My Newfound Hobby

I have spent the last week watching Hurricane coverage and while I am watching it for a specific reason, I will be damned if it is not fascinating stuff. My favorite thing, hands down, is how many amatuer storm watchers there are out there. Personally, my favorite is Mike’s Weather Page ( or Mike’s Weather Page on FB). He does live chats on fb live and I watch all of them.

What I like about him is that he doesn’t make predictions- he just throws a bunch of models up and assumes you can notice trends from a lot of different models.

It’s just super cool. I’m still holding out hope that this sucker might bend south and not wallop the Outer Banks, but I am highly doubtful.

89 replies
  1. 1
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    Wilmer’s son is getting crushed in the NH primary. he has less than 2 percent of the vote (a pathetic 383 votes).

    so much for socialism can not lose

  2. 2
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    Elizabelle says:

    @David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch: Warms my heart. Go down, Levi. Go down.

  4. 4
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch: Good. May the same happen to Bernie in 2020 if he runs again.

  5. 5
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @John Cole: Levi Sanders. Son of St. Bernard of Burlington, was running for the Dem nomination in NH CD #1. He is getting his ass handed to him.

  6. 6
    Gin & Tonic says:

    Latest has Chris Pappas, the leader, with 11,529 and Levi Sanders with 418.

  7. 7
    Gin & Tonic says:

    Is it just me, or is that weather page the ugliest fucking Web page since everybody was on Geocities?

  8. 8
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Gin & Tonic: I was never on Geocities.

  9. 9

    @David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch: he’s kind of a fuckup and didn’t get endorsed by the old man, right?

  10. 10
    randy khan says:

    The hurricane stuff is awfully addictive.

  11. 11
    dmsilev says:

    @Gin & Tonic: I was searching for something at work this afternoon and came across one website which proudly noted that the most recent update was in 1994. Kind of impressive that it was still online, even if it didn’t quite have the information I was looking for.

  12. 12
    Baud says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Fucking superdelegates scared away his supporters.

  13. 13
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    He got endless press attention, including feature articles in NY Times, and he’s only getting a few hundred suckers votes.

  14. 14
    Baud says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Also a carpetbagger if I remember correctly.

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    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Major Major Major Major: didn’t he get in a very public fight on-line with the organizers of his high school reunion, because they were using superdelegates to determine the playlists?

    Listening to Bob Woodward talk is painful

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    My niece stumbled on the weather channel one day, she’s 11. Now she wants to be a meteorologist and has threatened to fly to Florida to ride out the next hurricane with her uncle (my brother) and his family. So, thanks, Jim Cantore.

  17. 17
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @John Cole: Not related to that comment, but you’ll appreciate this then:

    And sorry about your vacation.

  18. 18
    ljt says:

    I love the Outer Banks, too, but a turn south could come right for me in Edisto Beach. There is no good path here.

  19. 19

    I am a bit confused about NY primaries on Sep 13, didn’t they already have their primaries when Ocasio Cortez won? Why do they have two sets of primaries.

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    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: he went nuts over a reunion he didn’t plan to attend because they rented a dining room, while he demanded they hold in it a free park. Kook!

  21. 21
    maeve says:

    Posted this before but late in threads – to watch the winds

    You can play a movie of future projections – not necessarily accurate (in fact not very accurate – I followed it last year but the projections are just bets) – but it shows the further storms in the atlantic are not necessaily alarming (although it seemingly developes into something in the north atlantic near greenland etc.) but there also seems to be a hurricane approaching the Phillippines which is alarming.

    Also explaines why its hard to sail around the cape of magellan or the cape of good hope.

  22. 22
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    @schrodingers_cat: a few cycles ago, they split the federal office primaries from the state office primaries.

  23. 23
    dr. luba says:

    Just in time for hurricane season:

    MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow reported Tuesday night that President Donald Trump’s administration took nearly $10 million funds from FEMA’s budget and transferred to ICE ahead of the hurricane season this summer, according to documents provided by Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR).

    The news, breaking just as Hurricane Florence threatens to wreak havoc on the East Coast, is stunning given the extreme devastation brought by last year’s hurricane season. A recent report found that Hurricane Maria in 2017 killed nearly 3,000 people in Puerto Rico after a federal response that faced heavy criticism.

  24. 24
    Ohio Mom says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Mike is also on Twitter and that site is much easier on the eyes.

    My favorites are the satellite videos where you can see the hurricane rotate around its/her eye. So much energy, so mesmerizing. The earth is a wild place.

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    Emma says:

    A friend of mine just called me laughing hysterically. A friend of hers who lives outside of Wilmington texted all her friends “I’m going to Wilmington to get supplies. Pray for me.” Several hours later she texted “Wilmington is fine but RUN FOR YOUR LIVES! I SAW JIM CANTORE!”

  27. 27
    Gvg says:

    Weather info on the web IS really addictive. It is really conveinent if someone you know does all that obsessing for you, and just passes along the important stuff. Best is if it’s someone at work, who can tell you between tasks.
    Some years I really get sucked into it. I like weather underground, the NOAA site and Jeff Masters.
    If things get really bad, comics about it help too. There were some really good ones for Florida in 2004.
    These days, the division heads and Deans at the University all seem to be weather geeks. I can remember when nobody bothered. Andrew was Florida’s wake up call and 2004, the year of 4 hurricanes seemed to permanently change the culture.

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    @randy khan: Ain’t nothing compared to Milky Way photography.

    (Getting ready to brave the traffic to photograph the Milky Way.)

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    Ohio Mom says:

    @David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch: Two sets of primaries sounds expensive. Plus I suspect it dampens turnout.

    How many times can you expect people to schlep to the polls? Not easy if you have to work, or drag along little kids, or have limited transportation options, or have mobility issues, etc.

  30. 30
    Larch says:

    If you’re into weather – forecasts, tools/models, real-world I’m impacts- try Paul Douglas’s blog at the Minneapolis StarTrIbune:

    He pulls in info from all over the world, including Florence coverage. He’s also well aware of thr science behind climate change & is not shy about pointing out that reality reality

  31. 31

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: Ah Crap, just checked the weather, too much damn cloud cover.

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    khead says:

    15 years ago, I sweated through 40+ official updates from the NHC and The Weather Channel – plus other forecasters – who said Hurricane Isabel was going to ruin our wedding (9/20) in NJ. ALL of them got it wrong when the storm turned west into PA instead of into NJ. Flo is headed for my sister in Raleigh so I hope they all get it wrong this time too

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    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    The CrowdPac for Collins’ eventual challenger is now over a million dollars….

  34. 34
    Quinerly says:

    @Emma: a friend of mine in Morehead City, NC just sent me a message about a Cantore sighting at El’s Drive Inn (famous shrimp burgers). A few hours later, he was on Front Street in Beaufort, NC. I wish I could laugh but serious shit…. Where I grew up.

  35. 35
    JWL says:

    Earlier this summer, an emergency room doctor described an acquaintance of mine as being a “goofball”. I don’t think I’d heard anybody described as being one since I was 10 years old, and it was probably in reference to me. But it was the perfect description of the guy. Were it not for the profound tragedy of it all, and the damage done to American democracy, it would perfectly describe Trump, too, as Mueller Inc. closes in on the spy ring in the White House..

    Best of luck riding out what’s heading your way, Cole. I still think planking might be the way to go in your yard, and it appears Mother Nature agrees with me..

  36. 36
    Barbara says:

    @khead: It’s going somewhere and unless it stalls over the ocean, wherever it goes will wreak havoc.

  37. 37
    Steeplejack says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    Damn, that’s . . . pretty ugly. It might be pre-GeoCities bad.

  38. 38
    Steeplejack says:


    Like CompuServe gettin’ jiggy bad.

  39. 39
    NotMax says:


    One vote for it being the first yard ever completely landscaped in ShamWows.


  40. 40

    @NotMax: that would certainly keep Cole from getting too injured if he fell.

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    Emma says:

    @Quinerly: We Floridians develop a gallows humor about hurricanes, I’m sorry to say.

  42. 42

    @NotMax: Obviously, the solution is more willow trees.

  43. 43
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Gin & Tonic:
    Levi’s going down.

  44. 44
    Aleta says:

    @Gin & Tonic: the latter
    It’s like a cheap three-color ad circular on thin shiny paper, already sliding halfway out of the newspaper before anybody picks it up.

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    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Amir Khalid: With 72 of 114 precincts in, Levi has 656, and Pratt has 14,922.

    I don’t think Levi’s going to make up the shortfall.

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    CaseyL says:

    Weather Channel has these amazing specials, about the Worst Storms Ever, Biggest Tornadoes Caught on Film, and Crazy Shit About Lightning. I idly tune in for some local forecast, and am still sitting on the couch an hour later, mesmerized.

  49. 49
    Juju says:

    @Quinerly: My sister is coming in from Morehead City tomorrow some time. We also have friends from Hatteras Island, who thought they might try to ride out the storm but decided not to, all staying with us for the duration. I’m relieved they are all going to be inland with us, but it’s going to be rough here too. I haven’t seen Jim Cantore, so that’s probably a good thing.

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    CaseyL says:

    @Juju: It’s great that you’re offering shelter from the storm, but I sure hope your house has more than one bathroom.

  52. 52
    NotMax says:


    Can’t hear Morehead City without, for a fleeting moment, also hearing Beavis & Butthead.

  53. 53

    OK, I’ve given up on the Milky Way for the year; I’m headed out to photograph some nebula and deep sky objects(including occasional BJ commenter M31).

  54. 54
    NotMax says:


    He sure doesn’t look Druish.


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  56. 56


    I haven’t seen Jim Cantore, so that’s probably a good thing.

    I think the general consensus on this thread is that if you’ve seen Jim Cantore, you’re fucked.

  57. 57
    OGLiberal says:

    When we were sitting at home during the lead up to Sandy in our Jersey Shore home I was hearing all the storm surge news and worrying because we were basically stuck. I felt pretty condident we’d be fine given our elevation despite our close proximity to the Atlantic. But wasn’t sure and had two young kids, a dog and five cats riding it out with us. On a whim I emailed Jeff Masters at Weather Underground as I’d been tracking the storm in his blog. This was soon after they had been acquired by TWC. He responded pretty quickly. He asked our elevation, I responded, and he responded, “you should be fine”…and other than the 6-day; well prepared for power outage, we were. Will always appreciate that.

    Rule 1 if Hurricane Club us if Jim Cantore shows up in your town, get out. Rule 2 is if Mike Seidel shows up in your town, get out. Cantore story’s are legend but I remember Seidel in the lead up to Sandy standing on an OBX beach, leaning into the wind, windbreaker flapping so much you could barely hear him, pointing out that what was blowing by him that looked like snow was actually sand. Could tell his camera crew was at least 100 yards away, probably under some cover. He was standing where the waves were breaking.

  58. 58
    NotMax says:


    You anywhere near the river with the fuel spill?

  59. 59
    Carolina Dave says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: @Quinerly:

    Nothing can compare to seeing the Milky Way, but a 10ft storm surge from a 500 mile wide Cat 4, is as close to the storms on other planets that ours faces. You don’t have to look to the heavens to feel insignificant.

  60. 60
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    Burgess Everett @ burgessev
    Sen. Collins, to Newsmax, on crowd funding a challenger if she votes for Kavanaugh: “I consider this quid pro quo fundraising to be the equivalent of an attempt to bribe me to vote against Judge Kavanaugh.”…

    Brian Fallon @ brianefallon
    Susan Collins just took to right-wing outlet Newsmax to yell “get off my lawn” at grassroots small-dollar donors.
    The pressure is getting to her, friends.

  61. 61
    ByRookorbyCrook says:


    I think the general consensus on this thread is that if you’ve seen Jim Cantore, you’re fucked.

    Maybe not weather-wise, but if you need to grab anything out at the store for storm prep Cantore brings the circus to town.

  62. 62

    @Carolina Dave: I feel insignificant if I think about like chemistry too hard, it doesn’t even have to be something big!

  63. 63
    Luthe says:


    *and by “swamp” I mean “Cole’s backyard”

  64. 64
    TS (the original) says:

    @dr. luba:

    after a federal response that faced heavy criticism

    Should have said – completely, utterly and without doubt inadequate and incompetent.

  65. 65
    OGLiberal says:

    Sandy did some major damage to my hometown in NJ (wasn’t living there – parents were but their house was in some weird high ground between a bay and a creek and got nothing – mostly thanks to Army Corps of Engineer dunes and floodgates – dunes not as successful in other parts of town) but town directly West, Union Beach, got slammed hard. This is footage from a hurricane proof house that survived. A few doors down was the iconic half house of the Jersey Shore that didn’t. That’s a bay, normally as placid as a lake:

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    @Ohio Mom:

    Two sets of primaries sounds expensive. Plus I suspect it dampens turnout.

    A suspicious person might even suggest they planned it that way to benefit incumbents.

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    @Gin & Tonic:

    I don’t think Levi’s going to make up the shortfall.

    That’s what he gets for running for the Democratic nomination instead of running as an independent.

  68. 68
    NotMax says:

    Olivia update.

    First noticeably heavy, driving rains and uptick in wind as of five minutes ago. Can sense the pressure dropping.

    Been lightly raining and foggy since late this morning. Still several hours before it is supposed to make landfall here. Good news is the storm is barreling along at 15 or more mph.

  69. 69
    Mike in NC says:

    Twenty years ago I was in a Navy Reserve unit whose missions included tracking and responding to hurricanes. We were insanely busy because at times there were 3 or 4 or even 5 brewing at once.

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    NotMax says:

    Story is from a Hawaii outlet, however good advice for those in Florence’s cone who live in condos or high rises.

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    smedley the uncertain says:

    @maeve: I’ve used the windy site for sailing around Lake Erie. Resolution is fairly course but useful to determine if it’s going to be a nice cruise, a workout or just stay put and crack another beer at the slip.

  72. 72
    J R in WV says:

    Well, the WV Turnpike, aka I-77 north out of NC and VA is currently bumper to bumper from Princeton in the south most of the way to

    Gov Jimmy shut down construction to help speed people bailing out of SC and NC, lots of West Virginians live in NC and SC and they’re heading back home to stay with family. Smarter than I expected!

    Now I see some model forecasts that call for Flo to stop in Wilmington NC for a little while, and then follow the coastline SW to Charleston SC or Savannah GA before turning into the continental US, then swinging north along the mountain chain, which would be worst case for flooding all over the east coast.

    Hope it just turns north into the ocean!

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    M31 says:



    I’ve always loved that M31 is the most distant object you can see with the naked eye.

  74. 74
    smedley the uncertain says:

    Curse = coarse
    grr….where’s the edit.

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    CaseyL says:

    Per Weather Channel, European model storm tracking is now saying the storm may turn W-SW after landfall, rather than N-NE. The revised track sends it out over Alabama, Tennessee, and Mississippi.

  76. 76
    J R in WV says:

    I forgot to pass along this link, which I’ve posted before:

    BoatUS Hurricane Tracking from an insurance outfit for boats. Seems to have several important pages gathered for our convenience.

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    Quinerly says:

    @Juju: I had been wondering about your sister. Glad to hear she is joining you in Greenville. Has central planning checked in? If I am recalling correctly, his dad lives in Pine Knoll Shores. Be safe. Stay in touch. I am worried about the potential flooding inland. I remember Floyd…..

  78. 78
    debbie says:


    There’s a cold front coming down over the Ohio Valley that’s expected to keep Florence down South.

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    Chacal Charles Calthrop says:

    @OGLiberal: that’s amazing. Thks for posting.

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    Martin says:

    Welcome Cole. I dove down that same rabbit hole watching Katrina and occasionally run back to it. I agree, it’s pretty fascinating both on its own and also exploring the community.

    From what I saw yesterday poking around, the helpful on-topic community has given up quite a bit of ground to the climate denying Trumpers. Hopefully that’s not too widespread.

  81. 81
    Pappenheimer says:

    There is very little as satisfying as accurately predicting a change in the weather, and nothing more frustrating than not being able to (ex-USAF Weather here.) Someday I am going to track down that damn butterfly. And pin it to a board,

    By the way, hurricanes can’t menace the Philippines. Any tropical storm that strong west of the International Date Line in those waters is called a typhoon. They are exactly the same beastie, but have a different naming system. (I still remember the forecasting team in Hawaii being amused by Typhoon Long Wang’s name, though the actual storm was no laughing matter.)

  82. 82
    Bill Arnold says:


    Per Weather Channel, European model storm tracking is now saying the storm may turn W-SW after landfall, rather than N-NE. The revised track sends it out over Alabama, Tennessee, and Mississippi.

    Hudson valley (NY), earlier tonight I saw a convoy of ~10 lineman’s trucks headed West on an interstate.
    Wondered where they were going. Wondering where they are going now. :-)

  83. 83
    Juju says:

    @Quinerly: fortunately for us we live in one of the places in Pitt county that didn’t flood during Floyd. It is so safe from flood that the utility company built a substation down the road.

    I have two new rescue dogs and neither deal with storms very well. I called the vet for some surplus doggie calming pills today.

    My brother in law is staying in Emerald Isle. His house has been renovated to code, but I don’t know if I’d stay.

    I may not have an accurate email. I’ve sent a few notes and haven’t heard from you.

  84. 84

    @Gin & Tonic: Holy shizeballs…. What was seen can never be unseen again.

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    karen marie says:

    Apparently whatever has been done to “fix” the site means I am now joining the population plagued by autoplay ads. I AM NOT HAPPY! They are making the site run super slow. I AM NOT HAPPY. How about you dump the ads and take contributions, like Wonkette, or through Patreon, because THIS SUCKS BALLS and not in a good way.

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    Chetan Murthy says:

    @John Cole:

    I have no idea who you are talking about

    You’re such a card!

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    The Pale Scot says:

    @karen marie: You can try turning off Java Script, either through preferences/options or downloading an extension/add-on. It disables the power sucking, but toolbar for the comment section gets disabled also.

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    lurker dean says:

    very late to the thread, but this is a really cool link to see weather patterns around the world. if you click on “earth” you can adjust the display to show all sorts of different parameters. you can also zoom in an out with the roller on the mouse.,29.02,1245

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    karen marie says:

    @The Pale Scot: Kill me now, please?

    (Reading/commenting from my laptop, where I have never had a popup at this site, or anywhere else, because, I assume, the ad blocker prevents it.)

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