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NOAA: 2012 Atlantic hurricane season above average

10 hurricanes, 19 named storm in Atlantic Basin in 2012

SUMMIT COUNTY — The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has classified 2012 as an above-average year for hurricanes, based on the combined number, intensity, and duration of all tropical storms and hurricanes.

The season produced 19 named storms; 10 became hurricanes and one became a major hurricane.  The number of named storms is well above the average of 12. The number of hurricanes is also above the average of six, but the number of major hurricanes is below the average of three.

2012 was the second consecutive year that the mid-Atlantic and Northeast suffered devastating impacts from a named storm. Sandy, and Irene last year, caused fatalities, injuries, and tremendous destruction from coastal storm surge, heavy rainfall, inland flooding, and wind. Storms struck many parts of the country this year, including tropical storms Beryl and Debby in Florida, Hurricane Isaac in Louisiana, and Post-tropical Cyclone Sandy in New Jersey. Continue reading

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Hurricane Sandy about to sweep across Jamaica

Powerful late season storm could affect U.S. East Coast

Hurricane Sandy will engulf Jamaica in the next few hours.

By Summit Voice

FRISCO — Jamaica is about to take a direct hit from what is now Hurricane Sandy, which is generating sustained winds of 80 mph just off the island nation’s southern coast. Hurricane warnings are in effect for the entire island, where six to 12 inches of rain is expected, leading to dangerous flooding.

Sandy’s storm surge will raise water levels by as much as one to three feet above normal along Jamaica’s southern and eastern coast, along with large and dangerous waves. Hurricane-force winds extend outward about 25 miles from the center of the storm, with tropical storm force winds extending outward up to 140 miles.

A hurricane warning is also in effect for most of eastern Cuba, where the storm surge could reach three to five feet along the southeastern coast. An even more intense storm surge of five to eight feet is expected in the Bahamas, where a hurricane watch is in effect.

A tropical storm watch has also been issued for parts of Florida’s southeastern coast.

Sandy will pass over Jamaica Wednesday afternoon and evening and reach Cuba Wednesday night and approach the Bahamas Thursday. Tropical storm conditions are possible along the southeast Florida coast Friday.

Beyond that, each subsequent forecast model has been pushing the storm closer to the East Coast, where emergency preparations have started. Some tracks show the storm interacting with an approaching cold front and hitting the North East as a powerful non-tropical storm, but the exact path is still uncertain.

 

 

Tropical Storm Chris forms — near Canadian Maritimes

Tropical Storm Chris.

 

Third tropical system of season no threat to land

By Bob Berwyn

SUMMIT COUNTY — Tropical Storm Chris has formed in the Atlantic as the third named storm of the season, but will move out to sea and is no threat to land. The system formed to the southeast of the Canadian Maritime provinces and won’t hold on to tropical characteristics for long, according to the National Hurricane Center, which forecasts that the system will become extra-tropical in 36 hours.

For now, Chris has maximum sustained winds of 45 mph, and those winds may increase by 5 mph after the system becomes extra-tropical. The storm is expected to turn east, then northeast as it speeds away from land. Continue reading

Tropical Storm Alberto no big threat to land

First Atlantic tropical storm of season expected to weaken and move away from coast

Tropical Storm Alberto.

A May 19 satellite true-color view of Tropical Storm Alberto.

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — Alberto, the first tropical storm of the season in the Atlantic, continued to swirl off the coast of South Carolina with sustained winds of 50 mph and strong thunderstorms clustered around the center of circulation.

The system may graze parts of the Carolinas the next couple of days before weakening and speeding off to the northeast, but should pose any significant problems or threats to the southeast coast. In fact, the storm could bring some beneficial rains to some of the dry areas in the Southeast. But the 1 to 3 inches of rain expected on a small section of coastline won’t bring significant drought relief.

The National Hurricane Center forecasts the storm to linger near its current position for another 24 hours before an approaching trough picks it up and carries it away from the coast.

The storm only has a 5 to 10 percent chance of reaching hurricane strength but could deliver some rough surf and gusty winds to beach areas the next couple of days. Dry air near the storm, wind shear and shift in position over cooler waters will likely inhibit development, according to the NHC’s latest forecast discussion.

 

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