Wednesday, August 20, 2008

9:59 AM - Fay's "Eye" Passed Directly Overhead Overnight

I quit blogging last night so that I could perform the basic hygenic activities and get some rest, because I was not sure whether FIT would cancel class today or not...
Well, I got out of bed around 7:00 this morning, and found the center of Fay's circulation still lingering just to the north of Melbourne.
The rain's still coming down - over 6 inches since midnight according to the Roberts Hall webpage. We clearly have had well over a foot since Fay began gracing us with her presence early yesterday morning.
Sustained winds are holding in the 20-25 MPH range, with gusts around 35 MPH. The barometer is currently 1000.3 mb and rising as Fay moves on to bigger and better things over the Gulf Stream.

Upon inspection of data this morning, it has become clear that Fay's center of circulation passed directly overhead of or very near campus between 1:00 and 1:30 this morning. The Roberts Hall station reported winds of less that 10 MPH from 1:00 to 1:30, while the wind direction shifted from the NE to the SW within that very short time period. My barometer also shows that the air pressure bottomed out at 992 millibars around 1:45 this morning, which, according to the 2 AM advisory from the National Hurricane Center, was the minimum central pressure of Fay at the time...All very convincing evidence that the very small and compact center of Fay passed directly overhead of FIT.
How cool!

If my analysis isn't enought for you, above is a map from The Weather Underground showing Fay's track in blue, FIT's campus in the yellow box, and Roberts Hall (where the weather station is located) under the black dot. Wow!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

8:07 PM - Crane Creek Flooding

Check the past two posts for another video, a couple of pictures, and a description of the same outing.


video

8:02 - Minor Flooding

video

7:26 PM - A Calm Time for Pictures

My roommate and fellow meteorologist, JJ, and I just came back from a short 10-minute walk around a small part of the campus here at FIT. We found a VERY flooded Crane Creek (at least 2-3 vertical feet above normal) and some other flooded areas around campus. Here's a couple of pictures we took on our walk...I also have some video that I am working on uploading now.
Note: The water shown in the still pictures here is not Crane Creek. I have video of Crane Creek to post soon. Also, the places where we took photos and video were fairly sheltered by buildings and trees...The wind is significantly stronger in open areas...Maybe we will get some video of that later tonight.

Currently, the pressure is holding around 1000.6 mb, but will contiune to trend downward as Fay's still well-formed eye approaches. Stay tuned.

5:30-5:50: Darkness

After a short period of light rain and little win, the rain has now picked up in intensity, along with some more significant wind gusts. The outer rain band that has been affecting us for most of the day is now passed, and now we are into an even more intense inner rain band. Extreme rain rates - 1 to 2 inches per hour - are here now, as the strongest squall yet passes.
I noted just before beginning to write this post at 5:30 an eerie darkness come over the campus. Then the rain picked up, along with the wind. It will likely be this way - and worse - well into the night.

The pressure is now down to 1001.1 mb here in the dorm, and between 8 and 9 inches of rain has fallen since midnight...Most of which fell within the last 12 hours.

The lights have been flickering off and on all afternoon, and we may lose power at some time this evening.


The outer rain band that has dominated the weather here on campus can be seen just above the black X. The inner rain band is marked by the yellow area to the south of the X. Close study of the radar and satellite imagery finds that the eye of this strong tropical storm will likely pass directly over or just a little to the west of FIT. It will be an exciting night.

It is also important to note the remarkable strengthening of Fay as she crosses over land...The pressure has dropped 10 millibars since landfall 15 hours ago! We have not seen the last of this storm either, for sure.

3:09 PM - Update

Roberts Hall's 2:00 PM report shows a 29 MPH sustained wind with a gust to 41 MPH, our first officially recorded tropical storm-forced gust here at FIT.

Melbourne Int'l Airport reported a sustained 40 MPH with a gust to 52 on its 2:53 PM observation, so we are officially in tropical storm conditions now.

The past half hour has seen a dramatic increase in rain rate, probably 1"+ per hour.

The pressure has dropped to 1004.5 mb.

2:20 - Bad Diet

Due to the fact that I am on a meal plan with FIT and the closest dining establishment where I can use that meal plan is a long, wet walk away, I have not gone out to eat at all today.

Therefore, my diet today has consisted of Choc-Colossal Crunch and Sun Chips. Not exactly what I call healthy, but I can deal with it for a day.

Meanwhile, the pressure has dropped down to 1005.4 millibars on my Weems & Plath digital barometer, and the rain rate has picked up. The Roberts Hall weather station's 1:15 PM report (the last one posted) reported 24 MPH sustained wind and a 36 MPH gust, with 3.11 inches of rain accumulated since midnight.

Note: The pressure has dropped an additional 5 mb in the last 10 minutes, to 1004.9 mb. The center is approaching!