Sunday, August 28, 2011

Tropical Storms Irene and Jose, and an Atlantic Blobette: August 28, Update A

Oh Great Googliemooglies! Really? Another storm that is named as it is practically on top of land? Really? Well, we’ll get to that later. First, that other one…

Tropical Storm Irene
As expected, she was a Tropical Storm by the time she got to New York, and was mostly a water event rather than a wind event. I hear the levels in the Hudson River rose, so downtown Manhattan experienced a ~5ft rise in water levels (above the high tide they were expecting anyway) so a part of Manhattan got slightly submerged. Don’t worry, the NY Stock Exchange is ok…. I’m sure your stocks and shares will be worth just as much as they usually are.

Irene is currently visiting northern New England, and is about 60 miles south of Rutland, Vermont, around 43.5N, 72.5W. Winds are officially 50mph, so she’s a weak-to-mid-level Tropical Storm (range: 39-73mph), central pressure is 975mb (which is rather low for a storm with these winds!). She continues to move NNE at a whopping 26mph (an indication that she’s not a tropical storm really, but an extratropical storm now). Convection is greatly reduced, although she still has some circulation, so I expect places to the north will get a bit breezy but nothing too bad.

In my excitement about Tides Online yesterday, forgot to mention what the other graphs were on the water level figure in yesterday’s entry, although they cleverly use these things called words to label them so I’m pretty sure everyone figured it out. J But just in case you had your eyes closed, the remaining graphs showed the wind speed (and direction), the air pressure (it is quite cool to see the drop and then subsequent rise as the storm passes the sensor), and in the example I showed yesterday, air and water temperatures. Not all sites have all this yummy data, but the main reason I go to the Tides Online is to see the water levels.

Reports from in the field:

Chris in Maryland wrote at 5am (!!!): "Large sections of Silver Spring are without power (hopefully I will get this out and not lose power here).  Sounds like that is the major issue.  The power lines here are weak and they don't trim the trees, so every little gust knocks out power for a day or so.

At 05:00, winds are steady at 26 kts from the NNW and gusting to 39 kts.  The main problem here (DC and north or west cities) will be downed power lines and residential flooding.  It has been coming down steady for hours and all the local streams are flooding.  No big news there.  The forecast is for the rain to really start to let up in the next 3-5 hrs with basically no rain by noon, but still have winds of 25 kts.  The morning buses are running but all the traffic lights in my area are out."

(Ed. Notes: 1kt = 1.15mph, I’ll let you all work out the conversion)

Shalini in Massachussettes wrote at 9am: "The weather is getting windy here..lots of rain, dark cloudy skis and hte wind is starting to pick up..not bad but definitely ugly weather."

Sameer in New York said at 11am: "Wow. No event mostly. Things seemed to have passed."

It is unfortunate that a number of deaths have been caused by Irene. I don’t know the details of all of them, but I know that at least one was from a tree that fell on a house. It’s very sad. L The major damage seems to be from falling trees, including the power lines that have been downed. I hear that about 3 million people are without power. I’m glad she wasn’t as bad as the earlier forecasts suggested – she has caused enough problems. I expect they will retire the name ‘Irene’ from the list.

There is not much more to say on Irene really, so this is my last post on her unless I get more Reports from in the field. 

Tropical Storm Jose
I can’t believe they named this one! What another waste of a name this season. I actually know a Jose, and was lining up to have all sorts of fun with this named storm. What a nuisance! ;-)

Jose apparently has winds of 45mph, central pressure is 1007mb. He is at around 33.9N, 65.5W. Northwest of Bermuda, and moving NNE at some rapid speed.

Jose has some circulation in the lower troposphere, and not very much convection, as you can see (in case you are wondering, the convection associated with this storm is that little blob just west of Bermuda, not the larger blob to the south).

He was named about 12 hours ago, and according to the official forecast, he’ll be gone by tomorrow (because he is experiencing wind shear). He was almost on top of Bermuda when he was named and is zipping past on the western side… If you took a lovely 5 minute afternoon nap, the chances are you probably missed it anyway. Bermuda is under a Tropical Storm Warning and according to the NHC some parts of Bermuda are already experiencing Tropical Storm conditions. Maybe a couple of drops of rain or you might be adjusting your swing to allow for a slight breeze during your golf game. Let me know how you fare!

Atlantic Blobette
This one came off Africa not very long ago. They have currently given it a 70% chance of developing, but it looks a bit more wishy washy than that to me. It has some circulation in the lower troposphere and some convection, but neither is very well developed. I’ll be back with more if this one gets any better. Probably tomorrow the way things are going! Next name is Katia.

That is all I have for today. Maybe tomorrow I’ll have next to nothing to say. That’ll make a nice change for you, won’t it? ;-)

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DISCLAIMER: 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.

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