Tuesday, October 04, 2016

Hurricane Matthew and the Atlantic Blobette: October 3, Update A

So sorry about the absence... it was our big XPRIZE event of the year, Visioneers 2016 - a little crazy, a lot of busy, always fun, and sleeping is for some other year! ;-) Lots of (good) exciting things are in store for our future! No Hurricane Forecast Improvement XPRIZE yet though... alas, you'll have to put up with me until then. ;-) (seriously, wouldn't it be handy to know whether a storm was going to hit a week or more in advance??!).

Hurricane Monster Matthew
He is now at 16.9N, 74.6W, heading N at 7mph. His winds of 145mph, central pressure 934mb, makes him a very strong cat 4 storm (cat 4 range: 130-156mph). 

All the data I have shows that Monster Matthew is definitely a very solid storm! The circulation (vorticity) is very very strong in the lower troposphere but also extremely strong in the upper levels of the troposphere - I would not be surprised if he was a cat 5. We haven't seen a storm this well developed in the Caribbean basin for quite some time (9 years). Here's his vorticity (circulation) at the lowest level (850mb) and at the highest level (200mb) of the troposphere:

You can see how well formed his vorticity is at all levels of the troposphere - nothing like the structure of the Atlantic Blobette which we can only see in the top image, at around 22.5N, 59W. 

His convection is also really excellent, with an eye that has persisted for days:
Again, the grey and red areas indicate very strong thunderstorms, tornadoes, the works. Not too surprising because the water underneath is very warm, with the upper 125-150m warmer than 26.5 deg C.  Wind shear is low, so that won't inhibit his development. But luckily the land interactions will! He is now beginning to interact with Jamaica and Haiti, and you can already see him weakening slightly - his eye is getting a bit blurry (from lack of sleep - just like me!). 

Because the track has shifted to the east, Jamaica is going to get away with things relatively lightly (compared to a few days ago), although the eastern edge of the island is getting a 'bit'o'weather'. Hispaniola is going to get the brunt of things, with the eye passing over the western edge of Haiti tonight/tomorrow:

If the eye does pass directly over Haiti, there is a chance he will weaken down to a strong cat 2 or weak cat 3 storm, so the eastern tip of Cuba may get away with a weaker storm. If he is slightly to the west of the forecast track, then his eye won't pass over land and he will only weaken slightly until he gets to Cuba. 

It looks like his forecast track is taking him to the eastern edge of Florida and then up the eastern US seaboard. A couple of things to note: first, he will be interacting with Haiti, Cuba, the Turks & Caicos and Bahamas. Although they don't look like much, they will be taking the edge off this storm so there is chance that he won't be as strong as he is now. Second, I don't have good pressure field data, but I think there is a good chance that he will remain on the eastern edge of that cone. 

Regardless, you guys should be prepared for some 'weather' - he is a large storm at the moment and the outer parts could decide to visit Florida unless he moves to the east.  We will know more in 24 hours - after he has crossed Haiti.

Atlantic Blobette
There is another little blobette out there - you can see her in both the lowest tropospheric level vorticity map (above - 850mb), and also in the infra-red satellite image:
Compared to Matthew, she's a dinky little thing, isn't she? She doesn't really have any circulation (vorticity) in the middle-troposphere yet - she is merely a low-level thing. If she develops, I will get back to her. The next name is: Nicole. 

And going from the atmosphere to the bottom of the ocean...  there is a lovely article in Newsweek this week on mapping the sea floor. Of course it is a lovely article... I'm in it. ;-) 

More tomorrow!
Toodle pip,

Blogs archived at http://jyotikastorms.blogspot.com/
Twitter @JyovianStorm
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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