Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Matthew Blows

The Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex shutters its gift shop for the pending storm. Image credit:

My wife and I are bunkered in a downtown Orlando hotel room, about fifty miles west of Kennedy Space Center, awaiting the worst of Hurricane Matthew.

Our home is about seven miles south of KSC, in a tract built around the year 2000. The homes are concrete block, built to hurricane code. We replaced our roof last year to comply with the updated code.

Matthew is projected to make landfall Friday somewhere on the east coast of central Florida. Most models have its intensity at Category 4, which means winds of 130-156 miles per hour. The consensus of those models has the eye making landfall somewhere around Cape Canaveral.

The most powerful part of a hurricane is its northeast quadrant. Matthew has shown a tendency to drift west of the model consensus. If it drifts much further, that would put the northeast quadrant over the Space Coast.

KSC closed this morning to prepare for Matthew's arrival, so I swung through the Visitor Complex to observe preparations. The gift shop was receiving its shutters, while the Orbit Cafe already had its metal cocoon.

With the space center closed, it wasn't possible to run bus tours, so all the buses were huddled together in the rear parking lot to protect them from the winds.

I spent the first 52 years of my life in Southern California, born with the innate power to survive a major earthquake. I always worried about the 8.3 temblor that would drop in unannounced to collapse my home, and the equity with it.

When I moved to Florida in 2009, I figured that if the eastern version of The Big One were to strike, at least I'd have plenty of advance notice so I could bug out.

So here I am in a modest Orlando hotel blogging for your amusement.

During the next few days, I'll post periodic updates on my experiences. We're expected to receive squalls here too, but the wind forecasts are about 20-30 MPH less than the Space Coast. But if Matthew continues to drift left like a drunk driver crossing a center divider, I may have more entertainment for you than planned.

If you're not local to this area, our local cable provider Bright House Networks is streaming its 24-hour News 13 channel live online without requiring a subscription. Click here to watch.

If you're on Facebook, I strongly recommend Mike's Weather Page for insight beyond The Weather Channel. Its affiliated web site is and on Twitter it's at @tropicalupdate.

Check back here for periodic updates. Unless I don't have power. Then you'll have to find another snarky blogger hiding in a Florida cave to keep you posted.

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