Saturday, October 11, 2014

Tropical Storm Fay and the Atlantic Blobs: October 11, Update A

Oh tropical storms, how I have missed you! ;-) I know, I know, I've been incommunicado for a month and missed the last two storms but I was rather super busy (I'll tell you what shenanigans I was up to later) and luckily they weren't too much of a bother. Actually, you may have missed Dolly yourself as she was a named storm for about 3 seconds on Sept 2, reaching max. wind speeds of 50mph (a nice breeze). I'm not sure she should have been named. TS Edouard was named on Sept. 11, and although he was a proper storm (reaching hurricane strength with official max winds of  115mph on Sept. 16th, making him the first major hurricane of the season), he remained a gentleman and stayed in the Atlantic.

And now we have Fay and the Atlantic Blobs (please note: this is not a band from the 50s! ;-)).

Currently Tropical Storm Fay has winds of 70mph, central pressure of 990mb, and is therefore a very strong Tropical Storm (TS range: 39-73mph). She is definitely a storm and this intensity seems reasonable given how much circulation and convection she has:

The bulk of the convection (which includes some severe thunderstorms because the infrared satellite image is red) is on the western side of the center which indicates that she is experiencing a lot of wind shear. The sea surface water temperatures are 27 deg C, so warm enough to keep her going.
That little pink 'dash' close to 32N, 65W is the lovely Bermuda. Although Fay is officially centered at 25.9N, 65.4W, heading N at 18mph, from the visible satellite image it looks like the center may be a bit west of that location, at 25.9N, 65.9W. The forecast track has her curving to the NE and passing just south of Bermuda, which is why the location of the center is important...

If the center is west of the current location, there is a small chance that the center will pass to the west of Bermuda, which would be better for Bermuda because most of those thunderstorms will also pass to the west. If the center does stay in that current cone of uncertainty or if the center actually goes over Bermuda (quite possible), then the weather will be a bit crummy for Bermuda tonight and over the next day or so. Hopefully everyone has dusted the cobwebs out of their wellies and canceled the golf games!

There are a couple of Atlantic blobs out there as well:
Both are still in the 'Whoa, where are we?' stage of development. I'll talk about them tomorrow methinks. For today, it's all about Bermuda and, obviously, that means it is time for a Dark & Stormy! :-)

Before I pop off and partake of above mentioned beverage, the reason why I wasn't around in September was because I was at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, testing competition Entries for the $2 million Wendy Schmidt Ocean Health XPRIZE! ( We have 18 Entries from 6 countries competing for this prize and the goal is to develop accurate, robust and affordable pH sensors to help detect and understand ocean acidification. I have to say I've learned that there's never a dull moment being part of a competition! :-)

Until tomorrow,

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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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