Thursday, June 20, 2013

Tropical Depression Barry: June 20, Update A

I have news! Yesterday my blog webpage views crossed the 50,000 mark! I want to thank you all for your wonderful intelligence, good taste, excellent sense of humour, and for kindly telling your family/friends about my belles-lettres. I also want to reassure you that this will not go to my head. You will not notice any difference in my writing whatsoever. How could it? After all, I already know that I’m an extraordinarily witty, charming, good-looking genius... ;-) (heehee).

So, as expected, Tropical Storm Barry remained weak (max winds went up to 45mph) and made landfall this morning in Mexico. He is now well and truly over land at 19.6N, 97.7W, heading westward at 7mph as a Tropical Depression. Winds are officially 35mph, central pressure 1006mb but I think he’s a bit weaker than that. He is mostly a rain event and has dumped at least a couple of buckets over Mexico today (and continues to do so).  His circulation is pretty weak and I expect it’ll be bye-bye Barry tomorrow. This is my last entry on this well-behaved little storm.

I have heard a few people express consternation about these pesky storms that develop so close to the coast. Well, it is not really a surprise to have them pop up off your local beach at this time of year (June), but the good news is that they are dinky little things that generally bring much needed rain and not too much wind. Here is a figure that I made a few years ago that shows the track of all storms from 1851 to 2005 (graph credit: ME). (I last showed this over a year ago). 

You can see that in the early and latter parts of the season we have storms that develop in the western Atlantic/Gulf of Mexico/Caribbean region. But because they are so close to land and early in the season things are still warming up, they don’t usually have time to develop. During the peak months it’s another story.  Storms develop in the eastern Atlantic and have lots of space and time (but no TARDIS, thankfully!) to get nice and strong before getting to land. This figure also shows why we have a ‘hurricane season’. 97% of all storms form between June 1 and Nov 30, with 78% forming during the peak months of Aug-Sept-Oct (stats from Landsea’s 1993 paper). But you can see that every so often we do get storms that develop outside of the season (including January!). Not common, but not impossible!

That’s it for now. I’ll be back when there’s another blob out there, assuming my duct tape/feather duster internet connection holds up. (Second visit from not-named cable company scheduled for tomorrow – what fun things I plan for Friday evenings, hey? ;-)).

Toodle pip!

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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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