Thursday, October 25, 2012

Hurricane Sandy and Tropical Storm Tony: October 24, Update A

I should go away more often. Yesterday the number of hits on the blog website crossed the 40,000 mark! J Crikey! Most definitely time for a glass-o-wine with some cheese (wensleydale of course), but it is not yet time to stop... 
Hurricane Sandy
I more-or-less agree with the NHC on their assessment of this storm at the moment - she is heading northwardish and has winds of around 90mph (because she has a slightly murky, yet definite, eye). This makes her a mid-strength cat 1 storm (Cat 1 range: 74-95mph). Her central pressure is a low 954mb, which does suggest she is a bit stronger… maybe a border line cat 1/cat 2 storm. She crossed Jamaica earlier today and is officially at 19.4N, 76.3W, heading N at 13mph towards Cuba. 

She has a lot of convection as you can see in this satellite image of water vapour:

This is because she was crossing the region of deep warm water in the Caribbean where the upper 150-175m of the ocean is warmer than 26 deg C. Those water temperatures are still fairly deep between Jamaica & Cuba (upper 125m), so she continues to have a lot to chew on and hence grow, and grow some more. Surface temperatures are also still quite hot - between 30-31 deg C! Although this helps to increase her intensity, there are factors that suggest she may not remain a hurricane as she crosses Cuba. Not only is she going to feel the land impact but there is dry air to her west and the wind shear looks like it will increase as she heads north (although if she is stronger at landfall and moves across quickly or over less land, this may not have enough of an impact). The forecast says she will remain at hurricane strength as she crosses Cuba and into the Bahamas.

It is possible that southeastern Florida will have a bit of a breezy day tomorrow. It is tricky to tell how much rain she will bring until we see what she looks like after her Cuba visit. For Florida, I am inclined towards the 'not too much' end of the rain spectrum at the moment.... I bet the surfers will be out though! J But those on the east coast can expect to have an increase in water level along the coast over the next day or two - although there isn't anything to talk of yet.

Now, the track. Hmm. I think she is actually heading NNE at the moment and to the east of the center of cone track - this means she will cross a narrower part of Cuba, which in turn means there is a greater chance she will remain a hurricane. However, after Cuba, there is high pressure to her north and unless that shifts by the time she gets to the Bahamas (late tomorrow), she will probably head slightly north-northwest to try and get around it (or she will slow down). I'll get the latest pressure fields tomorrow morning and maybe have a better idea then.

Tropical Storm Tony
They gave TD19 a name late last night… presumably in honour of the baseball. But Tony the tiger is no giant. J (see, I know about sports. Really I do. ;-)) He's quite a little storm really. He is currently at 30.1N, 40.3W, and is being whisked away to the ENE at 23mph. His winds are officially at 50mph, central pressure 1000mb. Although his circulation is good in the lower half of the troposphere, he is feeling the effects of considerable wind shear as you can see in the satellite image because his clouds are streaming off to the northeast. I think he is a border-line Tropical Storm, and the NHC anticipates downgrading him tomorrow. 

Before I sign off, I was so chuffed with the Star Trek picture that I forgot to add what 'peezy-weezies' and 'hansy-janzies' were at the end of the last entry! They both mean to be sulky or down in the dumps I believe. J

Later gators!

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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.

1 comment:

Shandy said...

e0Peezy-weezies? This is definitely going in the phrase bank. Thanks!