As I sit in front of my computer with three active Atlantic Hurricanes before me (well, 2 and one in the Gulf of Mexico) it is time to remind my friends on Active Rain of weather resources which can protect and inform you during weather events.
www.spaghettimodels.com is my go-to source for up to date weather information, particularly during the Florida hurricane season. Also called Mike's Weather Page, the site is a collection of graphics from government and private sources that I have found to be useful for tracking and projecting hurricane movements as well as weather radar sites, surface maps and other useful climate-related information - to include links to all my favorite related sites.
I have been a user and a supporter of Mike's page for more than a decade. His site is supported by donations - button in upper left of his page - but there is no cost to use the site. Active Rain readers will hopefully remember my previous articles about this site. Hurricanes are examples of nature's fury on a grand scale - but they are also predictable with weeks of warning in advance of major events, giving you an opportunity to get you and your family out of the way.
Hurricane Irma is a remarkable cat 5 storm (top of the scale of severity and intensity) which has been observed as a cat 5 storm for a record length of time on its westward path for landfall in the United States, probably in South Florida. The changing pattern of high-pressure areas and low-pressure areas and other weather phenomena which provide the complex information about steering currents which influence the path of the storms are reflected by computer models which attempt to project the path of the storm. The computer plots are referred to as spaghetti models - which refers to the general lack of agreement which is displayed visually (particularly the projections which are more days away from the event) by a collection of the models. It is similar to the process of political polling to project the outcome of a Presidential election. But the closer the storm is to its landfall position, the better the projections become as the group of models will tighten.
The problem with Hurricane Irma is that a significant change in the WNW course is predicted with a turn to the North at a point between the Bahamas and Cuba. That turn cannot be predicted with certainty - and even a small change in the timing of the turn and the resulting change of only a few degrees in direction could be catastrophic for South Florida or comparatively less damage with a near miss similar to Hurricane Matthew from the 2016 season. The size of this storm suggests that my home state of Florida will suffer damage to some degree and that our friends in Georgia, South Carolina and points North will also be at risk. It has been more than 10 years since Florida suffered major damage from a hurricane.
The information contained at Mike's Weather page can be useful as well as interesting at least and possibly life-saving for you. In the case of this storm, there is still time to take evasive action. Irma will be at or near South Florida by morning hours of Sunday.
My interest in Mike's Weather Page tends to focus on the Florida hurricane season but other weather information is provided and can inform you of important meteorological events anywhere in the country. Mike also provides cellphone apps, and social media pages to serve his viewers.
Storm Graphics provided by: spaghettimodels.com