Civicane49's WunderBlog

Atlantic and Eastern Pacific basins are quiet for now

By: Civicane49, 10:15 PM GMT on June 30, 2012

Both the Atlantic and the Eastern Pacific basins are expected to be free from tropical cyclones over the next 2 days. The Gulf of Mexico disturbance and the central Atlantic tropical wave are not expected to become tropical cyclones during the next 48 hours. The Gulf of Mexico disturbance is moving over Texas, and is bringing some heavy rains. The central Atlantic tropical wave is forecasted to bring some heavy rains in the Lesser Antilles by tomorrow or so as the wave is expected to move westward into the Caribbean Sea. Environmental conditions in the Caribbean are not favorable for this wave to develop. None of the models are forecasting tropical cyclones to develop in the Atlantic basin over the next 7 days. In the eastern Pacific, however, the ECMWF model is predicting at least one weak tropical cyclone developing this basin by the next 4 to 6 days. Other models are not predicting this scenario, but we shall see what happens.

Figure 1. Recent infrared satellite image of Western Atlantic. Image courtesy: NOAA's Satellite Services Division (SSD).

Civicane49

Hurricane

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Debby becomes post-tropical cyclone as it moves away from Florida

By: Civicane49, 9:27 PM GMT on June 27, 2012

Debby is no longer a tropical cyclone. After Debby brought heavy rains to Florida over the past few days, Debby has finally moved out of Florida and into the western Atlantic where it dissipates. It inundated portions of central and northern Florida with greater than 2 feet of rain. The tropical storm has weakened to a tropical depression due to its maximum sustained winds have decreased after making landfall on Florida. Fortunately, heavy rains will likely end in Florida during the next few hours or so.

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) states that Tropical Depression Debby has become a post-tropical cyclone. Recent satellite imagery depicts that Debby remains disorganized; the deep thunderstorm activity remains to the northeast of the center due to some moderate westerly wind shear of 20 knots and huge amount of dry and stable air to the west of Debby. These unfavorable conditions limit shower and thunderstorm activity from developing in the center of the cyclone. Water vapor satellite loop indicates dry air as black to orange.



Figure 1. A map of Florida with rainfall totals of Debby from June 23 - 27, 2012. The gray color shows no rainfall while the dark blue depicts 26 inches of rainfall. The highest amounts occurred near Lake City in northern Florida. Image courtesy: NOAA Environmental Visualization Laboratory.

Forecast for Post-Tropical Cyclone Debby
The post-tropical cyclone is forecasted to move east-northeastward over the next 48 hours under the influence of the deep trough over western Atlantic. Afterwards, it is expected to turn northeastward and accelerate by the strong mid-latitude westerly flow. The GFS and UKMET models are in good agreement with this forecast track of it. Debby is unlikely to threaten any more landmasses. The post-tropical cyclone is unlikely to regenerate to a tropical cyclone due to the marginally unfavorable conditions. Although the SHIPS model forecasts the wind shear on the post-tropical cyclone to decrease less than 10 knots after 24 hours, Debby will move into colder waters less than 26°C, which is unfavorable for tropical cyclones. Additionally, it will remain in a dry and stable air. These unfavorable conditions should keep Debby from regenerating to a tropical cyclone. Nevertheless, there is still a possibility that it could regenerate into a tropical cyclone.

Elsewhere in the tropics
Aside from Debby, there is an African tropical wave situated over the central Atlantic between Lesser Antilles and Africa. It is currently disorganized with little shower and thunderstorm activity. The wave is expected to move westward between 10 – 15 mph under the influence of the southern periphery of the high pressure ridge. The environmental conditions are marginally unfavorable for this disturbance to develop over the next few days. The NHC is giving the tropical wave a 10% chance of becoming a tropical cyclone in the next 2 days.

I’ll unlikely have a new entry tomorrow.

Civicane49

Hurricane Flood

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Tropical Storm Debby makes landfall on Florida; expected to bring more heavy rain

By: Civicane49, 10:34 PM GMT on June 26, 2012

Tropical Storm Debby makes landfall near Steinhatchee, Florida as the storm continues to bring very heavy rains on northern Florida, which will exacerbate the flooding. Not only Debby brought heavy rains, but also spawned tornadoes. Some areas in Florida have already received 2 feet of rain. More than a hundred homes have been damaged from the flood, and thousands of residents are evacuated from the flooding. The latest National Hurricane Center (NHC) advisory states that Debby has winds of 40 mph and pressure of 995 mbar; the cyclone is moving slowly towards east-northeast. Recent satellite image depicts that Debby’s structure continues to be disorganized with limited shower and thunderstorm activity at the storm’s center. Both strong wind shear and dry air have shifted the intense thunderstorm activity to the northeast of the center of Debby, and disrupting the cyclone to organize and strengthen.

Figure 1. Satellite image of Tropical Storm Debby over the northeastern Gulf of Mexico. Image courtesy: NOAA Environmental Visualization Laboratory.

Forecast for Debby
Debby is expected to move slowly east-northeastward over Florida during the next few days as it is in the presence of weak steering currents. By the next 36 hours, however, the cyclone is anticipated to exit Florida and enter into the western Atlantic Ocean. Afterwards, Debby is forecasted to accelerate and turn northeastward by an increasing westerly mid to upper-tropospheric flow associated with the low pressure trough offshore of the Eastern Seaboard. The center of Debby is now over land, and weakening should commence soon. The system is expected to cross over Florida for more than 24 hours as a tropical depression. By the time it is over the western Atlantic, however, Debby is forecasted to re-strengthen slightly due to warm sea surface temperatures and light wind shear over the Gulf Stream. By the next 7 days, Debby may be absorbed by the trough over Eastern Canada as some models are indicating. Debby is forecasted to bring more heavy rains during the next couple of days in Florida and Georgia. The NHC forecasted some areas in northern Florida to see more than 2 feet of rain by the time Debby moves out of Florida and enter into the Atlantic. Remember, when you see flooding, “Turn around, don’t drown”.

Civicane49

Hurricane Flood

Updated: 11:21 PM GMT on June 26, 2012

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Major change in forecast track of Tropical Storm Debby

By: Civicane49, 2:08 AM GMT on June 25, 2012

There has been a significant change in forecast for Tropical Storm Debby. The National Hurricane Center (NHC) no longer forecasts the cyclone to move westward across the northern Gulf of Mexico and hit between Texas and Louisiana. Instead, the NHC predicts that Debby will meander in the northeastern Gulf of Mexico over the next several days before making landfall on Florida. The GFS, ECMWF, UKMET, and NOGAPS models are coming into an agreement that the storm will meander over the northeastern Gulf of Mexico over the next few days, and then make landfall between Louisiana and Florida.

Latest NHC advisory states that Debby has winds of 60 mph and pressure of 990 mbar. The storm’s current movement is stationary as it is situated roughly a hundred miles south-southwest of Apalachicola, Florida. Recent satellite image depicts that most of the shower and thunderstorm activity is away from the storm’s center due to both moderate wind shear and dry air affecting the system. Debby is expected to continue bringing heavy rains to Florida and other parts of southeastern United States during the next several days; it would result deadly flash floods in these areas.

Debby is anticipated to have little change in intensity during the next few days before hitting land. The cyclone is in the relatively favorable conditions with moderate wind shear at 20 knots and warm sea surface temperatures at 27 °C. However, water vapor satellite loop shows that dry air to the west of the cyclone is affecting it, which is interrupting the storm’s organization. These marginally favorable conditions should remain in Debby over the next couple of days. Nearly all the models are predicting Debby to remain at tropical storm strength instead of reaching hurricane intensity.

Figure 1. Evening infrared satellite imagery of Tropical Storm Debby. Image courtesy: Colorado State University's RAMMB imagery.

Civicane49

Hurricane

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Tropical Storm Debby forms; a threat to United States Gulf coast

By: Civicane49, 9:27 PM GMT on June 23, 2012

An area of low pressure over the Gulf of Mexico has sufficient organization of tropical storm; therefore, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) designated Invest 96L as Tropical Storm Debby, the fourth storm of the 2012 Atlantic season. In addition, it is the earliest fourth tropical cyclone in the Atlantic basin on record, surpassing Hurricane Dennis in 2005, which became a tropical storm on July 5. Latest NHC advisory states that Debby has maximum sustained winds of 50 mph and minimum pressure of 1001 mbar. Recent satellite image depicts that Debby has a well-defined surface center, but the convection, which is an activity of showers and thunderstorms, remains toward the east of the center due to both moderate wind shear and little dry air affecting the system. This wind shear is generated from an upper-level low to the west of Debby. However, Debby is over warm sea surface temperature of 28°C, which should help the system to slowly organize and strengthen.

Figure 1. Afternoon visible satellite image of Tropical Storm Debby over the Gulf of Mexico.

Forecast for Debby
Debby is predicted to move slowly northward over the next 12 - 24 hours. After that, however, the forecast track of Debby remains somewhat complex. Many models, including the ECMWF, UKMET, and NOGAPS, forecast Debby to move westward and make landfall on South Texas by a high pressure ridge building over the southern United States. Other models, including the GFS, predict the cyclone move east-northeastward and make landfall on the western coast of Florida by the trough of low pressure moving eastward over the United States East Coast. Since most models predict Debby to move westward, this will likely be the cyclone’s expected path as shown in NHC’s official forecast track.

The environmental conditions in Debby are forecasted to remain relatively favorable over the few days. Wind shear is predicted to lessen slightly as the upper-level low moves southwestward away from Debby. Sea surface temperatures in the Gulf of Mexico are expected to remain warm at 28°C. These favorable conditions should allow Debby to gradually strengthen, and at least become a strong tropical storm. None of the models forecast Debby to become a hurricane in the next few days; however, it is possible that Debby may become a hurricane, if it can linger around favorable conditions longer than it is anticipated.

Interests along the United States Gulf coast, especially Texas and Louisiana, should monitor the progress of Debby over the next several days, and prepare for the storm’s impact, including tropical storm-force winds, heavy rains, and storm surge.

Civicane49

Hurricane

Updated: 10:01 PM GMT on June 23, 2012

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Invest 96L will likely develop over Gulf of Mexico

By: Civicane49, 8:56 PM GMT on June 22, 2012

An area of low pressure over the southern Gulf of Mexico is a threat to develop into a tropical cyclone in the next couple of days. This tropical disturbance is classified as Invest 96L. Visible satellite imagery and surface observations both indicate that the disturbance’s broad surface center is located just north of the Yucatan Peninsula. Latest satellite loop shows that the shower and thunderstorm activity has diminished and become less organized on 96L probably due to some dry air to its northwest and moderate to high wind shear with 15 - 25 knots. However, 96L is in a region of warm sea surface temperature with 28°C; it is warm enough to support tropical cyclone development. Therefore, 96L is expected to slowly organize to become a tropical cyclone in the coming days.

Figure 1. Afternoon visible satellite imagery of Invest 96L.

Forecast for 96L
96L is anticipated to remain in the relatively favorable conditions over the next several days. SHIPS model predicts that wind shear will remain in moderate range over the next 5 days. Sea surface temperatures are expected to remain roughly 28°C over the next 120 hours. These conditions would allow 96L to gradually organize and become a tropical cyclone in the next few days. The tropical disturbance is forecasted to slowly move generally northward in the central Gulf of Mexico over the next 2 days. After that, however, the forecast track for 96L becomes complex. Most models forecast the disturbance to hit the western coast of Florida by the next several days, and continue moving east-northeastward out to Atlantic Ocean. Other few models are predicting 96L to affect Texas and Louisiana in the next several days. The National Hurricane Center (NHC) is giving 96L a 70% chance of developing into a tropical cyclone in the next 48 hours. Therefore, interests along the entire United States Gulf coast should closely monitor the disturbance’s progress over the next several days. 96L is expected to continue bringing heavy rains to the Yucatan Peninsula, western Cuba, and southern Florida during the next 24 hours.

Figure 2. Track model forecast of Invest 96L. Image courtesy: South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD).

Civicane49

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Chris becomes a hurricane; Invest 96L may develop in Gulf of Mexico

By: Civicane49, 8:05 PM GMT on June 21, 2012

Chris has been able to attain hurricane status today with winds of 75 mph, despite the fact that it is over cool waters. This makes Chris the first hurricane of the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season; moreover, it is the northernmost hurricane in June since Hurricane One in 1893. Furthermore, Chris is the third earliest third tropical storm in the Atlantic basin on record; Atlantic seasons in 1887 and 1959 both had their third named storm formed earlier than Chris. Recent satellite imagery shows the cyclone is weakening and it’s beginning its transition into an extratropical cyclone as it move into much colder waters. Chris is expected to continue moving northeastward and should not threaten any land areas. In the next 24 hours, Chris is forecasted to lose its tropical characteristics and become an extratropical cyclone.

Figure 1. Visible satellite imagery of Hurricane Chris. Image courtesy: Colorado State University's RAMMB imagery.

Invest 96L may become a tropical cyclone in Gulf of Mexico
An area of low pressure with shower and thunderstorm activity is situated over the southern Gulf of Mexico. This tropical disturbance has a potential of becoming a tropical cyclone in the next few days. The National Hurricane Center (NHC) designated this disturbance as Invest 96L earlier today. The disturbance is currently bringing heavy rains to western Cuba, Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, and southern Florida. This will likely to continue over the next 48 hours. 96L is forecasted to move slowly northward into the central Gulf of Mexico.

Figure 2. Infrared satellite imagery of Invest 96L. Image courtesy: Colorado State University's RAMMB imagery.

Forecast for 96L
96L is forecasted to be in a favorable environment over the next 5 days with warm sea surface temperatures, moderate wind shear, and somewhat moist environment as indicated on the SHIPS model. These favorable conditions should allow 96L to further organize and become a tropical cyclone. Some of the intensity models forecast 96L to strengthen into a strong tropical storm in the Gulf of Mexico. The forecast track for 96L remains complex; some models forecast the system to hit Florida or between Texas and Louisiana. Therefore, interests along the whole United States Gulf coast should monitor this tropical disturbance very closely over the next several days. The NHC is giving 96L a 50% chance of becoming a tropical cyclone during the next 2 days.

Civicane49

Hurricane

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Tropical Storm Chris strengthens; Cuba disturbance needs to be watched

By: Civicane49, 9:48 PM GMT on June 20, 2012

Tropical Storm Chris continues to intensify over the North Atlantic Ocean, despite the fact that it is over cool waters and in moderate wind shear. As of the latest National Hurricane Center (NHC) advisory, Chris has maximum sustained winds of 60 mph and minimum pressure of 997 mbar. The system is situated roughly 605 miles south-southeast of Cape Race, Newfoundland. Chris is the third earliest third tropical storm in the Atlantic basin on record; Atlantic seasons in 1887 and 1959 both had its third named storm formed earlier than Chris. Recent satellite image depicts that Chris is a well-organized tropical storm with good spiral bands and a conspicuous eye.

Forecast for Chris
The cyclone is currently moving eastward at 21 mph. Chris is expected to turn northeastward and then northward as an upper-level trough to the northwest of the cyclone cuts off. It will not threaten any landmasses. Chris appears to have likely reached its peak intensity, and would maintain that intensity during the next 12 hours while the cyclone will be in marginally favorable conditions. After that, however, the cyclone will begin interacting with frontal boundary and entering over much colder waters. By the next 36 hours, Chris is forecasted to become an extratropical cyclone, and eventually be absorbed by a larger extratropical cyclone in the next 3 days.

Figure 1. 2km Natural Color Imagery of Tropical Storm Chris. Image courtesy: Colorado State University's (CSU) RAMMB imagery.

Disturbance near Cuba needs to be watched for development
A large area of cloudiness, shower, and thunderstorm activity is situated between northwestern Caribbean Sea to Florida. This tropical disturbance is producing heavy rainfall to parts of Cuba, the Cayman Islands, southern Florida, and the Bahamas. This disturbance will need to be watched for development during the next several days. It is anticipated to move slowly towards the northwest and enter into the Gulf of Mexico by late this week. Satellite imagery depicts that the disturbance remains disorganized due to moderate to strong wind shear with 20 – 30 knots affecting the system. However, the shear could decrease by the next couple of days.

The forecast for the disturbance in the coming days seems complex. Some models predict that the disturbance will become a tropical storm and affect Florida while other models forecast it to affect between Louisiana and Texas. Interests along these areas should monitor the disturbance closely during the next few days. The NHC gives the disturbance a 20% chance of developing into a tropical cyclone by the next 2 days. Regardless of development, the disturbance will continue to bring heavy rainfall to western Cuba, southern Florida, and the Bahamas during the next couple of days.

Invest 95E
In the eastern Pacific, Invest 95E continues to be disorganized with little shower and thunderstorm activity in the center as seen on satellite imagery. The disturbance is forecasted to slowly move north-northwestward. SHIPS model forecast indicates that environmental conditions will remain unfavorable for further development of the tropical disturbance; therefore, I expect no further development of 95E. The NHC is giving 95E a 10% chance of becoming a tropical cyclone during the next 48 hours; however, I believe the odds should be near 0%. The disturbance might bring some showers to southern Baja California in the next several days.

Civicane49

Hurricane

Updated: 9:52 PM GMT on June 20, 2012

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Tropical Storm Chris formed; other disturbances to watch

By: Civicane49, 3:43 AM GMT on June 20, 2012

Earlier today, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) designated Invest 95L as Tropical Storm Chris, the third named storm of the season. Additionally, Chris is the third earliest third named storm in the Atlantic basin on record; only Atlantic seasons in 1887 and 1959 had their third named storm earlier than this date. Latest NHC advisory states that Chris has winds of 45 mph and pressure of 1005 mbar. The cyclone is located roughly 565 miles south-southwest of Cape Race, Newfoundland. Recent satellite image shows that Chris is maintaining relatively deep convection as it moves east-southeastward.

Forecast for Chris
Chris is predicted to accelerate generally eastward in the westerly flow over the next 24 hours or so. Afterwards, the cyclone is expected to turn northward and then northwestward. Chris is not anticipated to threaten any land masses. Slight change is forecasted for Chris during the next 36 hours or so as the storm is over marginally cool sea surface temperatures and in moderate shear. After that time, however, Chris is expected to become an extratropical cyclone, and eventually be absorbed by another extratropical low in the next 96 hours.

Figure 1. Infrared satellite imagery of Tropical Storm Chris. Image courtesy: Colorado State University's (CSU) RAMMB imagery.

Northwestern Caribbean disturbance needs to be watched
Meanwhile, in the northwestern Caribbean Sea, there is a large area of disorganized shower and thunderstorm activity. This disturbance needs to be watched for the next several days as development of tropical cyclone is possible. The tropical disturbance is bringing heavy rains to Cuba, the Cayman Islands, the Bahamas, and southern Florida, and will likely to continue during the next couple of days.

The disturbance is expected to move northwestward to west-northwestward during the next several days under the influence of the southern periphery of the large high pressure ridge over eastern United States. The disturbance is forecasted to enter in the Gulf of Mexico after that time. CIMSS analysis shows that the disturbance is in a moderate to high wind shear with 20 to 30 knots. The shear will likely retard development of the disturbance during the next few days. Global models, including GFS and ECMWF, develop the disturbance into a possibly large tropical cyclone on the Gulf of Mexico by the next 72 to 96 hours. The NHC is giving the tropical disturbance a 10% chance of becoming a tropical cyclone during the next 2 days.

Pacific disturbance unlikely to become tropical cyclone
An eastern Pacific tropical disturbance (Invest 95E) appears that it would not develop into a tropical cyclone. 95E is situated about 225 miles west-southwest of Manzanillo, Mexico. Latest satellite loop depicts the shower and thunderstorm activity associated with 95E continues to diminish as the disturbance is slowly moving west-southwestward. Both dry air and moderate shear shifted the shower and thunderstorm activity away from the low-level center of 95E; it indicates that the disturbance is weakening. The environmental conditions are forecasted to be not favorable for 95E to organize and strengthen. The NHC gives 95E a 40% chance of developing into a tropical cyclone over the next 48 hours; however I believe the odds should be near 0%. I expect no further development of 95E. Nevertheless, the disturbance is continuing to bring heavy rainfall to portions of southern Pacific coast of Mexico until the next day or so.

Figure 2. Infrared satellite imagery of Invest 95E. Image courtesy: Colorado State University's (CSU) RAMMB imagery.

Civicane49

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95L over the North Atlantic; 95E organizing in the Pacific

By: Civicane49, 8:55 PM GMT on June 18, 2012

A non-tropical low pressure (95L) has a potential of becoming a subtropical or tropical storm during the next couple of days. The system is situated roughly 400 miles north-northwest of Bermuda; the low pressure contains gale-force winds. Latest satellite image shows that 95L is gaining some tropical characteristics, despite the fact that it is over cool waters at 23°C, which is below the 26°C threshold that is needed for tropical cyclones to survive and strengthen.

95L is expected to continue moving northeastward and then east-northeastward by the large high pressure ridge to the southeast of the system. The disturbance will not affect any land masses. While 95L is over cool waters and in high upper-level wind shear region, the disturbance can still become a weak subtropical or tropical storm. If the disturbance’s convection continues to increase, it could become a subtropical or tropical storm later today or tomorrow. The National Hurricane Center (NHC) gives 95L a 50% chance of becoming a subtropical or tropical cyclone during the next two days.


Figure 1. Visible satellite imagery of Invest 95L.

95E organizing in the East Pacific
Meanwhile, in the eastern Pacific, a different disturbance (95E) also has a potential of becoming a tropical cyclone during the next couple of days. The disturbance is located about 260 miles west-southwest of Manzanillo, Mexico. Recent satellite image depicts that the disturbance is continuing to show signs of organization.

95E is anticipated to move eastward as most models are indicating. The disturbance is currently in the relatively favorable conditions with moderate wind shear and warm sea surface temperatures. These conditions could help 95E to slowly organize and strengthen. The NHC is giving 95E a 60% chance of becoming a tropical cyclone during the next 48 hours. Interests along the southwestern coast of Mexico should monitor this system closely as there would be a threat for heavy rains, which would cause flash floods and mudslides in the next few days.


Figure 2. Visible satellite imagery of Invest 95E.

Civicane49

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Hurricane Carlotta nearing the Pacific coast of Mexico

By: Civicane49, 9:24 PM GMT on June 15, 2012

Carlotta is rapidly strengthening to a Category 2 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale, thanks to favorable conditions with warm sea surface temperatures and moderate wind shear. The hurricane is expected to make landfall on the Pacific coast of Mexico shortly. The system is located less than 65 miles south-southeast of Puerto Angel, Mexico. Latest National Hurricane Center (NHC) advisory states that the hurricane has winds of 105 mph and minimum pressure of 976 mbar. Recent satellite imagery and radar both depict that Carlotta is a well-organized hurricane with a conspicuous eye and a well-defined central dense overcast (CDO).


Figure 1. Afternoon infrared satellite imagery of Hurricane Carlotta approaching Mexico. Image courtesy: Colorado State University's (CSU) RAMMB imagery.

Forecast for Carlotta
Carlotta is anticipated to move northwestward over the next 12 to 24 hours by the high pressure ridge to the east of the cyclone. Afterwards, the hurricane is forecasted to turn west-northwestward by the other high pressure ridge building over northern and central Mexico. By that time, Carlotta will make landfall on the Mexican coast. After 48 hours, Carlotta is expected to meander around the Mexican coast for few days. This would result the prodigious amount of rainfall and flooding to the Pacific coast of Mexico.

Carlotta may strengthen a little more before interacting with land, due to the favorable conditions that I mentioned earlier. After 6 hours, however, the cyclone would begin on the weakening trend as most models are predicting. If Carlotta moves further inland, then the cyclone would dissipate quickly. If it stays just offshore, it would still weaken slowly and eventually dissipate by the next five days, due to the interactions with mountains in Mexico.

The hurricane is expected to bring dangerous conditions with very heavy rain, hurricane-force winds, and storm surge to the Pacific coast of Mexico between Salina Cruz and Acapulco. The conditions will cause deadly flash floods and mudslides. Residents in this area are strongly urged to continue monitoring the latest information on Carlotta and have their hurricane preparedness kit ready.

Civicane49

Hurricane

Updated: 9:34 PM GMT on June 15, 2012

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Tropical Storm Carlotta headed for Mexico

By: Civicane49, 9:25 PM GMT on June 14, 2012

Tropical Storm Carlotta has formed in the eastern Pacific, and it is expected to strengthen into a hurricane and affect the Pacific coast of Mexico. Carlotta is the third named storm of the 2012 Pacific hurricane season. Latest National Hurricane Center (NHC) advisory states that the storm has maximum sustained winds of 50 mph and minimum central pressure of 998 mbar. The cyclone is moving north-northwestward at 10 mph; it is situated more than hundred miles south-southwest of the borders of Mexico and Guatemala. Recent satellite image depicts that Carlotta is gradually intensifying and developing a ragged central dense overcast (CDO).


Figure 1. Afternoon visible satellite image of Tropical Storm Carlotta. Image courtesy: NOAA's Satellite Services Division (SSD).

Forecast for Carlotta
Carlotta is anticipated to move northwestward during the next two days by a mid to upper-level high pressure ridge to the northeast of the cyclone, and the upper-level trough to the west of the storm. By the next two days, Carlotta is also predicted to be just offshore or make landfall on the Pacific coast of Mexico between Salina Cruz and Punta Maldonado. After 48 hours, the cyclone is forecasted to turn generally westward by another mid to upper-level ridge, which is building over northern Mexico. After 72 hours, the Mexican ridge is expected to weaken, and result Carlotta in the region of weak steering currents and meander off the coast of Mexico. Most of the models agree to this expected path, while other few models predict Carlotta to move into Bay of Campeche, which I don’t believe it is expected to happen.

Carlotta is currently in the favorable environment with warm sea surface temperature of 30°C (86°F), low wind shear of 10 knots, and moist environment. According to the SHIPS model, the cyclone is expected to remain in a favorable environment for the next 48 hours before it comes very close to land or hit land, which either of these should cause the cyclone to weaken. Carlotta is anticipated to strengthen into a minimal hurricane by the next 24 hours, and possibly make landfall on Mexico by the next 48 hours as a weak hurricane or strong tropical storm. There is a potential that Carlotta could rapidly intensify as some models are indicating, due to favorable conditions that I mentioned earlier. The SHIPS model shows a 64% chance of 25 knots strengthening in the next 24 hours. After 48 hours, land interaction should determine the intensity of Carlotta. If the cyclone moves inland, then it could dissipate there. If Carlotta remains offshore, the cyclone could still weaken, due to the interactions of the mountains in Mexico.

Carlotta is expected to bring very heavy rains and strong winds to the Pacific coast of Mexico, especially between Salina Cruz and Punta Maldonado. They will bring life-threatening floods and mudslides. Residents in this area are urged to monitor the latest information on Carlotta, and prepare for the cyclone’s impacts.

Civicane49

Hurricane

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Invest 93E may not become a tropical cyclone

By: Civicane49, 8:26 PM GMT on June 11, 2012

Invest 93E is no longer organized, since strong easterly wind shear has been affecting it. Satellite image depicts that the disturbance’s deep convection, with shower and thunderstorm activity, is moving away from the disturbance’s center to the west. This indicates that 93E is becoming disorganized and strong easterly shear is affecting the disturbance. In fact, CIMMS analysis and SHIPS revealed that 93E is being affected more than 25 knots of easterly shear. 93E is situated several hundred miles south of the southern tip of Baja California.


Figure 1. RGB satellite image of Invest 93E. Image courtesy: NOAA's Satellite Services Division (SSD).

Forecast for 93E
93E is expected to move westward or west-northwestward over the next 24 to 48 hours. After that, it could turn slightly west-southwestward by the large high pressure ridge, north of 93E. The disturbance has an unlikely chance of becoming a tropical cyclone during the next couple of days, due to high shear. In fact, the SHIPS model forecasts the shear over 93E to increase and may reach over 30 knots by the next 36 to 48 hours. After that, however, the shear is anticipated to gradually relax to less than 20 knots by the next 84 hours. This may allow 93E to reorganize and strengthen. However, by that time, sea surface temperatures are forecasted to be marginal, and the air humidity is anticipated to be drier. Therefore, I have some doubts for 93E of eventually becoming a tropical cyclone. The National Hurricane Center (NHC) is giving 93E 10% chance of developing into a tropical cyclone by the next 48 hours.

Civicane49

Hurricane

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93E still organizing in Eastern Pacific

By: Civicane49, 8:31 PM GMT on June 10, 2012

The incipient tropical disturbance, Invest 93E, is still organizing as it is expected to become a tropical cyclone in the coming days. The disturbance is located several hundred miles southwest of Mexico’s Pacific coast. Advanced Scatterometer (ASCAT) suggests that the disturbance has a broad surface circulation. However, latest satellite loop shows that the disturbance’s cloud pattern looks less impressive than several hours earlier, likely due to some moderate wind shear affecting the south side of it.


Figure 1. Afternoon visible satellite image of Invest 93E.

Forecast for 93E
93E is anticipated to move west-northwestward in the next few days by the weak high pressure over Mexico. By day three, the disturbance is expected to turn westward, guided by a different high pressure ridge over the North Pacific Ocean. Most of the global models agree to the forecasted path of 93E, while some of the other models forecast it to move west-southwestward after day three, and one other model predicts 93E to move west-northwestward over the next five days.

93E is most likely to become a tropical cyclone in the next couple of days. In its region, sea surface temperatures are 29°C, wind shear is 10 – 15 knots, and the air humidity is moist. These environmental conditions should allow 93E to both slowly further organize and strengthen. The SHIPS model predicts that conditions should remain favorable over the next 48 hours. After that, however, shear is forecasted to increase slightly into 20 knots and air humidity would become little drier, which both of these are not very favorable for tropical cyclones. Despite these conditions, they should not weaken the system significantly but rather keep it in a slow or no intensification. Therefore, I expect this disturbance to strengthen gradually for at least the next several days. In fact, some intensity models no longer forecast 93E to become a hurricane but rather forecast it to become a strong tropical storm. The National Hurricane Center (NHC) is giving 93E 60% chance of becoming a tropical cyclone in the next 48 hours, which I also agree on.

Civicane49

Hurricane

Updated: 3:37 AM GMT on June 11, 2012

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Invest 93E a threat to become a tropical cyclone in the Pacific

By: Civicane49, 8:39 PM GMT on June 09, 2012

In the eastern Pacific, there is a tropical disturbance that would possibly become the next tropical cyclone in the East Pacific basin. Just earlier, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) has designated this disturbance as Invest 93E. The disturbance is situated several hundred miles south-southwest of Acapulco, Mexico. Recent satellite image depicts that 93E is gradually becoming better organized with increased organization of showers and thunderstorms. Furthermore, scatterometer data indicates that the system has a broad surface circulation.

Forecast for Invest 93E
93E is predicted to move west-northwestward at 10 - 15 mph over the next several days as both the high pressure ridge over Mexico and the larger high pressure ridge over the North Pacific Ocean would keep the disturbance in a west-northwestward path and prevent it from threating any land. Global models anticipate 93E to move west-northwestward over the next several days. 93E has a good chance of becoming a tropical cyclone during the next coming days as the environmental conditions appears to support further development of the disturbance. 93E is in a region of warm sea surface temperatures with 29° C, moderate wind shear with 10 – 15 knots, and in a moist environment. The SHIPS model forecasts 93E to remain in a favorable environment during the next five days. The system could go through a rapid intensification. In fact, many intensity models forecast this disturbance to become a hurricane by the next 2 – 3 days. The NHC is giving 93E a 30% chance of becoming a tropical cyclone in the next 48 hours; however, I believe the odds should be 60%.


Figure 1. Visible satellite image of Invest 93E.

The Atlantic is quiet
The Atlantic is quiet for now; however, global models are predicting that a weak tropical storm may develop over the northwestern Caribbean Sea in the next eight to ten days. The system is forecasted to move northward into the Gulf of Mexico, and it might have an opportunity to strengthen and organize. It is also forecasted to affect the Yucatan peninsula, northwestern Cuba, and southeastern United States. While this could occur in many days away, there will be more information on the forecast and have more accurate prediction.

Hurricane season has already begun, and if you don’t have hurricane preparedness kit yet, now is the time to get it.

Civicane49

Hurricane

Updated: 9:31 PM GMT on June 09, 2012

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2012 Transit of Venus

By: Civicane49, 4:39 AM GMT on June 06, 2012

Normally, I would write a blog on hurricanes, but today, I would like to share the information regarding on the extremely rare astronomical phenomenon. Today, I had the opportunity of viewing the transit of Venus, which is a very rare astronomical phenomenon to be viewed from Earth. This phenomenon shows the planet Venus, as an extremely small black dot, moving across the sun. I was fortunate to be in Hawaii because it was one of the best spots to see the whole transit. In Hawaii, the transit lasted from 12:09 pm to 6:42 pm HST on June 5.

This was my first time observing it with my own eyes, and of course, this will be the only time in my life seeing it as the next transit of Venus will occur on December 2117. The previous transit was in June 2004. I have managed to view the transit by using a smoked glass plastic filter. When I was viewing it with this filter, I had a hard time seeing Venus on the Sun since Venus was very small to see from Earth. Later however, I began to see Venus clearly as an extremely small black dot in the near center of the sun. I really enjoyed watching this rare event.


Figure 1. This is the image of the transit of Venus based on my view from Hawaii at 2:20 pm HST on June 5, 2012. Please note that this image is not photograph taken as I drew it based on what I remembered seeing the transit. To see real images of this transit, please visit this site.

Civicane49

Astronomy

Updated: 5:18 AM GMT on June 06, 2012

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