🎜 I’m not jerking. I won’t hide. Yeah, I’m ready. Meet ze monsta tonight.🎜...I’ve spent the last two hours of daylight watching tropical force winds move into East Orlando. My backyard borders a small expanse of heavily forested wetland. I don’t have the words to express the sense of awe I experienced upon seeing an 80 mph gust come in from the north and violently bend all the trees back. I feel both privileged and terrified to be a witness to this. When Charley came through in 2004, it was all wrapped in darkness. I didn’t get to see it in the daylight. I’ve been trying to find some footage close to what I’ve seen today and this video is close but it doesn’t quite capture the ferocity of the sudden wind gusts that threaten to fuck up everything around you.

But this is just the beginning. The track of the storm is now more easterly making the winds I will encounter much more severe. It could be 80 to 95 mph sustained winds. That’s hurricane force. Worse, we will be in the northeast quadrant of the storm. They call this the “dirty side” because this is where there is major torque in the atmosphere causing unpredictable, twisting, tornadic winds. The worst of it will be around 2 AM EDT but it’s going to be bad in the lead up and then all the all the way through dawn.

The closer I get to this, the more I realize I am not sure I am really ready for this psychologically. Hearing these 80 mph gusts outside the house is truly disquieting. Imagining hours and hours of these black, howling gales is becoming less romantic by the minute.

Our power just flickered off for a moment and we’ve barely begun this ride. Hopefully I will be able to post a late night update. Stay tuned to WSTM “The Storm” for more news from the dirty side Hurricane Irma. And if all you hear is dead air, well, just hope for the best.