Saturday, June 17, 2006

Tropical Storm Alberto: A Recap from Hilton Head Island, SC

As you can see from my earlier posts, I was not happy that I was going to be in South Carolina when Tropical Storm Alberto was set to pass directly over my hometown. But as it turns out, there was no better place I could be on the Atlantic Coast to experience this storm...On Monday, I went to Folly Beach on Hilton Head Island as I always do this time of year. Going down to see how the Atlantic was reacting to the storm, I found myself getting sandblasted by about 15-20 MPH sustained winds with gusts to around 30 (all estimated because I didn't bring my anemometer...but I do estimate windspeed pretty accurately). Beach erosion was noticeable, but overall it was just a minor reshifting of the sand from South to North. Wave action was still small, as we still had winds paralleling the coast from South to North.
Tuesday was the day we really felt the affects of Alberto. We were greeted with squally weather with driving rain, high winds, and isolated weak tornadoes. Going down to the beach, the sandblasting was all but over as the winds backed to the East, directly onshore. There was a slight water rise and an increase in the turbulence of the waters as the 25-35 MPH sustained winds pushed it toward the beach. Fortunately for normal people but unfortunately for meteorologists/surfers, the island has a good system of sandbars offshore that reduce any wave action to just two or three feet and only a slight storm surge with a storm as weak as Alberto.
Meanwhile, back at home we had about 3-4 inches of rain and only a 17 MPH wind gust recorded by my rooftop anemometer. I guess God worked and allowed my retreat to work out better than I could have hoped for. In more ways that one this week I was reminded why I love God...and why He loves me...So here's the estimated statistics/observations from Hilton Head...

Maximum Temperature: About 85-90 degrees on Wednesday and Thursday
Minimum Temperature: 70-75 degrees throughout the week
Rainfall: 2-3 inches over Monday and Tuesday
Maximum Windspeed: 30 MPH, gusts to 40
Maximum Wave Height: 3-4 Feet
Water rise: Less that 1 Foot
Beach Erosion: Minor
Observations: Cloudy with heavy squalls Monday/Tuesday, sunny and warm Wednesday/Thursday

No comments: