Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Major Hurricane Florence Approaching Carolinas

Graphics | Archive
Hurricane Florence

Air Force Reserve hurricane hunter aircraft investigating Florence this morning has found no change in the hurricane's peak intensity of 115 kt, even though the central pressure had decreased a few millibars down to 943 mb. However, the aircraft data do indicate that Florence's inner-core wind field has expanded, with the 50-kt wind radii now extending outward up to 100 n mi to the northeast.

Key Messages:


  • A life-threatening storm surge is now highly likely along portions of the coastlines of South Carolina and North Carolina 
  • Life-threatening, catastrophic flash flooding and significant river flooding is likely over portions of the Carolinas late this week into early next week 
  • Damaging hurricane-force winds are likely along portions of the coasts of South Carolina and North Carolina 
  • Large swells affecting Bermuda and portions of the U.S. East Coast will continue this week, resulting in life-threatening surf and rip currents.



 

Full coverage of this, and all tropical storms, can be found on our Hurricane Zone page.   There are RSS feeds from the National Hurricane Center posted there giving you up to the minute information.   For storms that impact cruises, we will bring you information on those details as well.  Please bookmark that page for further reference during the Hurricane Season which runs now through November 30th.



Hurricane Florence
1100 AM EDT Wed Sep 12 2018
...AIR FORCE HURRICANE HUNTER AIRCRAFT FINDS FLORENCE HAS CHANGED
LITTLE WHILE MOVING TOWARD THE U.S. SOUTHEAST COAST...
...LIFE-THREATENING STORM SURGE AND RAINFALL EXPECTED ACROSS
PORTIONS OF THE CAROLINAS...
WIND:
near 130 MPH...215 KM/H
WATCHES/ WARNINGS:
A Storm Surge Warning is in effect for...
* South Santee River South Carolina to Duck North Carolina
* Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds, including the Neuse and Pamlico
Rivers

A Storm Surge Watch is in effect for...
* Edisto Beach South Carolina to South Santee River South Carolina
* North of Duck North Carolina to the North Carolina/Virginia border

A Hurricane Warning is in effect for...
* South Santee River South Carolina to Duck North Carolina
* Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds

A Hurricane Watch is in effect for...
* Edisto Beach South Carolina to South Santee River South Carolina

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for...
* North of Duck North Carolina to the North Carolina/Virginia border

A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for...
* North of the North Carolina/Virginia border to Cape Charles Light
Virginia
* Chesapeake Bay south of New Point Comfort

Interests elsewhere in the southeastern and mid-Atlantic states
should monitor the progress of Florence.

SHIP IMPACT:




A Storm Surge Warning means there is a danger of life-threatening
inundation, from rising water moving inland from the coastline,
in the indicated locations. For a depiction of areas at risk, please
see the National Weather Service Storm Surge Watch/Warning Graphic,
available at hurricanes.gov. This is a life-threatening situation.
Persons located within these areas should take all necessary actions
to protect life and property from rising water and the potential for
other dangerous conditions. Promptly follow evacuation and other
instructions from local officials.

A Storm Surge Watch means there is a possibility of life-
threatening inundation, from rising water moving inland from the
coastline, in the indicated locations.

A Hurricane Warning means that hurricane conditions are expected
somewhere within the warning area. Preparations to protect life
and property should be rushed to completion.

A Tropical Storm Warning means that tropical storm conditions are
expected somewhere within the warning areas.


HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND
----------------------
STORM SURGE:  The combination of a dangerous storm surge and the
tide will cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by
rising waters moving inland from the shoreline.  The water has the
potential to reach the following heights above ground if peak surge
occurs at the time of high tide...

Cape Fear NC to Cape Lookout NC, including the Neuse, Pamlico,
Pungo, and Bay Rivers...9-13 ft
North Myrtle Beach SC to Cape Fear NC...6-9 ft
Cape Lookout NC to Ocracoke Inlet NC...6-9 ft
South Santee River SC to North Myrtle Beach SC...4-6 ft
Ocracoke Inlet NC to Salvo NC...4-6 ft
Salvo NC to North Carolina/Virginia Border...2-4 ft
Edisto Beach SC to South Santee River SC...2-4 ft

The deepest water will occur along the immediate coast in areas of
onshore winds, where the surge will be accompanied by large and
destructive waves.  Surge-related flooding depends on the relative
timing of the surge and the tidal cycle, and can vary greatly over
short distances.  For information specific to your area, please see
products issued by your local National Weather Service forecast
office.

RAINFALL:  Florence is expected to produce heavy and excessive
rainfall in the following areas...

Coastal North Carolina...20 to 30 inches, isolated 40 inches. This
rainfall would produce catastrophic flash flooding and significant
river flooding.

South Carolina, western and northern North Carolina...5 to 10
inches, isolated 20 inches.
Elsewhere in the Appalachians and Mid-Atlantic states...3 to 6
inches, isolated 12 inches.

WIND:  Hurricane conditions are expected to reach the coast within
the hurricane warning area late Thursday or Friday.  Winds are
expected to first reach tropical storm strength on Thursday, making
outside preparations difficult or dangerous.  Preparations to
protect life and property should be rushed to completion.

TORNADOES:  A few tornadoes are possible in eastern North Carolina
beginning late Thursday morning.

SURF:  Swells generated by Florence are affecting Bermuda and
portions of the U.S. East Coast.  These swells are likely to cause
life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.  Please consult
products from your local weather office.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Where Were You on 911


President Proclaims Patriot Day, Day of Remembrance  

By a joint resolution approved December 18, 2001 (Public Law 107-89), the Congress has designated September 11 of each year as “Patriot Day,” and by Public Law 111-13, approved April 21, 2009, the Congress has requested the observance of September 11 as an annually recognized “National Day of Service and Remembrance”. President Trump officially proclaimed September 11, 2018, as Patriot Day.

In his remarks, the President said "On Patriot Day, we honor the memories of the nearly 3,000 precious lives we lost on September 11, 2001, and of every hero who has given their life since that day to protect our safety and our freedom. We come together, today, to recall this timeless truth: When America is united, no force on Earth can break us apart. Our values endure; our people thrive; our Nation prevails; and the memory of our loved ones never fades. "

He continued, "Although that fateful Tuesday 17 years ago began like any other, it erupted into horror and anguish when radical Islamist terrorists carried out an unprecedented attack on our homeland. In New York, Virginia, and Pennsylvania, the enemies of liberty took aim on America, but their evil acts could not crush our spirit, overcome our will, or loosen our commitment to freedom. Through the dust and ashes, we emerged resilient and united — bruised but not broken.

View our WTC Memorial Album on Shutterfly
During our pre-conference stay in New York in 2013, we decided to revisit the site of the World Trade Center.  The site was quite different from the last time we were there.   Rebuilding of the towers was moving along nicely.  The 9/11 Memorial fountains had been completed.  Click on the link above to view the album.

click on images to enlarge


Remembering 9/11/2001

Each year we recall where we were when learning about the terrorist attacks.   We were on the inaugural voyage of Norwegian Sun, thousands of miles from home in Paris, France.   Our tour bus was filled with our fellow passengers, the majority of whom lived in New York.  The transatlantic cruise, we were on, was originally scheduled to conclude in New York but ended in Boston instead.

What was to have been a celebration of our 25th Anniversary, quickly became a very unique experience as we observed the hospitality and caring from so many people across the globe as our journey home continued.  Today as we celebrate our 40th Anniversary, we once again reflect on the moment we learned about the events unfolding thousands of miles away from where we were. 

See our article from 2011, FDNY May We Never Forget, on the 10th anniversary, as we recalled our journey back to New York to visit the site of the World Trade Center attacks.  Should your cruise vacation plans include New York, we recommend spending some time at the WTC Memorial and other historic sites in the city.
 
@ChrisPappinMCC


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Monday, September 10, 2018

Hurricane Florence Impacts Cruises


Graphics | Archive
Hurricane Florence

Strengthening Hurricane Florence has begun impacting cruise itineraries as it approaches the East Coast of the United States as a major hurricane.  Passengers on Royal Caribbean Grandeur of the Seas and Norwegian Escape find themselves on the way to the Bahamas instead of Bermuda as the vessels steers clear of the storm.

Watches and warnings are likely to be issued on Tuesday, September 11th.

On the forecast track, the center of Florence will move over the southwestern Atlantic Ocean between Bermuda and the Bahamas Tuesday and Wednesday, and approach the coast of North Carolina or South Carolina on Thursday.


Click Here to Learn More


Royal Caribbean Itinerary Updates 
(click for latest)
   

Latest Update - September 10, 2018 at 6:40 pm

We are modifying the itinerary of Grandeur of the Seas September 8th & September 13th cruise to avoid the path of Hurricane Florence. Our #1 priority is the safety of our guests and crew. We will closely monitor the storm, and provide our guests with daily updates. The current changes are outlined below.


For more frequent updates, please follow our meteorologist on Twitter @JamesVanFleet or visit the Royal Caribbean Facebook page

SHIP
SAIL DATE
STATUS
DESTINATION
Grandeur of the SeasSeptember 8Modified9/11 – Nassau, Bahamas
9/12 – Port Canaveral, Florida
9/13 – Port Canaveral, Florida
9/16 - Baltimore, Maryland
Grandeur of the SeasSeptember 13Modified9/16 - Baltimore, Maryland
tentative departure date

Norwegian Cruise Line Weather Alert (click for latest)
In a preemptive move, the 2,340-passenger Norwegian Dawn sailed for Canada and New England on Friday instead of Bermuda and is in the midst of unexpected stops in Halifax and Sydney, Nova Scotia; St. John, New Brunswick; and Bar Harbor, Maine.

 Meanwhile, Norwegian Escape which departed on Sunday for what was supposed to be a three-day visit to Bermuda's King's Wharf will call at Nassau and Great Stirrup Cay in the Bahamas as well as Port Canaveral, FL instead.
 
SHIP
SAIL DATE
STATUS
DESTINATION
Norwegian EscapeSeptember 9Modified3 day Bahamas
instead of Bermuda
Norwegian DawnSeptember 7ModifiedCanada & New England
instead of Bermuda


Carnival Cruise Line Travel Alerts (click for latest)
Weather Update – 09/11/18 – 6:00 PM (EDT)

Our Fleet Operations Center in Miami has been actively monitoring Hurricane Florence in the Atlantic and the tropical low near the Yucatan Peninsula. As the safety of our guests and crew is our number one priority, we will continue to keep an eye on things and provide you with timely updates as more information becomes available.

In the meantime, please opt-in for text alerts by texting the codes below to CRUISE (278473): Carnival Pride – 09/16/18 – CCL1
Carnival Ecstasy – 09/16/18 – CCL2
Carnival Valor –09/13/18 – CCL3
Carnival Freedom – 09/15/18 – CCL4
Carnival Breeze – 09/16/18 – CCL5

Carnival Horizon cancelled a Sunday call at San Juan, Puerto Rico and has shifted the date of a call in the Dominican Republic as it alters its route to stay out of the storm's way. It's due back in New York on Thursday. Carnival Pride modified its itinerary to the Bahamas from Bermuda.

SHIP
SAIL DATE
STATUS
DESTINATION
Carnival PrideSeptember 9Modified3 day Bahamas
instead of Bermuda
Carnival HorizonSeptember 5ModifiedCancelled San Juan,
Changed Dominican
Republic date

Oceania Cruises

Finally, Oceania's 684-passenger Sirena is bypassing Bermuda as it nears the end of a repositioning cruise from Europe to Miami while sister ship Insignia is shifting several port calls.

Hurricane Season Dates 

Hurricane season in the Atlantic begins June 1st and ends November 30th. The Eastern Pacific hurricane season begins May 15th and also ends November 30th.
Make a Plan (FEMA) 

Read entire series (click here)


More links and information about tropical storms and other weather conditions can be found in the Weather & Hurricane Zone tabs above.


Hurricane Preparedness Week:   
May 6-12, 2018
@ChrisPappinMCC



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Friday, September 7, 2018

Hurricanes: Perception vs Reality

Storm surge inundation (feet above ground level) based on Irma’s
actual track versus forecasted track. The wiggle to the east
spared the coastline from Naples northward to the
Cape Coral area from storm surge inundation
 greater than 9 feet above ground level. Image Credit: NOAA

There are a couple times each year that a fair amount of our Blog articles are focused on tropical storms and hurricanes.   Before the start of the Hurricane Season, we devote a series of articles to the education on Hurricane Preparedness.   This year's series can be found here: Hurricane Preparedness Week 2018.  The next concentration of articles occurs when the season gets into full swing, which normally happens September through late October.   Both the Atlantic and Pacific basins are active at the present time.

Hurricane Gordon made landfall with only minor impact on cruise itineraries.  It did however dump heavy rain on the Gulf Coast region.  Several storms of varying intensity are currently making their way westward in the Atlantic Ocean.   TS Florence is predicted to regain strength and become a major hurricane again before engaging with the East Coast of the United States.

While checking out the current storms on the NHC, we noticed the following article: NOAA NWS: Hurricanes: Common Misperceptions.   The graphic above was taken from that article.

Past Experience - Current Behavior

Although the science of hurricane / tropical storm tracking and predictions has significantly improved over the years, there is always a degree of uncertainty as the graphic demonstrates.   Just a small shift in the trajectory of a storm can alter which area is at risk. 

The article talks about how based on your experiences in the past hurricane season, you may make some decisions about hurricane preparation which could become a huge mistake.   Just because you've never flooded before for example, doesn't mean that you can't this year.   Perhaps you survived a Category 4 hurricane last year so you think you can survive again.  You need to ask yourself if you felt the full furry of that storm or if you were perhaps on the outer reaches and really only had winds that were tropical storm or Category 1 strength.   Don't risk it - please heed all advisories.

It's easy to get a false sense of security about storms or other natural disasters.  We had a personal experience where my husband was in Los Angeles on a business trip when a major earthquake struck the region.  My son and I still came out for the weekend and we all vacationed in Disneyland.  One of the aftershocks woke us, and my husband remarked "Go back to sleep, it's only an earthquake."  He said this because it wasn't as severe as the original shaking he had a couple days before, so he figured it couldn't be bad.  In hindsight, we should never have gone to the park.  Fortunately everything worked out just fine.  The article has additional examples of misconceptions.

Click Here to Learn More
Now is the Time To Have a Plan  

Don't wait for the NHC to issue a warning for your area.  Review our preparedness series and make plans for evacuation, safe keeping of your house, family, pets, and belongings.

If you are traveling to an area where tropical weather is forecast, be sure to keep close tabs on the updates.  We aren't necessarily saying you need to change your vacation plans, but be aware that you may need to alter your arrival / departure plans.  Click on the image to the left for some additional tips.

...FLORENCE POISED TO STRENGTHEN... ...THIS WEEKEND IS A GOOD TIME FOR INTERESTS ALONG THE U.S. EAST COAST TO REVIEW THEIR HURRICANE PLAN...

@ChrisPappinMCC

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Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Keeping an Eye on Gordon

Graphics | Archive

Tropical Storm Gordon

If you haven't noticed before, we are heading into the most active part of the hurricane season.  Right now there are two storms in the Atlantic and two in the Pacific that are being tracked by the National Hurricane centers. 

The one that has everyone's attention is Tropical Storm Gordon, which should make landfall in the Gulf region sometime tonight as a hurricane.    All the states in its path are on high alert and preparations for heavy rainfall are underway. Gordon is moving toward the northwest near 15 mph (24 km/h), and this general motion is expected to continue until landfall occurs tonight along the north-central Gulf coast.


 

Full coverage of this, and all tropical storms, can be found on our Hurricane Zone page.   There are RSS feeds from the National Hurricane Center posted there giving you up to the minute information.   For storms that impact cruises, we will bring you information on those details as well.  Please bookmark that page for further reference during the Hurricane Season which runs now through November 30th.



Tropcial Storm Gordon
1000 AM CDT Tue Sep 04 2018
...OUTER RAINBANDS PRODUCING SQUALLY WEATHER ALONG THE COAST OF THE WESTERN FLORIDA PANHANDLE... ...GORDON EXPECTED TO MAKE LANDFALL TONIGHT AS A HURRICANE...
WIND:
near 65 MPH...100 KM/H
WATCHES/ WARNINGS:
A Storm Surge Warning is in effect for...
* Shell Beach to Dauphin Island

A Storm Surge Watch is in effect for...
* West of Shell Beach to the Mouth of the Mississippi River
* East of Dauphin Island to Navarre

A Hurricane Warning is in effect for...
* Mouth of the Pearl River to the Alabama-Florida Border

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for...
* West of the Mouth of the Pearl River to Grand Isle, including Lake
Pontchartrain and Lake Maurepas
* Alabama-Florida Border to Okaloosa-Walton County Line

SHIP IMPACT:
Royal Caribbean’s Majesty of the Seas ship departed Florida 
just before midnight Monday night September 3rd in order to sail 
behind the storm. The ship will flip its itinerary, but the 
voyage is still expected to make all of its ports of call.

The Port of New Orleans Administration Building will close for 
all nonessential personnel at 2 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 4, 2018, 
in order to prepare for any possible weather-related activities
due to Tropical Storm Gordon.



A Storm Surge Warning means there is a danger of life-threatening
inundation, from rising water moving inland from the coastline,
in the indicated locations. For a depiction of areas at risk, please
see the National Weather Service Storm Surge Watch/Warning Graphic,
available at hurricanes.gov. This is a life-threatening situation.
Persons located within these areas should take all necessary actions
to protect life and property from rising water and the potential for
other dangerous conditions. Promptly follow evacuation and other
instructions from local officials.

A Storm Surge Watch means there is a possibility of life-
threatening inundation, from rising water moving inland from the
coastline, in the indicated locations.

A Hurricane Warning means that hurricane conditions are expected
somewhere within the warning area. Preparations to protect life
and property should be rushed to completion.

A Tropical Storm Warning means that tropical storm conditions are
expected somewhere within the warning areas.

HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND
----------------------
STORM SURGE:  The combination of a dangerous storm surge and the
tide will cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by
rising waters moving inland from the shoreline. The water could
reach the following heights above ground somewhere in the indicated
areas if the peak surge occurs at the time of high tide...

Shell Beach to Dauphin Island...3 to 5 ft.
Navarre Florida to Dauphin Island, including Mobile Bay...2 to 4 ft.
Shell Beach to the Mouth of Mississippi River...2 to 4 ft.
Mouth of the Mississippi River to the Louisiana-Texas border...1 to
2 ft.

The deepest water will occur along the immediate coast near and to
the east of the landfall location, where the surge will be
accompanied by large waves. Surge-related flooding depends on the
relative timing of the surge and the tidal cycle, and can vary
greatly over short distances. For information specific to your area,
please see products issued by your local National Weather Service
forecast office.

RAINFALL:  Gordon is expected to produce total rain accumulations of
4 to 8 inches over the western Florida Panhandle, southwest Alabama,
southern and central Mississippi, southeastern and northeastern
Louisiana, and southern Arkansas, with isolated maximum amounts of
12 inches through late Thursday. This rainfall will cause flash
flooding across portions of these areas.

WIND:  Tropical storm conditions are expected to begin this
afternoon within portions of the warning area, with hurricane
conditions expected by this evening in the hurricane warning
area.

TORNADOES:  A few tornadoes are possible this afternoon through
tonight near the coasts of Mississippi, Alabama, and the Florida
Panhandle.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Next Stop Bartlett Heritage Days



Meet Your Cruise & Vacation Specialist 
Christine Pappin 
Bartlett Heritage Days

Free community event with a sound stage & beer garden in Town Center, Kids Fest at Banbury Fair, Bartlett Bazaar at Oak & Bartlett Rds, Jeweler’s Row on Oak and Fun Fair at Derango Dental. Saturday Pet Event in Bartlett Park, Sunday Classic Car Show on Oak St. And much more.

Visit www.bartlettheritagedays.com for full details.



Those of you in the northwest suburbs of Chicago can meet me during the two day Bartlett Heritage Days in Downtown Bartlett, IL. Stop by our booth at the Business Expo for brochures, special offers, give-aways, and more.

Whether you are planning a short or long vacation on land or sea, we have plenty of ideas to share with you to get your dream trip started.



Join Us for a Fun Hour on Twitter Wednesday Nights

If you love Food & Travel you should join #FoodTravelChat every Wednesday at 8 PM Eastern.  I'm one of the chat moderators.  Each week we discuss a new food and travel related topic.
 
@ChrisPappinMCC

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