Archive for the ‘Cone of uncertainty’ Tag

Tropical Storm Hermine – Tallahassee Alert –

 

THIS IS A VERY “TIME-SENSITIVE” REPORT

After viewing the graphic below my concerns for the residents of Tallahassee have increased; of course it goes without saying that my concerns are for everyone who might have to deal with this storm – no matter where they might be located.  Mainly, there are three factors involved in my concern for the 7th most highly populated city in Florida and its capital city.  One is that there is a strong chance that Hermine will become a hurricane before reaching the Florida coast.

Another:  The minimum distance from Gulf of Mexico waters to Tallahassee is about 25 miles.  One might consider 25 miles to be an adequate “buffer” to provide friction and thus slow down the winds approaching the city.  I think that assumption would be a mistake.  Furthermore, when surface or near-surface winds leave the water for land the slight slowing that might occur would tend to cause more air to rise.  A similar rising is what causes lake effect snows in certain Great Lakes coastal or near-coastal downwind locations.  In the case of humid winds from Hermine possibly decelerating due to friction over the land when approaching Tallahassee, the net effect could very well be more vertical cloud development (due to a greater amount of rising air) than would have occurred otherwise.  This phenomenon can intensify thunderstorms, the gusts that spill out from them, and the chaos that can generate tornadoes.  The increase in rainfall amounts can be dramatic.  So – be careful what you wish for.  Flooding is typically a bigger issue than the wind velocities in these cases.

Here is the third cause for my concern:  The graphic below from the National Weather Service showing the “cone of uncertainty” (8 PM EST, 8-31-2016) causes me to consider that Tallahassee might very well be under the right-hand leading quadrant of the storm when it makes landfall.  The right-hand leading quadrants of tropical cyclonic systems are usually the quadrants with the highest wind velocities, greatest probability for tornadoes, heaviest rains, and in coastal areas the greatest storm surge height.  The fact that currently the whole storm is beginning to move faster can increase the danger of the right-hand leading quadrant.

I urge residents of the Tallahassee area to be alert during the approach, passage, and departure of what is now Tropical Storm Hermine.  Do not take it lightly just because it is on the low side of the tropical storm wind velocity range at this time (evening of 8-31-2016).  

CLICK ON THE IMAGE BELOW TO ENLARGE. 

2016-8-31 8pm EST

CLICK ON THE IMAGE ABOVE TO ENLARGE. 

ISAAC SHOULD NOT BE IGNORED

This is the 4 pm EDT advisory for August 30, 2012.

Two left clicks on the image will enlarge it fully.

By the time you see this posting, the forecast graphic for what remains of Isaac (above) will probably be obsolete. Here is where to go to get a comparable update (however, the advisory above might be the last):

 http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/index.shtml

 In spite of modern technology the tasks of the National Hurricane Center’s forecasters are not easy and I guarantee they burned the midnight oil as this event unfolded. They have so many variables and unknowns to deal with.  I think they do a wonderful job.

Where I live, in west-central Florida about 18 miles inland from where the tiny Crystal River flows into the Gulf of Mexico, there are long-term concerns about our fresh water supply. So I had hoped that Isaac would provide just the right amount of water WITHOUT damaging and costly winds and flooding. Like most humans, I want all of the good but none of the bad that can come from Nature’s wonders.  At this time, Thursday evening, 8-30-2012, we are still getting some rain directly related to Isaac even though its center is about to move into Arkansas.  Hopefully the system will provide needed rain to drought stricken areas in it’s predicted path.  My retired-farmer uncle in Indiana indicates that it’s probably too late for the field corn but could be helpful to the soybeans.  As I write, flooding and potential flooding in certain areas of Louisiana are creating real headaches there.  There are some places claiming to have more water than with Katrina, albeit for different sets of circumstances.

There is so much information available today and I understand the great value of our acquired knowledge about tropical weather since I first began studying it formally (over 50 years ago) but sometimes, I confess, I think fondly of the days when we had little notion of what was going on until much later in a tropical cyclone’s life cycle. Now, it seems that the media devotes an inordinate amount of time telling us about the negatives and potential negatives that are going on all over the world and I can no longer bask in my ignorance as I used to because I haven’t the will-power or inclination to ignore the resources that are available. But, I concede, there are limits to the notion that ignorance is bliss.

I wish you peace, good health, and happiness.

OFFICIAL IRENE FORECAST – CONE OF UNCERTAINTY – FRIDAY 8 PM EDT

TWO LEFT CLICKS FOR TOTAL ENLARGEMENT

This is self-explanatory.  If you are anywhere within the cone of uncertainty please do not be careless in your thinking.  Stay alert, keep a clear head, and do not allow that epidemic disease, terminal uniqueness, to cause you to think that “it” always happens to the other guy (or gal).  Do not take any unnecessary chances.  Be patient, use common sense, and remember that this too shall pass.

My thoughts are with you.

For previous reports go to the blog tab near the upper left of the page and then scroll down.

Irene Is Now a Hurricane – 8-22-2011

PLEASE NOTE – THIS IS A TIME-SENSITIVE POSTING

Below is the 11 am (Eastern Daylight Time) cone of uncertainty for hurricane Irene from the National Hurricane Center.  Remember, only minor shifts toward the west or east can change the complexion of things drastically.  Such changes are common – in fact, some meteorologists refer to resultant realignments of the spreading cone as “windshield wipering.”  Left click the image twice for full enlargement.

LEFT CLICK TWICE FOR FULL ENLARGEMENT

HAITI IS NOT LIKELY TO ESCAPE TOMAS

Two independent left clicks will enlarge to the fullest.

Though Tomas has weakened to a tropical depression, indications are that intensification to at least a category 1 hurricane will occur in the predicted journey northward.  But, even as a lesser storm (tropical depression or tropical storm) the system can cause severe problems with fatalities.  Just last month 23 people died in Haiti from the results of regular seasonal rainfall events, according to Dr. Jeff Masters’ blog this morning!  The pitiful deforestation of that country allows for rapidly flooding streams and mass wasting events (e.g. mud slides) which can be deadly.

Certain deadly diseases can be spread by contaminated water which is a likely outcome of the flooding that Tomas will trigger.  Cholera is probably the greatest current concern.

I am alarmed by the projected probability path of the storm (see this morning’s cone of uncertainty above) because, if it turns out this way, Haiti will be under the influence of the right hand leading quadrant of Tomas.  That quadrant is typically the one possessing the strongest winds, most prominent storm surges, and greatest probability for imbedded mesoscale tornadic systems.

Of course, Haiti is not the only place that should be concerned.  For example, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, and the Bahamas need to be “ready.”

EARL IS BECOMING MORE OF A PROBLEM FOR THE U.S.A. EAST COAST

Thanks to NOAA's National Hurricane Center for this graphic.

8-30-2010 10:10 pm EDT.

I’ve watched television weather reporters today trying to explain what mechanism will hopefully turn Earl to the right – the sooner the better.  But not one of them mentioned the natural tendency for objects, fluids, and dynamic systems in motion to turn right (in the Northern Hemisphere).  I’m referring to the Coriolis Effect.  At times like this it is unfortunate that the Coriolis Effect cannot strengthened or weakened at will by those of us who would wish to keep these strong storms from plowing into us.

Here are two links for you if you are interested in the Coriolis Effect as it relates to weather:

https://cloudman23.wordpress.com/2008/10/02/the-coriolis-effect-in-the-real-world-a-tutorial-part-1/

https://cloudman23.wordpress.com/2008/10/07/the-coriolis-effect-in-the-real-world-a-tutorial-part-2-cyclones-anticyclones/

I remember so well in late August, 1992, as I, my family, my students, and my friends and neighbors were hoping and praying for powerful hurricane Andrew to turn right and stay out over the Atlantic.  It eventually did turn right but not soon enough for us.  Our house was a total loss; the eye of Andrew went right over it.  We stayed in the community and had the house rebuilt; it was exactly one year before we occupied it again even though it wasn’t entirely finished.  I had purchased a 25′ travel trailer which was our palace-in-the-driveway for that year and we spent many Summers thereafter traveling all over the continent with our children.

Bottom line:  Lets hope for a drastic right turn on the part of Earl very soon.  The computer model tracks do not look promising for that.  Things are looking increasingly “ugly” for places like coastal North Carolina and points northward up the coast.  Though weakening is expected to occur before a possible visit to Nova Scotia – the prospect is nevertheless of considerable concern.

NOTE:  Some depictions of the successive forecast mean positions that you might see on television, your computer, or in the print media might be connected with an arcuate line right down the middle of the “cone of uncertainty.”  The National Hurricane Center still provides such a depiction but they favor this one because it has been shown that when people gaze at the midline they tend to either forget or ignore that the storm could fairly easily embark into other parts of the widening cone as it moves along.

HURRICANE EARL – SUNDAY NIGHT – 8-29-2010

Thanks to NOAA's National Hurricane Center for this graphic.

Since only a few degrees of unexpected course change could bring Earl to the mainland, it concerns me for the many folks I know up and down the East Coast.   Here’s hoping he stays out there as predicted by the models today.  In any event, sea conditions all along the East Coast will be influenced a great deal by the storm.  Beach erosion could become an issue.

TROPICAL STORM COLIN – 8-3-2010

The most recent Atlantic disturbance has evolved into a tropical storm.  Here is Colin’s general forecast track released at 5 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time on Tuesday, August 3, 2010. Left click on the image to enlarge.

BONNIE APPEARS TO BE GULF OF MEXICO BOUND!

Those in or near South Florida including the Keys, in the Gulf of Mexico and on its shores should keep a very close watch on this weather system.  Of course the tragic oil pollution disaster will likely be rendered even more problematic by what appears to be on the way.

If you have been in the habit of examining forecast cones of uncertainty from the National Weather Service – this might look a little different to you this year.  There has been quite a debate over the straight black lines that heretofore have run through the cones, connecting the dots where the storms are projected to travel.   Notice, on this map, such a line does not appear.  Many meteorologists, myself included, believe that the lines have too often been mistaken as landfall predictions and that it has caused some people on the outer margins of the cones to have a false sense of security about where the storms might go.  My guess is that some (television, websites, web-logs) will choose to stick with the old style of depictions and others will prefer to leave that center line out.  I fall into the latter category.

Conditions have changed aloft such that wind shear has been reduced.  This favors intensification of the system.  Also, when air is heated from below, particularly if by warm water with high evaporation rates, intensification is favored.  This could happen as the system moves over elements of the Loop Current of the Gulf of Mexico.  What follows is a time sensitive forecast depiction of the Loop.

Courtesy National Centers for Environmental Prediction

Jimena and Erika

During the next few months I will be on line only intermittently.  For quick indicators about tropical weather systems I recommend the Weather Channel if you have cable and also the Masters’ Blog at http://www.wunderground.com/tropical/

The Masters’ Blog link is usually at the upper part of the page on the right hand side.

Please remember if you are in tropical weather territory – it doesn’t always happen to the “other guy.”  And, though landfall events have not been abundant this season, 1992 was also an El Nino season with a slow start and only one hurricane made landfall upon the U.S. coast that year.  ANDREW!  My point?  “All it takes is one!”  I beg you to be prepared – even if you are far from the coast because the effects of a tropical weather system can be devastating many miles from where it makes landfall.

Here are the current potential pathway advisories on Jimena and Erika.

z JimenaErikaCombo

Left click the image in order to enlarge. In some

instances a second left click will enlarge even further.