Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Why do we re-set our clocks?

We are all familiar with the saying, "spring forward, and fall back", which relates to setting the clock ahead one hour in spring and one back in the fall. But why do we do it? Here's a blog I wrote sometime ago explaining the tradition.

Here is a brief history of this practice:

18th Century:
Way back in the late 1700's Benjamin Franklin suggested that getting up earlier and enjoying the sunshine would help save lamp oil that otherwise would be wasted by staying up late at night.

19th Century:
When our country was young and most of the cargo was carried by train, companies needed set time zones so they would know where and when the goods would arrive. Time zones, splitting the nation into 4 parts, began in 1883. Until then, major cities set their own times from local astronomical observations.

20th Century:
By 1908, the House of Commons in England debated to change the time in order to eliminate "The Waste of Daylight". The measure failed.

Here in America, in 1918, congress passed a law making the time zones official for all to use but no time change was issued. That changed shortly thereafter as may countries engaged in World War I. The United States adopted Daylight Saving Time, pushing the clocks ahead one hour in order to conserve energy for the war effort. The measure was so unpopular that it was repealed as soon as the war was over.

As World War II emerged in 1944, we went back into Daylight Saving with clocks set ahead 1 hour. It remained this way until 1945. After the War, it was up to individual states whether to observe Daylight Saving.

By 1966 the Department of transportation was created and it took on the responsibility of handling the nation's time laws. They were confronted with a new problem... Television. How could networks tell the whole country at what time their favorite show would air if everyone was observing a different time zone? Over 100 million people were observing Daylight Saving set by local municipalities and customs, it was a mess.

Shortly thereafter, the Uniform Time act of 1966 was passed which called for the clocks to be set forward and backwards in the Spring and Fall. This new law just insisted that the states keep their times in a uniform fashion but did not force anyone to observe Daylight Saving.

21st Century
In 2007, new start and end dates were issued for Daylight Saving Time. It starts at 2 a.m. on the Second Sunday in March and lasts until 2 a.m.on the First Sunday of November.

As of last check, most states observe daylight saving time (DST), the exceptions being Arizona (except for the Navajo, who do observe daylight saving time on tribal lands), Hawaii, and the overseas territories of American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the United States Virgin Islands.

Why do we still do it?
Proponents say, it saves energy.  We tend to use less electricity during the summer months because we are home fewer hours.  During this time of year, most Americans are enjoying outdoor activities. This means less electrical usage.

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, a poll suggested that Americans liked Daylight Saving Time because "there is more light in the evenings / can do more in the evenings."  They also add, that while the amounts of electricity saved per household are small...added up they can be very large.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

New Tropical Storm Philippe to move over us tonight

The area south of Cuba we've been watching has become Tropical Storm Philippe

As of the 5 pm advisory NHC has upgraded tropical depression 18 into a tropical storm. This is quite an interesting system. From time to time it has a typical symmetrical look to it and at others it appears to be lacking some organization.  The satellite imagery suggests plenty of cloud cover and rain across portions of Cuba and the NW Bahamas.

South Florida has seen its fair share of downpours and should still see more through the night.

A new spin has developed within the system that should be absorbed by the main center later tonight.

Models now show the center moving over Florida Bay and into Extreme Southern Miami Dade County later this evening.

The center should make landfall over the Upper Keys / Deep Southern Miami Dade county tonight.
  • Because of the structure of this system, the strongest winds will remain offshore, but cannot rule out a tropical storm force wind gust.
  • The main impact for South Florida will be the rain.  Many areas may get 2 - 4" with isolated spots seeing as much as 6" through tomorrow.

Watches and Warnings:
Because of the forecast track, a tropical storm watch is in effect from the Upper Keys (Craig Key) north to Golden Beach in Southern Broward County.  This means that winds up to 40 mph may be felt over the area during the next 24 hours.

Heavy rain is possible that may lead to street flooding with the best chance in area highlighted in orange .

Tonight through tomorrow morning will probably be the wettest period of this new storms for South Florida. We'll keep you posted.

Potential Tropical Storm 18

A Tropical Storm may brush South Florida this weekend

A Tropical Storm Watch has been issued for Coastal Areas of South Florida from Craig Key in the Upper Keys to Golden Beach in SE Broward County..

There is an area of clouds and rain that practically takes up much of the western Caribbean Sea. It is dumping rain from Central America, to the Cayman Islands, Jamaica and Cuba. Some of this rain is forecast to move over us this weekend.

A recon plane found that the disturbance has become a depression  Earlier, NHC had deemed this a Potential Tropical Cyclone.

What is a Potential Tropical System?
This process of issuing advisories before a storm actually develops, is new.  NHC now has the option of starting advisories on a storm that has yet to organize. This gives areas in the storm's path the chance to prepare.  This new advisory  is known as Potential Tropical Cyclone.

The latest thinking on this Depression, is that it remains large with plenty of moisture, capable of heavy downpours. The 30 - 35 mph winds that have been clocked at times with this disturbance appear to be mostly on the southeastern side, down by Central Cuba.

This big mess will continue to move in our direction, and could still become a tropical storm later in the day.  It has a small window of opportunity to grow as strong upper winds ahead of a front may cut in down to size by Sunday.

Lots of uncertainties
The disturbance is still capable of heavy rains that could lead to flooding, land and mudslides over the Cayman Islands, Cuba, and the Bahamas. 

For South Florida the impacts should be in the form of possible heavy downpours.

This what NHC thinks:

The Cayman Islands, western and central Cuba, northern Bahamas: 4 to 8 inches with isolated maximum totals of 10 inches through Sunday. These rainfall amounts may produce life threatening flash floods and landslides. South Florida, including the Keys: 2 to 4 inches with isolated maximum totals of 6 inches through Sunday. These rainfall totals may produce flash flooding, especially in urbanized areas. WIND: Tropical storm conditions are expected to first reach the warning area in Cuba later today and the northwestern Bahamas tonight. Tropical storm conditions are possible in the central Bahamas tonight or early Sunday. TORNADOES: A couple of brief tornadoes are possible across far South Florida and the Florida Keys from midday through this evening.

The bottom line is just be aware that there is a possibility of heavy rain that may cause flooding. You can monitor the Live Radar here:


Thursday, October 5, 2017

Tropical Storm Nate

A new storm develops in the Western Caribbean Sea and its name is "Nate".

On Thursday morning, "Nate" was just offshore the Nicaraguan coast with top winds registered at 40 mph. It is moving northwest under 10 miles per hour and should impact coastal Nicaragua and Honduras throughout the day.

It should dump plenty of rain across the region:

  • Honduras and Belize can expect 2 - 5 inches with isolated areas getting as much as eight.
  • Eastern Yucatan may see between 4 - 8 inches with some areas as much as 12.
  • Costa Rica and Panama are forecast to get between 5 - 10" with isolated areas up to 20".
  • Nicaragua will see huge downpours of 15 - 20 up to 30 inches in accumulation which will surely lead to flooding , land and mudslides.

Where is it going?
Tropical Storm "Nate" is very close to land and that should keep its growth process in check until it gets into the Gulf of Mexico over the weekend. While the waters here are not has hot as they were a month ago, there's still plenty of juice to elevate "Nate" to hurricane status on Saturday/Sunday.

The models on Thursday, shifted the cone a little further west as the strong upper level winds that were supposed to nudge east will arrive later than anticipated. This now places the area from Pensacola west to SE Louisiana in the cone of concern. Keep in mind this red area only represent where the eye may be at that time. Impacts can be felt hundreds of miles away from the center.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

"Irma" Category 5

Early Tuesday morning hurricane hunters found "Irma" to be stronger with winds of 175 mph.

  • NHC says there's an increasing chance that South Florida may see some impacts from "Irma"
  • Please prepare now as if we will get a direct hit. We will have a couple of good weather days that will give you the opportunity to prepare your property and get the supplies you need.
  •  A catastrophic event is in store for the Northern Leeward Islands with 175 mph winds, heavy rain, flooding, and a surge of 6 - 9 feet.
  •  Puerto Rico could see winds just as strong with heavy rain starting by Wednesday. You are under a hurricane warning.
  •  Hispaniola has a hurricane watch in effect. Turks and Caicos, the Bahamas and Cuba will also see some impacts form Irma by the end of the week.

Where is it headed?

All the models place it near the Straits Friday-Saturday, stopping and aiming north across the entire state. The possible "Saving Front" may not arrive in time to deflect the system over the Western Atlantic. Instead, it appears "Irma" will move over us.

Worry Meter

Northern Leeward Islands: EXTREME- You will be impacted by a cat 5 as early as Wednesday morning.

Puerto Rico, Hispaniola, Cuba & Bahamas: ELEVATED. Possible cat 5 winds with heavy rain ahead. Finish your preparations now.

South Florida: VERY HIGH: Now is the time to review your hurricane plans, and get the supplies you need. If nothing changes with this forecast, we could be dealing with a powerful Cat 4 by the weekend.
Please take this seriously, it may be very close to us by Friday.




Monday, September 4, 2017

South Florida in the Cone of Concern

Irma still a powerful hurricane that may impact South Florida  by the weekend.


  • South Florida is now under the cone of concern of concern. This is the time for you to prepare, check your hurricane plan, and supplies. Do it before watches and warnings are issued. Here's a good link you can use for a list of supplies and steps you can take to get ready.

  • Hurricane force winds will start impacting the Leeward Islands late Tuesday. You should complete your preps and be ready to meet the storm head on.
  • Irma will then make its way towards the Virgin Islands, possibly Hispaniola, Cuba and the Bahamas on Wednesday and Thursday. You should be preparing now.

Forecast Cone

Everyone inside the cone should be getting ready for a brush with "Irma". Please prepare now for what could be a strong hurricane for South Florida by the weekend.

The Worry Meter
Leeward Islands EXTREME: You can expect tropical storm force winds moving in by Tuesday
Puerto Rico, Hispaniola, Cuba, Turks and Caicos, Bahamas: ELEVATED. Get ready now, you may be dealing with a storm by midweek.
South Florida: Moderate to High: get ready now as a system may be here by the weekend.

I'll keep you posted

Concern grows for Florida

As of 11 am Monday morning these are the Watches & Warnings in place:
A Hurricane Warning is in effect for...
* Antigua, Barbuda, Anguilla, Montserrat, St. Kitts, Nevis
* Saba, St. Eustatius, and Sint Maarten
* Saint Martin and Saint Barthelemy

A Hurricane Watch is in effect for...
* Guadeloupe
* British Virgin Islands
* U.S. Virgin Islands
* Puerto Rico, Vieques, and Culebra

A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for...
* Dominica


  • "Irma" will move in on the Leeward Islands Tuesday as a major hurricane, strong deadly winds, downpours, and deadly coastal surge. COMPLETE your preps now.
  • The Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico will be next feeling the storm on Wednesday. Advisories in place there as well.
  • Watches may be issued for Hispaniola as well as the Turks and Caicos, Bahamas, and Cuba at anytime over the next 24 hours.
  • FLORIDA: NHC now says our chances for "Irma" impacts are growing as we move into the end of the week or weekend. I like to err on the side of caution. Review your plans and supplies now. Do not wait until advisories are issued. I am hoping this will all be an exercise in preparedness. Hoping for the best.
  • NOAA planes will fly today over the continental U.S. to get a better idea of a possible "Saving Front" that may arrive and hopefully protect us from "Irma". This new info will be released by 8 pm tonight.

I wish I had better news, but it is looking better and better on satellite imagery. The eye is much larger with multiple eyewalls.

Nothing is in its way to weaken it or deflect it over 5 days.

Worry Meter:
Leeward Islands: EXTREME- You are in the path of a major hurricane. COMPLETE preps now.

Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Cuba, the Bahamas: Elevated- You are in the cone of concern and are likely to be impacted over the next 3 days. Make sure you have the supplies you need.

Florida: Medium- If nothing changes, watches and warnings may be issued for us over the next 24 - 48 hours. I would make sure I have what I need as far as supplies, medicine, pet food etc.
Here's our web site for helpful tips on preparing:

I'll keep you updated