Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Keepin' on and keepin' up with Florence

Another day of being sure we're ready for Florence. As far as major items go, we were in pretty good shape beforehand and now we're as good as we're likely to get. Kudos to Amazon, UPS and the USPS for getting the order for extra batteries and a couple of battery-powered fans here on schedule. If the power goes out for a while, at least we have some means of relief.

Where forecasts are concerned, there seems to be some difference of opinion between our local TV weather droids and the National Hurricane Center. I'm going by the information from the NWC. Right now we're still in the 4+ days out category in terms of the storm's arrival at our location, which means the forecast could change significantly, so I'm checking at most update times to see what's changed.

Given the size of the storm, we'll see winds and rain well before the center of circulation gets here. At the moment, we'll see winds of tropical storm force or better (over 39 MPH) and rain of 6-15". We're near a break point for the forecast, so the rainfall range is large just yet.

I have gotten the WeatherFlow weather station up, although I need to guy it. This is the wind and rain sensors, mounted on an aluminum push up pole. At this height, it's around 5' over the peak of the roof and about 21' off the ground. There is another section I can take it up, and I'll probably do that once I have the guys in tomorrow. This is a temporary setup. The good thing about it is that I can drop the who thing down to about 6' tall in 60 seconds. If things start getting particularly dicey, down it comes.

As there isn't going to be anything of real interest until the storm gets here, I'll stop this series of posts here. I doubt that anyone wants the details of charging batteries, getting things up off the basement and garage floors and making sure all the outdoor stuff is tied down or stored.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Hurricane party? I don't think so.

So the morning weather report from one of the TV local stations is just full of good news. Florence's track is still aimed at Wilmington, but given the error rate in the forecast it could hit anywhere from Myrtle Beach, SC to Nags Head, NC. Me, I'm still betting on Wilmington or relatively close.

To make matters even more fun, the rain we're getting today through Wednesday is due to a stalled front. That's a double whammy. First, it's soaking ground that is already on the wet side. That's bad for flooding potential when the big weather gets here, but it's also bad because tree root systems don't hold as well in wet ground. Add a lot of wind from the storm and you have trees falling. Bye-bye power, hello impassible roads and trees on houses. Been there, done that, wasn't fun.

Second, that front is going to slow the inland progress of what is predicted now to be a Category 4 storm to a crawl. That means all that rain falls over a longer period of time in any given location and the wind has longer to work on those trees. Great.

Progress on the storm preps is being made. The gas supply has been totally cycled and new fresh gas is in storage. Replacements for the battery supply will be here tomorrow, along with a few items, such as battery-powered fans, that will be good to have in an extended power outage. My generator won't pull the HVAC system, so we'll retreat to the basement and use the fans if an outage goes on for long.

Today I'm going to get to the grocery store. I also hope to change the oil in the generator and begin putting up the weather station. I'll have to temp up some of it, but it should work for the time being. I just hope it holds up to the storm.

Tune in tomorrow for another thrilling episode. :-)

Sunday, September 09, 2018

Hurricane's a' comin'

Ah, it's the time of year in the South when the weather is cooling a bit, college football is underway and hurricanes come barging in, screwing up everything.

It's been quite a few years since the coast of the two Carolinas took a hard, head-on hit from a hurricane, but barring some help from above, it appears Florence is going to be a direct hit on the coast. Currently, forecasts are targeting Wilmington, NC as ground zero for a hit next weekend. Of course, this is a week out, and a lot of weather can happen in a week.

I'm going to use this as a motivator to get some items off my list, such as cycling and refilling gas cans after a long summer of making hay mowing grass. I'll also make the obligatory trip to the grocery store to top off on consumables and another trip, probably to Amazon, to refill on batteries, which I found noticed yesterday we are a little light on.

While this storm has the potential to visit our home, we are a few hundred miles inland, so we won't get the worst of it. However, we have had more than a few hurricanes pass through, and they can still cause havoc. Downed trees, electrical outages and flooding are just a few of the things that happen around here when a hurricane comes to town.

My biggest concerns are our roof, which has a few years on it, and my beam amateur radio antenna (which is still unconnected and yes, I need to finish that and the series of posts I was writing on the process), which is subject to wind damage in very high winds. I'd also like to get my new WeatherFlow weather station installed, but that is subject to time, material availability and weather, the last of those being forecast to be stormy throughout the week.

More to come...