2018 Hurricane Season

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Re: 2018 Hurricane Season

Post by Paul Tallet » Wed Sep 26, 2018 1:09 am

EX-KIRK GETTING MORE ORGANISED

Just a quickie update as rains continue to fall over Tobago.

The main worry is yet to arrive ... ex-tropical storm Kirk is showing signs of re-development on satellite images and the NHC have raised the chances further, from 60% to 70%, for Kirk to recover it's status to a tropical depression or storm.

Kirk is right behind the tropical wave that is raining on Tobago now and is likely to have some direct impacts for Tobago, the main factor being rain. If redevelopment does occur then the more likely Kirk will nudge further north away from Tobago but whatever the outcome I doubt that Tobago will avoid the rain.

Kirk should be watched closely and i will post updates when I can.

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Re: 2018 Hurricane Season

Post by Paul Tallet » Wed Sep 26, 2018 11:54 am

TROPICAL STORM KIRK IS BACK

Shortly after my last post Kirk was designated tropical storm status again.

It seems that from the large swathe of cloud and rain that Kirk has formed a smaller circulation spanning about 40 or 50 miles and this means that tropical storm winds will affect a small area. Also, as Kirk is now spinning again there is a good chance the centre will take a more northward track and Dominica, Martinique, St Lucia and Barbados are the closest to the NHC's official track guidance with potential tropical storm conditions affecting these islands on Thursday and Friday.

Tobago is well away from this but the tropical wave associated with Kirk covers a wide area and heavy rainfall should be expected in Tobago and across the whole of the windward islands, possibly well into the weekend. The passing of a tropical storm will also increase the general moisture levels in the Caribbean.

Please note that Kirk has only just formed again and can be unpredictable. If I see any changes I will of course post an update.

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Re: 2018 Hurricane Season

Post by Paul Tallet » Wed Sep 26, 2018 10:44 pm

TROPICAL STORM KIRK ... IS ENTERING THE CARIBBEAN

Kirk has been watched very closely by many hurricane nuts as well as the official forecasters. In my previous post I referred to a small wind-field of 40 or 50 miles. Now the NHC is reporting on 330 miles which means that tropical storm conditions are as far as 115 miles from the centre of the storm. I can't recall where I read the '50 mile' thing or perhaps Kirk has doubled in size? I don't think so but I guess a wide range of statistics are banded about when there is significant uncertainty about the behaviour of the Storm and perhaps I should ignore them and focus more on my assessment of the situation

The debates range from whether Kirk could reach hurricane status as the storm passes through the windward islands, the precise track and how widespread the rainfall could be.

Lets address these 3 issues and any potential impacts on Tobago ...


Strength ... Kirk has been strengthening and looking more impressive in satellite images, however there are early signs of the wind shear that is expected to kill Kirk in the Caribbean Sea. So if there is any further strengthening, it is unlikely to be much or hurricane status may occur briefly and possibly go unnoticed. Either way, I think the rain is the main issue here and most Caribbean Islands can cope with category 1 hurricane wind conditions.

Another factor is that Kirk is moving quickly so those unlucky enough to be in the centre of the storm should experience the worst conditions for hours rather than a whole day and/or night.


The precise track ... it looks like Kirk will scrape the north of Barbados by tomorrow morning where I think the storm will peak, weakening as it passes near St Lucia and Martinique during Thursday and Friday.


Rain Impacts ... this is the main threat with several inches falling widely. Also, a moderate sea surge could occur close to the centre of the storm where it makes any landfalls.


The impacts on Tobago ... The sea heights should increase during Thursday morning along the Caribbean coast. I don't believe there is going to be any significant wind other than during squally periods of rain. Rainfall is a threat, especially now that Tobago has already had a couple of days of heavy rain. Kirk will be closest to Tobago as it's centre passes just north of, or over, Barbados tonight and into the early hours of tomorrow morning.

Regardless of what I have said, expect the worst and be prepared.

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Re: 2018 Hurricane Season

Post by Paul Tallet » Thu Sep 27, 2018 12:07 pm

TROPICAL STORM KIRK ... BIG RAIN EVENT

Wow ... although Kirk is weakening, in the last few hours there has been a huge burst of thunderstorm activity, increasing the size of the main rain canopy, the western edge of which is about to pass over Barbados.

Although this main area of rainfall is likely to miss or just scrape past Tobago I am expecting the Storm to open up a little and this means that there is still a risk of some very heavy rainfall from Kirk.

Expect heavy rainfall totals and flooding for the islands north of Tobago.

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Re: 2018 Hurricane Season

Post by Paul Tallet » Thu Sep 27, 2018 4:14 pm

KIRK IS WEAKENING

Following on from this morning's huge convective burst the rain bands are receding on the west side of the storm which is the direction from which the wind shear is coming.

Observation of the satellite images shows the outflow to the north east of Kirk where the upper cloud tops are being sliced off the top of the storm. This could rip Kirk to pieces in 24 to 48 hours. Once the centre of the storm is exposed to this shear, that will be the end for Kirk.

Only the cloud canopy is over Barbados and the rain just a few miles away is making very slow progress due to the shear. The east side of the storm is strongest for understandable reasons (i.e.; the wind shear coming from the west).

Despite this, Kirk remains a dangerous storm with stacks of energy that will remain in what remnants are left from Kirk long after the storm's demise.

I am expecting Kirk to open up over the windward islands which will widen the potential rainfall impacts and localise the wind factors. Some very localised areas could even experience hurricane conditions.

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Re: 2018 Hurricane Season

Post by Paul Tallet » Thu Sep 27, 2018 11:07 pm

KIRK PASSES NORTH OF BARBADOS

Yes, believe it or not, the centre of Kirk has detached itself from the main blob and is taking a path between St Lucia and Martinique.

The wind shear is so strong that, the best way I could describe it, the whole system has had like a car crash with the front wheel becoming detached and spinning off ahead. I have been watching this all day and the main 'blob' of rain has made very little progress, just a few miles east of Barbados, as if it has come up against a wall. Kirk's centre is completely detached and is clearly visible north west of Barbados.

However, new convective bursts are occurring on the west side of the 'blob' and Barbados is getting it's first taste of the really heavy rain. Because of this strong shear and, assuming the main 'blob' makes little further westerly progress I am beginning to wonder if the rainfall could persist over the windward islands longer than expected.

I have also noticed that moisture is being drawn up from South America and thunderstorms are readily developing around Trinidad & Tobago and linking up with the 'blob'.

Now that Kirk has departed and is spinning away then, as I expected, the remaining 'blob' could be sheared open and form a large trough ... there is nothing left to turn (spin) it now.

Fascinating ... but not good news really. Had Kirk maintained it's structure it could have blown through the windward islands by now, affecting fewer islands and bringing just hours of bad weather.

It does look like the battle between the wind shear and what is left of Kirk (which is considerable) will take place over the windward islands rather than further west in the Caribbean Sea ... so a big rain event could be unfolding widely over the eastern Caribbean for the weekend.

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Re: 2018 Hurricane Season

Post by Paul Tallet » Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:45 pm

TOBAGO NOW BEING IMPACTED BY KIRK ... TORRENTIAL RAIN

As I suggested last night, Tropical Storm Kirk has detached from the main area of wind and rain that I now refer to as the 'blob'.

Kirk's low level centre is actually in the Caribbean Sea. The blob has basically been stopped in it's tracks by strong wind shear and making very slow progress across the windward islands. You can (in satellite imagery) see the outflow from the east and north east side of the blob where the cloud tops are being sheared off.

But this blob has significant energy and is regularly producing intense convective bursts, countering the wind shear, giving the impression from satellite imagery that it is moving south west when in fact it is starting to break up and find a way around the shear.

Barbados has been affected the worst so far with persistent torrential rain for about 12 hours. The islands to the north where the warnings were issued look like they will not have anything like the punishment that Barbados is receiving.

The expansion of the rain canopy to the south and west means that islands as far south as Tobago and Grenada (that did not receive warnings) are under it and the intense convective bursts and thunderstorms and squally winds are in this quadrant of the blob.

I am not sure how far south and west these convective bursts are going to expand but Trinidad may as well assume it could be affected at any time in the next 24 hours.

So ... Tobago is now getting torrential rain and localised strong winds. This will last for hours at least and maybe more into the weekend ... it just depends on where these very unpredictable bursts of convection and thunderstorms pop up ... the trend is now towards Trinidad & Tobago.

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Re: 2018 Hurricane Season

Post by Paul Tallet » Fri Sep 28, 2018 10:25 pm

KIRK LEAVES TORRENTIAL RAIN BEHIND OVER THE WINDWARD ISLANDS

The effects of the wind shear on Kirk are astonishing. Not just because the wind shear is strong but by how Kirk has responded.

There is no better time to go view the satellite images than now and to see how the wind shear from the south west is tearing into the storm, dragging plumes of the storm's energy far across the Atlantic, almost to the north west African coast.

Kirk's centre is at lower levels than the upper winds and has vacated the failing system and can be seen in the Caribbean Sea midway between Puerto Rico and the Dutch Antilles ... who knows, Kirk could pick up some more moisture further on and regenerate, perhaps in the Gulf of Mexico?

But what is happening over the windward islands is now no longer associated with Kirk. There is still a high amount of energy in this system which is producing random bursts of thundery activity, mainly on the west side of the windward islands so this system is making slow progress. But it is fighting hard.

The so called 'blob' is weakening rapidly and the huge bursts of thunderstorm activity to the south and the west are beginning to tire more rapidly, so the intensity of the rain is likely to reduce and, as the 'blob' opens up, rainfall of a lower intensity is likely to affect the whole of the eastern Caribbean over the weekend.

Wind shear, alone, is winning and this has probably saved the Caribbean from a major hurricane.

Grenada, Trinidad and Tobago are getting high rainfall but it will likely become less persistent as the 'blob' breaks up, leaving heavy showers and occasionally persistent bands of rain ... I expect this to continue over the weekend.

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Re: 2018 Hurricane Season

Post by Paul Tallet » Sun Sep 30, 2018 12:11 pm

HURRICANE LESLIE?

Tropical Storm Kirk passed away somewhere over the Caribbean Sea, having become detached from the 'blob' of strong winds and heavy rain.

Even the 'blob' is breaking down so that's that.

The only other energy going on in the tropical Atlantic is Tropical Storm Leslie, east of Bermuda. Leslie is expected to become a hurricane soon but the storm is hardly moving and, so far, does not pose much of a threat to anywhere other than increasing surf along the east coasts of the US, Bermuda and north facing coasts in the Caribbean over the course of next week.

No other signs of energy are apparent as the tropics calm down again before the next wave of energy ... my tip would be a Gulf storm. There has not been much activity there this season so far.

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Re: 2018 Hurricane Season

Post by Paul Tallet » Tue Oct 02, 2018 9:59 pm

WHAT'S BREWING IN THE SOUTH WEST CARIBBEAN?

There are some thundery outbreaks and a little 'turning' going on in the Caribbean Sea just north east of Costa Rica.

This is a good area for development at this time of year ... I wonder if anyone can remember Hurricane Wilma from the bonkers 2005 Hurricane season which broke records for the lowest pressure ever recorded in the Atlantic and it's rapid intensification from virtually nothing to a Cat 5 monster storm in a matter of hours and not days.

Well, before I scare you too much, I doubt that exceptional event will happen again in a long time but this one needs watching. We still have the remnant 'blob' from Tropical Storm Kirk in the central Caribbean, still letting off convective bursts and the energy from this system (that Kirk vacated) is still there and could get going again as the environment around it becomes less hostile.

My question is 'what if these 2 energies meet?'

The NHC has started issuing advisories on the system in the south west Caribbean Sea, giving it a 0% chance of short term development and a 20% chance within 5 days.

Storms that are generated in these areas have options. They can go west (to the central Americas), north west (to the Gulf) or north (to the southern US) and it is very very difficult to tell, however the sea is cooking. There is a strong ridge of High pressure over the US that should keep Michael (?) south. Some weather models disagree, instead taking the system north over Cuba and into Florida.

A bit early for that. We will see. I am more interested in the potential merger with Kirk's remnants in maybe a few days, surely by next weekend. I can feel a few updates coming on in the next few days.

All areas of the Caribbean will have learned from last year that, if the conditions are perfect, you can get a Cat 5 Hurricane forming anywhere at this time of year and, currently, conditions are improving ... so vigilance is required until 1st December.


Leslie, yes that tropical storm that nobody seems to be worried about, is marginally hurricane strength deep into the Atlantic and east of Bermuda. No threat expected from this but it needs watching ... I think northern Europe wants to keep an eye on this storm.


In Tobago, a tropical wave is bringing showery rain. Nothing to worry about.

Regards and watch for updates, it's the squeaky bum time of year for Storms.
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Re: 2018 Hurricane Season

Post by Paul Tallet » Thu Oct 04, 2018 11:07 pm

THE ENERGY IN THE TROPICS IS INCREASING

A look at the animated satellite images would indicate that the weather is going east ... no it is not. The weather is going west. The upper level winds in the atmosphere are going east and they are scything off the tops of the thunderstorms that develop and carry the precipitation east and way out into the Atlantic Ocean ... I would draw a picture if I could.

For example, the remnants of Tropical Storm Kirk are still there in the central Caribbean Sea and are making a westerly progress as if they are wading through thick mud. The convection produced is still affecting the windward islands to the east long after Kirk passed away peacefully just south of Cuba.

This strong westerly wind shear is also affecting the western Caribbean where I, and many other hurricane enthusiasts I am sure, are watching a development just east of Nicaragua. If it was not for the hostile wind shear this disturbance would easily be a hurricane by now, however, this system is moving slowly towards the Gulf of Mexico where conditions are much more hospitable.

The NHC was posting a 20% chance that this could develop but this has been raised to 40%.

It is a large circulation which is not good for development but it would take just a few spiraling thunderstorms to spark off a smaller cell within the system and these scenarios can be quite explosive ... and ominous to the southern US States. Both category 5 Katrina and Wilma spawned in the south west Caribbean back in the bonkers 2005 hurricane season.

This one needs watching over the weekend to see what does actually happen.


Hurricane Leslie out in the more temperate zone of the Atlantic has turned north, affecting no land areas apart from heavy seas around Bermuda and the eastern US. Leslie could pose a problem as another autumnal storm over Europe within a week.

That's it for now ... I will post updates if anything changes.

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Re: 2018 Hurricane Season

Post by Paul Tallet » Sat Oct 06, 2018 8:36 pm

MICHAEL?

The disturbance I have been watching in the south west Caribbean is getting it's act together.

The centre is spinning just north of Honduras and east of Belize, in the corner so to speak. This is quite a vigorous little system embedded within a large area of generally very disturbed weather.

If you look at the satellite images you will note the considerable outflow to the east of the disturbed area stretching across the Caribbean and way out into the Atlantic. In fact, some of this is raining over Trinidad ... Tobago has had a decent day by comparison to the rest of the Caribbean.

This is the wind shear that killed Kirk and the fact that this wind shear is carrying so much energy off the new disturbance is a compliment to it's strength ... it could have otherwise been a hurricane by now.

The NHC has raised the chance of development significantly from 40% to 90% and this poses a concern for Cuba, the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico and then all coasts from north west Mexico to the US state of Texas right round to Florida, such is the uncertainty of forecasting developing systems.

Michael is going to be the name of this storm. On paper it would seem unlikely that this could become a major hurricane because of the wind shear but the cooking waters of the Gulf have not really been tested yet and could offer a feast for this young storm to suckle from. The speed of the Storm will also be an important factor in determining it's future strength because the longer it takes to engorge itself on the cooking energy of the Gulf Sea the stronger it could become.


Meanwhile, way out in the Atlantic Ocean, Leslie has been downgraded from a hurricane to a tropical storm. This storm has done very little apart from cooling the seas below but, rather than go north, it seems that Leslie is going east/south east ... something for the Canary Islands to watch? ... the Models don't agree on anything.

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Re: 2018 Hurricane Season

Post by Paul Tallet » Sun Oct 07, 2018 12:03 pm

TROPICAL DEPRESSION 14 - FORECAST TO BECOME HURRICANE MICHAEL
... POTENTIAL FOR STORMY CONDITIONS IN THE CANARY ISLANDS LATER THIS WEEK


Despite the aggressive wind shear Tropical Depression 14 has been very resilient and has compacted itself, forming a centre just off the coast of Belize.

Conditions are expected to improve as the system moves over the cooking seas of the Gulf of Mexico and there is increasing agreement between the weather models that Hurricane Michael will form here before reaching the southern US states.

This is a considerable challenge for weather forecasters because history tells us that the outcomes in the Gulf are spread from the opposite ends of the full spectrum ... do we get a monster like Wilma and Katrina or do we get a marginal storm struggling with the wind shear?

The Gulf is famed for it's warmth and has hosted some of the strongest hurricanes in history. Of some solace to the southern US coast is the chance that 'Michael' will speed up over the Gulf and this could limit the strength of the Storm.

We will see.


Elsewhere, Tropical Storm Leslie is taking an interesting track east and south and I am wondering if this could impact the Canary Islands even as a post tropical storm towards the end of this week.

Just to make matters more complicated, a new disturbance has also popped up between the Azores and the Canary Islands. The NHC has started issuing advisories and rates the chances of development at 30% as this disturbance moves east towards the Canary Islands.

Will there be any interaction between these 2 storms? The week ahead looks very interesting.

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Re: 2018 Hurricane Season

Post by Paul Tallet » Sun Oct 07, 2018 11:06 pm

TROPICAL STORM MICHAEL THREATENS THE US GULF COAST

Significant changes now apply following a Hurricane Hunter's report to the NHC earlier today.

The centre of the Storm has shifted east and this has had an impact in the official forecast however, as I said in my previous post, it is really difficult to make predictions for Storms developing in the western Caribbean and especially the Gulf due to the dramatic increase in sea temperature.

The report also indicated that the Storm was more of a bad-ass than initially thought and, as a consequence of this, Michael was born as a tropical storm and the future intensity has been upgraded to hurricane status within 48 hours ... I sense this will be earlier because if the wind shear weakens as expected, the cooking Gulf waters could fuel rapid intensification to possibly major hurricane status. But this depends how long Michael will stay over the Gulf and suckle from it's warm energy.

In the past it has been possible for disturbances to develop from a thunderstorm to a full blown major hurricane in less than 48 hours.

It is clear that there is considerable uncertainty about Michael and, unfortunately, not much time for the NHC to accurately pin down the forecast ... it's a big challenge for the NHC and i am sure there will be some further changes in their forecast that, so far this hurricane season, have been excellent.

So, first in line for bad weather is western Cuba and the tip of the Yucatan peninsula tomorrow and then it is a matter of where along the Gulf coast Michael makes landfall on Wednesday, maybe Thursday.

Let's hope that Michael makes good speed across the Gulf.


Across the other side of the Atlantic there has been little change apart from an increasing likelihood that the Canary Islands could be impacted by Tropical Storm Leslie and a small complication of a disturbance that has developed between the Canaries and the Azores.

Looks like an active week ahead.

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Re: 2018 Hurricane Season

Post by Paul Tallet » Mon Oct 08, 2018 8:59 pm

HURRICANE MICHAEL BRINGING GRAVE CONSEQUENCES FOR THE FLORIDA GULF COAST
LESLIE STRENGTHENING AND THREATENING WESTERN EUROPE
A NEW THREAT MANIFESTS ITSELF SOUTH OF THE CABO VERDE ISLANDS




I will start with Hurricane Michael ... as I was speculating in yesterday's post, Michael is becoming an explosive and extremely dangerous major hurricane that is going to bring life threatening impacts to the Gulf coast of Florida, Alabama, South and North Carolinas, Virginia and possibly Delaware before it roars off into the northern Atlantic.

Before I set out Michael's agenda it is important to be aware that the category of a hurricane is measured by wind speed and not rainfall and storm surges. Even minor hurricanes can deliver fatal storm surges and cause life threatening floods. Even a tropical depression can do this (i.e.; Tobago, November 2004 - took 16 inches of rain in as many hours from a tropical depression that did more damage and fatalities than category 4 Hurricane Ivan just one month earlier).

In addition, the rain bands and hurricane force and tropical storm force winds will expand out over 100 miles from the centre.

So ... Hurricane Michael is currently going through an explosive episode of strengthening as it pounds western Cuba. Rain bands extend way north of Michael and these are affecting Florida now. There is going to be no improvement for Florida until late Thursday, yes that is 4 days of persistent and heavy rain.

For the Gulf Coast of Florida conditions are going to deteriorate if they are not already doing so and there is going to be an increase in the rainfall and sea levels between now and Wednesday around midday when the Storm will make landfall. I have already seen predictions of 11 feet storm surges in some areas based on a category 1 hurricane ... this one is going to be category 3, possibly 4 or 5 ... it would be dangerous to underestimate this.

The low lying coastal areas of Florida on the Gulf side are vulnerable and due to the geographical shape of the coastline the storm surge is going to go up a cul-de-sac effectively with no lateral escape route for the surge as there would be on a straight coastline.

It's shaping up badly for Florida and everywhere along the Gulf coastline should be evacuated immediately. If you do not evacuate these areas you will be lucky to survive ... EVACUATE NOW ... a hurricane warning has, at long last, been issued for the Gulf coast of Florida as I type this post.

Hurricane Michael will be a major Hurricane before, during and for some time after landfall ... get out of there while you can.

After landfall, Michael is expected to travel through the Carolinas and out into the Atlantic but these areas and surrounding states such as Alabama, Virginia and possibly Delaware will see a deterioration in the weather long before Michael arrives with most areas having 3 days of persistent rain.

And rain is not the only risk ... high winds and tornadoes are additional hazards.

I am sure there will be a few new twists (tongue in cheek) and turns along the way to what could be the most significant hurricane event this season.




Leslie is a former hurricane, now a tropical storm and expected to regain hurricane status very soon. i was speculating if this hurricane could affect the Canary Islands but no ... it is going to curve right between the Azores and the Canary Islands and will be off the west coast of Portugal by Saturday.

Now the UK is already at risk of a Storm next weekend but this won't be Leslie. The jet stream is bringing warm air up to the UK with high temperatures during this week. The weekend storm is expected to strengthen the winds carrying this warm air and, this is me being speculative, I wonder how much of Leslie (or Leslie's energy) could be carried up in this for afters ... following the weekend.



A new Threat has emerged off the coast of Africa. We already know that the area around the windward islands is hostile to hurricanes and this new threat may falter like Kirk, but it is early days as usual and everyone in the Caribbean should be prepared no matter how cynical they feel.


That's it for now ... I will do my best to keep you all updated over this highly charged week.

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Re: 2018 Hurricane Season

Post by Paul Tallet » Tue Oct 09, 2018 11:43 pm

HURRICANE MICHAEL - CATASTROPHIC DAMAGE EXPECTED IN SOUTH EAST US
HURRICANE LESLIE DITHERING
TROPICAL STORM NADINE BORN



There is no change to my update yesterday regarding Hurricane Michael. The hurricane calmed down a little overnight but today Michael began intensifying again. Hurricane hunter aircraft have been visiting the hurricane and reported back to the NHC about decreases in the pressure within the eye and increases in wind speeds around the eyewall, mainly to the east side of the system.

Rainbands ahead of Michael over Florida have decreased but the real business is about to start. Florida's peninsula is to the east and strongest side of Michael. Conditions are already deteriorating here and, of course, the strongest winds are around this side of Michael.

Forecasters are still trying to pin down the exact landfall location on the gulf coast of Florida and this is important because the areas east of the centre of Michael will get the highest storm surge ... a mile east or west could really matter and this is a proper challenge for the NHC and the US authorities to try and pin this right down so that emergency services are deployed as effectively as possible.

Anyone living along the north gulf Florida coastline should have evacuated by now. The highest storm surge predictions are 13 feet, few humans are 7 foot or more tall ... get it? ... if you have not yet vacated ... GO NOW ... by morning it will be too late and if you have decided to stay, I can have no sympathy for you and I can only wish you the best.


Leslie ... about to regain hurricane strength and, I am sure, will have many more surprises as leslie changes direction back to the Canary Islands !!

New Nadine unlikely to be a threat.

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Re: 2018 Hurricane Season

Post by Paul Tallet » Wed Oct 10, 2018 10:30 pm

HURRICANE MICHAEL MAKES LANDFALL AT 155 MPH ... JUST 1 MPH BELOW CAT 5 STATUS
HURRICANE LESLIE CONTINUES TO DITHER
TROPICAL STORM NADINE WON'T LAST MORE THAN 48 HOURS



Major Hurricane Michael landed near Panama earlier today as a Category 4 Hurricane 1 mph short of category 5 ... no doubt there will be debates and official inquiries into whether Michael reached category 5 status but, for now, attention is focused on the damage as emergency services begin their work in the trail of devastation Michael leaves behind.

I have read that many have not evacuated the warning zones.

Michael is now moving through Georgia as a weaker hurricane albeit bad enough and then the Carolinas will get their 2nd bout of severe weather before Michael moves out into the Atlantic and regains strength, speeds up and travels across to the European side. Michael is nowhere finished yet.


Hurricane Leslie is an old storm having wandered aimlessly around the Atlantic for weeks, but always keeping us guessing. One day Leslie is off to the Canary Islands, the next day the UK and then back to the Canary Islands, but no ... Leslie is going to turn back to the west just before reaching the Canary Islands.

I think we just better watch Leslie ... the less said the better.


Tropical Storm Nadine, unlike Michael, will be easily forgotten as it appears that conditions are hostile. Nadine may dissipate later on Thursday or Friday.

I will post tomorrow if I can ... rather a lot on.

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Re: 2018 Hurricane Season

Post by Paul Tallet » Thu Oct 11, 2018 11:24 pm

HURRICANE MICHAEL ... INITIAL DAMAGE ASSESSMENT
HURRICANE LESLEY PERPLEXING ALL FORECASTERS !


Both of these hurricanes are unarguable proof that there is still a long way to go before forecasters and their weather models are going to get it right all of the time.

In no way am I criticising the NHC or any forecaster ... overall they all do a very good job under normal circumstances but, like the extremes of last season, the extremes of this season have proved to be beyond any considered and rational forecasting.

Take Michael for instance. From my years of experience (I stress experience and not qualified knowledge) of tracking hurricanes, I could remember a number of nasty developments manifesting themselves around the south western Caribbean such as Wilma and Katrina around this time of the season and I had a hunch, just a hunch, that this did not look good. I posted warnings that this could have grave consequences for the north Gulf coast because there were cooking seas ahead. I was nearly proved wrong when Michael calmed down for 12 hours. But my very amateurish assessments proved to be right when Michael landed on Florida as a Cat 4 hurricane. It could happen another 9 times and I would be wrong.

But would I? This was an extreme event and, over the years, most of the extreme events have started down in the south west Caribbean Sea and had their names retired after they traversed the cooking seas of the Gulf and exploded into vicious Storms.

These extremes are something that a weather model cannot predict. Weather models are generally based on historical averages and their success is outstanding when dealing with normal situations. The NHC has dozens of these Models to consider before reaching a concensus or what you might call a 'blend' of what the Models predict. the NHC also draws on other data such as from Hurricane Hunter aircraft, satellite presentations, buoy readings and presents it's forecasts with good sense, logic and reasoning ... it cannot do it's job any better.

But when it comes to extremes, all the professionalism, qualifications, preparation, due diligence and rationale go straight out of the window. It happens time and again.

I have seen some footage of the damage left behind by Michael. It is too early to know how many fatalities there are because almost everything in the worst affected areas is cut off or simply not working. However, the damage that I have seen indicates that Michael was likely a Cat 5 hurricane at landfall and possibly for a few miles inland too.

Michael's winds were estimated at 155 mph around the eyewall ... this is equivalent to an EF3 Tornado and possibly explains why cars could be seen sitting on top of each other and why some boats appear to have been carried ashore by air as well as storm surge. Some buildings were flattened and others lifted right out of their foundations. One could argue that it was tornadoes that caused this but this damage is too widespread for it to be a tornado. However, in some areas there was evidence of tornadoes where trees were uprooted as opposed to being snapped and pretty solid buildings were completely destroyed while other weaker erections around them only had their roofs blown off. Further evidence of Michael's strength (as a hurricane) is the sight of every beach front dwelling being swept up and piled on top of the buildings on the other side of their street as if Godzilla had turned up with a sweeping brush to do some domestic chores around the beaches.

Katrina did not teach anyone much, other than to keep the sea defenses in a good state of repair. Michael is going to provide some really good lessons about how hurricanes can be extreme but, most importantly, how an extreme hurricane dishes out it's damage, like Irma and Co last year and possibly some account will be made of the winds within the winds ... the tornadoes.

One big point raised by the forecasters was Michael's resilience against pretty strong wind shear that would have destroyed or impaired most storms and this is probably an acknowledgement of how extreme Michael became.


Lesley ... this is a different example. I have not been able to work out what this hurricane has been doing and the forecasts have also got it wrong as the Models have struggled to predict what steering influences would carry Lesley in one direction or the other. Lesley is of less concern, being a much less powerful hurricane then Michael but interest is growing in Lesley as it meanders ever closer to the coasts of the eastern Atlantic and it is impossible to tell if it could be a threat. One thing is for sure and that I expect Lesley to have generated some decent ocean swells to cause suicidal surfers around the world to flock to Nazare in Portugal to ride the 100 foot waves.

This post is basically paying homage to the stressed out weather forecasters out there when such extreme or unusual weather events occur.

Regards
Paul Tallet
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Re: 2018 Hurricane Season

Post by Paul Tallet » Sun Oct 14, 2018 9:01 pm

GOODBYE MICHAEL
OH HELLO LESLEY!
2 MORE DISTURBANCES



Hurricane Michael did it's damage across the south east US and the NHC could not wait to wash their hands of Michael as soon as the storm left the US and entered the Atlantic, on route to Europe?

Well we will see, it's not exactly straightforward in Europe either … Hurricane Lesley has had something to say about that!

After hanging around in the mid Atlantic like a dopey wasp for 4 weeks, Lesley struck Portugal very quickly and decisively just north of Nazare, where all the suicidal surfers go. I had a look at the surfing reports and Zavial Beach in the south west Algarve was getting higher swells (+20 feet) than Nazare (+15 feet) … YES my favourite beach beat the world's mecca of surfing … how I love that beach although much of this is down to the beach's superb 'people watching' restaurant and of me being owned by a carafe of their sublime Sangria. The Zavial sand is also perfect for building sandcastles … not too gritty, the texture is so important … sorry I digress, I think some Portugal therapy is well overdue :mrgreen: .


So where are we now? Well we have 2 disturbances. One, that I referred to in today's Liquid Sunshine update is really low down in the tropics and expected to arrive around Guyana well south of Tobago later this week. This can happen and has happened before (last year I think) but I have big doubts of storm development so close to the equator … perhaps a rain event is more likely. I will post updates. The NHC are issuing advisories, giving this a 10% chance of development.


The other disturbance is, again, in the south west Caribbean although a little east of where Michael spawned. The NHC is issuing advisories and giving this a 20% chance of development and it does look as if this system is going west towards Nicaragua and Honduras, maybe Belize.


Even though the chances of development are low we should watch these systems … we have to remember last week when Tropical Storm Michael was expected to form and then it came to within 1 mph of being a Category 5 mega-bashing hurricane by the time it reached Florida.


I will post updates as and when …


Regards
Paul Tallet
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Re: 2018 Hurricane Season

Post by Paul Tallet » Wed Oct 17, 2018 11:40 pm

CALM ... BUT NOT FOR TOBAGO

For a change, the Atlantic is currently clear of any disturbances. But that does not mean there is no severe weather.

The disturbance I mentioned in my last post, the one at a very low latitude, came to nothing as I expected but it's energy is now affecting Guyana, Venezuela, Trinidad & Tobago and many other areas around the south east Caribbean.

There are some seriously heavy downpours and thunderstorms occurring in these areas and there is likely to be flooding and some landslides before this weather clears by the weekend.

So take care if you are in Tobago's rainforest or, preferably, stay away from it.

Regards
Paul Tallet
Public Relations Consultant for Mother Nature

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