Nov 03

NASA Sees Damrey Strengthen into a Typhoon

Image: The AIRS instrument aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite captured temperature data of Typhoon Damrey’s clouds on Nov. 2 at 1811 UTC (2:11 p.m. EDT). Coldest cloud tops (purple) were as cold as or colder than -63F (-53C). (Credits: NASA JPL, Ed Olsen)

NASA’s Aqua satellite and the NASA-NOAA Suomi NPP satellite provided imagery of Damrey as it strengthened into a typhoon in the South China Sea.

The Atmospheric Infrared Sounder or AIRS instrument aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite captured temperature data of Typhoon Damrey’s clouds on Nov. 2 at 1811 UTC (2:11 p.m. EDT). AIRS found that coldest cloud tops were as cold as or colder than minus 63 degrees Fahrenheit or minus 53 degrees Celsius which are indicative of strong storms. NASA research has shown that storms with cloud tops that cold have the capability to generate heavy rainfall.

On Nov 3, 2017 at 1:06 a.m. EDT (0506 UTC) the VIIRS instrument aboard NASA-NOAA’s Suomi NPP satellite captured a visible image of Typhoon Damrey approaching Vietnam. The image revealed spiral bands of thunderstorms surrounding the low-level center and the hint of an eye.

Damrey is in a favorable area for strengthening with low vertical wind shear and is tracking through and area of warm sea surface temperatures.

Oct 29

Seasonal Outlook: The Weather Company Says Europe is in for Another Mild Month in November, Before Colder Emerges

December Expected to be Coldest Month of Winter, Relative to Normal

Andover, MA, 23 October 2017 — For the aggregate November-January period, The Weather Company is forecasting above-normal temperatures and below-normal precipitation across most of the eastern half of Europe, with slightly below-normal temperatures and wetter conditions confined to parts of western Europe.

“As we head into late October and early November, there is significant uncertainty with regards to the degree of North Atlantic blocking,” said Dr. Todd Crawford, chief meteorologist with The Weather Company. “For now, we are playing it fairly conservative and are forecasting a relatively mild November with generally warm and wet conditions across northern/western Europe. Looking further ahead, many of the climate models are depicting a very mild start to winter, but we are seeing enough evidence so that we do expect December to be colder-than-normal across NW Europe. As we head deeper into the winter, we expect the early colder weather to fade a bit.”

For the November-January 2017 period, The Weather Company is forecasting the following temperatures:

November

  • Nordic region – Warmer than normal
  • U.K. – Slightly warmer than normal
  • Northern Mainland – Warmer than normal
  • Southern Mainland – Warmer than normal west, colder east

December

  • Nordic region – Colder than normal
  • U.K. – Colder than normal
  • Northern Mainland – Colder than normal
  • Southern Mainland – Warmer than normal

January

  • Nordic region – Warmer than normal
  • U.K. – Colder than normal
  • Northern Mainland – Warmer than normal east, colder west
  • Southern Mainland – Warmer than normal east, colder west

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Oct 28

TROPICAL STORM WARNINGS ISSUED FOR WESTERN CUBA AND THE NORTHWESTERN BAHAMAS

NHC has begun issuing advisories on Potential Tropical Cyclone Eighteen. It’s located over the Northwest Caribbean Sea about 305 miles (490 km) south-southwest of the Isle of Youth and about 415 miles (670 km) south-southwest of Havana, Cuba.

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for Isla de la Juventud, La Habana, Ciudad de la Habana, Matanzas, Cienfuegos, and Villa Clara, and the Northwestern Bahamas. A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for the Central Bahamas. Tropical storm conditions are expected to first reach the warning area in Cuba Saturday and the northwestern Bahamas Saturday night. Interests in the Cayman Islands, South Florida, and the Florida Keys should monitor the progress of this system.

On the forecast track, the system will move across western Cuba late Saturday and move through then northwestern Bahamas Saturday night and early Sunday. Data from an Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft indicate that maximum sustained winds are near 40 mph (65 km/h) with higher gusts. However, the system does not yet have a well-defined center. Some strengthening is forecast during the next 24 to 36 hours. Environmental conditions are expected to be conducive for development, and the system is likely to become a tropical storm tonight or Saturday. When that occurs, it will be given the name “Philippe”.

The system has the potential to produce the following rainfall totals:
– Northern Honduras: Additional 1 to 3 inches tonight.
– Cayman Islands, western and central Cuba and the Northwest
Bahamas: 4 to 8 inches with maximum totals of 10 inches.
These rainfall amounts may produce life threatening flash floods and mudslides.
– South Florida, including the Florida Keys: 3 to 5 inches, with isolated maximum of 8 inches possible. These rainfall totals may produce flash flooding, especially in urbanized areas.

Oct 26

Cold blast for much of Europe in the last days of October!

Temperature anomaly map of Europe for October 30. Blue and violet hues represent colder weather than average, orange and red hues warmer. Much of central Europe, including France, Germany, Austria, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary as well as large parts of the Balkans / southeastern Europe will be up to 7-10 °C colder than average! Map indicates air temperature at 850 mbar level. Map: Tropcial Tidbits.

A major outbreak of cold arctic airmass over much of Europe north of the Alps and well into southeastern Europe as far south as Greece is coming.

Latest model guidance indicates three successive cold blasts from the north: the first, relatively weak one coming across N-CNTRL Europe tomorrow, the second, major one rapidly pushing across the northern Atlantic into NW and CNTRL Europe on Sunday and Monday and a third one following in the second half of next week. They will combine into an extended period of cool weather with temperatures well below average for this time, particularly for central, eastern and southeastern Europe for much of this weekend and most of next week. Expect locally frost and morning temperatures near zero or even below!

Also expect significant snowfall along the northern flanks of the Alps and Carpathians as persistent northerly flow results in stau effect.

Oct 19

Met Office: Storm Brian to arrive this weekend

Picture: MET OFFICE

An intense low-pressure system that is forecast to affect southern Britain on Saturday has been named as Storm Brian by Met Éireann.

The Met Office’s Irish partner took the decision earlier today to issue an Orange warning for some parts of Ireland on Saturday because of expected impacts across the Irish Republic. Under the collaboration between the Met Office and Met Éireann a storm will be named when it has the potential to cause an amber/orange or red warning.

Image: Met Éireann

Today the Met Office updated their Yellow wind warning for strong southwesterly winds on Saturday from 4am covering parts of southern and western England and South and West Wales. Currently the Met Office has no plans to issue an Amber wind warning for any part of the UK, but the situation will be under continual review.

Chief Forecaster Dan Suri said: “Storm Brian is expected to bring strong winds to southern and western areas early on Saturday morning. The first and most significant land-based impacts will be in the southwest of Ireland, hence the Amber warning from Met Éireann. At the moment, we don’t expect the same level of impacts for the UK.

“As we go through Saturday morning and early afternoon the strong southwesterly winds affecting the South West will transfer east and slowly change direction as they will become westerly towards the end of the warning period.

“Gusts exceeding 50 mph are expected widely within the warning area, with gusts of around 70 mph along exposed coastal areas. These are expected to coincide with high tides, leading to locally dangerous conditions in coastal parts.”

Before it makes landfall, the system is undergoing explosive cyclogenesis far out in the Atlantic. However, by the time it reaches Britain and Ireland this phase is expected to be complete and it will be a mature, deep low, bringing strong winds with the potential to affect travel over the weekend. The Met Office and Met Éireann will continue to review the situation ahead of the system’s arrival.

As the system is expected to bring strong gusts during Saturday, there is the obvious potential of risk to travellers. RAC spokesman Pete Williams said: “Drivers encountering high winds are advised to reduce their speed, ensure they hold the steering wheel firmly and be prepared for sudden gusts, debris and even fallen branches in the road.  Allow plenty of room between your vehicle and the next and take extra care when overtaking cyclists, motorcyclists and lorries as they are susceptible to being blown around easily by side winds.  Be extra cautious when driving on exposed roads, high ground and across bridges where again sudden gusts can blow you off course.

“When you reach your destination consider parking safely avoiding trees, overhanging telephone wires and things which could represent a falling danger.”

The strongest winds in coastal areas, gusting up to 70mph, are expected to coincide with high tides, leading to potentially dangerous conditions for local coastal communities.

Alison Baptiste, National flood duty manager for the Environment Agency, said: “Strong winds are expected across southern England on Friday night and into Saturday. Some coastal floodingis possible along the south and south-west coasts of England, especially around the times of high tide, with large waves, spray and some overtopping of coastal defences.

“We urge people to stay safe along the coast and warn against putting yourself in unnecessary danger by taking ‘storm selfies’ or driving through flood water – just 30cm is enough to move your car. Environment Agency teams are on the ground checking defences and taking precautionary measures such as closing tidal gates.

“We’re working with partners including the Met Office and local authorities to monitor the situation and are ready to respond as necessary.Where necessary we will issue flood warnings and alerts. You can check whether you’re affected at www.gov.uk/flood.”

Under the guidelines of the storm naming collaboration, an Amber wind warning triggers the naming process. Storm Brian will be the second named storm of the season, following Aileen which affected parts of the UK on 12–13 September 2017.

The system is typical for the time of year and it has developed mainly as a result of a contrast in temperatures either side of the jet stream, with cooler temperatures to the north and warm temperatures to the south. Ex-Ophelia which affected Ireland and Britain on Monday and Tuesday had a different origin as it developed from a hurricane in the tropical Atlantic. Therefore, Ophelia’s original name was continued rather than using the next predetermined name from the UK and Ireland’s storm-naming process.

Oct 15

OPHELIA NOW TAKING AIM ON IRELAND – EXPECTED TO BECOME A POWERFUL POST-TROPICAL CYCLONE BY TONIGHT

Hurricane Ophelia is centered this morning about 475 miles (765 km) east of the Azores and about 965 miles (1550 km) south-southwest of Mizen Head, Ireland. Ophelia is moving toward the northeast near 35 mph (56 km/h). On the forecast track, the center of Ophelia will approach Ireland on Monday.

Residents in Ireland should refer to products issued by Met Eireann, https://www.met.ie/ and residents in the United Kingdom should refer to products issued by the Met Office – https://www.metoffice.gov.uk/

Maximum sustained winds have decreased to near 105 mph (165 km/h) with higher gusts – category 2 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Some additional weakening is expected today and on Monday, but Ophelia is forecast to become a powerful post-tropical cyclone with hurricane-force winds as it approaches Ireland on Monday.

Gale-force winds are expected to begin across southern Ireland by early Monday morning and gradually spread northward across the country during the day. Hurricane-force winds are expected to reach the southern portions of Ireland by Monday afternoon and spread inland across the country into Monday night. Preparations to protect lives and property should be rushed to completion by this afternoon. Wind speeds atop and on the windward sides of hills and mountains are often up to 30 percent stronger than the near-surface winds indicated in this advisory, and in some elevated locations could be even greater.

Ophelia is expected to produce rainfall amounts of 2 to 3 inches (50 mm to 75 mm) with isolated totals near 4 inches (100 mm) through Tuesday across western Ireland and Scotland. Across eastern Ireland, rainfall amounts will average around 1 inch (25 mm) or less.

A dangerous storm surge is expected to produce significant coastal flooding near and to the east of where the center makes landfall. Near the coast, the surge will be accompanied by large and destructive waves.

Oct 14

OPHELIA BECOMES A RARE CATEGORY 3 HURRICANE SOUTH OF THE AZORES -THIS IS THE SIXTH MAJOR HURRICANE OF THE 2017 SEASON

Hurricane Ophelia is centered as of 11 a.m. AST about 220 miles (355 km) south of the Azores. On the forecast track, the core of Ophelia will pass to the south and southeast of the southeastern Azores by tonight. Tropical-storm-force winds are possible throughout the Azores beginning this afternoon or tonight, primarily due to an approaching cold front. Ophelia is expected to produce total rain accumulations of 1 to 3 inches over the central and southeastern Azores through Saturday night.

Satellite data indicate that the maximum sustained winds have increased near 115 mph (185 km/h) with higher gusts – a category 3 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Ophelia is a quite intense and rare hurricane for its location in the northeastern Atlantic. Increasing shear and cold waters will soon begin to impact Ophelia, and the hurricane should begin to acquire extratropical characteristics in about 36 hours or sooner. Although some weakening is anticipated, Ophelia is expected to reach Ireland and the United Kingdom on Monday as a powerful extratropical cyclone with hurricane-force winds.

Direct impacts from wind and heavy rain in portions of these areas are likely, along with dangerous marine conditions. For more details on the magnitude, timing, and location of impacts from post-tropical Ophelia, residents in Ireland should refer to products issued by Met Eireann, https://www.met.ie/ and residents in the United Kingdom should refer to products issued by the Met Office – https://www.metoffice.gov.uk/

Oct 10

THE SOUTH AFRICAN WEATHER SERVICE: Severe thunderstorms wreak havoc in Gauteng on 9 October 2017; further warnings for KwaZulu Natal and Eastern Cape on 10 October 2017

10 October 2017 Severe thunderstorms with heavy downpours, strong damaging winds and large hail, hit parts of Gauteng and surrounding provinces on the afternoon of the 9th October 2017. Areas that were most affected were the West Rand District, City of Johannesburg and Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipalities. There were also 2 sightings of tornadoes in Ruimsig (adjacent to Roodepoort and Krugersdorp) and Eloff, near Delmas (Mpumalanga). Other provinces affected were the eastern parts of North, West, eastern Free State, KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga and Limpopo. Extremely large hail (golf ball to tennis ball size) was also reported near Krugersdorp. Elsewhere in the Free State, a tornado was also observed near Bethulie yesterday.

Extensive damage to property was reported, which included the Cradlestone Shopping Mall in Roodepoort, where a roof partially collapsed, as well as numerous formal and informal dwellings which were completely destroyed. This resulted in more 100 people being displaced from their homes. Some roofs were ripped off residential dwellings and small office complexes in Krugersdorp and Roodepoort. Major roads were also affected by the flooding and resultant debris that were caused by the storm. At this stage, one death has been reported as well as a number of injuries.

Weather System
On the 9th October 2017, a line of thunderstorms developed east of a cut-off low pressure system which was situated over the western parts of the country. These storms developed through the central parts of the central parts of the North West and northern Free State, and then started moving eastwards. Due to prevailing favourable conditions (including abundant low-level moisture and strongly *sheared airflow in the lower portion of the storms), some of these storms developed into supercell thunderstorms. Supercell storms are the most intense class of thunderstorm and are characterised by a deep rotating updraft, are generally very long-lived (a lifespan of a few hours) and are associated with some sort of severe weather (one or more of large hail, tornadoes, strong winds and urban flooding) in at least 90% of cases. (*wind shear occurs when there is a marked change in wind speed and/or wind direction, across a short vertical distance)

Guidance issued by SAWS
The South African Weather Service issued a watch on Sunday afternoon (for Monday) for severe thunderstorms in places over the eastern parts of North West, eastern parts of the Free State, northern and central parts of KwaZulu-Natal and in places in Gauteng, Limpopo and Mpumalanga. This was upgraded to a warning on Monday afternoon as thunderstorms moved into the province from the west. These warnings were also carried extensively on social media channels of Twitter and Facebook.
A severe thunderstorm warning is issued by the South African Weather Service when a thunderstorm is expected to be associated with one or more of the following severe weather criteria*;
• Hail of greater than 19mm diameter. Alternatively, large amounts of small hail
• A tornado
• Wind gusts of 50 knots (93 km/h) or more
• Heavy downpours leading to localised urban or flash flooding

*This is closely aligned with international practise, particularly with respect to USA as well as Australia
Upcoming expected severe weather
The weather system that caused this weather has now moved to the east and most of the areas affected by yesterday’s storms can now expect predominantly sunny weather. There is however still a warning for heavy rain over KwaZulu-Natal (we have already received report of heavy rain and flooding in and around Durban) and eastern parts of the Eastern Cape before the weather system moves off the country later today (Tuesday). Thunderstorms are expected to return to the country on Saturday.
The South African Weather Service will continue to monitor further developments during this period and will issue subsequent updates as required. Furthermore, the general public are urged to regularly follow weather forecasts on television and radio. Updated information may also be accessed on www.weathersa.co.za as well as via the South African Weather Service Twitter account @SAWeatherServic

Oct 07

HURRICANE NATE CONTINUES MOVING RAPIDLY OVER THE CENTRAL GULF OF MEXICO

Hurricane Nate is centered as of 4 a.m. about 345 miles (550 km) south-southeast of the mouth of the Mississippi River, moving toward the north-northwest near 22 mph (35 km/h), and this general fast motion is expected to continue through tonight. A turn toward the north is forecast on Sunday morning, followed by a turn toward the north-northeast thereafter. On the forecast track, the center of Nate will move across the Gulf of Mexico today and will make landfall along the central U.S. Gulf coast tonight.

Hurricane Warning is in effect for Grand Isle Louisiana to the Alabama/Florida border, including metropolitan New Orleans and Lake Pontchartrain. A Storm Surge Warning is in effect for Morgan City, Louisiana, to the Okaloosa / Walton County Line , Florida, including the northern and western shores of Lake Pontchartrain A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for Lake Maurepas, west of Grand Isle to Morgan City, Louisiana and east of the Alabama / Florida border to the Okaloosa/Walton County Line. Along the northern Gulf Coast, hurricane conditions are expected in the hurricane warning area tonight, with tropical storm conditions expected to begin earlier. Tropical storm conditions are expected in the tropical storm warning area tonight. Hurricane conditions are possible in the hurricane watch area tonight and tropical storm conditions are possible in the tropical storm watch area tonight and Sunday.

The water is expected to reach the following heights above ground if the peak surge occurs at the time of high tide: Morgan City, Louisiana to the mouth of the Mississippi River…4 to 6 ft; Mouth of the Mississippi River to the Alabama/Florida border…5 to 9 ft. Alabama / Florida border to the Okaloosa/Walton County Line…4 to 6 ft; Okaloosa/Walton County Line to Indian Pass, Florida…2 to 4 ft; Indian Pass to Crystal River, Florida…1 to 3 ft

Maximum sustained winds are near 80 mph (130 km/h) with higher gusts. Some strengthening is possible before Nate makes landfall along the northern Gulf coast. Another reconnaissance plane will investigate Nate soon. Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 35 miles (55 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 125 miles (205 km). Cabo San Antonio in the western tip of Cuba reported gusts to 53 mph (85 km/h) a few hours ago.

Sep 27

LEE BECOMES THE FIFTH MAJOR HURRICANE OF THE 2017 SEASON

NHC has upgraded Hurricane Lee to a major hurricane. Maximum sustained winds have increased to near 115 mph (185 km/h) with higher gusts – a category 3 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 35 miles (55 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 90 miles (150 km). Slow weakening is forecast during the next 48 hours.

Lee is centered over the central Atlantic Ocean about 485 miles (780 km) east-southeast of Bermuda and about 1765 miles (2845 km) west of the Azores. Lee is moving toward the northwest near 7 mph (11 km/h) and this motion is expected to continue today. Lee should turn to the north on Thursday and
accelerate to the northeast on Friday. It is not a threat to land.