Blog Archives

Hurricane Isaac Strengthening As it closes in on Louisiana

Tomorrow August 29th, will mark the seven year anniversary of major  Hurricane Katrina as it roared ashore southeast Louisiana. Katrina absolutely inundated New Orleans

Hurricane Katrina as it stormed ashore Southeast Louisiana August 29, 2005

and the surrounding communities of this low lying marshland hurricane vulnerable state. After a series of catastrophic levee failures on August, 30th 2005, a day after Katrina passed it led to mass pandemonium and 1,836 dead.

Later this evening Hurricane Isaac will test the resolve of the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers to see if the levees they worked on can stand up against the impending 6-12 foot storm surge forecasted by the National Hurricane Center.

A storm surge, is dome of water that is pushed onto the land where onshore flow

Storm Surge illustration, courtesy of the National Hurricane Center.

pushes the sea inland near the land falling tropical low pressure center. This aspect of Hurricanes is one of the most mortally threatening to humans and wildlife.

Winds have been increasing in Southeast Louisiana as Isaac approaches, up to 60 mph has been recorded by buoys close to the shore. Winds off Lake Pontchartrain have varied around 35 mph from the northwest this afternoon. So far New Orleans (KMSY) is seeing wind gusts up to 40 mph, with light rain.

Before Isaac was a threat to the northern Gulf Coast, it passed through the leeward islands just days ago as a tropical storm, from there it passed just south of Puerto Rico, then the Dominican Republic and eventually turned more northwesterly going over the western peninsula of Hati. Thereafter it hugged the northeastern coast of Cuba missing the mountainous terrain. Moving away from land the center of still Tropical Storm Isaac moved west northwesterly through the Straits of Florida to the south of Key West and into the Gulf of Mexico.

Though the storm never reached hurricane status until earlier today, rainfalls along its path were impressive and its affects were felt far away from the center. Issac dumped 10-20 inches of precipitation along and to the north of its path through the Caribbean, the Straits of Florida and into the Gulf of Mexico toward the North Gulf Coast.

Now continuing to strengthen at 6pm CDT, just hours away from landfall Isaac is looking more impressive on satellite. Winds are sustained at 80mph making Isaac a category one on the Saffir-Simpson Scale. Hurricane force winds extend outward up to 60 miles and tropical storm force winds of 39-73mph reach 185 miles from the center. Air force Reserve Hurricane Reconnaissance Hunters

Isaac just hours before its arrival on the southeast coast of Louisiana, in the Northern Gulf Coast this evening. Notice in the visible satellite how an eye is becoming more apparent. This is indicative of further intensification. Image Courtesy of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association.

measured a recent central pressure of 970 millibars, or 28.64 inches of mercury. Storm surge flooding is already occurring in southeast Louisiana.

Hurricane Season lasts form June1st through November 30th, with the climatological peak on September 9th. Forecasters increased their prediction for the total number of named storms upward to 15-19 storms. If they are right we are only about half way done.

Make sure to monitor the latest tropical weather forecasts or news and be prepared before the storm is at your door. Have a Hurricane Preparedness plan in place for you and your family. The up two week supply of essentials are Canned Foods, Bottled Water, Weather Radio, Batteries, First Aid Kit, Multivitamins, Sunscreen,Extra Cash from ATM’s, Bug Repellant, Flashlights, Other non-perishable food items, extra gas for generators or vehicles as gas stations will not work after a storm passes due to power outages.

Advertisements

Tropical Storm Debby a Memory. Still Watching the Tropics

Tropical Storm Debby has since departed Florida, but the rains it brought just days previously were plentiful. North and Central Florida received the most,

Jacksonville Florida Residents make the best out of flooded roads from Tropical Storm Debby with a little suburban kayaking.

with 15-20 inches just three days ago. It is now once again tranquil in the Gulf of Mexico, Atlantic and Caribbean.

There are two areas of disturbed weather having only a slight potential of development over the next 24-48 hours according to the National Hurricane Center.

Our first area is the remnants of what was once Tropical Storm Debby. It is now just a disorganized low pressure system 490 miles south-southeast of Halifax, Nova Scotia. The other is a disturbed area of weather in the northwestern Gulf of Mexico interacting with an upper-level low over Northern Mexico.

Make sure to monitor the latest tropical weather forecasts or news and be prepared before the storm is at your door. Have a Hurricane Preparedness plan in place for you and your family. The up two week supply of essentials are Canned Foods, Bottled Water, Weather Radio, Batteries, First Aid Kit, Multivitamins, Sunscreen,Extra Cash

Current color Sea Surface Temperature Satellite of The North Atlantic, Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico. Courtesy of The National Oceanic Atmospheric Association. Temperatures as of June 30th are 25-29 degrees Celsius, or 77-84 degrees Fahrenheit. Theses water temps are conducive for development.

from ATM’s, Bug Repellant, Flashlights, Valuable documentation, non-perishable food items, extra gas for generators or vehicles as gas stations will not work after a storm passes due to power outages. Stay ahead of the storm!!

Strengthening Tropical Storm Debby Wandering in Gulf of Mexico

As of Sunday 10 am central daylight time tropical storm Debby had sustained winds of 60mph, with higher gusts. The latest estimated minimum central pressure taken by Hurricane Reconnaissance flying near the center was 994mb or 29.35inches.  Tropical storm force winds extend 200 miles mainly to the north and east of the center.The most

Sunday 11am EDT Visible Satellite of Tropical Storm Debby. Courtesy of NOAA

notable thing about Debby is when it was classified yesterday Saturday June 23, 2012 at 5pm it marked the first time in recorded weather history since 1851, that the 4th storm of any Atlantic Hurricane Season formed before July 1st. Sea surface temperatures in the eastern Gulf of Mexico are 1 degree above normal already for this time of year. A tropical storm warning has been issued for part of the southeast Louisiana coast and from the Mississippi-Alabama border eastward to the Florida Panhandle‘s Ochlockonee River. A tropical storm warning states that there will be tropical storm conditions (winds of 39-73mph) in 24 hours or less.  A tropical storm watch is in place for South of the Suwannee River to Anclote Key Florida. That means tropical storm conditions are possible in the watch area within the next 24-36 hours. A storm surge of 3-5ft may occur on the West Central Florida to the Alabama Gulf Coast especially at the times of high tide.

As of 10am CDT Sunday, the storm was crawling along toward the northeast at 6mph. Debby’s center was located about 140 miles SSW of Apalachicola Florida, or 190 miles ESE of the Mouth of the Mississippi River. The slow movement of the storm will lead to copious rainfall

Debby may eventually impact Louisiana by Wednesday According to the National Hurricane Center Forecast Track as of 10 am CDT Sunday June 24,2012. Though a group of other weather models take Debby to the east, or northeast instead toward Apalachicola to Tampa, Florida. This is in response to a digging trough north of the storm diving southeast toward the north east Atlantic seaboard.

accumulations of 3-5inches across South Florida with 10-15inches along the Northern Gulf Coast. The Florida Peninsula has already received 3-5inches of rain in the last 24 hours. There will also be a chance of isolated short lived tornadoes over the southern peninsula of Florida. Authorities there say  at least one tornado has already been linked to the storm down in Collier County. Several homes were damaged and tree limbs were torn down.

Debby is already interfering with oil and gas production in the Gulf of Mexico. The storm system has caused nine production platforms and one drilling rig to be evacuated. This means roughly 2 percent of U.S. production has been suspended.

Unless the storm strengthens and forces more production platforms to close the reduced production is not anticipated to impact oil prices.

North Atlantic 2012 Hurricane Season Staying Active. All Eyes on Gulf of Mexico

By: Ryan Matthew Dernick

Not since weather records began in 1851 has a tropical storm ever formed that far north in the Atlantic this early in the hurricane season this past Tuesday, according to the National Hurricane Center . When Chris took shape, it also marked the third earliest formation of the third tropical storm in the Atlantic Basin. During the years of 1887 and 1959 has such development occurred previously.  Tropical storm Chris defied

1st Hurricane of the 2012 Atlantic Hurricane Season, Hurricane Chris Thursday June 21, 2012 as it moved North Northeast well off the South East Canadian Coastline

the lack of warm water and further strengthened on Thursday to a Category 1 hurricane with winds of 75mph before weakening back down to a tropical storm. Tropical storms like Chris have developed north of a latitude of 40.0 degrees, but not until August or later when the northern Atlantic waters were suitably warm enough to support such development.

As of 11 am EDT Friday Chris has become a post tropical cyclone or no longer is deemed to have tropical characteristics. Chris was located 335 miles ESE of Cape Race Newfoundland, moving WSW at 16mph with a minimum central pressure of 990mb or 29.23in. Gale force winds extend outward up to 205 miles from the center. The forecast path of Post Tropical Cyclone Chris is to begin to turn toward the South and at a slower rate of speed.

If that wasn’t enough, as I discussed two weeks ago on the tropical weather post “2012 Atlantic Hurricane Season Gets a Head Start So Should You”, that the latter half of June we would see a tropical system take shape near the Yucatan Peninsula. Low and behold the dynamical models were spot on as we now have a large low pressure off the northern Yucatan coast in the Gulf of Mexico. Its associated disturbed weather is affecting the Yucatan, Northwest Caribbean Sea, South East Gulf of Mexico including Western Cuba and South Florida . This disturbance is now poised to become the fourth named storm of the 2012 Atlantic Hurricane Season.

Large low pressure system to become next 2012 Atlantic Hurricane Season named storm (Debby) over the next 24-72 hours. Friday Afternoon IR Satellite Image Courtesy of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association.

All residents along the entire Gulf Coast of the United States are urged by the National Hurricane Center in Miami, Florida to monitor this evolving weather system.  Forecasters at the N.H.C. give the low pressure area a 70% chance of becoming a tropical depression over the next day or so, as it slowly crawls north. The current movement is toward the northeast at 2mph with maximum sustained winds at 30mph. Models hint that this low will either move northeast toward the west central Gulf Coast of Florida or westward towards the Texas coast. At this time it is too early to tell the ultimate track, or strength with 100% accuracy. The fourth storm of the Atlantic Hurricane Season has not historically occurred in any previous season before July, since recording began 161 years ago. There is always a first time for everything and this season so far is anything but average.

Make sure to monitor the latest tropical weather forecasts or news and be prepared before the storm is at your door. Have a Hurricane Preparedness plan in place for you and your family. The up two week supply of essentials are Canned Foods, Bottled Water, Weather Radio, Batteries, First Aid Kit, Multivitamins, Sunscreen,Extra Cash from ATM’s, Bug Repellant, Flashlights, Valuable documentation, non-perishable food items, extra gas for generators or vehicles as gas stations will not work after a storm passes due to power outages. Stay ahead of the storm!!


			

2012 Atlantic Hurricane Season Gets a Head Start So Should You

By: Ryan Matthew Dernick

June 1st through November 30th is the official beginning of the 2012 Atlantic Hurricane Season. This season has no inclination to adhere to climatology as it began back in May 19 with Tropical Storm Alberto forming that Saturday afternoon off the South Carolina coast. Not since 1908 has there been a storm that early before the season officially began on June 1st .There after we dealt with Tropical Storm Beryl that marked the third time on record, that two tropical cyclones reached tropical storm strength during May before the beginning of Atlantic Hurricane Season.

The Saffir-Simpson Scale shown below is a categorization of tropical cyclones based on their wind speeds, barometric pressures and storm surges in feet. This helps forecasters inform the public in a warned area of the level of the tropical weather threat. Keep in mind even a weak tropical system can unleash tremendous amounts of rain leading to loss of life or damage to property. If a Tropical Storm or Hurricane Watch is issued that means that inclement conditions are expected in the watch are within 48 hours. If a Tropical Storm or Hurricane Warning is issued that implies that preparations should rushed to completion as adverse weather conditions are anticipated within 24 hours or less.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association Forecast calls for  70 percent chance of nine to 15 named storms (with top winds of 39 mph or higher), of which four to eight will strengthen to a hurricane (with top winds of 74 mph or higher) and of those one to three will become major hurricanes (with top winds of 111 mph or higher, ranking Category 3, 4 or 5). Based on the period 1981-2010, an average season produces 12 named storms with six hurricanes, including three major hurricanes.

Tropical Storm Beryl, May 28 2012 Before it came ashore Jacksonville Florida
Image Credit: NASA/Earth Observatory

As far as early Tropical Atlantic Cyclones go, Tropical Storm Beryl was the most intense preseason storm to impact the U.S. directly on record. Beryl began as a fledgling low pressure system near the coast of South East Florida, off of Miami on May 23,2012. At Miami Beach there were wind gusts reported to near gale force (39-54mph) as it moved Northeast. On May 26,2012 as the system continued to move Northeast along the S.E. United States coastline it was classified as Subtropical Storm Beryl.

While Beryl continued to crawl off of the Carolina-Georgia-North Florida coast it began to enter a more hospitable environment conducive to further development with warmer sea surface temperatures and less wind shear aloft. Vertical wind shear has an inhibiting effect on tropical cyclones as it tends to dislocate the thunderstorms from the low level center blowing them off and not allowing the storm to organize or deepen further.

At 11pm EDT on May 27, 2012 Beryl transitioned from a subtropical system to a fully tropical system only 120 miles off of the North Florida Coast. On Sunday May 28 strong tropical storm Beryl came ashore near Jacksonville Beach, Florida with peak sustained winds at the time of landfall of 70mph. There was a peak wind gust recorded that evening at 73 mph in the northern part of Jacksonville Beach in Mayport.

With both Alberto and Beryl forming close to the Southeast coastline of the United States it portends that many of the systems of the 2012 Atlantic Hurricane Season will form similarly. The areas to watch for a direct impact this year will be in the Caribbean to Florida into the Northern Gulf Coast. The next name on the 2012 Atlantic Hurricane List is Chris which weather models are hinting may come out of the disturbed weather in the Northwest Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico over the next two weeks.

Make sure to monitor the latest tropical weather forecasts or news and be prepared before the storm is at your door. Have a Hurricane Preparedness plan in place for you and your family. The up two week supply of essentials are Canned Foods, Bottled Water, Weather Radio, Batteries, First Aid Kit, Multivitamins, Sunscreen,Extra Cash from ATM’s, Bug Repellant, Flashlights, Other non-perishable food items, extra gas for generators or vehicles as gas stations will not work after a storm passes due to power outages.