Archive for the ‘2011 Hurricane Season’ Category

2011 Hurricane Season Comments – Tonie Toney (Cloudman23)

left click image to enlarge

Since I began this site on August 24 2008, it’s been averaging about 12 “hits” per hour. So, I’m not setting the Internet world on fire. I’m sure that many of my “followers” are either friends and neighbors, family, or former students.  Of course a number of people reach this site as a consequence of a search term that blends with something I’ve discussed.

 This is my first posting in over three months. That might be strange for a site devoted mostly to tropical meteorology but those who know me understand that I devote most of my tropical weather attention to those systems that cause alarm to folks in Central Florida where I now reside.

The six month long official hurricane season whose last day was November 30 was an active one but not for Central Florida. There were some storms in the Atlantic, Caribbean, and Gulf that caused concern but, if you have been following this site you have no doubt noticed that I ignored most of them. I choose to refrain from alarming anyone unnecessarily when I deduce that a storm in question is not likely to bother us.  On the other hand, the National Weather Service errs on the side of caution and consequently the “coverage” was vigorous and reports were easily obtained through the media.  Though I think that the media does a good job, generally speaking, I am inclined to suspect that they are spectacularizing their reports. There were times when it appeared that a storm would be coming our way here in West-Central Florida but my information and gut-level feelings indicated a very low probability.  SPECIAL NOTE: It appears that in using “spectacularizing” I’ve used a word whose acceptance is debatable; it appears to be a mere colloquialism but that fits me well.

This year’s hurricane season was very active! An average northern hemisphere Atlantic/Caribbean/Gulf of Mexico season has 11 named storms, 6 hurricanes, and 2 intense hurricanes.

 For the 2011 season there were 19 named storms, 7 hurricanes, and 3 intense hurricanes.

But for the U.S.A. specifically – the season was unusually timid. In his summary of the season, Dr. Jeff Masters (one of my important sources) wrote: “Only two named storms made landfall, Tropical Storm Lee, which hit Louisiana with 60 mph winds, and Hurricane Irene, which hit North Carolina on August 27 with 85 mph winds, and made two additional landfalls in New Jersey and New York the next day.” By the time tropical storm Don reached Texas it had weakened to a tropical depression.  There seems to be general agreement that favorable steering currents were the principle reason for our good fortune in the U.S.

I made no entries concerning Irene, in spite of the scare in New York because we were being flooded with media information and for those with cable or satellite, the Weather Channel was right on top of things. Since it wasn’t threatening our Central Florida region I held back in the wake of such comprehensive coverage.

The way our season luckily turned out has indeed caused me some considerable concern over the tendency that we humans have toward complacency. In the 6+ years I’ve lived in Citrus County, Florida there have been no tropical systems of any severe nature but the year before I arrived, 2004, was a busy one with Jeanne, Ivan, Frances, and Charlie. None of those named storms were strong enough to create a county-wide wake-up call. Some people were without power for a few days but the storms did not create events comparable to those which reverberate in our heads for years to follow – like Andrew, for example, which destroyed my home (in Homestead, Florida) in 1992.

I have heard tales of real estate agents in the area boasting that Citrus County possesses some sort of special immunity for whatever reason. I refute that notion absolutely. There is nothing about the environment that affords it the luxury of special protection other than the high sand ridges that minimize storm surge potential for those who live far enough inland from the Gulf. For example, my house sits at an elevation of 55′ above mean sea level so I don’t anticipate storm surge events. However, high water from heavy rains is a distinct possibility.

In any event I urge you who live in my area to NOT ignore the fact that you live in hurricane country. There are so many things about hurricanes that should not be discounted. For example, doubling the wind velocity actually quadruples it’s potential force. So a 60 mph wind has four times the ability to do harm compared to a 30 mph wind. Here is a link to a site which I put together regarding “hurricane misconceptions.” http://ztechzone.net/learningzone/science/science55/hurricanes.html

Coming next:  My Christmas Greeting and Reflections.

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“GULF OF MEXICO DEVELOPMENT POSSIBLE LATE THIS WEEK” – 8-30-2011

Shortly before noon Eastern Daylight Time today (8-30-2011) Dr. Jeff Masters published this statement:

“Gulf of Mexico development possible late this week”

“Several of our best computer models for predicting formation of tropical cyclones, the GFS and ECMWF, are predicting that an upper level pressure interacting with a tropical wave now over the the Western Caribbean could combine to spawn a tropical depression in the Gulf of Mexico late this week or early next week. The formation location is likely to be off the coast of Louisiana or Texas, but the track of the system is hard to predict at this point.” (end quote) –

 Though this is far too early to tell, here is a six day look into the ECMWF model’s “take” on our tropical weather. It was released at 8 pm EDT, 8-29-2011 and projects out six days (144 hours).

Notice, in addition to the system in the Gulf of Mexico, the position northeast of Puerto Rico of what is currently Tropical Storm Katia.  Some are predicting that she will be of hurricane strength by the time 6 days pass.

 The error 6 days out can be enormous so take this for what it’s worth. I recommend your being mindful that the ECMWF has been doing well for the last couple of years. For instructions on viewing the model in animated form on WeatherUnderground.com, please use the following link:  https://cloudman23.wordpress.com/2011/08/25/ecmwf-model-run-the-european-model/

  NOTE: ECMWF = European Center for Medium -Range Weather Forecast

Two left clicks will enlarge to the fullest.

Photo Of Irene From Space – 8-28-2011

The photo below is actually from a scan of the “full disk” of earth from the GOES-13 satellite.  I have cropped the original in order to concentrate upon Tropical Storm Irene.  Tropical Storm Jose also shows up in the image; it is very small.  To find it look for a small blob of clouds, bright white (about half the width of the state of Florida and located off the Carolinas  and next to Bermuda).  More information follows after the image.

TWO INDEPENDENT LEFT CLICKS WILL ENLARGE TO THE FULLEST.

– THANKS TO NOAA FOR THIS IMAGE –

TIME OF PHOTO – 2:45 pm Eastern Daylight Time

DATE – Sunday, August 28, 2011

ALTITUDE OF SATELLITE – about 22,300 miles

TIME NEEDED TO SCAN FULL DISK OF EARTH – about 26 minute

LINK TO MORE INFORMATION ON  SATELLITE IMAGE –  http://noaasis.noaa.gov/NOAASIS/ml/imager.html

ECMWF MODEL RUN – THE EUROPEAN MODEL

When the European Center for Medium-Range Weather Forecast model is running, here is my favorite site for viewing:

For a lot of different reasons, but mainly because I enjoy the insights of Dr. Jeff Masters in his weather blog, I use WeatherUnderground.com.  For future reference, a link to his blog is under the Blogroll category at the right margin of this page.  In fact, it’s the first listed.

For the ECMWF Model Run, click on the following link and then follow my instructions exactly:  NOTE:  YOU MIGHT WANT TO COPY THE INSTRUCTIONS BECAUSE ONCE YOU CLICK ON THE LINK THIS PAGE WILL BE GONE UNLESS YOU CLICK BACK –

 

http://www.wunderground.com/wundermap/

  1. At the upper left of the image, click on the “continent” tab.
  2. Scroll down the menu on the right margin and click in the box labeled “model data”.
  3. Another menu dropped down. Click on the “model” arrow and select ECMWF.
  4. Make sure the “map type” remains on MSL which stands for “mean sea level.”
  5. Click on the “forecast” arrow and wait patiently for the load.
  6. After it has loaded fully it should loop. If you want it to stop click on the button at “forecast.”

Though the European Model is not always right (none of them are) it has done the best job for the last two years in situations akin to this one with hurricane Irene.  The National Weather Service gives credence to this model though you will not see it indicated on the official spaghetti charts and such.  In fact, lately, the NWS official forecasts have been close to that of the ECMWF model runs or, if you please, the ECMWF model runs have been close to the official forecasts of the NWS.  To be sure, there will be times when there is little agreement – at which time I expect to lean toward the NWS advisories.

97AL – Tropical System May Become a Threat to Florida

THIS IS A TIME-SENSITIVE POSTING SUBMITTED 8-20-2011 LATE MORNING EASTERN TIME.

Though there is more than one system out there today, my attention is east of the Lesser Antilles Islands where there is a system that currently has the status of a tropical wave.  However, there is an 80% chance that it will become cyclonic within the next 48 hours.  The Spaghetti chart below is courtesy of Jonathan Vigh.  His efforts to put the model forecasts together produce my favorite renditions.  Notice that the islands between its present location and Florida will be effected if this early visual is close to being correct.  The storms ability to sustain itself as it moves over land might be touch and go.  Frankly, this one really has my attention.

If you left click the image should enlarge – a second left click might enlarge it even further:

Forecast Model Plots for Our First Tropical System of the Season – 2011

Here is the forecast plot for our first tropical disturbance of the season – released at 1200 Greenwich Time (7AM Eastern Time) June 1, 2011 – the first official day of the season.  These are sometimes called spaghetti charts.  Please ignore the “straight line” projection into the Gulf which is an extrapolation of movement were there to be no change in course.  Already, I’ve detected rightward deflection in its actual track.  Two left clicks should fully enlarge this image for you.

Click on Image to Enlarge

DAY ONE OF HURRICANE SEASON IS INTERESTING!

Below is a “cut and paste” from the National Hurricane Center’s report for the first day of the hurricane season, 2011.  There is a low pressure system in the Atlantic now making a beeline for my part of Florida and expected to be here around 1 PM.  Item 1 below is the discussion of that system.  At the very end of this posting you will find a link to the page from which this information was cut.  If the graphic you first see is not the satellite image, just left click on it and it should change for you.

My daughter is visiting from New Mexico and this is the day that she and I were to have gone sailing.  However – that activity has been canceled and my “little girl” is sleeping in.  There was a time in my life when I was more daring and would have gone out anyway – working hard to strategically find safe shelter and counting on lots of luck.  But now in my 72nd year I am one to err on the side a caution.  The aluminum mast supported by a steel fore-stay and two steel shrouds all serve as excellent lightning attractors.  I do not wish for my daughter (or myself for that matter) to become a “crispy critter.”  The fun is not worth the risks.  So we will find something else to do.  The tiny red dot on the image below approximates where I live in Florida and the system is traveling toward the west-southwest.  Left click on the image to enlarge.

From my point of view, this is a fitting “sign” that our hurricane season this year is likely to be a busy one.  The post that follows this one will link you to a description of the NOAA summary of this years forecast.

Left Click To Enlarge

 
ZCZC MIATWOAT ALL
TTAA00 KNHC DDHHMM

TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
800 AM EDT WED JUN 1 2011

FOR THE NORTH ATLANTIC...CARIBBEAN SEA AND THE GULF OF MEXICO...

1. A SMALL AREA OF LOW PRESSURE LOCATED ABOUT 200 MILES EAST OF
JACKSONVILLE FLORIDA IS MOVING WEST-SOUTHWESTWARD AT AROUND 20 MPH. 
THE LOW CONTINUES TO PRODUCE A CONCENTRATED AREA OF SHOWERS AND
THUNDERSTORMS...AND ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS ARE MARGINALLY
FAVORABLE FOR SOME DEVELOPMENT OF THIS SYSTEM BEFORE IT MOVES OVER
NORTHERN FLORIDA LATER TODAY. REGARDLESS OF DEVELOPMENT...THIS
DISTURBANCE COULD PRODUCE LOCALLY HEAVY RAINFALL AND STRONG GUSTY
WINDS OVER PORTIONS OF THE FLORIDA PENINSULA. THERE IS A MEDIUM
CHANCE...30 PERCENT...OF THIS SYSTEM BECOMING A TROPICAL CYCLONE
DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS. FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ON THIS
SYSTEM...PLEASE SEE PRODUCTS FROM YOUR LOCAL NATIONAL WEATHER
SERVICE OFFICE. 

ELSEWHERE...TROPICAL CYCLONE FORMATION IS NOT EXPECTED DURING THE
NEXT 48 HOURS.

TODAY MARKS THE FIRST DAY OF THE ATLANTIC HURRICANE SEASON...WHICH
WILL RUN UNTIL NOVEMBER 30. LONG-TERM AVERAGES FOR THE NUMBER OF
NAMED STORMS...HURRICANES...AND MAJOR HURRICANES ARE 11...6...AND
2...RESPECTIVELY.

THE LIST OF NAMES FOR 2011 IS AS FOLLOWS:

NAME PRONUNCIATION NAME PRONUNCIATION
-------------------------------------------------------------
ARLENE AR LEEN- LEE LEE
BRET BRET MARIA MUH REE- UH
CINDY SIN- DEE NATE NAIT
DON DAHN OPHELIA O FEEL- YA
EMILY EH- MIH LEE PHILIPPE FEE LEEP-
FRANKLIN FRANK- LIN RINA REE- NUH
GERT GERT SEAN SHAWN
HARVEY HAR- VEE TAMMY TAM- EE
IRENE EYE REEN- VINCE VINSS
JOSE HO ZAY- WHITNEY WHIT- NEE
KATIA KA TEE- AH

THIS PRODUCT...THE TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK...BRIEFLY DESCRIBES
SIGNIFICANT AREAS OF DISTURBED WEATHER AND THEIR POTENTIAL FOR
TROPICAL CYCLONE FORMATION DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS. THE ISSUANCE
TIMES OF THIS PRODUCT ARE 2 AM...8 AM...2 PM...AND 8 PM EDT. 
AFTER THE CHANGE TO STANDARD TIME IN NOVEMBER...THE ISSUANCE TIMES
ARE 1 AM...7 AM...1 PM...AND 7 PM EST.

A SPECIAL TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK WILL BE ISSUED TO PROVIDE UPDATES
...AS NECESSARY...IN BETWEEN THE REGULARLY SCHEDULED ISSUANCES OF
THE TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK. SPECIAL TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOKS
WILL BE ISSUED UNDER THE SAME WMO AND AWIPS HEADERS AS THE REGULAR
TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOKS.

A STANDARD PACKAGE OF PRODUCTS...CONSISTING OF THE TROPICAL CYCLONE
PUBLIC ADVISORY...THE FORECAST/ADVISORY...THE CYCLONE DISCUSSION...
AND A WIND SPEED PROBABILITY PRODUCT...IS ISSUED EVERY SIX HOURS
FOR ALL ONGOING TROPICAL CYCLONES. IN ADDITION...A SPECIAL ADVISORY
PACKAGE MAY BE ISSUED AT ANY TIME TO ADVISE OF SIGNIFICANT
UNEXPECTED CHANGES OR TO MODIFY WATCHES OR WARNINGS.

THE TROPICAL CYCLONE UPDATE IS A BRIEF STATEMENT TO INFORM OF
SIGNIFICANT CHANGES IN A TROPICAL CYCLONE OR TO POST OR CANCEL
WATCHES OR WARNINGS. IT IS USED IN LIEU OF OR TO PRECEDE THE
ISSUANCE OF A SPECIAL ADVISORY PACKAGE. TROPICAL CYCLONE UPDATES
...WHICH CAN BE ISSUED AT ANY TIME...CAN BE FOUND UNDER WMO HEADER
WTNT61-65 KNHC...AND UNDER AWIPS HEADER MIATCUAT1-5.

ALL NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER TEXT AND GRAPHICAL PRODUCTS ARE
AVAILABLE ON THE WEB AT WWW.HURRICANES.GOV. SIGN UP FOR PRODUCT
UPDATES BY EMAIL AT WWW.HURRICANES.GOV/SIGNUP.SHTML...IN ALL LOWER
CASE. YOU CAN ALSO INTERACT WITH US ON FACEBOOK AT
WWW.FACEBOOK.COM/US.NOAA.NATIONALHURRICANECENTER.GOV.

$$
FORECASTER BERG/PASCH
NNNN

Here is a link to the National Hurricane Center Home Page: http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/gtwo_atl.shtml  

The Hurricane Season for 2011 Has Begun

Radar Loop of Tropical Storm Fay's Florida Visit - YOU MUST CLICK ON TO ACTIVATE.

By the time you read this, May of 2011 will have ended and the Northern Hemisphere Atlantic, Caribbean, and Gulf of Mexico hurricane season will have begun.  The following link will take you to a summary of the NOAA outlook for this season:

http://www.noaanews.noaa.gov/stories2011/20110519_atlantichurricaneoutlook.html

Please be prepared if you live in hurricane territory.

The loop above illustrates nicely that a tropical system does not have to be a hurricane in order to cause significant problems including fatalities.  TO ACTIVATE YOU MUST LEFT CLICK ON THE IMAGE.  Here is what Wikipedia has to say about the 2008 storm:  Tropical Storm Fay was a tropical storm and the sixth named storm of the 2008 Atlantic hurricane season. Fay formed from a vigorous tropical wave on August 15 over the Dominican Republic. It passed over the island of Hispaniola, into the Gulf of Gonâve, across the island of Cuba, and made landfall on the Florida Keys late in the afternoon of August 18 before veering into the Gulf of Mexico. It again made landfall near Naples, Florida, in the early hours of August 19 and progressed northeast through the Florida peninsula, emerging into the Atlantic Ocean near Melbourne on August 20. Extensive flooding took place in parts of Florida as a result of its slow movement. On August 21, it made landfall again near New Smyrna Beach, Florida, moving due west across the Panhandle, crossing Gainesville and Panama City, Florida. As it zigzagged from water to land, it became the first storm in recorded history to make landfall in Florida four times.   Thirty-six deaths were blamed on Fay.  The storm also resulted in one of the most prolific tropical cyclone related tornado outbreaks on record. A total of 81 tornadoes touched down across five states, three of which were rated as EF2. Damage from Fay was heavy, estimated at $560 million.

Here is a link to Wikipedia’s coverage of that storm:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tropical_Storm_Fay_%282008%29

Here is a link to my list of 23 Misconceptions About Hurricanes:

http://ztechzone.net/learningzone/science/science55/hurricanes.html