Hurricane ?

Weather reports, questions and comment.
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Brian Taylor
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Post by Brian Taylor »

hi julia and simon
loved your report. beeing here and seeing everything repaired and cleared piece by piece, you almost forget about the experience. the sun is shining now and we have water an power. when it is gone you miss it, but when it is there you don't appreshiate it enough.
good that you did not write shorter and cut out details that help to get the feeling back. since we had the chat on sweet point porch on friday, everything came back up when I read your report and I had to clear my plugged throat quite some times.
hope you're planing to come back another time of the year next time, to get the sunny part of tobago for a change...
bet you have the most interesting holiday report, no bored friends here...
take care (and enough candles home at any time)
steph
Stephanie & Brian "Alibaba" Taylor
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Kate H

Post by Kate H »

Fantastic report, Julia! I loved reading every little detail (how well you described the feeling of being in Castara at this time) and as far as I'm concerned your post couldn't be "long" enough!

World news coverage about how Tobago was affected by Ivan was minimal and it was only because of this thread that I figured out (among other things), why I couldn't get through to Tobago on the phone that Tuesday night...

Your story answered more questions and it was a most interesting read.

Thanks!

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Paul Tallet
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Post by Paul Tallet »

Cor ... Julia should write professionally.

Thank you for taking the trouble to describe your experience.
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Simon H

Post by Simon H »

Hi Steph

Glad you managed to get things straightened out - hope the boat's ok!

It was great to see how quickly normality was restored. People calmly went about cleaning and fixing. I guess that's the Caribbean way!

We both miss Castara greatly. I'm sure we will be back.

Later - Simon

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Brian Taylor
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Post by Brian Taylor »

boat is up and running...was under the water for only a few hours, got a good checkup and is better than before... learned from that: next hurricane, boat out of the water! but it was so short notice here. if it wasnt for mytobago, I would have heard abot it coming monday night or even tuesday morning.... media should learn its bit from it, too...
got over with it, go on and duck for next time...

steph&ali
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Paul Tallet
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Post by Paul Tallet »

Well Brian ... it looks mostly good news for Tobago for now.

Ivan is now in the Atlantic and merged with a series of nasty depressions that are expected to give the UK a good licking over the next week ... by good licking, I mean sustained winds of 40 knots just to put things into perspective.

Jeanne has given the Dominican's alot of trouble, I hear there are several deaths, tens of thousands homeless and much damage and flooding ... this storm could re-intensify to a minor hurricane as it plods around between the Bahamas and Bermuda and is a worry for the NOAA ... but not a threat to Tobago.

Karl is a developing major hurricane moving north in the mid-Atlantic. Although it will eventually cross colder waters and lose it's intensity I have a worry that this could have an influence on the first major autumn storm for the UK and Northern Europe.

Another Tropical wave is developing from the east near Africa that I am watching ... but no signs that this will affect Tobago or any of the Caribbean as yet.

There are up to 3 months to go in this exceptional hurricane season ... lets hope it is at least another 40 years (hopefully never again) before you have this unpleasant experience again.

But if I see anything, I will let you know ...

All the best
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Julia C.
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Post by Julia C. »

Thanks for all the appreciative comments about my report. It's nice to put something back into mytobago - as it's given me so much information and pleasure.

Paul - your knowledge about hurricanes is impressive - if we ever return to Tobago in the hurricane season I'll keep my eye out for your reports on this board. You're mytobago's hurricane expert! :D

Mark Muncaster

Post by Mark Muncaster »

Well i have been and i can say the damage is very small. Weather was fantastic with it raining only for 15 mins on Wednesday. We went to Argil falls and there was quite a bit of destruction with the stream completely re-routed so mike our guide said. But everything seemed A OK. :wink:

Chris Catchpole

Post by Chris Catchpole »

I hired a car on Friday last week and toured the whole island in a day, there is some tree damage, landslides and Cable damage but all roads were open and work was being carried out to repair telephone lines and electricity supplies.

Life appeared to be carrying on as normal, for Tobago at least, Ivan was not so terrible after all.

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Paul Tallet
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Post by Paul Tallet »

Aw, shucks ... Julia ... :wink:

Relieved to read Chris and Marks' posts although it seems that Ivan's effects on Tobago were relatively localised ... it was a close call.

I digress to the Caymans and my shock at seeing an exclusive report on BBC News this evening about one whole week after Ivan struck the islands.

The footage showed almost total devastation but the BBC was making a big deal out of the fact that the Cayman authorities were trying to block media attention ... unbelieveable (methinks) ... until we cut to the Governor being questioned about this and his excuse was... "We simply had no way of sending news of our situation to the world" ...

No, of course not ... when websites are tracking Ivan right over the Caymans and, somehow, trackers are receiving blow by blow updates from the Caymans as the hurricane takes them apart.

I then recall an article in the financial section of the Telegraph this morning reporting that the financial centres of Cayman <offshore investment haven> were already open and ready for business.

Need I say more? ... or can someone provide some logical explanation for this ???

Anyway, looking to the future, Tobago cannot rule out any further hurricane activity (or the effects of a close call) in this exceptionally active season.

We have the following situations:-

Tropical Storm Jeanne has caused considerable devastation over the Dominican and especially Haiti (already devastated by floods recently) and will go on to hover (in a threatening manner) just off the Bahamas and probably regain hurricane strength ... this one could go anywhere but south ... so Tobago safe with this one.

Karl is going to get sucked into the north Atlantic depressions and is more of a threat to the UK than it is to Tobago ... this is a worry and the UK should watch the weather forecasts (assuming they can be trusted) from Friday onwards ... it could be an the anti-cyclone building over Iberia will steer the problem north to Iceland and the Arctic but who knows at this stage ... the official line is that the weather for the UK after Thursday is 'uncertain'.

Closely behind Karl ... we have Lisa who is forecast to be a hurricane within hours ... this is a very small hurricane and, as such, is very unpredictable ... however Lisa is at a reasonably safe latitude as far as Tobago is concerned and as long as she does not dip too far south (and Karl goes north) ... Tobago should be OK.

Just behind Lisa ... we have a potential 'Matthew' developing and this one is currently at a much lower latitude ... this is the one to watch for the next few days ... very early to say ... the Atlantic and the upper air streams are so screwed up with the storm activity that anything could happen.

Behind the potential 'Matthew', the equatorial regions of Africa are being utterly bombarded by thundery activity and there is a stream of ' tropical waves' moving out into the Atlantic from this.

The whole of the Caribbean, Mexico and the US should monitor this over the next few weeks.
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Post by Paul Tallet »

Ivan has gone.

Jeanne is responsible for appalling death counts in Haiti, sadly reported so late ... if it was Florida then the place would have been evacuated long before ... It might be Florida yet, although Jeanne is more likely to go north and disspipate before it makes landfall somewhere north of Florida or possibly Greenland !

Karl is certainly looking an item for the UK for Monday next week although I think it is more likely to affect the northern part of the UK ... still needs watching by the UK Met.

Lisa and (potential Matthew) another tropical wave are a complexity ... Lisa is very small and meandering towards the south west, straight towards Tobago (but will more likely go north of Tobago) ... however ... Lisa should switch more directly north and follow Karl and avoid any landfall anywhere in the Caribbean.

There are 2 caveats to this ... firstly, the term 'small' means it could go anywhere and be volatile in terms of intensity ... in other words, very unpredictable ... secondly (potential) Matthew is chasing Lisa like a hound after a bitch on heat and seems to be catching her up ...

The (Matthew) tropical wave is on a low latitude (just like Ivan was when I first started this string on the forum) and is developing ... the NOAA are not even reporting on this yet ... AND this (Matthew) wave is far bigger than Lisa and I guess there is the prospect that Lisa could merge with this wave.

It could go 3 ways ... they merge and get sucked north behind Karl ... or ... they merge and a serious system could manifest itself into a big issue for the Lesser Antilles ... or, thirdly, Lisa goes north and potential Matthew could continue west ... Tobago should not rule itself out at this stage.

Much more to come behind the (potential) Matthew.

I think we will know better by Thursday, but ... watch this space !!
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Post by Paul Tallet »

Karl is off to Iceland ... still may affect northern half of UK.

Jeanne is off to the Bahamas but may change her mind and swing north, but Bahamas beware.

Lisa is falling in love with (potential) Matthew and they appear to be starting a circulation between them ... although it seems possible that Matthew could absorb Lisa and become a major hurricane.

Overall ... there seems to be a northerly trend behind Jeanne as the northern depressions suck up anything in the tropical mid-Atlantic ... Anti-cyclone to the east of the Atlantic dragging everything up round from the south and west of it and feeding the depressions ... so I reckon the whole of the caribbean (apart from Bahamas) is safe until there is a change in the upper air flows. This does not bode well for UK and Europe over the the next couple of weeks unless the anti-cyclone drifts north in which case there would be less influence on these storms and they would revert back to tracks over the caribbean.

I am just uneasy about the latitude of Lisa and (potential) Matthew ... they could be too far south to get pulled up behing Karl ... it seems most likely they will swing north at some point before they get too close for comfort.

Lots more tropical waves forming behind the potential Matthew and these could encounter different conditions ... lets hope the conditions stay as they are for now.
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Post by Paul Tallet »

Strange Goings On.

The UK Met are predicting a sunny day in the UK on Sunday. Meanwhile, the Anti-Cyclone over west Europe is moving east and this is allowing a more easterly track for Karl to come and spoil some afternoon picnics.

Ivan is back, according to the NOAA, which is quite amusing when Ivan dissipated ... in truth, the wave the NOAA are reporting on should be a new Tropical Storm.

Jeanne is very dangerous and is following an increasingly westerly track and now threatens Florida ... this could intensify into a major hurricane ... daresay the press will be camped along the Florida coast again with their Burberries on.

The main worry, as far as Tobago is concerned, is Lisa. Matthew has not materialised, as the NOAA seem to want to call both systems Lisa ... the circulation is quite large, very disorganised and at a lower latitude than Tobago (even lower than Ivan was) and still dipping south west ... it could intensify quite dramatically if it gets it's act together.

The official track is a swing to the North with no threat to land but Lisa has been so erratic that we cannot rely on such predictions at this stage. On the Satellite loops I can see a slight northerly upper airflow just to the east of Tobago (but not really much of one) but Lisa is being pushed more southerly by other influences ... the main thing is Lisa is quite slow, so little momentum for now ... let's hope she doesn't put her foot on the accelerator.

Very much a guessing game at the moment.
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Post by Paul Tallet »

A distinctive circulation has formed out of the wave that was following Lisa and is going north west ... it has a tiny eye that is only just visible. This will not go to Tobago.

5 hours since the last assessment from NOAA but I assume they will call it Lisa.

The 'fluffy bit' that was Lisa is still going south west but looks like it could get dragged into the main circulation ... looking better all the time.
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Post by Paul Tallet »

Lisa still edging north but very disorganised ... we only need to see Jeanne's track to know what can happen ... so out of the woods but keeping a cautionary eye on Lisa.

Karl will give severe gales/storm force winds to Scotland tomorrow.

Jeanne ... this one will probably be remembered as the most damaging (to life) storm this year, although not as intense as Ivan.

Otherwise, things seem to be calming down ... but would rather wait until the end of November before I put my hurricane anorak away.
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John Hill

Post by John Hill »

Hi Paul
Of to Gambia in NOvember are we safe ??

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Paul Tallet
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Post by Paul Tallet »

Oo - er John.

Thundery showers with long spells of sun inbetween.

Otherwise, stay away from the swamps !!!

Do they have sand flies out there?
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Kevin Hampson
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Post by Kevin Hampson »

I got shot at the last time I was in Gambia, it sort of took the edge off it as a holiday destination for me, think I'll stick to Tobago.

Regards
Kevin

Philip Smith

Post by Philip Smith »

Hi,

I'm new to the forum and would like to endorse the comments of others about the value of this site.

I returned from two weeks in Tobago on Friday, having spent the first week in Bon Accord and the second in Charlotteville (MOWB Cottages). Having monitored the BBC weather reports, I was a little surprised, to say the least, to find that Ivan had hit the island two days before we arrived. However, our plans were not seriously disrupted. There were some initial problems with the water supply in the south. Electricity and phones were disrupted in the north, but had been restored by the time we got there. TTEC and TSTT were still working on replacing fallen/broken poles and lines when we left.

There were quite a few trees and branches down in the forest above C-ville, but no major damage evident in the village itself. I gather there were some trees down in the forest reserve and some of the paths were blocked, but I wasn't there myself. In Mount Irvine Bay and Man o' War Bay there were quite a few freshly-broken elkhorn corals, which looked as though they were damaged by the storm. Around St Giles Island (dive site "Watch Out!") there were fields of the large narrow barrel sponge with the top third sheared off, apparently due to severe wave action. Water clarity inshore was fairly poor, owing to fresh water runoff and sediment particles. The weather was generally excellent while we were there and water conditions appeared to be gradually improving.

The Tobago News (http://www.thetobagonews.com) reported that there was one fatality: a pregnant 32-year old lady in Bethel. The paper also reports that there were six totally destroyed homes, "253 damaged roofs" and "54 damaged homes", with an initial damage estimate of $31 million (TT$, I presume).

Philip

Kate H

Post by Kate H »

Paul, are you the weatherman in disguise? If you are not already a meteorologist I think you've missed your calling! Many thanks for all the updates.

also LOL @:
Lisa is falling in love with (potential) Matthew and they appear to be starting a circulation between them ... although it seems possible that Matthew could absorb Lisa and become a major hurricane.
We like a little humour in our news reports, especially about the weather.

BTW, your location (Wetherby) says enough... :-)

cheers

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