Letter from America 4th December

The hurricane season officially finished at the end of November. It has been a record season for hurricanes but fortunately none hit the US coastline. Before the start of the season experts predicted 2010 would be extremely busy. They cited record warm waters in the tropics, light winds and the arrival of La Nina, the atmospheric force that promotes hurricane formation. However thanks largely to an expansive dome of high pressure settling over the eastern Atlantic numerous storms were guided north into the Atlantic before they reached the East Coast. Whether the high pressure area will remain in the same place next season is unknown but unlikely forecasters say. The position and strength of the Bermuda High can’t be predicted much more than two weeks in advance. Eleven of this year’s storms formed between August 22nd and September 29th breaking the record for the most systems to form during the peak of the season. The previous record of nine was set in 1933, 1949, 1984 and 2002. It was the first time Florida and the East Coast have gone five years without a hurricane strike. Long may that continue!

The unexpected and extreme weather you have all been experiencing has been shown on the TV news here, this is most unusual, you very rarely get mention of the UK in America. It is a similar case here up North where again the snow and extreme conditions have occurred early in the winter. Snow, high winds and black ice brought chaos to the Upper Mid West at the end of last week while this week heavy rain from New York to Virginia and New England is causing flooding problems. Further south tornadoes have created extreme damage in Georgia . In turn the extensive storm is creating severe weather in the South this week. On Tuesday here the temperature high was 85F, by Wednesday morning the overnight temperature was down to 60F with a daytime high of 65F. Wednesday night down to 35F with wind chill warnings and a high of 63F. Areas North and North West of Orlando , which includes us, warned of overnight frost with northerly winds of up to 20mph. A variation in temperatures of over 25F within 24 hours! Cold conditions are forecast for all of next week. This is however doing nothing for the very dry conditions in Central Florida with rainfall some eight to ten inches below normal for the last three months. After dodging the hurricanes the fire risk is now greater than ever. Not looking for any sympathy after what you guys have been going through but exceptional conditions the world over would appear to be the norm for the moment. What price global warming, the US is good at arguing that there is no such thing!

Last week’s crime statistics for our town of Eustis:
November 22nd 11 pm. A woman was arrested on a charge of driving while under the influence on Thrill Hill Road.
November 23rd 1 am. Officers arrested a man on a cocaine possession charge on Bay Street.
November 24th 1am. Officers arrested a man on a charge of disorderly conduct on County Road 452.
November 27th 9 pm. Officers arrested a man on a petty theft charge on Washington Avenue.

You see far more police presence around here than you do at home. We frequently see a police car patrolling the park where we live and they always give you a wave and a smile. Can’t but think maybe that a little more police presence back in surey would help to keep crime down. Maybe there are a few lessons to be learnt by the guys back home that we never see!

Understand the OHG rides were cancelled due to the weather which sounds pretty grim with all the tales we have had from the UK about the snow and black ice. Just hope that things improve for everyone soon.

Bryan Staples

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