Tropical Storm Bertha Forms in the Caribbean, Aims Toward Puerto Rico

Categories: Category 5

via National Hurricane Center
Despite the usual muggy drenching every afternoon around 4 p.m., Miami's had a fairly dry run through hurricane season so far. But that could change early next week thanks to a large lady named Bertha swirling out over the Caribbean this morning.

The National Hurricane Center declared Bertha the second named tropical storm of the year this morning. Projections have the storm rolling a few hundred miles off Miami's coast by Monday morning.

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The First Tropical Disturbance of the Year Is Rumbling Off Florida's Coast

Categories: Category 5

via the National Hurricane Center
Look upon your demise and tremble.
This is not a test. Hide your family. Sell all of your belongings for canned food and weaponry. Prepare yourself for utmost destruction. The year's first tropical disturbance is churning just off the coast of Florida, and the time has come to PANIC!

Wait, what's that? It's basically just a big rain shower that has essentially no chance of developing into a tropical storm? Hmm. Well, you may as well at least prepare yourself for the coming five months of Weather Channel and local TV news freakouts over every other disturbance within 500 miles of South Florida.


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Florida's Tornadoes Are the Deadliest in the Country

Categories: Category 5

`Photo by Justin1659 via Wikimedia Commons
Compared to the miles-wide F5 monsters that roar across the Kansas and Nebraska plains, Florida's tornadoes are usually quaint little dust devils that pop up momentarily and never get the space to grow into city-destroying catastrophes.

Yet it's the Sunshine State's mini-twisters that are the deadliest in the nation, according to a new federal study out this month. The reason is very Florida: Everyone here is either really old or lives in a mobile home, so even small tornadoes are often killers.

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Florida Hurricane Expert: 75 Percent Chance State Gets Hit This Year

Categories: Category 5

Headed to Miami in 2014?
It's been nine years since the double-whammy of Katrina and Wilma walloped Miami, and the Magic City has coasted through every hurricane season since without a scratch. Most weather experts have predicted more of the same this year, with another strong El NiƱo system tamping down tropical storms.

But one Florida-based expert thinks otherwise. Ocala's David Dilley, who runs a computer-modeling service, predicts a 75 percent chance that the Sunshine State will get a landfall this year.

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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

humberto200px.png
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

soberainny.jpg
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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