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!

Monday, May 27, 2019

HEAT RECORDS BROKEN IN SOUTH... cool in the West... Tornadoes Still Happening. EF3 El Reno Killed 2 People. Memorial Day Weekend 2019

Tropics Memorial Day Weekend 2019
Days before the start of the Hurricane Season.

The NHC "nothing happening pale baby blue" is there
There's also a mess of convection in the SW Caribbean.
Central America Gyre aka CAG
Could something develop down there?
Possibly, not probably but a possibility.

I tweeted this last night.
Shear would have to relax.
Shear is forecast to relax.
MJO? Yeah maybe...who knows.
Keep watching.

And we have all been watching tornadoes lately.
First comes tornado season.
Then comes hurricane season.

Just to be clear before going on with some hot weather and tropical weather history the El Reno Tornado was a EF3. This rating was expected from the damage however until it's official we wait and see what the experts find. The experts found a small but devastating path of destruction for a short lived but strong tornado that killed two people and destroyed parts of El Reno; a town very familiar with destructive May tornadoes. In this case the fast developing, fast moving tornado hit an area with a motel that was adjacent to a trailer park and a car dealership which obviously made the situation worse wherever those cars landed. The article below is a good article to read on the tornado especially for anyone who has been obsessed with them since the first time they watched either The Wizard of Oz or Twister.

Another thing I want to point out is how pathetic it is sometimes to have expectations of a season or a day in history to judge that season or outbreak by be it Hurricanes or Tornadoes. Last weekend The Weather Channel was on air nonstop with headlines implying 60 million people were in the path of expected long track, destructive wedge tornadoes across a wide swath of the country. And, that was true for last weekend as much as it was forecast for most of the week after that. We are still "there" so to speak the violent weather on the Plains is not yet in the rear view mirror and more severe weather is still expected. This is the season they did not get last year when tornadoes took a Northern holiday and went elsewhere to places such as Wyoming and Cape Cod.

What we need to stop doing is thinking that a weak hurricane season because of an El Nino may keep us safer as history has not shown that to be the case and even worse the seasons when we begin to leave El Nino in the rear view mirror often tend to be the most memorable ones. Hurricane Andrew that was the first named storm to form in the middle of August is a prime example of why we should not judge a hurricane season by how busy it is and in the same way we should not judge possible tornado outbreaks by the size and duration of a large wedge tornado. Obviously the damage done to Moore Oklahoma by large, long duration wedge tornadoes over history makes us look towards them as the bar to judge a tornado outbreak.... however.... if you live in El Reno or any other town hit this week by tornadoes you don't think this outbreak was a "bust" because the previous Saturday was relatively quiet. The word relative is always important when reviewing weather history and various events. And this storm season out on the Plains is not over so everyone put those relative expectations where they belong and take it hour by hour, day by day.

Note the frequency here of 1926, 1953 and 2012.
1989 shows up too often as well.
But going to ignore that one for now.
I don't like to cry shark in a room full of Carolinians.

Let's move on to what I feel is the most important story possibly of this week and that is the record heat in the Southeast. Again, using that word relative it's worth remembering I live in the Carolinas and it relates to me. If I lived on the West Coast I'd be begging for some warm weather and wondering when this cool, wet weather trend is going to end. It's a regional phenomenon caused by atmospheric features far away that are in a stuck pattern that at some point down the road will become unstuck .... trust me on this.

A list of some of the records yesterday reads as follows.
Atlanta 100 degrees. Record broken was set in 1898, 1953, 1962
Augusta 100 degrees. Record broken was set in 1926.
Charleston, SC hit 100 degrees yesterday. 1953, 1989 were both in play record wise.
Fayettevillle NC hit 100 degrees. Record broken was 1926.
Florence SC hit 102 degrees. Record set was 1926.
Muscle Shoals of Jimmy Buffet fame hit 97 degrees. Record broken was 2012.

Charleston thought they peaked....
...but they were wrong.

What is unnerving to me and a few others is the constant references to certain year's records that were broken over the last several days and that is because those years were years when there was a huge High in the Atlantic and are infamous for hurricane landfalls along the East Coast and the Gulf of Mexico. Again for newbies hurricanes often trace the high in the Atlantic and they ride in under the high and then try and turn North wherever the High ends... add to that if or when there are any fronts on the map that may try and pull them North faster at the end of the High that is .... where landfall happens.

Again everything is relative so when I see the years 1926 and 1953 I think of Florida and East Coast hurricanes. I'm sure when I say 1989 my friend in Mt. Pleasant immediate thinks "oh crap... and remembers Hugo" so this is all relative and yes Sandy hit the New York area in 2012. Some records had previously been from 1979 and any South Floridian will scream DAVID while those along coast of the Gulf of Mexico will scream FREDERIC!

Monday records broken went back to 1916.
That year has shown up frequently this May.
Must have been a hot May.
And I'm guessing a very strong High pressure system.

1916 was a busy season with 5 major hurricanes.
The year 1916 sporadically comes up in broken heat records.
I felt it was a good year to review.
As it's not usually mentioned.
And that was BEFORE satellite imagery.

A close up look at the Gulf Coast Storm

Animation-of-Meteorological-Conditions-July-7-to-11-1916.gif (1054×1089)

That's a July Hurricane by the way.
Sadly too often heat waves are broken by tropical events.

Then in August there was the Texas Hurricane.
It formed as a wave traveling beneath a huge High.
Into the Caribbean ... Gulf of Mexico and hit Texas.

Hope you are seeing the pattern here ....
...reading the hot tea leaves.

The year 1916 comes up frequently but most people do not remember it because well to be honest other than settlements in Tampa, a very young Miami and Key West not many in Southern Florida lived there or wrote much about that year and it landed in Texas relatively lucky for Floridians. But it was one of those years where a hurricane rode into the Gulf of Mexico around a huge High and made landfall far in Texas to be remembered as one of the Great Hurricanes of that region. Obviously in a time before satellite imagery it's hard to say where that wave first formed but it either developed out of some sort of Central America Gyre or a westbound tropical wave from Africa or a wave collided with the CAG. Camille formed in this region in 1969 but we know it was an Africa wave that didn't develop until it hit those friendly, welcoming waters. Often a high to the North and low shear there will get a storm going fast over very warm Caribbean waters. The 1916 Hurricane has it's own link....

The year 1953 comes up in the Carolinas nonstop this week.
The first thing you see above is the HIGH.... 
The dark blue where NO storms formed.
Note many have predicted these totals for 2019.
14 storms, 7 hurricanes and 3 majors.
It would and could be an analog year.
It was also a horrible year for tornadoes.

Sometimes the High held strong...
..sometimes it did not.
Fish storms formed early... out to sea.
Others did not go out to sea.
Several barreled into the Caribbean.
Another similar season number wise.

Oh yes 1926... 
A hurricane year to remember in the Bahamas, Cuba and Florida.

You can track the storms around the early High Pressure.
Later in the season they came from the SW...
Every which way but whatever that song was..

In October an infamous hurricane happened in Cuba.
Obviously caught an early front and traced the high that a way.

1926 was seriously one of the worst, early heat waves in the SE.
Rather early storms formed and kept forming all season.
Each season is different, but seeing 1926 show up often is not good.
1926 as a whole below.

Rob from and I were talking last night.
Historical weather patterns that repeat.
That year was dangerous in the areas he highlighted for this year.

Note here 1953 as an analog fits in well here.

Rob is very good at nailing a seasonal pattern early.
His 2018 regions shown below.

That would be Florence and Michael.
He nailed them both.

2017 he was worried on the Caribbean Islands.
Sadly he nailed that too....
Though Irma kept going towards Florida.

Again patterns repeat....
...each storm and each year is unique.
But the pattern repeats.

I might add for his sake the year 1938 recently came up as well.
New England people remember that one....
...the way Floridians remember Andrew and Irma.

So I'm leaving you with this thought.
Prepare for a possibly very busy hurricane season.
And I'm talking major hurricanes.
And I'm talking hurricanes that ride a huge high.
Hurricanes that can happen in the following places:
Gulf of Mexico
Along the East Coast.
Florida is in the way there..

And I'm a bit worried on Texas at some point.
With such a strong high....
....IF the shear relaxes.
The water is hot and they could be in the mix.

So take a list, check it twice.
Whether you have been naught or nice...
Hurricanes may try to come and visit.
And like relatives .... they come back often.
Years with an early storm like 1926...
...then another Cat 4 in 1926 a bit further down the beach.
Jeanne and Frances..
Maria and Irma.
The list goes on and on.

Make your list.
Start buying Hurricane Supplies now.
Fix the roof, check the windows.
Now is the time to prepare...
...not when you get to the market too late.
And all that is left is canned oysters.
Well ... unless you really like canned oysters.
But apparently not too many people do.

Besos BobbiStorm
@bobbistorm on Twitter and Instagram 
Follow me there for live updates.
Remember when the heat is on early.........
... it often portends a busy hurricane season.

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