Blog, Forecasts

Dusting Off Forecasting Skills

This has been sitting in my draft folder for quite some time now. I keep thinking about further developing my forecasting skills, but haven’t put my thoughts into action. Part of my idea for this blog was to post forecasts to help you plan your gardening (or any other) activities. I’ll be honest… biggest fear is making a mistake (me being a perfectionist).

When I was in college, one of my meteorology classes required participation in a Weather Challenge. This was a forecasting competition with other meteorology students, educators, and others who chose to take part. The cities we had to forecast were predetermined and participants had to forecast daily the low/high temperature, precipitation total, and highest wind speed for two weeks. It was a difficult competition, and I was lucky enough to forecast Tampa FL very well.

Initially, the forecasts will be for Ohio starting with Central Ohio and expanding from there. I will post the weekly forecast on Sundays so you can make your plans.

No matter whether it’s sunny, cloudy, rainy, or even snowy, I would love to hear what you are working on in your garden!


Blog, Forecasts

Hurricane Florence Update 9/14/18

Good afternoon! I hope everyone impacted by Hurricane Florence is safe. I want to give you another update with information from the latest advisory and discussion. Images I will be using are for informational purposes from the National Hurricane Center.  Also, there will not be any affiliate links in this post.

Hurricane Florence made landfall near Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina. The latest data indicates the storm is moving West at a very slow pace of 5 miles per hour. This slow movement is expected through Saturday because of weak steering upper air currents. A trough is expected to move through the Great Lakes region and eventually pick up the remnants of Hurricane Florence and move North and Northeast.

Hurricane Florence Path Cone 09.14.18 2pm

Maximum sustained winds are at 75 miles per hour with hurricane force winds extending 35 miles from the storm’s center and tropical storm force winds extending 170 miles from the storm’s center. Storm surge flooding along the coast will slowly subside through tomorrow. However, freshwater flooding from heavy rainfall continues.

Hurricane Florence Rainfall Prediction 09.14.18 2pm

Areas closest to the center of Hurricane Florence will experience at a minimum of 20 inches of rainfall. Some areas have already measured as much and will receive more – possibly as much as 40 inches of rainfall. Even though the coastal flooding storm surge will be subsiding, it will take several hours. Storm surge was pushed up into the Pamlico River and Neuse River, where rainfall will flow into and flood the region further.

Hurricane Florence Public Advisory 09.14.18

Not much movement is expected over the next 24-48 hours, so catastrophic flooding from heavy rainfall will continue. Please stay safe.

Take care,


Blog, Forecasts

Hurricane Florence Update 9/13/18

Good morning! I want to give you an update on Hurricane Florence with information from the latest advisory and discussion. Images I will be using are for informational purposes from the National Hurricane Center.  Also, there will not be any affiliate links in this post.

Beginning late yesterday, Florence started to weaken slightly from vertical wind shear near the southern part of the storm. The wind shear is from a system over Florida and Florence is expected to move away from the wind shear today into warmer waters. Hurricane Florence is presently a Category 2 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale with maximum sustained winds of 110 miles per hour. Keep in mind the tropical storm force wind field extends 195 miles out from the center of this hurricane.

Hurricane Florence Wind Arrival Times 09.13.18 8am

Storm surge and heavy rainfall forecasts have not changed and still present tremendous danger to the coast and most of North Carolina and South Carolina. As of the 8:00AM advisory, Florence is moving Northwest and has slowed to 12 miles per hour. It is expected to slow further as it approaches land.

Hurricane Florence Rainfall Prediction 09.13.18 8am

Hurricane Florence is currently forecast to move more westward later today/tonight and eventually move slightly southward along part of the northern coast of South Carolina before moving inland.

Hurricane Florence Path Cone 09.13.18 8am

North Carolina’s Outer Banks and South Carolina coast are experiencing the outer rain bands from Florence. Conditions will continue to worsen throughout the day into tomorrow for North Carolina and South Carolina.

Continental US - Longwave Window - IR

Hopefully your hurricane evacuation or provision plans are complete. During the next 24-48 hours, conditions will deteriorate to hurricane force winds, storm surge, and rain. Please keep yourself and your family safe, including pets.

Take care,


Blog, Forecasts

Hurricane Florence Update 9/12/18

Good afternoon! I want to give you an update on Hurricane Florence and what to expect in the next day or so. Images I will be using are for informational purposes from the National Hurricane Center.  Also, there will not be any affiliate links in this post.

As of the 2:00pm Eastern Time advisory, Hurricane Florence has weakened slightly to a Category 3 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale with maximum sustained winds of 125 miles per hour. Hurricane Florence has gone through at least two Eyewall Replacement Cycles (ERC) which temporarily weakened the storm, but the wind field expanded. The expanded wind field will lead to a significant storm surge event.

Hurricane force winds (in brown) now extend 70 miles out from the center of the hurricane. Tropical storm force winds (in yellow) now extend 175 miles out from the center of the hurricane.

Hurricane Florence Path Cone 09.12.18 2pm

You can see that hurricane force and tropical storm force winds extend will beyond the probable path cone of the eye of the storm. The strongest winds will be in the Northeast quadrant of the storm, along with the highest storm surge. However, that does not mean that anyone outside of that area is safe. The winds of Hurricane Florence will cause catastrophic damage, plus there will be significant rainfall with this system.

Hurricane Florence Rainfall Prediction 09.12.18 2pm

Based on the current predicted path, the North Carolina coast will receive over 20 inches of rain. These estimates may change dependent upon storm track and speed. Currently, Hurricane Florence is expected to slow down as it gets closer to the coast and could potentially dump well in excess of 20 inches of rain along the coast. Hurricane Florence is now moving Northwest, changing from its previous course of West Northwest. Any further shift in the storm’s track will change the rainfall location and possibly rainfall totals. Anyone within the range of Hurricane Florence’s path should prepare to evacuate (if in the direct path of this storm along the coast) or have provisions in the event of a long-term power outage further inland. Flash flooding is expected inland and driving into a flooded roadway is way too dangerous.

What to expect over the next 12-24 hours?

Hurricane Florence Wind Arrival Times 09.12.18 2pm

Tropical storm force winds could reach the North Carolina coast by Thursday 8:00AM. As you can see from the above graphic, these winds will be constant through about Wednesday 2:00PM before hurricane force winds reach land. Plans for evacuation for those of you along the coast and near the coast, need to be complete today. Plans for provisions for those of you further inland should be complete today or very early tomorrow. I will provide another update tomorrow morning.

Take care,


Blog, Forecasts, Weather

Hurricane Florence

As of this morning, Hurricane Florence is a Category 4 hurricane with the potential to strengthen to a Category 5 storm. The most recent air reconnaissance data indicates Florence has the potential to further strengthen.

So what does this mean? The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale rates hurricanes on a scale of 1-5 based on sustained wind speed. From the National Hurricane Center’s website, here is a breakdown of the scale and potential destruction:

Cat 1     74-95 mph winds     “Very dangerous winds will produce some damage”

Cat 2     96-110 mph winds   “Extremely dangerous winds will cause extensive damage”

Cat 3    111-129 mph winds  “Devastating damage will occur”

Cat 4    130-156 mph winds  “Catastrophic damage will occur”

Cat 5    157 mph or more      “Catastrophic damage will occur”


Hurricane Florence is still too far away to determine exactly where the eye will make landfall. However, anyone in the storm’s path will experience hurricane winds and extremely heavy rainfall.

From a meteorologist’s point of view, this is a gorgeous storm and the satellite imagery is breathtaking. Also, the advisories and warnings should be followed. Please do not put yourself or your family in danger. This is a powerful storm and nature’s force should be respected. This is short and I will post later when more information is available.

Take care,




Blog, Simple Things

Dogs, Cats, & Fleas…..Oh My!!!!

Disclosure: Any post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a commission from any purchase you make at no additional cost to you. All opinions about products I use are my own. Read the full disclosure HERE.

Last month I had the pleasure of dogsitting while my brother and his family took a cross-country road trip for two weeks. They have two dogs: Cooper, a 2 year old black lab and Claire, a 14+ year old yorkie (I completely forgot to take a picture of Claire).


Here’s Cooper in his kennel where he sleeps. He is a good dog, with the exception of requiring continuous monitoring when he is free to roam the house. He is still very much a puppy, but in a full grown body, and tends to be destructive at times when unsupervised. Now, he isn’t as bad as he used to be when he would destroy anything in his path! He knows a few commands, such as sit, down, stay (briefly but getting better), and working on heel.

Claire is good too, but she’s beginning to have memory issues. She particularly doesn’t know where she is so she will go to the bathroom whenever and wherever she feels necessary. Needless to say, she stayed in the kitchen where messes were very easy to clean. And I was very proud of her because she was here for 18 days and only had 3 accidents.

Now to the fleas. Before my brother dropped them off, he noticed Claire had fleas. He gave her a flea bath and used flea spray on Cooper just in case. Unfortunately, the fleas weren’t all dead…..Now my home has fleas and so do my cats…..sigh.

All three cats are being bothered by fleas…..

I wondered how I was going to get rid of the fleas since the cats are on all of the soft-surfaced furniture. Plus I wanted an all natural way to accomplish this seemingly impossible task and incorporate essential oils. So I spent the better part of a day  researching options.

A couple months ago, I started using doTerra essential oils as a consumer (not a Wellness Advocate). I bought Terrashield to use as a mosquito repellent and discovered I can use it on my cats as a flea repellent (I use it diluted at a minimum of 1:1 ratio of essential oil to fractionated coconut oil). I put it on my hands and pet them, avoiding their eyes, ears, and genital areas.

Another product used for my flea problem, not to mention other ways to use around the home, is DiatomaceousEarth Food Grade. You can dust furniture, bedding, carpet, hard surfaces, and more with this stuff and it will kill fleas. Plus it is all natural and will not harm me or my pets. Exactly the solution I needed!

Even though there were dogs, cats, and fleas….Oh My!, Bye bye fleas!!



Blog, Simple Things

A Gift of Time

I’ll honestly admit that things have not gone as planned with my blog. Even though I posted a few times this year, my heart has not been into writing. It has nothing to do with my readers – I appreciate every one of you!

As you may know, my mom passed away a few months ago. I was her caregiver and I was so blessed to be with her. But when she was gone, I couldn’t function with daily living activities. My sleep pattern…..who am I kidding there was no pattern….was horrible. Sometimes I couldn’t fall asleep, sometimes I would wake around 3AM and not be able to go back to sleep, taking long naps during the day, etc. Basically, I was having such a difficult time with sleep that I was spending my days on the couch with TV or my iPad.

I was desperate to find a way to get motivated and read countless articles on grief, depression, benefits of having a daily routine etc. I tried different routines (or parts) and couldn’t get past taking care of my cats in the mornings. So after about a month of failed attempts, I followed up with my doctor because my fear was I was headed into depression or already there. I just knew I couldn’t continue living this way.

My doctor connected me with a grief counselor. Meeting with her weekly has helped me understand that I was going through the grieving process. None of our early conversations were about housekeeping or chores. Frankly, sometimes my appointment day was the rare day that I actually put myself together (I know…gross, but that was my life at the time). My “homework” was all about taking care of myself – even something simple as going out for an ice cream cone, ordering take-out for dinner so I didn’t have to cook, getting a manicure, or walking through our local greenhouses. Even today, our appointments remind me how to conduct self-care and take time for myself without feeling guilty. Self-care has also been a way to get me out of the house, which in turn, improved how often I put myself together.

Occasionally I still struggle, but those days are much more infrequent compared to my good days now. I’m beginning to feel excited about the future and I’m actually making plans for what I want to accomplish.

So why am I sharing this with you?

First, if any of my readers are struggling with the loss of a loved one please seek out a grief counselor. Yes, I was afraid of someone seeing me and the “Oh my gosh, you see a counselor” stigma….then I decided that it is a private matter between my counselor and me ONLY.

Second, I’m feeling motivated to blog again. I’m not at a point to blog daily, but I’m hopeful to post once or twice a week to start. Admittedly, I’ve been fortunate to have this gift of time to be able to work through my grief.

I look forward to what the future brings and I hope you follow along!