Warm ocean temps, strong West Africa rainy season boost chances for tropical formation
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — Federal weather experts this week reaffirmed their earlier projections of an active hurricane season in the Atlantic, with hemispheric patterns similar to those that have produced many active Atlantic hurricane seasons since 1995.
Ingredients for tropical storm formation include above-average Atlantic sea surface temperatures and a stronger rainy season in West Africa, which produces wind patterns that help turn storm systems there into tropical storms and hurricanes.
Florida, Southeast to feel impacts of first tropical system
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — Just a few days into hurricane season, the first tropical storm of the year has formed in the western Gulf of Mexico and could make landfall in Florida Thursday afternoon or evening, according to the National Hurricane Center.
SUMMIT COUNTY — Federal weather experts said they are expected an above-average to active Atlantic Hurricane season this summer, urging residents of coastal and near-coastal areas in the southeastern U.S. to start preparing now.
Based on a combination of climate factors, NOAA predicted as many as 13 to 20 named storms, with seven to 11 of them developing into full-fledged hurricanes and potentially three to six major hurricanes with winds of more than 100 mph.
Factors involved in the forecast include a continuation of overall climate conditions that have resulted in an active pattern since the mid-1990s: Above average sea surface temperatures in the tropical Atlantic and ENSO-neutral conditions in the Pacific which leads to less windshear, lower air pressure and overall atmospheric circulation that’s more conducive to hurricane formation. Continue reading “Weather: NOAA predicting active Atlantic hurricane season”→
Severe winds to increase in the North Sea and the Gulf of Biscay, especially during autumn
By Bob Berwyn
SUMMIT COUNTY — European climate scientists say global warming will drive a northeastward expansion of the tropical Atlantic hurricane breeding ground, with four times as many storms of tropical origins affecting parts of Western Europe in coming decades.
In the Bay of Biscay, the number of storms with tropical-storm-force winds could increase from 2 to 13 by the end of the century, said researcher Reindert Haarsma.
The initial results suggest that the impacts may not be as great in the low-lying Netherlands as in some other areas because the strong winds associated with the events will generally be from the southwest, Haarsma said.
With hurricanes forming farther north and warmer sea surface temperatures in the region, tropical storms are more likely to reach the mid-latitudes, where they will merge with the prevailing westerlies. Even if they lose hurricane status, they are likely to remain stronger, and sometimes re-intensify before landfall, potentially with serious impacts in parts of Europe.
Record-breaking storm spurs more public awareness about the potential for more frequent extreme weather events
By Bob Berwyn
SUMMIT COUNTY — With several all-time weather records shattered and early estimates that Hurricane Sandy may cost the U.S. economy some $20 to $25 billion, it’s clear that the storm lived up to its billing. Along with the cleanup, there’s also a raging debate about whether global warming was a factor in the storm’s development and path.
On the one side, environmental activists seeking to limit heat-trapping greenhouse gases have jumped on the so-called super storm as an opportunity to tout their cause. On the other side, global warming deniers and others have pulled out timeworn statistics about past hurricanes that supposedly were equally as strong.
Storm expected to have widespread impacts on East Coast
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — A summer that started with a powerful and destructive Derecho across large parts of the eastern U.S. could end with a monster hybrid storm slamming the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast, putting a punctuation mark on six months of extraordinary record-breaking weather, including heat waves and drought.
Hurricane Sandy, generating winds of 75 mph, is heading northward from the Caribbean and could make landfall early next week, bringing devastating winds and flooding to wide swath of the Eastern Seaboard, according to the National Weather Service.
FRISCO — Tropical Storm Sandy, the 18th named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season, is generating winds of 40 mph and gaining strength over the warm waters of the Caribbean, south of Cuba. Tropical storm warnings have been issued for Jamaica and Haiti, where five to 10, and up to 16 inches of rain may fall, leading to dangerous flash flooding.
The storm is expected to be at or near hurricane strength when it approaches the south coast of Jamaica Wednesday, with sustained winds of 80 mph. For now, Tropical storm-force winds extend out about 70 miles from the center of the storm.
Once the storm tracks across Jamaica and Cuba the forecast models diverge, with some forecasts turning the storm out to sea, while others bring the system closer to the U.S. East Coast.
The storm is expected to intensify the next couple of days, then weaken as it interacts with the mountainous terrain of the islands, and starts to encounter southwest wind shear, but could still be packing winds of 65 mph as it nears the Bahamas later in the week.