Saturday, May 26, 2012

2012 Hurricane Preparedness Week


National Hurricane Preparedness Week 2012 
 May 27th through June 2nd

The goal of NOAA's Hurricane Preparedness Web site is to inform the public about the hurricane hazards and provide knowledge which can be used to take ACTION. This information can be used to save lives at work, home, while on the road, or on the water.
A hurricane is a type of tropical cyclone or severe tropical storm that forms in the southern Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico, and in the eastern Pacific Ocean. A typical cyclone is accompanied by thunderstorms, and in the Northern Hemisphere, a counterclockwise circulation of winds near the earth’s surface.

Every year, hurricanes put communities at risk of catastrophic damage from storm surges, flooding, high winds, and tornadoes.  During National Hurricane Preparedness Week, we rededicate ourselves to preventing loss of life and damage to property by raising awareness about hurricane hazards and taking action to protect our families, our homes, and our neighborhoods.



As we mark the beginning of hurricane season, let us recommit to ensuring the safety of our loved ones and our communities, and to building a stronger, more resilient Nation.
 
NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim May 27 through June 2, 2012, as National Hurricane Preparedness Week.  I call upon government agencies, private organizations, schools, media, and residents in the coastal areas of our Nation to share information about hurricane preparedness and response to help save lives and protect communities.

Basics Storm Surge Winds Inland Flooding Forecast Process Get A Plan! Take Action
Sunday
27 May '12

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Monday
28 May '12

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Tuesday
29 May '12

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Wednesday
30 May '12

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Thursday
31 May '12

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Friday
1 June '12

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Saturday
2 June '12

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Friday, May 25, 2012

Subtropical Storm Beryl Forms in Atlantic


Subtropical Storm BERYL 
2nd Named Storm in Atlantic

500 PM EDT WED MAY 30 2012
 
...BERYL IS NOW A POST-TROPICAL CYCLONE...THIS IS THE LAST
ADVISORY...
Tropical Storm Beryl, with sustained winds of 70 mph, became the strongest tropical cyclone to make landfall in the U.S. before the official June 1st start of the Atlantic hurricane season. It made landfall just after midnight (local time) on the night of May 27, 2012, near Jacksonville Beach, Florida. Beryl brought welcome rain to parts of the drought stricken Southeast including parts of Florida, Georgia, and the Carolinas before heading back out to sea.



CRUISE SHIP IMPACT

CHANGES WITH THIS ADVISORY...

NONE.

No reported cruise ship itinerary changes at this time.
SUMMARY OF 500 PM EDT...2100 UTC...INFORMATION
----------------------------------------------
LOCATION...34.9N 76.1W
ABOUT 40 MI...65 KM WSW OF CAPE HATTERAS NORTH CAROLINA
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...40 MPH...65 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT...ENE OR 60 DEGREES AT 21 MPH...33 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...998 MB...29.47 INCHES


WATCHES AND WARNINGS 

CHANGES WITH THIS ADVISORY...

ALL COASTAL TROPICAL STORM WARNINGS HAVE BEEN DISCONTINUED.
 
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS ARE NEAR 45 MPH...75 KM/H...WITH HIGHER
GUSTS.  SLIGHT STRENGTHENING IS FORECAST DURING THE NEXT 48
HOURS.
HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND
 
WIND...ISOLATED TROPICAL-STORM-FORCE WIND GUSTS ARE POSSIBLE ALONG
THE COASTS OF NORTH CAROLINA TODAY.
 
SURF...DANGEROUS SURF CONDITIONS...INCLUDING RIP CURRENTS...ARE
POSSIBLE ALONG THE COAST OF NORTH CAROLINA THROUGH TODAY.  FOR
INFORMATION SPECIFIC TO YOUR AREA...PLEASE SEE STATEMENTS ISSUED BY
YOUR LOCAL NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE OFFICE.
 
RAINFALL...BERYL IS EXPECTED TO PRODUCE TOTAL RAIN ACCUMULATIONS
OF 2 TO 4 INCHES...WITH ISOLATED MAXIMUM AMOUNTS OF 6 INCHES...IN


Historical Data:                Graphics   Archive   

1100 PM EDT FRI MAY 25 2012

...SUBTROPICAL STORM FORMS IN THE SOUTHEWESTERN ATLANTIC...
...TROPICAL STORM WARNING ISSUED FOR A PORTION OF THE SOUTHEASTERN
U.S. COAST...
 


200 PM EDT SUN MAY 27 2012
...BERYL STRONGER...NOW A TROPICAL STORM...
 
A TROPICAL STORM WARNING IS IN EFFECT FOR...
* VOLUSIA/BREVARD COUNTY LINE FLORIDA TO EDISTO BEACH SOUTH CAROLINA
 
1215 AM EDT MON MAY 28 2012
...BERYL MAKES LANDFALL ALONG THE COAST OF FLORIDA NEAR JACKSONVILLE
BEACH... 
 
500 AM EDT MON MAY 28 2012
...BERYL GRADUALLY WEAKENING AS IT MOVES INLAND...WILL CONTINUE TO
PRODUCE HEAVY RAINS EVEN AS THE WINDS DECREASE...

1100 AM EDT MON MAY 28 2012
... NOW A TROPICAL DEPRESSION...
...BERYL SOAKING PORTIONS OF NORTH FLORIDA AND SOUTH GEORGIA...MORE
RAIN TO COME...

1100 AM EDT WED MAY 30 2012
 
...BERYL EXPECTED TO BECOME A POST-TROPICAL CYCLONE LATER TODAY...
 

Thursday, May 24, 2012

NOAA 2012 Hurricane Season Predictions

NOAA predicts a Near-normal 2012 Atlantic & Eastern Pacific Hurricane Season

  NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center released its annual Spring Hurricane predictions today. 


Atlantic: Conditions in the atmosphere and the ocean favor a near-normal hurricane season in the Atlantic Basin this season.


Eastern Pacific: Climate conditions point to a near-normal hurricane season in the Eastern Pacific this year. The outlook calls for a 50 percent probability of a near-normal season, a 30 percent probability of a below-normal season and a 20 percent probability of an above-normal season.


Looking Back and Looking Ahead
Hurricane Season Approaching 


In the image above, courtesy of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)'s National Hurricane Center (NHC), Hurricane Irene made landfall at approximately 7:30 am EDT on Aug. 27, 2011, near Cape Lookout, N.C. with maximum sustained winds of 85 mph (Category 1). This NOAA GOES-13 satellite image captures Irene’s landfall moment.
This was the scariest  moment during the 2011 Hurricane Season.   NOAA's Climate Prediction Center (CPC) had predicted an active season, but as Warnings Issued for Hurricane Irene, it was also the finest hour for NOAA's NHC as they had accurately predicted the path of the storm four days earlier.

Looking Back at 2011

In the chart below, the numbers in parenthesis are the averages, so you can easily see that the 2011 Atlantic Hurricane Season was above average, with 2011 ranking as the 14th busiest season since 1966.
Atlantic Basin


Forecast Parameter and 1950-2000
Climatology (in parentheses)
NOAA 2011
Prediction
2011
Actual Results
Named Storms (NS) (9.6)  12-18 19
Hurricanes (H) (5.9)6-107
Major Hurricanes (MH) (2.3)  3-6 4
Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE) (96.1)  105 - 200 138

For more details, read the complete NOAA 2011 Atlantic Seasonal Climate Summary

The 2011 Eastern Northern Pacific Hurricane Season was well above average. Despite predictions of a near-normal season, there were eleven named storms, ten hurricanes and six major hurricanes, all of which were above-average.

East Pacific



Forecast Parameter and 1950-2000
Climatology (in parentheses)
NOAA 2011
Prediction
2011
Actual Results
Named Storms (NS) (9.6) 9 - 15 11
Hurricanes (H) (5.9)5 - 810
Major Hurricanes (MH) (2.3)  1 - 3 6
Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE) (96.1)  45 - 105 118


For more details, read the complete NOAA 2011 Eastern Pacific Seasonal Climate Summary
 

Looking Ahead to 2012


As is customary, the Colorado State University releases its predictions in  April and NOAA releases its predictions in late May.  See our blog post,  Below Average 2012 Atlantic Hurricane Prediction, for CSU's 2012 predictions.  They discontinued their December predictions due to previous inaccuracies.
Atlantic Basin



Forecast Parameter and 1950-2000
Climatology (in parentheses)
NOAA 2011
Prediction
CSU 2011
Prediction
Named Storms (NS) (9.6) 9 - 15 10
Hurricanes (H) (5.9)4 - 84
Major Hurricanes (MH) (2.3) 1 - 3 2
Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE) (96.1)  65 - 140 70


East Pacific


Forecast Parameter and 1950-2000
Climatology (in parentheses)
NOAA 2011
Prediction
Named Storms (NS) (9.6) 9 - 15
Hurricanes (H) (5.9)5 - 8
Major Hurricanes (MH) (2.3)  1 - 3
Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE) (96.1)  45 -105


Based on these early season predictions, and despite the early jump start on the Hurricane Season, this year should be near-normal.   Of course, that doesn't imply that we should be complacent.  It only takes one major hurricane making landfall to cause significant loss of life and property.


Additional References





Workers Strike in Norway May Impact Vision OTS

State Workers in Norway Strike
May Impact Sailings

Schools, day care centers, and other public institutions are closed in Norway due to an indefinite strike called Thursday.  Striking workers include port pilots which would impact sailings.

Norway is currently experiencing a period of economic growth, and state workers are looking for their share of the pie.   Their wages have lagged behind that of the private sector triggering the work stoppage as talks broke down.

Must Have Port Pilot to Enter Harbor

According to Maritime law, a cruise ship must have a pilot onboard the vessel as they enter the port. If the strike continues, ships would not be able to dock in Norway ports, including Oslo.

Pilots & Pilot Boat Skippers Strike Over
According to Norwegian Coast Guard Web site Kystverket, the pilots reached an agreement Friday night, June 2nd, ending a week long strike which had impacted cruise line itineraries.
  • Brilliance of the Seas, which departs Amsterdam today, will sail its original schedule
  • Vision of the Seas is still turning around in Gothenburg today, instead of Oslo as was originally planned
  • No word yet on Fred. Olsen Balmoral's altered itinerary

This is excellent news as the popular Norwegian Fjords cruise season is just getting into full swing.  Cruises typically combine the British Isles and Fjords.  Another option includes a cruise to North Cape and the Arctic Circle.

If you've never sailed to Norwegian Fjords, we highly recommend adding that to your bucket list.

Cruise Destination: 
Norwegian Fjords

Impact of Strike Widens

With all 42 of the Port of Oslo's pilots on strike, a number of cruise ships were turned away or forced to cancel calls.

These include Emerald Princess, which was forced to turn away from the port last Friday, Star Clippers' Star Flyer which cancelled a call on Saturday and Royal Caribbean's Vision of the Seas which was diverted to Gothenburg on Sunday.  

Upcoming calls in Tromsø or Alesund in the next week include:   P&O Cruises's Adonia, Royal Caribbean's Brilliance of the Seas, MSC Cruises' Magnifica and two Holland America Line  Eurodam and Rotterdam.   

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines Balmoral will sail to Kiel Canal, Warnemunde, Copenhagen, Gothenburg, will be at sea on June 4, visit Zeebrugge June 5 and return to Southampton on June 6.


The only line that has ships in the region that isn't impacted is Hurtigruten, which sails the coastal waters year-round between Bergen and Kirkenes.  They are not required to carry a pilot.

Royal Caribbean Vision of the Seas June 2 Sailing

UPDATE:

Since the port pilots are on strike, and they are required to enter and leave the port, Vision of the Seas will be unable to dock in Oslo on Saturday, June 2, as originally planned. Because of this, it is necessary to modify Vision of the Seas’ boarding and debarking process. On Saturday, Vision of the Seas will arrive in Gothenburg, Sweden, and guests will be transported to and from Oslo via motor coach. Guests on the Saturday, June 2, sailing of Vision of the Seas should proceed to Oslo as originally scheduled.

Additional Cruise Ship Impact

Should the strike continue and include all port pilots in Norway, Brilliance of the Seas’ next sailing will be unable to call to any of the Norwegian ports of call on its itinerary. Royal Caribbean has been diligently working to prepare an alternative itinerary should the strike continue, which will include port calls to Copenhagen and Aarhus, Demark, and Berlin (Warnemunde), Germany.

We encourage guests on the Saturday, June 2, sailing of Brilliance of the Seas monitor this website for any additional updates. 

Royal Caribbean Updates:   IMPORTANT UPDATES


Royal Caribbean Vision of the Seas May 27 Sailing

Royal Caribbean International has issued an advisory that Vision of the Seas, which is currently scheduled to conclude its sailing in Oslo on Sunday, May 27, may be unable to enter the port.  RCI is currently preparing contingency plans in the event the strike continues and Vision of the Seas is unable to dock in Oslo.

They encourage guests on the Sunday, May 27, sailing of Vision of the Seas to monitor the website for any additional updates. 

Since the port pilots in Oslo are on strike, and they are required to be onboard in order for us to enter the port, if the strike continues Vision of the Seas will be unable to dock in Oslo on Sunday, May 27, as originally planned. Because of this, it will be necessary to modify Vision of the Seas’ boarding and debarking process on Sunday. Vision of the Seas will arrive in Gothenburg, Sweden, on Sunday, and guests will be transported to and from Oslo via motor coach. 

Tower of London


Things to Do Around London - Tower of London

Her Majesty's Royal Palace and Fortress, more commonly known as the Tower of London, is a historic castle on the north bank of the River Thames in central London, England. It lies within the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, separated from the eastern edge of the City of London by the open space known as Tower Hill.

Founded towards the end of 1066 as part of the Norman Conquest of England, the Tower had many uses including that of a grand palace and royal residency. For many centuries it served as a prison, although that wasn't its primary purpose. Other roles included serving as an armoury, a treasury, a menagerie, the home of the Royal Mint, a public records office, and the home of the Crown Jewels of the United Kingdom (still housed there to this day).

Planning Your Visit

Allow 2-3 hours for your visit. Roam on your own or join a guided tour led by one of the Yeoman Warders (pictured above).   Looking at his picture, doesn't he look like he's just full of information and loves to talk?   If you think so, you are correct.   At some point in time, you might want to deviate from the tour if you've had your fill of history.

Your ticket includes access to the Tower and the Crown Jewels display plus Yeoman Warder guided tour and talk, live historical re-enactments, White Tower tour, children's activity trails, entry to the Fit for a King and Prisoners of the Tower exhibitions and much more!

Visit Traitors' Gate where prisoners accused
of treason are supposed to have passed through,
including Queen Elizabeth
Must See Sights

The White Tower
Crown Jewels
Yeoman Warder tours
Ravens
Medieval Palace
Fit for a King
Royal Beasts
Prisoners exhibition
Tower Green
Family fun activities




 Are you enjoying this special series on London?  We'd love to hear from you.  Our Facebook Fans are getting a treat to some additional images, so be sure to Like us.


How to Get There 

By London Underground  
Nearest station: Tower Hill underground station
Directions: Use District or Circle lines to Tower Hill station. Follow directional signage to the Tower. The main entrance is a five minute walk from the station.

By train  
Nearest stations: Fenchurch Street or London Bridge stations
From Fenchurch Street: Exit on to Mark Lane. Turn left on to Byward Street, which will lead you to Tower Hill and the Tower of London.
From London Bridge: Cross the bridge over the River Thames and turn right on to Lower Thames Street. After a 15-minute walk the Tower is located on your right.

By Docklands Light Railway (DLR) 
Tower Gateway Station is located adjacent to Tower Hill station.
Follow directional signage to the main entrance of the Tower.

By bus 
Bus routes: 15, 42, 78, 100, RV1
The Tower is also served by all major sightseeing bus tours.

By riverboat 
Nearest river access: Tower Pier
Directions: Riverboats for Tower Pier depart from Charing Cross, Westminster and Greenwich.

Thames Clippers' fleet of hi-speed catamarans operate daily with departures every 20 minutes from both London Bridge Pier and Tower Pier.

Additional Information (consult official website)



Special Series on London 
 Here and on our Facebook Page

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Below Average 2012 Atlantic Hurricane Prediction

2012 Atlantic Hurricane Forecast

Forecasters at the Colorado State University are predicting that the 2012 Atlantic basin hurricane season will have reduced activity
compared with the 1981-2010 climatology. The season begins June 1st and continues through November 30th.  


Their current (April  4th) forecast calls for below-average activity in the Atlantic this Hurricane Season.  They discontinued their December forecast this year citing previous inaccuracies.


It is impossible to precisely predict this season’s hurricane activity in early April.
NOAA won't even make their first prediction until the end of May.  So, why does Colorado State University's team of scientists create this forecast?   Mainly because the public is curious about predictions based on the current global oceanic and atmospheric conditions.   The forecasting team created their predictions using a statistical model based on 29 years worth of data.

Not the storm you are looking for?  Click Image or Here
The scientists are anticipating a below-average probability for major hurricanes making landfall along the United States coastline and in the Caribbean. However, coastal residents are reminded that it only takes one hurricane making landfall to make it an active season for them, and they need to prepare the same for every season, regardless of how much activity is predicted.

The tropical Atlantic has anomalously cooled over the past several months, and it appears that the chances of an El Niño event this summer and fall are relatively high.

The April forecast calls for 10 named tropical storms with 4 strengthening to hurricane status.   Of those hurricanes, 2 are predicted to be a major hurricane (Category 3,4, or 5).

The team forecasts a 42% chance of one major hurricane making landfall on the U.S. coastline (compared to 52% for last century), 24% for U.S. East Coast Including Peninsula Florida (average for last century is 31%),  24% for Gulf Coast from the Florida Panhandle westward to Brownsville (average for last century is 30%) and a 34% chance for the Caribbean (compared to 42% average for last century).  More reading:  Current and Past Forecasts

ATLANTIC BASIN SEASONAL 
HURRICANE FORECAST FOR 2012







Forecast Parameter and 1950-2000
Climatology (in parentheses)
Issue Date
  4 April 2012
Named Storms (NS) (9.6) 10
Named Storm Days (NSD) (49.1) 40
Hurricanes (H) (5.9) 4
Hurricane Days (HD) (24.5) 16
Major Hurricanes (MH) (2.3) 2
Major Hurricane Days (MHD) (5.0)  3
Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE) (96.1) 70
Net Tropical Cyclone Activity (NTC) (100%) 75


Another reason why Colorado State University publishes forecasts is for hurricane preparedness.   We too are publishing this information, along with updates throughout hurricane season, to help protect life and property when danger approaches.   Additional information and links can be found on the Weather Tab of this blog.

As I've said many times,  the cruise line industry has safety of passengers, crew, and vessels as their number one priority.   The cruise lines work closely with the NHC and other agencies to monitor all sorts of weather conditions, including tropical storms.   The ships may alter courses and cancel ports of call in order to maintain the level of safety for all onboard.  We will keep you posted about any known itinerary changes during hurricane season.   Should your cruise itinerary change due to a tropical storm, don't be upset, but rather thank the Captain and crew for taking you out of harm's way.


Hurricane Preparedness Week - May 27th through June 2, 2012

Monday, May 21, 2012

Windsor Castle


Windsor Castle is an official residence of The Queen and the largest occupied castle in the world. A Royal home and fortress for over 900 years, the Castle remains a working palace today. 

Venturing Further from Central London

Continuing our series on What to do in London, if you are only there for two days, we'll head out by train to Windsor Royal Station for a visit to one of the queen's residences, Windsor Castle. 

Working Royal Residence

More Photos on our Fan Page
The Queen uses the Castle both as a private home, where she usually spends the weekend, and as a Royal residence at which she undertakes certain formal duties.  In the springtime, she takes up residence for the entire month around Easter (March - April).  This is known as the Easter Court during which she holds several 'dine and sleeps' events for guests, including politicians and public figures.

Windsor Castle is often used by The Queen to host State Visits from overseas monarchs and presidents. Foreign Heads of State enter the Castle in horse-drawn carriages through the George IV Gateway into the quadrangle in the Upper Ward, where a military guard of honour is drawn up.

Many Royal weddings have been celebrated in St George's Chapel, as well as funerals such as those of Princess Margaret and Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester, have also taken place there. Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother lies buried in the Chapel with her husband, King George VI, and Princess Margaret, her younger daughter.

Visitor Information

Many parts of the Castle are open to the public, including the precincts, the State Apartments, Queen Mary's famous dolls' house, St George's Chapel, and the Albert Memorial Chapel.

When The Queen is in official residence, Changing the Guard provides a colourful spectacle in the quadrangle.  At Horse Guards Arch, Changing the Guard takes place daily at 11.00 am (10.00 am on Sundays) and lasts about half an hour; it is normally held on Horse Guards Parade by the arch of Horse Guards Building.   The Guard Mounting is held daily May - July.

How to get there

By train: To Windsor from London Waterloo or London Paddington (National Rail Enquiries Service 08457 484950 (UK)).
By coach: Green Line operates daily services from Victoria Coach Station, London.
Tour companies operate excursions to Windsor Castle from many London hotels. For details, please ask your hotel concierge.
By road: M4 to Exit 6. M3 to Exit 3.
For more information about Windsor and parking, please visit www.windsor.gov.uk.




Special Series on London 
 Here and on our Facebook Page

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Tropical Depression 2E Forms in East Pacific



TD 2E (TS Bud) Forms in East Pacific
Becomes the First Hurricane of Season

NHC issuing advisories on TS BUD

800 PM PDT FRI MAY 25 2012

...BUD CONTINUES TO WEAKEN RAPIDLY AS IT APPROACHES THE COAST OF
SOUTHWESTERN MEXICO...
Last year, the first few storms of the East Pacific Hurricane Season became Hurricanes.  So far this year we've had one named storm and the second Tropical Depression looks like it will strengthen into named storm TS Bud and potentially continue to grow in intensity and become a hurricane. The current 5-day track has it making landfall.

Bud is a Category Two Hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane wind scale. Some weakening is forecast on Friday, but Bud is still expected to reach the coast of Mexico as a hurricane.


CRUISE SHIP IMPACT

CHANGES WITH THIS ADVISORY...

NONE.

No reported cruise ship itinerary changes at this time.
SUMMARY OF 800 PM PDT...0300 UTC...INFORMATION
----------------------------------------------
LOCATION...19.7N 105.6W
ABOUT 50 MI...80 KM S OF CABO CORRIENTES MEXICO
ABOUT 100 MI...155 KM WNW OF MANZANILLO MEXICO
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...60 MPH...95 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT...N OR 360 DEGREES AT 7 MPH...11 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...1000 MB...29.53 INCHES




WATCHES AND WARNINGS

CHANGES WITH THIS ADVISORY...
NONE
 
A TROPICAL STORM WARNING IS IN EFFECT FOR...
* THE COAST OF MEXICO FROM MANZANILLO WESTWARD TO CABO CORRIENTES

A TROPICAL STORM WATCH IS IN EFFECT FOR...
* THE COAST OF MEXICO NORTH OF CABO CORRIENTES TO SAN BLAS

A TROPICAL STORM WARNING MEANS THAT TROPICAL STORM CONDITIONS ARE
EXPECTED SOMEWHERE WITHIN THE WARNING AREA.

A TROPICAL STORM WATCH MEANS THAT TROPICAL STORM CONDITIONS ARE
POSSIBLE WITHIN THE WATCH AREA.

FOR STORM INFORMATION SPECIFIC TO YOUR AREA...PLEASE MONITOR
PRODUCTS ISSUED BY YOUR NATIONAL METEOROLOGICAL SERVICE.
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS HAVE DECREASED TO NEAR 60 MPH...95 KM/H...
WITH HIGHER GUSTS.   ADDITIONAL RAPID WEAKENING IS FORECAST...AND
BUD IS EXPECTED TO WEAKEN TO A TROPICAL DEPRESSION ON SATURDAY.

HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND

WIND...TROPICAL STORM CONDITIONS ARE AFFECTING THE COAST OF MEXICO
IN THE TROPICAL STORM WARNING AREA.  TROPICAL STORM CONDITIONS ARE
POSSIBLE WITHIN THE TROPICAL STORM WATCH AREA LATER TONIGHT AND
SATURDAY.

RAINFALL...BUD IS EXPECTED TO PRODUCE TOTAL RAIN ACCUMULATIONS OF 6
TO 10 INCHES ALONG THE SOUTHWESTERN COAST OF MEXICO IN THE STATES
OF MICHOACAN...COLIMA...JALISCO AND SOUTHERN NAYARIT...WITH
POSSIBLE ISOLATED MAXIMUM AMOUNTS OF 15 INCHES.  THESE RAINFALL
AMOUNTS COULD PRODUCE LIFE-THREATENING FLASH FLOODS AND MUD SLIDES.

STORM SURGE...A STORM SURGE IS EXPECTED TO PRODUCE COASTAL FLOODING
NEAR AND TO THE EAST OF WHERE THE CENTER OF BUD MAKES LANDFALL.
NEAR THE COAST...THE SURGE WILL BE ACCOMPANIED BY LARGE AND
DAMAGING WAVES.

SURF...SWELLS GENERATED BY BUD ARE AFFECTING PORTIONS OF THE
SOUTHERN AND SOUTHWESTERN COASTS OF MEXICO.  THESE SWELLS ARE
LIKELY TO CAUSE LIFE-THREATENING SURF AND RIP CURRENT CONDITIONS.
Historical Data :    Graphics   Archive  

800 PM PDT SUN MAY 20 2012

...NEW TROPICAL DEPRESSION FORMS WELL SOUTH OF ACAPULCO...EXPECTED
TO STRENGTHEN...
 
200 AM PDT TUE MAY 22 2012

...SECOND TROPICAL STORM OF THE 2012 HURRICANE SEASON FORMS... 
 
800 PM PDT WED MAY 23 2012

...BUD ALMOST A HURRICANE...
...TROPICAL STORM WATCH ISSUED FOR PART OF SOUTHWESTERN MEXICO... 


Saturday, May 19, 2012

First 2012 Pacific Tropical Storm


2012 Pacific Hurricane Season
Begins Early with 1st Named Storm
Tropical Storm Aletta
Hurricane Season in the Pacific doesn't officially start until May 15th, but there already is a named storm South of Manzanillo, Mexico.  Tropical Storm Aletta strengthened to a named storm just 12 hours after forming.
800 AM PDT SAT MAY 19 2012
 
...ALETTA BECOMES POST-TROPICAL...THIS IS THE LAST ADVISORY... 
  
SUMMARY OF 800 AM PDT...1500 UTC...INFORMATION
----------------------------------------------
LOCATION...14.8N 112.5W
ABOUT 585 MI...940 KM SSW OF THE SOUTHERN TIP OF BAJA CALIFORNIA
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...30 MPH...45 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT...ENE OR 65 DEGREES AT 5 MPH...7 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...1006 MB...29.71 INCHES

CRUISE SHIP IMPACT
None  
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS ARE NEAR 30 MPH...45 KM/H...WITH HIGHER
GUSTS.  THE POST-TROPICAL CYCLONE IS EXPECTED TO DISSIPATE IN A
COUPLE OF DAYS.


WATCHES AND WARNINGS

THERE ARE NO COASTAL WATCHES OR WARNINGS IN EFFECT.
THIS IS THE LAST PUBLIC ADVISORY ISSUED BY THE NATIONAL HURRICANE
CENTER ON ALETTA. FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ON THE REMNANTS OF
ALETTA PLEASE SEE HIGH SEAS FORECASTS ISSUED BY THE NATIONAL
WEATHER SERVICE...UNDER AWIPS HEADER NFDHSFEPI AND WMO HEADER
FZPN01 KWBC.
 
Historical Data :  Graphics    Archive    
 
800 AM PDT MON MAY 14 2012
 
...FIRST TROPICAL DEPRESSION OF THE 2012 EASTERN NORTH PACIFIC
HURRICANE SEASON FORMS AHEAD OF THE OFFICIAL SEASON START DATE...
 
800 PM PDT MON MAY 14 2012
 
...DEPRESSION BECOMES FIRST TROPICAL STORM OF THE YEAR IN THE
EASTERN NORTH PACIFIC... 

First Tropical Storm for 2012 Atlantic Season


2012 Atlantic Hurricane Season
Begins Early with 1st Named Storm
Tropical Storm Alberto

Hurricane Season in the Atlantic doesn't officially start until June 1st, but there already is a named storm heading along the East Coast of the United States.  TS Alberto has started weakening and should dissipate on Thursday.
Last NHC advisory issued on ALBERTO 
 
1100 AM EDT TUE MAY 22 2012
 
...ALBERTO BECOMES A POST-TROPICAL CYCLONE...
THIS IS THE LAST
ADVISORY...
  


CRUISE SHIP IMPACT

CHANGES WITH THIS ADVISORY...

NONE.

No reported cruise ship itinerary changes at this time.
SUMMARY OF 1100 AM EDT...1500 UTC...INFORMATION
-----------------------------------------------
LOCATION...33.1N 74.0W
ABOUT 170 MI...270 KM SSE OF CAPE HATTERAS NORTH CAROLINA
ABOUT 295 MI...470 KM SSE OF NORFOLK VIRGINIA
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...35 MPH...55 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT...NE OR 50 DEGREES AT 17 MPH...28 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...1008 MB...29.77 INCHES

WATCHES AND WARNINGS
  
THERE ARE NO COASTAL WATCHES OR WARNINGS IN EFFECT.

MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS ARE NEAR 35 MPH...55 KM/H...WITH HIGHER
GUSTS.  THE CYCLONE IS FORECAST TO DISSIPATE WITHIN THE NEXT 36
HOURS
HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND
 
NONE
Historical Data :  Graphics   Archive   

500 PM EDT SAT MAY 19 2012
 
...FIRST TROPICAL STORM OF THE ATLANTIC SEASON FORMS OFF THE COAST
OF SOUTH CAROLINA...
 
THIS IS THE LAST PUBLIC ADVISORY ISSUED BY THE NATIONAL HURRICANE
CENTER ON ALBERTO.  ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ON THIS SYSTEM CAN BE
FOUND IN HIGH SEAS FORECASTS ISSUED BY THE NATIONAL WEATHER
SERVICE...UNDER AWIPS HEADER NFDHSFAT1 AND WMO HEADER FZNT01 KWBC. 

Buckingham Palace Changing Guard Ceremony




The Queen’s Guard 
& Band


What do you do in London if you only have two days ?

Assuming that you are flying over to London from the United States, you'll arrive at London Heathrow Airport around 8 AM.   Gathering your luggage and clearing customs will take some time.  Depending on where you are staying in London, you'll take a cab, train, tube, or prearranged limo to your hotel.   Check-in isn't until 2 or 3 PM, and they really mean that in most cases.  They may take your name, but in all likelihood, they won't have a room cleaned for you yet.

The hotel will check your bags, and off you go to start your London adventure !

Buckingham Palace
If you've never been to London, we'd suggest going to Buckingham Palace for the Changing of the
Guard Ceremony.  
We suggest you head their directly from you hotel so that you can find a good vantage point for the ceremony. 

Buckingham Palace has served as the official London residence of Britain's sovereigns since 1837 and today is the administrative headquarters of the Monarch. 
 
Changing the Guard or Guard Mounting is the process involving a new guard exchanging duty with the old guard.  Guard Mounting takes place at 11.30 am. It is held daily from May to July, and on alternate dates throughout the rest of the year.  For exact schedule, see the official site of the British Monarchy.  If you've seen the ceremony here before, you can also see it at Windsor Castle.  We'll feature that in another article.

The Guard which mounts at Buckingham Palace is called The Queen’s Guard and are made up of soldiers  drawn from one of the five regiments of Foot Guards in the British Army: the Scots Guards, the Irish Guards, the Welsh Guards, the Grenadier Guards and the Coldstream Guards.

The handover is accompanied by a Guards band. The music played ranges from traditional military marches to songs from films and musicals and even familiar pop songs. 

When The Queen is in residence, there are four sentries at the front of the building. When she is away there are two.

State Rooms - Summer Opening

Buckingham Palace has 775 rooms. These include 19 State rooms, 52 Royal and guest bedrooms, 188 staff bedrooms, 92 offices and 78 bathrooms. Although in use for the many official events and receptions held by The Queen, the State Rooms at Buckingham Palace are open to visitors every year. For visitor information, please visit the Royal Collection website.

You could easily spend an entire day at Buckingham Palace, especially if you tour the State Rooms.  If you have limited time, you may want to visit some other London attractions.   We will give you several selections and the fun will be planning your visit in advance.    You may want to have alternatives in mind in case the weather doesn't cooperate.   The ceremony is not held in extreme wet conditions.

How to get there

By train: London Victoria. (National Rail Enquiries Service 08457 484950 (UK)).
By Underground: Victoria, Green Park and Hyde Park Corner.
By bus: Numbers 11, 211, C1 and C10 stop on Buckingham Palace Road.
By road: Buckingham Palace is within the London Congestion Charge zone. Please visit www.cclondon.com for further details.
By coach: Victoria Coach Station is a 10-minute walk from the Palace.