Archive for the ‘Weather Satellite images’ Category

Sandy Alert – There Is No Shame In Evacuating!

What concerns me most is the number of people who will not address and act upon hurricane Sandy’s threat maturely. As a man who grew up in an environment where “being a man” meant being able to handle, support, protect, and defend – I can identify with the need to have it “together” in these types of situations. It was hard for me on the morning of 8-23-1992 to “order” my wife, two children, father-in-law, and mother-in-law into my van so that we could evacuate our two homes (separated by less than a mile) in Homestead, Florida to escape approaching hurricane Andrew. But, when we returned 3 days later we were thanking the Great Guy In the Sky that we were not there when the storm hit. It would have been a most traumatic experience and could have been deadly. Our house was a total loss and my in-laws’ house was severely damaged but not beyond repair. There are people today of all ages still suffering post traumatic stress syndrome over that hurricane of 20 years ago. Admittedly, the aftermath and rebuilding processes were extraordinarily difficult but we were together and healthy and I had very good insurance and did not lose my job. Thousands of people lost both their dwellings and their jobs! We had much for which to be grateful.

But, sometimes, in an attempt to handle, support, protect, and defend – people (men in particular, I think) tend to make macho decisions that they later regret – if they live to experience regret. One example is: Failing to evacuate dangerous areas that are subject to flooding, landslides, storm surges, etc. Believe me – there is no disgrace in fleeing in such circumstance. Sure, one wants to stay and protect his/her home and the “things” within it but such a mindset can backfire resulting in fatal consequences. Take my word for it, “things” can be replaced in time but once you lose your life of worse, that of a loved one – there is no going back or rebirth back into this dimension.

 Hurricane Sandy is a storm that has it all. Oh sure, it’s not a category 5 storm as was Andrew but it is a huge storm taking up an area more than the size of Texas one and one-half times! And – it has a strong pressure gradient. It has a very long fetch (distance of water over which the wind blows) which increases significantly the potential height of the storm surge.

 Just because the winds are within the category 1 range, remember that slight increases can cause exponential increases in the potential force. In fact, doubling the wind velocity quadruples the air’s potential force upon a surface that it strikes at right angles.  Early on in my teaching career it because quite apparent to me that most people assume that doubling the velocity simply doubles the force.  But that is far from true.  For example, an 80 mile per hour wind has FOUR TIMES the potential force of a 40 mile per hour wind. So DON’T think to yourself, “I know I can deal with a 40 mile per hour wind; in fact I and my dwelling can deal with one that is 80 miles per hour because that is just two times that of a “40.” YOU WOULD BE VERY, VERY WRONG! If you are interested in more on this subject, including an equation – go here:

https://cloudman23.wordpress.com/tag/wind-velocity-relative-to-force/

 A great deal of precipitation over land is expected with Sandy – so much that many of the drainage systems, both natural and man-made, will not be able to handle it. Trees will be less stable because of saturation of the soil and rock into which their roots are anchored. Combined with the wind force, many will come down. Unhealthy trees will snap. Mother Nature WILL do a great amount of pruning. Electricity will be cut off due to line damage from falling debris and flooding. Water pressure may drop or reduce to zero. Even modern gravity-feed systems require boosting due to the effects of friction and that usually requires electricity. If you have an electric pump with a well and no emergency generator, you could be out of luck. If your toilet is relatively modern you will still need about 1.6 gallons per flush. “If it’s yellow, let it mellow; if it’s brown, flush it down” might become your rule of thumb even if you have a lot of water stored (as in a tub that doesn’t slowly leak at the drain).

 Since much moisture will be drawn in by the storm from off the Atlantic and much cold air will be drawn down from the north, there is a very strong chance for SNOW with this storm.

 The bottom line, in my opinion is – If you are in the path of Sandy and:

  1. in a storm surge zone – evacuate.
  2. in a wooded area with big trees so close to your home that upon falling they are likely to do structural damage – evacuate.
  3. upon a hillside or mountainside where your area or an area above or below you has been stripped of most vegetation – evacuate.  Slides are a real danger in these cases.
  4. in a region that can easily flood  – evacuate.
  5. in a neighborhood where there is a lot of loose matter that could easily become damaging airborne projectiles – evacuate.
  6. in a mobile home or R.V. – evacuate.
  7. in a dwelling where, when you look out a front window you are looking down a street that is at right angles to your street – evacuate. The Venturi Effect can channel much higher winds and debris right into your dwelling!
  8. in any kind of a topographic restriction such as a narrow valley between two hills or mountains – evacuate for the same reason as in item 7.
  9. NOT prepared for many days without water service and/or electricity – evacuate.
  1. in an evacuation zone – evacuate!
  2. one who feels as though fleeing is a cowardly act – engage in a very quick but thorough attitude adjustment and ERR ON THE SIDE OF CAUTION.

BUT DON’T EVACUATE IF THE STORM IS UPON YOU UNLESS YOU FEEL THAT THE MOVE IS ACTUALLY SAFER THAN STAYING.

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

HURRICANE IGOR IN MOTION !

LEFT CLICK ON THE IMAGE ABOVE

AND THEN WAIT PATIENTLY FOR AN ANIMATION.

I RECOMMEND YOU READ THE INTRO. BELOW FIRST.

I’m posting this on the afternoon of Wednesday, 9-15-2010.  What you will be looking at as you view the animation above is, to my mind, fantastic.  I would have loved to have had such a tool to use in the college classroom when I was a full-time meteorology professor.  Even though this is jerky, it gives a wonderful view of things which I and my students could only imagine back before my retirement from the profession.  The stream will quickly get to mid-day (of Monday, Sept. 13) and the sun will quickly reach the western horizon marking sunset.  If you focus upon the eye in the afternoon you will see the shadow created by the wall cloud’s western margin as it creeps eastward.  Also watch the boiling cumuliform tops in various places.  I was fascinated by the way the clouds moved within the eye of the storm as it rotated.  ENJOY!

SPECIAL NOTE:  For those of you who understand hurricane circulation in more detail than most, notice the lower level clouds converging cyclonically (counterclockwise in the Northern Hemisphere) and look hard enough at the more diffuse high clouds and you will detect the anticyclonic divergence (clockwise in the Northern Hemisphere).  The latter is easiest to see on the west side of the storm where you can envision the feathered cirrus moving toward the north or northwest.  If they seem to you to be standing still that is because the ice crystals are sublimating at the leading edges of the clusters (turning from solid to gas) whereas deposition (gas to solid) is occurring at the trailing edges.

Watch the digital clock at the bottom margin of the image and you will note that after the initial spurt of one frame per 15 minutes, it settles down to a nicer one frame per minute.

*  *  *  *  *  *  *

This hurricane is a very strong one and potentially dangerous – particularly for the 65,000 or so people in Bermuda.  Let’s hope that they escape unharmed.  I’m hoping that Igor takes a surprisingly sharper right turn than anticipated in order to spare those fine people.

However, no matter the outcome, it’s difficult not to be in awe of this beautiful beast.  It’s also important, I think, to recognize that there are some good things about this storm especially when coupled with the impending effects of Julia which is positioned further to the east.  A certain amount of energy MUST be transformed over the Atlantic in order that it not be all released at once.  An analogy:  It’s better to have one tiny earthquake per year along an active fault than wait for 100 years before all of that stored energy is released as one gigantic earthquake.

The fact that Igor and Julia are both releasing huge amounts of latent heat into the atmosphere is good – particularly when that is happening over relatively uninhabited places.  Generally such long fetches over such long periods of time will move warm, tropical water such that it is replaced from below by cooler upwelling water.  That is good because the next system to move by is less likely to have as much oceanic heat to stoke it.

At the time I’m writing this (about 5 pm EDT, 9-15-2010) Igor is a category 4 hurricane and Julia is a category 3.  However, not many hours ago Julia was also a 4 and she might intensify to that category again.  According to my sources, this is only the second time in history that we have had two category 4 storms in the Atlantic at the same time.

Dr. Jeff Masters of WeatherUnderground.com wrote of that fact in his weblog today.  Rather than mimic what he has said, I’m placing his well-written statement below in blue.

Yours Truly,

T. Ansel Toney

e-mail = ProfToney@gmail.com

“The Atlantic hurricane season of 2010 kicked into high gear this morning, with the landfall of Tropical Storm Karl in Mexico, and the simultaneous presence of two Category 4 hurricanes in the Atlantic, Igor and Julia. Tropical Storm Karl’s formation yesterday marked the fifth earliest date that an eleventh named storm of the season has formed. The only years more active this early in the season were 2005, 1995, 1936 and 1933. This morning’s unexpected intensification of Hurricane Julia into a Category 4 storm with 135 mph winds has set a new record–Julia is now the strongest hurricane on record so far east. When one considers that earlier this year, Hurricane Earl became the fourth strongest hurricane so far north, it appears that this year’s record SSTs have significantly expanded the area over which major hurricanes can exist over the Atlantic. This morning is just the second time in recorded history that two simultaneous Category 4 or stronger storms have occurred in the Atlantic. The only other occurrence was on 06 UTC September 16, 1926, when the Great Miami Hurricane and Hurricane Four were both Category 4 storms for a six-hour period. The were also two years, 1999 and 1958, when we missed having two simultaneous Category 4 hurricanes by six hours. Julia’s ascension to Category 4 status makes it the 4th Category 4 storm of the year. Only two other seasons have had as many as five Category 4 or stronger storms (2005 and 1999), so 2010 ranks in 3rd place in this statistic. This year is also the earliest a fourth Category 4 or stronger storm has formed (though the fourth Category 4 of 1999, Hurricane Gert, formed just 3 hours later on today’s date in 1999.) We’ve also had four Cat 4+ storms in just twenty days, which beats the previous record for shortest time span for four Cat 4+ storms to appear. The previous record was 1999, 24 days (thanks to Phil Klozbach of CSU for this stat.)”

Today’s Three Named Storms – Color Image – 9-14-2010

Cropping and yellow insertions by T. Ansel Toney. Left click twice for full enlargement.

Dear Tropical Weather Watchers,

I cropped the image above from a full disk image.  It was taken from the 4:45 pm (EDT) transmission of the GOES-13 weather satellite which is positioned at an altitude of 22,300 miles above the Equator at longitude 75 West.  At that altitude it orbits earth with the same period of revolution as the earth’s spin on its axis.  Therefore it stays over the same point (though it can be moved either east or west if desired).  By contrast, the International Space Station orbits at only 236 miles above the surface and the U.S. Shuttle crafts fly lower than that sometimes but have also gone higher – up to 365 miles or so above the surface to the Hubble Telescope.  It should be noted that neither the Space Station, the Shuttles, nor the Hubble are on equatorial orbits like the GOES Weather Satellites but instead they are at an inclination of 51.6 degrees to the equator.

In this image provided the sun had gone well past zenith and therefore you can see the bright eastern side of Igor’s eye wall.  It’s a very impressive storm.

Hermine and Former Gaston Today – 9-7-2010

Yellow insertions by T. Ansel Toney

Here is a recent satellite image showing Hermine and the remnants of Gaston.

TROPICAL STORM HERMINE FORECAST, 9-9-2010

NOTE: the CDO to which the following report refers to is “Central Dense Overcast.”

THE FOLLOWING REPORT WAS TAKEN VERBATIM FROM THE NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER’S WEBSITE.  IT WAS RELEASED AT 10 PM EASTERN DAYLIGHT TIME, 9-9-2010

000WTNT45 KNHC 070235TCDAT5TROPICAL STORM HERMINE DISCUSSION NUMBER 5NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL102010

1000 PM CDT MON SEP 06 2010

THE CENTER OF HERMINE MADE LANDFALL ON THE COAST OF NORTHEAST MEXICOAROUND 0130 UTC. PRIOR TO LANDFALL…SATELLITE DATA SHOWED THEFORMATION OF A CDO-LIKE FEATURE…WITH A LARGE AREA OF CONVECTIONALSO LOCATED NORTHEAST OF THE CENTER. THE LAST AIRCRAFT FIX AT 2333UTC SHOWED A PEAK 850-MB WIND OF 61 KT…WITH SFMR VALUES UP TO 56KT. DATA FROM THE BROWNSVILLE WSR-88D RADAR EARLIER INDICATED PEAKWINDS OF ABOUT 75 KT AT 4000 FT. THESE DATA SUGGEST THE LANDFALLINTENSITY WAS ABOUT 55 KT. SINCE LANDFALL…THE VELOCITIES FROM THEBROWNSVILLE RADAR HAVE DECREASED…AND THE INITIAL WIND SPEED ISLOWERED TO 50 KT. AS HERMINE WEAKENS…THE BIGGEST THREAT WILLSHIFT TO FLASH FLOODING FROM HEAVY RAINS AS THE CYCLONE MOVES INTO TEXAS.

THE INITIAL MOTION IS 330/12. THERE IS NO CHANGE TO THE FORECASTREASONING FROM THE PREVIOUS PACKAGE. HERMINE SHOULD MOVENORTH-NORTHWESTWARD AND THEN NORTHWARD AROUND THE WESTERN PERIPHERYOF A RIDGE OVER THE SOUTHEASTERN UNITED STATES FOR THE NEXT DAY ORSO. THEREAFTER…THE REMNANTS OF HERMINE WILL LIKELY TURN TOWARDTHE NORTHEAST AND EAST OVER THE CENTRAL UNITED STATES IN A COUPLEOF DAYS AS THE CYCLONE RIDES AROUND THE NORTHERN SIDE OF THATRIDGE. THE NHC FORECAST IS SHIFTED SLIGHTLY TO THE EAST IN GOODAGREEMENT WITH THE GFS AND ECMWF MODELS.


Gaston Is Likely to Strengthen – 9-4-2010

Two independent left clicks will fully enlarge.

RELEASED BY THE NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER AT 8 AM EASTERN DAYLIGHT TIME, SEPT. 4, 2010.

“SHOWER AND THUNDERSTORM ACTIVITY ASSOCIATED WITH THE REMNANTS OF
GASTON CONTINUE TO SHOW SIGNS OF ORGANIZATION THIS MORNING.
ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS ARE CONDUCIVE FOR RE-DEVELOPMENT OF THIS
SYSTEM AND A TROPICAL DEPRESSION COULD RE-FORM IN THIS AREA LATER
TODAY OR TONIGHT. THERE IS A HIGH CHANCE...70 PERCENT...OF THIS
SYSTEM BECOMING A TROPICAL CYCLONE AGAIN DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS
AS IT MOVES WESTWARD AT ABOUT 10 MPH.”

The color image above was completed at 7:45 am EDT today.
This black and white image below at 12:15 pm EDT (4.5 hours later).
Information inserted in yellow print was done by me, Tonie Ansel Toney.



A big thanks and a God bless to the U.S. Navy for this graphic!

A Look Down Earl’s Eye – 9-1-2010

Above is an image from earlier today looking down the eye of Earl.

Two independent left clicks should enlarge it to the fullest.


Below is more of the storm from the same image data.

The fleecy cirrus does a good job of marking the clockwise outflow at the top of the storm.

Thanks to the United States Navy for this imagery.


IMAGE OF ATLANTIC TROPICAL WEATHER – 9-1-2010

Two independent left clicks will fully enlarge

Remember, tropical systems of this scale move generally from east to west if they have an entire ocean over which they can travel.  The reason for that tendency is multifaceted but it has to do more with the forces that dominate the general large-scale circulation of the atmosphere than anything else.  I will produce a posting with diagrams on that subject soon.

The lineup shown in the satellite image above is impressive to say the least though it is not unusual for this part of the Atlantic Hurricane Season.  Let’s hope that nothing serious comes of any of these systems.  However – I imagine that is wishful thinking.

Besides – everything is relative.  For example:  Since hurricane Andrew was relatively dry and part of the roof over the living room stayed on we were able to salvage some of our furniture.  The closest place I could find a truck to rent and storage was 100 miles north in Boynton Beach.  When my wife and I were up there we stopped at a Publix to purchase some provisions.  In the checkout lane we overheard a lady seriously complaining because her hair stylist was in Dade County and her standing weekly appointment had to be canceled because there was no electricity at the shop due to the hurricane.  Those of you who know me probably find it hard to believe that I kept my mouth shut – but I did.  In fact, I smiled over it as we moved on.  Our house had just been literally destroyed a few days earlier so this ladies concerns seemed a bit trivial to me.  However, for some reason – perhaps gratitude for being alive and having no one in my family injured – I felt that I needn’t bother to waste my time trying to convince her that her “problem” was not worth verbalizing in front of total strangers at a grocery store.  On the other hand, I’m sure some of my complaints seem trivial in the whole scheme of things.

Today’s Atlantic Color Image – 8-26-2010

Two independent left clicks will make this image very large.  It’s still hard for me to believe that we have access to such beautiful views.

Here is a very busy Atlantic in our hemisphere and come to think of it, the Gulf of Mexico is cluttered with lots of cloud cover.