Monday, August 22, 2016

Tropical Depression Fiona and the Atlantic Blob: August 21, Update A

Bit of a tricky day in the weather world today!  Japan got hit by Tropical Storm Mindulle with winds of 60mph: 
By the way (part one)... if you want to know what is happening with Typhoons as they are known in the Western Pacific, I would recommend following Robert Speta on twitter (@robertspeta), which is where I got the above image from.

TS Mindulle is closely followed by quite possibly the coolest named storm in history... Tropical Storm Lionrock! I am not jesting! :-) Great name (although I'm sure that is a translation of its proper name)! (It also appears to be currently heading for Japan, alas).

By the way (part deux ;-))... although we call tropical storms that have winds greater than 73mph 'Hurricanes' in the Atlantic and Eastern Pacific, the exact same storm type is called a Typhoon in the Western Pacific, and a Cyclone in the Indian Ocean. So whenever you hear about a Typhoon (or SuperTyphoon) or a Cyclone, you'll know exactly what it is.

Speaking of the Indian Ocean, also today - massive flooding in India resulted in a number of people who died, and 15,000 who had to evacuate. 15,000! 

Meanwhile, Gale force winds hit the UK today - these winds were stronger than those in Tropical Depression Fiona, whose winds are currently around 35mph. 

And to round out some of the world weather today, slightly closer to my current home are the California Fires! Fortunately not too close to where I live, but pretty massive and threatening nonetheless!

In the Atlantic, things are looking a little calmer as far as Fiona is concerned. She was weaker and they did downgrade her today to a Tropical Depression, with winds of 35mph, central pressure 1008mb. She is currently at 23.8N, 56.6W heading WNW at 18mph. She does look like she's trying to get back on track though (haha... all puns intended):

The burst of new convection is not a surprise because she is still over very warm ocean water with the upper ~75m warmer than 26.5 deg C, and also because she is emerging from the influence of the Saharan Air Layer that I mentioned yesterday. She is also heading into lower wind shear so there is a chance that she will re-strengthen although she has very little circulation (vorticity) in the middle of the troposphere at the moment. One can almost hear her say "I'm not dead! ... I'm getting better!" ;-) (Monty Python). Definitely one to keep an eye on for another day at least. 

Farther east, there's a new blob in the Atlantic just south of the Cape Verde Islands. This came off Africa a couple of days ago and has got some circulation in the lower half of the troposphere - although the lowest levels are not very well organized yet. However, I think this will be a Tropical Storm soon and the NHC have given it an 80% chance of formation which I agree with. It also has some convection, which also appears to be strengthening: 

The next name is Gaston. Oh dear, I feel a song coming on... 

More 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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