Predictions for 2019 Hurricane Season

Philip Klotzbach, hurricane researcher at Colorado State University, tweeted that this year’s forecast calls for a slightly below average season with at least 13 named storms, five hurricanes and two major hurricanes. The reason for the weaker season is the continuation of a weak El Niño.

So, here’s to 2019. The season begins June 1.

The 2018 Hurricane Season

This year the story so far is wildfires in western states and high temperatures in northern states. There’s several large wildfires burning in Washington, Oregon, California, Idaho, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, and Colorado. Over the July 4th holiday (it fell on Wednesday) temperatures topped 100° F as far north as Minnesota.

It’s now the second week of July, and we’ve only had one subtropical storm, Alberto. Another storm, Hurricane Beryl, is located about 720 miles east of the Lesser Antilles. It was a category 1 hurricane, but it was downgraded this morning to a tropical storm. Last year we had 4 tropical storms by July 4th; first hurricane, Franklin, formed August 9 and hit Mexico the next day.

On Monday another storm formed, Tropical Storm Chris (it’s that circle east of the Carolina’s). It’s expected to make hurricane 1 strength by Tuesday but it is not expected to last long or make problems for people.

I’m sure there’s more storms coming, but for now it’s all quiet – and hot.

UPDATE 07-10-2018:

As expected, TS Chris became Hurricane Chris on Tuesday, July 10, but it is expected to head into the Atlantic and not make landfall. There is a high pressure area on the east coast that is keeping it offshore.

TS Beryl continued to to slowdown and weaken until today it’s no longer a tropical storm; maximum winds 35 mph.

UPDATE 07-11-2018:

Hurricane Chris strengthened to category 2 overnight. It’s continuing on a northeasterly track, and it’s not a direct threat to land.

UPDATE 08-07-2018:

Today, Tropical Storm Debby formed out in the middle of the Atlantic. It’s not expected to make landfall.

UPDATE 08-08-2018:

Hurricane Hector is threatening the Big Island of Hawaii with Tropical Storm force winds. Near the eye, maximum sustained wind speed is 125 mph.

UPDATE 08-09-2018:

Today, the Nation Hurricane Center said that Hurricane Hector is no longer a threat to Hawaii. Also, TS Debby is dissipating to a depression. And just as I thought, CNN reported today that NOAA predicts a “below normal” hurricane season thanks to El Niño.

UPDATE 08-18-2018:

Two days ago, TS Ernesto formed in the middle of the Atlantic. Today the storm is nearing Ireland.

Hurricane Lane, another Pacific hurricane, continues to strengthen and may come close to Hawaii like Hector did.

UPDATE 08-22-2018:

Reports from the Central Pacific Hurricane Center say Hurricane Lane is a strong category 4 (wind speeds of 145 MPH) and could pass dangerously close to the Hawaiian Islands. It appears to be strong and slow moving – the worst combination for populated areas.

A Hurricane Warning is in effect for…
* Oahu
* Maui County…including the islands of Maui, Lanai, Molokai and Kahoolawe
* Hawaii County

UPDATE 08-25-2018:

After dumping up to 40 inches of rain on parts of Hawaii, Hurricane Lane was downgraded to a tropical storm today.

UPDATE 09-03-2019:

Today, Tropical Storm Gordon formed off of the southwest coast of Florida – about 10 miles west of Key Largo. Gordon is predicted to strengthen to a hurricane and make landfall along the Mississippi coast Wednesday (9/5).

UPDATE 09-05-2018:

National Weather Service Doppler radar indicates that Gordon made landfall around 1015 PM CDT (0315 UTC) just west of the Alabama-Mississippi border with estimated maximum sustained winds of 70 mph (110 km/h).

Meanwhile, yesterday about 4:00 AM CDT, Tropical Storm Florence strengthened to a Hurricane Florence in the middle of the Atlantic.

UPDATE 09-09-2018:

Two new storms formed after Gordon blew through and after Florence started cranking it up – Tropical Storm Helene and Tropical Storm Isaac formed off the coast of Africa. Helene is expected to turn north into the Atlantic, but Isaac is headed toward the Lesser Antilles.

Since Wednesday, Florence weakened and then strengthened back into a hurricane. It is now predicted to make landfall on the coast of North Carolina as a category 3 storm.

UPDATE 09-12-2018:

A new potential storm, Invest 95-L, has developed off of the Yucatan Peninsula. The NHC gives the system a 60% chance to develop into a tropical depression between now and Friday (9/14) evening.

Near Hawaii, Tropical Storm Olivia weakened from a hurricane and is expected to make landfall on Maui on Wednesday (9/12).

Hurricane Florence is now category 4 and is expected to make landfall on Friday (9/14) along the Carolina’s.

According to the NHC, Hurricane Isaac will lose some steam and be a tropical storm as it moves into the Caribbean Sea by the weekend (9/15).

Hurricane Helene is still in the open Atlantic and may move toward England or France.

UPDATE 09-14-2018:

Hurricane Florence made landfall this morning near Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, as a Category 1 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 90 mph.

Helene weakened to a Tropical Storm yesterday. Isaac is a depression south of Puerto Rico. Tropical Storm Joyce formed in the Atlantic near Helene – there’s no threat to land. Invest 95-L weakened and may be a rain maker for the Texas coast this weekend.

UPDATE 10-01-2018:

Hurricane Sergio formed in the southeastern Pacific this evening. It is not expected to make landfall.

UPDATE 10-03-2018:

Hurricane Leslie formed in the middle of the Atlantic this morning. It is not expected to make landfall.

UPDATE 10-08-2018:

Hurricane Michael formed off of the western tip of Cuba today. It is expected to move north and make landfall near Panama City, Florida, sometime on Wednesday (10/10).

UPDATE 10-10-2018:

Hurricane Michael strengthened to a category 4 storm with maximum sustained winds of 155 m.p.h (157 is category 5) before it slammed into the Florida Panhandle near Panama City Beach.

UPDATE 10-14-2018:

Remember Hurricane Leslie? She made landfall about 125 miles north of Lisbon, Portugal, today as a post-tropical cyclone with wind speeds of 105 mph. The NHC actually started tracking Leslie as a subtropical storm on September 23! That’s 21 days ago! This storm is one for the books: according to Wikipedia, it’s the 10th greatest duration tropical cyclone (I’ve only lived through 2 others on that list.)

President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un meet for historic summit…

They met in Singapore on June 12, 2018, to discuss nuclear disarmament of North Korea.

Just two weeks ago Pres. Trump sent a letter canceling the summit. These sure are strange times we are living in – he has to be (one of) the oddest president.

Is Syria the Start of the Storm? #WW3

Last night, the United States, France and the United Kingdom, launched airstrikes against 3 strategic targets in Syria. The strikes were in reliation against alleged chemical weapons attacks that occurred on April 7, 2018. Russia, a Syrian ally, warned such actions will have consequences. Here is a brief timeline of events that have some wondering if we’re on the brink of World War III.

Continue reading

Bombs In Austin

Austin was rocked by 6 bomb blasts in 21 days. The suspect, 23-year-old Mark Anthony Conditt of Pflugerville, Texas, was killed in the last blast. His motive has yet to be determined. Here’s a timeline of what happened.

  • March 2: A package bomb kills 39-year-old Anthony Stephan House when it explodes on his front porch.
  • March 12: 17-year-old Draylen Mason, was killed and his mother was injured after a package exploded inside their home.
  • March 12: Hours after the second explosion occurred, police reported a third blast, confirming that at least one elderly woman was injured.
  • March 18: Two men in their 20s suffered non-life threatening injuries when they triggered a bomb via a tripwire while walking their bikes.
  • March 20: A bomb blast at a FedEx ground distribution facility in Schertz, Texas, injured one person.
  • March 21: Just before 5 am police/FBI/ATF corner Conditt at a Red Roof Inn on Interstate 35 in Round Rock, Texas. He drove off a short distance then blew himself up in his car. Source:

The bad news is we may not be finished with this person or their bombs. FBI agent Chris Combs, head of the agency’s San Antonio office, said, “We are concerned that there may be other packages that are still out there.” Source:

The 2018 Primary Election in Texas

The Primary Election this year is March 6 (early voting starts February 20, in 2 weeks), and the General Election will be November 6 (early voting starts October 22). So far it’s a pretty quiet election – no hotly contested seats; Ted Cruz might have to campaign to keep his seat in the Senate.

UPDATE: More than 30 races are headed to runoffs on May 22. I think I’m eligible to vote for one: Lupe Valdez (D) and Andrew White (D) for governor. Source: Texas Tribune.

U.S. Senate (Texas)

  • Ted Cruz (R) – incumbent
  • Geraldine Sam (R)
  • Mary Miller (R)
  • Bruce Jacobson, Jr. (R)
  • Stefano de Stefano (R)
  • Beto O’Rourke (D)
  • Edward Kimbrough (D)
  • Sema Hernandez (D)

U.S. House of Representatives (District 17 Texas)

  • Bill Flores (R) – incumbent
  • Rick Kennedy (D)
  • Dale Mantey (D)

Texas Governor

  • Greg Abbott (R) – incumbent
  • Barbara Krueger (R)
  • Larry “Secede” Kilgore (R)
  • James Jolly Clark (D)
  • Cedric Davis (D)
  • Joe Mumbach (D)
  • Adrian Ocegueda (D)
  • Jeffrey Payne (D)
  • Lupe Valdez (D)
  • Tom Wakely (D)
  • Andrew White (D)
  • Grady Yarbrough (D)

Texas Lieutenant Governor

  • Dan Patrick (R) – incumbent
  • Scott Milder (R)
  • Mike Collier (D)
  • Michael Cooper (D)

Texas Attorney General

Texas Senate (District 5)

  • Charles Schwertner (R) – incumbent
  • Harold Ramm (R)
  • Glenn “Grumpy” Williams (D)
  • Brian E. Cronin (D)
  • Meg Walsh (D)

Texas House of Representatives (District 14)

  • John Raney (R) – incumbent
  • Jeston Texeira (R)
  • Sarah Laningham (R)
  • Rick Davis (R)
  • Josh Wilkinson (D)
  • Alex Vidal (D)

Comptroller of Public Accounts

  • Glenn Hegar (R) – incumbent
  • Tim Mahoney (D)
  • Joi Chevalier (D)

Commissioner of the General Land Office

  • George P. Bush (R) – incumbent
  • Davey Edwards (R)
  • Jerry Patterson (R)
  • Rick Range (R)
  • Tex Morgan (D)
  • Miguel Suazo (D)

Commissioner of Agriculture

  • Sid Miller (R) – incumbent
  • Trey Blocker (R)
  • Jim Hogan (R)
  • Kim Olson (D)

Railroad Commissioner

  • Christi Craddick (R) – incumbent
  • Weston Martinez (R)
  • Chris Spellmon (D)
  • Roman McAllen (D)

District Judge, (Texas) 85th Judicial District

  • Kyle Hawthorne (R) – incumbent

District Judge, (Texas) 272nd Judicial District

  • Travis B. Bryan III (R) – Next election 2020

District Judge, (Texas) 361st Judicial District

  • Steve Smith (R) – incumbent

District Attorney – Brazos County

  • Jarvis Parsons (R) – Next election 2020

Sheriff – Brazos County

  • Chris Kirk – Next election 2020

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YouTube’s Dear John Letter

Well, I finally got my Dear John letter from YouTube. They’re raising their monetization requirements and kicking little guys to the curb if they don’t have the numbers. The new threshold is 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 hours of view time in the past 12 months.

The Great YouTube Demonetization Controversy Continues

Folks want to blame Logan Paul for this latest policy change. He’s a popular (15 M subscribers) YouTube creator who posted a video where he showed a dead body in a Japanese forest known for hosting suicides. A YouTube spokesperson had this to say, “Sometimes our systems get it wrong, which is why we’ve encouraged creators to appeal.” (Source: The Guardian). I say sometimes they don’t get it at all, but I don’t blame Logan Paul. I blame YouTube: adopting weak business practices and morphing into a traditional media outlet replete with ass-kissers for advertising dollars.

I guess there’s Vimeo…