Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Tropical Storm Nicole, and a couple of Atlantic Blobs: September 29, Update A

Ever get the feeling it's just about the numbers? Sigh.
Not-Tropical Storm Nicole:
<open Sarcasm> This was the most amazing Tropical Storm I've ever come across. It developed whilst crossing the mountainous regions of Cuba, an area that has knocked larger storms (actual, real, genuine, honest-to-goodness hurricanes) to their feet. It was also remarkably asymmetric for a Tropical Storm, with the center of circulation quite clearly off to one side of the really strong convection. It was fabulous how the vorticity and low pressure extended from the northern Caribbean across Cuba to Florida - a rather large area. The same area of vorticity that is connected at some levels of the atmosphere to the low front that extends up the eastern US seaboard. And finally, it's the only Tropical Storm I can think of that formed over land, but dissipated as soon as it got to water.... Yes indeed, quite an amazing 'Tropical Storm'. <close Sarcasm>
But hey, we have another named storm to add to the number, right? (oops, sorry, that was residual sarcasm. Don't know how that escaped from the bit above!)
The NHC upgraded our Tropical Depression to Tropical Storm Nicole in their 11am advisory... and 6 hours later, in their 5pm advisory they wrote "NICOLE DISSIPATES OVER THE STRAITS OF FLORIDA". Remarkable. I'm actually just astounded. They said the upgrade was based on land, buoy and ship observations. So, being the grouchy old person that I am and being *slightly* suspicious that it 'formed' over land with 'hills', I went and had a look at ALL the buoy and coastal station observations I could find - both south of Cuba and to the north along the Keys and up towards Miami. I also looked at the satellite winds. I'd like to know exactly what data they were looking at that showed sustained winds of 39mph please (I think they should post links to show those of us who might be a tad er... skeptical, shall we say?). The most I found were around 32mph. Sigh. And they were doing so well yesterday!
The basis for her dissipating was "AIRCRAFT AND SURFACE OBSERVATIONS INDICATE THAT THE CIRCULATION OF NICOLE HAS DEGENERATED INTO AN ELONGATED AREA OF LOW PRESSURE." (from the NHC 5pm advisory). She's ALWAYS had an elongated area of low pressure!! None of this 'degeneration' went on as far as I can see! And so, with the official word being that she has dissipated, the NHC have said they are done issuing advisories on this storm (THE CENTER... WHICH WAS NEVER VERY WELL DEFINED...HAS BECOME UN-TRACKABLE AND THIS WILL BE THE LAST NHC ADVISORY ON THIS SYSTEM.)
<breathe><breathe><think of happy place> Ok... better now. ;-)

Anyway, she's now officially "dissipated" over the warm waters of the Straits of Florida. Her 'center' was last seen at 24.5N, 80W, and her central pressure was 996mb. Winds are officially 40mph still, which in some people's books would make her a weak TS (Range 39-73mph), but she's not a Tropical Storm beastie and never has been! She's a different sort of system as I mentioned yesterday (and as the NHC recognized yesterday too!) - so although she's 'dissipated' she can still be a bit breezy. She's moving NNE at 12mph and she'll merge with that front as expected. She's still got a heck of a lot of convection - poor Jamaica really got hammered with strong thunderstorms today (as well as yesterday). Basically, the southeast US, Bahamas, Cuba, PR, maybe the VIs etc... will get some stormy rainy windy sort of weather, but its not a Tropical Storm.
I can't seem to access the satellite data - server must be down. So I might write about this again tomorrow instead of closing this one down now.
Atlantic Blob and Blobette:
There are a couple of blobby things to look out for. One is somewhere in the 15N, 55W region, heading NW (towards the northern Leeward Isles). It has more convection than vorticity at the moment, but the vorticity has been picking up in the lowest part of the troposphere. The second one is east of this, somewhere around 10N, 30W and is moving WNW. This, too, has convection, but it also has more vorticity in the lower half of the troposphere so I think this has a higher chance of developing (if I were to choose between the two). Best to keep an eye on them both! Umm... keep two eyes on them both. One on each. Yeah. That's the plan. ;-)
What an odd day. I still can't believe they named Nicole. I was *so* impressed because they totally had the right call yesterday (in my book). I wish I knew what they were looking at when they made that call today! <resigned shaking of head>.
More tomorrow - if only to say that I'm not going to say anything about the former Nicole!
Toodle pip!
p.s.: I finally joined Twitter today and am officially a 'twit', which some of you probably suspected all along. ;-) I'll be tweeting when I post a new blog entry. (That sentence barely makes sense to me). I don't know if I'll tweet about much else because, as you know, although I am a person of few words I'm not sure how anyone can say anything in 140 characters or less! Signing off now, 'JyovianStorm'. ;-)  
Blog archives 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 was there and was going to "run away, run away" (Monty Python), I'll let you know.

No comments: