The first named Atlantic cyclone of the season, Tropical Storm Andrea, punched into Florida yesterday and is already causing widespread havoc. Wait a second... no, everything actually seems pretty fine down there.
Andrea is far from a puppy of a storm – it's spawned tornadoes that snapped power poles and blew some dude's porch away – but it in no way resembles, say, 2000's Tropical Storm Gordon, which killed about two-dozen people in Guatemala before lumbering to Florida to damage hundreds of homes and drown a surfer. Nor does it draw comparisons to 2001's Gabrielle, a violent sower of $230 million in destruction, or 2008's Fay, a meteorological monster that made a record-breaking four landfalls in Florida to cause savage flooding and five fatalities.
As of Thursday night, the only victim of Andrea that I could find on YouTube was Whiskey Joe's, a tiki bar in Tampa whose outdoor deck was underwater. "The beach bar is closed because we did get a lot of flooding," a hostess said over the phone. "But inside we're pretty full, because we have a couple of large parties." Witness the sheer non-terror of this tormenta tropical:
Meanwhile, another Floridian risked hair-rustling gusts and extreme dampening to bring the world a photo gallery of Andrea-caused mayhem. Titled "tropical strom [sic] Andrea: the aftermath," the "graphic" array of images includes wet pavement (caption: "flash flood"), children playing in standing water ("they've lost everything"), and a garbage can lying on its side ("trash can got knocked over thank God no one was trapped beneath it").
The worst of Andrea has likely past, and it's becoming more of a weekend nuisance it moves up the East Coast. Here's where the National Hurricane Center sees it heading in the next few days (always check the latest forecast when making decisions, though):
Top image: Andrea as seen from space on Thursday, June 6, courtesy of the NOAA-NASA GOES Project