Conventioneers and meteorologists (updated from 2012)

Dunedin, Fl, Tampa area.

As I sit upon the precipice of the official end of summer (in Florida, summer is everlasting) and the start of school, I ponder if Tropical Storm Isaac will be spending the final days of August making waves and kicking the sand of Florida beaches.

Watching TV news stories on how Tampa’s hosting of the 2012 Republican National Convention (Aug. 27-30) will boost the area’s economy is good news indeed. It’s encouraging to know that ideological differences aside, all of us can play a part in boosting the economy.

The past few days news crews, convention visitors and extra workers were trickling into Tampa. More will arrive this weekend. Most notably, crews of meteorologists are setting up shop. The Weather Channel has mobilized crews in Haiti, Cuba, the Florida Keys and Tampa to cover Isaac. For the 50,000 non-Floridians expected in Tampa next week who are not hurricane savvy, take note, if you see Jim Cantore there, head inland. Cantore is known for his courageous hurricane coverage.

Right now, it is a sunny, very hot, but calm summer day. As I sip my Perrier by the sparkling pool, I give thanks for moments like this and pray for calm in the days ahead.

Photo: Copyright 1978-2013 David George

Tornado warning

It’s another rainy day in Central Florida. It seems Tropical Storm Isaac will not cause significant problems in Tampa after all.  It’s the perfect morning for tea. As I sip my Starbucks Chai Tea Latte, I realize it needs warming.  I make my way to the kitchen. It is about 10:40.

Suddenly, the sound of a siren or alert signal breaks my thought process. I gasp. Maybe something in the kitchen has malfunctioned. The sound seemed to emanate from near the dishwasher. I looked down at the counter and realized the sound was probably coming from my cell phone. Oh, dear. The battery must need charging now.

I unlocked the screen and read the alert: “Tornado Warning in this area til 11:00 AM EDT. Take shelter now. Check local media — NWS.”

I go to the hall, turn on the light, and stare at my cell phone. Looking into the great room, I see my cat slinking around the sofa, peering out at me with a quizzical look. I decide to return to the great room and turn on the big screen TV. Local news brings relief. The tornadic activity is in the extreme east of my county which is far away from me. Thank God! Wrapped in relief, I believe all are safe. I express gratitude for my smartphone, text messaging, National Weather Service and GPS.

According to the news at noon, there were no reports of damage in that area. Apparently, radar detected a tornado but one never set down. Awesome.

I hear the occasional drip of rain on a puddle or whip of wind. I regularly check The Weather Channel. Hurricane expert Jim Cantore left Tampa. He is reporting from New Orleans now. It seems New Orleans is in the crosshairs of the storm. Meteorologists predict Isaac is on track to make landfall as a Category 2 hurricane near New Orleans, Wednesday, August 29, the seventh anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.

Not the kind of anniversary remembrance I’d want. I’ll send a prayer.