Nicole: The Hurricane That Didn’t Happen

It’s very, very rare for Florida to get a hurricane in November. This November was no exception.

The boards of directors of the community where I live was supposed to hold its annual budget meeting last night. They didn’t really want to hold that meeting in person because residents are up in arms over the increases in the assessments, so the boards decided that they would only hold the meeting online via Zoom because of the oncoming storm.

I kept telling them that the storm wasn’t going to hit us but they ignored me.

It didn’t. Nicole was a bust.

So, tell me again, who knows what about the weather? Me or the idiots who run around with their hair on fire?

Told you so, told you so, nah nah nah nah nah.

I didn’t say that there was no tropical storm coming. I only said that it wasn’t going to hit us.

The problem with the way that weather gets reported says the former weatherman (at the NY Post back in the day) is that all weather, like politics, is local…very local.

Reporters on television, radio, print and even online are talking to large audiences across the markets they serve.

They have to speak in generalities because they are talking to lots of people in lots of different places and they have to alarm people because if they don’t they don’t feel that they are doing their jobs (and, of course, ratings would suffer.) And then there is the additional problem that a lot of these so-called reporters don’t know how to read a storm plot.

We did in fact catch a rain squall at around one in the morning. It lasted for all of ten minutes. We may also catch a few gusts of wind from the tail end of the storm which now falls between Boca and Delray, with a 15% chance of catching winds of up to 34 mph.

The eye of this storm came ashore up by Port St. Lucie. (That’s not what the advance track projection said, but that’s what the past track of the storm plot shows.) Delray was never in any significant danger from this blow.

The bad news is that tornadoes are spawned around the outer rim of a hurricane’s radii but they are usually spawned around the upper right quadrant of a northward-veering storm. In this case, however, because the storm made landfall heading west by northwest, the tornado spawning area would actually have been the upper left quadrant, but then the hurricanes would roll over those budding tornadoes, erasing and reabsorbing them, eating their young as it were.

Tornadoes are generated when storms make landfall because the features of the landscape slow down the lower-level winds. The friction between the lower-level winds and the upper-level winds (which continue to blow at their original speeds for a quite awhile after landfall) is what creates the tight rotational spirals that turn into tornadoes.

The good news is that Nicole wasn’t powerful enough to generate anything more than a few spindizzies.  At least I haven’t heard about any tornadoes.

Meteorology is such a hoot.

So, the Red Wave didn’t materialize (except in Florida), the last storm of the season (there have only been three recorded cases of hurricanes coming ashore in Florida in the month of November over the past 100 years or so) was a pipsqueak, and we didn’t have the meeting we should have had.

Like I said, “Nah, nah, nah, nah, nah,” or words to that effect.