Irene was the first hurricane to hit the U.S. in three years
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — The 2011 Atlantic hurricane season officially ends November 30 after producing a total of 19 tropical storms. Seven became hurricanes, including three major hurricanes. The activity matched NOAA’s predictions and continues the trend of active hurricane seasons that began in 1995.
Hurricane Irene was the lone hurricane to hit the United States in 2011, and the first since Ike struck southeast Texas in 2008. Irene was also the most significant tropical cyclone to strike the Northeast since Hurricane Bob in 1991. Its effects in the Caribbean and the United States lead to 55 deaths and accounted for the bulk of this season’s damage, more than $10 billion. Irene was the first landfalling hurricane in New Jersey in 108 years.
“Irene broke the ‘hurricane amnesia’ that can develop when so much time lapses between landfalling storms,” said Jack Hayes, Ph.D., director of NOAA’s National Weather Service. “This season is a reminder that storms can hit any part of our coast and that all regions need to be prepared each and every season.”
SUMMIT COUNTY— Measuring 300 miles across and generating sustained winds of 145 mph, Hurricane Kenneth this week set a record as the latest major hurricane in the eastern Pacific Ocean. More hurricane records are online here.
Dr. Jeff Masters, of Weather Underground, also commented on the unusual nature of the 2011 eastern Pacific hurricane season in his blog. Normally, La Niña conditions in the Pacific suppress the formation of intense hurricanes.
SUMMIT COUNTY — After starting way back on Sept. 5 as a cluster of thunderstorms moving off the hot tropics of Africa, Hurricane Maria is breathing its last gasp in the North Atlantic, where warnings are in effect for parts of the Newfoundland coast.
Maria still has sustained winds of 75 mph and could bring some extra-large and potentially destructive waves, along with one to three inches of rain, as it passes near or over southeastern Newfoundland sometime Friday. The National Hurricane Center forecasts Maria to become extra-tropical Friday night but will continue to pack a punch as it races across the North Atlantic, possibly bringing another round of stormy weather to northern Ireland and Scotland. Continue reading “Hurricane Maria makes landfall in … Newfoundland”→
Katia may brush Bermuda, next system may affect the Windward Islands
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — After spiking briefly to Category 4 status, Hurricane Katia is now a moderate Category 2 storm, with sustained winds of about 105 mph. Katia is expected to turn sharply to the north and then northeast in the next 24 to 36 hours without making landfall — but the storm will be felt in coastal areas with large swells causing potentially life-threatening surf and rip currents.
Latest tropical cycline churning over the South Atlantic
SUMMIT COUNTY — Tropical Storm Katia is expected to reach hurricane strength sometime Wednesday and continue its trek to the west-northwest for the next several days before turning north.
As of late Tuesday night, Katia was churning across the southern Atlantic with winds of 60 mph in an environment favorable for more strengthening, Katia could become a major hurricane, with sustained winds of more than 100 mph, in the next two days, according to the National Hurricane Center.
The storm is passing over very warm water and there is very little wind shear to prevent strengthening, according to a National Hurricane Center forecast discussion issued late Tuesday night. For now, the forecast shows the storm developing 125 mph winds toward the end of the five-day outlook. Around that same time, a low-pressure trough over the western Atlantic is forecast to create a weakness on the subtropical high that will steer Katia more to the north.
Some forecasters are already predicting that the storm will swing out to sea and away from any potential landfall, but the official National Hurricane Center forecast doesn’t extend that far ahead. But the current projected track shows Katia veering well to the north of the Windward Islands, Puerto Rico and Haiti.
Atmospheric & ocean conditions ripe for tropical storm development
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — NOAA issued its updated 2011 Atlantic hurricane season outlook today raising the number of expected named storms from its pre-season outlook issued in May. Forecasters also increased their confidence that 2011 will be an active Atlantic hurricane season. NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, a division of the National Weather Service, updates its Atlantic hurricane season outlook every August.
“The atmosphere and Atlantic Ocean are primed for high hurricane activity during August through October,” said Gerry Bell, Ph.D., lead seasonal hurricane forecaster at the Climate Prediction Center. “Storms through October will form more frequently and become more intense than we’ve seen so far this season.”