Topical Storm, What Topical Storm?!?!
Living in Florida, you are ready to deal with all sorts of storms of varying strengths. During time frame of June 1st through November 30th, we can deal with the typical Florida afternoon storms, Topical Storms, Topical Depressions, and Hurricanes of all categories Cat 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5).
2004 was the infamous year that Florida was ravaged by 4 hurricanes, Charley, Jeannie, Frances and Ivan. That year was epic!! I recall my roommate at the time just moved here from Michigan and had never encountered a hurricane before. She was very spooked when Charley hit!!! She wanted to head down south at her parents house to “escape” the storm. I advised against it, never go south to outrun a storm!! She however, felt safer there as it was her parents house. So I agreed.
Yep, we ended up right in the middle of a Cat 4 storm. It was suppose to hit as a Cat 5 but luckily before landfall it “weakened”. The storm was enjoyable in the beginning. We were outside in the pool having fun, then ventured to the front yard for some football, laughing and having fun. Then it creeped closer and closer. When it was upon us, it was spooky. The wind was howling in a way I have never heard, the hurricane shutters over the windows were banging. I’m not going to lie, it was quite the experience. One that when it was over, I was relieved!!!
Here is a shot from the 2004 storm season. This is the most famous road on the water in Tampa, Bayshore Blvd. Not sure the source as I came across it in Google Images. The right side, to the right side of the palm trees is a side walk. Every day, all day, people are running, walking, roller blading, etc. During this time frame, they were jet skiing, kayaking and rafting.
As a native Florida, I was (and still am) ready for them. We have our safety lists of items to get at the stores to make sure we are prepared for the “just in case” and of course, “Hurricane Party” essentials.
For all of you that live outside of Florida, if you have ever heard of Hurricane Parties and wondered if they are real, well I can tell you they are!!! If the roof is going to be blown off, might as well be with family and friends having a good time!
In all seriousness though, Tampa is like the anti-hurricane area (please hurricane gods do not see that as a challenge). We have been very blessed when it comes to storms making landfall. We gets lots of wind, rain, flooding, tornadoes, and damage but luckily Tampa ends up pretty fortunate compared to other areas.
Since the legendary 2004 season, I have seen and I have to admit, been a part of, is if a hurricane isn’t more than a Cat 2, it doesn’t really registered on my radar as being too serious. Don’t get me wrong, I still prepare with my shopping list and make sure the generator is ready because a Cat 1 or 2 can easily become a Cat 4 or 5. I’m just saying, I don’t pay attention to it until it hits a Cat 3. At that point, let me assure you, it is on my radar and has my full attention.
This weekend we got visited by Topical Storm Debby!
Lots of rain, flooding, wind and some tornadoes!! The storms started Friday and we are still getting part of it today/tonight. The forecast tomorrow is 80% chance of rain and windy so we shall see how the week goes.
Sunday, we woke up to the storms. No lightning, just rain, heavy rain. Deciding on what to do for the day, we came up with the item of hitting the trails on the mountain bikes.
IT WAS AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I wanted to take pictures but with the amount of rain, I didn’t want to risk ruining my camera. The trails were muddy and holy crap was that fun!!! We decided instead of hitting our favorite place Balm Boyette (which has black diamonds and lots of harder trails), we would hit Morris Bridge. This trail system is super easy but with all the rain, it was flooded so it was like hitting brand new trails that we had never been on (see number 5 below).
Here are Colin’s Reasons Mountain Biking in a Storm is Awesome:
1) No need to stop to pee, just go when you have to go
2) Your cycling shorts get washed and then coated with a beautiful layer of designer mud
3) No one else is out there riding, so go ahead and ride the one-way trails backwards!
4) That’s not sweat, it’s rain!
5) Old trails are suddenly new again because you cant remember where the roots and ruts are
6) The thrill of trying to calculate how much water is at the bottom of the next drop as you crest the previous
7) Splashing in puddles (dont need to say anything else there)
8) Bikes get washed on the drive home
Here is a pic that was taken by a random person yesterday. This is the same road as the pic above, just from yesterday, not 2004.
Still a long way until November 30th! Fingers crossed everyone has a safe 2012 Hurricane season!!