should I cancel florida trip this week?

noobski

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Trip planned for the family this week to SWFL beach trip outside Fort Myers.

Invest 98L (#98L Twitter search by latest) is still early, but most models suggest curving toward SWFL by mid next week, but no ability to have a confident forecast until next week. Most models, though, currently have it Eastern Gulf of Mexico or outright SW FLA hit. OF course could be wrong. Some (lower probability) models have it going Texas or west, but majority central gulf or East to FLA direct. Almost all, though, agree it will be a Tropical STorm if not up to Cat 3.

I'm suffering from biases/ some emotions / family upset reasons and sunk cost issues (non refundable VRBO), so likely not thinking objectively/clearly about this.

Not asking for predictions of the storm, can't know right now, but given situation, would you just call it off at this point knowing you have to decide by Friday, or take a chance? (I plan to wait until last minute though = Friday AM - to decide)

If call off, could recover most expenses except lodging (airfare credits I'd use later). Bought trip insurance on this one a while ago, so could possibly recover lodging too if Hurricane Evac, but not counting on it for this discussion given ambiguity of forecast.

If take a chance and nothing, awesome, but high probability likely still rain half the time. If take a chance and storm, models suggest turning back around and heading home mid week with possible worst case Evac. . . . Could be total $#!t$how. Likely running rental car to Orlando or something. Flights out will be hard to find.

If I cancel now, I would still try to do a local road trip or something last minute so that family and I have plan B. . . not as awesome, but I have time off so want to use it. If I don't cancel, probability of plan B with evac means no Plan B.

No confident forecast until Monday per meteorologist...but have to decide by Friday...Not sure what to do?

Appreciate any thoughts for or against.
Cheers.
 
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noobski

noobski

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They're not similar though. This isn't in definition "sketchy", it's possibly either "decent beach weather, but not great" to at worse as possibly a Cat 3 hurricane potential.

This image is really my problem...too early to know, but wide range of possible outcomes with a good chunk (rough average) of them being possibly bad to very bad...

1663843293836.png
 

Living Proof

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All I can say is I've been skiing for over 50 years and if I cancelled every time there was a sketchy weather forecast I'd have missed out on hundreds of fun ski days. :crossfingers:
Huge difference between ski weather and being in the middle of a major hurricane forecast. Would you ski were there is high avalanche danger? Hurricanes destroy infrastructure, there is almost no way to run if the track worsens.
Given the OP has 24 hrs to make a decision, I feel for the dilemma he's facing. I'd rather loose a few $$$ than put my family at risk.
 
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noobski

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I would not cancel, unless I were looking at a possible cat. 4 or extremely likely cat. 3.

forecasts on Categories all over the place, but at this point, all agree a storm is coming. Again, not certain to hit SWFL, but still trending that way)

Category charts are all over the place but at this point some Cat 4 possible. Even if it trends to panhandle or Louisiana, it still is wet and rough throughout all Florida...

The #1 issue is that this thing has not formed yet, but all models agree formation will occur by weekend south of Jamaica, then at that point, it should have a better projection cone. From there, though, I'm either already in FLA wondering and hoping or I cancelled by then...



1663844512012.png
 
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noobski

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Plus the locals will have enough to worry about without you being there if it's a Cat 3 or above, but it's not looking like that now. Also, it's not about putting family at risk, it's about losing some cash if you cancel at last minute.

That's the tradeoff ...so I have insurance. It will only pay though if Hurricane disrupts, so it's not certain. I'm not assuming I collect for this line of thinking because otherwise I'd probably for sure cancel.

The money and "if we don't go and nothing bad happens" risk are where I'm struggling a bit.

After my wife's car situation (See my SUV posts on her VW completely dying unexpectedly), I'm just not excited about another pocketbook hit.

But the dad in me is basically saying this is not a good risk to take no matter the money. The kids are upset too about the possibility because they don't understand.

I see it, though, as asymmetric.

If we go and everything is fine, then glad we went and life goes on as usual.

If we go and everything is wet, we'll be annoyed, but no big deal, that happens. I'll take wet to not care about the financial hit on lodging.

If we go and everything is evacuation within 4 days of arrival, that's a disaster and risky since we're not resourced to deal with a Hurricane and it becomes a serious risk, if not crazy inconvenience to get out of dodge at the same time as everyone else. Maybe I recover lodging costs, but I probably pay a lot of money to get out of there.

In otherwords, possibly the bad outcomes far outweigh the good. But we don't have enough information to yet because the truly honest forecasters keep repeating - we won't know much until it forms. If it were Monday where they'll know then the formation of this storm in Western Caribbean, this would all be so much easier to resolve.
 
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noobski

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FYI here's another tropicaltidbit (source spaghettimodels) charts. You can see all three pointing toward the gulf. Two out of three are a big problem Cat 1 or 3 with one a direct hit. GFS not a problem, but Cat 3-4 to Louisiana and likely a still somewhat wet...

1663845637201.png
 

crosscountry

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If we go and everything is evacuation within 4 days of arrival, that's a disaster and risky since we're not resourced to deal with a Hurricane and it becomes a serious risk, if not crazy inconvenience to get out of dodge at the same time as everyone else. Maybe I recover lodging costs, but I probably pay a lot of money to get out of there.
You said you have travel insurance. So I assume that would pay for the expense in the event of an evac? (Check with your insurance).

You'll get 3-4 days of beach weather. The kids will be happy. May even have a story to tell.

Or, you can check with your insurance now and ask whether they'll cover the pre-emptive cancellation in view of the potential.

Sounds like it's all about the money. So your first stop should be the insurance company. If they're covering only after shit happens, it's an act of "encouraging" you to take the chance at their expense. Take it and let them deal with the consequence. It's not very likely your family will be in life danger.

After all, a beach vacation in Florida in the fall has always carried the inherent risk of hurricane.

(I used to live in Florida. Hurricane is a fact of life)
 
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noobski

noobski

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You said you have travel insurance. So I assume that would pay for the expense in the event of an evac? (Check with your insurance).

You'll get 3-4 days of beach weather. The kids will be happy. May even have a story to tell.

Or, you can check with your insurance now and ask whether they'll cover the pre-emptive cancellation in view of the potential.

Sounds like it's all about the money. So your first stop should be the insurance company. If they're covering only after shit happens, it's an act of "encouraging" you to take the chance at their expense. Take it and let them deal with the consequence. It's not very likely your family will be in life danger.

After all, a beach vacation in Florida in the fall has always carried the inherent risk of hurricane.

(I used to live in Florida. Hurricane is a fact of life)
that's an interesting angle to look at it. I'll call them. Fall = Hurricane is why I bought it as well, however I didn't figure on wanting to preemptively cancelling and assuming the insurance company might still pay it. I will check.
 

cantunamunch

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One of the interesting things about FL hurricanes is that, if you're far enough south of the eye, it's fantastic beach weather.

Unfortunately, that far south with ^that pattern, you're in Cuba.
 

Tom K.

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Storm or no storm, it sounds wet, and a FL vacation in the rain seems kinda spoogy.

Assess the data first thing Friday. If it still looks bad, I think I'd pull the plug and go with a more reliable Option B.
 

Seldomski

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My go/no-go decision would be based on feasibility of evacuation if the worst happens.

Do you already have a rental car secured?
Can you drive long distances back home with your travel companions if the worst happens and you need to leave? This is more/less feasible, depending on who you have in tow.
Can you afford the disruption of another day or two added to PTO in the evacuation scenario?
If the weather is too bad to go to the beach, are there other indoor activities you can do near where you are staying?

Your signal to abandon ship would be airlines offering to rebook you on a different day/time. But they won't do this until a day or so ahead of time. They like to play chicken too. It reduces the refunds they have to make.
 
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noobski

noobski

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Storm or no storm, it sounds wet, and a FL vacation in the rain seems kinda spoogy.

Assess the data first thing Friday. If it still looks bad, I think I'd pull the plug and go with a more reliable Option B.

Yeah, so Friday AM is my decision time. There's some airforce reconnaisance today maybe some better modeling will come from that. Most recent (latest 30 minutes) have new runs yet again going right into SWFL...we'll see.

It's FL - rain will show up. Like for a late lunch, or high tea :D

Yep - we're good with that actually. We go the same place twice a year May and then around now. Rainy days don't bug me and we're used to that. And as mentioned they are often quick and after a storm, awesome...

My go/no-go decision would be based on feasibility of evacuation if the worst happens.

Do you already have a rental car secured?
Can you drive long distances back home with your travel companions if the worst happens and you need to leave? This is more/less feasible, depending on who you have in tow.
Can you afford the disruption of another day or two added to PTO in the evacuation scenario?
If the weather is too bad to go to the beach, are there other indoor activities you can do near where you are staying?

Your signal to abandon ship would be airlines offering to rebook you on a different day/time. But they won't do this until a day or so ahead of time. They like to play chicken too. It reduces the refunds they have to make.

1. Yep, car ready
2. The family would be good with a long drive. Not sure how we coordinate that though, but yes, we could do that. Also friend of mine lives East Coast FL and he'd let us stay with him.
3. Yep, good on PTO. Not an issue for my work other than it will be hectic catchup on return, but no big deal.
4. That is a good question.Possibly, but not for us. The whole point of the trip is Vitamin D, beach time, and Fly fishing for snook, reds, and tarpon...Rain is the enemy for those goals.

Yeah, the airlines aren't even putting it on the radar yet and when they do, it will be 3 or 4 days into the trip by then.
 

crgildart

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Are you staying in an Air BnB type house place or at a major hotel building? The latter is very likely to be reasonably safe (above the 2nd floor) through all but a Cat 5. Anything beyond a tropical depression will come with power outages though.. Bring flashlights, candles, board games, extra backup batteries for phones.. I'd roll the dice if I booked a solid building to stay in. If it's a beach house I'd be rescheduling.

We got a full refund from our "non refundable" beach hotel rental last time a hurricane hit the weekend we were booked there. If the roads are closed and nobody's getting in or out they'll usually refund you, even last minute..

Ya Skiing's different.. Skiing it's the road travel that'd the risk.. Once you're there, and you can get there ahead of the dump, you are good to go unless the resort can't open.. rare compared to beaches closing for a hurricane..
 
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Jwrags

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Go to Florida, based on today’s information. The NHC has that staying south of Cuba and heading more towards the Yucatán on its 5 day projection. 5 days from today is Tuesday. If it eventually turns towards Florida it will be midweek or later. Reassess the projection tomorrow morning.
 
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