Hurricane Harbor

A writer and a tropical muse. A funky Lubavitcher who enjoys watching the weather, hurricanes, listening to music while enjoying life with a sense of humor and trying to make sense of it all!

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

The Problem With Colin & Red Tootsie Roll Pops

The problem with Colin is that he has more weather associated with him as a wave than he did 12 hours ago as a Tropical Storm. Go figure...

He was always a small storm, not much wider than 75 miles and he only had a few small areas of strong convection associated with him. That was his signature since doing battle with the Saharan Dust out in the Atlantic. In fact, last night I told a friend he looked like 2 bullets speeding west way too fast. There was a lot of talk last night about whether he would split or the center would relocate or if the storm would even hang in there. As I mentioned two days ago before he was upgraded ... I wasn't sure he was going to make it through the night and yet he did. Storms that make it through the night against strong odds are storms that need to be watched.

Is Colin still Colin? Well... let's call this little wave Colin for the time being.


Because the models have clamped onto him tighter than a pit bull and refuse to let Colin go. In fact, three of the most reliable models actually develop him into a hurricane in a few days time (???...???) but who I am to argue with models at 2 am?

I was a little surprised they didn't downgrade him to a Tropical Depression and wait six hours or so to see what really was going on as the models are in disagreement with the official NHC forecast which is usually based partially on the model output. Again... go figure.

Then again he doesn't really look like much more than what he is... a concentrated area of convection moving WEST aka a Tropical Wave. I'm not sure if he ever really was a Tropical Storm and back in the days of Bob Sheets I can say for sure he would not have been upgraded without recon confirmation of a west wind and closed off circulation. Often waves with associated areas of Gale force winds and beautiful satellite imagery presentation were not upgrade until recon said they were a Tropical Depression or Storm. Now that Quikscat is gone we are relying on inferior imagery and not as able to see a circulation that is not visible clearly on the visible. For a little while a circulation did seem to be there... but was it truly a surface low or a mid level low almost down at the surface?

The problem with trying to see what's inside a vigorous tropical wave is that without a dropsonde it's difficult... a best guess estimate and sometimes we just are not sure whether a forecast will or won't pan out.

Bonnie was supposed to hit the Gulf Coast... remember?
Colin was supposed to develop and be a fish storm.. now he is a wave that has some nice color associated with it moving west towards the islands. Thunderstorms for now..

So.. a small visual here. I was driving north today and starving but we didn't want to stop yet for food. I found a cherry tootsie roll pop in my purse... so I started slowly sucking on it, yum... but if you just looked at it with the wrapping taken off it looked like a cherry lollipop... can't really see the chocolate tootsie roll center as it's hidden deep inside ... much like a developing center of a tropical disturbance on it's way to being a Tropical Storm. With Quikscat we had xray vision like Clark Kent. In a hurricane hunter we can fly into the storm like Superman and see exactly what is happening. Without that we are feeling around, going by ship reports, buoy reports and other satellite imagery which sometimes can lie.

So... the problem with Colin is that right now he is still convecting and still moving west at a slower but steady rate. Small but still red on the funktop and I am not really sure what is going on inside Colin...


Why do 3 of the better hurricane models still develop him into a viable hurricane is a big question and a bigger problem. Either they are badly in need of being rebooted and slapped around silly or they are wrong... hey it happens.

So stay tuned because as long as you can find the remnants of Colin on the Satellite imagery he needs to be monitored as maybe the models can see what is inside the cherry lollipop without even taking a lick?

Maybe tomorrow Colin will have have followed the NHC's forecast or maybe he will be following the Canadian or the Nogaps.

Only time will tell..

I love it... tropical weather, the greatest reality show on earth...

Sweet Tropical Dreams.... Bobbi


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