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Climate: Are tropical storms migrating north?

Along with affecting the marine food chain, declining concentrations of phytoplankton in the oceans could impact global weather patterns.

Tropical cyclones appear to be migrating north.

Study finds that point of maximum intensity has moved poleward by 35 miles per decade

Staff Report

FRISCO — Tropical storm trackers say that the location where cyclones reach their maximum intensity is shifting north by about 35 miles each decade. The changes could put more coastal infrastructure at risk, while other areas that rely on tropical storms for water could be left high and dry, researchers said.

The amount of poleward migration varies by region. The greatest migration is found in the northern and southern Pacific and South Indian Oceans, but there is no evidence that the peak intensity of Atlantic hurricanes has migrated poleward in the past 30 years. Continue reading

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Climate: Will hurricanes threaten South Africa?


A tropical storm in the Indian Ocean. Photo courtesy NOAA.

Study shows tropical cyclones moving south

By Summit Voice

FRISCO — Global warming is driving southern hemisphere tropical cyclones farther south, potentially putting South Africa at risk by mid-century, according to a new study from Wits University.

At the same time, the study debunked assumptions that tropical cyclones will become more frequent. A statistical analysis of the numbers for the past few decades show no trend of increasing cyclones. Continue reading

2013 hurricane season ends with a whimper

2013 saw fewest number of storms since 1982


Most of the tropical storms that formed in 2013 didn’t develop into full-fledged hurricanes and many of them stayed well out to sea.

By Summit Voice

FRISCO — Despite early projections for above-average hurricane activity in the Atlantic, the season ended Nov. 30 with a whimper after the fewest number of hurricanes since 1982. Even so, the storms that did form killed more than 140 people and resulted in $15. billion in damage.

In a release, NOAA attributed the low activity to persistent, unfavorable atmospheric conditions over the Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean Sea, and tropical Atlantic Ocean — especially early in the season, when dry and dusty air dominated the atmosphere off the coast of Africa and into the central tropical Atlantic.

This year is expected to rank as the sixth-least-active Atlantic hurricane season since 1950, in terms of the collective strength and duration of named storms and hurricanes. Continue reading

Study suggests more intense hurricanes in coming decades


NOAA’s GOES-13 satellite captured this visible image of Hurricane Sandy battering the U.S. East coast on Oct. 29 Image courtesy of NASA GOES Project.

More CO2 equals more powerful st0rms

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — The combination of more atmospheric carbon dioxide and less particulate pollution could result in a steady increase in the intensity of North Atlantic hurricanes, according University of Iowa researcher Gabriele Villarini, an assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering

The study is a compilation of results from some of the best available climate computer models of climate, said Villarini, who is also an assistant research engineer at IIHR-Hydroscience & Engineering. Villarini conducted the study with Gabriel Vecchi of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Continue reading

Hurricane Gordon prompts warnings in the Azores

Tropical system is expected to weaken quickly this weekend

Hurricane Gordon, with winds of 110 mph, is nearing the Azores.

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — Hurricane Gordon, now swirling with winds of up to 110 mph, has prompted warnings in the Azores, where the central and eastern islands could take a direct hit this weekend.

The last hurricane to affect the Azores —  also named Gordon — was in 2006, although several tropical storms have passed through the islands since then, including Tropical Storm Grace in 2009. Grace went on to make landfall in Portugal and brought much-needed rain to parts of the Iberian Peninsula. Continue reading

Beryl makes landfall near Jacksonville, Florida

Winds up to 70 mph, storm surge and 4 to 8 inches of rain expected

Tropical storm Beryl makes landfall, making one of the earliest tropical systems to hit the Eastern Seaboard on record.

SUMMIT COUNTY — Strengthening in the final hours before coming ashore, Beryl generated sustained winds of 70 mph as it make landfall about 20 miles east of Jacksonville, according to late-night update from the National Hurricane Center.

The second named tropical storm of the Atlantic Hurricane season is expected to keep moving west for the next day or so, weakening over land, but still packing wet and windy punch for northeastern Florida. By Monday night, winds should drop to around 40 mph. Sometime Tuesday, strengthening westerlies should carry Beryl back out to sea, where it will dissipate as an extratropical system.

Tropical storm warnings remain in effect for parts of north Florida and south Georgia, and tropical storm conditions could extend inland Monday given the westward trajectory of the storm. The strongest



Gert spurs tropical storm warnings in Bermuda

Tropical Storm Gert will brush Bermuda before heading out into open waters.

Latest tropical storm expected to veer out to sea and dissipate in the next few days

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — Gert, the seventh named tropical cyclone in the Atlantic, will brush Bermuda with 45 mph winds before heading out into the open waters of the Atlantic.

The National Hurricane Center issued tropical storm warnings for Bermuda late Sunday afternoon, with tropical-storm force winds extending out about 70 miles from the center of the storm. Rainfall on Bermuda is expected to total between one and three inches, and large swells generated by Gert are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip currents.

Gert has developed some strong winds and a circular area of deep convection, but is lacking in banding features. The storm could strengthen in the next 24 hours as it passes over warm water with little in the way of wind shear to break down the circulation. But by Tuesday, Gert will run into a strong band of westerlies and then become embedded in a frontal zone, where it will become an extratropical cyclone.

A second area of disturbed weather tracking just to the south and east of Gert is only given a 30 percent chance of developing into a tropical storm in the next couple of days.


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