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 29, 2023

Online Videos and Discussion on Coastal Low and the Cruise Ship and Why It Wasn't Upgraded to Named Status. Models Show Deja Vu Storm Possible Next Week. Memorial Day Weekend...

For what it's worth here's the official NHC page.
Being honest, a lot of controversy currently...
...after the debacle of the Coastal Low 10% to Zero.
 We aren't even officially in Hurricane Season..
...and everyone online is 2nd guessing the NHC. 

The problem with saying you can forecast when something will form within a 7 day period, despite often the 5 day period missed many pop up storms close in, is that the NHC goes on record saying that nothing is expected to form and suddenly something starts to form and they do prefer when their forecasts verify. Do they stick with the yellow circle they brought to the Prom or do they change things up in real time explaining close in, home grown Lows are hard to forecast that far out? 

After a recent upgrade of a "low" in the Atlantic in January in post season analysis, they ignored many models and satellite imagery showing this "Coastal Low" could attain a stronger intensity and be a sort of Hybrid Storm/Low worthy of more than a mere "we see it 10% yellow circle" and reminding people surf will be high and there could be Gale Force Winds. Long sentence for a big mess of controversy on not naming or designating the system in the last week of May that had winds of 80 MPH (short gusts, long gusts, not sure but measured) and surf so high that it battered badly the Carnival Cruise ship that was not so fun as it continued on in high surf towards Charleston.  

My brother, who cruises often, he reminded me that cruise ships HATE losing time and not sticking to schedule. I'd say it's his one complaint and yet he complained in the past when they missed docking somewhere due to a storm. If you are going to travel on a floating hotel close to hurricane season you may miss a Port of Call, it's only logical.  Once we missed putting in to dock at Nassau and spent an extra day at sea and I personally was thrilled because coming from Miami ... Nassau looks a lot like some of the Florida Keys, while whole day at sea was awesome.  Plus we were near the Tropical Storm, but safely away from it thanks to NCL, and I got to see the coast of Cuba as we had special permission to take the Old Bahama Channel just offshore. The mountains were beautiful, the extra day at sea was a treat!

Amazingly the NHC posted this on May 25th...
Cute pic that came back to bite everyone.
Being honest, not pointing fingers.

Mike posted this earlier and on Twitter.
One of his MVP followers was on that ship.
They were not happy.
Obviously they had named storm conditions.
Wild waves, 80 mph winds cited.
Coastal Low tightened up on approach to land.
Who knew?

Many meteorologists online debated the fact that the possibility of it reaching named storm status was not logical as many good models estimated it would come together more than just a "coastal low" and as it was the week before the Hurricane Season, it was logical to give it a higher percentage chance (just in case it develops more, as it did) and yet this was the first yellow circle while they are touting the "we can forecast 7 days out" which is good and true often (they nailed Ian's development) but not as easy in a set up as we have this year with fronts still dawdling on the maps and it's 64 degrees on Memorial Day in Raleigh not feeling too Summery. More so the time period when we flip from La Nina to El Nino often opens the door for models to be difficult to rely on far out as there's a tug of war going on between what has been the trend and what will be coming down the road. 

Kind of a worst case scenario for forecasters who want to use their new 7 Day set up in the Tropical Weather Outlook. But, there's a need to remind the public that as good as we have gotten... we still have a long ways to go ...and if you live say in Florida it's possible at any time a system could pop up that was missed early on. And, I'll add storms with small centers are infamous for being missed early on by models and the NHC. While the weather was over a wide area from this "Coastal Low" the center that closed off tight was small and the stronger winds were in a small area, a perfect contender for a named system that gets missed early on. 

You be the judge of how bad it was....
...but know there were injuries.
I'm sure they will compensate ppl with a new cruise...
..or a hefty discount on their next one.
And, they can easily blame it on the NHC.

This is the problem with being the NHC and having a good Government Job where you have to tow the line and go with whoever makes the final call as the buck stops there as they are the bottom line. And, I'm being clear here that the Tweets have been from well known, wise meteorologists who know tropical meteorology and feel they should have done more than put up a 10% yellow circle. I'd easily say the people complaining far outweigh those who are defending the NHC.

As for me......

I seriously hated the way it's been for several years where storms were declared hurricane after landfall (complaining recon may have missed a hurricane force wind...sic) and naming systems that blew up and survived for less than 24 hours as usually we expect a system to be there for at least 24 hours if not 48 hours (old rules I know) for it to be recognized as an entity worthy of attention. We don't just upgrade any blob of convection in the tropics that looks as if it has a spin to pad the numbers for a busy season forecast. The older crew at the NHC Sheets/Mayfield were extremely tied to rules and conservative before making a tropical disturbance a tropical depression. The recent crew in charge a few years back during Covid upgraded almost anything that had colored convection and spin.  You need caution and it's good to be conservative, yet at the same time you can't be so tied into the previous foreast verifying and being honest that as much as we know, we don't know everything yet and tropical systems are prone to pop up especially in home grown areas.

It's Memorial Day today so I am leaving the Grammar Rules at home and just saying it as I feel it as if we are having an honest conversation.

Last year's work insisting IAN would form in what had been a lack luster year intensity wise and waiting tediously for it to finally come together and pointing to that part of the Gulf of Mexico near Florida was a huge win for their ability to sniff out a Major Hurricane a week out when there was nothing but some clusters of clouds. Again, it's easier to do that with Tropical Waves than it is development at the tail end of a front or with an Upper Level Low that works it's way down to the surface. 

Coastal Low May 2023 was a worst case scenario for nailing down intensity. Perhaps Carnival Cruise Lines felt they could keep to their schedule and blame it on the NHC who had just been there and never said it could possibly attain named storm status and why mess up their schedule for a little bit of nasty weather without a designation? It wasn't even an Invest....

This reminds me of the mess with Joaquin and the El Faro that was lost at sea. Something about this area, we can call the Bermuda Triangle but be aware I'm partially being playful in that weather changes fast and forecasts are often busted close in to Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas.

Regarding Joaquin, originally there was much talk it could be a problem for the Carolinas or Florida... a frontal boundary was nearby to the North but instead it wandered about aimlessly. Charleston was POUNDED with what was called a "FIREHOSE OF MOISTURE" with some street flooding being I suppose caught between the frontal boundary and the intensifying hurricane. It's a difficult place to forecast as there are so many variables early in the season and late in the season.

The Coastal Low that crashed the cruise ship in late May and Joaquin a late season hurricane that sunk the El Faro where 33 people died are perfect examples of the difficulty in forecasting perfectly what will happen with fickle tropical systems early in the season and late in the season seven days out... especially close in.

Tomorrow we will talk about the area that probably should soon get a 10% yellow circle as models are forecasting trouble again for the same area of Florida and the Carolinas, never forget Georgia.

Hope you have a good day today. I'm sure Carnival Cruise lines were try to make it up to the passengers, though Mike points outs always that's why they use Norwegian as they have the best reputation in the business when he does his MVP Cruise Parties and sails off into the horizon with some of his weather and sailing fans.

GFS above in the 7 day currently...
loves Lows usually.
vs Euro that's usually more conservative.

Stay tuned.
Will discuss it all tomorrow.

Again I feel for the NHC that is trying it's best and it's way better than it was when a Category 4 Hurricane swept across Miami Beach with little warning other than a notice in the paper the day before a storm might be coming and the head of the Weather Bureau running from door to door to warn people. Many people died. And, they had more warning than the town that was wiped off the map in the 1856 Last Island Hurricane. Give thanks for all the NHC does. 

As for the Carnival Cruise Line that has a long history of troubles such as this for not waiting to put into port and yes I'm sure many on board would scream and complain as loud as those complaining online. Easy for them to blame the NHC but if you Google Carnival Cruise Line and Storms you'll see what I mean. If you cruise in late May through November you always have to know tropical trouble can pop up suddenly. Is what it is...  It is the risk you take and you hope for the best when you take a cruise in tropical waters.

For Jim Williams, a good friend who always complains I don't give my bottom line thought:

I think the NHC should have raised this to more of an Invest status, a higher percentage chance of development even if they had people complain it was within their 7 day window of nothing happening earlier in the week. Often we get storms that don't fit neatly into a specific label and sometimes it's good to open that door up to the possibility of more rather than holding the line and going too conservative.

Or put out a Special Tropical Disturbance Advisory to cover the storm that trashed the cruise ship and Memorial Day Weekend, without actually naming it and leaving the door open to re-evaluate the situation in the off season. 

Nuff said.
Have a good Memorial Day and remember some of our earliest Hurricane Directors and Tropical Weather Experts were Veterans that worked on flights into tropical weather during WW2 in the Pacific and back at home they went to college and studied meteorology. The work they did while the Armed Services tried to tackle the problem of losing soldiers to Typhoons vs actual battles in the Pacific Arena led to what we do today with Hurricane Recon. 

Besos BobbiStorm
Putting on leggings and a cute short skirt and my favorite V neck shirt and grabbing a hoodie in case it rains in Raleigh later in the day, the possibility is there.

@bobbistorm on Twitter and Instagram
Ps........any typos sorry I'm on vacation today! 



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