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!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Dangers of Hurricanes Forming Close in.. 1935 Labor Day Hurricane, Andrew. Better to Have Atlantic Filled with Fish Storms.

Let's take apart the tropics today on Thank God It's Friday Day .. before I go on a long ramble during a slow period in the tropics.

Again I like the black and white WV Loop because it's easier for my eyes to see the flow of the atmosphere on the wide scale than be distracted by the colors on the enhanced water vapor loop. For close up I LOVE the colored loops. When going wide and looking at the whole picture.. it's just easier for me to see what is happening.

Let's start at the far right of the screen. You will see a tropical wave that thinks he is the little engine that could fighting her way through the dry Saharan Dust Layer that is also moving WNW. Down Right (it's a stage position not a location on a map such as Down East) you will see SHEAR huffing and puffing and getting ready to blow away any hopes that wave has (for now) of being Tropical Storm Bertha.  Center Stage we have an Upper Level Low that looks like a Dark Hurricane moving towards Cuba and South Florida. It's an Upper Level Low moving west.. In the middle upper part of the loop we have the cold front that is the forerunner to next week's "Polar Vortex Plunge" that every weather forecaster is playing up big time. Far upper left you can see the beginning of what will be evident next week when the temperatures will plunge and we will finally cool off. It's going to cool off gang...not snow don't get lost in the hype. It's unusual, but normal and has happened before on Planet Earth.

What worries me about a constant set up of these sort of plunging, troughs is that they sometimes stop their forward progress... halt... retrograde (sort of spin backwards not to be confused with a mercury retrograde)  that can open up the door for a hurricane off the coast to not stay off the coast. Hurricanes are low pressure systems that are extremely prejudiced against high pressure systems and seek out like minded low pressure systems. If the trough AKA low retrogrades a bit to the West (further inland, left) then the hurricane can and will make landfall rather than being swept out to sea by the cold front.  It is a tropical ballet that is played out in real time and sometimes, "something changes" and that's when trouble happens. You see it opens the door to intangibles which are never good when forecasting a major hurricane. Remember that Hurricane Arthur, a very early July Hurricane, was just a few MPH wind speed wise of becoming a Major Hurricane. A doable situation in the Outer Banks (or Del Marva or NY or Cape Cod) could have been quickly a not doable situation, but a major mess meteorologically.

Speaking of messes and misinformation being spread around like manure on a farm I'm going to discuss something that has been really bugging me.

Just because the far Atlantic has been shut down because of shear and SAL does not mean we are in for an easy ride during the hurricane season. I saw a met do the Tropical Update on TWC this morning with a smile so wide it went from ear to ear.. glowing..on how because of these negative conditions we don't have too many tropical troubles. Yes darling... we don't today. But, this sort of set up opens the door later for more tropical trouble than if we were hosting a Category 2 Hurricane moving NW in the open Atlantic known as a Fish Storm.  When hurricanes happen close in to shore it is more likely that they have a higher than average probability statistically speaking of hitting the coast than a hurricane like Danielle in 2005 .. a classic Fish Storm.

The truth is that FEW Cape Verde Hurricanes do what Hurricane Donna did:

2 D storms. It would be better to have hurricanes to track in the open Atlantic...
....than Hurricanes westbound towards Miami & the Florida Keys. 

And........Donna was the ONLY long tracker in 1960.

Why am I showing this map above? Because the pattern in 1960 was really for storms that formed close in to make landfall. Abby formed at the entrance to the Caribbean and made landfall several times. Ethel formed in the GOM and went north..wham to land. Brenda and Florence close in ... seems only Cleo got away and waited to make her mark 4 years later. 

It is WAY BETTER to have something to track far out there now good people at TWC and have them curve out to sea than it is to have them form close in and act more like a bull in a china shop.

NOTE.. the only reason Abby and all the others except for Cleo went towards land is that they were pulled there by the magnetic attraction of a wandering cold front. Cleo caught a cold front out to sea...  the others caught them onto shore. That set up could happen this year. I said "could" as it "could" play out other ways as well. Hurricanes happen in real time and they do not read their press releases on Twitter or at the NHC website. The atmosphere is fluid and the tiniest fluctuation can mean a different model track forecast down the road, a cone pulled more to the left or right and a different path for Bertha or any other Hurricane later this year.

Let's look at 1935 as an example of why this set up is BAD not Good.

1935 above was a year that obviously the East Atlantic was shut down and everything was East of 55W. In fact storm number 4 formed just East of the Yucatan. Oh and the Labor Day Hurricane of 1935, the "Big Daddy" of all Hurricanes formed just to the East of Florida and slammed into the Florida Keys.

Do not listen to on air hype on how quiet the basin is and how wonderful it is that the Atlantic is shut down with shear and Saharan Dust and how this will make it an easier hurricane season for us. Oh..add in all the hype and pre-release publicity on the El Nino of 2014 that has so far been the biggest bomb of the meteorological theater so far... 

Things can change. El Nino may show up in time for Christmas. The Saharan Dust is strongest this time of year and shear in the Eastern Caribbean begins to lessen later in the season. Oh........and the only place where conditions are currently favorable (kind of) for a storm to form is close in to the SE Coast where Arthur formed. Hmnnn 

I don't care who tells you otherwise and tries to put a good spin on it. This is NOT a good set up and the all clear can only be called when the season is over and nothing formed, nothing happened and it snowed only in Alaska. An Ice Storm in Augusta again in the summertime would be something to worry on... not too worried just saying let's get real here. The areas where some weak, WNW bound tropical wave could form are just off of the Florida Peninsular and just NW of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

This is actually like playing Russian Roulette as it only takes one 1935 Labor Day type of storm to form or an Andrew or type of weak, barely there wave to form and slam into South Florida... South Carolina... or even coastal Georgia.

Short term it is VERY GOOD. Nice beach weather, before the Summertime Polar Vortex comes zooming down to make us be able to open our windows for a few hours.

Long term.............not very good as it favors more possible landfalls along the East Coast and the Gulf of Mexico.

One last example of a memorable hurricane that did not form far out in the Atlantic and moved North towards some sexy cold front with an edge.

Now, 1969 was a busy year... however Camille didn't get her going until she ramped up near the West tip of Cuba and went NNW all the way into Louisiana and Mississippi. Had she formed way out in the Atlantic she might have hit the Sargasso Sea and played with the eels there...

Inga was a storm that no one remembers........because she swam with the fishies.. unlike Camille.

BobbiStorm's Bottom Line:

Be prepared for the 2014 Atlantic Hurricane Season.
Do not get distracted by the Polar Plunge next week... it is happening... it's still Summer.
Winter is not beginning anymore than El Nino is going to eat California.

Make a list, check it twice and go to the beach this weekend because you can... 

Sometime later this hurricane season the beach may come to you or the road to the beach may be swept away by some hurricane that formed fast, close in and had no where to go but your favorite beach town and continued going to flood out ares further inland.

Do not let your guard down by cute headlines or stories written on how 2014 is not much of a threat because of __________________ or __________________ or _____________.

So far the first hurricane of the season was a land falling strong, Category 2 Hurricane in July.

We have miles to go before we can sleep and or breathe a sigh of relief.

Remember the 1935 Hurricane ... it had a track that swept the train off the tracks in the Keys.

Oh.........and it caught a trough inland too ... before being swept out to sea ... much like the train.

Hope you see the parallels...

Besos Bobbi

Ps....  that west bound wave fighting it's way west could develop if shear relaxes in the SW Carib..


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