Thursday, August 30, 2012

Tropical Depression Isaac, Hurricane Captain Kirk, and Tropical Storm Leslie: August 30, Update A

Goodness me, the title of this post took me half an hour to write! What a smorgasbord of storms we have today. I better open a bigger bottle, we could be here a while… ;-) Here is a pretty groovy infrared satellite image of the north Atlantic this evening that shows all three storms:

Tropical Depression Isaac
It looks like Isaac has just crossed into Alabama, but was downgraded to a mere Tropical Depression before leaving Louisiana, with winds of 30mph, central pressure 998mb. If you look at the above satellite image, you can see that he has very little convection left (the yellow areas are rain no thunder, the blue are mostly thick clouds but no rain). What’s is still impressive about him is that looonnnnggg stream of clouds stretching northeastward across the Atlantic(because of wind shear/ low pressure front) … all the way to the UK!! (not that they’d notice a few more clouds up there). A real trans-Atlantic bridge!

He is currently somewhere around 33.5N, 93W, heading N at 10mph. The NHC have issued their last advisory on him, and I don’t see him lasting much beyond Alabama. Circulation is slowly decreasing, and there is very little convection in him. I read some warning about tornadoes on the NHC site earlier today but I only know the basics about tornadoes so I can’t really assess the potential for them as he moves into the US.

Here are a couple of on-the-ground reports from the northern Gulf. Denise R. said that Lafitte and LaPlace, LA have a lot of flooding. I hear that there is oily foam being washed up on the beaches in Florida, near the Alabama border. And Mike A. from New Orleans wrote this morning “been without power and internet since yesterday noon. Found a bar with generators! Lots of wind & rain but all is ok”. I think it should be mandatory for any bar in New Orleans that is able to serve a Hurricane (the drink) to have a generator!

It looks like the flood-prevention systems of New Orleans held their ground – the levees, floodgates etc. Which reminds me, Gary M. told me today what fish say when they swim into a wall….. dam! (heeheeheehee)

Hurricane Captain Kirk
Saying Captain Kirk was a wimp yesterday was like throwing down the gauntlet, wasn’t it? Having watched all The Original Trek and Baby Trek (the latest movie), I should have known this. He pulled himself together overnight and has had a pretty nice looking eye for most of today – he is now the real McCoy, which must make it quite confusing on a Star Trek set ;-). Here are the latest visible (at night) and infrared satellite images of him:

Just like a young William Shatner, he may be little, but he’s strong, good looking and is (for now) the biggest name on screen.

He is currently at 29.0N, 50.7W, heading NNW at 12mph (warp factor 4). Officially the wind speeds are 100mph, central pressure is estimated to be 980mb. This makes him a Category 2 storm (range: 96-110mp). Although his circulation is actually comparable to Isaac’s, Kirk is not experiencing wind shear.  He has also almost moved out of that dry air to his south, which you can still see is impacting him because the convection is weaker on the southern side.

Kirk will stay out there in the Atlantic quadrant. It looks like he’ll meet up with bits of Isaac and the low pressure front, and may get a bit bigger (and stronger) before being teleported to the northeast.

To mark the first day of DragonCon, it is fitting that Captain Kirk became a hurricane today.  J (Hey, I just read the 11pm advisory and even the NHC have some cool geeks in there somewhere… they wrote ‘ACCELERATE AT WARP SPEED’!! Yay!)

Tropical Storm Leslie
Our little Atlantic Blobette was bumped up a couple of notches during the day today, which is no surprise. I thought she was looking a little strong for a mere blobette yesterday. She currently has winds of 50mph and a central pressure 1002mb, making her a mid-intensity Tropical Storm. She is officially at 14.7N, 46.8W, moving W at 18 mph. I’d say she was closer to 14.4N, 46.8W, but it is night and I can’t quite tell.

The forecast track has her heading WNW tomorrow and then NW on Saturday, missing the Leeward Islands and heading in the general Bermuda direction. I am not sure she will do this yet, so if you are in that northeast corner of the Caribbean, I’d be prepared and keep both eyes on her.  I don’t think she’s done heading westward yet.

Her convection is better than the boys’ at the moment, with thunderstorms and a cloud field that covers the length of the Lesser Antilles. Her circulation is also pretty strong in the lower half of the troposphere and is improving in the upper troposphere.

That’s it for tonight. Tomorrow is the last day of August… we are 1/3 of the way through the busiest part of the season. Oh joy. Where’s that ‘skip-to-the-end’ button?

Night night,

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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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