UPDATE 7/2: Arthur is looking like quite the healthy storm today!
ORIGINAL ENTRY JULY 1, 2014:
On July 30, 2004, I was on vacation at Oak Island, North Carolina, when I blogged* this: "This is about as lucky as I get. Friday afternoon July 30th, a tropical depression formed off the coast of the Carolinas. By Monday night it was a full-fledged hurricane passing less than 75 miles from our ocean front beach house."
This week, we also have the first Tropical Storm (likely-to-be-Hurricane) Arthur, which has formed off the Southeast U.S. coast. The tracks are remarkably similar (Alex became a hurricane offshore from the North/South Carolina border; Arthur is projected to do the same thing - the GFS model image for Thursday night is shown below). I pulled both tracks from our Interactive Hurricane Tracker and overlaid them in Photoshop:
WARNING: Arthur's track will not be updated on this blog entry. Please see http://Hurricane.AccuWeather.com for the latest track.
Alex 2004 was the first time in the Internet era that my vacation dovetailed with a hurricane, and you can see more radar images and photos from Hurricane Alex on this blog, re-published online for the first time since 2005. I saw some high waves, a funnel cloud and a rainbow; as a weather enthusiast, I was satisfied with the photographic opportunities.
The center of the storm stayed offshore from my location, but Hurricane Alex caused damage on the Outer Banks to my northeast. Winds peaked at over 100 mph and more than 7.5 inches of rain fell there (early indications are that Arthur will bring lesser amounts over a similar area).
This page says: "More than 100 houses were damaged primarily from flooding and high winds, while numerous cars were disabled from the flooding. Damage totaled about $7.5 million. Alex produced strong waves and rip tides along the East Coast. Despite Tropical Storm Warnings, tourists remained on the Outer Banks because Alex was expected to be relatively minor, and there was no evacuation order."
Let's hope the local officials evacuate this time, or we could see a repeat of Alex, essentially the worst-case scenario, taking place. I mentioned the possible parallel with Alex 2004 on Facebook Saturday.
The Thanksgiving snowstorm has begun this Wednesday morning.
Do me a favor, travel Tuesday, or tell your family to hold on to the turkey until Friday.
Last year this time, a major winter storm in the Northeast was rumored for the biggest travelling day of the year... and so it is again this year:
Extreme lake-effect snow fell south and east of Buffalo, New York, this week, but is it a record? Not even close... so far.
The second shot of reinforcing cold air from last week's polar vortex invasion is coming in -- as more than half the nation is snow-covered.
Yes, that term "polar vortex" is back in the news. Please take this arctic outbreak for the serious meteorological beast that it is; see stats and maps here.