Saturday, August 29, 2009

TD Danny and Atlantic Blobette: August 29 Update A

Tropical Storm Danny? What tropical storm? Ah yes... the one whose remains
are heading over to the UK next week! Oh the irony. Although, you know,
we've had a bit of sun for a couple of days now and could *really* use the
rain. ;)

Danny is now a Tropical Depression, after getting as far as offshore North
Carolina, where he was too weak and got 'absorbed' by a front. The center
is approximately 35N, 74W, with winds of 35mph (at the most), and central
pressure of 1007 mb. He's moving NNE at 30mph. Parts of the US east coast
and Canada are getting rain - from a mix of this and the front.

Bet the surfers are out playing.

This is my last entry on this system I think - I'm assuming the rain and
wind here next week will be no more noticable than usual. If something
interesting happens I'll let you know.

Atlantic Blobette: This system has some circulation, but not much
convection. Currently at around 10N, 42.5W and moving west. It looks like
it will stay to the south, and keep on that westward track. I won't write
any more unless it looks like it has picked up.

Hmmm... I think that's it for now. The first break in systems since I left
the US! Hopefully that's the end of them for the year and I can write
about other things. :)

Have fun and Toodles until the next time. :)

Blog entries archived at:

These remarks are just what I think/see regarding tropical storms - not
the opinion of any organization I represent. If you are making an
evacuation decision, please heed your local emergency management and the
National Hurricane Center's official forecast and the National Weather
Service announcements. This is not an official forecast. If,
hypothetically, I was there and I was, hypothetically, going to "run away,
run away" (Monty Python), I'd let you know.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

TS Danny & Atlantic Blobette: August 27 Update A

TS Danny:
He's a bit of a tricky one. The NHC have moved his center all over the
place today, partly because it went missing for a few hours this morning.
Oops. It is back of course, and clearly west of the convective activity.
They have it at about 27.5N, 73.5W, moving W at 2mph. 'Moving' being an
overstatement of course, as a child could cycle faster than him! He has
pretty much come to a stop, because he is surrounded by high pressure on
all sides. You can imagine him as a ball that rolled into a dip in the
ground - surrounded by higher ground and nowhere to move. Poor fellow.
Until there's something to change that pressure field, he'll stay stuck.
As I said yesterday, slow systems are a little more difficult to forecast
in terms of their track. Because as they are taking their time, the
steering pressure patterns around them can change. We've seen this many
times in the past. I'm still more-or-less in agreement with the NHC, that
he will turn NW and the N In the next day or so, because there is a front
(i.e. Line of low pressure) coming off the east coast of the US that will
create a path for him.

Central pressure is 1008 mb, and winds are 50 mph, making him a weakish
storm still. Wind shear from the west/northwest isn't helping him to
develop, despite water temps over 29 deg C. Of course the other problem
with slow storms is they have that bit more time to intensify. I still
don't think he'll be a major one though (major is cat 3 or higher).

Basically, watch him until he's safely gone past you at this point would
be my advice.

Blobette: a blobette moved off Africa with lots of convection. Today the
circulation started to improve a bit, so it's one to keep an eye on. It's
waay out there... Just southwest of the Cape Verde islands at about 11N,
33W. Should it develop further, and the dry air doesn't squelch it, the
next name on the old list-o is Erika.

By the way, in case you don't know, these names are listed on the NHC
webpage. From the main page, scroll down the left side until you see
'Storm Names'. The names are rotated every 6 years, and are only withdrawn
(and replaced) if it was a particulary atrocious storm. So, for example,
we'll never see a Hurricane Katrina again.

I'll try and get a quick note out tomorrow sometime, otherwise Sat it'll
be. Time for a nap before the morning. This "working" lark can be quite
tiring, can't it? ;)


ps. It was sunny here ALL Day!! I put my shades on for the first time in
three weeks. After I'd dusted them down if course.


Wednesday, August 26, 2009

TS Danny and ex-blob Bill: August 26 Update A

I don't know why the NHC didn't label the Tropical Depression that turned
into TS Danny. If I had my druthers (which, admittedly, I rarely do these
days ;)), I would have done that overnight. A Tropical Depression, by the
way, is a system that has closed circulation with winds less than 38 mph.
He had pretty good circulation yesterday evening, as I wrote in the last
update and I think in the NHC 2am advisory they said he had close to
gale-force winds (39-54ish mph). I guess they were waiting for more data
... or having another cup of coffee. :)

Anyhoo... you guys er... I mean *we* have TS Danny out there. :) He's not
a very strong storm. Wind shear and dry air means his convection is east
of the center, which you can see in the visible satellite loops. Currently
he's at about 25.2N 71.2W. Winds are around 45mph (TS range: 39-73 mph).
Central pressure 1009 mb. He is moving WNW at 12 mph. He'll continue in
that direction for another day or so. There's a front moving east, and is
currently over Florida. This will interact with Danny, and should result
in a NW/N turn. So I agree to some extent with the current track forecast,
in that he will turn. But he has slowed down since this morning, and the
slower a storm moves, the trickier it becomes to forecast the track, and
so the question is where he'll skirt the east coast, if at all.

Water temps are currently 29 deg C. We also need to watch out for where he
turns relative to the Gulf Stream. Water temps there are over 30 deg C,
and are also warm with depth in the ocean. That will play into how intense
he gets in addition to wind shear. Unlikely to be a major hurricane

No need for me to tell you to keep an eye on him. Looks like the surfers
will be on the east coast again this weekend! :)

Oh yeah... and how can I forget about Bill? He was pretty harmless. We all
got a bit of rain and wind, but nothing really unusual (for the UK). The
Sun even popped out this evening. I almost blinked at the wrong moment and
missed it. ;)

Toodle pip,

<Insert Disclaimer>

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Atlantic Blob: August 25 Update A

The blob from yesterday is still a blob, currently NE of the Caribbean and
still moving WNW. The main convection skirted the islands I think. Today
Circulation improved in the lower section of the troposphere (send me a
note if you don't know or recall what that is), and I believe a plane is
in the system investigating it this afternoon. Doesn't look like a
Tropical Storm to me yet, but it does have some strong thunderstorms with
"trash moving gully washer" rain. ;) (that's Texan for heavy rain. Thanks
ES for letting me know about that!). I expect it to be a Tropical
Depression soon. The WNW motion will continue, so the Bahamian beach-going
tourists may be out of luck again.

Tomorrow I'll talk about Bill as well as any Blob developments.

ps...disclaimer blah blah blah....

Monday, August 24, 2009

Blob Bill and another Blob: August 24 Update A

Aaaagh... I just deleted my update. Bother. Well... To sum up this rather
blobby update then.

Bill is heading this way, as a blob with winds in the tropical storm arena
(39-73 mph). I'll write more on him when he gets here, probably on weds.

There's another blob out there, currently lurking menacingly just east of
the leeward islands. It's been moving steadily WNW for a day or so, and
convection really blossomed along with circulation during the day today.
The infrared satellite imagery shows some clouds as 'red', meaning the
strong thundery sort of weather. It'll contine WNW for a while, bringing
rain and thunder to the VIs, PR, Hispaniola etc. Development depends on
how much it interacts with the larger islands. More tommorrow on "The Blob
vs. The Islands". Should it get past 'Go' and past the Tropical Depression
stage, the next name is Danny.

Until the morrow,

Disclaimer: see yesterday.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Hurricane Bill: August 23 Update A

Boy do I have some interesting things for you today. I've received a
gaggle of goodies from readers & friends, including Bill surf photos.
Thanks everyone! First, a quick update on wonderful H. Bill (not to be
confused with wonderful Bill H. who may be reading this ;)).

Bill is currently at about 44.4N, 62.5W, racing NE at 35mph. Central
pressure is 970mb, and wind speeds are officially 80mph, making him a
mid-level cat 1 (cat 1 range: 74-95mph). As expected, he was downgraded
to a cat 1 in the advisory after yesterday's update. At the moment he has
hardly any convection to his west and south, even the 'blue-level' clouds
(see yesterday's update for explanation) are mostly on his east and north.
Parts of Canada are getting some rain, and thunderstorms. Given his ragged
appearance I think he's probably a bit weaker, but I'm sure that will be
adjusted in the next couple of advisories.

Also as expected, he's heading to my side of the pond. The 3-day forecast
map on the NHC website looks like the Americas are shooting a
cheesy-60s-sci-fi-movie-special-effects ray gun at the British Isles. Huh.
What did we do to deserve that? ;) Comments I've had since my update a few
days ago on his planned 'attack' on the UK:

From DP: "you can run, but you can't hide."
From EE: Jimi Hendrix, Foxy Lady lyrics: "I'm coming to get ya..."

Hee hee. Actually, it looks like he's heading to Scotland (northern
British Isles for the geographically bemused), and I live in southern
England (southern being the operative word for the bemused), so I reckon
it'll be fine here. Of course, the current center of the cone is heading
straight for my brother (insert more chuckling from yours truely). Here's
my conversation with him about Bill:

Me: Hurricane Bill will be there Tues/weds ish. You may get a bit more
wind and rain than usual.
Him: I don't think there's such a thing as more than usual.

So that's Scotland for you.

Finally on Bill, I hear and see that the surf was amazing on the east
coast of Florida. Sent to me by CP, check out these amazing photos:
Three days of an extreme workout, and he loved every minute. :)
If you recognize him in these photos, you can probably email him yourself. :)

Now for non-Bill things.

I got a query from 'Jim' who asked about the circulation NE of Puerto
Rico. If I'm looking at the same thing, it's not in the lower atmosphere.
It's high up there, and may be connected to a 'trough' (an area of lower
pressure that forms a line as opposed to an isolated circle, as we see
with storms - they are associated with fronts). There's not much
convection, and it is really high, so I don't think it's anything to be
concerned about. But as I learnt from the wisdom of Sean Connery's wife,
never say never (again). :) So I'll watch anyway.

I also got this from HH. It explains why Florida hasn't seen much action
since 2005. Apparently it's due to Governor Crist, who came into office in

Or, and I'm just throwing this wild suggestion out there, it could be
because of actual *scientific* reasons. Ummm...nah. That's just plain
silly. ;)

Enough drivel for today. I have to eat dinner and paint my nails.
Ciao for now,

Disclaimer: see previous entries until you get to something that looks
like a proper disclaimer and I don't write anything about Internet issues.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Hurricane Bill: August 22 Update A

"windy but hardly bigger than a sneeze in winter" is the verdict on
Hurricane Bill as he zoomed past Bermuda. Thanks SB - happy to hear it
wasn't too bad. :)

They did get a bit more than 'windy' as the satellite images showed. To
continue from yesterday, you can see this for yourself.

<Science Alert> Go to the page I directed you to yesterday: and scroll down to Atlantic
Floater 2, currently labeled Bill. Click on the second line - IR AVN on
the link marked Image (Loop will give you a movie, which is useful but
takes longer to load the page). IR stands for infra-red, and this
basically shows the temperature of the cloud tops. The blue is for warmer
cloud tops, and red is for the coldest cloud tops. The higher the cloud
tops are, the colder they get. Anyone who has lived in areas prone to
thunderstorms may have noticed that the 'big' (high) clouds produce the
most active weather. On the satellite image, the White clouds are fairly
light clouds, the blue areas indicate nice solid cloud cover, but no rain.
The yellow ones bring rain. Orange and we have thunderstorms (with
possible tornadoes and other goodies that you can get with thunderstorms),
and Red. Well, red is just not very good at all! <End of Science Alert>

I have to throw these 'science' things in from time to time. And I might
not get another chance this year, because I only asked for three named
storms in 2009. ;)

So, delightful Bill is currently at about 36N 68.8W, and speeding
northwards at 23 mph, towards the eastern seaboard in the Cape Cod/Canada
area. I agree with the NHC today (yes, I also do that from time to time ;)
) on the current location, the direction, and even their path! The only
thing I'm umming and aahing about a bit is their wind speed. They have had
him as a cat 2 with winds of 100mph all day. He might be a bit weaker,
possibly a strong cat 1, but it's only a difference of a few mph so
keeping him at cat 2 is ok. (cat 1: 74-95 mph; cat 2: 96-110 mph). Central
pressure has risen to 964 mb.

He's moving over cooler waters - still 29
deg C, so certainly warm enough to keep him going. But it'll get cooler
quite quickly. He is also approaching a region of stronger wind shear
again. And there is still dry air to
his south. All these should continue to weaken Bill. It may just turn out
to be a blustery/dreary day in the Cape Cod/Newfoundland area. So
hopefully no different than a normal autumn day up there. ;) Cape Cod and
parts of Canada are under assorted warnings and watches.

Until tomorrow my peeps!

Blogs archived at:
yeah, still have a few internet glitches here. So have a look at previous
entries. But to sum up... Ignore everything I say (unless it's funny or
it's science :) and listen to your emergency managers, the NHC, and the
National Weather Service.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Huricane Bill: August 21 Update A

Hmm... Things aren't looking too groovy for Bermuda at the moment. I'm
not convinced about that track, or even the location that the NHC have
just released. They have his center at 28.5N, 66.8W. I see it a little
east of that at 28.5N, 66.2N. Not only that, but Bill's been moving
east of the forecast track for the past few hours. Clearly one of us
is looking at the wrong hurricane Bill that's in the Atlantic. But
check it out for yourself...

Go to:
scroll down to Atlantic Floater 2, labeled Bill. Click on either of
the top two 'Loop' tabs - Visible gives you a visible image, and IR
AVN gives you the infra-red, which shows the amount of convection
going on (red is for the biggest thunderstorms you can possibly
imagine). Once the loop has loaded, at the top click on the lat/lon
tab, and also click on the 'Trop Fcst Pts' tab. You should now be
seeing the storm (with an eye) on a lat/lon grid, and some red
symbols, which indicate the current forecast track. That'll show if
it's on the forecast track or not. They move the forecast points with
every update, so best to wait a few hours after the most recent
update. Also, at the bottom of the page you can stop the loop at any
point. Stopping on the latest image will allow you to estimate the

Bill lost some steam earlier today (and his eye) because of wind shear
and dry air. But he'smoving into a region of lower shear, and warmer
water temperatures. Current temps are 29-30 deg C, around the Bermuda
area, they are 30+ deg C. So although they officially have himas a cat
2, with winds of 110 mph, I think they are a few hours too late on
that call. He looked like a cat 2 earlier, but is more like a cat 3
now. His official pressure (as cat 2) is 957 mb, which is a tad lower
than his pressure earlier, when he was officially a cat 3. Hmmm.
Something fishy there don't ya think?

His center is approx. 290 miles SSW of Bermuda. He's moving NW at 18
mph (officially), although as I said, I think it's approaching NNW.
Hurricane force winds are 115 miles from the center, tropical storm
force winds are 290 miles from the center. I'll let you connect those

I heard from SB in Bermuda about 4 hours ago: "very cloudy and winds
about 20 knts. am heading down to get some groceries. Might flash
down to south shore to see if there are any kodak moments. It's grey.
people have been telling me it'll miss but still not sure. might veer
north east slightly from current projected course. looks like the
Passing Wind will do a roaring trade tonight.". ... er... He's not
being rude at the end there. I believe the Passing Wind is a local

Stay safe my Bermudian friends! Write if you can.

That's it for now folks. Time to turn the heating on ... Brrr. :)

Toodle pip,

p.s. Internet probs continue, this time with my email access. Sending
this from an account I set up *just* for you guys who are on the
listdserve. Because you are special. Now fingers crossed the message
doesn't get deleted when I hit send! It took me ages to write!

P.p.s. Despite my not quite agreeing with the NHC at the moment,
PLEASE pay attention to them, your emergency managers and the Weather
Service! They do have the mostest, bestest, data on these systems. And
some of them even have a great sense of humor. ;)

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Hurricane Bill: August 20 Update A

Bill is such a lovely, wonderful, magnificent storm, isn't he? First he
turns to avoid the Caribbean, and now he looks like he's going to 'swerve'
to avoid Bermuda, and then turn again to only skim the east coast...
before he heads OVER TO THE UK!?!?! Yeah yeah, laugh it up. ;)

He's currently at 23.5N, 62.6W, and at the last advisory at 2pm, was
moving NW at 18 mph. Winds from a hurricane hunter earlier were at 120
mph, making him a cat 3. Central pressure was 951mb. His eye got a bit
cloudy earlier today, also an indication of some weakening, I think as a
result of that dry air and wind shear I mentioned yesterday. But it's
looking a bit clearer again now. The wind shear from the west has died
down a bit, and now it's just from the SW. You can see this on satellite
images - his eye is closer to the SW side, and there are a lot more clouds
streaming off in the NE quadrant.

Bermuda is under a hurricane watch. Hurricane conditions may be there by
Saturday. I heard from SB on the island... they began hurricane preps in
earnest today. TS force winds extend out 260 miles and hurricane force 105
miles. The center is about 600 miles from the island.

You guys on the east coast should also be prepared of course. I can't yet
comment on that part of the track as I haven't had time to look at
everything. I'll try and have a proper look tomorrow.

(And er... For anyone called Bill who may be reading this...see, I was
very complimentary ... today anyway. ;))

Gotta go! Be good. Esp. you Bermudians. Get your beer in *before* the
rainbands start hitting this year will you? :)


p.s. I've mastered the art of capital letters on this device, but still
can't get the disclaimer. So don't forget to ignore this message and
listen carefully to the NHC, your emergency managers, the NWS, your
spouses & significant others, your kids, your pets, the guys at the
auto-repair shops, your doctors & dentists, Eddie Izzard, Monty Python,
and of course, everything ever said by Keanu Reeves. :)

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Td ana & hurricane bill: august 19 update a

Still having a few Internet access issues. Guess I'll have to be extra
entertaining to compensate. If only I could remember how.

Td ana: She actaully did pass south of Cuba, hence the convection over the
past few days. But the area of circulation is over the yucatan, so she's
done. This is my last entry on this system.

Hurricane bill: 'big boy bill' was officially upgraded to a cat 3 about 3
hours after the 'cat 2' advisory yesterday, with winds of 125 mph. Today
he became a cat 4, and has winds of the 135 mph (cat 4 range: 131-155mph).
Central pressure 950mb. He' currently at 19.3n 56.5w, still officially
heading wnw at 18 mph. I think he's made that turn towards the north, and
is heading nw.

The folks in the leeward islands are probably celebrating this evening! I
already got one joke from them. The real saving grace is strong wind shear
from the west and now southwest during the day combined with dry air to
his west and north. It has made the convection a bit lop-sided, keeping
everything away from the islands. If it wasn't for those factors, he would
be a monster storm (I'm talking a cat 5) and spread over a large area. As
it is, he's a cat 4, covering Approx. 1000 miles in the north-south
direction, and 700 miles east-west! for my next problem children on the
paradise/rum-drinking/golf-playing island of Bermuda (that' about all I
know of the island :)). Yes, you really should get your car insured asap.
At the moment you are barely out of the cone of uncertainty, but I think
that might change. It's still three days out. And as he's big, even if the
track doesn't go directly over you, you'll still get a bit'o'weather.
Hurricane force winds are 80 miles from the center, and ts force extend
175 miles out. Keep in touch. Oh... And I'll say it before the nhc:
interests along the eastern seaboard should monitor the progress of bill.

Again, I can't read or edit typos. I'm sure it'll get resolved by the
start of the next hurricane season. :)

weather report from 'tj' in st. Thomas for today was: "Disgusting hot and
Weather report from me in the uk: really quite pleasant... no rain, mostly
overcast with peeps of sunshine.

The roads here are safe(ish) again. I've re-mastered the art of driving on
the left side of the road and roundabouts. Now if only I didn't keep
getting lost.

Time for din-dins. :)

P.s.again re disclaimer - see yesterday :)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Td ana & hurricane bill: august 18 update a

Aaagh...Internet access problems. Lucky I got me one of those handheld
devices with some access!

Td ana: still lots of convection over Cuba & the Bahamas. Still some
circulation. Hopefully that's all that's left in this system.

Hurricane bill: a cat 2, he's still a handsome looking storm. Currently
centered at about 16.6n 52.2w, moving Wnw at 16mph, with central pressure
of 962mb. The track a few days out has shifted slightly west. Tomorrow
will be the day to look for the forecast ne turn. The Nhc have been pretty
good at the 24hr forecast over the past couple of seasons. However, even
if he isn't making a beeline in that direction, those of you in the
carribbean islands need to be ready for some weather. Bill's a big boy.
His *center* is 635 miles east of the leeward islands, but hurricane force
winds extend out 45 miles, and tropical storm force winds are out to 175
miles. And he hasn't finished growing yet.

The last advisory at 5pm had his winds at 110mph, making him a cat 2
storm. I think he's a cat 3 (cat 3 range: 111-130mph). At those speeds a
few mph is within the error margin, and his circulation is pretty darn
tootin strong. Convection is also strong, with strongest action to the
south and east, away from dry air. They are forecasting a cat 4.

I'm giving the nhc an award for most obvious statement of the day:
"interests in the leeward islands should monitor the progress of bill" :)
no, really?

I heard from someone in Bermuda... They are planning a post-hurricane
cruise. Reminds me of the good old 'big beautiful bertha' days from last
year. :)

as you can tell, I haven't figured out how to type in capitals on this
device. Thank goodness for auto-correct. Ho hum.

Until tomorrow.
Tally ho!

P.s. Sorry for typos! (unless they are funny). I can't read or correct
what I've written

P.p.s. I also can't access my usual disclaimer but it's something about
ignoring everything I write and listening to the nhc, your emergency
managers, the weather service. And if I was hypothetically there, I'd tell
you if I was hypothetically going to run away.

Monday, August 17, 2009

TD Ana, Hurricane Bill, TD Claudette: August 17 Update A

Well I survived my first day on the job, and am now relaxing with my first
glass of wine for 5 days, and 'Jeeves and Wooster' is on the telly. :)

TD Ana:
Ana's a determined little system and still has considerable circulation in
the lower atmosphere. Not only that, but she's picked up more convection
since yesterday, which looks very blobette-like at the moment, making it
very tricky to see her center of circulation. Even the NHC is having
difficulty. We'll know more in their next update because I think a plane
was sent in to investigate. There's a chance it is south of their current
estimated location of about 17.6N, 67.3W. Regardless, there are some heavy
storms over Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. Winds are near 35 mph,
central pressure is 1008mb.

If she follows the *forecast* track the NHC have, she'll pass over
Hispaniola as a TD, and continue towards ... the west Florida shelf and
Tampa Bay area. Of course she will. Typical. Huh. However, that's the
official forecast. I think the reason the track is in that direction is
because of Claudette. I also think that the track might move to the east,
and depending on where her center is, she might fall apart as she crosses
Hispaniola anyway. I also think that the center might be a tad south of
the estimated location, and in that case, there's also a chance for this
system to remain south of Hispaniola. Still keep an eye on her.

A report from our intrepid on-the ground St. Thomas reporter, TJ, on Ana
as she went past that area earlier: "no real wind within our area right
now...plenty of hard rain squalls lasting 20min and longer...wind
seems to come with the rain and then is being reported as
55mile south of St. Croix ...basically a welcomed rain storm without all
of the destructive wind"

Hurricane Bill:
He's looking good. I'll give him that. Center of circulation is clearly at
14.6N, 46.4N and he's zooming along WNW at 16mph. Current wind speed is
about 90mph, central pressure 977mb, making him a cat 1 storm (cat 1
range: 74-95 mph). I agree with the NHC, he'll be a cat 2 by the end of
the day (cat 2: 96-110mph) - if he's not already - and may even be a cat 3
by tomorrow morning. Circulation is strong over the entire troposphere,
wind shear is very low, he's over water temperatures of 28-29 deg C, and
as if all those factors weren't enough, the center is well protected from
dry air by heavy convection. At the moment I don't see anything to stop
him from increasing in strength.

The track: the forecast track is still to the NW, north of the VIs and
towards Bermuda, which would be great as there's a chance he'll miss you
guys in Bermuda as well as those of you in the VIs. I'm still a little
dubious about this though. He might stay on a more westerly track than
forecast, so everyone on any of the islands should be ready even if you
aren't in the cone. That pressure field is still to the south, although
he's getting large enough that it may not be a big component in his track
after tomorrow.

TD Claudette:
As you know already, she made landfall in the Ft. Walton Beach area as a
weak TS in the middle of the night. I don't think storm surge reached 3ft
anywhere. This is my last entry on this system.

Again, thanks to everyone for the lovely emails and comments over the past
few days. I'll get back to you all individually at some point (perhaps
when there aren't any storms out there!).

Toodle pip until the morrow,

Blog entries archived at:

These remarks are just what I think/see regarding tropical storms - not
the opinion of any organization I represent. If you are making an
evacuation decision, please heed your local emergency management and the
National Hurricane Center's official forecast and the National Weather
Service announcements. This is not an official forecast. If,
hypothetically, I was there and I was, hypothetically, going to "run away,
run away" (Monty Python), I'd let you know.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

TD Ana, TS Bill, TS Claudette & Whirlygig: August 16 Update B

TD Ana:
Formerly known as TS Ana. Poor Ana isn't looking so hot anymore. The dry
air and wind shear has mussed up her hair and make-up to the point that
she's now downgraded to a TD. Winds are 35mph and central pressure is
1008mb. There is still some convection and some circulation, so we should
keep half an eye on her. The center is somewhere around 15.1N, 58.8W, and
she's moving west (ish) near 23mph. She's expected to make a W-NW turn
later tonight, but looks like she'll pass south of the VIs and into the
Caribbean by tomorrow.

TS Bill:
I can't see him staying as a TS for long, and I agree with the NHC that
he'll be a hurricane within the next few hours. He has grown quite quickly
over the last three to four hours. He is in a low wind shear environment,
with plenty of water vapor surrounding him, and water temperatures of 29
deg C beneath. His current wind speed is near 65 mph (TS range: 39-73mph)
and Central pressure at 994 mb. He's moving WNW at 16mph and is currently
centered at about 12.8N, 40W.

The forecast track currently takes him north of the VIs and towards
Bermuda in a few days. I am not 100% convinced of this track. I can see
why they are saying it... there's a low (trough) in the pressure field
that is moving east and will begin to erode the high pressure over the
Atlantic, which will effectively create a path for him to turn NW. But it
is days away, and if that 'trough' does not extend far enough south, then
the high pressure will force him westward for longer than they are
currently forecasting and towards the Caribbean. So, everyone from Bermuda
to the Caribbean, continue to keep both eyes on Bill (which means that
along with Ana, we're keeping 2.5 eyes on these systems... hmmm).

TS Claudette:
She's quite close to the Florida panhandle now, at about 29.5N, 85.6W.
She's a weak TS, with winds of 50mph and central pressure of 1008mb, and
is moving (according to the NHC) NW at 14mph. I'll buy this as it's
difficult to tell exactly where the center is in such a weak system, and
the NHC have planes flying through etc. So it looks like landfall
somewhere between Appalachicola and Pensacola tonight.

But I'm not sure I agree with how the NHC have decided to phrase the water
level information (from the latest advisory): "STORM TIDE IS EXPECTED TO

"Storm tide above ground level". What, may I ask, is 'ground level'?? Yes,
I'm confused by this rather vague terminology. Is it relative to mean low
level water? Which is what is used by the Tides Online site
( I directed you towards
in the previous entry. I much prefer the Tides Online version of how high
the water level will get. It gives you what is normally predicted (blue) -
i.e. your normal high and low tides. Then it shows you what the actual
observations are (red). And finally, the green is the residual, which is
the difference between the observed and predicted levels - i.e. the water
level change because of something other than tides. From that, it looks
like water levels at Appalachicola are about 2 ft above normal, and Cedar
Key is about 1.5 ft above normal. I'm not sure anywhere will get to the
3-5 ft above normal, but we'll know by tomorrow.

Whirlygig north of Bahamas:
There's some dry air moving in a circular manner north of the Bahamas.
It's not got any convection but circulation is good. Just thought I'd
mention it because this entry is rather short (!?!). Not likely to

That's all from me for today. I hear from folks that it was cloudy, wet
and windy along the west coast of Florida. And apparently some of you are
awake at 5am! ... getting your surf boards out. ;)

I'll tune in at some point tomorrow, not sure when. Big day for me. I'm
having tea with the Queen. Ha. Not really. First day at work. Oooh. Aaah.

Night night,

Blog entries archived at:

These remarks are just what I think/see regarding tropical storms - not
the opinion of any organization I represent. If you are making an
evacuation decision, please heed your local emergency management and the
National Hurricane Center's official forecast and the National Weather
Service announcements. This is not an official forecast. If,
hypothetically, I was there and I was, hypothetically, going to "run away,
run away" (Monty Python), I'd let you know.

TS Ana, TS Bill, and TD4 off West Florida: August 16 Update A

O.k., o.k... I'm sorry I left! What d'ya all do? Start swimming in circles
as soon as I got on the plane? ;)

Blobette off West Florida (just upgraded to TD 4 as I wrote this):
I'm not expecting anyone on the west coast of Florida to be awake at 5am,
but in case you are and have nothing better to do than get on the
computer, there is a blobette off your coast. It was the blob that dumped
rain in the Bahamas a couple of days ago (and has since had a sex change
to become a blobette :)).

Convection started back up with this as it entered the Gulf, just off SW
Florida and circulation slowly started to develop as it moved up the west
coast. There is now circulation in the lower atmosphere, and some strong
stormy weather just off the coast. Water temperatures are in excess of 30
deg C. It's currently centered somewhere around 27.5N, 83.5W. From the few
remaining buoys on the West Florida Shelf (they are slowly being pulled
out due to lack of funding - I'll come back to this some other time), wind
speeds are between 20-30 knots, so the system is not yet strong enough to
be a tropical storm, but it's heading in that direction. The next name is

The NHC currently have it forecast to move North-northwest at 16mph. It's
possible of course, but I think it will either slow down or move more
northward and onto Florida somewhere between the Big Bend and Tampa area.
Whether it makes landfall as a TS or not, those along that coastline
should watch out for storm surge (in addition to rain and thundery
weather). You can check water levels by looking at - click on the 'state
maps' on the left panel, and then on the state you are interested in, and
the location. So, for example, in St. Petersburg the water levels are
already 0.5 ft above the predicted normal level (as indicated by the green
line in the top plot: the blue line is the predicted normal level, and the
red are the actual observations). Ft. Myers peaked at just under 1ft above
normal. If you are in Cedar Key, do keep an eye on those water levels!

TS Ana:
Not much change in strength yet. Winds are about 40mph, central pressure
1005 mb. She's picked up forward speed and is moving at a whopping 20 mph
in a W-NW direction. Center is now at 14.6N, 53.8W. Convection is still
removed from the center of circulation.

TS Bill:
Very minor strengthening, with winds at about 45 mph and central pressure
1002 mb. Center at about 11.7N, 36.7W. The NHC appear to have it a little
west of this location at 37.2W... but with a storm this weak it's tricky
to see the exact center so it's somewhere in the 37W area.

Remember to pay attention to the NHC and emergency managers. Send me
updates from where you are if you can (and let me know where you are too).

More later.


Blog entries archived at:

These remarks are just what I think/see regarding tropical storms - not
the opinion of any organization I represent. If you are making an
evacuation decision, please heed your local emergency management and the
National Hurricane Center's official forecast and the National Weather
Service announcements. This is not an official forecast. If,
hypothetically, I was there and I was, hypothetically, going to "run away,
run away" (Monty Python), I'd let you know.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

TS Ana and TS Bill: August 15 Update A

Oh codswallop AND Great Googlimoogies!!! I am sans internet for 36 hours,
and what happens? We have not one, but TWO systems out there. If only
there was some sort of hand-held device that allowed internet access from
pretty much anywhere at any time...

Hmmm. So, TS Ana and TS Bill. I believe those in the VIs/St. Thomas are
getting ready as the forecast currently calls for these storms to pass
that area as possible hurricanes.

TS Ana:
Currently centered at about 14.4N, 50W, she's moving westward quite
quickly at 17 mph. There isn't much convection at the moment and what is
present is all to the east of the circulation because there is sufficient
wind shear. There is also quite a lot of dry air surrounding this storm.
The wind shear and dry air will keep this storm in check for some time.
However, it looks like wind shear will die down a bit, and as she moves
west she moves over warmer waters and is already over sea surface temps of
28-29 deg C.

The circulation is good in the lower atmosphere, but has not yet reached
higher altitudes. This is a good thing - it means she's still a weak
system as we can also see from her wind speeds which are about 40mph (TS
range: 39-73mph, 34-63kt). Central pressure 1005 mb.

The track: Yeah, I think you guys in the northern Caribbean should be
prepared just in case - it looks like it will pass close to you. There's a
ridge of high pressure that Ana is following westward/WNW. It extends
across the VIs, passes just south of PR, and south of Hispaniola. They
just moved that track forecast a little to the south in response to models
(which are responding to the pressure fields). If that field shifts
marginally southward, she'll pass you to the south. Too soon for me to

TS Bill:
Bill is bigger than Ana. From satellites, it looks like he's centered at
about 11.3 N, 35.2W and is moving west at 16mph (speed from the NHC). This
system has more water vapor surrounding the center of circulation, and is
also over water temperatures of 28-29 deg C. Both factors are conducive to
helping the system grow a bit. Central pressure: 1004 mb, and wind speeds
are near 40mph, so he's still weak.

There is some circulation throughout the entire troposphere (lowest part
of atmosphere), but it is not yet very well defined (it's er... blob
shaped instead of circle shaped :)). But that there is some vorticity also
indicates that this could be a better formed storm. As with Ana, it looks
like wind shear will decrease in his path.

The track: With a storm so closely following behind another storm, the
path is usually very similar. The reason for this is because they follow
the same pressure lines, and although the pressure fields change a bit
from day to day, they don't change that much. We've seen this in the past
with various storms, the most famous recent examples are Katrina and Rita
in 2005, and Frances and Jeanne in 2004.

For the track, the pressure fields are critical. For intensity, the track is

That's it for now folks. I should have better internet access tomorrow

Night night from this side of the Atlantic.

Blog entries archived at:

These remarks are just what I think/see regarding tropical storms - not
the opinion of any organization I represent. If you are making an
evacuation decision, please heed your local emergency management and the
National Hurricane Center's official forecast and the National Weather
Service announcements. This is not an official forecast. If,
hypothetically, I was there and I was, hypothetically, going to "run away,
run away" (Monty Python), I'd let you know.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

TD 2 and blobs: August 13 Update A

Isn't it nice to turn one's back on something for a day or so and come
back to find that things have improved? :)

Not much internet time today, and ditto for tomorrow, so v. quick update.

TD 2 remains a tropical depression centered somewhere around 14.9N, 38W.
Hurray hurray... no named storms yet! That dry air was just too much for
this little blobette. Although there is good circulation, at the moment
there is very little convection. I'm still watching it though. What's the
smiley for 'keeping my eyes on you'?

On the other hand if you are in the Bahamas and expecting to sunbathe on
the beach, think again. It looks like massive convection has blossomed
there in the last few hours. However, there is very little circulation. So
we'll just leave this one as a blob.

And the last blob is something that emerged from Africa yesterday and
looked promising. But like TD2, the convection has diminshed quite a bit
in the last few hours. There is circulation centered at about 12N, 24W, so
it is still worth keeping an eye on (or possibly even half an eye).

O.k. my friends, I gotta run. Hmm...there's a spot of clear night sky
tonight so maybe I can catch the Persieds meteor shower (which peaked
last night but should be pretty decent tonight too).

Thanks for everyone's comments and emails etc. I will reply once things
are a little more even keel here.

Toodles until I can tune in again (Sat hopefully)!

p.s. sunny and HOT all day in Exeter today! If it was flat, humid, and
everyone spoke with an accent, I would have thought I was back in

Blog entries archived at:

These remarks are just what I think/see regarding tropical storms - not
the opinion of any organization I represent. If you are making an
evacuation decision, please heed your local emergency management and the
National Hurricane Center's official forecast and the National Weather
Service announcements. This is not an official forecast. If,
hypothetically, I was there and I was, hypothetically, going to "run away,
run away" (Monty Python), I'd let you know.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

TD 2: August 12 Update A

I expect the NHC will upgrade TD 2 to Tropical Storm Ana in the next
advisory at 11am EST (or later today). She certainly looks like one. I
think we have our first named storm of the season birling away out there,
but for now I'll continue to call her a TD.

There is some pretty strong convection, and good circulation (vorticity)
in the lower half of the troposphere. The wind speed range for a Tropical
Storm is 34 kt (knots) to 63 kt, or 39-73 mph. (1 knot = 1.15 mph). From
satellites, it looks like she has winds in the lower end of that range.

Although water temperatures are 27-28 deg C, there are some factors that
will inhibit her development. Dry air to the north and west combined with
a bit of wind shear should keep her at the lower end of the TS range for
another day, if not longer.

The center of circulation is at about 14.6N, 34.9W, with a central
pressure of 1006 mb, and she's moving at ~12 mph in a general westward
direction along the southern edge of a high pressure system. She did move
west-southwest as I thought yesterday, and the official track was adjusted
slightly southward. But in the next day or so, I think she'll begin to
take a more west-northwestward track. This is based on the pressure fields
which, alas, are not very detailed out over the Atlantic. The computer
models also indicate that she'll begin moving WNW, passing north of the
Caribbean. At the moment this seems reasonable to me, but everyone from
the Caribbean to Bermuda to the eastern side of the US should keep an eye
on this one as things do have that annoying tendency to evolve, especially
when you aren't looking!

I am ignoring the other practically non-existent blobs from yesterday for
now. Because I can. :)

Until tomorrow, or later, or possibly the day after tomorrow...

p.s. Weather here: cloudy and sunny, a little breezy, with possible rain.
I think that covers most summer-time eventualities. :)

Blog entries archived at:

These remarks are just what I think/see regarding tropical storms - not
the opinion of any organization I represent. If you are making an
evacuation decision, please heed your local emergency management and the
National Hurricane Center's official forecast and the National Weather
Service announcements. This is not an official forecast. If,
hypothetically, I was there and I was, hypothetically, going to "run away,
run away" (Monty Python), I'd let you know.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Tropical Depression 2 and the blobs: August 11 Update A

I think the NHC were waiting for me to leave before they got all their
coloring crayons out to doodle on the Atlantic map. :)

Our big blobette in the eastern Atlantic is now officially a Tropical
Depression, the second of the season.

It's located at about 15N, 29W and is moving generally west to
west-northwest at about 13 mph, with winds at 30mph and a central pressure
of 1006 mb. The pressure fields indicate it will continue generally
westward (maybe a little west-southwest) for the next day or so and then
it looks like it'll begin to head northwest before turning westward again,
but things can change.

Circulation in the lower troposphere is still good (troposphere: lowest
part of the atmosphere. See
for more on troposphere). There's a little bit of wind shear and although
there is some circulation in the middle troposphere as well, it is
slightly offset, which is to be expected with such a weak system
experiencing slight shear.

Convection was strong overnight but weakened a little this morning - most
likely just a cycle. Water temperatures are around 27 deg C, so certainly
warm enough to sustain a system assuming nothing else affects development.

Blob 1:
Located at around 15N, 50W. I am not too concerned about this at the
moment. It has a wee bit of convection, and a wee bit of low-level
circulation and that's all. ('wee bit' is, of course, quantifiable as it
falls between 'scosh' and 'bit' ;) ).

Blob 2:
Located over the Windward Islands, at about 13N, 61W, this has some
convection and next-to-no circulation. Again, nothing to be concerned over
(unless you are trying to play golf on the Islands, in which case take an
umbrella :)).

That's all for now folks.

p.s. It's sunny here... a perfect British summer day!!

Blog entries archived at:

These remarks are just what I think/see regarding tropical storms - not
the opinion of any organization I represent. If you are making an
evacuation decision, please heed your local emergency management and the
National Hurricane Center's official forecast and the National Weather
Service announcements. This is not an official forecast. If I "run away,
run away" (Monty Python), I'll let you know.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Atlantic Blobette: August 10

Of course the day I leave the US and head east would be the day the most
promising blobette of the season moves off Africa and heads west.

This system had some decent convection and low level circulation yesterday
as it left Africa. It is now at around 14N, 25W, just southwest of the
Cape Verde islands, and is moving in a general westward direction. I don't
think there's been much change in this blobette since yesterday (i.e.
still looking good), but it is a little too far east for me to get a clear
overall assessment.

Should this develop, the first storm name will be Ana. But first it has to
officially become a Tropical Depression.

I just landed in the UK a few hours ago and will be moving hither and
thither this week (uh-oh, she's already talking funny ;)), but I'll try
and check in once a day or so.

Toodle pip,

p.s. It's overcast and was raining earlier when I landed here in
Manchester. Quelle surprise.

Blog entries archived at:

These remarks are just what I think/see regarding tropical storms - not
the opinion of any organization I represent. If you are making an
evacuation decision, please heed your local emergency management and the
National Hurricane Center's official forecast and the National Weather
Service announcements. This is not an official forecast. If I "run away,
run away" (Monty Python), I'll let you know.