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I think I’m in love with the Ace Cafe.

If you know me you know I love history, I love Orlando, and I LOVE motorcycles. This place is gonna have all 3 in one location.

Today I was lucky enough to get to go on the “Hard Hat Tour” of the facility.


I didn’t count the number of people who were there…but it seemed like about 30? I took this picture before it all got to going. We are in the lower part of the Ace Cafe. It is set for a late April soft opening. They say it should be ready for a hard open celebration about a month later.

If you have been around the motorcycle scene in central Florida anytime in the last few years you have probably seen some of  promotional material for the Ace Cafe. I first heard of them when I was at the American International Motorcycle Expo. That was about 3 years ago. So it’s been a long time coming. It took the developers so long to get the place to market because the  needs and problems associated with renovating a historic building.


The Ace Cafe is being created in the old Harry P. Leu building on Livingston Ave.



In a city that is NOT always known for taking care of its history it makes my heart warm to see these people showing love for this place.  The name Harry P. Leu is still left on the sidewalk in tile in front of the Livingston Avenue entrance.


One of the areas inside on the second floor is the old office of Harry P. Leu himself.  It will be restored to a “Mad Men” style of office.  There are other touches from the original use of the building. There is even an old safe that hasn’t been opened yet. The Ace Cafe folks say they are looking to get a safe cracker to work on it and hope to do something like a “Al Capone’s Vault” opening of the safe.


Okay… pics of the bar at the cafe are impressive. This one will be an outside bar with an awning for protection from the sun. I was there mid-morning and it felt great. I would have to believe the spot will do well.


The roots of the Ace Cafe go all the way back to 1938 in London. It is a HUGE part of biker lore. For a history of the cafe click the link below:

History Of The Ace Cafe

The Ace Cafe in Orlando will have a clock tower. This is what it looks like right now.


This helmet was on display today. The Ace Cafe has a deal with Bell Helmet. I liked it..but it was not for sale. Not today anyway.


And here is the Ace Cafe Model motorcycle from Triumph.  This one in Orlando is the second to roll off the line. I LOVE this bike. Lucky for me that, just like the helmet, it was NOT for sale. I can’t really be buying every thing I like in this place. I have kids to put through college.


I am excited about the prospect of the Ace Cafe opening in late April. I believe its going to be a really cool addition to downtown Orlando. I think it will become a target destination for all bikers. I can see it becoming a big part of Biketoberfest, and Bike Week, as soon as it opens.

Weather: GREAT weather if you like it warm. Today we hit a high of 87 at OIA. That is 7 degrees above normal. Tonight we have no rain in the forecast, and a low of 63. Tomorrow looks hot again with a high of 87. So far in 2017 we have yet to hit a high of 90. That could happen as early as Thursday.

Ride safe.




With a  cool weekend ahead you may find it easier to get in the holiday spirit. But heed my words: You should enjoy your hot chocolate quickly. We are about to have the hottest Christmas Day ever in Orlando.

With Christmas a week away there is still some wiggle room –  a record-breaker is not a guarantee. But the models are leaning that way.

“Extended Long Ranger” numbers are calling for highs to climb steadily through next week.  Keep in mind a normal high this time of year is  72 degrees. A normal low for the week of Christmas is 51. Not this year.

The record for the hottest Christmas ever in Orlando is 85 degrees from 1924.  As of right now my prediction for Christmas Day this year is 86! It’s not a smashing of the record, but it will be a record just the same.


hot christmas

Some will blame El Nino. Everyone knows it’s been an El Nino season so far. But actually record heat is not a characteristic of El Nino. El Nino winters in Central Florida tend to be stormy – our tornado threat goes way up – but we generally have near normal temps early followed by below normal temps in February. So, what’s the deal?  Is it “Global Warming”? Well no, probably not. Last year we had a high of 65 on Christmas Day. I really believe it’s just a strange run of heat. The whole fall season has been dominated by a HUGE, persistent ridge of high pressure over the Atlantic Ocean.  While we have just finished up the warmest fall season (Meteorological fall is September, October, and November. By astronomical definitions fall is not over until December 21st) on record, it’s not like we haven’t had December heat waves before.  The Christmas record, from 1924, was a really hot year. Two other December record hot days are from that same year. The hottest December day of all time was a 95 degree reading on December 1 from 1922.

We have also had some of our coldest weather during Decembers past. The coldest temperature ever in Orlando was 18 degrees on December 28, 1894.

The bottom line here is our weekend will be a taste of Florida winter. But enjoy it while you can. Drink the hot chocolate quickly, the hottest Christmas ever is on the way!

Back to Back record weather days. Yesterday it was the heat, today it’s the rain.

As of right now Daytona Beach and Orlando have both set record rainfall for the date.


Other totals for the day are impressive. One viewer in Edgewater in Volusia county is reporting more than 7 inches of rain.recordrain

As we go through the night we will have the cold front moving over Central Florida. The front should clear Orlando around daybreak. Most of our showers will end as the front passes, but before it stops we should have 2 to 4 more inches.

That will mean an end to the rain and a beginning for the colder air. The low tonight drops to 57… the high tomorrow will crawl back to 64.

The Forecast for Thanksgiving Thursday will Fantastic if you like it cool. The high will be 67 under a sunny sky.

For Black Friday the weather looks great, could not PAY me to go shopping, but if you do hit the stores for deals, the weather will be GREAT. Look for more sunshine on Friday with a high of 66.

Saturday and Sunday both look nice with the highs making it back to the mid 70s and no chance of rain.

This has been one sick system… almost from the beginning. Take a look at the latest sat shots and you can see what is happening. Top part of storm is losing all its convection. Bottom part seems to be trying to wrap up a center and the whole thing has elongated to about a 700 mile wide moisture package. It’s ugly. I kept wondering if the National Hurricane Center was going to downgrade the whole mess to a depression. As of 5 p.m. they will. You can read the discussion here.

All the models are starting to fall into agreement that this thing is not going to be an impact player for Florida. The new track that pulled it all westward yesterday was jumping on the new burst of energy on the south and west side. Now the models all take what is left of Erika north and then east. I like that…VERY much. Losing another Labor Day to the tropics is not going to happen.

Meanwhile…the Atlantic is not done with hurricane season. There are new waves out there to be dealt with.

September 10th is the peak of the season. That is one week away. Keep your fingers crossed, keep checking in, and get ready for a good Labor Day.

Talk soon

This morning the latest path for T.S. Erika hasn’t changed much.

Forecast Cone

Hurricane Hunters flew into the system and found it be pretty disorganized. It’s still trying to dance around with more than one center. As long as it does that, it’s not going to get stronger. I think today it will do better.

How does it look? I think it “looks” better than it is. The convection is strong. The visible sat shot is right here.

The truth is this storm is in a position to be a player in the weather along the East Coast next week by Tuesday or Wednesday. Naturally I don’t want it near Florida, but it looks like it’s going to be too close for comfort. We will have to watch this one longer and closer that we did with Bill. But until it gets the center of rotation figured out and starts moving faster, the path of projected movement is kind of wide open.

If the system goes too far south, like some of these new runs, it will battle dry air and the islands. The more it goes north the stronger it will be.

Next update is at 11…

talk soon,


As I’m writing this post, it’s still August 24th. That’s a special day in hurricane history. It”s also a big day in Florida history. On August 24, 1992 Hurricane Andrew slammed into Florida. I don’t need to revisit the numbers, the deaths and the damage. It just needs to never be forgotten. That one storm did more to change the building codes in our state than any other event.File:HurricaneAndrew.jpg

Seventeen years later it’s still the benchmark for comparing storms for most people.

So let’s get to this new wave…I don’t like it. This is a close up shot of the system on It’s trying very hard to get organized. The latest model runs bring it north-west and develop it into a pretty impressive system.

At its closest approach on this run the system would never get closer than about 325 miles to the Cape. A few things to keep in mind. The models will do a much better job of placing the system once it gets its act together. It’s still an open wave and the models are putting it in different places. Second, last week the first runs on Bill were too far east by about 200 miles.  If the models are off 200 to 300 miles on this one… that’s not good for us. Finally, this could still all work out great for Florida. If the system does deepen, stays off shore and moves north, we would end up with sinking air, dry conditions, and more rough surf. Can you imagine, 2 weekends, back to back for great surfing? Not a bad deal this time of the year. For the record I think this becomes a Carolina storm. That breaks my heart, but doesn’t cause me to lose sleep like I will if the models jog west in the coming days.

One final note. It’s been one year now since Tropical Storm Fay drenched us. One year ago tonight the water was rising on the St. Johns River,  Sanford was flooding, and the rain was still falling. Fay made a record 4 landfalls on Florida. I find it incredible that the name didn’t get retired. Fay is back on the list of names for the 2014 season.

We’ll talk again soon..Have A Sunny Day.

Just a quick update on Hurricane Bill… the storm that we have been tracking for more than a week now has done almost exactly what we thought it would do. The 5 p.m. update from the National Hurricane Center has Bill knocking on the door of a cat. 3 storm. It’s now packing winds of 110 m.p.h. If it gains one more m.p.h., it’s a cat 3.

The big upside to all of this for us is that the models for Bill still keep it away from Florida.

For our Canadian friends this set of model runs is NOT great news… but for now the U.S. is spared a direct strike.  Our impacts in Florida? We may end up with some wild swells over the next 4 days. Great for surfers, not great for swimmers. The rip current risk will go up, not to mention the erosion problems that we fight constantly.

The wave that was once Ana is still the major tropical player in our forecast. We are looking at a rainy afternoon on Wednesday into Wednesday evening.

I’m working on the hour by hour forecast right now and will have it on The Six O’clock News on WKMG Local6. Check back here later tonight for more updates.

Be safe.

Crazy action in the tropics. If you watched last night at 11 on Local 6, Meteorologist Elizabeth Hart and I were discussing the fact that we REALLY dodged a bullet with Claudette. I still feel that way this afternoon. Friday we were talking on this blog about the possibility of the wave making some noise in the Gulf. And just like we were in charge, it rounded the corner and blew up this weekend. Right now its still making some rain for the Gulf

Hurricane Bill is going to be the big headline grabber for the next few days. It’s already packing winds of 90 mph or better. The only good thing about that storm is that it would  appear to not have Florida on its mind. Check out the models for Bill below.

That’s honestly the kind of model package I dream about for this kind of storm. It is HUGE, it is not heading our way, and there is good model agreement through the 5 day run. Nice… for now. Of course if you have people or property in Bermuda, it’s a different story. Keep in mind these models have been pretty consistent from run to run. However, they may start to drift once Bill makes a turn. The nightmare for the East coast would be for Bill to swing west and smash the NE coast of the US somewhere north of the Carolinas. Right now that doesn’t look likely.

Which brings us to T.D. Ana.

These models for Ana DO raise a Red Flag… maybe two or three. First of all, anytime we get a pocket of low pressure in the Gulf of Mexico things get weird here in Central Florida. (If Claudette had one more day to grow she would have made us shake with bigger storms and tornado threats.) Notice that the models of Ana are NOT packed too tightly together. The mountians of Hispanola are going to work this system over pretty well. Then if the low really does run the length of Cuba, it will be weakened more. But then the spread of models after that is what is so concerning. If this system holds together into the Gulf, it will have a better shot than Claudette did… especially if it makes a run farther out to the west. The longer it can stay over water the better chance to grow. If it does grow, then we get nasty feeder bands, tornado threats and the whole nine yards by the end of this week.

On a brighter note… the islands may really put a nail in the coffin for Ana. After that run over Hispanola  AND Cuba there may be nothing left. If the system moves too close to Florida and not west to the Gulf it won’t have any chance to ramp up and we get a bit of rain.

Coming up tonight on The Six O’clock news we’ll show all the models, new locations of the storms, and paths of movment.  Just leave now knowing that Bill is HUGE but he is not our problem…and Ana is small, but NOT to be trusted.

I was missing in action from the blog for another period of time there.  Did you catch the “Charley, Frances & Jeanne: 5 Years Later” special on Wednesday night on WKMG Local 6? It’s an interesting hour of TV and did well in the ratings. For those of you who missed it, there will be a re-airing on Saturday afternoon (August 15th) at 1 p.m. Set the DVR. Keep in mind we could have filled up 6 hours of coverage, highlights, interviews, etc. But it’s limited to an hour. Enjoy.

The big news this week was the birth of Tropical Depression #2. As of this writing the Hurricane Center has downgraded it to an open wave. Here’s a shot of T.D. #2, a wave near Florida, and a HUGE wave referred to as Invest 90. I’ll address the wave near Florida first. That wave is going to miss us in Central Florida. It’s going to help us get more rain for about 36 hours… but it’s not a “hit”.  It goes just south. Once it clears Cuba and gets into the Gulf of Mexico, it just might curl up and try to look like something. Keep watching for that over the weekend.

The leftover parts of T.D. #2 are down , but not out. The path of movement takes it west. As it moves that way it gets away from the strong winds that were hitting from the east. Left to itself, it just might make a comeback. If it does, it will be sitting somewhere off the east coast of Florida in about 4 or 5 days Look at the models. If it doesn’t regenerate and takes that path, it’s no big deal. If it rages back to life, not good. I’m on it and will be discussing it tonight on Local 6 and all weekend here on the blog.

Now for the monster wave way out there. Here’s a look at the wave and the dust around it. The wave looks more organized right now. It’s starting to look like some spirals are moving around it. The dust, same dust that has helped eat up T.D. #2, is looking weaker now. Each wave as they come keep taking the dust away. This big wave might just be “big” enough to survive, eat up the dust, and become a major hurricane. It’s developing farther south than T.D. #2 did. The models are NOT in agreement as to where it ends up.  Keep in mind, as I’m writing, it’s at least 10 to 12 days away. Trying to guess where a storm like this one is going to go, before there IS a storm, is not wise. Just want to discuss it and let you know what is what right now.

Last shot is this one. Good view of Africa and all the waves coming. We have a busy run here until about the 25th or 30th of August. Then we get a chance to catch our breath and see where we stand for the rest of the season.

This weekend does still look a little closer to normal than some. There will be rain, there will be heat.. Hey it’s August. At least this year in August we all have power, air conditioning, and ice. That’s a lot better than 5 years ago.

Talk soon.

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