Emily Watching in Atlantic

She is a mere tropical storm on this Wednesday night. But since she will come close enough to the Carolinas to raise a few eyebrows, Tony has a look at Emily and pays tribute to his favorite poet.

 Tropical Storm Brewing in Atlantic

Her name is Emily, a rather tame name at that. She is the 5th named storm of the season and on this Wednesday night, she has Myrtle Beach vacationers casting a wary eye to the ocean.

For me, visions of reading poems by Emily Dickinson at St Matt's grade school in Philly are rushing through my brain as I author this prose from home. I will pay tribute to one of the greatest poets in American history at the end of this blog. But for now let's focus our attention on Emily the storm.

Emily is slowly meandering through the northern Caribbean Sea just south of the beleaguered island of Hispaniola. Remember, Hispaniola is part of the West Indies and includes the nations of Haitii and the Dominican Republic. This part of the Western Hemisphere is among the most susceptible places on the planet earth to tropical storms.

In 2008 alone, four storms (Fay, Gustav, Hanna and Ike) dumped feet of rain and lashed the island with gale force winds and hurricane gusts. More than one thousand people lost their lives in the devastating flash floods and mudslides that ensued.

In 2010, Tomas ripped through the island months after the devastating January earthquake.

This go round, Emily is moving so slowly that renewed fears of violent flash floods and mudslides are vaild.

By Friday, the experts at the National Hurricane Center suggest Emily will work her way into the Atlantic and famed Bermuda Triangle (region between Bermuda, Miami and San Juan Puerto Rico) which puts her in striking distance to the US mainland.

The early call is for Emily to kick up the surf at the Grand Strand this weekend with dangerous rip currents likely to keep vacationers and beach patrols busy. A northward track is predicted with Emily staying at sea some 300-400 miles from the Myrtle boardwalk. But that is just an early call and Myrtle visitors should update the progress of Emily.

Assuming Emily misses the coast, she will "condition" the air to be hot and tropically steamy this weekend. So an afternoon thunderstorm may interrupt your beach time. Otherwise, a gorgeous tropical sky dotted with alto-cumulus congestus and castellanes clouds will build "castles" in the heavens. Cooling sea breezes will hold beach front highs near 90.

By the way, my friends at the Garden City pier tell me the ocean has reached its mercurial peak for the summer at 86 bath water degrees. Fishing is slow with pompano, flounder and whiting hitting at high tide.

Here's a link to the Hurricane Center so you can watch this storm through the eyes of the hurricane hunters.


Now back to Ms. Dickinson. Here's one of my favorite poems of all time. Short, simple but so perceptive in the way it portrays a big storm (tempest). Bravo Emily!   




by: Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)

      N awful tempest mashed the air,
      The clouds were gaunt and few;
      A black, as of a spectre's cloak,
      Hid heaven and earth from view.
      The creatures chuckled on the roofs
      And whistled in the air,
      And shook their fists and gnashed their teeth,
      And swung their frenzied hair.
      The morning lit, the birds arose;
      The monster's faded eyes
      Turned slowly to his native coast,
      And peace was Paradise!


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