Posts tagged with "Gulf of Mexico"

Hurricane symbol illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

The 2021 Hurricane Report

Author and climate scientist Bill Pekny says the 2021 hurricane season began early this year, and the forecast is to be active all season long. He explains how this compares to previous seasons, why it is the way it is…and why we shouldn’t assume hurricanes are worsening.

The 2021 hurricane season is upon us again. And according to Bill Pekny—who has an extensive background of tracking hurricanes and studying science—says it’s living up to its preseason prediction of being an active, but not unprecedented, year.

“These days there is a lot of unwarranted fear that these types of storms are getting more frequent and more severe,” says Pekny, author of A Tale of Two Climates: One Real, One Imaginary (Two Climates LLC, 2021, ISBN: 978-1-73493-960-6, $34.59). “This is a misconception driven by the fact that we measure storms in terms of economic damage.”

“We continue to build more and more high-dollar homes, hotels, and resorts in high-risk coastal areas,” he explains. “When hurricanes do make landfall, they naturally create more property damage with higher price tags. In other words, the real culprit is more development, not more hurricanes. People just conflate these two issues.”

He says the experimental reality is that hurricanes in the North Atlantic basin, which includes the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico areas, are not trending worse in either frequency or intensity over “climatological” (30 year) time scales. The same is true on a global scale. Even the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) concluded, “Hurricanes have not become more numerous in recent years.” And, the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) data shows there has been “no increasing trend in tropical cyclone or hurricane numbers.”

Pekny says storms have intrigued him all his life. (“As a young scientist back in 1969, I had the truly unique experience of flying into the teeth of one as a RADAR meteorologist/crewmember with the renowned U.S. Navy Hurricane Hunters,” he notes.) What he’s learned is that, despite great strides in the technology that allows us to track and measure storms, not much has changed with respect to the storms themselves.

Still, from the much shorter-term “weather” perspective, this looks to be an active hurricane season in the North Atlantic basin, says Pekny. Here is his latest check on tropical cyclone activity this season in the northern hemisphere as of July 19, 2021:

Pekny’s analysis of hurricane season

Basin – Named Storms – Names Storm Days – Hurricanes – Hurricane Days – Major Hurricanes – Major Hurricane Days – Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE)

N Atlantic (Includes Caribbean & Gulf of Mexico) – 5 – 13.75 – 1 – 1.50 – 0 – 0.00 – 12.8

NE Pacific (out to Hawaii) – 7 – 20.00 – 2 – 6.75 – 1 – 2.75 – 34.9

NW Pacific – 3 – 8.50 – 1 – 1.00 – 0 – 0.00 – 7.0

N Indian – 2 – 6.00 – 2 – 3.25 – 1 – 1.50 – 13.8

Total – 17 – 48.25 – 6 – 12.50 – 2 – 4.25 – 68.5

Source: Colorado State University, Department of Atmospheric Science, Tropical Meteorology Project

It’s been a fairly active hurricane season to date, at least with regard to the number of named storms (17 this year, as compared to the historical average of 14.1, at one-fourth of the way through the six-month hurricane season).

In terms of another cyclone metric—Named Storm Days—there’s been a noticeable increase in the number of short-duration tropical storms (those lasting less than two days). Meanwhile, storms lasting longer than two days have not shown a noticeable increase. The long-lasting storms are the most devastating ones.

Another metric around intensity/severity is Accumulated Cyclone Energy, or ACE. It is a measure of the kinetic energy of hurricanes, and is directly tied to sustained hurricane windspeed. Over the long haul, ACE has been trending downward, and it’s no different this year—relatively calm in terms of kinetic energy.

Only one tropical storm in the North Atlantic basin, and not even a hurricane-level storm at that, has made a meaningful landfall this season. It was Tropical Storm Elsa, which earlier this month dumped a significant amount of rain as it passed northeasterly over Florida and then up the Atlantic seaboard before dying out.

What determines how active this hurricane season will be?

Common ingredients in the recipe for hurricane development are a combination of a weather disturbance and thunderstorm activity as seeds for a tropical storm; warm ocean water to power the storm; and low vertical wind shear to prevent the storm from breaking up as it traverses the ocean. Those conditions, and especially the expected continuance of low vertical wind shear in the North Atlantic basin, favor hurricane development throughout this season.

In other words… “Be prepared for another active hurricane season, just like last year,” says Pekny.

About the Author:

Bill Pekny is the author of A Tale of Two Climates: One Real, One Imaginary. He holds physics M.S. and B.S. degrees from Georgia Tech and DePaul University, plus graduate study in physical meteorology and numerical analysis at Florida State University and the University of Utah, and a visiting scholar appointment at the Ginzton Laboratory of Applied Physics at Stanford University.

Bill’s career in science spans over 50 years in the U.S. Armed Forces and the aerospace industry.

His career highlights include: Project Stormfury with the U.S. Navy Hurricane Hunters; applied atmospheric physics and meteorology research; LASER RADAR development; new product testing in various atmospheric environments; aviation optics and electronics; global climate research; and more.

For more information, please visit: Two Climates.

About the Book:

A Tale of Two Climates: One Real, One Imaginary (Two Climates LLC, 2021, ISBN: 978-1-73493-960-6, $34.59) is available from major online booksellers.

Ocean View illustration done by Mina Tocalini of 360 MAGAZINE.

The Gasparilla Inn & Club

The Gasparilla Inn & Club is pleased to announce its 2020 Gasparilla Experience Package. The package offers guests a wide variety of unique Gasparilla Island activities, including exciting golf, tennis, kayaking, paddleboard, tennis, pickleball, fitness and sunset cruise experiences, while the Inn’s Beach Club undergoes a transformative and exciting renovation. 

The exclusive offer includes a complimentary experience each day, a complimentary golf cart to explore the island during your stay and complimentary breakfast in the Inn’s Dining Room. “The Gasparilla Experience Package” will be offered October 8-31, 2020. 

Guests can select one of the following complimentary experiences each day:

  • 18 holes of golf on the Pete Dye Championship Golf Course, including 30 minutes of instruction with a Gasparilla Inn PGA Professional.
  • A guided kayak or paddleboard tour in the waters surrounding Gasparilla Island.
  • Unlimited Tennis and Pickleball, including 30 minutes of instruction from a USTA-Certified Professional
  • A sunset cruise in the Gulf of Mexico 
  • 30 minutes of private fitness instruction with a Certified Personal Trainer.

There are so many ways to enjoy our Island and the great outdoors. Guests can pick and choose whatever experience excites them each day,” said Jon Reecher, General Manager.

Rates begin at $399 per night based upon double occupancy. To book, please call 844.253.1289. 

Entering its 107th season, The Gasparilla Inn & Club has been a premier destination on Florida’s Gulf Coast since 1913. A member of Historic Hotels of America and listed on The National Register of Historic Places, this grand resort offers 142 accommodations in a pristine environment in the heart of Boca Grande, located on Gasparilla Island. Owned by the William Farish family, the resort has played host to many notables throughout its storied history, including Henry Ford, Harvey Firestone, Thomas Edison, Katharine Hepburn, the George H.W. Bush family, members of the DuPont family, and others.

Follow The Gasparilla Inn & Club: Facebook | Instagram

Texas Cinnamon Shore Reopens

Cinnamon Shore Reopens, Welcomes Families Eager to Return to the Texas Coast

New protocols and procedures promote social distancing and create a haven for family fun after weeks of isolation.

Cinnamon Shore is now open to the public and for short-term vacation rentals, in line with the decision of the Port Aransas Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Board to open the city for fun on May 1, 2020. As families eager to escape isolation head for wide open spaces like the broad beaches of Mustang Island, they will find a safe haven at Cinnamon Shore.

“We’re thrilled to welcome guests back to Cinnamon Shore, with the right changes in place to ensure everyone has a great time and remains socially distant in our little beachside town,” says Jeff Lamkin, CEO of Sea Oats Group, developer of Cinnamon Shore. The community is following the Texas governor’s executive order for reopening Texas. Under current guidelines, the development’s Dune Pool, Kiera’s Pool and Stillwater Pool remain closed, but when the governor’s order allows public pool usage in a later phase, Cinnamon Shore will have stringent sanitizing procedures and social distancing measures in place. On-site restaurants Lisabella’s Bistro and Dylan’s Coal Oven Pizzeria are now open for to-go orders, and they’re offering special Mother’s Day menus on Sun., May 10.

Other new measures to ensure the safety of homeowners, guests, and employees include: 

  • In-car check-in/check-out procedures, with concierge service so guests never have to enter the vacation rental office.
  • More frequent sanitizing of public areas, including elevators and stairwell railings, outdoor seating, and play areas.
  • Signage around the property to remind guests of social distancing.
  • Guest room cleaning with industry-leading sanitizing protocols, including attention to high-touch items such as remote controls, light switches, and the like.
  • Discontinuation of indoor social activities, as well as select outdoor activities.

For a complete look at the procedures and processes that Cinnamon Shore is establishing during this phase, see “We’re Reopening! Welcome Back.” 

Meeting pent-up demand 

Many Cinnamon Shore homeowners weathered the stay-at-home orders inside the village, enjoying spacious living quarters, walking the wide-open beach, and enjoying life beside the scenic lakes, dunes, and parks. Now, Lamkin says, pent-up demand for easy-to-drive-to vacation destinations will cause families to reserve vacation rental spots quickly for the rest of May and the peak summer season. “People are looking for alternatives to air travel for vacation time with family, and they’re looking closer to home,” he says.

With a full roster of family-friendly activities for Mother’s Day Weekend, Memorial Day, and into the summer, Cinnamon Shore is ready for more families to discover its charms. “We’ll see first-time guests and lots of longtime fans,” says Lamkin. “We can’t wait to welcome everyone heres.”

Cinnamon Shore is a New Urbanist community established in 2007. The master-planned community is known for its pedestrian-friendly streets, front porch living, and resort-like amenities. Its expansion, Cinnamon Shore South, is in the early phase of development nearby on the Gulf side of Mustang Island.

For more about the community, visit cinnamonshore.com.

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Visit Panama City Beach × UNwinD

Visit Panama City Beach has announced that the show will go on for their premier springtime event, UNwineD. Held on March 20-21, the fifth annual event will feature craft beer, wine and spirits from around the world in addition to mouth-watering creations from some of the area’s leading chefs. The Gulf of Mexico serves as the backdrop for this stylish garden party and live concert, which showcases Panama City Beach’s contagious passion for the people, places and cuisine that make the city worth celebrating.

The weekend’s festivities open on Friday night with a celebratory soiree. Ladies and gents arrive from all over the country outfitted in their finest fashions to the elegant affair. Held under the festival’s signature white tent, this exclusive, curated experience for 200 food and wine aficionados will feature Chef Kelsey Barnard Clark, the most recent winner of Bravo’s “Top Chef.” Born and raised a “Gulf Southerner” from nearby Dothan, Alabama, Kelsey got her start in the food industry as a middle school student with a baking obsession and catered her first wedding at age 15 before attending the Culinary Institute of American in Hyde Park, New York. Today, Kelsey runs her restaurant and catering company KBC, creating dishes inspired by southern classics with her French techniques sprinkled throughout. She will be joined by mixologists from the region who will delight the crowd with their specialty cocktails, as well as other local chefs who will be showcasing their signature items in inventive ways.

UNwineD’s Grand Afternoon Tasting takes place on Saturday from 1-4 p.m. and features more than 40 purveyors sampling craft beer, spirits and wines from North America, South America and Europe. Guests will have the opportunity to discover new brands and meet regional brewers and wine vendors. Throughout the day, Panama City Beach restaurants will be offering tasty bites ranging from Southern classics to fresh seafood caught locally. In between noshes, guests can browse local shops and boutiques at the Art and Vendor Row or stop by a southern themed tent brimming with home décor, cookbooks and more. UNwineD culminates with an evening Picnic in the Park & Concert at the Aaron Bessant Park amphitheater from 5-7 p.m. This year’s headliner, American alternative rock band Death Cab for Cutie, will take the stage following opening entertainment from Joywave. Panama City Beach’s UNwineD festival is not-to-be-missed, especially with Death Cab for Cutie on the mic.

Panama City Beach continues to closely monitor updates from federal, state and local officials regarding COVID-19. The festival is taking precautionary measures at this time, including providing more hand-sanitizing and hand-washing stations.

While in Panama City Beach, visitors can experience endless dining options, arts offerings and a myriad of water sports and outdoor activities, including chartered fishing excursions, airboat adventures, dolphin cruises, exploring secluded Shell Island or camping, hiking or biking in St. Andrew’s State Park. With 320 days of sunshine annually, this resort town is a destination that suits families, retirees, couples and adventurers of all ages and is located within driving distance to major southern metropolitan areas.