Monday, August 31, 2009

VERY SURPRISED 94L is not Erika???




Well 94L is looking as good as ever tonight, even though it's still not Erika yet... I'm not going to challenge the NHC but it does really surprise me... It looks much better than Danny ever did, but hey that's a whole different story in itself... I do think it will be named soon, hopefully... I have said since the beginning (see old blog post) with 94L that I don't see this as a landfalling threat to the US... I'll post in more detail tomorrow but a trough is going to pick up what will be Erika and pull her north like Bill... The teleconnections showed this days ago and now most of the models are picking up on this as well... Even the champion of the tropics, the European, shows a strong hurricane WELL off the coast of the US heading north... In the short term what will be Erika is going to have a tough time with shear and also dry air... Again I'll post tomorrow but I don't see a lot of intensification in the short term... Also I don't think this is a threat to the US... But hey anything can happen???

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Hurricane Katrina Video-3...


Here is the third and final Hurricane Katrina video I'm going to upload today... This last one shows you the true horror Katrina caused... We honestly had NO idea the magnitude of the damage until much later when we started listening to news reports on the radio... The story that will ALWAYS stick in my head is one about Hardy Jackson which to this day is BY FAR the saddest video I have ever seen!!!

Of course I knew it was bad, by far the worst damage I have ever seen, but again I didn't understand the magnitude until the next day when we went to Bay St. Louis to try to help out... As bad as it was in Gulfport, Bay St. Louis was actually worse! We didn't film any of the damage because I honestly started to feel guilty and ignorant to the complexity of the situation... I feel like I grew many many years on August 29th & August 30th as some of the things I saw/experienced in Bay St. Louis changed me forever!!! I just uploaded the video to youtube so it will probably be ready around 10pm CT or so...



Also a FYI on the videos... When you click play on the video you will only see it in the smaller video screen depending on whether you use a PC or a Mac... After hitting play if you click on the actual video it will take you to youtube... There you can view the video in a much more user friendly way...


© Greg Nordstrom 2005

ANY USE OF THIS VIDEO WITHOUT PERMISSION FROM GREG NORDSTROM IS PROHIBITED AND WILL BE PROSECUTED TO THE FULLEST EXTENT OF THE LAW...

Hurricane Katrina Video-2...


Here is the second of three videos I'll release today! It's still processing right now but it should be good to go by 5:00am or so... As you can I can't sleep but this is typical on each anniversary as I usually think about the event in depth... Something like that just doesn't fade with time! Enjoy but also PLEASE remember all those that died that horrible day!!!




© Greg Nordstrom 2005

ANY USE OF THIS VIDEO WITHOUT PERMISSION FROM GREG NORDSTROM IS PROHIBITED AND WILL BE PROSECUTED TO THE FULLEST EXTENT OF THE LAW...

Hurricane Katrina Video!!!


Throughout the Day I'm going to upload some videos I shot from Hurricane Katrina... I have never released these to the public but I feel on the 4th anniversary enough time has passed... I really can't believe its been 4 years since Katrina because it still feels like yesterday when I close my eyes... Some of the things I saw were so incredibly heartbreaking and I pray I NEVER see anything like this again... God Bless the Mississippi Coast as it still tries to recover day by day!!!



© Greg Nordstrom 2005

ANY USE OF THIS VIDEO WITHOUT PERMISSION FROM GREG NORDSTROM IS PROHIBITED AND WILL BE PROSECUTED TO THE FULLEST EXTENT OF THE LAW...

Friday, August 28, 2009

The Weather Channel...



I just wanted to bring everyone's attention to the fact that Doug Gillham, Justyn Jackson, and myself will be on the weather channel tonight live at 6:40pm CT... We are going to talk briefly about Mississippi State University winning the national championship in forecasting via skype... Kevin Robinson set this all up who is a friend and fellow classmate I went to school with back in my undergrad days at MSU... It will be great to get the word out about MSU Meteorology and it will be especially great to show everyone how passionate we are about applied forecasting... We are truly blessed to have been taught by one of the best forecasters (Doug Gillham) in the country! As a teacher my goal is to pass everything I know about weather along to the students so hopefully one-day they can pass it along to other students and also the public... I'm very fortunate to have a job where I can pass along knowledge that someday could help save lives! I really do love my job!!! :-)

Quick Danny Update...



Well I seriously doubt Danny is going to make it to a hurricane before it gets to Cape Hatteras... The low-level circulation is still exposed from the main convection which is not a good sign for intensification... The shear and dry air has never gotten out! I will say this will strengthen some as it goes up the coast not by pure topical processes but instead by baroclinic processes which I talked about in previous posts... At this point I think a strong tropical storm is more likely at the very best... I still think I'm going to be really close with the track... Danny has continued to move a lot more west than the NHC and the models thought... In the end I think Danny will go very close to Hatteras and maybe a little west of Hatteras... The GFS/NHC will be too far east! Grade predictions as of now...

Track: A-
Strength: C- (Only reason I'm not giving myself a worst grade is I still think Danny will strengthen as it goes up the coast... If it doesn't then I'll lower it to a D-)
Long range overall forecast: A-
Overall: B

I hate to be wrong about any part of a forecast but it is what it is... You live and learn and move on... I always talk about how EXTREMELY hard tropical intensity forecasting is but at the same time I'm ALWAYS going to say what I think... I would rather be wrong and learn from my mistakes instead of not even giving it a shot... If you don't put it on the line then how are you going to learn? That's something I feel very strongly about!

UPDATE!!!

Track: B+ (Never developed so it didn't phase but still closer than GFS...)
Strength: D- (Didn't become a hurricane even though it is stronger today than yesterday...)
Long Range Overall Forecast: A- (Picked up on a legitimate US threat over a week out!)
Overall: C+/B-

Thursday, August 27, 2009

No Changes with Danny...



At this time I have no changes with Danny... The models overall have shifted east but if you watched Danny today on visible imagery it sure looked to move a LOT more west then the models and especially the NHC thought... Again I understand that the NHC's track is based off GFS model data so I'm not surprised with the eastern track... Even though the GFS is starting to shift back west! I still think it at the very least Danny hits Cape Hatteras but if it does miss east it's not going to miss by much, and I definitely believe it's west of the NHC's track... With strength again very tough... I still believe it makes it to a hurricane before nearing North Carolina but if it stays over Hatteras or even just a little east then it will continue to strengthen as it moves towards the Mid-Atlantic/New England as a strong Cat-1 or maybe a Cat-2... At this point I would be VERY surprised even SHOCKED if it made it to a Cat-3... That upper level low just didn't move out fast enough as Danny has continued to be beaten with shear and dry air...



On a quick side note everyone should keep an eye out on 94L... The NHC now has a medium potential for development... Most of the models develop 94L fairly quickly! What may become Erika at this time does not seem to be a threat for the US... I think it's going to develop too fast and get picked up by the TUTT... We will see though since it's still a long time out... Even if it doesn't get picked up by the TUTT the teleconnections show a very strong trough pushing through Japan... That would turn Erika north just like Bill and Danny... Since it's about 9 days out from any possible impact with the US, the upper air pattern from today/tomorrow should match up very well... Again right now I feel very strongly that what may be Erika gets pulled north and goes out to sea!!! If 94L develops quickly it will get pulled out quickly! If it develops late (sliding under the TUTT) then it will get pulled out to sea in a similar fashion to Hurricane Bill...

Tropical Tip: 9 out to 10 tropical cyclones that develop before 35 W longitude re-curve out to sea!!!



Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Tropical Storm Danny...


The NHC upgraded 92L to tropical storm Danny at 10am CT this morning... This was expected but I do want to touch on a few important things with Danny... This is NOT a typical tropical setup... Danny is going to interact with a trough as it heads towards the coast... There will be a trough split in the eastern US leaving back a piece of energy Danny is going to phase with... This will pull Danny more west and in my opinion keep it well west of the GFS track... The Canadian, UKMET, and European are still on board with a hurricane riding up the eastern seaboard... Also the WRF is now on board as well... I think the NHC is too far east which makes sense because they are relying on their tropical models that are initialized off the GFS... Of course there is a chance it could be right, but I really doubt it!

There is actually some dry air getting wrapped into the western side of Danny which I didn't expect... Overall the environment should moisten up... Danny will also be moving over the gulf stream which is ideal for strengthening considering all the warm deep water available to feedback this storm... It's still interacting with the upper level low which is shearing Danny... In the short term the environment is not ideal for intensification but in about 36-48 hours things will get interesting quickly... Like I said earlier this is not your typical warmed core cyclone that is going to make landfall... You're going to see sort of a "hybrid" tropical cyclone as it interacts with this trough... It's still a warm cored cyclone but it's not going to act in typical fashion as it will mainly strengthen due to the interaction with the trough instead of warm water, no shear, and moist air... The overall environment is never going to be ideal for rapid intensification but the trough will compensate for that!

By Friday when Danny interacts with the trough that's when things are going to start to get interesting... It will begin to ventilate Danny which should be in a more moist environment over warm deep waters at that point... This is when you have to watch out for rapid intensification... Not just because of the relaxing shear and warm water, but mainly because of the ventilation occurring do to the trough split... Joe Bastardi brought up a great point with conservation of vorticity which will see BIG TIME with Danny...

I'm still sticking with an eastern North Carolina landfall as at least a Cat-1 hurricane... Could it be stronger? Yes, definitely... But it's very possible it will hit it's peak near Virginia Beach and north instead of Cape Hatteras... This of course is dependent on the track... The more over water (offshore) Danny is the more likely it will exploded as it heads into New England... If it does make landfall at lets say at Morehead City, NC then it will most likely be at its peak then, because it will have to cross over way too much land as it heads toward New England... Again I think there is no doubt this will be a strengthening tropical cyclone as it approaches the eastern seaboard... It's still to early to give an exact intensity prediction, but I feel confident in saying it will be Hurricane Danny at landfall...


CHECK THIS OUT!!!


48 hour trough split...


60 hour Danny and trough phase...


72 hour "KABOOM"...

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Models Shifting West!!!



Let's do a quick overview of the models... I'm going to start with the Canadian who has been all over what should become Danny since Day-1... It has shifted a little west from the Outer Banks of North Carolina to near Wilmington, NC... Also it still has a strong hurricane that is strengthening at landfall... It then rides up the Chesapeake and into New England... This would be a bad scenario for the eastern seaboard especially if the Canadian is correct with the rapid intensification...



The European has also shifted west... It had what should become Danny off the coast of Hatteras where now it brings it move over Morehead City, NC... It's showing a much weaker tropical cyclone, however it still shows a strengthening storm at landfall which is key! A strengthen storm will mix those faster winds aloft to the surface much more readily than a weakening storm... Like the Canadian the European takes the system up the eastern seaboard but again as a much weaker storm...



The UKMET has a similar look to the European... It may be a little stronger but again they are almost identical... It did shift west from just off Cape Hatteras to Morehead City, however the biggest difference is in the track after that... It was showing a hard hook northeast yesterday which I definitely didn't buy! Today it's showing a more northward movement, eventually slamming into the northeast, which I think it much more realistic! The position of the trough over the continental US tells me that Danny should be pulled north not northeast... This is IMPORTANT especially when your dealing with millions and millions of people along the northeast coast!


The GFS shows what should be Danny heading out to sea not affecting the eastern seaboard... Honestly the GFS in my opinion is out to lunch right now... It's initializing the center of circulation over the deepest convection where the actual center should form much more south where you see the best pressure falls... This is a typical feedback problem with the GFS... Also it has a major problem with heat and heat transfer which I have talked about in the past... In this case it's trying to hand off heat north instead of bundling it where the center of circulation should form... I will say in the last few runs the GFS has been coming back west, so hopefully it's trying to correct this error... Right now though the GFDL and HWRF are useless because it's initialized off GFS model input... BAD DATA IN = BAD DATA OUT!!!



Above is the current water vapor image of what should become Danny... It's getting sheared by an upper level low which actually will eventually move away and start ventilating the system... As the upper level low backs off, the shear will relax and it will begin to form an outflow jet, similar to the rising motions found in a jet streak (RR/LF), which will ventilate the system and help strengthen it... Also with little to no dry air and warm deep ocean waters, I think this system will go to town... I believe you will see a depression form sometime early tomorrow...

I was glad to see the models shift west today... That has been my thinking all along and I see no reason to change, especially with the models coming around like it has... Of course until we form a low-level circulation and the models see this low-level circulation, Nothing is for sure... However I still like eastern North Carolina as my main threat! If I had to give an exact location I would say in-between the Canadian and Europeans track near Jacksonville, NC...

With the strength that's really hard right now... I do think it will be a hurricane and I honestly think it has a shot at a Cat-3... Bottom line, I think it will be a strengthening hurricane at landfall... Whether it's a strengthening Cat-1 or Cat-2 or even Cat-3 is really anyones guess right now... People in North Carolina and the northeast need to watch this closely as what should be Danny will be moving into prime conditions for rapid feedback and intensification... How much??? Well lets give it a day or so before we start to pinpoint that... Forecasting tropical cyclone intensity is one of the hardest things to forecast in weather! Even though I feel confident in saying it will be a strengthen system at landfall... More posts to come soon!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Hurricane Andrew 17 Years Later...


Really quick I just wanted to say that today is the 17th anniversary of Hurricane Andrew making landfall in South Florida... Only the 3rd and last Category 5 to ravage the US coastline (recorded history)... I actually did a detailed post on this last year during the 16th anniversary... I touch on a story about a man I met in Miami who survived Hurricane Andrew at ground zero(Homestead, FL)... I also touch on some other interesting facts about another great Miami hurricane that hit in 1926... If you're into weather history you should really enjoy it!


Also here is a link to a GREAT blog written by Mike Wilhelm!!! Again he does a GREAT JOB with his blog, and I highly recommend everyone to follow it! Today he put up some old videos from Hurricane Andrew... Again if you like historical weather then you are going to love this!

The European now on board...



Well the European is 100% on board with what should shortly be invest 92L... It develops what will be called "Danny" just north of the Bahamas... It then takes it just off Cape Hatteras and then rolls it into New England... A couple of things here... I personally think the system develops a little quicker and a little more south... Also I'm just a little west of the European... The European is the champ of the tropics so I'm not going to make the same mistake twice with what may become Danny, however I do think it at least clips North Carolina on it's way north...

The teleconnections showed a decent trough into north-central Japan so it's very likely it will break down the ridge and allow "Danny" north... I just wonder if the European is developing "Danny" a little too north and also an little too slow... Why is this important? Well if what may be become "Danny" can develop a little faster and more south then I think the ridge will influence it a little more west initially before getting pick up by the trough to the north... We will see what happens but my main threat as of now is eastern North Carolina...

Either way "Danny" is a legitimate threat to the US... Even if it does miss North Carolina it will then become a New England threat quickly... The UKMET is more in my thinking of development quicker and further south... I will say I don't really like its north-east hook and this is where I think the European has a better handle on it moving more north then north-east.... So in the end I do like the European I'm just a little quicker and further south which should allow for landfall in eastern North Carolina... Again though this means ABSOLUTELY NOTHING if what may become "Danny" doesn't even develop... Were in wait and see mode right now!!!




Also really quick I wanted to point out the the Canadian is in line with the European with the end game of what may become "Danny"... Please consider that the Canadian has been all over this since day one so I do put a lot of stock into it... It develops it quicker and further south but the end game is similar to the European... It takes it just off the Hatteras and then rams it into New England... Again I think the more northern track is correct... This doesn't mean there will be no motion east but I'm not buying a hard hook east! It also really deepens it out! If it does "bomb out" then I think it will be a little more west as it will pump the ridge... I personally believe it will at least hit the outer banks of North Carolina (eastern NC being my main threat) but again it's going to be a close/tough call...

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Canadian still on board...



This is going to be a quick post... The Canadian is still showing a tropical landfalling threat for the US about 6 days out... This is very similar to yesterday except for the fact that it's a little faster with the possible tropical cyclone which by the way would be called Danny... The teleconnections show that a ridge should start building as the system is nearing the US... I really do think this is a legitimate threat for the US not only because of the forecasted ridge but mainly due to the fact it shouldn't develop until it's close to home... See the post below as to why that is important!

Even though the energy is originating from the deep tropics it shouldn't start developing until it's near or just pass the Lesser Antilles... We will see what happens but you can see on satellite imagery the upper level low that is rapidly moving south from Bill is starting to slowly ventilate this currently weak wave... Eventually as this upper level low moves southwest and the wave moves toward the islands I think you need to watch for development as it really should start to get ventilated... Also it will move into a better environment overall... It will be interesting to see what happens, but the threat definitely exist if something can develop! Again keep in mind that the Canadian is still the only model showing this! However I think it's on to something as it did VERY WELL with Hurricane Bill...


I will say that I just looked at the UKMET and it's starting to slowly pick up on this possible threat as well... You can see an inverted trough in the Bahamas which is usually a sign of tropical development this far out... Again we'll see what happens but I find this very intriguing...



Friday, August 21, 2009

The Next Possible Threat...




I just wanted to talk briefing about the next possible tropical threat to the US... Right now it's just a weak wave coming off Africa but the potential is there for development down the road... Hurricane Bill has robbed the deep tropics of a lot of energy but you we still have some decent rising motions in the Atlantic... This upswing of the MJO should shut down by September 1st but for now it's a positive factor for development in the Atlantic...

With Bill robbing a lot of energy I don't see what might become Danny developing anytime soon... Unfortunately this not a good thing for the US... The slower what may become Danny develops the less likely it will get picked up by a TUTT and pulled north... When a storm is weak the updrafts are not near as high as a stronger storm... So obviously since the towers are not near as high as a stronger storm it's much less likely to be picked up by the upper level steering flow... See Hurricane Bill who developed quickly as good reference for this...


Right now the Canadian sees this as a threat for the east coast about 7/8 days out! Keep in mind though that this is the only model picking up on this as of now... I'm going to look at teleconnections in much more detail tonight to see what the pattern may hold in the future... I will say I did take a brief look at it and currently there is a decent trough in the northern parts of Japan but at the same time there is a decent ridge building in just south of Japan...

So I wonder if everything correlated correctly if a trough would dig in enough to pull what may become Danny north... If I had to guess now I would say no! If the a ridge did build in near the Bahamas then the US is in trouble with Danny... Of course this means nothing if it doesn't develop! Again I'll have to look at that in much more detail later... It's nothing to worry about right now but I thought I would at least bring everyone's attention to it... Only time will tell!!!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Thoughts on Ana and especially Bill...

Ana just couldn't keep it together going across Hispaniola and Cuba... I still believe if it would have been able to survive (keeping a low-level circulation) it would have exploded in the Gulf.... The Gulf of Mexico is primed but if nothing enters the Gulf then it really doesn't matter... This is an area to watch closely as it appears more and more likely were looking at homegrown storms this year... The deep tropics is about to close up shop!


Bill sure was a learning experience! First I still think the teleconnections worked well in picking up on the long range pattern... It saw the trough heading to the Mid-Atlantic which would have steered Hurricane Bill away from Florida and into the Carolinas... However there are limitations with anything... While the teleconnections picked up on the main pattern it can't pick up on mesoscale like processes you see with upper level lows... As a forecaster you have to understand that these TUTT's exist in the north-central Atlantic but it's basically impossible to forecast the placement of these upper level lows days and especially more than a week out! So in the end Bill was steered by two upper level lows which pulled it much more north than I thought it would... The turn at the end is still going to be dead on but the turn ahead of the main front was not foreseen by me...

I tip my hat to the European as it saw this from the beginning... Like I said I usually go with the European but I admit I thought it was going to be dead wrong this time... Oh well you live and learn and I promise next time I'll be hard pressed to throw it out without OVERWHELMING evidence... The European is far from perfect but it still reigns as the super tropical heavy weight model champion of the world... Until something changes and a model takes the belt from it I'll always be VERY cautious in throwing it out completely...


Even though in the end the European will destroy the GFS 9-10 days out, I still think the European is a little too far right in the end... A strong hurricane like this is really pumping the ridge with latent heat so I do think Bill will be able to build enough of a ridge that Cape Cod will see at least tropical storm conditions if not a few hurricane force gusts... It all depends on the tilt of the trough and the timing of the trough heading towards the east coast... Of course the slower it moves or if the tilt can be become negative then the more west Bill will go... However if you stay at a neutral to positive tilt and things speed up a little then Bill will go more east... In the end it looks like the trough will lag enough and turn negatively tilted enough to allow Bill to come closer to the US coast... Worst cast scenario it runs into the cape instead of passing just to the east... The next day is key on that, but again I really think Cape Cod will see tropical storm conditions late Saturday into early Sunday, especially considering TS force winds extended out 200 miles to the west and northwest of Bill... Regardless the waves are going to be VERY IMPRESSIVE!!!

Check this out!!!


This is the Wave Watch III forecasted wave heights off the accuweathre pro site that shows you 42 foot seas not that far off the eastern seaboard... Near the shore you are getting well over 10 foot waves... Again it just shows you the strength of this system and the waves it's going to generate... Any jog west will not just increase the wind and rain but it will also increase the wave height potential... The gradient is pretty darn tight...

One last thing about Bill is the angle of attack... A lot of the time you have a hurricane hugging the coast which will pull cooler drier air into the system causing it to weaken fairly quickly... In this case since Bill is coming from a different angle off the coast away from the land, so you're not going to see him pull as much cooler drier air into the system until it gets close to Cape Cod... This will keep Bill stronger longer and will also only make conditions worst... This time it's not a case of system speed being able to get hurricane conditions into New England fast enough before major weakening occurs across colder water...

I know Joe Bastardi from accuweather is comparing Bill to the 1938 and 1944 great New England hurricanes in strength but thankfully this time it SHOULD not make a direct strike... Also really quick consider that those two hurricane struck during the warm phase of the AMO like we are in today... What does that mean? More heat and energy (warmer water) for this hurricane to feedback off of... Time will tell but Bill may still have a lasting impact in Cape Cod!!!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Today in Intro to Meteorology...


Here is something I posted in my Intro to Meteorology class today that I thought I would share with everyone... A topic was brought up talking about how as humans we hate to see what hurricanes can do but as meteorologist we are fascinated by them... Basically we were just talking about how it's exciting to see the tropics getting active again after being dead all year... Of course again no one wants to see the horror or destruction but as a meteorologist and a scientist I would be lying if I said I didn't enjoy studying this amazing force of weather... It eventually led me into talking about the long range tropical potential for September in the Atlantic basin! It looks to me like were going to have to get something homegrown as the deep tropics should shut down!!! Here is the post:

"Trust me I understand... I will say after seeing things like Katrina first hand I've toned it down a lot but of course as a scientist hurricanes are amazing to study/experience... I will say that I think things are really going to slow down again here soon... This may be a little beyond Intro to Met but this upswing in tropical activity is coinciding with an up-phase of the MJO (Madden Julian Oscillation)...

Basically all that means is there is a lot of rising motion in the Atlantic right now... When you get this extra rising motion it only enhances your chances to get tropical development... Were about to leave this up-phase and enter a down-phase during September... This doesn't mean there won't be any tropical development but it will limit the potential...

Here are a couple of links relating to the MJO... Typically when we are in Phase 1 or 2 we see the increased threat for tropical activity in the Atlantic... I'm not an expert on this what so ever but I find it very fascinating... Also it's a great tool to help you in long range tropical forecasting... We will see what happens!


http://www.cpc.noaa.gov/products/precip/CWlink/MJO/whindex.shtml

Also check this chart out... It's another way of looking at MJO pulses... The green equals rising motion and the red indicates sinking motions...

http://www.cpc.noaa.gov/products/precip/CWlink/MJO/cfs.gif

You see we have rising motions in the Atlantic right now but by the end of the month the MJO up-phase starts to leave the Atlantic... By the middle of September you see the Atlantic is entrenched in sinking motions which is not good for tropical development...

Again this is just one tool of many you can use to help predict the long range tropics... Nothing is perfect of course especially when your making a forecast on a forecast... However I have found these charts extremely useful in the past...

Greg

Ps... In my opinion the more tools you have in forecasting the better your forecasts will be... Also be careful on how you use these tools... A good example of this is El Nino... Just saying that El Nino is going to kill the US hurricane season is not accurate... Each El Nino is unique and you can't make broad general statements about the overall pattern... Look at 1969 and 2004... Both weak El Nino years like this one and those were very active years... 1969 (17 named storms) you had Camille and we all know what happened in 2004 (15 named storms) with Charley and Ivan... A lot of the time El Nino is just a reaction to many other things in the overall pattern, not the actual cause of the pattern... Just something to keep in mind..."

Monday, August 17, 2009

Hurricane Camille 40 years later!


Tonight is the 40th anniversary of one the most destructive hurricanes is US history... Known as Camille, this monster made landfall in Bay St. Louis, MS around 11pm on August 17th 1969... The winds were sustained around 190mph with gusts to 220mph... Pure horror! Until Katrina it held the largest storm surge in US history of 25 feet in Pass Christian, MS... The entire Mississippi coast was demolished... Some of the stories from that night are heart breaking and honestly I wouldn't do it justice talking about it... Below I'll leave links on the 40th anniversary and stories from survivors I could never do justice! Also please keep in mind that more people died in Virginia due to flash flooding than along the Mississippi coast due to Camille's wind and surge... Just something to consider...

If you love historical weather I highly recommend reading the stories below... You will learn the TRUTH about Camille and also about tragic side stories like the Richelieu Apartments! If you have the time to read all of them, I promise you will learn a lot not only about that tragic night in Mississippi but you also about the events that followed in Virginia... If you don't have the time I would read 40th Anniversary #4 which was written today by TWC's Stu Ostro! It's EXTREMELY detailed and also very well written with lots of great links and comments...

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Sitting and waiting...


At this point the only thing we can really do is sit and wait... I'm still sticking with a Floyd like track with the main threat being North Carolina... I will say the models are all starting to come in line with the european... I still think they are all too far right but again at this point all I can do and watch it for a couple of days and see if it does start to feel a weakness in the ridge... Unfortunately with this type of forecast, if you are off on the turn by 100 miles, you might be off by 1,000 miles when it comes to the landfall... Hey it's just the nature of the beast!

The teleconnections said to me that it should stay much more west and not turn until it was in line with the Carolinas like Floyd did... The trough affecting Japan wasn't that impressive... One thing to consider is the fact that teleconnections can't pick up on small scale weaknesses in a ridge... Or when a ridge builds in stronger than expected west allowing a short but strong enough weakness to pull hurricanes north... It can give you a good idea of the overall pattern but it's fair from perfect... Especially when you are dealing with a small scale weakness in the overall flow... If the european is seeing this that far out, then I'll tip my hat to it and give it props... But I'm not going to change my forecast 7 days out just because the models say I should... Even though I usually love the european over the other global models, I still don't trust any model until you get inside 3 days... It will be interesting to see what happens...

On a side note I'm going to say this right now, DON'T SLEEP ON ANA!!! I know it's been destroyed by dry air but if it can somehow keep itself together and slide south of the islands towards the Gulf of Mexico, WATCH OUT! Claudette should show you that the Gulf is primed and if we get anything organized (established low-level circulation) then don't be shocked if it feeds back like a great white on a seal... The key is the next two days... If it can survive I would be very worried about Ana... The models don't show this but hey they didn't show Claudette either, which we knew was a threat for homegrown activity... Even just two days of no shear, no dry air, extremely warm deep waters, and you have to LOOK OUT!!! You got to love the challenge of forecasting the tropics!!! :-)

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Ana, Soon to be Bill, and more...


Just wanted to give everyone a quick update here...

Ana needs to be watched... It's still getting blasted with dry air but if it can survive I think it may be a big problem for south Florida and especially a big problem if it makes it into the Gulf... The water temps are WARM so if the dry air and shear relax for any amount of time it won't take long for this system to feedback and explode... This is especially true the closer Ana gets to South Florida/Florida Straits/Gulf of Mexico... Again South Florida and especially the Gulf needs to watch this VERY closely!!!

What will be Bill soon is still the main threat... The European is still way too right in my opinion and the 6z/12z GFS was starting to come in line with my thinking of a Floyd like track... But then of course 18z GFS went back to being too far left... In the end I do think the GFS will be closer than the european but I still think the trough affects Bill enough to pull him into the Carolinas... See blog post below on teleconnections/pattern recognition to see why!

Also behind what will soon to be Bill is another impressive wave coming off Afrcia... This will likely develop as well... The models are quickly starting to catch onto this as things are beginning to get crazy in the tropics!!!


Friday, August 14, 2009

Tropical Update!!!


Well finally the tropics are becoming active and there is no doubt a landfalling threat to the US exist... Of course without the a low-level circulation developing yet the models really can't have a true handle on what is going to happen... It's very hard to predict the future but at the same time you can use teleconnections to help predict the pattern... And that's KEY in predicting the future! If we can get a handle on the pattern, we can get a handle on the a long range forecast! I'm going to use what I have learned over the years to make the best long range forecast I can! Some people say this is impossible this far out, but I say nonsense! Would I go on TV and start warning the public tonight? Of course not, but at least I feel I'll have a better handle on the pattern which is without a doubt going to play a HUGE factor in an accurate forecast!



The NHC shows 4 areas to worry about... The one in the northeast Gulf should slide NE and I honestly don't see much coming out of that... If anything it may ventilate the other low risk area as it moves into the central Gulf... I would definitely watch this area for some homegrown development... I don't see anything big at this time but it should be watched closely!

What was TD 2 has been getting blasted with dry air since the beginning... Today some convection has flared back up and it's starting to look a little better... It has a huge envelope of energy associated with it so I definitely don't think it's done with by any means! Usually when you have a large envelope of energy like you see with TD2 it's much more likely to survive and eventually develop! Some of the models are showing this as well... Like Joe Bastardi said, If anything TD2 is the pulling guard for what will be the tailback and eventually a big problem in invest 90L... TD2 has taken on the SAL and if anything has moisted up the enivonment for invest 90L... So in the end even if TD2 doesn't develop it will still play a big factor in helping 90L develop into the monster I think it can become!




TD 2 is not only been getting beaten with dry air it's also getting sheared to the north... This should relax over the next few days which should aid in possible development... Also the dry air should let up as well... Again I would still watch this one closely for development and a possible impact to the southeast US...

Invest 90L is the problem and is what I think is the main threat to the US about 9 days out... Also it could be a double strike if the GFS turns out to be right (Florida/Gulf) but I'll show you here in a second why I think the GFS is too far left... Also I'll show you why I think the european is too far right (Newfoundland)... This is the complete opposite of what these models usually show... The european is typically the superior model and also typically the GFS is the model with a huge bias right... The GFS has a big problem with heat and likes to break down the ridge way too fast... Not just dealing with the tropics either, this is a common error you see with the GFS all year round... Also one other thing to PLEASE keep in mind... The NHC's models like the hwrf and gfdl is based off GFS model input... So be careful in using these models... If the GFS is wrong then these NHC products will be wrong as well... Just something to keep in mind... Now lets identify the pattern using teleconnections...




When looking at Japan to figure out the future pattern for the US you want to look at the trough/ridge pattern affecting asia and correlate that to the US 6-10 days out... 6 days for the west coast of the US and 10 days for off the east coast of the US... So since were about 9 days out from possible landfall I think this chart should work out well... These are 12z charts for Asia today (August 14th) which again I think is the best to use for teleconnecting invest 90L's possible landfall... Remember that Tokyo, Japan matches up in latitude with Cape Hatteras... The SE part of China matches up best with the Gulf Coast/Florida...

The first thing you should notice is a decent trough digging into the northern/central parts of Japan... This would correlate to a decent trough in the mid-atlatic region about 9 days from now which should again match up well... This along with the timing of 90L is the key in predicting the future pattern!!! I think there are two possbile scenarios at this time!

1) The trough and 90L meet up and you get a hard turn right/north before landfall in Florida, very similar to Hurricane Floyd in 1999...

2) The trough slows down or doesn't dig in as much or 90L speeds up enough that the trough misses it completely and strikes Florida... Even in this scenario I do think regardless if the trough isn't as strong or progressive it will still pull 90L up enough to miss the islands and hit Florida then entering the gulf... A little like Andrew in 1992... NOT SAYING IT'S going to be the intensity of Andrew, just saying the track "could" be somewhat similar...

Bottom line is I definitely don't think the european is correct about 90L heading towards Newfoundland... Usually I really favor the european but in this case I think it's way off... I hate to side with the GFS but I think its solution is much more likely than the european... Personally I think it will be closer to the GFS but I do think 90L feels enough of the trough to at the very least pull it north of the islands and into Florida... At this time I actually think the trough will be strong enough and timing will match up well enough for 90L to head towards the Carolinas... Of course this is ~ 9 days out but that's my insight on 90L as of now... I'll update again when we start to get invest 90L going... It should strengthen into a TS by Sunday in my personal opinion... At that time we'll know a lot more and I'll update again! This needs to be watched CLOSELY as a major threat to the US coast line...



By the way the current 0z GFS has 90L slamming into Miami and again slamming into the Florida panhandle... I'm not going to speculate on intensity which would be IMPOSSIBLE to predict at this point but it does show the affect of the teleconnection and the impending trough... The 0z GFS is siding with a weaker/slower trough allowing 90L to strike Florida first before heading hard north towards the panhandle... This is very possible and again completely oppisite of what the GFS usually does! USUALLY the GFS progresses the trough too fast/digs in the trough too far south... So to be honest when I see this it scares me a little... Also PLEASE keep in mind that if we do have a major hurricane on our hands this will only strengthen the ridge even more as it pumps mass amounts of latent heat into it...

I feel confident that 90L strikes the US mainland, I'm just not confident enough to say Florida over the Carolinas at this time... I'm leaning Carolinas but one thing is for sure, I DEFINITELY think the european is way off and way too right! I actually think the 0z GFS is much more likely to be correct then the european!!! Everyone needs to watch 90L very closely as it might be the storm of the year! Why do I say that? Well it looks like the Atlantic will shut down again towards the end of August/beginning of September... But hey that's another post for another time! More updates to come soon!!!



Update!!! TD 2 now reforms in Atlantic... Just happened while writing this blog... The southeast needs to watch this closely like I stated earlier in my update!!!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Hurricane Charley!!!

Right about this time 5 years ago myself, Josh Johnson, and John Walker were taking the worst of Hurricane Charley in our concrete bunker... I have never seen anything like it in my life and honestly I wonder sometimes if I ever will again... By far the most amazing thing I have seen in weather! For a chase account of the event click on the link below... Tomorrow I'll have a detailed update on the tropics...

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Top 10 Weather Websites...

This will be my last top 10 for a while... I'll probably do one again someday but not for a long time... Tomorrow I'm going to post on the 5 year anniversary of Hurricane Charley... Still to this day the strongest hurricane I have ever been in... With my last top 10 of course I'm going to rank the websites I like most when it comes to weather... Subjective of course, but at the same time they are all great websites... Honestly though I probably could have added at least 20 more I use all the time...


Click on the links above to take you to the different sites!!!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Top 10 US Natural Disasters in my Lifetime!

I was born December 18th 1979 so I'm only ranking events after that date... Also I'm only ranking events that occurred in the United States... Not quite as subjective as many of my other top 10's but there is still an element of personal opinion... I'll give it my best shot like usual...

1) Hurricane Katrina
2) Hurricane Andrew
3) 1993 Superstorm
4) 1993 Mississippi River Flood
5) May 3rd 1999 Tornado Outbreak
6) 1989 San Francisco Earthquake
7) 1980 Mt. Saint Helen
8) Hurricane Ike
9) 1995 Chicago Heat Wave
10) 2009 Mid-South Ice Storm

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Top 10 On-Air Meteorologist...

Like most of these top 10's, this is also very subjective... I'm going to rank them based of who I like and respect... Also I ranked a couple in the top 10 that are retired... If you think I missed someone feel free to comment...

1) James Spann (abc 33/40 Birmingham, AL)
2) Bob Ryan (wnbc Washington D.C.)
3) Bryan Norcross (wfor Miami, FL)
4) Neil Frank (khou Houston, TX)
5) Josh Johnson (wsfa Montgomery, AL)
6) Sue Palka (wttg Washington, D.C.)
7) Gary England (kwtv Oklahoma City, OK)
8) Kevin Robinson (twc Atlanta, GA)
9) Trent Aric (wplg Miami, FL)
10) Melissa Greer (wbtv Charlotte, NC) - RIP!!!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Top 10 Meteorology Universities...

First off you know I'm going to rank Mississippi State #1... When it comes to applied meteorology and especially forecasting I don't there is an university out there that can touch us... By the way we won our first National Championship in forecasting beating MIT!!! This was a long time coming for us as we finished second every year I was in the contest... Crazy enough, last year was my 7th year... Of course there are LOTS of quality institutions, each specializing in different aspects of meteorology... I'm going to give it my best try!

1) Mississippi State University
2) University of Oklahoma
3) University of Miami
4) Florida State University
5) Penn State University
6) Texas A&M University
7) Texas Tech University
8) University of South Alabama
9) Colorado State University
10) University of Hawaii at Manoa
*UCLA
*MIT
*University of Wisconsin, Madison
*Lyndon State College
*Iowa State University
*San Jose State University
*North Carolina State University
*University of Georgia
*Georgia Institute of Technology
*Millersville University of Pennsylvania

* denotes honorable mention...

Again this was tough and if you think I left someone out please feel free to comment...

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Top 10 Storm Chasers!!!

Ok, this one is also going to be very tough... I don't think it's quite as subjective as tornadoes but it really depends on what you are looking for in a storm chaser... I'm basing this on ALL weather... So if you just chase tornadoes then I'm not ranking you at the very top... A storm chaser that goes after all weather all across the world in my eyes should be ranked at the top... Please feel free to comment if think I missed someone...


*Denotes Honorable Mention...


If you click on each person it will take you to their websites... Except Jensen and Hoadley which will take to you interesting life accounts about them I found on stormtrack... I could have also included dozens of other chasers in a honorable mention section but again it's very tough! I like hurricanes more than tornadoes so of course naturally I'm bias towards them...

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Top 10 US Tornadoes...

Again this is just my personal opinion so feel free to comment, but keeping with my top 10's this week, I'm going to do the top 10 US tornadoes... This is extremely hard and VERY subjective but I'll give it my best... The only way to do this is to base it on pure destruction... Unfortunately that's the only way to ranks these beast of nature...

1) March 18th, 1925 Tri State Tornado
2) April 3rd, 1974 Xenia, OH (Super Outbreak)
3) April 3rd, 1974 Guin, AL (Super Outbreak)
4) May 3rd, 1999 Moore, OK
5) April 5th, 1936 Tupelo, MS
6) May 27th 1896 (East) St. Louis, MO
7) May 27th, 1997 Jarrell, TX
8) May 4th, 2007 Greensburg, KS
9) May 6th, 1840 Natchez, MS
10) April 9th, 1947 Woodward, OK

*April 26th, 1991 Andover, KS
*April 8th, 1998 Pleasant Grove, AL
*April 3rd, 1964 Wichita Falls, TX
*December 5th, 1953 Vicksburg, MS
*April 3rd, 1974 Brandenburg, KY (Super Outbreak)
*May 11th, 1953 Waco, TX
*May 11th, 1970 Lubbock, TX
*April 5th, 1936 Gainesville, GA
*June 8th, 1966 Topeka, KS
*March 3rd, 1966 Jackson, MS (Candlestick Park)

* Denotes honorable mention... Honestly I could double, triple, or even quadruple this honorable mention section... There are just too many recorded F5's in US history... Again if you have a few that you think should have made the list then feel free to comment...

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Top 10 US Landfalling Hurricanes...

Of course this is just my personal opinion but I'm gong to rank the top 10 hurricanes in recorded US history... I'm ranking this based on the worst conditions possible seen by one person... So size, speed, duration are not really the important factors to me... I'm going by which hurricane produced the worst possible hurricane conditions in one specific area... If you would like to give your opinions please feel free to comment....

1) 1935 Labor Day Hurricane
2) Hurricane Camille 1969
3a) Hurricane Andrew 1992
3b) Hurricane Katrina 2005
5) 1900 Galveston Hurricane
6) 1886 Indianola Hurricane
7) 1928 Lake Okeechobee Hurricane
8) Hurricane Carla 1961
9) Hurricane Hugo 1989
10) 1926 Great Miami Hurricane


Honorable mention: 1893 Sea Island Georgia Hurricane, 1919 Florida Keys/Texas, 1915 New Orleans, 1915 Galveston, 1938 Long Island Express, Hurricane Hazel 1954, Hurricane Donna 1960, Hurricane Beulah 1967, Hurricane Charley 2004, Hurricane Rita 2005

Also it's SO tough with Andrew and Katrina... Of course Andrew had the Category 5 winds, but Katrina had a 30 foot storm surge... Could go either way, but I say it's a tie...

One last thing... You really could interchange a lot of the honorable mention hurricanes with ranks 5 through 10... It really is just a personal opinion/guess... You could argue many hurricanes ahead of even 1900 Galveston... I would say 1-4 is pretty good though!!! :-)

Monday, August 3, 2009

Top 10 Blog Post!!!

To have a little fun over the next week I'm going to post a series of top 10's... Anything from tornadoes, hurricanes, storm chases, and probably some other cool/fun stuff... Today I'm doing the Top 10 Blog Post!!!