Gulf Coast Hurricane Tracker

A single source reference on tropical weather predictions. With a traditional focus on the upper Texas and Louisiana Gulf Coast we've maintained links to track all Atlantic Basin, Caribbean and eastern Pacific storm systems. We are now expanding our view to tropical storms throughout the world intending to be a comprehensive global storm tracking resource.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Climate Change bill - one step closer

Last night the US House of Representatives passes the Waxman-Markey climate change bill by a narrow margin. Am I the only person who thinks that voting in favor of legislation that you haven't read is absurd... and dangerous? Does it seem that pushing through a vote less than 24 hours after issuing the bill reeks of corruption? Especially on a Friday night?

Many Democrats appeared to have reservations about the bill, until the house leadership and the White House pressured the vote. What better way to ensure passage than to ram the issue through on a Friday night before a holiday recess. The news cycle is over and then Congress leaves for recess and Independence Day Holiday. By the time they return in session, the short American attention span will have moved on to something else. And with all the confusion and hype surrounding the deaths of Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett just adds to the cover.

We cannot allow this bill to pass. The Senate vote will be much more difficult but I am not convinced that a straight party line vote won't result in a victory for the global warming alarmist crowd. And to what end? Global temperatures have remained fairly constant or even decreased over teh past 10 years. The US southland is in a heatwave right now but the entire country has had a rather cool year so far with record lows and even snow as late as early June.

Global warming alarmists predict near catastrophe by 2100 - 90 years from now. Couldn't Congress wait 2 weeks to properly read and debate this bill?

Below are some links to opinions from industry courtesy of Hydrocarbon Processing Magazine.

API opposes Waxman-Markey climate change legislation

The Waxman-Markey climate change legislation will drive up the cost of gasoline and other petroleum fuels for consumers and businesses and should be set aside, API President Jack Gerard said in a letter to Congress today. API opposes the legislation, as it appears time has run out to fix the proposal’s many flaws.

“As independent analysis suggests, this legislation will drive up consumer prices for gasoline and other fuels. At today’s prices, it would mean gasoline at more than $4 a gallon. It also will create huge disincentives for the production of America’s abundant natural gas resources, and force jobs and productive capacity overseas,” Gerard said.

“API supports legislation to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases in lieu of ill-suited federal and state regulatory programs,” Gerard said. “The oil and natural gas industry is responsible for 44% of the $133 billion in total public and private sector investments in low-carbon energy technology since 2000.

Unfortunately, the approach taken by the Waxman-Markey bill is so fundamentally flawed that the House should reject it. Simply stated, the bill will cost Americans billions of dollars in higher costs, kill jobs and will not deliver the environmental benefits promised.”

NPRA Files Comments on EPA's Proposed Endangerment Findings for Greenhouse Gases

WASHINGTON, D.C. – NPRA, the National Petrochemical & Refiners Association, today submitted comments to the Environmental Protection Agency on EPA’s Proposed Endangerment and Cause or Contribute Findings for Greenhouse Gases.

“We have concerns with EPA’s proposed findings for a number of reasons,” said NPRA President Charles T. Drevna. “The Agency selectively used science, and has failed to identify and address many of the uncertainties and assumptions in the models it relies on. EPA has also failed to adequately consider the consequences of an unnecessarily broad endangerment finding, and the Agency’s legal foundation for its proposed findings is questionable at best.

“As it’s currently constructed, EPA’s proposal simply constitutes unsound policy. Given this matter’s tremendous significance to American consumers, manufacturers, and the economy, we urge EPA to reconsider its proposed findings, particularly in regard to the legal, scientific, and policy issues raised in NPRA’s comments.”

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Bubba's Hurricane Preparations

This was sent to me by a friend who still gets to watch for the storms from the south. So now you know why I moved to the north Georgia Mountains :-)
We have entered the hurricane season.

Every day till December 1st, you'll turn on the TV to see a weather person pointing to some radar blob out in the Gulf of Mexico and making two basic meteorological points:

(1) There is no need to panic.
(2) We could all be killed.

Yes, hurricane season is an exciting time to be in Texas or along the Gulf Coast . If you're new to the area, you're probably wondering what you need to do to pre pare for the possibility that we'll get hit by 'the big one.'

Based on our experiences, we recommend that you follow this simple 3-step hurricane preparedness plan:

STEP 1: Buy enough food and bottled water to last your family for at least 3 days.
STEP 2: Put these supplies into your car.
STEP 3: Drive to Nebraska and remain there until Halloween.

Unfortunately, statistics show that most people will not follow this sensible plan. Most people will foolishly stay here in on the Gulf Coast. We'll start with one of the most important hurricane preparedness items:


If you own a home, you must have hurricane insurance. Fortunately, this insurance is cheap and easy to get, as long as your home meets 2 basic requirements:

(1) It is reasonably well-built, and
(2) It is located in Nebraska .

Unfortunately, if your home is located in, or any other area that might actually be hit by a hurricane, most insurance companies would prefer not to sell you hurricane insurance because then they might be required to pay YOU money, and that is certainly not why they got into the insurance business in the first place.

So you'll have to scrounge around for an insurance company that will charge you an annual premium roughly equal to the replacement value of your house. At any moment, this company can drop you like used dental floss.

Since Hurricane Katrina, most Texans have had an estimated 27 different home-insurance companies. This week I'm covered by the Bob and Big Stan Insurance Company under a policy which states that, in addition to my premium, Bob and Big Stan are entitled, on demand, to my kidneys.

SHUTTERS:Your house should have hurricane shutters on all the windows, all the doors and, if it's a major hurricane, all the toilets. There are several types of shutters, with advantages and disadvantages:

Plywood shutters:

The advantage is that, because you make them yourself, they're cheap.
The disadvantage is that, because you make them yourself, they will fall off.

Sheet-metal shutters:

The advantage is that these work well once you get them all up.
The disadvantage is that once you get them all up, your hands will be useless bleeding stumps ... and it will be December.

Roll-down shutters:

The advantages are that they're very easy to use and will definitely protect your house.
The disadvantage is that you will have to sell your house to pay for them.

Hurricane-proof windows:

These are the newest wrinkle in hurricane protection:
They look like ordinary windows, but they can with stand hurricane winds.
You can be sure of this, because the salesman says so. He lives in Nebraska.


As the hurricane approaches, check your yard for movable objects like barbecue grills, planters, patio furniture, visiting relatives, etc. You should, as a precaution, throw these items into your swimming pool (if you don't have a swimming pool, you should have one built immediately). Otherwise, the hurricane winds will turn these objects into deadly missiles.


If you live in a low-lying area, you should have an evacuation route planned out.
To determine whether you live in a low-lying area, look at your driver license. If it reads ' Texas, Florida or another Gulf Coast state,' you live in a low-lying area.

The purpose of having an evacuation route is to avoid being trapped in your home when a major storm hits. Instead, you will be trapped in a gigantic traffic jam several miles from your home, along with two hundred thousand other evacuees. So, as a bonus, you will not be lonely.


If you don't evacuate, you will need a mess of supplies. Do not buy them now! Tradition requires that you wait until the last possible minute, then go to the supermarket and get into vicious fights with strangers over who gets the last can of SPAM.

In addition to food and water, you will need the following supplies:

a) 23 flashlights. At least $167 worth of batteries that, when the power goes off, turn out to be the wrong size for the flashlights or are old batteries with no power.

b) Bleach. (No, I don't know what the bleach is for. NOBODY knows what the bleach is for, but it's traditional, so GET some!)

c) 55 gallon drum of underarm deodorant.

d) A big knife that you can strap to your leg. (This will be useless in a hurricane, but it looks cool.)

e) $35,000 in cash or diamonds so that, after the hurricane passes, you can buy a generator from a man with no discernible teeth.

Of course these are just basic precautions. As the hurricane draws near, it is vitally important that you keep abreast of the situation by turning on your television and watching TV reporters in rain slickers stand right next to the Gulf and tell you over and over how vitally important it is for everybody to stay away from the water.

Good luck! And remember ... It's great living in Paradise . Hurricane season will be over December 1st

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Andres strengthens into a hurricane

Public Advisory in the title link (National Hurricane Center)

Hurricane warning in Mexico as Tropical Storm Andres gets stronger

Hurricane Andres is still projected to curve just off the western coast of Mexico. The storm intensified Monday night and throughout the day Tuesday. Currently a minimal hurricane, Andres is expected to drop back to a tropical storm overnight and should continue to decrease in strength over the next few days according to Tropical Storm

Further interaction with land as Andres passes near or over southern Baja California is likely to further degrade this storm to a tropical depression.

Tropical Storm Nangka forms suddenly

Tropical Storm Nangka Slams Philippines(from

Typhoon Linfa passed through the South China Sea last week. Today a tropical depression developed into Tropical Storm Nangka today. Nangka made landfall on the eastern coast of the island of Samar. At landfall, sustained winds were 45 - 50 mph.

Looking forward, Nangka will bring substantial impact to the Philippines through at least Thursday while wending its way to the west and the north. Storm intensity will be squelched through the interaction of its wind flow with land, so Nangka's status will be that of tropical depression along part of its track.

Although the extent of any damaging winds will restricted along with the intensity of Nangka, rain impact will be potentially serious. Excessive rainfall will threaten flooding and mudslides until Nangka leaves the area to the north and west late in the week.
Story by Senior Meteorologist Jim Andrews (AccuWeather)

After passing across the Phillipine Islands, Nangka is expected to head towards Taiwan by mid-week and towards Japan by the week end.

Okinawa expects only strong winds from tropical storm Nangka (Stars & Stripes)

CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa — A new tropical storm spawned overnight Monday east of the Philippines, but weather officials at Kadena Air Base said it should only graze Okinawa to its west with winds of up to 40 mph this weekend.


Nangka was forecast by the Joint Typhoon Warning Center to pass 190 miles northwest of Okinawa around 8 a.m. Sunday. It’s expected to peak at 52-mph sustained winds and 63-mph gusts Wednesday and Thursday as it rumbles over the Philippines.


By the time it passes Okinawa, it should be packing winds of less than 50 knots (58 mph) at its center, McDonald said. The island should feel winds of between 30 and 40 mph Saturday night into Sunday morning if the storm stays on its JTWC forecast track, he added.

At 9 p.m., Nangka swirled 288 miles southeast of Manila and 1,041 miles south-southwest of Okinawa, churning west-northwest at 16 mph with sustained 40-mph winds and 52-mph gusts at its center.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Tropical Storm Andres threatens SW Mexican coast

The first named storm of the eastern Pacific hurricane season formed off the southwestern coast this weekend. Projections are for TS Andres to head northwestward away from land but forecasters do not know if this storm will make landfall before turning out to sea. With the current position of this storm the coast is certain to get a fair amount of rain.

ACAPULCO, Mexico (AP) — Tropical Storm Andres strengthened off the southwestern coast of Mexico on Monday, prompting emergency preparations for a storm that forecasters said might become a hurricane in coming days.

It was too soon to tell if Andres would make landfall, but a tropical storm watch was issued from Zihuatanejo northward to Manzanillo, meaning that tropical storm conditions were possible in the next day or two.

The Acapulco city government prepared 120 shelters and warned residents to stay indoors, especially some 15,000 people in 20 zones most at risk for flooding. Heavy rains late Sunday downed a few trees in the resort city. (USA Today)

A tropical storm warning may be issued later in the day. Andres may reach hurricane strength as it skirts along the Mexican coast. Then, depending on how the storm track changes, the southern tip of baja California may also recieve a direct hit in a few days.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Tropical Storm Linfa downgraded from typhoon

As we expected, Linfa is now weakening as it crosses through the China Strait. The weakening is due partially from interaction with land but also due to high wind shear from the northwest.

The public advisory from Weather Underground:

210900z position near 24.3n 119.0e.Tropical Storm (TS) 03w (Linfa) located approximately 520 nm west-southwest of Okinawa, has tracked northward at 06 knots over thepast six hours. The system has begun weakening as it encountersincreasing vertical wind shear and its northern quadrants interact with Mainland China. Forecast track philosophy remains consistentwith previous forecasts, tracking the system through the TaiwanStrait and recurving south of Mainland Japan. Maximum significantwave height at 210600z is 22 feet. Next warnings at 211500z,212100z, 220300z and 220900z.//

Storm track predictions show Linfa as continuing to head north actually making landfall sometime tonight local time (China time is 12 or 13 hours later than EDT). (From Taiwan CWB). Landfall will skirt along the southeast China coast. Maximum sustained windspeed at the moment is 50 knots with gusts up to 70 kts.

Of course the major concern with this storm is the potential for flooding due to heavy rain.

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Tropical storm Linfa disrupted domestic air traffic and stranded an oil tanker on the rocks Sunday as it was moving north close along the coast of China.

Air and sea traffic between Taiwan’s main island, Penghu in the middle of the Taiwan Straits, and Kinmen close to China’s Fujian Province were almost completely canceled Sunday, affecting 167 flights and leaving travelers stranded at airports. Direct shipping links between the islands and China were also suspended for two days.


Linfa was showing signs of veering towards a route slightly inland over China’s Fujian Province, which could weaken its strength, cut its radius and slow its speed, the bureau said. Land alerts might be ended later Sunday evening, reports said.

The islands of Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu had to prepare for heavy rain and strong winds, the bureau announced late Saturday, while sea warnings were in effect for the areas south, west and east of Taiwan’s main island.

Even though the radius of the storm was not expected to include the main island, the bureau warned residents of Southern Taiwan to prepare for heavy rain and flooding. Southeast Taiwan and Central Taiwan could also fall victim to torrential rain, even as Linfa moved away, the bureau said.

Landslides were possible in mountainous areas, and members of the public were dissuaded from hiking in the mountains and walking along rivers, the bureau said. Sightseers should also stay away from the country’s southwestern coastlines, since high waves were possible in some popular tourist areas like Kenting and Hsiao Liuchiu Island.

Reports of injuries and deaths include some peopel hit by flying debris and a drowning of a 14 year old boy in Sanchin on Taiwan's north coast. For anyone in southeast China and Taiwan reading this please remember the adage to "Run from the water and hide from the wind." Typhoons and tropical storm can be quite unpredictable at the micro level. Stay indoors and avoid rising waters, please.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Typhoon Linfa heading for the Taiwan Strait

The first typhoon of the year is heading for the southeast China coast and the island of Taiwan today. The slow moving category one storm could cause drenching rain and possible flooding. Right now the projected path calls for storm to pass through the Taiwan Strait which means both landmasses will get quite wet.

The light typhoon, with sustained winds of 83 kph, is expected to reach land on Sunday, lingering through Monday at an usually slow 10 kph, raising the risk of floods or mudslides.
The Central Weather Bureau has issued a typhoon warning for this severe tropical storm which has recently been upgraded to a category 1 typhoon.
The storm track was originally forcast to pass between Taiwan and the Phillipines, but overnight the storm has noved more northward, passing instead between the narrow strait. It appears that Vietnam and Hong Kong were not affected by Typhoon Linfa. Now that interaction with land is beginning on both sides of the storm, the forecasts are for Linfa to weaken back to a topical storm as it heads for southern Japan.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

2009 Easter Pacific Tropical Season

The Eastern Pacific hurricane season typically begins around mid-May. This year, however, activity has been very light as it has been in the Atlantic basin.

Based on current climate conditions, NOAA is predicting blow normal activity for the eastern Pacific. These conditions include lower than typical ocean surface temperatures and higher than typical wind shear.

The main climate factors influencing this year’s Eastern Pacific outlook are the atmospheric conditions that have decreased hurricane activity over the Eastern Pacific Ocean since 1995 – and the possible development of El Niño.

“We expect either neutral or El Niño conditions this season,” said Gerry Bell, Ph.D., lead seasonal hurricane forecaster at the Climate Prediction Center. “During this low-activity era, neutral conditions increase the chance of a below-normal season, while El Niño increases the chance of a near normal season. If significant El Niño impacts develop, as a few models suggest, we could even see an above-normal hurricane season for the Eastern Pacific region.” (NOAA May 21, 2009)

Looking at some of the maps and widgets in the sidebar, several storms have begun forming but then quickly broke up. Now we are seeing a new storm developing that has a good liklihood of becoming the 1st named storm of the season. I've noticed a train of heavy clouds forming near the west coast of Mexico. Well this afternoon the National Hurricane Center has indicated that these storms have a better than 50% chance of organizing into Tropical Storm Andres.

The normal eastern Pacific season will produce around 16 named storms. So even a light season may have well over a dozen tropical storms or hurricanes associated with it. What we don't know is how many will strike land.

The names for the eastern Pacific for this season are below.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Crops under stress as temperatures fall

Three factors are vital to crops: the light and warmth of the sun, adequate rainfall and the carbon dioxide they need for photosynthesis. As we are constantly reminded, we still have plenty of that nasty, polluting CO2, which the politicians are so keen to get rid of. But there is not much they can do about the sunshine or the rainfall.

It is now more than 200 years since the great astronomer William Herschel observed a correlation between wheat prices and sunspots. When the latter were few in number, he noted, the climate turned colder and drier, crop yields fell and wheat prices rose. In the past two years, sunspot activity has dropped to its lowest point for a century. One of our biggest worries is that our politicians are so fixated on the idea that CO2 is causing global warming that most of them haven't noticed that the problem may be that the world is not warming but cooling, with all the implications that has for whether we get enough to eat. (Telegraph)

We've commented for quite awhile that the computer models that AGW alarmism is based on do not reflect reality. Warmer temperatures provide longer growing seasons. Throughout history, humanity has prospered during periods of warmth and suffered during cold spells. I hope we are not beginning to see history repeating itself.

New features and data

Well about this time every year I try to make a few updates to the site to keep the view fresh. I've had the same background since the blog's inception and I keep toying with the idea of a change there but I just really like the way this looks.

Last year I added the Graphical Tropical Weather Outlook for the Atlantic and Eastern Pacific from NOAA and the tropical storm risk tracker. All three of these maps are clickable and will take you to the home site for additional data and information.

In the side bar we've had details of current activity from the National Hurricane Center for both coasts. The links in these sidebar widgets are clickable and take you to the NHC website. Lately I've noticed that when an active system develops, the widget automatically displays the graphics rather than just the links. Of course this messes up the delivery of the information. I will be watching this throughout the season and will see what I can do to get this straightened out.

Two new widgets I've added in the sidebar are located below the Dumb Ox Blogroll Updates.

The first is just for fun - Al Gore's Doomsday Countdown. The Vice President stated that we only have ten years to act before we face total destruction of the planet. This is just plain BS but I'm not above having some fun with it. Based on current observations and data, in the 6+ years remaining until we burn up due to global warming, we are likely to be in a little ice age. If temperatures continue to drop we will be freezing our backsides off while we try to survive all the draconian climate legislation such as cap and trade (tax and scam).

The other new widget is news in science and nature from Earthweek - A Diary of the Planet.

I've struggled with deciding whether or not to add this widget for quite a while now. After two or three false attempts, I've finally decided to go with it. The negatives are few - mainly just that they promote AGW alarmism. This can be seen in the lead item this week "Displaced by Climate" discussing how many people will lose their homes due to rising sea levels of which there is no evidence and is only predicted by obtuse computer models.

On the positive side, this Earthweek site does a good job of documenting observable environmental activity across the planet. Everything from hurricanes and volcano eruptions to the high and low temperature.

I do want to emphasize that while we have major differences with wacko environmentalist alarmists, environmental stewardship is something I take very seriously. The atmosphere and oceans have been cleaned up significantly sincle the 1970's as I have pointed out several times previously. Real pollution is decreasing and while there is still work to do - such as smog in Houston and Los Angeles, we have made great strides. Focusing a strong effort to regulate CO2, which is not a pollutant, will only serve to take resources away from more important activities such as abatement of real pollutants and adaptating to the naturally changing climate.

Finally, I ask that you scroll down to the bottom of the blog. Last year I added a graph of the progress of named storms throughout the season. I've now expanded this to include graphical representation of hurricanes (as well as named storms) for 2009 plus live radar for the Gulf of Mexico, Western Atlantic and Caribbean and Eastern Atlantic all coutesy of I put these at the bottom because I don't know how to adjust the size so that it will fit in the sidebar and I don't want any more data in the top header that could obscure the posts.

Now the last thing I need to get working well is my standing in the TTLB Ecosystem. The TTLB site doesn't recognize the name of this blog when I search it yet when I tried to re-register it, it said it already exists so if anyone knows how to fix this I'd appreciate some feedback. The TTLB Ecosystem, Sitemeter and Neocounter are very important to me because it really makes me feel goo to see how my readership rises during tropical storm season. Thank you all for indulging my writing and opinons. It really made me feel good to see monthly readership rise from < 100 in the off season to 9,000 readers each month last July and August. I guess I must be doing something right.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

#1 Daughter reaches milestone

It's time for a proud dad to do a little bragging.

This afternoon, my oldest daughter graduates from high school. We made the drive across the southland Sunday taking 15 hours and 45 minutes door - to - door. I've done this drive quite a few times but this time it was with a full carload. We head back tomorrow with my son who will join us for the summer.

Ky has worked very hard these past few years and now she can see that all her work has paid off. School hasn't been all academics.

Intermediate school in League City had the band years. She became quite a fine flutist before deciding that this wasn't the way she wanted to go. At Clear Creek HS she tried out for a made the trainer squad for football and basketball. I must admit that her having an active roll around a bunch of football players made dad just a tad nervous at first. But it was soon very obvious how much she enjoyed it and was a very important part of the team. Her value to the team was really emphasized when we had to move last summer. When she decided to come to central Texas her coach at CCHS called the trainer coaches here at McNeil HS and recommended her highly. She was accepted on both the JV and varsity squads with no hesitation.

It is amazing how quickly 18 years can zip by. I said last night that I can remember when she was the age of her little sister like it was and now she's graduating. Yes Dad will probably get a little teary - I admit it outright.

Bragging to Rosemary's Thoughts, third world county, Allie is Wired, The World According to Carl, DragonLady's World, , The Pink Flamingo, Leaning Straight Up, Dumb Ox Daily News, and Right Voices, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe. and Woman Honor Thyself

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Hurricane Season 2009 begins calmly

Last week a tropical depression formed off the coast of South Carolina. It never organized enough to strengthen to a named storm. Apart from this, there has not been any activity to speak of at the start of this year's tropical season. Compare this to the past two years when each season started with quite a few pre season storms.

2009 hurricane season is now among us

Ike-damaged Galveston preps for 2009 season (Dallas Morning News)

Galveston leaders are prepping for this year's storm season as recovery efforts continue from 2008's devastating Hurricane Ike.

A town hall meeting is scheduled Wednesday night at the Galveston Island Convention Center.

The Galveston County Daily News reports Mayor Lyda Ann Thomas is expected to encourage island residents to make hurricane evacuation plans before a storm approaches.

Thomas also said she will provide details Wednesday on a new re-entry plan for Galveston residents when they are forced to flee due to weather.

One comment that I can make is that I visit Galveston during Texas Spring Break with two of my teens. In my opinion, the entire city looks GREAT! There was very little damage still visible, a couple of buildings along Seawall Blvd. still needed work and the Flagship Hotel is still in very bad shape. But except for these few things which you had to look for, the city looked really good. The beach was clean and wide - as if new sand had been brought in, the roads were clean and everything was open. We had a really enjoyable day.

Fort Bend Residents to Prepare For Hurricane Season 2009(The Examiner)

Area residents are urged to be prepared for potential tropical storm strikes. It is advised to have emergency supplies ready, as well as to know all possible evacuation routes from the area. Supplies to have include emergency generators, battery-powered radios and lamps, fully-charged cellular phones, first aid kits, and readily available money. As well, full emergency preparations should be made for
elderly and disabled family members. Pets should not be forgotten
either, as all of their foods and supplies should be prepared for transport
in the case of an emergency evacuation.

OOPS, The problem with using the same story each year with a few updates. The message is correct but it seems the authors forgot about Ike tearing a hole from Galveston through Houston.

2009 Atlantic hurricane season begins quietly (AP)

2010 Atlantic Hurricanes (courtesy of

NOAA Gulf of Mexico Radar (courtesy of

NOAA West Atlantic & Caribbean Radar (courtesy of

NOAA East Atlantic Radar (courtesy of