Dust forecast for the 2009 Atlantic hurricane season

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 6:58 PM GMT on June 20, 2009

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There will be less African dust than usual over the tropical Atlantic during this year's hurricane season, according to a new experimental dust forecast issued by Dr. Amato Evan of the University of Wisconsin. Dr. Evan used a statistical model that correlated levels of dust activity in past years with rainfall over the Sahel region of Africa and a natural regional wind pattern known as the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO). He forecasts that dust levels over the Main Development Region (MDR, 8 - 20°N & 15 - 65°W) for Atlantic hurricanes during this year's hurricane season will be similar to last year's below-average levels, thanks in large part to plentiful rains over the Sahel region of Africa during the 2008 rainy season (Figure 1). However, the dust levels expected this year do not approach the record lows seen in 1994 and 2005. Dust forecasts made in May or June are skillful going out five months, with a skill 11 - 16% better than a "no-skill" forecast using climatology.


Figure 1. Rainfall over the Sahel region of Africa was generally 50 - 100 mm (2 - 4 inches) above average during the 2008 rainy season (about 20 - 80% above average). The heavy rains promoted vigorous vegetation growth in 2009, resulting in less bare ground capable of generating dust. Image credit: NOAA/Climate Prediction Center.

The Sahara and the Sahel: significant sources of dust
The summertime dust that affects Atlantic tropical storms originates over the southwestern Sahara (18° - 22° N) and the northwestern Sahel (15° - 18° N) (Figure 2). The dust that originates in the Southwest Sahara stays relatively constant from year to year. However, the dust from the northwestern Sahel varies significantly from year to year, and understanding this variation may be a key factor in improving our forecasts of seasonal hurricane activity in the Atlantic. The amount of dust that gets transported over the Atlantic depends on a mix of three main factors: the large scale and local scale weather patterns (windy weather transports more dust), how wet the current rainy season is (wet weather will wash out dust before it gets transported over the Atlantic), and how dry and drought-damaged the soil is. The level of drought experienced in the northwestern Sahel during the previous year's rainy season (June - October) is the key factor of the three in determining how much dust gets transported over the Atlantic during hurricane season, according to a January 2004 study published in Geophysical Research Letters published by C. Moulin and I. Chiapello. A dry rainy season the previous year will make an expanded area of loose soil which can create dust. It is also possible that the corresponding changes in vegetation can alter the regional weather patterns, causing more dust production.


Figure 2. Map of the mean summer dust optical thickness derived from satellite measurements between 1979 and 2000. Maximum dust amounts originate in the northern Sahel (15° to 18° N) and the Sahara (18° to 22° N). The Bodele depression in Chad is also an active dust source. Image credit: Evidence of the control of summer atmospheric transport of African dust over the Atlantic by Sahel sources from TOMS satellites (1979-2000) by C. Moulin and I. Chiapello, published in January 2004 in Geophysical Research Letters.

How dust suppresses hurricanes
Dust acts as a shield which keeps sunlight from reaching the surface. Thus, large amounts of dust can keep the sea surface temperatures up to 1°C cooler than average in the hurricane Main Development Region (MDR) off the coast of Africa, providing hurricanes with less energy to form and grow. Dust also affects the Saharan Air Layer (SAL), an layer of dry, dusty Saharan air that rides up over the low-level moist air over the tropical Atlantic. At the boundary between the SAL and low-level moist air where the trade winds blow is the trade wind inversion--a region of the atmosphere where the temperature increases with height. Since atmospheric temperature normally decreases with height, this "inversion" acts to but the brakes on any thunderstorms that try to punch through it. This happens because the air in a thunderstorm's updraft suddenly encounters a region where the updraft air is cooler and less buoyant than the surrounding air, and thus will not be able to keep moving upward. The dust in the SAL absorbs solar radiation, which heats the air in the trade wind inversion. This makes the inversion stronger, which inhibits the thunderstorms that power a hurricane. The dust may also act to interfere with the formation of cloud drops and rain drops that these thunderstorms need to grow, but little is known about such effects. It is possible that dust may act to help hurricanes by serving as "condensation nuclei"--centers around which raindrops can form and grow.

For additional reading
Dr. Evan published a study in Science magazine this March showing that 69% of the increase in Atlantic sea surface temperatures over the past 26 years could be attributed to decreases in the amount of dust in the atmosphere.

Jeff Masters

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11:22 p.m. Sunday...still hot...
Daytona Beach (Ponce Inlet), FL, Daytona Beach, Florida (PWS)
Updated: 1 sec ago
85.2 F
Clear
Humidity: 76%
Dew Point: 77 F
Wind: 0.0 mphfrom the SSW
Wind Gust: 3.0 mph
Pressure: 29.78 in (Rising)
Heat Index: 96 F
Visibility: 7.0 miles
UV: 0 out of 16
Clouds: Clear -
(Above Ground Level)
Elevation: 12 ft
goodnight!

Member Since: July 11, 2006 Posts: 14 Comments: 11141
UH, is this right on the Long Island express link info?

Trees Destroyed - 2 Billion (approx.)

That's really a bunch for a given area or a country ?


Gnite Keeper, me too .........L8R



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well off to la la land for me to catch some zzzz good posts today we all have done good with this one
see ya tomorrow
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LATEST FORMATION OF THE FIRST NAMED STORM IN THE EASTERN NORTH

PACIFIC BASIN SINCE 1971.
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lol...the "Fishin Hole"
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VISIBLE AND INFRARED SATELLITE IMAGERY INDICATES THAT THE CYCLONE

HAS CONTINUED TO ORGANIZE DURING THE LAST 6 HOURS...WITH BANDING

FEATURES INCREASING AND A RECENT BURST OF CONVECTION OVER THE

CENTER IN WHAT APPEARS TO BE A DEVELOPING CENTRAL DENSE OVERCAST.

DVORAK T-NUMBERS AT 0000 UTC WERE 2.0 AND 2.5 FROM TAFB AND SAB.

THE INITIAL INTENSITY IS SET AT THE HIGHER ESTIMATE GIVEN THE

IMPROVEMENT IN THE SATELLITE PRESENTATION OF THE SYSTEM. THIS MARKS

THE LATEST FORMATION OF THE FIRST NAMED STORM IN THE EASTERN NORTH

PACIFIC BASIN SINCE 1971.



RECENT FIXES INDICATE AN INITIAL MOTION OF 275/05...WHICH IS TO THE

LEFT OF MOST OF THE GUIDANCE. THE MOST RECENT GFDL AND HWRF RUNS

IMMEDIATELY TAKE ANDRES ON A MORE NORTHERLY COURSE VERY CLOSE TO

THE SOUTHWESTERN COAST OF MEXICO DURING THE NEXT 24 TO 48 HOURS.

THESE TWO SOLUTIONS ARE WELL TO THE RIGHT OF THE REST OF THE MODEL

GUIDANCE...AND IT IS NOT CLEAR FROM MODEL FIELDS WHAT IS CAUSING

THIS MOTION. THE FORECAST WAS ADJUSTED ONLY SLIGHTLY TO THE RIGHT

OF THE PREVIOUS TRACK THROUGH 72 HOURS...BUT REMAINS LEFT OF THE

MODEL CONSENSUS. BY 72 HOURS...THE MODELS ARE IN BETTER AGREEMENT

THAT THE SUBTROPICAL RIDGE SHOULD GUIDE ANDRES ON A MORE

WEST-NORTHWESTERLY TRACK AWAY FROM THE COAST. ULTIMATELY...AS

ANDRES WEAKENS LATE IN THE PERIOD...THE CYCLONE WILL BE STEERED

WESTWARD WITH THE LOW-LEVEL FLOW.



SEA SURFACE TEMPERATURES REMAIN WARM ALONG THE FORECAST TRACK

THROUGH ABOUT 48-72 HOURS...WITH A FAIRLY RAPID DROP OFF IN OCEANIC

HEAT CONTENT THEREAFTER. HOWEVER...THE SHIPS MODEL INDICATES THAT

NORTHEASTERLY TO EASTERLY SHEAR WILL DEVELOP OVER THE CYCLONE DURING

THE NEXT COUPLE OF DAYS...AND NONE OF THE GUIDANCE SHOWS ANDRES

REACHING HURRICANE INTENSITY. THE OFFICIAL FORECAST HAS ANDRES

PEAKING IN INTENSITY IN A COUPLE OF DAYS...WITH A STEADY DECREASE

IN STRENGTH BEYOND 72 HOURS AS THE CYCLONE ENCOUNTERS INCREASINGLY

COOLER WATERS AND A MORE STABLE AIRMASS.



GIVEN THE FORECAST TRACK AND WIND RADII OF ANDRES...THE GOVERNMENT

OF MEXICO HAS ISSUED A TROPICAL STORM WATCH FOR A PORTION OF THE

SOUTHWESTERN COAST OF MEXICO
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OK, got it.

Long Island Express

Peak Gust - 186 mph at Blue Hill Observatory, MA.

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yes we now are are 1st name storm in the E PAC
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I'll be faster than you one day hurricane!
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There is some type of broad circulation lingering east of Andres...kinda wondering if that is to be a source of shear.
Member Since: August 2, 2007 Posts: 19 Comments: 19234
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
Fastest moving hurricane or tropical storm:Now the question here is what are the fastest moving storms? This is important because forward speed can impact both wind velocity and surge, and decrease the flooding from rain. The fastest recorded hurricane was "The Long Island Express" in 1938, a category 3 storm. It was travelling between 60 and 70 miles per hour


Thanks, so what was the storm wind speed added to the forward speed in total. I am just lazy and don't want to look it up. Yard work at 115º heat index has taken the stuffin out of me :)
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repeat post
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000
WTPZ22 KNHC 220248
TCMEP2
TROPICAL STORM ANDRES FORECAST/ADVISORY NUMBER 2
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL EP022009
0300 UTC MON JUN 22 2009

AT 800 PM PDT...0300 UTC...THE GOVERNMENT OF MEXICO HAS ISSUED A
TROPICAL STORM WATCH FROM ZIHUATANEJO NORTHWARD TO MANZANILLO. A
TROPICAL STORM WATCH MEANS THAT TROPICAL STORM CONDITIONS ARE
POSSIBLE WITHIN THE WATCH AREA...GENERALLY WITHIN 36 HOURS.

INTERESTS ELSEWHERE ALONG THE SOUTHWESTERN COAST OF MEXICO SHOULD
MONITOR THE PROGRESS OF ANDRES.

TROPICAL STORM CENTER LOCATED NEAR 14.8N 101.9W AT 22/0300Z
POSITION ACCURATE WITHIN 30 NM

PRESENT MOVEMENT TOWARD THE WEST OR 275 DEGREES AT 5 KT

ESTIMATED MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE 999 MB
MAX SUSTAINED WINDS 35 KT WITH GUSTS TO 45 KT.
34 KT....... 30NE 15SE 15SW 30NW.
12 FT SEAS.. 30NE 0SE 0SW 30NW.
WINDS AND SEAS VARY GREATLY IN EACH QUADRANT. RADII IN NAUTICAL
MILES ARE THE LARGEST RADII EXPECTED ANYWHERE IN THAT QUADRANT.

REPEAT...CENTER LOCATED NEAR 14.8N 101.9W AT 22/0300Z
AT 22/0000Z CENTER WAS LOCATED NEAR 14.7N 101.7W

FORECAST VALID 22/1200Z 15.1N 102.4W
MAX WIND 40 KT...GUSTS 50 KT.
34 KT... 45NE 30SE 30SW 45NW.

FORECAST VALID 23/0000Z 15.8N 103.2W
MAX WIND 50 KT...GUSTS 60 KT.
50 KT... 30NE 0SE 0SW 0NW.
34 KT... 60NE 60SE 45SW 60NW.

FORECAST VALID 23/1200Z 16.6N 103.8W
MAX WIND 55 KT...GUSTS 65 KT.
50 KT... 30NE 30SE 0SW 30NW.
34 KT... 75NE 60SE 60SW 60NW.

FORECAST VALID 24/0000Z 17.8N 104.8W
MAX WIND 60 KT...GUSTS 75 KT.
50 KT... 40NE 40SE 30SW 40NW.
34 KT... 90NE 75SE 60SW 75NW.

FORECAST VALID 25/0000Z 20.5N 108.5W
MAX WIND 50 KT...GUSTS 60 KT.
50 KT... 30NE 30SE 15SW 30NW.
34 KT... 75NE 60SE 60SW 75NW.

EXTENDED OUTLOOK. NOTE...ERRORS FOR TRACK HAVE AVERAGED NEAR 200 NM
ON DAY 4 AND 225 NM ON DAY 5...AND FOR INTENSITY NEAR 20 KT EACH DAY

OUTLOOK VALID 26/0000Z 21.5N 113.0W
MAX WIND 40 KT...GUSTS 50 KT.

OUTLOOK VALID 27/0000Z 21.5N 117.5W
MAX WIND 30 KT...GUSTS 40 KT.

REQUEST FOR 3 HOURLY SHIP REPORTS WITHIN 300 MILES OF 14.8N 101.9W

NEXT ADVISORY AT 22/0900Z

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LATEST SURFACE ANAL. 0200 JUN 21 09
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
In the Atlantic that would usually always give a storm TS-force winds, but storms like TD 2 that are close to mexico are in a region of sub-1008mb pressures associated with the Mexican thermal low. That makes TD 2's central pressure higher relative to its environment, meaning it has to achieve a lower pressure relative to its environment to atain a certain wind speed.

Thanks for that info - it's great to have so many other people watching and commenting
on what's happening in the Pacific this year (I'm new to this board, so maybe that always happens?). Anyway, I'm reading every word! The NHC update in 30 minutes should be interesting.
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Hummm, it sure does not feel this way in Florida. Lets see how much this changes the next few days.


I can't quite put my finger on it, but something is not right.
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672. JRRP
.
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Evenin' all! TD 3 putting on a nice burst of convection. Prolly be a TS by morning if it isn't already. Cloud tops appear to be warming in last couple of frames, so may consolidate, but doesn't seem to be affected by shear at all yet and and sst's are certainly warm enough to induce further intensification. Looks good though for a TD.
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T.C.F.A.

.WARNINGS.

...TROPICAL STORM WARNING...
TROPICAL DEPRESSION TW0-E NEAR 14.7N 101.7W 1002 MB AT 2100 UTC
UTC JUN 21 MOVING W OR 285 DEG AT 6 KT. MAXIMUM SUSTAINED
WINDS 30 KT GUSTS 40 KT.
.12 HOUR FORECAST TROPICAL STORM NEAR 14.8N 102.2W. MAXIMUM
SUSTAINED WINDS 40 KT GUSTS 50 KT. TROPICAL STORM FORCE WINDS
AND SEAS 12 FT OR GREATER WITHIN 45 NM N AND 30 NM S SEMICIRCLES
WITH SEAS TO 15 FT.
.24 HOUR FORECAST TROPICAL STORM NEAR 15.2N 102.8W. MAXIMUM
SUSTAINED WINDS 50 KT GUSTS 60 KT. TROPICAL STORM FORCE WINDS
AND SEAS 12 FT OR GREATER WITHIN 60 NM OF CENTER EXCEPT 45 NM SW
QUADRANT WITH SEAS TO 18 FT.
.48 HOUR FORECAST TROPICAL STORM NEAR 16.9N 104.2W. MAXIMUM
SUSTAINED WINDS 60 KT GUSTS 75 KT. TROPICAL STORM FORCE WINDS
WITHIN 90 NM NE QUADRANT...75 NM SE AND NW QUADRANTS AND 60 NM
SW QUADRANT. SEAS 12 FT OR GREATER WITHIN 90 NM OF CENTER EXCEPT
120 NM NE QUADRANT WITH SEAS TO 23 FT.
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This can't be helpful in a career..

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What a day. Hate seeing bad things happen to good people, especially on a holiday like this. Like to be there to help. Took this long to get back & thank 298. Weather456 for answering - that's what I thought.
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Quoting GeoffreyWPB:
Stressful times at CNN



LOL - He was really under the stress that day.
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Embarrassing times...



lol 2:20 burped
Member Since: July 19, 2008 Posts: 43 Comments: 4051
DATE/TIME LAT LON CLASSIFICATION STORM
21/2345 UTC 14.6N 101.6W T2.5/2.5 02E -- East Pacific

INITIAL 21/2100Z 14.7N 101.7W 30 KT
12HR VT 22/0600Z 14.8N 102.2W 40 KT
24HR VT 22/1800Z 15.2N 102.8W 50 KT
36HR VT 23/0600Z 15.8N 103.4W 55 KT
48HR VT 23/1800Z 16.9N 104.2W 60 KT
72HR VT 24/1800Z 19.5N 107.0W 60 KT

96HR VT 25/1800Z 21.0N 111.0W 45 KT
120HR VT 26/1800Z 21.0N 116.0W 30 KT

makes it almost a hurricane in 48 72 hr forecast just 3 Kts short of a cat 1
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Stressful times at CNN

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Finaly a Tropical system in EPAC, will be the first named storm of the year in the next advisory. Looks impresive at this time in Sat visible loop.
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Emily (1987) peaked at 69 mph...

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Could you imagine in this day and age a storm heading towards your area between 50-70 mph? Boggles the mind.
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Thank you everyone for providing updates on the E-Pac nice to see that side of the ocean being discussed in great detail.
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
Fastest moving hurricane or tropical storm:Now the question here is what are the fastest moving storms? This is important because forward speed can impact both wind velocity and surge, and decrease the flooding from rain. The fastest recorded hurricane was "The Long Island Express" in 1938, a category 3 storm. It was travelling between 60 and 70 miles per hour


To put that in perspective, do you guys remember when Wilma "took off" after crossing Florida and getting picked up by that trough? I just calculated the forward speed by great circle distance in 6 hour increments. Wilma's best forward speed was about 56 mph.

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latest surface anal. sun june 21 0100
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Quoting HurricaneKing:


I beileve the initial conditions box is what the NHC puts into the model thus at the next advisory the pressure will most likely be 999mb.
Quoting extreme236:


Its basically what the info the NHC puts into the models at that given time...usually the data is accurate by the advisory time, but occasionally it is adjusted.


Ok thanks I knew they did that for the GFDL and HWRF but I didn't know about the other models.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26543
653 Hurricane2009

Wind is a difference in pressure, so no that is not true. The larger the differences in pressure over a short distance the stronger the winds generally are.


That is exactly what I am saying lol
Member Since: July 19, 2008 Posts: 43 Comments: 4051
Quoting Levi32:


I think that's only a model initialization but I don't know if the NHC directly inputs current information into them. It could be the 0z pressure reading but it could also just be a model initialization that's not always accurate.


Its basically what the info the NHC puts into the models at that given time...usually the data is accurate by the advisory time, but occasionally it is adjusted.
Member Since: August 2, 2007 Posts: 19 Comments: 19234
Quoting GeoffreyWPB:
Cool info. Keeper...didn't know that.
Fastest moving hurricane or tropical storm:Now the question here is what are the fastest moving storms? This is important because forward speed can impact both wind velocity and surge, and decrease the flooding from rain. The fastest recorded hurricane was "The Long Island Express" in 1938, a category 3 storm. It was travelling between 60 and 70 miles per hour
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Quoting Levi32:


This is from what I told Taz when he asked:

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
In the Atlantic that would usually always give a storm TS-force winds, but storms like TD 2 that are close to mexico are in a region of sub-1008mb pressures associated with the Mexican thermal low. That makes TD 2's central pressure higher relative to its environment, meaning it has to achieve a lower pressure relative to its environment to atain a certain wind speed.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

In the Atlantic the normal pressures are around 1012 to 1016ish. That makes Lee's pressure 6-10mb lower than its environment. TD-2 is in an environment of sub-1008mb pressures, so its central pressure is 4-6mb lower than its environment. So despite having a lower pressure than Lee, TD-2 has a higher pressure relative to its environment, making its winds slower.


I can't remember the storms but several years ago we had a tropical depression at 1014 or 1015mb off the southeast coast. Made landfall before getting stronger. It was in an area where the average pressure at the time was 1020-1025mb. I also remember a tropical storm out over the central atlantic having a pressure of 1010mb before. Depending on the surrounding atmosphere you can get some weird pressures for storms.


Anyway it's dinner time. Be back in a bit.
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Quoting futuremet:


That is a tenable explanation. Lower surrounding pressures would only weaken the pressure gradient force.


Which is exactly what determines a storm's ability to generate sustained wind velocities.
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Thanks again Keeper..they do fly recons...learning a lot tonight!
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Quoting hurricane2009:


Because a storms strength in terms of pressure is relative to the surrounding pressures in its environment

In an area where 1007mb pressures are the norm a system has to have a lower pressure to be classified a certain strength

In an area where higher pressures are the norm, a system doesnt have to have as low a pressure to get to that same strength.


That is a tenable explanation. Lower surrounding pressures would only weaken the pressure gradient force. The more substantial the pressure gradient, the higher the wind will blow. The more steep a mountain, the faster a river stream for example will flow to the surface.
Member Since: July 19, 2008 Posts: 43 Comments: 4051
Hey all, hope your all enjoying the first day of a wonderful summer! I would like to propose a new contest... you can find details on my blog! Link
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Quoting all4hurricanes:

Lee from 05 never had a central pressure below 1006mb. So why are storms that are stronger not tropical storms too?


This is from what I told Taz when he asked:

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
In the Atlantic that would usually always give a storm TS-force winds, but storms like TD 2 that are close to mexico are in a region of sub-1008mb pressures associated with the Mexican thermal low. That makes TD 2's central pressure higher relative to its environment, meaning it has to achieve a lower pressure relative to its environment to atain a certain wind speed.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

In the Atlantic the normal pressures are around 1012 to 1016ish. That makes Lee's pressure 6-10mb lower than its environment. TD-2 is in an environment of sub-1008mb pressures, so its central pressure is 4-6mb lower than its environment. So despite having a lower pressure than Lee, TD-2 has a higher pressure relative to its environment, making its winds slower.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26543
Lee from 05 never had a central pressure below 1006mb. So why are storms that are stronger not tropical storms too?

The pressure deficit relative to surrounding ambient pressure is what really determines the intensity of a tropical system...not that this reply necessarily answers your point/question.

EDIT: I see I was not the first to put this solution out there...
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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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