAGE  CLICK LOGO===>>>  

rollingharbour reports… 

The situation on Abaco this week is clearer to the world, communications are mostly restored, family and friends are back in contact, and the long process of clearing up is under way. The need for the Irene side of this Abaco wildlife blog has receded. I usually get 20 – 25 hits a day for the birds, plants, reef fish and so on.  I have been getting 1000s daily since I started posting Irene radar and tracking maps and weather reports a mere 8 days ago – more than 5000 on one day alone and over 15,000 overall. The scope expanded rapidly to include links to media reports, videos, photos, damage reports and so forth. People have sought or supplied specific information. Some have said nice things. Now, however, the hit-rate has reduced to fewer than 1000 a day. Very soon it will be time for this blog, too, to return to normal service. With that in mind, here is an Abaco Parrot (taken in March 2011) to be going on with! 

HURRICANE IRENE: AUG 30 ABACO DAMAGE ASSESSMENT REPORT – ESSENTIAL READING


HURRICANE IRENE: LATEST ABACO NEWS UPDATE

 AUGUST 30 (post 2 – Pathfinders Task Force Assessments)

TO SEE TODAY’S MAIN POST 1 CLICK===>>> IRENE 30 AUG (1)

TO SEE YESTERDAY’S POST CLICK===>>> IRENE 29 AUG

21.30 GMT DOWNLOADABLE  & PRINTABLE VERSION of the Pathfinders Task Force SWEAT-MS [Sewer, Water, Electricity, Academics, Transportation, Medical, and Security] ASSESSMENT FOR ABACO. This assessment gives full details of the state of the electricity supply in the various parts of Abaco, with detailed maps and photos of supply problems caused by Irene – for example, Sandy Point was without electricity when the assessment was made…  CLICK===>>> PTFSWEAT-MSAssessmentAbaco

19.30 GMT DOWNLOADABLE  & PRINTABLE VERSION of the Pathfinders Task Force Rapid Damage Assessment for Abaco. The maps are incredibly helpful in revealing the extent of damage found in many areas – Marsh Harbour, Treasure Cay, Sandy Point for example – graded by severity.  CLICK===>>>  PTFRapidDamageAssessmentAbaco

Thanks to Bahama Islands Info for putting it in the public domain – much easier to read! TO SEE WHOLE ARTICLE CLICK LOGO===>>>  

13.00 GMT  HURRICANE IRENE ABACO DAMAGE ASSESSMENT REPORT (29 AUG)       ESSENTIAL READING

I have already provided the links to this report in my earlier post today. This one deserves its own space. Over the past few days I’ve had a vast number of hits from searches including the words ‘Abaco’, ‘Irene’, and ‘Damage’ in various combinations. Clearly many people are desperate for information, especially as communications have been down completely in many places, and very variable elsewhere. Now at last there is available a detailed preliminary assessment of Irene damage on Abaco, with a report, maps and photographs, posted on BAHAMASLOCAL.COM  It will be of great interest to everyone on Abaco or elesewhere concerned to find out more about the effects of Irene on the Islands and Cays. I will add anything else that arises later today to the main post of today (see top of page for LINK), but I thought this report merited its own publication and title tags (for Google purposes). CLICK==>> BAHAMAS LOCAL 

HURRICANE IRENE: AUG 30 ABACO UPDATE, DAMAGE REPORT, STORM VIDEOS


HURRICANE IRENE: LATEST ABACO NEWS UPDATE

 AUGUST 30

TO SEE YESTERDAY’S POST CLICK===>>> IRENE 29 AUG

21.30 GMT DOWNLOADABLE  & PRINTABLE VERSION of the Pathfinders Task Force SWEAT-MS [Sewer, Water, Electricity, Academics, Transportation, Medical, and Security] ASSESSMENT FOR ABACO This assessment gives full details of the state of the electricity supply in the various parts of Abaco, with detailed maps and photos of supply problems caused by Irene – for example, Sandy Point was without electricity when the assessment was made…  CLICK===>>> PTFSWEAT-MSAssessmentAbaco

19.30 GMT DOWNLOADABLE  & PRINTABLE VERSION of the Pathfinders Task Force Rapid Damage Assessment for Abaco. The maps are incredibly helpful in revealing the extent of damage found in many areas – Marsh Harbour, Treasure Cay, Sandy Point for example – graded by severity.  CLICK===>>>  PTFRapidDamageAssessmentAbaco

Thanks to Bahama Islands Info for putting it in the public domain – much easier to read! TO SEE WHOLE ARTICLE CLICK LOGO===>>>  

17.00 GMT NASSAU GUARDIAN ARTICLE published this morning LT “HURRICANE IRENE & BEING PREPARED”, general summary of the situation. CLICK LOGO===>>>  or The Nassau Guardian

14.30 GMT STORM VIDEOS A number of short Abaco-specific hurricane videos are beginning to appear on YouTube of the storm and its aftermath, suggesting that comms must be pretty much back to normal. If you are looking on YouTube or its equivalents, use the ‘advanced search’ to specify date order, or you’ll get a lot of pre-Irene items that you have already lived through. The link here will take you direct to the latest videos, sorted in upload order, with the most recent at the top. I hope. CLICK===>>> ABACOonYOUTUBE

10.30 GMT STOP PRESS – HURRICANE IRENE ABACO DAMAGE ASSESSMENT REPORT (29 AUG) This is a detailed preliminary assessment of Irene damage on Abaco, with a report, maps and photographs, posted on Bahamas Local. Essential reading CLICK==>> BAHAMAS LOCAL 

DELPHI CLUB NEWS: I’ve just heard from Peter Mantle, with the good news that the team are all back at the club now, and the great clear-up is well under way

10.00 GMT Another video today of the arrival of Irene, this time from Cooperstown, North Abaco. Poster Jack Slack says “Initially the camera point of view is primarily facing East (Powell, High and Bonefish Cays) and then later pans across Cooperstown Clinic. About 1 minute into the clip, she starts blowing pretty hard… CLICK===>>> SLACKTIDE

09.00 GMT HOPE TOWN IRENE VIDEO There is now an excellent video with fascinating commentary on STORMVISUALS (Jeff Gammons). There is a direct link contained in the description below it to blog posts during Irene. There are are also a number of comments on the page which some may find useful. To get to the video CLICK==>> STORMVISUALS or TWEET WIDGET in Sidebar. Also here’s the link to the Facebook part of STORMVISUALS CLICK==>>FBSV

New Amazing Hurricane Irene Video From Great Abaco / Hope Town
“Earlier this afternoon, I finally received some of the raw Hurricane Irene video footage from Hurricane Chaser Jim Edds in Hope Town, Bahamas. Category 3 Hurricane Irene’s eye tracked directly over Great Abaco Island and Elbow Cay, and Jim was there to film it yesterday afternoon. He was also able to give me a rundown via cell phone of the peak of the storm, and how the island is doing the day after Irene, and I have including that audio in the video above. Look for additional video from Jim in the coming days when he returns to Florida this weekend. You can also read the blog posts updates during the storm yesterday here”

FROM YESTERDAY For those wondering what Rolling Harbour is all about, here is a view of it – a Google Maps image taken just before building started, over which I have superimposed a picture of the Delphi Club. Last Thursday, the sea covered all the visible sand and beyond into the scrub, with waves smashing up against the cliff-face. The wooden steps to the beach (on the right of the photo), although robust, were expected to be smashed completely, but amazingly they have survived intact. Double-click to enlarge.

USEFUL:  Local10.com has been excellent in its reporting of Abaco and Irene, with first-class live open-air reports from Janine Stanwood while the storm raged around her, and informative, balanced studio coverage. Here is the link to the recent 39-images slideshow. Some are captioned with location            CLICK==>> LOCAL10 

Delphi Club Abaco 25 Aug 2011 / Hurricane Irene: Looking north to the end of the bay

The Palm Tree in photo above, in less adverse weather

HURRICANE IRENE: ABACO NEWS UPDATE AUG 29… WILDLIFE EFFECTS?


HURRICANE IRENE: LATEST ABACO NEWS UPDATE

AUGUST 29

TO SEE YESTERDAY’S POST CLICK===>>> IRENE 28 AUG

22.00 GMT Here’s the link to 4 very short video clips from ‘Capt-Chris’ in Marsh Harbour CLICK===>>> MH CLIPS 

For those wondering what Rolling Harbour is all about, here is a view of it – a Google Maps image taken just before building started, over which I have superimposed a picture of the Delphi Club. Last Thursday, the sea covered all the visible sand and beyond into the scub, with waves smashing up against the cliff-face. The wooden steps to the beach (on the right of the photo), although robust, were expected to be smashed completely, but amazingly they have survived intact. Double-click to enlarge.

19.00 GMT I notice I have been getting a great many hits from searches with the format ‘Abaco…damage…[place]’. Local10.com has been excellent in its reporting of Abaco and Irene, with first-class live open-air reports from Janine Stanwood while the storm raged around her, and informative, balanced studio coverage. Here is the link to the recent 39-images slideshow. Some are captioned with location  CLICK==>> LOCAL10 

Meanwhile, according to travel sites, Hotels & Resorts on Abaco have been confirming minimal damage  to buildings – nothing structural so far, anyway – and problems confined in various degrees to the “landscaping”. The overall picture is “open for business”

16.00 GMT a message (thanks, Susan) reads “…thanks for the info. We live if Fl and have dealt with more than a few hurricanes. I love Rolling Harbour and the Delphi [Club] is beautiful – the beach is stunning. Good luck with the clean up and thank you again for your site. I hope the parrots did well – they were finally coming back after the beating they took from Hurricanes Floyd and Frances“.

I am hoping to be able to post about the parrots once Caroline Stahala has had a chance to make an assessment of the situation. Having just finished the chick banding project (see ABACO PARROT CHICK BANDING with unique photos) they must be at the forefront of her mind: she has been engaged in their research and conservation for several years. As for other wildlife, wearing my more natural-fitting blog hat I am hoping to have some news from Ricky Johnson once he too has a chance to get out there and see the effects of the Irene on the birds.

At least we know the W I woodpecker family at Delphi are (probably) ok… here’s a picture (the subject of a caption competition) from a while back to add some cheer with their comic behaviour  (photo credit David Rainford)

14.00 GMT: Back home in London. I have at last had some news from Long Beach, about which there have been queries. Phone calls are now getting through and the damage news from there is “except for some downed trees everything is ok”. Thanks, Elizabeth. Perhaps that is optimistic for comms for most if not all of South Abaco today – and hopefully elsewhere.

Online, there hasn’t been much new activity – still very few storm images (apart from weather maps / satellite images from last week). The ones from this blog are all there now. And very few videos beyond those I have already given the links to. Press reports are, as you might expect, concentrate on what did – or didn’t – happen in NYC yesterday. I’ll check later for updates, but I have a feeling that as links are gradually restored, my storm-related usefulness is coming to an end. Soon I’ll be back to reporting on parrots, reef fish and cone shells… 

09.30 GMT: Post haste: I am travelling this morning. and will post anything of note later on. I’ll be interested to know how things are going, and whether communications are getting back to normal. Please feel free to leave any useful info in the comment box at the bottom, which others can then see. Here a a few items from yesterday’s post to be going on with

  CLICK LOGO ===>>> 

   CLICK LOGO===>>

09.00 GMT: NEWS FROM THE DELPHI CLUB, ROLLING HARBOUR SOUTH ABACO 

Caroline Stahala reports: “Now the clean up begins. We were very lucky but it will still be quite an extensive recovery process.  Even though the house seemed to have withstood the high winds and rain, many of the trees and other vegetation were not as fortunate. And as with most hurricanes, we are bound to see more loss of vegetation and defoliation over the next few weeks. But since you are running a natural history blog, I thought I would add a bird note to the story. So, I have mentioned the woodpeckers that have chicks in the house Sandy built. Well, these birds deserve to be recognized as parents of the year. During a Cat 3 hurricane, the parents were out looking for food for the chicks.  I am attaching a picture of the woodpecker dad waiting for an opportune time to fly out during the eye of the storm.  I am also attaching some hurricane pictures taken from a safe spot during the storm. I appreciate all of your thoughts and well wishes. Crazy experience to say the least.”

Here are her excellent photos (© Caroline Stahala – please credit her if you use them), followed by 3 of my own of them same views taken in March 2011

Delphi Club Abaco 25 Aug 2011 / Hurricane Irene: Looking south from the balcony

Delphi Club Abaco 25 Aug 2011 / Hurricane Irene: Looking south across the pool area

Delphi Club Abaco 25 Aug 2011 / Hurricane Irene: Looking north to the end of the bay

Delphi Club Abaco 25 Aug 2011 / Hurricane Irene: Looking south to the end of the bay

Delphi Club Abaco 25 Aug 2011 / Hurricane Irene: Father woodpecker stands guard over the chicks

The Palm Tree in photo 3 above, in less adverse weather

Delphi Club: the beach looking north (storm photo 3)

Delphi Club: looking south over the pool area (see storm photos 1,2 & 4)

HEADLINEGRABBER Marsh Harbour feature 27 Aug  CLICK===>>> HERE

 (CLICK LOGO LINK) a useful resource for updates. I have put the link the Sidebar Twitter section for those that may want to Retweet the link.

HURRICANE IRENE: ABACO NEWS UPDATE and 5* IMAGES AUG 28 from Delphi Club, Rolling Harbour


HURRICANE IRENE: ABACO NEWS UPDATE        AUGUST 28 [for news update Aug 29 CLICK==>HERE]

22.30 GMT: No additional Abaco news. Time to sign off unless I get any further info by email… until tomorrow. Meanwhile, good luck with the clear-up…

20.00 GMT: There’s a new short report on the DELPHI CLUB website, for those keeping an eye on Rolling Harbour rolling news… It basically cross-refers to this Post (which can be reached direct from the Delphi website) and the vivid images, adding: “In essence, all is well. But there will be lots of clearing up to do”. 

19.00 GMT: Not much to report, except that my impression is that communications are gradually being re-established on Abaco. I notice the Rocky Bay webcam on Elbow Cay is still down, but I doubt it’s a priority right now…I have sent out a few inquiries, and am waiting responses which I will post as and when. Meanwhile there is a new post from Conch Salad TV – a site many Abaconians will be familiar with – that includes video clips of Irene from last week   CLICK LOGO ===>>> 

14.00 GMT: The media focus has pretty much left the Bahamas in its wake, much like Irene itself. Very little online material that adds anything. However, Firefly Sunset Resort in Hope Town is posting regular updates on its Facebook page, including images of the aftermath of Irene.The message boards below may also help those seeking Elbow Cay information                                                          CLICK LOGO===>>

09.00 GMT: STOP PRESS NEWS FROM THE DELPHI CLUB, ROLLING HARBOUR SOUTH ABACO I have just heard from Caroline Stahala at Delphi, where some comms have now been restored. She has been on guard throughout. Those familiar with the day-job of this blog – Abaco wildlife – will know that she is a research scientist heading the project dedicated to the conservation of the Abaco Parrot. Put her name in the search box – or ‘Abaco Parrots’ –  and the relevant POSTS will come up. 

Caroline reports: “Now the clean up begins. We were very lucky but it will still be quite an extensive recovery process.  Even though the house seemed to have withstood the high winds and rain, many of the trees and other vegetation were not as fortunate. And as with most hurricanes, we are bound to see more loss of vegetation and defoliation over the next few weeks. But since you are running a natural history blog, I thought I would add a bird note to the story. So, I have mentioned the woodpeckers that have chicks in the house Sandy built. Well, these birds deserve to be recognized as parents of the year. During a Cat 3 hurricane, the parents were out looking for food for the chicks.  I am attaching a picture of the woodpecker dad waiting for an opportune time to fly out during the eye of the storm.  I am also attaching some hurricane pictures taken from a safe spot during the storm. I appreciate all of your thoughts and well wishes. Crazy experience to say the least.”

And here are the graphic pictures. There are very few images from Abaco online yet – no doubt because comms are down – so it’s worth pointing out that these are from a place over which the eye of the storm passed directly. I should add that these images are © Caroline Stahala – please credit her if you use them

Delphi Club Abaco 25 Aug 2011 / Hurricane Irene: Looking south from the balcony

Delphi Club Abaco 25 Aug 2011 / Hurricane Irene: Looking south across the pool area

Delphi Club Abaco 25 Aug 2011 / Hurricane Irene: Looking north to the end of the bay

Delphi Club Abaco 25 Aug 2011 / Hurricane Irene: Looking south to the end of the bay

Delphi Club Abaco 25 Aug 2011 / Hurricane Irene: Father woodpecker stands guard over the chicks

The Palm Tree in photo 3 above, in less adverse weather

Delphi Club: the beach looking north (storm photo 3)

Delphi Club: looking south over the pool area (see storm photos 1,2 & 4)

08.00 GMT: Hi on Sunday 25 Aug. I have had a quick look online to see what new information there may be… here are a couple of items to be going on with.

HEADLINEGRABBER has a Marsh Harbour-based feature posted yesterday 27 Aug at 12.18 pm LT CLICK===>>> HERE

 (CLICK LOGO LINK) looks a useful resource for updates from contributors, e.g. “At Marsh Harbour airport they had  minimal structural damage.” I have also put the link in a Tweet in the Sidebar Twitter section for those that may want to Retweet the link.

Finally for now, here is an image from the Australian Telegraph that vividly shows Irene’s track over the Bahamas