Posted on January 12, 2016 by Bob Berwyn
Powerful storms in Atlantic and Pacific
MODIS visible satellite image of Hurricane Pali taken at 5:30 pm EST January 11, 2016. At the time, Pali was intensifying into a Category 1 storm with 85 mph winds. Image credit: NASA.
With large parts of the the world’s oceans consistently warming to record-warm levels the past few months, it’s probably not a surprise that there are some big storms spinning out at sea. Basic physics tells us that warmth is energy, and that’s now translating into some unusual developments, including what may be the earliest-ever hurricane in the central Pacific, according to this Twitter post from National Hurricane meteorologist Eric Blake.
Currently, yet another strong storm is developing in the Pacific. The National Weather Service says the system will also generate hurricane-force winds and waves up to 50 feet.
The Atlantic Ocean has also been hyperactive in recent weeks. A storm centered near Iceland developed hurricane-strength winds during the last days of 2015 and sent a surge of air so moist and so warm northward that temps briefly climbed above freezing at the North Pole during the heart of the coldest time of the year.
Another system in the central Atlantic has a 40 percent chance of subtropical or tropical formation in the next 48 hours, according to the National Weather Service.
Filed under: climate and weather, El Niño, extreme weather, global warming | Tagged: climate, climate change, El Nino, extreme weather, global warming, tropical storms | Leave a comment »
Posted on August 25, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Hurricane Katrina was sprawled across all or part of 16 states at 2:15 p.m. CDT on August 29, 2005, when the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this image. Photo courtesy NASA Earth Observatory.
How will climate change affect hurricanes?
Kerry Emanuel, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
*This story is reprinted with permission from The Conversation
Three weeks and three days before Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans 10 years ago, a paper of mine appeared in the scientific journal Nature showing that North Atlantic hurricane power was strongly correlated with the temperature of the tropical Atlantic during hurricane season, and that both had been increasing rapidly over the previous 30 years or so. It attributed these increases to a combination of natural climate oscillations and to global warming. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, climate change, extreme weather, global warming | Tagged: climate change, global warming, Hurricane Katrina, hurricanes, Katrina, tropical storms | 1 Comment »
Posted on August 7, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Will there be a major hurricane in 2015?
Increased odds of below-average season enhanced by strengthening El Niño and cool Atlantic sea surface temps
FRISCO — A strengthening El Niño and cooler than average sea surface temperatures across parts of the Atlantic Ocean may further dampen hurricane activity this summer, federal weather experts said this week in the updated 2015 Atlantic Hurricane Season Outlook.
According to the National Hurricane Center, says there’s a 90 percent chance of a below-average season — but that doesn’t mean coastal residents should let their guard down.
“Tropical storms and hurricanes can and do strike the United States, even in below-normal seasons and during El Niño events,” said Gerry Bell, Ph.D., lead seasonal hurricane forecaster with NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center. “Regardless of our call for below-normal storm activity, people along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts should remain prepared and vigilant, especially now that the peak months of the hurricane season have started.” Continue reading
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Posted on June 14, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Strengthening El Niño fueling tropical storms in eastern Pacific
A NOAA satellite image shows Hurricane Carlos strengthening off southern Mexico.
Hurricane Carlos is moving slowly northwestward along the southern Coast of Mexico. Via National Hurricane Center.
FRISCO — Taking a track parallel to the southern coast of Mexico, Hurricane Carlos has spurred warnings and watches along a long section of shoreline. Parts of southern Mexico could get pummeled by high winds, rain and surf the next few days, although the National Hurricane Center says the the storm’s path is still uncertain.
For now, a hurricane warming is in effect from Punta San Telmo to Tecpan de Galeana, with a hurricane watch extending west from Punta san Telmo to Manzanillo. Carlos is generating winds of about 80 mph and could strengthen in the next couple of days, with winds of up to 90 mph as it nears the coast. Continue reading
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Posted on June 2, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Early tropical systems churning off the coast of Mexico
FRISCO — The eastern Pacific has already brewed up two tropical systems, with Hurricane Andres churning well off the coast and headed out to sea, and Tropical Storm Blanca, expected to reach hurricane force June 2.
Neither storm is a threat to Mexico, though the National Hurricane Center says some of Blanca’s outer rain bands could brush the coast. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, extreme weather, tropical storms and hurricanes | Tagged: 2015 hurricane season, Colorado weather, eastern pacific hurricanes, Hurricane Andres, Tropical Storm Blanca, tropical storms | Leave a comment »
Posted on March 12, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
A NASA visualization of Hurricane Floyd approaching the Florida coast in 1999. Hurricane Floyd formed from a tropical wave moving off the coast of Africa to become one of the largest and strongest Atlantic Hurricanes on record.
Spatial cloud coverage offers clues to tropical storm formation
FRISCO — Closely monitoring thunderstorms over Africa may help meteorologists develop better forecasts for Atlantic hurricane development.
“Eighty-five percent of the most intense hurricanes affecting the U.S. and Canada start off as disturbances in the atmosphere over Western Africa,” said Tel Aviv University Prof. Colin Price, who recently published a new study on hurricane formation in Geophysical Research Letters. “We found that the larger the area covered by the disturbances, the higher the chance they would develop into hurricanes only one to two weeks later.”
Working with graduate student Naama Reicher of the Department of Geosciences at TAU’s Faculty of Exact Science, Price analyzed satellite images of cloud cover to track the variability in cloud cover blocking the earth’s surface in West Africa during hurricane season.Using infrared cloud-top temperature data gathered from satellites, Prof. Price assessed the temperatures of the cloud tops, which grow colder the higher they rise. He then compared his cloud data with hurricane statistics — intensity, date of generation, location, and maximum winds — from the same period using the National Hurricane Center data base. Continue reading
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Posted on September 14, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Hurricane watches issued; major storm impacts expected
FRISCO — Much of the southern tip of the Baja Peninsula could see high winds, coastal flooding and mudslides as Hurricane Odile takes aim at the area, packing sustained winds of up to 135 mph.
The approaching tropical storm has prompted hurricane warnings and evacuations in Baja, where the storm surge could peak at 33 feet above normal sea level, according to the Servicio Meteorológico Nacional, which is also warning of tropical storm conditions along parts of Mexico’s mainland Pacific coast. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, tropical storms and hurricanes | Tagged: 2014 hurricane season, Baja California, Hurricane Odile, hurricane watch, tropical storms | 1 Comment »