When I lived in Naples, Florida I was an announcer at WNOG (Bright and chipper: "This is Stephen B. and you're tuned the 'Nogger. News and weather next, then Major League Baseball live from...") and WCVU-FM (Slow, deliberate, warm: "This is W-C-V-U, Sea-view, covering Naples, Ft. Meyers, and Marco Island. And, now the Wall Street Journal Report...")
I rode out several hurricane near-hits during my time there. The radio stations were owned by Palmer Broadcasting and were in a building that also housed the cable tv operations for much of the south Gulf Coast of Florida.
The building was as built to be as hurricane proof as was possible at the time. There were emergency generators worthy of a major city hospital. There were few windows and they were only 12 or 14 inches wide and 3 feet tall. No huge sheets of glass. It had a kitchen and a number of rooms that could be turned into dormitories. Twice in two years I went home after my shift, packed a suitcase, and moved into the station for the duration.
The building was about 2 blocks from the Gulf of Mexico; the transmitter towers were situated miles inland. The radio signals were also carried on the cable tv system. It was a pretty slick package. I was young and bunking with fellow workers was fun.
Now, living in Baltimore, with Hurricane Irene approaching things are a tad bit different. I live on the top floor of a high rise. We have windows that are 50x27 inches. We have 15 of them facing South, East, and, North. That's 1687.5 square-feet of glass in just a few rooms. The pantry, our safe room, and the liquor closet are, as always, are fully stocked.
Park Charles, We're on the top floor with lots and lots of windows
I'll keep you posted right here from our perch in the cat bird's seat.
And, I'll put all of the Baltimore 21201 Hurricane Irene updates in this post - check back as the weekend and the big woman approach..
First of all--and this is important--I'm not a weatherman and I'm not giving advice or providing breaking news on this blog. I won't be updating on a regular basis. This ongoing post will document the hurricane as Jacob and I witness it. I will attempt to add links to other trusted sources. Please use local and national media for immediate updates, conditions and advisories. Be prepared and be safe.
2011.08.27 1054 UTC Temperature 79.0 F (26.1 C) Dew Point 73.0 F (22.8 C) Relative Humidity 82% Pressure (altimeter) 29.81 in. Hg (1009 hPa) ob KDMH 271054Z AUTO 26/23 A2981 RMK AO2 SLP095 T02610228 PWINO TSNO
A little sultry outside? Oh yeah. Stay tuned, I'll have much more later.
UPDATE 8/27/11-1130 EST
Fascinating video from NASA and the International Space Station.
Video Details from NASA:
Cameras mounted on the International Space Station captured new views of Hurricane Irene at 4:27 p.m. EDT on August 26, 2011 as the storm bore down on the east coast of the United States.
Accompanied by narration from Expedition 28 Flight Engineer Mike Fossum of NASA, the video showed the massive system moving north at 14 miles an hour packing winds of 100 miles an hour some 300 miles south-southwest of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. Irene is expected to track to the northeast along the mid-Atlantic states, the metropolitan New York-New Jersey region and New England this weekend before heading out over the north Atlantic.
National Hurricane Center: AT 1100 AM EDT...1500 UTC...THE CENTER OF HURRICANE IRENE WAS LOCATED NEAR LATITUDE 35.2 NORTH...LONGITUDE 76.4 WEST. IRENE IS MOVING TOWARD THE NORTH-NORTHEAST NEAR 15 MPH...24 KM/H...AND THIS GENERAL MOTION IS EXPECTED TO CONTINUE FOR THE NEXT 24 HOURS. ON THE FORECAST TRACK...THE CENTER OF IRENE WILL MOVE ACROSS NORTHEASTERN NORTH CAROLINA THIS AFTERNOON. THE HURRICANE IS FORECAST TO MOVE NEAR OR OVER THE MID-ATLANTIC COAST TONIGHT AND MOVE OVER SOUTHERN NEW ENGLAND ON SUNDAY.
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS REMAIN NEAR 85 MPH...140 KM/H...WITH HIGHER GUSTS.
IRENE IS A CATEGORY ONE HURRICANE ON THE SAFFIR-SIMPSON HURRICANE WIND SCALE. SLIGHT WEAKENING IS FORECAST AS IRENE CROSSES EASTERN NORTH CAROLINA...BUT IRENE IS FORECAST TO REMAIN NEAR HURRICANE STRENGTH AS IT MOVES NEAR OR OVER THE MID-ATLANTIC STATE SAND APPROACHES NEW ENGLAND.
IRENE IS A LARGE TROPICAL CYCLONE. HURRICANE-FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 90 MILES...150 KM...FROM THE CENTER...AND TROPICAL-STORM-FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 260 MILES...415 KM. A WIND GUST TO 87 MPH WAS RECENTLY MEASURED AT CAPE HATTERAS NORTH CAROLINA. NORFOLK NAVAL AIR STATION RECENTLY REPORTED A WIND GUST TO 63 MPH.
ESTIMATED MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE IS 952 MB...28.11 INCHES.
More to come later. Stay tuned.
UPDATE 8/27/11-1900 EST
Hurricane Irene, 1800 EST
Back in the Saddle Again (and yet another reason Why I Hate Microsoft).
Around 11 AM I started to capture a time lapse video of the clouds preceding Hurricane Irene blowing into town. I'd planned for the video to cover the span from morning until well after dark.
Anticipating a long night, I crawled into bed about 3 PM to take a nap and what did I find on the screen of the laptop just now:
"Windows installed new updates - Windows restarted your computer..."
You can take it from there.
No great harm done, except for the Hurricane Irene lyrics that I'd written to the tune of Sinatra's "Summer Wind." The lyrics were on notepad for easy blog posting; they're gone.
Since the Irene Affair is developing more as a wind and rain event than a full-fledged hurricane, more than a full-fledged storm, I'll take a slightly different approach to this messy night. Catch you all in a few...
UPDATE 8/27/11-2045 EST
So far, and using Steve Kilar's word, it's a "moist" night and that's about all it is. In Baltimore, we haven't even had a decent gust of wind.
I'm entertaining myself with the Tweets of my social media friends. They are just the best. Here's a peek at the posts:
@JohnMilleker: Dear #HurricaneIrene, if you must damage ANYTHING in @OCMaryland, you can take Dippin' Dots. Love, me.
@RyanE1984: PLUS, if my usual blow out is ruined, there better be a damn good reason. This itty bitty rain is not a good excuse to ruin my hair. #oy
@JohnMilleker: Time for a inner perimeter/basement spot check, if I'm not back in ten minutes I probably stopped off at the beer fridge. #Irene
@thomasbeller: Was lovely wandering Broadway today. "It's like wartime," said play-write David Ives. "Everyone knows it's coming but it's not here yet."
@stevekilar: #MDHurricane Irene has breached the Hilton ocean city -- the carpet around my sliding glass balcony door is moist!
@TonyDeFranco: The weather conditions in Federal Hill are currently fratty.
@kellycollect: Rare and retired Precious Moments figurines bit.ly/9P0lkL
@make_lemons: Set your alarms RT @andersoncooper Planning to go live at 6am Sunday from NYC covering #Irene.
@CharmCityBarfly: Hi everyone. You LOSE power. Your mama is LOOSE. See the difference? For the love of God. Use the proper word.
@BriHoffman: im bored so far... #hurricane #Irene
@Seth_Fried: If your apartment is hit by a dolphin, DO NOT GO OUT TO SEE IF THE DOLPHIN IS OKAY. That's how the hurricane tricks you into coming outside.
@insidecharmcity: Jayne Miller of WBAL having a bunch of drunks photobombing her live shot from Fells Point #mdhurricane
I love you people. I love you all.
Stay tuned. We may get a breeze later. I'll report.
UPDATE 8/27/11-2245 EST
The empirical end to this long and uneventful post comes from my dear friend, Andrea Snyder. This performance says it all, and says it better than I ever could.
Good Night, Irene
Video description via YouTube:
Steve Dawson is here visiting me in Baltimore for some co-writing and music making. Brave enough to fly AT a hurricane instead of away from it, we had some fun with Irene. Enjoy!
That's all folks. G'night all. And, G'night Irene.
103-degrees at the Inner Harbor this afternoon. Baltimore and much of the country is under what I call The Deadly Dome of Doom. Not much relief from the hellish heat and humidity in sight.
Graphic Courtesy AccuWeather.Com
I've always found it interesting that Baltimore natives almost always want to punch me out when I say, "I love winters and heavy snow on the east coast. Baltimore never looks better than it does when covered with snow".
So, the low temperature downtown tonight will be about 80-degrees. In the dead of winter you can wear a coat, a scarf, and hats and earmuffs and gloves. Summertime, in Baltimore, you have percious few options in the process of attempting to cool down. Take a look at this scene, chill a bit, and then call me crazy.
Final thought. Not a lot of businesses close for Heat Days. Give me a Snow Day anytime.
Cantore is the best-of-the-best of the weather-guys. And, this is fun.
I've said it a hundred times, nothing makes people look so innocent and so excited as snow and fireworks. I'm surprised that so few people in Baltimore have experienced Thundersnow. Enjoy the night, everyone.
As you all know, Baltimore will be experiencing heavy rains tonight. Please be cautious, be prepared to move your car if necessary, and keep on the lookout for water damage, especially in your basement. Avoid walking outside or driving unless it's absolutely necessary. In addition:
- Call 311 for city services or to report blocked roads or other storm-related damage to city streets, sidewalks, or buildings. - Along many streets, water may pool near drains or at street corners. Help keep storm drains clear to avoid flooding. - Monitor storm drain inlets and clear any blockages to prevent flooding in the streets. - Move vehicles from flood prone areas.- High winds may cause downed power lines. If you see downed lines, call 911.
- Fells Point Residents and Businesses-Prepare for Possible Flooding
- During these heavy rains, Fells Point is at risk for flooding. In addition to other precautions, residents there should:
- Move vehicles parked below Fleet Street between Central Ave and Chester Street. At 5pm, the City will begin relocation towing.
- To find a safe spot for your car, take advantage of free resident parking at the Fleet and Eden Garage (501 S. Eden) and the Little Italy Garage (400 S. Central Ave.). Move cars out of these garages by 8am on Friday, Oct. 1.
- Watch for basement flooding.
The following meetings have been CANCELLED due to today's heavy rains: - TransForm Baltimore Southeast Workgroup (meet as usual next week) - Community Forum for Highlandtown, Patterson Park and Baltimore Highlands (to be rescheduled) - O'Donnell Heights Redevelopment Steering Committee (to be rescheduled)
Just because your meeting isn't listed here doesn't mean it hasn't been impacted by the weather. If you are planning to attend an event tonight, call ahead to find out if it's still taking place, and avoid being out on the roads as much as possible.
PLEASE SHARE THIS INFORMATION WITH YOUR FRIENDS AND NEIGHBORS.
Yesterday, it played out in my brain like a Tonight Show routine from long ago.
Johnny Carson would say, "It was sooo hot today..." Audience and Ed McMahon would respond, "How hot was it?"
I didn't have a punch line for the bit, but it was so hot and humid that even the ringtone on my BlackBerry was making me testy. I decided that while the opening theme from CBS Sunday Morning is an outstanding piece of music and dramatically calls me to my callers, it's probably a better ringtone for the cooler months. The theme is too heady... and, a bit too orchestral for the summer.
But, what to replace it with? That was my quandary. Sometimes when I have a creative block, a snack helps. Pretzels are usually good choice. But, not in this heat. I headed to the freezer and BOOM. The light bulb went off. Lightning struck. And, genius ensued.
When I first moved to Baltimore in the late 1980's two things were clear.
Doner was the killer shop in Baltimore at the time. The agency was founded by Wilfred Broderick Doner in 1937. Everyone remembers some of the timeless Doner campaigns. For TIMEX, Doner created: It Takes a Licking, and Keeps on Ticking. For Mazda: Zoom, Zoom. For Ball Park Franks: They Plump When You Cook 'em.
And, my favorite, What Would You Do for a Klondike Bar?
That's the tune -- and the snack -- I was looking for. I grabbed a TV spot, edited out some of the dialog, and cut the track down to a tidy 15-seconds. It's the perfect fun-for-summer-time ringtone.
This evening reminded us, yet once again, why we love living on the 26th floor in the center of downtown Baltimore. The views are extraordinary and we can actually see weather and storms building way out in the distance long before they arrive in 21201.
I took these with a 50mm Canon prime lens on my trusty old EOS 20D. The 50mm lens wouldn't have been my lens of choice. If I'd had the time to change lenses, I probably would have used my Canon 16-35. And, that just might have been a mistake.
I wish I knew the names of the dozens of cloud formations that passed by rapidly at first and then slowed way down and just hung over us for a while. I just may have to ask Frank Roylance at the Baltimore Sun.
All the photos above were taken looking East, the one below was taken looking South. And as I'm posting this, Jacob and I are seeing some pretty spectacular cloud-to-cloud lightening happening overhead.