5.1 Magnitude Earthquake Startles and Confuses Cubans, Floridians

Categories: Category 5

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The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Prior to yesterday, most Floridians' experience with the Richter scale was limited to the former Universal Studios attraction, Earthquake: The Big One. At around 4 p.m. Thursday afternoon, a rare, 5.1-magnitude earthquake struck outside Cuba leaving residents of the seismically stable country -- and some South Floridians -- slightly confused.

Although no damage has been reported yet, the tremor is one of the few to ever occur in the Straits of Florida, the J-shaped channel that hooks through Florida, the Keys, Cuba and the Bahamas.

Registering as "moderate" on the Richter scale, the quake had the potential to damage poorly built structures but was unlikely to cause any fatalities.

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Miamians Complain About Weather as Rest of Country Freezes

Categories: Category 5

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If you're a working stiff like us, you might have noticed a slight change in your routine this morning. You hopped out of bed ready to take on the day, your planned outfit of cut-off shorts and flip-flops neatly arranged atop your dresser. Next, you sat at your computer and flexed your fingers, preparing to type yet another Facebook diatribe about Miami's overly warm winter, or a tweet to taunt the rest of the country, where record-breaking temperatures have plummeted into the double-digit negatives.

You were going over the two options in your mind when, suddenly, you paused, fingers clenched in mid-flex. That bed you just vacated beckoned for your return. You longed to roll in its luxurious folds and to be embraced by the inanimate arms of your husband pillow. Your bare feet suddenly felt a bit too bare. In fact, you slowly became aware of your extremities for the first time in months due to the fact they were all tingling.

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Humberto Will Probably Become First Hurricane of 2013, Just Miss Record

Categories: Category 5

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Wikipedia Commons
Summary map of the 2013 storm season.
Have you noticed there haven't been any hurricanes this year? It's hard to miss a palm tree floating down the middle of Collins Avenue, but there hasn't even been a 'cane that's petered out in the middle of the Atlantic. Are you now realizing an alarming absence of those awesome local TV news segments with closeups of empty shelves that used to host pallets of bottled water? When is the last time you were lulled to sleep by the sweet sounds of the Emergency Broadcast System test? Is your mind blown yet?

Finally the madness is ending, because meteorologists from the National Hurricane Center are saying Tropical Storm Humberto is poised to become a full-fledged hurricane later today. Right now, Humberto is chilling off the coast of Cape Verde, a ten-island nation about 350 miles off the coast of West Africa. It's moving toward us at 9 mph and continues to steadily strengthen.

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Group Wants to Name Hurricanes After Marco Rubio

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Have you ever shared your name with a Hurricane? It makes for a rather odd week when Hurricane [Your Name] is churning toward Florida and threatening to destroy it. Well, environmental advocacy group 350.org has come up with a new way to name Hurricanes that would spare people who happened to be named things like Andrew, Wilma and Katrina. They want to name storms after climate change denying politicians like Marco Rubio.

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Miami Beach Got So Much Rain Yesterday It Shattered Three Records

Categories: Category 5

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via The Fine Art Galaxy's Flickr/New Times Flickr Pool
Yesterday's rainfall was not normal. In fact, Miami Beach got so much rain yesterday that it shattered three separate records: the most rainfall for July 18th in recorded weather history, the most rainfall for any single day in July ever, and helped push the month to the wettest July on record for the town.

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South Beach Is Underwater Again This Morning (And For Once, So Is the Rest of Miami)

Categories: Category 5

photo by Tim Elfrink
The thunder rumbled over South Beach around 5 a.m. this morning, just before the torrential downpour. Less than 20 minutes later, more than a foot of water had surged up and over the lower lying parts of SoBe. Hundreds of residents who didn't leap out of bed to move their cars woke up to find puddles inside above their gas pedals.

Catastrophic floods are a fact of summer life in South Beach, but this morning the rest of Dade County is sinking into the ocean as well.

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Tropical Storm Chantal Is Dead

Categories: Category 5

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Tropical Storm Chantal was pronounced dead today at approximately 4:40 p.m. after dissipating in the Caribbean Sea about 260 miles south of Cuba.

So all you relatively newly arrived folk who haven't gone through this hundreds of times before can all stop freaking out. Though, Chantal's remnants could still make for a somewhat rainy weekend in South Florida.

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Tropical Storm Chantal Weakens but Looks More Likely to Hit Florida

Categories: Category 5

via NOAA
Good news, Miami: Tropical Storm Chantal has already lost some pop, with winds decreasing to 45 mph overnight, and is likely to lose more as Haiti's mountainous landscape tears up the storm today.

The bad news is that the storm looks more likely than ever to ruin this weekend in South Florida. The latest track puts the storm just off the coast by Saturday morning.

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Tropical Storm Chantal Might Reach Florida Monday

Categories: Category 5

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You might want to think twice before forcing your local bank teller to cash last week's paycheck in all singles to hoard in your emergency bunker. Forecasters are still unsure if Tropical Storm Chantal will make it to Florida. If it does arrive, tentatively expect to have your Hypnotiq-fueled hurricane party set for Monday.

Right now, the stripper-named storm is picking up speed, reaching wind gusts of 54 mph as it moved over St. Lucia this morning. In order to be classified as a bonafide hurricane, the third (and best) named storm of the Atlantic season will need to work it a little faster. The exact threshold is 74 mph, or faster than the speed of a cheetah, according to NASA's supercute guide for the less-numerically inclined.

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Tropical Storm Chantal Headed for Haiti, Might Buzz South Florida by Saturday

Categories: Category 5

via NOAA
Chantal's path
There's a pissed-off lady named Chantal getting set to ruin your weekend Wynwood Art Walk plans, Miami. No, no, not that Tootsie's dancer you had a beef with -- it's Tropical Storm Chantal, and it looks to be headed in South Florida's direction just in time for the weekend.

Chantal earned its name last night as its winds hit 40 mph. Forecasts show it passing over Hispaniola late this week before turning north toward Florida.

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