Friday, September 22, 2017

Hurricane Maria and Post-Tropical Storm Jose: September 21, Update A

I’m beginning to get an inkling that this may be turning into a bit of a crazy year… it is definitely time for a glass (or two) of wine today while it is still available in my price range! (thanks to Jessica Y. for bringing that scary report to my attention!)

Reports of the devastation continue to emerge from Puerto Rico, St. Croix and the other USVI, Dominica, and Guadeloupe about the havoc Maria has left behind. She is actually still bringing rain over parts of Puerto Rico and the USVI, and also over the Dominican Republic, which has also seen some flooding. The news I will let you read, as I have no additional information. I see that planes with supplies are beginning to be sent in. Anything you can do to help, please do!

Hurricane Maria
She is currently at 21.2N, 70.5W, heading NW at 7mph and is lurking near the Turks & Caicos:
The good news is that her eye is looking a bit ragged, and even better, her entire appearance is not as circular:
Taking a step back, you can see that this is because she is running close to an area of wind shear, which is beginning to push the clouds off to the northeast. She still has a lot of strong thunderstorms in her because there are still large areas of dark orange and red in the infrared imagery, so the Turks & Caicos will definitely get a lot of rain and possible flooding as well.

Some more good news (well, news that is heading in the good direction at least): the circulation in the lowest level of the troposphere (850mb) is not as well formed now (it is elongated a bit), which means she is structurally not quite as strong as she was a day ago:
There is still pretty good circulation in the middle and upper troposphere though, so I would say she is perhaps a strong cat 2 storm/weak cat 3 at this point. The NHC have her pegged as a very strong cat 3, with winds of 125mph, central pressure 959mb (cat 3 range: 111-130mph).

The other good news is that it looks like she will stay away from most of the Turks & Caicos and the Bahamas:
This makes sense – I think she is trying to say hello to Jose. Of course, Bermuda… just keep an eye out for now.  

Stay safe out there my friends! 

Post-Tropical Storm Jose
Meanwhile, up north, Jose has finally gone postal… I mean Post-Tropical! In the history of tropical storm language, my recollection is that this is a relatively recent term that the NHC introduced. I’m not sure why as I think we already had a perfectly good name for storms that change their structure. Post-Tropical essentially means he is no longer a tropical storm, but an extratropical storm – which means his structure is more like a wintertime stormy system/front than a tropical system. But they use it to indicate his origin was as a tropical storm. Just in case anyone accidentally forgot. Even though this term has been around for a couple of years, it still bugs me that they use it and then have to go to the trouble of describing what it is by saying it is extratropical… seems like a bit of a waste of space (kind of like this minor rant I suppose! ;-)).

He is dawdling just off New England and is officially at around 39.6N, 68.5W, heading W at 2mph (ooh, speedy!). Winds are 50mph, central pressure is 987mb. Even gales can be stronger in winter storms… and oh yes, just a reminder to all that Winter is Coming! It even got cold in LA today with a low of 60F (16 deg C)... brrr.... 

Someone told me today that they heard Jose and Maria were going to merge and form a mega storm that will cause havoc in New England… whoever made that up has a career in Hollywood. Please send me the script. 

I think this will be my last post on Jose unless he does something daft.

Now for nap time. 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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