Tuesday, August 31, 2010

InterAcademy Council Calls for Beefed-Up IPCC

In light of recent bluffs by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the InterAcademy Council representing the world's science academies, is recommending the Panel beefs-up its management infrastructure as well as add various reforms for reviewing science, managing potential conflicts of interest and injecting fresh blood into their operations.

The recommendation, which is being made in an effort to re-affirm the integrity and validity of the IPCC's work while recognizing areas for improvement, is sighted in a report presented to the Panel and calls for the development of rigorous conflict of interest policy.
If the recommendation is accepted and implemented, the future IPCC would be overseen by a new executive committee, which will include oversight from outside the IPCC, including an executive director serving a limited one six-year term.

Learn more here.

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Monday, August 30, 2010

The Weathervein - Episode 10

Hurricane Earl strengthened today into a category 4 storm and could strengthen further over the next day or so as it heads towards the United States east coast. In this episode of The Weathervein, Devin and Greg talk about the future track of Earl, the potential impacts along the east coast, and who might see the strongest winds and rain as Earl spirals offshore during the next few days. If you're in coastal North Carolina and/or New England, i.e. Cape Hatteras and Cape Cod, make sure you watch this!



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Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Weathervein - Episode 9

Today marks the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, and in this episode of The Weathervein Greg shares his experience chasing the monstrous cyclone as it barreled into the Mississippi coastline on August 29, 2005. We'll also cover Hurricane Danielle which is racing off into the north Atlantic, while Hurricane Earl gathers strength as it approaches the northern Leeward Islands and heads towards the United States before its likely curve out to sea. Beyond Earl we still have 97L in the central Atlantic which continues to try and organize into a tropical cyclone. Will it become Fiona and could it be our next big threat? Find out here!



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Friday, August 27, 2010

NEQ Friday Review, V.17

This past week marked the 18th anniversary of Hurricane Andrew's landfall in south Florida, so what better time to look back on this destructive category 5 storm than today's NEQ Friday Review!?

What I am about to share with you is an excerpt from a blog post by Greg Nordstrom, which he wrote two years ago on Andrew's 16th anniversary. As most know by now, Greg is a good friend of mine, my co-host of
The Weathervein, as well as blogger of EYE OF THE STORM. Greg is also a professional storm chase and instructor of meteorology at Mississippi State University. I'll be joining Greg at some point this hurricane season for the big chase! Where that is and when it happens is to be determined.

Now back to Hurricane Andrew...


Hurricane Andrew
made it's first of two U.S. landfalls (the second along the central Louisiana coast) on August 24, 1992 just south of Miami, Florida near Homestead at around 5:00 a.m., and was the third and last category 5 storm to hit the United States. At the time Andrew was thought to be a strong category 4 with sustained winds of 145 mph, but 12 years later reanalysis concluded that Andrew was a category 5 with sustained winds of 165 mph at the time of landfall.


Andrew's highest recorded surface wind gust was observed at 177 mph about one mile inland in Perrine, Florida, with the highest recorded storm surge of 16.9 feet recorded on SW 184th street.


To this date Andrew made U.S. landfalling hurricane history as the fourth strongest hurricane by pressure at 922mb (27.23"). The only storms stronger than Andrew at landfall were Katrina at 920mb, Camille at 909mb, and The Labor Day Hurricane of 1935 at 892mb.


At the time, Hurricane Andrew also was the costliest landfalling hurricane ever in the U.S., but now ranks second to Hurricane Katrina. However, despite it's legacy Andrew actually could have been a lot worse.... How, you ask?

Well, if Hurricane Andrew would have made landfall about 30 miles north, Miami beach and South Beach would have been completely annihilated. It would have been especially worse today, as Miami and South Florida in general doubled in size since 1992. It's a disaster in the making and the proof is in the history...

In 1926 Miami took a direct hit from a strong 935mb category 4 hurricane at 150 mph (estimated)
and the city was completely destroyed. Can you imagine what Miami would look like today if another 1926 hurricane hit? The damage would be well over $500 billion and the loss of life would be much higher than Katrina at 3,000+.

Well, there you have it... Andrew's legacy will always live on as a benchmark hurricane and one of the most significant and catastrophic weather events to unfold on U.S soil. Luckily there are no Andrew's on the horizon, but the 2010 hurricane season is still young and it could happen again – maybe not this year and maybe not next – but it will happen again, and it could be even worse!

Have a great weekend and remember, the five-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina is this Sunday, August 29!


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Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Weathervein - Episode 8

Category 2 Danielle is nearing major hurricane status while Tropical Storm Earl continues to gather strength. Meanwhile, a tropical wave designated 97L bears watching and could become TD #8 and later a tropical storm or even hurricane by the name of Fiona. Beyond these systems it's no rest for the weary in the east Atlantic as the African wave train continues to chug along! Where are these storms going and could we expect them take the same fishy route as the late Colin and current Hurricane Danielle? What does the reliable statistical guidance say? Find out here in this episode of The Weathervein!

Note: Some technical issues while recording make it difficult to hear Devin. Turn up volume for best quality.



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Cityscapes Could Impact Hurricane's Path, Study Says

A team of researchers at the University of Hong Kong developed a computer model to track the movement of a simulated tropical cyclone traveling across varying terrain, and found that big cities such as New York, Miami, New Orleans and Houston could act as magnets for hurricane landfalls.

How so? The results of the research, which will soon be published in the
Journal of Geophysical Research, indicates that tropical cyclones tend to be attracted towards areas of higher friction. Therefore rough areas of land, including city buildings and naturally jagged land cover might actually attract what would ordinarily be passer-by hurricanes.

To obtain that conclusion the team modeled the effects that different terrain has on these storms to determine how cities that lie in the path of a hurricane change the storm's motion. They found that rough cityscapes (and forests alike) trap and compresses air, forcing it up into the atmosphere, which translates to added energy in the storm and a pulling of the center of circulation towards the rough region. Their model suggests that a city can cause a hurricane to swerve from its predicted path by as much as 20 miles.


Interesting, but not a concept I haven't heard before. Just look at that last-minute easterly jog of Charley right before landfall in southwest Florida! Friction all the way!

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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Weathervein - Episode 7

Danielle strengthened into a category 2 hurricane last night, and just as quick as it intensified, it also rapidly weakened and is now once again, a tropical storm. What does the future hold for Danielle and is there a new storm brewing in her wake? Could we be looking at not one, but two hurricanes over the next few days? Find out in this episode of The Weathervein as Devin and Greg update you on the state of the tropics as well as pay tribute to Hurricane Andrew on its 18th anniversary!



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Monday, August 23, 2010

CESM: New Community Earth System Climate Model

The National Center for Atmospheric Research's (NCAR) new Community Earth System Model (CESM) is now able to study climate change in far more detail, and it will soon be employed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to assess the state of so called "global warming."

One of about a dozen climate models worldwide that can be used to simulate the many components of Earth's climate system, CESM should help answer some critical questions regarding the state of the climate, including:
  • What impact will warming temperatures have on the massive ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica?
  • How will patterns in the ocean and atmosphere affect regional climate in coming decades?
  • How will climate change influence the severity and frequency of tropical cyclones, including hurricanes?
  • What are the effects of tiny airborne particles, known as aerosols, on clouds and temperatures?
So how does it work?

The CESM builds on the original Community Climate System Model and enables scientists to gain a broader picture of Earth's climate system by incorporating more influences. Using the CESM, researchers can now:
  • Simulate the interaction of marine ecosystems with greenhouse gases
  • Assess the climatic influence of ozone, dust, and other atmospheric chemicals
  • Gain a better understanding of the cycling of carbon through the atmosphere, oceans, and land surfaces
  • Review the influence of greenhouse gases on the upper atmosphere
  • Pursue a much wider variety of applications, including studies of air quality and biogeochemical feedback mechanisms
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Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Weathervein - Episode 6

Tropical Depression # 6 was upgraded earlier today to Tropical Storm Danielle, and during the next 48 hours the storm could become a hurricane – and beyond that possibly the first major hurricane of the season! Where is Danielle going and how strong a storm might she become? Find out in this episode of The Weathervein, as Devin and Greg touch on Danielle and what might be brewing in her wake.



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Friday, August 20, 2010

NEQ Friday Review, V.16

The Northeast Quadrant's 200th Post

So here I am writing my 200th blog post – and to celebrate the occasion
today's NEQ Friday Review takes a look back at my top 10 posts of 2010!

So many exciting events have unfolded since the launch for The Northeast Quadrant on New Year's weekend, and so much has been covered through a variety of posts focusing on ever-changing weather p
atterns, the evolution of dynamic storm systems, the controversy surrounding climate change; and its effects on our cities, nation and the world, and more! But in my eyes, nothing has been more fun than reporting on the following (in date order):

1.) Meanwhile, 70 Million Years Ago...
(January 20)
Last night after watching The History Channel's new series How the Earth was Made, I was completely inspired, educated and totally marveled by the immense power this planet’s geological forces carry. The episode highlighted Mount Everest, but more vastly the Himalayan Mountain range and how this super-sized chain of sky-scraping peaks, stretching across six Asian countries, came to life.

2.) Totally Cool Utah Weather Facts! (January 28)
What better way to learn more about Utah's weather than to ask the locals? And did you know a very famous "weather" movie was filmed here in the Beehive State? Check out this video blog post and learn a little more about Utah's climate, its record highs and lows, its average and exceedingly average snowfall, and even its rare tornadic history!

3.) Big Blizzard in the Big Apple - A Video Journal
(February 10)
A major blizzard affected a large portion of the c
ountry today, from the mid-west to the east coast. Direct from New York City, we recorded all day in the storm and posted the videos here and on our Facebook Fan Page. The evening videos as compared to the ones shot earlier in the day really show the rapid development of the Nor'easter and the deteriorating conditions associated with the blizzard.

4a.) Snowicane Breaks Records in NYC! (February 26)
The National Weather Service in New York City has updated its record books once again! Yesterday's snowfall also broke daily records for that day particularly. 11.5 inches of snow fell yesterday alone, breaking the old record of 8.4 inches set in 1991. At 21 inches this snowstorm is now tied for the third heaviest for New York City.

4b.) Snowicane Exceeds Expectations and Proves Historic
(February 26)
Late this afternoon I decided to go back out into the Snowicane and snap some more photos, and of all those that I took, I think there are two that perfectly capture the intensity of the storm. Check out these shots looking crosstown from the east side to the west side of Manhattan (looking down 42nd Street).


5.) Man vs. Nature: Interview with a Forensic Meteorologist (March 4)
As many of you already heard, earlier this week I had the chance to interview AccuWeather Forensic Meteorologist, Steve Wistar. From the basics of forensic meteorology to the intricate weather details that help solve civil and criminal legal cases, we had a highly informative and instructive conversation, and I’m excited to share what I learned.


6.) Daylight Savings Nor'easter (March 13)
The Mid-Atlantic and Northeast is once again taking a beating from a major coastal storm! The storm, which I am now dubbing the "Daylight Savings Nor'easter," began Friday morning and promises to deliver wind and rain through Monday. That's right, rain! Not snow this time! Temperatures have warmed since the last Nor'easter (the Snowicane) and much of the area is now looking at a heavy, wind-driven rain, as opposed to the heavy blizzard snows that have dumped record snowfall across the area since late last year.


7.) Interview with ‘America’s Wittiest Weatherman’ (March 18)
I recently had the pleasure of speaking with Elliot Abrams, senior vice-president and chief forecaster for AccuWeather. Billed on the Accuweather.com web site as ‘America’s Wittiest Weatherman,’ Elliot joined the State College, PA-based weather broadcasting outlet in 1967, and was a co-founder of their radio service in 1971. Elliot is himself a blogger, publishing northeastern weather-related posts on Accuweather.com. His voice can also be heard real-time on some of the many radio news stations throughout the region.


8.) Paul Kocin: The Authority in Northeast Winter Weather (March 31)
I recently had the opportunity to go one-on-one with meteorologist and winter weather expert, Paul Kocin. Paul, a Long Island native and resident of The Northeast Quadrant, is unquestionably the authority when it comes to forecasting nor’easters and analyzing their impact throughout the region.


9.) A Big Apple Hurricane? (July 19)
It's been over a hundred years since a hurricane directly hit New York City and luck could be running out for a metropolis that never ruminates about such natural disasters. According to The Weather Channel, New York City is the number two most vulnerable U.S. city to be hit by a major hurricane, which would prove absolutely devastating! Factors like population density, amount of property near coastal areas and the length of time since the last major hurricane support the city's vulnerability.


10a.) Tornado Warning for The Big Apple! (July 24)
Last night a round of severe weather took aim on the New York City metro area. At around 8:00 p.m. a big-time supercell thunderstorm developed in northwest New Jersey and marched its way southeastward right towards the Big Apple, prompting a string of severe thunderstorm warnings and tornado warnings for the entire city!

10b.) On The Weather Channel! (July 24)
Earlier today I published a blog post (see below) which featured a brief tale of the storms that moved through the New York City area last night. Well, it gets even better! This morning I was contacted by The Weather Channel, who after viewing my videos wanted to share them on the air, online at weather.com, on weather mobile and possibly on NBC, etc.


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Thursday, August 19, 2010

Global Warming vs. Climate Change: What's the Difference?

Here we go again with the 'global warming'/'climate change' talk but it just seems unavoidable these days. Continuous blog posts here on The Northeast Quadrant touch on recent extreme weather events that may or may not be linked to the man-made or not so man-made phenomenon (I personally believe it's cyclical), and so the coverage continues today.

I am totally convinced news sources are plowing through The Northeast Quadrant because I'm telling ya – each time I write about a story it goes without fail that I find a similar story on a website a few days later. OK, enough inflating my own head...


I recently read on another blog, "because of human-fueled 'global warming,' extreme weather events are occurring with greater frequency, and in many cases with greater intensity.” Naturally, I cringed beyond belief!

The increasing frequency of record and extreme events does appear to be a signal of a changing climate. And no matter the source, more and more extremes are making us think twice, and that includes cautious climate scientists who, like me, won’t link a single weather event to 'global warming' with any certainty. Sure the first six months of 2010 were the warmest on record, but evidence of global warming comes from long-term trends – not short-term, recent extreme weather events.

So what is this all tied to? Is it really 'global warming?' Or is it 'climate change?' I'll answer that as if it's you asking me...

I say it's 'climate change.' What's the difference? 'Global warming,' while obvious, in my opinion points to a long-term drastic issue that we fear fighting. 'Climate change,' on the other hand, is just evident. It is what it is
the climate is clearly 'changing' and although I totally adore Al Gore, I truly believe mankind is not in control of the Earth’s environment. I do truly believe the conditions we are seeing now are cyclical and just because they might (or might not) be, it does not negate its sensitivity, but it does support that the Earth naturally changes its temperature.

So what backs my claim? Look at the big picture
– that's all I'm saying. I am not denying we are in a time of [climate] change. But I'm just not sold on the man-made process many are hinting at.

Perhaps I had to rant through this post to get that point across
– but I am interested in your thoughts. Leave comments here or on the facebook fan page.

Stay tuned tomorrow for the 200th post from The Northeast Quadrant! Thanks for following!


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Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Global Extremities of Summer 2010

What a summer it has been! From heat waves to floods and from drought to wildfires and even severe weather outbreaks, extreme weather has been the rule. Just looking back at recent blog posts here on The Northeast Quadrant, it seems that at least once a week a story gets posted about rare and record-breaking weather conditions!

Most recently, monsoon flooding has been wreaking havoc in Pakistan and an extreme heat wave has been fueling wildfires and creating health hazards in Russia, and the National Center for Atmospheric Research agrees that although this time of year always brings treacherous weather to the northern hemisphere, conditions have been quite exceptional – attributing the intense monsoons to La NiƱa, which typically brings wetter conditions to Asia. Other contributing factors noted are the strong ridge above Pakistan that is blocking the moisture from circulating out of the region as well as the infamous climate change and the long-term warming of the oceans and the atmosphere. In this case, because the Indian Ocean is so warm it's further fueling the heavy rain.

The extreme events seen this summer are likely connected to each other by the currents in the atmosphere. Those currents are responsible for the unusual weather conditions we've been experiencing here in the United States, as well as the extreme heat and drought that has plagued Russia for most of the summer. However, normal seasonal changes should bring some relief to both regions soon.

Some climate-change skeptics (myself included) argue there is not enough information about weather patterns over long periods of history to draw conclusions about extreme weather events and climate change. I personally think it's all natural and cyclical.

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Monday, August 16, 2010

Could A Greener Ocean Mean More Hurricanes?

Last week Discovery News posted a story about how colossal blooms of plankton in tropical oceans could potentially effect hurricane development. The story recaps a study that will soon be released in the journal, Geophysical Research Letters.

According to scientists who worked on the "Blue Ocean" experimental study, plankton have the ability to determine whether clusters of tropical thunderstorms spin up into monster hurricanes. How so? Well, plankton's tiny photosynthetic bodies tint blue ocean green with chlorophyll. Green water traps light and heat from the sun shallow ocean water, which results in greater sea surface temperatures which as we know, makes for prime hurricane-forming conditions.

In using a computer simulation of a lifeless ocean, the scientists found that a blue ocean not containing plankton's chlorophyll laden specimen reduces typhoons in the northwest Pacific by 70 percent. What few storms did form in the simulation hugged the equator, the only area of water warm enough to sustain them.

However, it is noted
that because it takes time for the sun's heat to propagate through the ocean and have its full effect on the atmosphere, it likely takes several high- or low-plankton years to change the course and intensity of storms significantly.

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Sunday, August 15, 2010

The Weathervein - Episode 5

The remnant low of Tropical Depression # 5 is about to re-emerge into the Gulf of Mexico and could once again threaten the Louisiana coastline over the next day or so. The organizing and strengthening system cold even become Tropical Storm [or hurricane] Danielle. For the latest on the developing tropical weather situation, check out this episode of The Weathervein!


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Saturday, August 14, 2010

The Weathervein - Episode 4

This episode of The Weathervein was filmed yesterday, Friday the 13th, on the sixth anniversary of category 4 Hurricane Charley's landfall in southwest Florida, which left in its wake the largest path of destruction since Andrew in '92. The episode touches on Charley's legacy, as well as the remnant low of Tropical Depression # 5, and a briefing on the state of the tropics. Don't miss it!



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Friday, August 13, 2010

NEQ Friday Review, V.15

There continues to be a lot of speculation as to whether or not the predictions for an extreme hurricane season will validate. I continue to firmly argue they will, and that until we are in November and the season is nearly over, there is no room for disagreement.

Some of the nastiest, most high-impact seasons did not get going until September, and I really think this season will do the same. In 2001 the first hurricane did not even form until the second week of September – and then there ended up being a total of nine hurricanes that season! Just goes to show you...

I continue to encourage the hurricane season pessimists out there to hold their breath and stop mocking and bashing the experts who have far more experience predicting hurricanes than the spectators who are quick to call them out.

Now on a more reminiscent note from hurricanes past, this week’s NEQ Friday Review will look back at a historic northeastern hurricane through the eyes of a fan of The Northeast Quadrant. Here, Nick Panico, a secondary education science teacher from Suffolk County, Long Island, New York, tells his story of Hurricane Gloria from September 1985.


"I remember Hurricane Gloria even though I was only eight and a half years old at the time. My family was living in Mastic Beach, which is a small peninsula surrounded by the Atlantic to the South and the Bay to the east and west, in Suffolk County, Long Island. We were told to evacuate on the morning of September 25, 1985 because our house was located about .6 of a mile just north of the Bay.


Gloria was hyped up to be the Mega-Storm or Storm of the Century because it was a category 4 hurricane just south of North Carolina. Then, what normally saves New England, actually took place. Gloria came north, clipped the Outer Banks of North Carolina and weakened, later arriving in Long Island only as a category 1.
Sources argue the hurricane’s true strength upon landfall, but I know the damage I saw would verify a category 1 storm. There was no electricity for 10 days so in the eyes of many, Gloria was considered a major hurricane.

Speaking of major hurricanes, I had recalled folks saying something about 1938, even thought I had no clue as to what they were talking about since I was so young. I later learned an intense hurricane barreled through the very soil I lived on, causing extensive damage and killing hundreds. After learning more about it I began my own extensive research on the 1938 Long Island Express.


Back to Gloria – the population at the time Gloria made landfall on Long Island was no way near as great as it is now. If a hurricane of Gloria’s strength made landfall now, the effect would be absolutely devastating. Besides the risk of extreme flooding from both tropical rains and that from storm surge, the increase in development over the last 20 years would lead to significant structural damage – to homes, businesses, and personal and public property alike. Agriculture would be greatly affected – the loss of trees and damage to farmland and vineyards that line Long Island’s north shore could suffer an extreme loss. Seeing what happens to these areas during a winter nor’easter, it is difficult to imagine what would happen if even a category 1 storm rolled through.”

Now you might be wondering why I am sharing Nick’s story. Well, if you’ve been keeping up with The Northeast Quadrant you know by now that the northeast is overdue for a hurricane landfall, and perhaps this year will be the year it happens.


I mentioned last week that the Atlantic is prime and the pattern set up now very much favors tropical cyclone activity to reach coastlines from the Gulf to the northeast. Experts have said areas from North Carolina to Maine have a chance nearly equal to that of Florida and the Gulf coast in being hit with a hurricane. It’s happened before, and it will happen again.


Have a great weekend and be hurricane ready!

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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Russia Heat Wave is OUT OF CONTROL!

An insanely intense heat wave has plagued Russia for over one month now and it shows very little sign of letting up. Moscow has experienced at least 26 days in a row with temperatures exceeding 86 degrees Fahrenheit, and those conditions are expected to continue for at least the next several days.

The heat has caused numerous wildfires to break out which has polluted the stagnant air mass beyond control, and i
n recent days the carbon monoxide count in Moscow peaked at six times more than acceptable levels and record numbers of people are leaving the city to escape the harmful conditions.

For those unfortunate to not escape, the situation is dire. An estimated 5,000 people have already died from heat-related illness in Moscow alone
. Local authorities report the daily mortality rate in the city has doubled and morgues are overflowing amid an acrid smog caused by the worst heatwave in Russia's thousand-year history.

According to Jeff Masters of Weather Underground, the current heat wave in Russia has been more intense than the infamous European heat wave of 2003, which killed an estimated 40,000 people. Masters also reports that the fires are the worst since 1972, when massive forest and peat bog fires burned an area of 100,000 square km and killed at 104 people in the Moscow region alone. Smoke from the current fires spans a region over 3,000 km (1,860 miles) from east to west, approximately the distance from San Francisco to Chicago.

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Monday, August 9, 2010

Analyzing Leh's Deadly Cloudburst

A devastating extreme weather event unfolded in the Leh district of Kashmir, India on Friday when a cloudburst produced a deluge of rain causing deadly flash floods and damaging mudslides. The epic event washed away government offices, paramilitary camps and residential homes; and claimed nearly 200 lives, injuring thousands and over 500 are still reported missing.

Leh is known as a 'high altitude desert' region and a heavy downpour is a rare occurrence. In trying to gain a better understanding of the formation of the cloudburst and why it produced such an intense rainfall rate, a physics team from the National Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting, near New Delhi, will use an atmospheric supercomputer model to mimic the conditions 24 hours prior to the cloudburst that occurred between 12:30 a.m. – 1:30 a.m. on Friday.

In doing so they will simulate the sequence of events that gave rise to the colossal cloud that collapsed over the typically arid village.
They will feed their supercomputer an enormous amount of data – temperature, wind and humidity, and solar radiation – and allow it to churn the numbers using a set of mathematical equations that dictate how the atmosphere will behave over time.

Weather observations from the past have indicated that cloudbursts usually occur during the monsoon – mainly in August – and over the western Himalayan region. The rain from a cloudburst, which descends from very high clouds, has a fall rate equal to or greater than 3.94 inches per hour. Most cloudbursts come from convective, cumulonimbus clouds that form thunderstorms. The extent of damage that a cloudburst could cause depends heavily on the terrain that is receiving the downpour.

The exact measurement of rain that fell during the cloudburst over Leh is still not available. But it is believed that nearly two inches of rain fell in minutes, continuing for a good thirty.

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Friday, August 6, 2010

NEQ Friday Review, V.14

The six costliest hurricanes in United States history have all occurred since 1992, with five of the six happening since 2004 Hurricane Katrina in 2005 of course being the worst of all. Most of these storms took place during the month of August.

Speaking of August, we're not even one week into the first peak month of hurricane season, and to many, the season already is being considered a bust. But alas, tropical pessimists hold your breath! After reading today's NEQ Friday Review you might reconsider that thought.

I've been saying for months now it's not all about the numbers this season – it's about impact. The Atlantic is prime and the pattern set up now very much favors tropical cyclone activity to reach coastlines from the Gulf to the northeast. Let's look back at prior seasons with a similar set up...

1933
With 21 storms, the 1933 Atlantic hurricane season was the second most active on record. The season produced several deadly storms and all but one affected land at some point. 19 storms that season made landfall as tropical cyclones, and one as an extratropical storm. Of these, eight tropical storms, including six hurricanes, hit the United States alone, including the Chesapeake Potomac Hurricane, which is considered one of the most severe in history along the mid-Atlantic.


2004
The 2004 Atlantic hurricane season was one of the deadliest and most costly seasons on record. The season produced 16 tropical cyclones, including 15 tropical storms, nine hurricanes and six majors. The most noteworthy storms for the season were the five that made landfall in Florida and Alabama, three of which were majors. Those were Tropical Storm Bonnie and Hurricanes Charley, Frances, Ivan and Jeanne. What is important to note about this season is that when you compare it to the 2010 season thus far, we are already ahead!

2005
The impact of the 2005 season was widespread and severe to say the least, and conditions this year eerily mirror that of this epic season.
A record 28 tropical and subtropical storms formed, of which a record 15 became hurricanes. Of these, seven strengthened into major hurricanes, while five became Category 4 hurricanes and four reached Category 5 strength. The storms of the 2005 season were extraordinarily damaging and were responsible for significant loss of life. The hardest-hit area was the United States Gulf Coast from eastern Texas to the Florida Panhandle. Of the storms that made landfall, five of the season's seven major hurricanes Dennis, Emily, Katrina, Rita, and Wilma were responsible for most of the destruction.

Now you might be wondering why I did not include 1992? After all, that was the year category 5 Hurricane Andrew barreled through south Florida and later made a second landfall along the Louisiana coast. Well, 1992 was a pretty quiet year. Sure it only takes one bad hurricane to have huge impacts, such as Andrew did... but the season itself was generally pretty quiet and non-comparable to the set up we have now.

So that's that - remember, it's not about the numbers so put your calculators away. The tropics are about to kick up in full force over the next several weeks so now is the time to brace for impact!

Have a great weekend and be hurricane ready!

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Thursday, August 5, 2010

The Weathervein - Episode 3

Earlier this week Tropical Storm Colin came and went faster than the NHC wrote the first and final advisory, and now the low pressure it left behind is being monitored for regeneration. Meanwhile, hurricane pioneer Dr. Gray updated his forecast, still calling for a very active season! Learn more about it here on The Weathervein!



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Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Miami Named Florida's Most Vulnerable to Hurricane Winds

Miami, Florida is known for temperate weather, art deco, nightlife, pristine beaches, culture, shopping, The Golden Girls and... vulnerability.

Vulnerability you ask? According to a new study by researchers at Florida State University, when compared to 12 other cities in the Sunshine State, Miami was rated the most susceptible to damage from fierce winds associated with the strongest of hurricanes.

The study, "Risk of Strong Hurricane Winds to Florida Cities," will be published in the November issue of the American Meteorological Society's Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology, and finds that when using a recently developed Hurricane Risk Calculator, extreme wind risk from tropical cyclones varies across the state.


The Hurricane Risk Calculator was formulated on a basis of
tropical cyclones in the Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean from as far back as 1851, and it factors in monster storms like Andrew and Katrina, to determine how a variety of Florida cities fare in disastrous storms. Among those cities are Tallahassee, Orlando, Fort Meyers, Tampa, Pensacola, Key West, and of course Miami.

Using the Hurricane Risk Calculator, the researchers found that Miami can expect to see winds of 112 mph or stronger – that's a category 3 hurricane – once every 12 years on average. Miami last saw winds of that strength with Hurricane Wilma in 2005. By contrast, Tallahassee, the state's least vulnerable city, can expect to see winds of that speed only once every 500 years.

Learn more about the study and the Hurricane Risk Calculator here.

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Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Tropical Storm Colin: Charley's Replacement

Six years ago in August 2004 ferocious category 4 Hurricane Charley barreled into southwest Florida, producing severe damage as it made landfall near Port Charlotte. The strongest U.S. landfalling hurricane (at that time) since Andrew, Charley was retired from the rotating list of Atlantic tropical cyclone names, only to be replaced by Colin in 2010.

Well folks, earlier this morning Tropical Depression # 4 strengthened into Tropical Storm Colin, the third tropical cyclone of the 2010 Atlantic Hurricane Season.


Tropical Storm Colin is heading in the general direction of the northern Antilles. But what's next? Learn more about Tropical Storm Colin's projected path and find out what else is brewing in the Atlantic Basin, and what it means for the weeks ahead when you tune into this episode of The Weathervein!



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Monday, August 2, 2010

INTRODUCING The Weathervein

I would like to introduce you to a compelling new online weather video talk show called The Weathervein.

The Weathervein is a collaborative effort between myself, Devin Matthew Toporek, the creator of The Northeast Quadrant, and Greg Nordstorm, creator of the blog, EYE OF THE STORM.
The Weathevein offers a 'blood pumping' new look at weather from a personal perspective!

In this first episode of The Weathervein, recorded this past weekend, Devin and Greg introduce you to the show, and also talk about the increase in activity in the tropical Atlantic, as well as look forward to what could be a busy season ahead, both tracking storms and chasing them!


The video is posted below, and I'll continue to post them here on
The Northeast Quadrant, but I inivite you today to please follow The Weathervein at http://theweathervein.blogspot.com, and become a fan on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/theweathervein.

Enjoy, and thank you for following along!



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