Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Hurricane Gordon and Hurricane Helene: September 19, Update A

Special request: If you forward these emails to people, could you send
me an email letting me know approx. how many you forward them to (not
including yourself cos you are on the list). I'm just trying to get an
idea of the number of people who are being "forced" to read my rambles.
:) Oh... and if they are in different states, can you let me know which
ones. Thanks.
Hurricane Gordon:
I turn my back on the Atlantic for one day and Gordon decides to head to
the nearest landmass as a cat 1 hurricane!!! He's not as well-behaved as
I thought he'd be. Well, it looks like the Azores will be hit by a
medium-sized cat 1 storm, with winds of 85mph and then after that he'll
head towards the northern edge of Portugal/Spain. The Azorians (? -
anyone know what they are really called?) are already under the cloud
bands. Gordon is moving directly eastward at a very fast 33mph so the
good news for the people on the Azores is that he will pass by very

He's in a region of pretty good wind shear, and has been in temperatures
below 24-25 degs C for a day at least, and yet he has still hung on.
He's in the extra-tropics now (at almost 40 degs N) and therefore the
physics involved are different and the reason this storm is still so
strong is because of the atmosphere and not the ocean.

Hurricane Helene:
Helene has a well-defined eye and an almost circular shape. I say almost
circular because there is dry air to the south-west quadrant. She's
moving forward at a stately 9mph, with winds of 110 mph, making her a
strong cat 2 storm (cat 2: 96-110mph). The wind shear is quite low near
the center of the system, although the outer bands are in regions of
stronger shear. The eye is over some pretty warm waters (28-29 degc C)
and sub-surface conditions are favorable for some intensification. So,
as there is no friction to really dissipate the energy of this system
and she will remain in waters favorable for intensification, I agree
with the NHC, that there's a very good possibility that she will
intensify to a cat 3 again soon.

These remarks are just what I think/see regarding tropical storms (my
storm blog). If you are making an evacuation decision, please heed your
local emergency management and the National Hurricane Center's official
forecast. This is not an official forecast.

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