Sunday, June 13, 2010

Atlantic Blob: June 13 Update A

"Here we go, here we go, here we go"... a classic football (soccer) chant in honour of the World Cup (topical AND tropical - aren't you impressed? ;-)).

So, the first real blob (technical term for a blob of clouds and rainfall and thundery sort of weather ;-)) of the season is out there. Not a terribly big surprise as we are a couple of weeks into the Hurricane Season. I've heard and read a number of comparisons to the start of the 2005 season, which also had rather warm sea surface temperatures and low wind shear in May and June. The first Tropical Storm of that year, Arlene, ended on June 13... so Mother Nature is already having an easy year by comparison (if you ignore the oil spill, volcanic eruptions, assorted earthquakes, floods, tornadoes, and unusually cold winter).

This blob is a sprawling mass of clouds and convection (rainfall), covering about 1000 miles from north to south, and also from east to west. The center, I'm estimating, is somewhere around 7-8N, 36-37W, which puts it quite far south. Although the sea surface temperature is a balmy 30-plus deg C (temperatures of 26.5 deg C and higher are needed to maintain a tropical storm) and wind shear is light, there is dry air to the west and north which will help to keep it in check for a bit. However there is a decent amount of circulation with this system, hinting that it may develop further.

The good news is that I've been watching this blob all day because apparently I have nothing better to do on my weekends. I suppose I could watch the football (yawn - oops, did I say that out loud? ;-)). Anyway, both the circulation and thunderstorm activity have diminished a little since this morning. Not enough to ignore it (yet), but it gives us all an extra day or two to remember what a hurricane looks like so we can recognize one when we see it. The other thing to note about this blob is that it is quite far south (south of 10N), and therefore there's a good possibility that it will stay on a southern track... too soon to say.

I know a lot of people are concerned about the impact of a storm in the Gulf of Mexico, given that little oil spill fiasco. I'll try and write an entry on oil and storms soon(ish). But something else that also happened earlier this year was the devastating earthquake in Haiti. I believe they are still a long way from recovering from that, and unfortunately it's on an island that gets hit by a storm almost every year. My fingers are crossed (thus making it difficult for me to type of course ;-)) for any big storms to stay well away from those areas (staying out in the Atlantic is fine with me)!

I'll check in with y'all tomorrow.
Toodle pip! ;-)

P.S. Thanks to everyone who have sent me notes for the last few entries... I've had a busy few weeks and am a little behind on replying, but will get around to them soon!
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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