Midget Marco makes landfall

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 1:36 PM GMT on October 07, 2008

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Tropical Storm Marco is making landfall along the Mexican Gulf of Mexico coast northwest of Veracruz. We really don't know how strong this storm is, because these so-called "midget" tropical cyclones are very difficult to classify correctly via satellite estimates. The only way to get an accurate idea of the strength of Marco is to fly a Hurricane Hunter airplane into the storm, and there has been only one flight into Marco (yesterday afternoon's flight). No further missions are planned.


Figure 1. Comparison of the sizes of Hurricane Ike and Tropical Storm Marco. Ike image was taken on September 11, 2008 (image credit: NASA. The Marco image was taken at 5 pm EDT October 6.

Midget tropical cyclones are rare in the Atlantic, but are fairly common the Western Pacific, where the presence of the monsoon trough often acts to spin up tiny tropical cyclones. Although small in stature, midget tropical cyclones are capable of intensifying into powerful hurricanes capable of causing severe damage. Tropical Cyclone Tracy, which hit Darwin, Australia on Christmas Day in 1974, was a midget tropical cyclone as small as Marco, but packed Category 4 winds. The storm killed 71 people and caused over $5 billion in damage.

Data yesterday afternoon from the Hurricane Hunters suggested that Marco's eye was just 3 miles across. Tropical storm force winds extended outward only ten miles from the center. Tropical storms this small are subject to sudden and unpredictable changes in intensity, and it wouldn't surprise me to see Marco with winds anywhere between 40 mph and 80 mph at landfall. The region affected will be just 10-20 miles across, and we don't need to worry about any significant storm surge with this storm! According to the latest analysis by NOAA's Hurricane Research Division, the Integrated Kinetic Energy (IKE) for Marco is as low as you'll see for a tropical storm: zero. They rate Marco's potential surge damage as a 0.3 on a scale of 1 to 6. For comparison, Ike and Katrina rated a 5.1 shortly before they made landfall. Comparing Marco to Ike (Figure 1), we can see that Ike was a Texas-sized storm that filled the entire Gulf of Mexico. Ike's tropical storm-force winds extended out up to 275 miles from the center at landfall. Marco is a Rhode Island-sized storm. At Marco's peak size, tropical storm-force winds covered an area of about 1,158 nm, which is 1/75 as big as Ike's.


Figure 2. Current satellite image Marco.

Elsewhere in the tropics
A small circulation near 11N, 37W, midway between Africa and the Lesser Antilles Islands, is kicking up some isolated heavy thunderstorms. The region is under about 20-30 knots of wind shear. The GFS and UKMET models continue to predict that a tropical depression could spin up in this region by Friday, and wind shear is predicted to drop to a level that might allow that to happen.

We will also need to watch the Western Caribbean for possible development late this week.

Hurricane Ike relief efforts
Here's today's update on the Hurricane Ike relief effort started by wunderground members Patrap, Presslord, and Stormjunkie:

The push to continue to keep supplies rolling to the Gulf Coast continues. This morning we shipped out three sets of packages with medical supplies and some cleaning supplies. The first set of two boxes went to the Bridge City Fire Department. It contained burn kits, bandages, first aid kits, Neosoprin, an air splint and more. The second set of boxes went to Eagle Heights Fellowship in Baytown. This is a shelter being run by a local pastor and seems to be one of the few shelters in this area that will remain open for the next four to six weeks. The supplies in these three boxes included CPR kits, first aid kits, disinfectant wipes, gloves, and more. The third set of three boxes were shipped to EmmyRose which she will personally deliver to the San Leon/Baycliff area. They included many of the same items listed above. We have estimated the value of these seven boxes to be between $4000 and $5000 which we shipped for just under $350.


Figure 3. More relief supplies on the way!

Contributions to this highly worthy portlight.org charity fund are fully tax-deductible, and will go to provide relief supplies for those smaller communities typically bypassed by the traditional relief efforts. More details can be found at StormJunkie's blog.

Jeff Masters

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377. sporteguy03
2:41 PM GMT on October 08, 2008
old blog retired back to lurking Ike
Member Since: July 7, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 5401
376. Orcasystems
2:19 PM GMT on October 08, 2008
new blog
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26511
375. Vero1
2:19 PM GMT on October 08, 2008
Quoting TheTracker08:
yes, but look at the rainbow satellite!! linkhttp://www.ssd.noaa.gov/goes/east/carb/rb-l.jpg :


CARIBBEAN SEA...
AN UPPER LOW COVERS THE W CARIBBEAN CENTERED ALONG THE COAST OF
HONDURAS NEAR 16N86W. AN UPPER TROUGH COVERING THE W ATLC DIPS S
JUST OVER THE N CARIBBEAN ISLANDS FROM THE PUERTO RICO TO
HISPANIOLA WHILE THE REMAINDER OF THE CARIBBEAN IS DOMINATED BY
A BROAD UPPER RIDGE ANCHORED OVER VENEZUELA E OF 81W TO ACROSS
THE LESSER ANTILLES. DIFFLUENCE ALOFT COUPLED WITH AN ABUNDANCE
OF TROPICAL MOIST AIR ARE GENERATING SCATTERED SHOWERS/ISOLATED
THUNDERSTORMS ACROSS THE AREA WITH THE EXCEPTION OF THE YUCATAN
CHANNEL WHERE CLEAR SKIES PREVAIL. THE STRONGEST ACTIVITY IS IN
THE GULF OF HONDURAS AND OVER THE ABC ISLANDS.
Member Since: July 21, 2008 Posts: 4 Comments: 2233
374. Orcasystems
2:17 PM GMT on October 08, 2008
Quoting TheMom:
Looks loose but with some fold over on the north side is that circulation trying to form?


Out that way, I would still be more worried by these ones

Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26511
373. TheTracker08
2:16 PM GMT on October 08, 2008
HMMMM... watch and see!
372. TheMom
2:14 PM GMT on October 08, 2008
Looks loose but with some fold over on the north side is that circulation trying to form?
Member Since: August 3, 2006 Posts: 5 Comments: 672
371. TheTracker08
2:14 PM GMT on October 08, 2008
yes, but look at the rainbow satellite!! linkhttp://www.ssd.noaa.gov/goes/east/carb/rb-l.jpg :
370. TheMom
2:13 PM GMT on October 08, 2008
Quoting Vero1:
Another Tropical Wave "Bites" the Dust.

TROPICAL WEATHER DISCUSSION
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
805 AM EDT WED OCT 08 2008


TROPICAL WAVES...
TROPICAL WAVE IS ALONG 24W/25W S OF 13N MOVING W 5-10 KT. WAVE
IS BEGINNING TO LOSE ITS IDENTITY DUE TO THE AFRICAN DUST THAT
HAS COME OFF COAST COVERING THE AREA FROM 10N-23N E OF 30W. NO
ASSOCIATED DEEP CONVECTION.
Good news.
Member Since: August 3, 2006 Posts: 5 Comments: 672
369. Orcasystems
2:13 PM GMT on October 08, 2008
Quoting TheMom:
Is that the "monsterhead" cloud of yesterday?


Nope..its still out there also. NE of PR



Click to enlarge
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26511
368. Vero1
2:12 PM GMT on October 08, 2008
Another Tropical Wave "Bites" the Dust.

TROPICAL WEATHER DISCUSSION
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
805 AM EDT WED OCT 08 2008


TROPICAL WAVES...
TROPICAL WAVE IS ALONG 24W/25W S OF 13N MOVING W 5-10 KT. WAVE
IS BEGINNING TO LOSE ITS IDENTITY DUE TO THE AFRICAN DUST THAT
HAS COME OFF COAST COVERING THE AREA FROM 10N-23N E OF 30W. NO
ASSOCIATED DEEP CONVECTION.
Member Since: July 21, 2008 Posts: 4 Comments: 2233
367. TheMom
2:11 PM GMT on October 08, 2008
Quoting Orcasystems:

You mean this one?


Click to enlarge
Is that the "monsterhead" cloud of yesterday?
Member Since: August 3, 2006 Posts: 5 Comments: 672
366. Orcasystems
2:10 PM GMT on October 08, 2008
Quoting TheTracker08:
What is that?!?!? guys, look at the Eastern Caribbean!!

You mean this one?


Click to enlarge
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26511
365. TheMom
2:09 PM GMT on October 08, 2008
Quoting stormmaven:



It is a battle of insight and intellegence, and both are unarmed.
MBA with concentration in International Economics... What you got?
Member Since: August 3, 2006 Posts: 5 Comments: 672
364. Orcasystems
2:09 PM GMT on October 08, 2008
deleted


Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26511
363. TheTracker08
2:09 PM GMT on October 08, 2008
What is that?!?!? guys, look at the Eastern Caribbean!!
362. stormmaven
2:08 PM GMT on October 08, 2008
Quoting Orcasystems:
My money is on Mom taking him out in the third round.
Quoting Orcasystems:
My money is on Mom taking him out in the third round.


Quoting Orcasystems:
My money is on Mom taking him out in the third round.

It is a battle of insight and intellegence, and both are unarmed.
Member Since: September 18, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 110
360. Greyelf
2:05 PM GMT on October 08, 2008
Quoting Orcasystems:
My money is on Mom taking him out in the third round.


Why would you say that? Is it so wrong of me to want to read weather related items versus financial items in a weather blog?
Member Since: June 5, 2007 Posts: 18 Comments: 838
359. TheMom
2:03 PM GMT on October 08, 2008
Quoting Greyelf:

Yeah, and a butterfly just flew over in Japan. Eventually that'll turn into a hurricane here.
I'm pretty sure that is Chaos Theory whereas Gulf storm hits from Katrina to now have in fact allowed a profit esculation (legalized price gouging) in oil processing which has lead to higher costs for economic nessesities causeing companies to fold or downsize thus reducing the revenue being put back into the market place. Direct linage rather than Chaos Theroy... diffrence.
Member Since: August 3, 2006 Posts: 5 Comments: 672
358. ncleclerc
2:03 PM GMT on October 08, 2008
Quoting Orcasystems:
My money is on Mom taking him out in the third round.


I'll put some money on her also! You go TheMom!
Member Since: October 5, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 108
357. Orcasystems
2:01 PM GMT on October 08, 2008
My money is on Mom taking him out in the third round.
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26511
356. Greyelf
1:58 PM GMT on October 08, 2008
Quoting TheMom:
You do know that the tropical forces do effect financial markets and teh economy of areas hit by the storms right? And that things like 85 billion to AIG and wall street but the "take care of yourself" to storm victims is a bit of a financial and tropical connection. We are not able to help those hardest hit by the crazy storms but can bail out fat cats in suits? There is a connection.

Yeah, and a butterfly just flew over in Japan. Eventually that'll turn into a hurricane here. That's topical too, eh?

The point I'm making is that if you want to talk the financial slant of all of this, please go to a financial blog on this weather site. You can talk it until you're blue in the face there. It ain't gonna change what's gonna happen in Washington.
Member Since: June 5, 2007 Posts: 18 Comments: 838
355. TheMom
1:53 PM GMT on October 08, 2008
Quoting Greyelf:

You do know that the tropical forces do effect financial markets and the economy of areas hit by the storms right? And that things like 85 billion to AIG and wall street but the "take care of yourself" to storm victims is a bit of a financial and tropical connection. We are not able to help those hardest hit by the crazy storms but can bail out fat cats in suits? There is a connection.
Member Since: August 3, 2006 Posts: 5 Comments: 672
354. melwerle
1:49 PM GMT on October 08, 2008
Quoting surfmom:
I just made the second pot of coffee -- wish I could mainline it this morning.

Good Morning The Mom! Yeaa - wouldn't I love to have "the company" give me a Spa Week.....I am working harder then I have ever worked in my life--just thinking of some BarbieDoll w/Nanny & Maid, etc getting her tootsies painted & body salt scrubbed because of her "high stress" job -- really puts me off.... although it seems a reality check is in the future hee, hee hee - sinister laugh


I was the one with the nanny and maid and high stress job having the salt scrub at the spa...now I have chosen the other career...staying home with the kids (kids started calling me by the nanny's name...that was enough for me). Hardest job I ever had...I could use a salt scrub more than ever! I would sell the stocks in order to get one but the stocks aren't worth the paper they're written on right now. Oh well.

Anywho...someone pass me another cup of coffee...
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 12 Comments: 1837
353. TheMom
1:46 PM GMT on October 08, 2008
Quoting Cotillion:


Jethro and Dobbie. I imagine Dobbie (Being the House Elf and all) won't come up, but perhaps a Jeffrey/Geoffrey in future?

If we do... run for your lives! Lol!
I'm scared! Hope Norbet doesn't continue his growth he is not looking good for Baja. Do we have any updates on the monster head that was about to munch on PR?
Member Since: August 3, 2006 Posts: 5 Comments: 672
352. Greyelf
1:45 PM GMT on October 08, 2008
Quoting Thundercloud01221991:
The European Markets recovered over 200 points from 170 down to just up within about 15 minutes because of the feds reducing interest rates but the market is falling faster then it went up

I've got to believe there are other blogs here discussing the current financial state of affairs. If I want to read about them, I'll find them. And..before you say, "the blog is slow, so what?", I really don't care if the blog is slow. Dr. Masters isn't talking about it in his summary, so it's not topical, either. I don't come here to read about finance.
Member Since: June 5, 2007 Posts: 18 Comments: 838
351. Orcasystems
1:41 PM GMT on October 08, 2008
Complete Refresh Blog
Mirror Site
TD ... MARCO
Present Satellite picture ... BOC
Area of Interest ... Eastern Caribbean
Present Satellite picture Caribbean Sea
Present Satellite picture GOM
Present Satellite picture Atlantic Train
Present Satellite picture Cape Verde
Present Satellite picture Large overall Coverage
CMC ... Western Caribbean & BOC flaring up(Hour 30)
CMC ... Southern PR, Atlantic (Hour 114)
CMC ... Caribbean (Hour 180)
CMC 00Z..
*********Special Additions*********
Hurricane Norbert ... Tracks & Cones
Hurricane Norbert ... Satellite picture
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26511
350. leftovers
1:36 PM GMT on October 08, 2008
im watching the old ull near near honduras looks suspicious these systems develop in many ways
349. Orcasystems
1:30 PM GMT on October 08, 2008
Quoting HurricaneKing:


That may be the point he was trying to make that they had to go below the scale for that storm.

Math.. morning coffee.. does not compute
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26511
348. HurricaneKing
1:27 PM GMT on October 08, 2008
Quoting biff4ugo:
Dr. Masters,
Thank you for this informative Blog.
Please note that 0.3 is not on a scale from 1 to 6.


That may be the point he was trying to make that they had to go below the scale for that storm.
Member Since: July 6, 2005 Posts: 71 Comments: 2485
347. Orcasystems
1:23 PM GMT on October 08, 2008
Good Morning everyone :)
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26511
346. RTLSNK
1:23 PM GMT on October 08, 2008
Hey Ike - WU mail
Member Since: September 3, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 21538
345. HobeSoundShudders
1:17 PM GMT on October 08, 2008
08/1145 UTC 14.4N 33.9W T1.0/1.5 IN1 -- Atlantic Ocean

jo
344. sporteguy03
1:14 PM GMT on October 08, 2008
Quoting IKE:
TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
200 AM EDT WED OCT 8 2008

FOR THE NORTH ATLANTIC...CARIBBEAN SEA AND THE GULF OF MEXICO...

TROPICAL CYCLONE FORMATION IS NOT EXPECTED DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS.

$$

FORECASTER AVILA

53 days
18 hours
53 minutes
214 GFS and NOGAPS model runs.....
and it's over in the Atlantic.



Lurker Ike?????????
Member Since: July 7, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 5401
343. pearlandaggie
1:11 PM GMT on October 08, 2008
342. i don't see the storm naming commission getting to Hurricane Jethro anytime soon! LOL
Member Since: September 14, 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 3963
342. Cotillion
1:02 PM GMT on October 08, 2008
Quoting pearlandaggie:
336. wow...what are the other two cats' names? LOL


Jethro and Dobbie. I imagine Dobbie (Being the House Elf and all) won't come up, but perhaps a Jeffrey/Geoffrey in future?

If we do... run for your lives! Lol!
Member Since: August 23, 2008 Posts: 7 Comments: 5300
341. Cotillion
1:01 PM GMT on October 08, 2008
Quoting surfmom:
What are the odds of that..in one household LOL


It gets worse.

In addition, two in my family are called... Allen and Emily (Albeit spelt differently). Two Cat 5s too, haha.

Member Since: August 23, 2008 Posts: 7 Comments: 5300
340. stoormfury
1:00 PM GMT on October 08, 2008
QS OF SURFACE LOW NEAR 12n 37w


QSof the surface low near 12N 37WLink
Member Since: August 22, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 2720
339. surfmom
12:59 PM GMT on October 08, 2008
What are the odds of that..in one household LOL
Member Since: July 18, 2007 Posts: 30 Comments: 26536
338. pearlandaggie
12:55 PM GMT on October 08, 2008
336. wow...what are the other two cats' names? LOL
Member Since: September 14, 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 3963
337. HobeSoundShudders
12:53 PM GMT on October 08, 2008
08/0645 UTC 13.9N 33.0W T1.5/1.5 IN1 -- Atlantic Ocean


TROPICAL WEATHER DISCUSSION
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
805 AM EDT WED OCT 08 2008

TROPICAL WAVE IS ALONG 37W S OF 15N WITH A WEAK 1011 MB LOW
ALONG THE WAVE NEAR 12N MOVING W 5-10 KT. SMALL LOW LEVEL SWIRL
IS ASSOCIATED WITH THE LOW WITH CLUSTERS SCATTERED MODERATE/
ISOLATED STRONG CONVECTION FROM 11N-13N BETWEEN 35W-37W.


jo
336. Cotillion
12:48 PM GMT on October 08, 2008
Quoting surfmom:
Norbert is impressive -- relieved I'm not seeing his face in the belly of the gulf..... yet it is very concerning seeing him cross that sliver of a peninsula - Baja -


Hmm. This is getting to be a worrying trend.

My house contains 5 cats. (I guess having 5 cats is bad enough considering if you swap it around; Cat 5. Why we have five is a different matter altogether, none belong to me personally). Dave (Or David) and Cleo, have already been retired. And now, we have Norbert, our Persian, also a major.

Let's hope on that trend that my other 2 don't end up as hurricane names either...
Member Since: August 23, 2008 Posts: 7 Comments: 5300
335. surfmom
12:26 PM GMT on October 08, 2008
Norbert is impressive -- relieved I'm not seeing his face in the belly of the gulf..... yet it is very concerning seeing him cross that sliver of a peninsula - Baja -
Member Since: July 18, 2007 Posts: 30 Comments: 26536
334. lawntonlookers
12:19 PM GMT on October 08, 2008
Good morning everyone. The BLOG is slow today. Norbert has a very impresive shape this morning. Heading toward the SW states
Member Since: March 22, 2006 Posts: 9 Comments: 1570
333. surfmom
12:10 PM GMT on October 08, 2008
I just made the second pot of coffee -- wish I could mainline it this morning.

Good Morning The Mom! Yeaa - wouldn't I love to have "the company" give me a Spa Week.....I am working harder then I have ever worked in my life--just thinking of some BarbieDoll w/Nanny & Maid, etc getting her tootsies painted & body salt scrubbed because of her "high stress" job -- really puts me off.... although it seems a reality check is in the future hee, hee hee - sinister laugh
Member Since: July 18, 2007 Posts: 30 Comments: 26536
332. Enola
12:01 PM GMT on October 08, 2008
Quoting biff4ugo:

Please note that 0.3 is not on a scale from 1 to 6.

Remember Heinlein's "Sixth Column"? Just apply a little fancy mathematics...

""I tried looking over some of their work sheets. I can do simple algebra, and I've had some calculus, though I haven't used it for years, but I couldn't make sense out of this stuff. It looked like Sanskrit; most of the signs were different, and even the old ones didn't seem to mean the same things. Look-I thought that a times b always equaled b times a."
"Doesn't it?"
"Not when these boys get through kicking it around..
.." (Ardmore & Thomas speaking together)

Member Since: August 18, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 269
331. TheMom
11:58 AM GMT on October 08, 2008
Quoting Thundercloud01221991:
BREAKING NEWS Dow Futures down over 2% or 200 points Expected to plummet today.

BREAKING NEWS Asian Markets fall >9% today or over 900 points

BREAKING NEWS European Markets are down 5% already today

BREAKING NEWS Markets Could fall as much as 15% today


these are all articles or news stations this morning
And AIG execs were at a 1/2 million dollar getaway and didn't even say thank you. I swear I am thinking class action lawsuit. Could all the tornados, hurricanes, earthquakes and wildfires just target these guys?

But then too FEMA would be there in a sec with caviar and champaign.
Member Since: August 3, 2006 Posts: 5 Comments: 672
330. ThunderTime
11:56 AM GMT on October 08, 2008
Well seeing how the blog is quiet.

Patrap et al - you people are an absolute inspiration. It is simply uplifting to hear of people like yourselves going the whole hog for others. All power to you all and a big hat tip to all involved - absolutely excellent!!!!!
Member Since: September 7, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 3
328. cctxshirl
11:49 AM GMT on October 08, 2008
Quoting GeorgefromLosCabos:
Norbert will be cat 4 l8ter today or tomorrow! waiting for it's landfall this weekend down here.


Good luck--Norbert looks bad. Hunker down and stay safe.
Member Since: July 15, 2005 Posts: 25 Comments: 341
327. leftovers
11:48 AM GMT on October 08, 2008
seems like a piece of marco wants to move up the mex gulf coast

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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

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