2005 Hurricane Season

Weather reports, questions and comment.

Postby Wendy Taylor » Wed Jul 13, 2005 9:24 pm

Paul Tallet wrote:WEATHER UPDATE 13th JULY 2005. 1915 BST.

HURRICANE RISKS REDUCING ?


This could be good news … but I am not so sure at this stage.

The Official Forecasters have downgraded their warnings because Emily has not strengthened in the last 24 hours.

Her strength has not diminished, particularly on the south side of the Storm.

There have been no new convective bursts and she does look a little disorganised … however she could reorganise very quickly and still remains a potentially dangerous Tropical Storm just short of Hurricane strength as she has been for the last 24 hours.

I could accept these theories if the north side of the Storm was strong … that would make sense.

I recommend everyone takes the Hurricane precautions to be on the safe side … it is dangerous to downgrade warnings when events over the next 12 hours could change considerably for the worse.

That said … I hope they are right and that Emily will reach Hurricane status after she has passed Tobago.


Regards


My daughter just texted me to say it's been downgraded to a tropical storm also.

It's great new.

Wendy
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Postby Paul Tallet » Wed Jul 13, 2005 9:31 pm

Wendy

Don't get too confident. I do not agree with the downgrade.

Weather Officials should not take chances with fledgling Storms like this ... and in particular, Storms that follow unusual tracks during particularly active Hurricane Seasons.

Check the following Sat Loops and let the loop run and see what is quickly developing from the East of Tobago ... this should give you an idea of what is ahead for tonight ....

http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/PS/TROP/DATA/RT/float-vis-loop.html

I have another update that I am typing and should have posted in the next half hour.

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Postby Paul Tallet » Wed Jul 13, 2005 10:04 pm

WEATHER UPDATE 13th JULY 2005. 2200 BST.

I STILL THINK THIS IS ABOUT TO BE A HURRICANE


I have been unhappy for the last couple of hours as the Official Forecasters have downgraded their warning and so I choose my words carefully …


I would like them to be right but I believe they are wrong. In fact I think they have been downright irresponsible and I hope no one in Tobago jeopardises their safety in response to the downgrade.

I have just seen their latest reports, they are still slightly north of the track and have stuck to the Tropical Storm Forecast.

See the following Sat Loop which is currently the best visual I can find on the Hurricane’s development.


http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/PS/TROP/DATA/RT/float-vis-loop.html


At the top right of the map, check the box titled ‘Trop Fcst Pts’ and this gives an indication of the track and the points at which Emily is expected to become a Hurricane, it’s category and so on.

In the last few hours, the southern half of Emily has produced some substantial convective bursts and rolled itself up into a tight circulating ball … the Satellite Loop shows this quite dramatically.

The northern area of Emily seems to be detaching itself and forming an outer rain band ahead of the Storm.

The area directly to the East of Tobago is now an area of extremely intense rainfall and high winds … still a few hours away from passing over Tobago … and still developing.

Make your own minds up as you watch the Loop … the threat is there in black and white !!

As far as I am concerned, this is very close to Hurricane status and that Emily has regenerated herself in the last couple of hours.

I have been receiving some reports from Tobago, for instance, Sue and Steve of Castara Retreats have confirmed that conditions are deteriorating and the winds picking up … this is a few hours before this violent Storm Centre is due to arrive.

So there will be flooding, mudslides and damaging winds … whether it becomes a Hurricane or stays as a Storm … but I think it will develop to Hurricane status overnight if it has not already done so.

If you are in Tobago, please take care and please do not let your guard down … the real business is arriving in the next 2 hours.


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Postby Paul Tallet » Wed Jul 13, 2005 11:28 pm

LAST UPDATE ... 2330 UK BST

The core of Emily is now beginning to affect Tobago and will do so for the rest of the night.

This is a developing expanse of extremely heavy rain on a similar scale to the Rain Event of 2004.

I have received more updates from Tobago that confirm the conditions are quickly deteriorating.

The developing system is still producing strong convective bursts and circulating.

I note ironically that the Official Forecast is now predicting Hurricane Force winds at higher levels over hills and mountains.

Tonight there will be continuous torrential (and at times horizontal) rain.

Very high and likely Hurricane Force winds, particularly gusts, at all levels.

There will be damage, flooding and mudslides ...

I strongly advise everyone to find a safe place for the night ... and take care.
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Postby Cathy Spooner » Wed Jul 13, 2005 11:30 pm

Hi Paul

My parents are in Tobago at the moment so I've been watching the satelite loop for quite a while and have noticed that the eye of the storm seems to have spread out recently- is this a good or bad?

Many thanks
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Postby Paul Tallet » Wed Jul 13, 2005 11:35 pm

Cathy

You cannot actually see an eye ... the area circulating just to the east of Tobago is the developing Storm.

It is not looking that good.

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Postby Paul Tallet » Thu Jul 14, 2005 5:56 am

WEATHER UPDATE 14th JULY 2005. 0545 BST.

HURRICANE EMILY


2 things have happened since my ‘I still think …’ post.

Firstly, Emily was officially declared a Category 1 Hurricane about 3 hours later while the centre was just a few miles to the east of Tobago.

Secondly, Emily’s core seemed to go through a massive wobble to the north and then west and the core is now poised to pass Grenada.

The Official Forecasters do not seem to have noticed this ‘wobble’ although an update is due in the next hour or so … but I am satisfied that they were wrong about downgrading their warnings that were quickly re-upgraded late at night … possibly too late to warn Trinidad and Grenada.

When I say ‘core’ it is because I have not seen a visible eye.

The small, yet expanding, central band of Hurricane force winds could have just skirted the northern side of Tobago or just missed by a matter of a few miles.

This is very close indeed.

At the time of this post, the Storm area seems to be pulling away to the north west (the officials still say west !!) and Tobago should now begin to notice the winds decreasing.

The heavy and torrential rain will continue for a few more hours at least until sunrise and this could turn out to be the most damaging aspect of Emily … we should know soon.

I am very disappointed in the Official Forecasters … their very own Satellite Loops were telling the story and instead they had to wait until a Reconnaisance Plane flew into Emily to take readings before they reverted back to Hurricane warnings.

I will update again in about 4 hours.


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Postby Neil Roberts » Thu Jul 14, 2005 6:04 am

Once again, your forecasting and reading of the loops proves to be very accurate indeed. Thanks for your efforts, Neil Roberts.
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Postby Lou W » Thu Jul 14, 2005 8:02 am

Paul, has any of tobago been hit?
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Postby Bob White » Thu Jul 14, 2005 8:11 am

Well done Paul. Spot on with outcome of Emily. We spoke to our friends in Tobago last night with an update. They were putting all safety measures into place. Will contact them later today to see how things fared.

Regards,

Bob.
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Postby Paul Tallet » Thu Jul 14, 2005 10:19 am

HURRICANE EMILY

UPDATE 14th JULY ... 1020 BST

Thanks Neil and Bob.

Grenada, once again, is getting the brunt of the Storm as the centre of Emily passes almost directly over Grenada who took the brunt of the more powerful Ivan last September.

The winds should be decreasing over Tobago, however there are several more hours of slightly less intense rainfall to come but this could re-intensify as further convective bands develop within the outer shroud of the Hurricane.

Because I was asleep while it happened, I am not actually certain if the Hurricane Force winds touched Tobago because the sat Loops indicate that Emily’s centre wobbled closely around the north of Tobago … nevertheless, the wind speeds will have been close to Hurricane strength and still capable of bringing down trees and damaging property.



On reflection, this being the second significant Hurricane threat (3rd if you include Dennis as a developing Tropical Storm) to affect Tobago in 10 months, I am extremely concerned about the monitoring by the Official Forecasters, Government Warnings and Media coverage in the days and even the final hours leading up to the Hurricane’s visit.

This was not a powerful Hurricane by any means and a pretty tame one compared to Ivan last September, yet this was still a dangerous and life threatening proposition.

I lost the plot at one point by predicting Wednesday when it should have been Thursday … everyone makes mistakes and we learn from our lessons …

The Official Forecaster have obviously not learned any lessons from Ivan … when there is strong high pressure to the north then the Storm is unlikely to go North … they must have known about this but still assumed the track would be north-west based on a mathematical theory averaging the results from several Hurricane Prediction models … same mistake with Ivan last year … when will they learn?

Emily followed a track on an exceptionally low latitude and had many unique features in her development that I have not seen before … I have not seen any evidence that the Official Forecasters monitored their own Satellite Loops from which I was able to clearly see the cycles of Storm and Hurricane formation … again, they seemed to be relying on prediction models.

I guess any Hurricane is going to have it’s own unique characteristics … but when it is in the early stages of development, looking volatile, displaying significant bursts of convection and doing all the things you do not expect … then it is completely and utterly irresponsible for the Official Forecasters to advise Governments to downgrade their warnings as they did last night … a few hours before Emily moved over Tobago … this was an act of stupidity of the highest order.

Finally, the Media … shame on them all both local and international.

There was a story going round the UK press yesterday expressing concern that Oil prices would be affected by Emily if she become a major Hurricane in the Oil producing Gulf of Mexico.

The Trinidad and Tobago Express can have a little credit for running a very short article about the approach of a Tropical Storm and a graphical picture showing it’s forecast track.

As before with Ivan and Dennis … Hurricane Emily could wind up in a place like the southern US or a place of Commercial or Economic interest and then the Media Interest will become more apparent.

Rant over … I await news of how Tobago has coped.


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Postby Paul Williams » Thu Jul 14, 2005 11:24 am

Morning Paul
Thanks for your updates and I fully agree with your "rant" as in both the medias response and the forecasters they really do not seem to have learnt from last year, it does appear though that the Grenadan government has taken much stronger measures this time but that should not have been too difficult as they were left wanting over Ivan.
I have been listening to i95.5 this morning and their reporter on Tobago said that 40-50% of the island is withouut electricity and that the shelters on the windward side have been very busy and that a number of large trees have come down.
Like you I await hearing from the island as to how the have coped
Regards
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Postby Barbara1 » Thu Jul 14, 2005 2:20 pm

thanks for all the updates and excellent forecasting.
I just rerutnred from Tobaog and am concerened about how the island and the wonderful people there fared.
l
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Postby Tony J » Thu Jul 14, 2005 2:52 pm

LATEST INFO FROM TOBAGO

Some roofs have been blow off in Charloteville, Windward road in some places has been blocked by fallen trees.

Cable TV is down and some power lines are down, no one seems to know if there have been any landslides.

They are not experiencing any rain at present but the wind is still gusty. The locals are waiting for the news to be broadcast via the radio but nothing much as yet.

They were told late last night that although the warning had been down graded, Trinidad asked all residents to anticipate the worst and to remain vigilant.

There is lots of debri everywhere and people are venturing outside, the locals are waiting to hear how Grenada is.

If i hear of any more, will let everyone know
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Postby Paul Tallet » Thu Jul 14, 2005 2:52 pm

Cheers Paul and Barbara

I have had a scan over the Carib Storm site where reports are coming in from contacts in Trinidad where there has been significant flooding.

I guess that most of Tobago is currently cut off from communicating with the outside world and the comments from Trinidad may be hearsay.

Paul's comment about the electricity supply seems to be verified and there are comments of fallen trees along the windward road and some houses have apparently been destroyed by falling trees or shorting power lines that have fallen and caused fire.

There are also reports of flooding which I do not find surprising in view of the cloud depths I was watching on the Infra Red Satellite Loops.

Apparently the winds are reported to have been worse towards Crown Point.

Of some comfort are reports indicating that the shelters were very full and therefore it seems that the majority took wise precautions.

There are no reports of deaths ... I hope this is the case.

It seems unlikely that we will hear directly from Tobago until power and telecommunications are restored.

As I write, the rain appears to be getting lighter but is likely to continue for a few more hours.

The weather should return to normal before sunset.

Regards
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Postby Paul Tallet » Thu Jul 14, 2005 2:54 pm

Thanks Tony, you just pipped me there !!
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Postby Tony J » Thu Jul 14, 2005 3:21 pm

Paul

Can i just say thank you so much for your input regarding this serious act of nature. We have watched Emily closely for days and were relieved when our thoughts matched yours as to her tracking and development.

We were able to warn many of our friends in Tobago before any of the tropical warnings came into force, this i am sure has helped them prepare a little earlier.

Your reports have been detailed and accurate, even when you decided to speak against the masses and give us your own private judgement on her progress.

Well done!!!
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Postby Steve Wooler » Thu Jul 14, 2005 3:23 pm

Hi Folks

Like all interested parties, I have been sitting here with bated breath. In fact, my fingers, arms, legs and every other appendage were so crossed that I have been totally unable to use a computer keyboard.

I have just spent the last hour talking to contacts on the island. Basically everything is looking good. So far there are no reports of any deaths or serous injury and no reports of any serious damage, flooding, road blockages, etc.

The airport is open again and both international and domestic flights have resumed. The ferry has not started yet, but is expected to within the hour. Winds are still gusty but with only a little rain. The mobile circuit is still down and power and phones are out to around 40% of the island.

I was unable to speak to anyone in Charlotteville or Castara. However, I did manage to get Duane Kenny at the Blue Waters Inn in Speyside - the hardest hit property on the island in Hurricane Ivan last year. Duane was his usual cheerful self. He says they were better prepared this time and as a consequence suffered no damage. There’s obviously some tidying up to be done, but basically everything is running normally. As far as he is aware, the roads to Scarborough are fully open. He says there was a minor blockage to Charlotteville first thing, but he reckons even that has been cleared by now.

So, in summary, Tobago did not even suffer a bloody nose. Mind you, Duane reckons the winds in Speyside were definitely hurricane-strength, although the rain and surge wasn’t as bad as with Ivan.

Our thoughts now go out to poor Grenada.
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Postby Paul Tallet » Thu Jul 14, 2005 3:28 pm

Thanks Tony ... and full credit to you for putting out the word.

The news comes as a relief Steve.

I saw a report that the leaves are, at least, still on the trees in Grenada ... which is a good sign ... there are reports of flooding but it seems they coped very weel too.

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Postby Lou W » Thu Jul 14, 2005 4:06 pm

Hi
After a night of worryin I have spoken to my boyfriend who lives in Plymouth. Everyone is ok there, he said there has been no reports of any deaths as yet. There are a few power lines down and trees. Apart from that the plymouth and courland area seems ok. He did say it was a very good storm to stand in the yard and watch tho! I'll take his word on that one!!!

Thanks Paul for all the updates

A very happy Lou :D
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