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!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Chantal's Remnants - Hurricane History Holiday to Study Hurricane Floyd - What We Learn From The Wizard of Oz

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When you look at the remnants of Chantal in the smaller image you see one roundish area bearing down on South Florida that looks semi-organized. Look closer on the bigger wide image of this shot. And, remember the NHC only gives it a 20% chance... which is a chance.

TC Activity

You really have two parts of Chantal as she split apart somewhere along the line as she tangled with Hispaniola. One part went north in search of the ULL near Florida and the other part is a small intense blow up of convection that remains from the circulation of Chantal to the south of Eastern Cuba.

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Another view:

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The always wanting Canadian reforms her off the coast of Florida and takes her north into North Carolina which is a plausible track...though more plausible if this was late August or September. Then again weather seems so out of whack with CLIMO this year.

The GFS model that never wanted anything to do with Chantal is happy to be rid of her and doesn't show any remnants of her doing anything... nowhere .....any time ever again.

[JavaScript Image Player]The HWRF takes a weak reformed Chantal straight up the Gulf stream along side of Florida up into South Carolina and continues her up through North Caroline continuing the flooding misery that this summer has already wrought on parts of the state. That would be a bad scenario for Western NC that is having problems  out near Asheville to the West all the way to Chapel Hill to the East. Landfall of a weak system would do nothing more than toss up some good shells onto the beaches from Myrtle Beach up to Ocean Isle. This model does work well with current weather patterns, I do want to point that out, whether Chantal remains remnants or develops or just the tropical moisture from Chantal does follow that pattern.

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The National Weather Service takes some of her tropical moisture now in the Bahamas north merging it with the front that is supposed to stall out over the Carolinas ....which will bring more rain and more flooding and a very messy Friday for me. Up here 2 to 4 inches of rain can create bigger problems than the number would imply if you are from the Deep Coastal South or Florida. For us in Florida 5 inches of rain is just another day in late May. For areas that have a jagged terrain that is varied and small creeks that over flow their banks it can be life altering. To really understand the effects of "Weather" you need to understand a bit of geology and oceanology; classes I took and needed for my degree. The terrain of the land as well as the terrain of the  land under water can make a big difference when you estimate damage from a hurricane as well as storm surge destruction.  <---- 7="" amp="" day.....="" loop="" p="" see="" their="">

Models that still talk to Chantal are above....or maybe those are the models Chantal is still talking to :)

The rain predictions for the East Coast show mucho rain. Now..that is not just from the remnants of Chantal it is also from the stalled out frontal boundary and our ongoing pattern that is not going away anytime soon. Understand this about tropical systems... they are a marble in air pattern and they go where ever the air patterns take them. A Category 3 or 4 marble has super powers and can make it's own steering currents. A Hurricane... your old average run of the mill hurricane... will go where the upper air patterns take it. Chantal may be the dress rehearsal for the season's bigger storms later this summer and when I say later.. I don't mean much later.  July storms simply do not do that track. They die in the Caribbean because the shear is too strong AND BECAUSE.. South America to their south cuts off their moisture supply that keeps them rolling strong and steady. If they don't become a killer storm East of the Islands they usually die after going through the islands and losing their moisture feed from the ITZ and feeling the shear. That is why the Eastern Caribbean is the "Graveyard of Storms" ...however....  the Western Caribbean is where storms can blow up fast and develop into monster killer storms if they make it past the shear zone.

What worries me about Chantal is one thing and one thing only. If that little ball of convection south of Eastern Cuba moves West with the lower level air patterns she will work her way to the Western Tip of Cuba where shear is low, the water is hot and the chances are high she or any stormy area there can develop into a bigger storm and get up into the very hot Gulf of Mexico.

Water temperatures are jagged this July. There is a big dip in the water temperature at the entrance to the islands where infamous storms later in the season develop like Hugo did and Hugo did not go quietly through the islands. Hugo killed approximately 70 people or more in the islands. Another similar storm Cleo killed 217 people by some estimates.  Be very glad Chantal was not Cleo as many models seem to trace that track onto her models. Cleo was in August, again CLIMO wins. It's not about some meteorologist relying on CLIMO screaming into the wind "haha my little pretty you'll never live" it's about the realty of CLIMO which favors any early July storm in the Caribbean ...big or small... falling apart or not amounting to much. There is an exception to every rule and until the final act is written we never know for sure if that storm will be the rule or the exception.

File:Cleo 1964 track.png

Cleo went south of Haiti..wise move... across Cuba and got her groove back in the very hot waters of the Florida Straits which note are much warmer later in August and slammed into Miami taking her very small center straight up Biscayne Blvd. Miami Beach on the back side of her eye was very flooded by rains and in some places storm tide as the tide moved up Biscayne Bay. Friends on Miami Beach in low lying places had their lawns die temporarily from Cleo as everything turned brown from salt water and bay water intrusion vs every day rainfall.

So...should that part of Chantal which is going west (vs the part going North) or any other system make it past the Cayman Islands we could have a real Yucatan spinner.

See where the Shear ends...

There is also relatively light shear in the area where the CMC and the HWRF want to re-develop remnants of Chantal.

In the Atlantic... what looked like a good wave has seemed to die out due to the SAL...dry air and CLIMO. Despite all the hoopla of the MJO showing a heartbeat there..nothing is there to look at oddly. A small weak westbound wave is there. Some models develop it a bit, others do not. Keep watching...

Also note that the old ULL that went POOF suddenly is reforming as they usually do and just north of where the westbound remnants of Chantal are currently located south of Cuba and it may be ventilating the remnants as they are currently pulsing up in color which needs to be more than a pulse and sustained to get any real respect with regard to redeveloping.

Watch it carefully.... the north bound remnants of Chantal take off for the Bahamas. The air on the west side of that goes down with a spin as an ULL tries to reform there and take control once again. Happens often. As Dave Schwartz once said on TWC..when air goes up on one goes down on the other. That is not a frontal boundary.. it's whatever is left of the ULL and sometimes they kill a storm...sometimes they feed a wave.

With regard to Chantal and her remnants.... let me say this about that. They are remnants. Remnants by the definition of the word doesn't mean "one solid area that is weak" it means "remnants" as in there are parts of her everywhere without a center circulation. Remember in the Wizard of Oz. After the flying monkeys our heroic scarecrow was a mess and had to be put together again. Tinman and the Lion were besides themselves, which was a state better than the scarecrow as he was all over the place.

Luckily Dorothy and the gang put our lovable friend back together again. Not sure there is anything that can put Chantal back together again... however a few models keep trying. And, if we put her back together again which part becomes the problem? Aww... her dog TOTO looks a lot like that mischievous brown, straight haired poodle I used to have that everyone hated. Stupid dog.

Ain't it good to have friends?

The scarecrow had Dorothy and the melodratic twins of the Cowardly Lion and the Tinman to help put Scarecrow back together again.

The remnants of Chantal are not as easily put together.

Maybe it's the name... Chantal in 2001 also moved very fast, fell apart and then came back to life.

Similar path... similar fast movement (tho not as fast) ...same name... go figure.

That Chantal was way later in the season and was also way lower and the coast of South America took a bit bite out of her at that point...where the coast of South America so often does. Further west the monsoon trough that feeds the SW Caribbean blesses waves with moisture. Remember Aruba in the Eastern Caribbean has a dessert on it.

Track Map

And so the end... as I said earlier Chantal is more like Debby than any other storm I can think of in track and untimley death...running out of steam... Luckily our models today are much better than they were then... or in 1992 with Andrew but remember we thought they were much better

Note both years were busy years...this year may be busier.

Track Map

Track Map

Every year is different.

Yesterday when I saw that Chantal was pretty much over I went away for the day for a Hurricane History Holiday of sorts. I'll write more on it later. You learn a lot seeing places where great hurricane damage has taken place. When you stand on the edge of the Gulf where Camille hit.. you can really understand the story of Camille. Did that a long time ago, blew me away and taught me so much. In North Carolina the coastline is jagged (my word for the day) and there are many inlets, rivers, bogues, sounds and the coastline dog legs in places and it changes rapidly from the Coastal South in Wilmington where there is hanging moss to the Outer Banks up the way that looks more like the beaches of Tidewater Virginia which is just up the way as the black crow flies.

Definition of a River Basin:

n. noun
  1. The land area drained by a river and its tributaries.

There are river basins and they are by nature can flood...they are part of a flood plain in ways and usually it's dry and the river blesses the surrounding land with rich soil and cash crops that support the region filled with peanut farms, tobacco farms, corn, soy... you name it they grow it! But........if a mean, strong hurricane plows north through that region with a strong storm surge and heavy rains after a frontal boundary dies out which pulled the storm in to begin with....   you get massive inland flooding.

In 2001 Hurricane Floyd spared Miami and it's beaches. I stood in the surf taking pictures, watching the waves and spent hours of my life tracking it ...feeling it as a Floridian. And, then it slammed into the coast of North Carolina...and it stayed for days. patterns... a wet weather pattern. Later in the year but a similar weather pattern. Massive inland flooding.

File:Floyd 1999 track.png

A classic Cape Verde Track... up and over the islands. I learned that term from my Grandma Mary and there was something about Grandma Mary as she knew tropical I have said before too many times it seems.

Up and over the islands... up the warm Gulfstream... and BAMN.. INLAND...

The rich alluvial soil of the Neuse River Basin gave way and flooding went far inland.

I stood there yesterday outside Kings BBQ which is a local landmark famous for flooding water that reached up to the tables inside and where the flood waters crossed US 70 and took note of many things. Learned a lot. More on that later. Just some pictures now and a map. That's far inland for flooding and as I have said before and I will say it again. It's not all about that sexy shot at the beach of the waves rolling in ...which I have gotten many times. It's about the damage inland from fallen trees, tornadoes and inland flooding that hurricanes cause in many parts of the world.

I took the books... my Hurricane History BIBLE from a friend at the NHC... my NC copy of Hurricane History and we hit the road.

Part of the book about Hurricane Floyd's floodihng of US 70:

US 70 way inland... highway down to New Bern and the coast beyond.

Kings BBQ an insitution in these parts and famous for severe indoor...inland flooding...

Map of the region ...note KINSTON far inland...  from where the storm made landfall.

When you live on Topsail Beach which is a spit of land on a barrier island that is barely any bigger than a sandbar that is one thing...when you live so far inland you don't realize that you can get so much damage from a Hurricane. You can and that is my job here to remind you that places like Columbia SC and Raleigh NC (that got slammed in Hazel) and Charlotte which got slammed from Fran who also did a job on Raleigh and places up and down I 95 and places like Orlando in Florida... if you live in Hurricane Country and you city is on a Hurricane can and one day will be affected by a Hurricane. Plan accordingly.

Besos Bobbi

Ps... sunset in Beaufort on the water by the sailboats after a very nice day at Atlantic Beach...which I liked as well as adoring Morehead... a cute little town with it's beautiful, windy but peaceful Bogue Sound.

Usually you see the shots from Beaufort and Morehead... sometimes the damage is way inland.


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