Friday, November 30, 2012

November 30: Final Day of the 2012 Atlantic Hurricane Season!

November 30: Final Day of the 2012 Atlantic Hurricane Season! … Or is it? <dun-dun-dun>(dramatic music!)(dramatic pause!)

Can you believe it? There’s a blobette on the NHC website!

Either someone didn’t clean their screen or we lost the end-of-the-season memo to Mother Nature. Again. Time to have a glass of wine and some wenslydale cheese. Again. (any excuse! ;-))

About this Atlantic Blobette: She is currently at around 25N, 42W. There is some circulation in the lower half of the troposphere and a low pressure front/trough in the upper levels of the troposphere which means this one could have a chance of getting stronger. However, the wind shear is strong and the water temperatures here are around 23-24 deg C, which are rather on the cool side for a proper, grown-up storm. But she is trying. The convection has improved during the day today. If she develops it is purely because of the upper atmosphere, which means she would not be a tropical storm but a sub-tropical storm. The next name is Valerie.  

You may be thinking that it’s a little bit odd to be wearing cute winter boots, a wooly hat, and gloves and *still* reading about the Atlantic hurricane season. It is a tad unusual to have a December Atlantic storm, but remember the reason we say the hurricane season is between June 1 and November 30 is because 97% of all storms develop during that time. If Valerie develops, she’s one of the 3% (see for my plot of how storms are distributed throughout the year).

But if you think this is odd, things are even odder in the western Pacific! There is a preeettyyy strong Typhoon that has developed within 5 deg of the equator!!! Typhoon Bopha, currently at 4.5N,  has a good eye:

(satellite image from the NRL Monterey Navy site) and winds estimated to be about 130mph which makes it strong cat 3/weak cat 4 storm. It’s heading towards Palau (on Sunday), which apparently hasn’t seen a major Typhoon since 1991. Eek! After that it is heading towards the Philippines (next Weds), where it is projected to be a category 1 storm. A storm forming within 5 deg of the equator is very rare, but not unheard of. The storm that developed closest to the equator was Typhoon Vamei, which formed on 26 December, 2001, at 1.4 deg N of the equator in the South China Sea and made landfall in Malaysia with strong tropical storm/weak cat 1 winds.

With all this going on, how can one possibly go into hibernation for the off-season today?? I guess I’ll be back tomorrow. Oh lucky, lucky you! ;-)


Blogs archived at
Twitter @JyovianStorm

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.

No comments: