Hurricane Dorian was an extraordinary storm and has certainly supplanted itself in the meteorology history books.
Dorian Wind Swath
Dorian reached its peak intensity right as it made landfall on Abaco Island in the Bahamas. Its highest sustained wind speeds were 185 mph which ties Dorian for the second highest wind speeds of any Atlantic tropical cyclone. The only storm on record to have higher sustained winds than Dorian was Hurricane Allen. No storm has been recorded to make landfall with higher sustained winds than Dorian, however, the 1935 Labor Day Hurricane did make landfall with equal sustained winds.
Category 5 Hurricane Dorian (September 1st 2019)
It can get tricky when comparing historical hurricanes by sustained winds because of how difficult and often inaccurate wind speed measurements are. Dorian made landfall with a barometric pressure of around 910 mb, which places Dorian as fifth in lowest pressure at landfall. Personally, I am always more interested in the barometric pressure of a cyclone, as I see it as a a more reliable and all-encompassing number for quantifying cyclone intensity as supposed to peak sustained winds.
Hurricane Dorian's damage to Abaco and Grand Bahama Island is really unprecedented. The people that live on these islands are used to hurricanes, but no storm has ever hit these islands as bad as Dorian did. Some areas on Grand Bahama island were stuck being affected by the eyewall of Dorian for 22 hours. There really isn't a documented case of such a powerful hurricane stalling at such an intensity over a landmass, and the death and destruction this must have caused is really unimaginable. The government of Bahamas is saying that the best way to help out is to find a reputable charity and donate money, not goods, as money will allow for more flexibility during the recovery process.
I'll have a winter forecast weather discussion out saturday.
Dorian really went crazy today, and despite already being a category five hurricane this morning, it rapidly intensified once again and became an even stronger category five hurricane. Dorian made landfall on Abaco Island in the northern Bahamas earlier this evening, with peak sustained winds of 185 miles per hour, and is currently making its second landfall over Grand Bahama Island as a 180 mile per hour storm.
Dorian's 185 mph landfall tied it with the 1935 Labor Day Hurricane for the title of the highest winds of any Atlantic hurricane at landfall. Despite having equal wind speeds, the 1935 hurricane had a pressure of just 892 millibars at landfall, and Dorian's pressure was 910 millibars. Since measuring air pressure is much easier and more accurate than measuring wind speeds, its very possible that many of the older storms like the 1935 Labor Day hurricane could have had much higher winds. Some meteorologists even speculate that the 1935 hurricane could have had winds over 200 mph.
Although wind is ultimately derived from pressure, its unclear whether the true impacts of a storm is most affected by air pressure or wind speeds. An interesting example would be Hurricane Katrina, which made landfall as a category 3 hurricane with an unusually low barometric pressure of 920 millibars, which could've contributed to Katrina's devastation.
I know that when I'm following any kind of cyclone, I'm always more impressed with air pressure than windspeed. Barometric air pressure is so much more reliable, as wind speeds for tropical cyclones are typically a very educated guess.
Major Hurricane Dorian (September 1st 2019)
Dorian is doing catastrophic damage to the northern Bahamas and the footage coming out of Abaco Island is reminiscent of Barbuda when Irma struck in 2017. The damage to Grand Bahama Island could be even worse as Dorian is beginning to stall over the island. Over 20 inches of rain is expected to fall on the island as Dorian stalls over the next 12-24 hours. This would typically cause a disastrous amount of flooding, but since virtually the entire island is under 30 feet of elevation, almost everywhere will be covered in storm surge and any flooding caused by rainfall will be unnoticeable.
WPC 120 hour Rainfall Forecast for Hurricane Dorian (September 1st 2019)
Dorian's approach to Florida continues to be an incredibly close call. Hurricane warnings have been posted which is great, because a lot of Floridians really believed they were in the clear when the weather models trended out to sea two days ago. If there is a Florida landfall, which there very well could be, there is still another 36 hours, so there is some time for final evacuations if need be. By far the most at risk area in Florida looks to be the Cape Canaveral Area of Florida. This is where Dorian should make its closest approach to the Sunshine State.
National Hurricane Center Cone of Uncertainty for Dorian (September 1st 2019)
Wednesday and Thursday Dorian will impact the rest of the southeast and then the northeast and Canadian Maritimes could be affected Friday and into the weekend. Considering how unclear a Florida landfall is at this point, discussion of impacts in other states is pure speculation.
Tropical Storm Dorian has developed, and its intensifying as it nears the Caribbean.
Tropical Storm Dorian (August 26th 2019)
Barbados will be the first to be affected by Dorian, with a direct landfall on the island occuring tonight. A tropical storm warning has been posted for the island. By tomorrow afternoon, Dorian will enter into the Caribbean Sea, but not before a potential landfall on St. Lucia. A hurricane watch has been posted for St. Lucia in addition to a tropical storm warning. Martinique and St. Vincent are under tropical storm warnings and will be affected. However, it is looking likely that Dorian will make its closest approach to Barbados, and St. Lucia.
National Hurricane Center 5-Day Cone for Tropical Storm Dorian (August 26th 2019)
As Dorian moves northwestward through the Caribbean Sea, the National Hurricane Center predicts that it will intensify into a category 1 hurricane. This is interesting, because many of the weather models do not show much intensification in the next 48 hours. Despite this, the National Hurricane Center continues to refer to their own forecast "conservative." It does make sense for Dorian to intensify into a hurricane, and if it does, it will be a testament to just how important people are in the weather forecasting process.
12z Spaghetti Models (August 26th 2019)
Although intensity with Dorian is up in the air, the models are showing an unusual amount of consistency on track. Normally the spaghetti models are not in as good agreement as they are above. Once Dorian moves out of the Caribbean Sea, it will track through the Bahamas, and then likely move towards the southeastern United States. It is very unclear at this time how strong Dorian could become once north of the Carribbean, and it is largely dependent upon how much land interaction Dorian experiences with Hispaniola.
Hispaniola Elevation Map
Hispaniola is a mountainous country, and it is notorious for disintegrating any tropical cyclone that moves over it. However, models are suggesting that Dorian may be able to stay east of Hispaniola, and will either move over Puerto Rico or could escape through the Mona Passage. Additionally, if Dorian were to make landfall in Hispaniola, it would likely make landfall in the eastern part of the Dominican Republic, which is significantly less mountainous then the western and central parts of the island.
Hispaniola will not be the only inhibiting factor for Dorian's intensification. Dorian has been able to insulate itself from dry air so far, but its possible that dry air begins to affect its intensification.
It appears that the Atlantic is finally getting started this hurricane season. With only two weeks until the statistical peak of hurricane season, theres still lots of time for many more storms to come.
Yet another week has passed with zero tropical development in the Atlantic, and the National Hurricane Center is still forecasting no new tropical development in the next five days.
National Hurricane Center 5-Day Outlook (August 15th 2019)
The last named storm in the Atlantic basin was Barry which dissipated on July 14th. If the NHC is correct with their five-day outlook, this would be the first time since the 1982 hurricane season that there was no named storms between July 14th and August 19th. The 1982 hurricane season ended up being well below average, with only two hurricanes, one of them major, and zero hurricane landfalls from any Atlantic basin cyclones. The accumulated cyclone energy of the season was a measly 32.
1982 Hurricane Season
The two hurricanes that did develop during the season were rather interesting storms. Hurricane Alberto which developed in the southeastern Gulf of Mexico did not make a single landfall, which is unusual because once storms move into or form inside the Gulf of Mexico they almost always make a landfall. The other hurricane, Hurricane Debby, reached category 4 status farther north than any other hurricane recorded in the Atlantic.
Despite this unusual quiet period of Atlantic activity, its still possible for the season to become active. 85% of named storms form after August 15th after all. Also, although this season has had a similar amount of activity as 1982, unlike 1982, the ENSO status is La Nina, and is becoming even more La Nina. The National Hurricane Center and Colorado State University both issued midseason outlooks at the start of the month, and both organizations still called for an average to above average season.
However, everyday that passes with no tropical cyclones in sight, the chance of a below average season increases. Additionally, a La Nina weather pattern will not magically make the cyclones develop, and there has been low activity La Nina hurricane seasons, namely 1973 and 1974 which both featured well below normal accumulated cyclone energy and a strong La Nina pattern throughout.
Have a good night and enjoy the quiet weather!
The Atlantic remains stormless, with no new tropical cyclones expected in the forecastable time frame.
National Hurricane Center 5-Day Outlook (August 6th 2019)
The last tropical cyclone in the Atlantic basin was Hurricane Barry which made landfall July 13th and dissipated on July 14th. Barry's most noticeable impact was its rainfall. However, shear and dry air on the north side of Barry, prevented a flooding event of Florence or Harvey magnitude. Nevertheless, a rainfall total of 16.59 inches was recorded near Dierks, Arkansas, which made Barry the wettest tropical cyclone in Arkansas history.
Hurricane Barry at landfall (July 13th 2019)
This "infamous" map has been circulating twitter recently. Five states have broken their tropical cyclone precipiation records in the last three years. Including Texas with Hurricane Harvey, Hawaii with Hurricane Lane , North Carolina with Hurricane Florence, South Carolina with Hurricane Florence, and most recently, Arkansas with Hurricane Barry. Climatologists theorize that this trend of extremely wet tropical cyclones is a result of anthropogenic global warming.
No Atlantic named storm activity has happened between the period of July 15th to August 6th three times in the last twenty years. Those seasons were 1999, 2009 and 2015 and all three of these seasons yielded hurricanes of category 4 strength. The 1999 season was particularly extreme, yielding an impressive accumulated cyclone energy of 177, and four category 4 hurricanes, including the historic Hurricane Floyd. The statistical peak of hurricane season is still over a month away, and theres plenty of time for a pattern change in the Atlantic.
1999 Atlantic Hurricane Storm Tracks + Timing
Tropical activity in the eastern Pacific has been fairly active this year with two category 1 hurricanes and two category 4 hurricanes forming. There is yet to be a single landfalling tropical cyclone in the east or central Pacific. Those two category 4 hurricanes were Hurricane Barbara and Hurricane Erick, Hurricane Barbara being the stronger of the two falling just short of category 5 strength.
Yesterday, August 5th, saw the death of not one, not two, but three cyclones in the pacific, with Hurricane Erick, Hurricane Flossie, and Tropical Storm Gil all degenerating into remnant lows.
The NHC is not anticipating any tropical cyclone activity in this basin in the next five days, however, models are suggesting increased activity next week.
American and European weather models both show increasing tropical activity in the central and eastern pacific during the latter part of next week.
Things are even more exciting in the western Pacific with Typhoon Francisco making landfall early yesterday morning in southern Japan as a category 1 typhoon.
Typhoon Francisco radar and satellite imagery upon landfall (August 5th)
Up to four inches of rain an hour fell in some areas in the Kyushu province of Japan. Overall the damage from the storm is not extreme as this region is fairly used to these typhoons.
Typhoon Francisco weakened to a tropical storm after landfall and made a second landfall as a tropical storm in South Korea this morning. Francisco will transition into an extratropical low over the Sea of Japan, then move over Hokkaido, and then finally move towards the Bering Sea.
Tropical Storm Francisco Cone
Two more tropical cyclones are spinning to the south of Francisco.
Both Typhoon Lekima and Tropical Storm Krosa are expected to intensify over the next 48-72 hours. Lekima will likely develop into a major hurricane and make landfall anywhere from northern Taiwan to southwestern Japan. Right now, it is looking most likely that Lekima makes landfall somewhere in mainland China, possibly near Shanghai, and then heads into Korea likely as a weak tropical storm. There is also a possibility that Lekima makes its first landfall in Korea. Lack of land interaction could mean that Lekima could hold typhoon strength, even if it made landfall as far north as South Korea. Tropical Storm Krosa is less of a threat to land, but there is a slight risk of a Japanese landfall near where Francisco made landfall.
Lekima is definitely a storm to watch with models indicating a rather unusual and potentially dangerous track for East Asia.
18z GFS ensemble tracks for Typhoon Lekima (August 6th)
Its good to be back and blogging :) Don't know if anyone is reading this but I'm just happy to do anything involved with wondrous world of meteorology.
After days of much warmer than average temperatures the cold is coming, and with it snow...
Rain should move into our area between 8 and 10 PM tonight. As the rain moves in temperatures will drop rapidly from 60s to 50s to 40s and down into the 30s. As the rain increases in intensity, it will mix with heavy, very wet snow. The snow won't be able to accumulate, except for possibly a coating in the higher elevations of Sussex, Passaic and Orange counties.
Tomorrow will be COLD, featuring temperatures in the 30s all day with some wet flurries around.
Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday all look cold, but temperatures should get closer to average Thursday. Be sure to follow my twitter @conweather and follow!
Matthew, which is now a category 4 hurricane is approaching Florida, with maximum sustained winds of 140 mph. I'll be discussing the storm on my twitter @conweather so make sure you follow!
After slamming the Caribbean, Matthew is eyeing the east coast.
Matthew is currently a category 4 hurricane with peak sustained winds of 140 mph and its eye is moving over eastern Cuba.
In Haiti, which has been hit hardest by Matthew, the winds have started to slow down a bit. Most of the hurricane force winds are out of the area, with just tropical storm force winds now. Heavy, flooding rain will continue well into tomorrow.
Matthew has definitely gotten a lot uglier since its moved over land. But its still fairly organized, and the circulation isn't displaced at all. Watch for a bump down in intensity tonight or tomorrow morning. I'd guess Matthew is down to category 3 status tomorrow morning. Matthew will move through the Bahamas Wednesday into Thursday and strengthen as it does so. This will cause severe damage across not just a few islands in the Bahamas but almost all of them. By Thursday I'd say Matthew will be a strong category 4 hurricane as it leaves the Bahamas.
Thursday night into Friday is when Florida could start to feel the impacts. Matthew should skim Florida as a major hurricane but its possible that Matthew could actually make landfall in Florida. Nevertheless, its looking like a high impact storm from Miami to Jacksonville. Preparations should really begin tomorrow along the Florida coast, if they haven't started yet.
Matthew will continue to hug the southeast coastline Saturday when it skims the Carolina's. After Saturday things get pretty unclear. One possibility is the current NHC cone forecast above. In this scenario, a landfall in eastern North Carolina is likely. The northeast would also be hit with winds and rain in this scenario. Another very possible scenario is that Matthew goes out to sea. Some of the models have trended towards this today, so we may see a shift east in the cone tomorrow. One last possible track is a loop. The latest euro and UKMET model have both showed a loop. In this track, Matthew would skim Florida, then head east, then head south and then west again, likely hitting Florida again, but as a weakened version.
Be sure to check out my twitter @conweather and follow!
As of the latest advisory, hurricane Matthew is a category 4 hurricane with peak sustained winds of 140 mph.
So wheres he headed? Matthew should make landfall or pass just west of Haiti tomorrow morning, then later tomorrow, Matthew's center should make landfall over far eastern Cuba. Land interaction should weaken Matthew to a category 3 hurricane by tomorrow night. After moving off of Cuba, Matthew will move into the Bahamas. Hurricanes have been known to explode in intensity over the Bahamas, as there aren't any high mountain peaks to damage circulation, and waters are always extremely warm. However, Matthew will have some trouble strengthening in the Bahamas as the wind shear will be quite high. The NHC's cone does a good job of demonstrating the gradual weakening of Matthew.
Luckily, the wind field with Matthew is quite small. If you look at the graphic below you can see just how small the area of hurricane force winds are. Towns that get hit directly by Matthew will still suffer serious wind damage, but it still doesn't look like winds will be the main issue with Matthew.
Even without a massive wind field, a natural disaster is still unfolding in Haiti in the form of rain. Rainfall amounts of over ten inches will be widespread across Haiti, with rainfall amounts of 20 to as much as 40 inches in some of the mountainous western regions. Towns and villages will flood, and mudslides will be widespread. Its also important to remember how unprepared Haiti is for a storm like this. The last time a major hurricane hit Haiti from the south was hurricane Hazel in 1954, and it killed 400 people.
Once hitting the Caribbean and the Bahamas, its looking increasingly likely that Matthew will ride up the east coast, likely affecting us in some way. I think I might do a post on this later this afternoon or evening.
Be sure to check out my twitter @conweather and follow!
Hurricane Matthew has developed in the eastern Caribbean and he's strengthening.
Matthew will continue to strengthen over the next couple days, likely hitting Jamaica and eastern Cuba Monday into Tuesday. The Bahamas will also feel Matthew's impacts Tuesday through Thursday.
Things are unclear past five days for now, so I'm not really going to go into whether or not we could be affected. I will say that the majority of the models do take Matthew out to sea after hitting the Bahamas so I'd lean towards that solution.
Be sure to check out my twitter @conweather and follow!