Heeer's Hurricane Wilma

Ocean Breeze

PUNTA GORDA, Fla. Oct 18, 2005 Having seen what Katrina and other storms have done in the past year or so, Floridians began buying water and canned goods Tuesday after watching Wilma strengthen into a hurricane.

Although the storm was not expected to approach Florida until the weekend, residents began buying supplies early. Many said they take every storm seriously now, after witnessing the devastation from a succession of hurricanes that have ravaged the southern United States.

"People have learned their lesson and know better how to prepare. We're not waiting until the last minute anymore," said Andrea Yerger, 48, of Port Charlotte. She was buying material to protect her house, which had to be gutted because of extensive damage from Hurricane Charley last year.

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Wilma became a hurricane Tuesday, and its top sustained winds had increased to 80 mph by mid-afternoon. Forecasters warned it could become a Category 4 hurricane by Thursday with winds of at least 131 mph, but it was expected to weaken somewhat before landfall.

Wilma was expected to strengthen on a path that could threaten coastal areas like Punta Gorda in southwestern Florida that were hit by Charley, a Category 4 storm that was the first of six hurricanes to strike the state since August 2004.

Computer models showed Wilma possibly making a sharp turn and bearing down on Florida over the weekend.

"When this storm makes the turn, it's going to start moving very quickly. So people need to get their supplies now. It's a good time to beat the rush," said Stacy Stewart, a hurricane specialist at the National Hurricane Center in Miami.

Many Punta Gorda homes and businesses have been rebuilt in a construction boom, but some are still boarded up. More than 6,800 federal trailers and mobile homes remain scattered around the state as temporary housing from the six storms, with 934 in Charlotte County alone.

Gov. Jeb Bush said Floridians must be thinking, "Why us? It's just something we're going to have to live with and prepare for."

Reverend Blair
Anybody else hear Fred Flintstone's voice every time this hurricane's name is mentioned?

Ocean Breeze
Q: to my fellow forum members.

Who gets to name the hurricanes??? Is there an existing system in place??? Pick a name out of a hat???

just curious.
Reverend Blair

According to Dunn and Miller (1960), the first use of a proper name for a tropical cyclone was by an Australian forecaster early in the 20th century. He gave tropical cyclone names "after political figures whom he disliked. By properly naming a hurricane, the weatherman could publicly describe a politician (who perhaps was not too generous with weather-bureau appropriations) as 'causing great distress' or 'wandering aimlessly about the Pacific.'"

It doesn't say how they choose an exact name, but it's pretty interesting.
Ocean Breeze
THANKS much , rev. Cool.
GL Schmitt
The Wikipedia (external - login to view) also has information relevant to your question, Ocean.
Ocean Breeze
Quote: Originally Posted by GL Schmitt

The Wikipedia (external - login to view) also has information relevant to your question, Ocean.

thanks GL. Silly me.....shoulda gone there to check myself.---being a Wiki and all.
Ocean Breeze
www.cnn.com/2005/WEATHER/10/19/wilma/index.html (external - login to view)

Wilma categorized as 5.
Reverend Blair
Not only is at category five, but it grew from category one to category five faster than anybody has ever seen before and it's a very powerful five.

Another record broken in a record year for hurricanes. Global warming anyone?
GL Schmitt
Quote: Originally Posted by Reverend Blair

. . . Global warming anyone?

Bet we'll hear "Galactic Cooling" before the C in C * will cop to that, Rev.

* Chimp in Charge
Ocean Breeze


Ocean Breeze

Florida prepares for another hit
Hurricane Wilma could slam state by weekend

Thursday, October 20, 2005; Posted: 3:47 p.m. EDT (19:47 GMT)

Floridians brace for another hit (1:23)

Hurricane center director's warning about Wilma (6:33)

Wilma surprises forecasters with record pressure (1:45)
Hurricane tracker

In what has become an all-too-familiar drill, Floridians boarded up windows, gassed up their cars and bought storm supplies Wednesday. But this time they were looking at the most intense hurricane ever recorded in the Atlantic.

Hurricane Wilma exploded into a Category 5 monster with winds of 160 mph, and forecasters warned it could smash into southwestern Florida on Saturday with towering waves, and then work its way up the East Coast with devastating effect.

"I don't think I want to live in Florida," said Betty Bartelson, a Pennsylvania tourist visiting Marco Island. She planned to flee across the state to Fort Lauderdale.

Like Hurricanes Katrina and Rita earlier this season, Wilma was expected to weaken before coming ashore. But after seeing what those storms did -- and after four storms hit Florida in quick succession last year -- many people were taking no chances.

Officials began clearing tens of thousands of people out of the low-lying Florida Keys.

"We had well over a 1,000 lives lost in Katrina. If Wilma, you know, comes into the U.S., to the Florida coast as a Category 3 or 4 hurricane, that potential for large loss of life is with us," National Hurricane Center Director Max Mayfield said.

At one point Wednesday, Wilma's pressure dropped to 882 millibars, the lowest reading ever measured in an Atlantic basin hurricane. Typically, the lower the pressure, the faster air rushes into a storm.

By midafternoon, Wilma had weakened slightly, with its winds dropping from 175 mph, and its pressure rising to 900 millibars.

The storm's forward motion also appeared to be slowing somewhat, which could weaken the hurricane further and possibly delay Wilma's landfall until Saturday evening, Mayfield said.

Wilma was on a path that could threaten the areas hit last year by Hurricane Charley. Some houses and businesses in the area are still boarded up because of that storm.

The White House promised to stay on top of the situation, hoping to avoid a repeat of the slow initial response to Katrina. The Federal Emergency Management Agency was positioning emergency materials in Jacksonville, Lakeland and Homestead.

Gov. Jeb Bush said the state had ample supplies of food, water and ice ready for hard-hit areas.

Sean Mayo was filling up his sport utility vehicle's 26-gallon tank and a five-gallon gas can in Marco Island.

"We don't know if there will be any shortages. I need to make sure I got enough gas to get to Lauderdale and back," he said.

Although Wilma was approaching from the west, forecasters warned that Atlantic Coast cities such as Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach could be hit by winds nearly as strong.

At 5 p.m. EDT, Wilma was centered about 285 miles southeast of Cozumel, Mexico, and about 465 miles south-southwest of Key West. It was moving west-northwest near 7 mph, forecasters said.

Mayfield said the Keys could be hit by storm surge up to 25 feet and battering waves ever higher than that.

"I just don't see how the Florida Keys will get out of this without having a major impact," he said.

Authorities told visitors to leave the Keys on Wednesday and planned to order residents to get out on Thursday. The Keys were evacuated for Hurricanes Dennis and Rita earlier this year and four times last year.

"It is tough on the nerves," said Leon Dermer, owner of Happy Feather Gift Shop in Key Largo. He said every evacuation costs him about $10,000.

Hard-Luck Henry
Quote: Originally Posted by Reverend Blair

. . . Global warming anyone?

No thanks, Rev. I'm trying to cut down, but it's really difficult.

Quote: Originally Posted by GL Schmitt

Bet we'll hear "Galactic Cooling" before the C in C * will cop to that, Rev

Bet we'll hear "Hell cooling" before that, GL.
Ocean Breeze

Hurricane Wilma lashing the Yucatan
Category 4 storm also threatens Cuba, Florida

Friday, October 21, 2005; Posted: 6:00 a.m. EDT (10:00 GMT)

The center of Hurricane Wilma is just off the Yucatan in this satellite image taken Friday at 4:15 a.m. ET.

MIAMI, Florida (CNN) -- Deadly Hurricane Wilma was pounding Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula early Friday, with the popular tourist cities of Cozumel and Cancun directly in the storm's path.

The Category 4 hurricane's outer bands began lashing the tourist hotspots late Thursday, and the winds will get stronger as the center of the storm moves closer.

As of 5 a.m. ET, the storm's top winds were 150 mph, with higher gusts.

By the time the outer wall of its eye reaches the Yucatan shoreline, the hurricane could strengthen into a Category 5, with sustained winds greater than 155 mph, forecasters said. (Watch the latest on Wilma -- 1:51)

From the Yucatan, Wilma was expected to travel to Cuba, then to either the Florida Keys or southwest Florida -- maybe near Marco Island or as far north as Sarasota, said Max Mayfield, director of the National Hurricane Center in Miami

Mayfield predicted the "very dangerous" storm would reach Florida late Sunday or early Monday. (Watch preparations in Florida -- 1:37)

"On the forecast track, the core of Wilma will be very near Cozumel and the northeastern coast of the Yucatan Peninsula by midday today," the hurricane center said early Friday. "However, Wilma has a large circulation and hurricane conditions will be felt well before the arrival of the center."

Early Friday, data from Cuba indicated that 20-foot waves were pounding portions of the southern coast of Cuba's Isle of Youth, the center said.

As of late Thursday, forecasters reported that a buoy in the eastern Gulf of Mexico was indicating large swells generated by Wilma. "These swells will likely affect portions of the northern Gulf Coast on Friday," the center said.

Stranded in Mexico
New Jersey resident Michael Attardi and his father-in-law were among dozens of Americans stranded Thursday on the island of Cozumel after airlines canceled flights, Attardi said. They went there to scuba dive. He said when they learned Tuesday about the impending storm, they arranged to leave Mexico at noon Thursday. Ferries also had stopped running, he said.

Attardi said 54 other U.S. citizens, including three small children, planned to seek haven in hotel room bathrooms when Wilma hits, in case windows shatter.

The Americans bought food and water before a 3 p.m. curfew, he said.

Cuban authorities were evacuating 500,000 residents from its westernmost provinces in anticipation of heavy rain and the possibility of mudslides. (See video on Cuba's preparedness -- 2:09)

By Thursday afternoon, more than 222,000 residents had left their homes, many of which are in dire condition after Hurricanes Dennis and Rita hit Cuba this year, officials said.

It is unlikely that Wilma will turn farther eastward and miss Florida, Mayfield said. But like all storms, this one is somewhat unpredictable, Mayfield added.

"That's a little bit like the stock market. Past performance is no guarantee of future results," he said.

Despite some inconsistencies in predictions, "all of the data suggests that eventually it's going to turn up towards the northeast and come over the south Florida Keys."

"Even a Category 2 or a Category 1 hurricane hitting the Florida Keys or the southwest coast of Florida can have big consequences there," Mayfield said.

Florida speeds preparations
Earlier Thursday, storm-weary Florida residents were warned to prepare for Wilma, the seventh hurricane to hit the state in 14 months. (Full story)

"It's too early to specify how strong Wilma will be once it reaches our coast, but Floridians south of the I-4 (Interstate 4) corridor and in the Keys should prepare for the possibility of a major hurricane making landfall late in the weekend," Gov. Jeb Bush said.

The Florida governor declared a state of emergency Wednesday night, hours after announcing that his state had begun evacuating tourists from the Keys and positioning relief supplies and equipment across the state.

Scheduled mandatory evacuations for residents of the Florida Keys have been postponed, because Hurricane Wilma's projected U.S. landfall has been delayed, the Monroe County Office of Emergency Management said Thursday night.

"While a voluntary evacuation continues for all Florida Keys residents, county officials will collaborate with forecasters Friday to determine if mandatory evacuations are appropriate for Saturday," a statement on the county's Web site said.

Visitor and non-resident evacuations began on Wednesday. Those evacuees have been directed to a shelter at Florida International University in Miami, which was opened Thursday. Those not staying there were asked to seek shelter north of Orlando.

To speed the evacuation, authorities locked down all drawbridges and suspended the tolls on the Card Sound Bridge, which connects mainland Florida with Key Largo. Schools and county offices in the Keys will be closed Friday for a second day.

FEMA chief: 'We are ready'
David Paulison, acting director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, detailed how the agency -- blamed for acting too slowly in August after Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast -- is preparing for Wilma.

"By tomorrow afternoon, we will have delivered 150 truckloads of ice, 150 truckloads of water, 30 truckloads of MREs (meals ready to eat) and also the Red Cross is delivering heater meals there to the state of Florida to make sure we are ready for any type of catastrophe," he said. The latter reference is to meals that warm when their packaging is opened.

Paulison took over for Michael Brown, who resigned last month amid accusations that his agency acted too slowly after Katrina hammered Louisiana and Mississippi, killing more than 1,000 people.

Residents of Punta Gorda are hoping that, if Wilma strikes Charlotte County, the storm will not undo the repairs undertaken after August 2004, when Hurricane Charley pounded the region. Contractors repairing a condominium complex put tarpaulins over drywall, doors and kitchen cabinets awaiting installation.

Some choosing to stay put
Several Punta Gorda residents said they had no immediate plans to leave.

"Me and my wife, we are very prepared ... and we are planning on staying," Harold Clemens said. "We rode Charley out, and we're not going to leave unless things get too bad."

Sarah Borden said she would ride out the hurricane in her house.

"It's so hard to know because, if you rush off now and it may not come, you've wasted all that time, and then, even if you go, you worry about people who are left behind and your house," she said. "So we will stay."

In Lee County to the south, schools will be closed, and county officials could order evacuations on Friday.

Collier County emergency officials planned to mandate evacuations for residents of low-lying areas west and south of U.S. 41 and Tamiami Trail, including Marco Island. Shelters in Collier County are to open at 2 p.m. Saturday.

Officials postponed Saturday's game in Miami between the University of Miami Hurricanes and Georgia Tech's Yellow Jackets. Also, the Miami Dolphins-Kansas City Chiefs Sunday game was moved up to Friday.

It is the third time since the start of the 2004 NFL season that the Dolphins have rescheduled a home game due to the threat of a hurricane.

Ocean Breeze

Forecasters at the National Hurricane Center say Hurricane Wilma has
officially made landfall, with the center of the storm's eye hitting the
Mexican island of Cozumel.

Mother Nature - enraged. ( metaphorically speaking.)
Ocean Breeze

Category 3 Wilma makes landfall in southwest Florida

Monday, October 24, 2005; Posted: 8:29 a.m. EDT (12:29 GMT)

- Hurricane Wilma, a 125-mph Category 3 storm capable of extensive damage, made landfall Monday at near Cape Romano, Florida, the National Hurricane Center said.

The eyewall hit at 6:30 a.m. ET, about 22 miles south of Naples, the center said.

Water rushed onto the beaches over Marco Island, rising rapidly onto boardwalks as the backside of the eyewall moved in. (Watch Wilma pound Marco Island -- 5:19)

"What's incredible is how close the waves are breaking to us," reported CNN's John Zarrella. "Normally they would be out about 100 yards or so."

The once-Category 5 storm roared across the peninsula at 23 mph, moving into the Everglades.

Max Mayfield, director of the National Hurricane Center, warned that storm surge flooding of 12 to 18 feet was possible along the coast near and to the south of where Wilma made landfall.

Whitecaps in the pool
On Florida's east coast, winds were already beginning to damage a hotel in the city of Hollywood.

"The wind here is absolutely ferocious," reported CNN's Allan Chernoff. "I'm looking at the roof of the lower portion of the hotel we're in. Right now, part of the roof is being ripped off.

"Sand is just flowing in from the beach, which is just a few hundred yards away. On the first floor of the hotel, one window has already crashed into the restaurant -- glass all over the restaurant.

"The pool immediately below me looks like the ocean. There are whitecaps in the pool right now and the palm trees right in front of me right now are just whipping back and forth. So, it's very intense at the moment."

Far to the south, police reported widespread flooding and storm damage to residences and businesses in Key West, Florida.

Wilma is the seventh hurricane to hit the state in 14 months, and officials said they were concerned that thousands of people had ignored a mandatory evacuation order in the Florida Keys. (Watch how Key West residents take Wilma in stride -- 1:51)

The hurricane center said the risk of tornadoes had "increased significantly" as Wilma approached the coast.

The NHC is concerned about the low-lying Florida Keys "because of their particular vulnerability."

The acting head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, R. David Paulison, said Monday he was most concerned about Floridians who did not choose to evacuate ahead of the storm, especially in the Keys.

"We're going to move as quickly as we can ... to get the roads cleared, and as soon as we can get helicopters up, to start moving our search and rescue teams in to search some of those areas," Paulison said. (Watch the FEMA chief on Wilma search and rescue -- 2:37)

Ignoring pleas
On Sunday, "very few" residents of the Florida Keys heeded the evacuation order, said Billy Wagner, manager of the Monroe County Emergency Operations Center.

He warned the evacuation route would close Sunday evening and estimated as many as 80 percent of the residents remained at home.

Those people had ignored the pleas of officials including Gov. Jeb Bush, who earlier Sunday emphasized that remaining behind was a bad idea.

"A hurricane is a hurricane," Bush said. "It has deadly force winds."

No shelters were opened in the Keys due to a lack of structures that can withstand hurricane-force winds and rain.

A storm surge of 5 to 8 feet is predicted for the Keys, Wagner said.

"I'm very concerned about those subjected to storm surge," Wagner said.

The Keys, just a quarter-mile wide in many places, are mostly between 4 to 6 feet above sea level.

Too late to evacuate
Fort Myers Mayor Jim Humphrey said Sunday it was too late for remaining residents to evacuate and called on them to move to shelters.

"We actually have a pet-friendly shelter because so many of our residents, we're afraid, would not evacuate if they had to leave their pets behind," he said.

Elsewhere in Lee County, police teams went door to door on nearby Sanibel and Captiva islands to get people out.

Early Monday morning, Lee County Sheriff Mike Scott said he was pleased to report that there was no traffic on the streets.

"Clearly people have received the message to evacuate or hunker down and we're encouraged by that," he said, advising residents to seek shelter.

"Lay low -- we're going to get some very nasty conditions."

Commissioners of Collier County -- which includes Naples, Marco Island and Everglades City -- imposed a curfew on all areas under mandatory evacuation orders. (Watch preparations in Marco Island -- 2:11)

Collier County spokesman John Torre said more than 6,000 people had taken refuge in public shelters by early Monday -- a much greater number than during last year's Hurricane Charley.

"This time around people were paying attention -- understood that this was a serious threat to our area."

Statewide, the American Red Cross reported at least 15,000 people in more than 70 shelters across Florida

Ocean Breeze

Breaking News from ABCNEWS.com:


bush is trying to impact/destroy the ME......while "Mother nature" is impacting/destroying the southern states...


checks and balances???
Martin Le Acadien
Quote: Originally Posted by Ocean Breeze


Breaking News from ABCNEWS.com:


bush is trying to impact/destroy the ME......while "Mother nature" is impacting/destroying the southern states...


checks and balances???

Wilma is heading for the Northeast States and Canadian Maritimes, it is ironic, Acadie Nord gets a few storms but Acadie Sud gets the brunt of the Hurricanes?

Global warming? Bush Weather machines? Hot air in Washington?
Ocean Breeze
My money is on :

Hot air in Washington?

Cancun counts the devastating damage as frazzled tourists try to get out (external - login to view)

CANCUN, Mexico Mexico's economy took a big blow from Hurricane Wilma, with some palatial beachfront hotels at the heart of its tourism industry left in ruins and shopping centers emptied by looters.

Soldiers and federal police took to Cancun's streets today to prevent further theft, and President Vicente Fox announced plans to start evacuating 30,000 frazzled tourists.

Nasty. I hope everyone gets out and they can eventually rebuild.

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