The Atlantic hurricane season is effectively over; heavy rains in the Northwest

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:22 PM GMT on November 16, 2009

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Only two weeks remain in the Atlantic hurricane season, but the hurricane season of 2009 is effectively over. While the Western Caribbean is still warm enough to support development of a hurricane--as it is year-round--wind shear over the entire North Atlantic has risen to levels prohibitively high for tropical storm formation to occur. Wind shear is forecast to remain very high for at least the next ten days (Figure 1). This is a fairly typical occurrence in the Atlantic for this time of year, though it usually occurs sooner in El Niño years. As you probably know, El Niño conditions in the Eastern Pacific commonly create high levels of wind shear over the tropical Atlantic. This year was no exception, though the shear created by El Niño was not as strong as we've seen in other recent El Niño years. Wind shear was uncharacteristically low in the first half of November, allowing Hurricane Ida to form. Within the past ten days, though, El Niño conditions over the Eastern Pacific have intensified from moderate to strong, and wind shear over the tropical Atlantic has increased significantly, making it unlikely any significant tropical cyclones that affect land will occur the remainder of this hurricane season. Formation of a subtropical storm over the open Atlantic far from land is still a possibility, but such a storm would only be a concern to shipping.


Figure 1. Wind shear forecast for the Atlantic for ten days from now made by last night's 00Z run of the GFS model. The GFS model is forecasting very high wind shear over the entire North Atlantic over the next ten days.

Late season tropical storms in El Niño years
In the 17 hurricane seasons since 1950 where an El Niño event has been present, only three of those years featured named storms that formed after November 15. Tropical Storm Otto formed on November 29, 2004, from the remains of an extratropical storm that got cut off from the jet stream over the middle Atlantic. Otto meandered for a few days far from land before dissipating. Category 1 Hurricane Frances formed on November 19, 1986 in the open Atlantic south of Bermuda, and died after three days without affecting land. Category 1 Hurricane Martha formed on November 21, 1969 in the extreme southwestern Caribbean, off the coast of Panama. Martha weakened to a tropical storm before making landfall in Panama, and was the only named storm in the Atlantic ever to make landfall in Panama.

Typhoon season not over yet
Note that typhoon season in the Western Pacific is not over--we commonly get typhoons well into December. In fact, the ECMWF model is predicting formation of yet another typhoon east of the Philippines, sometime late this week or early next week. Tropical cyclone season is also not over in the Bay of Bengal near India, where some models are predicting an enhanced chance of a tropical storm forming late this week. And in the Southern Hemisphere, hurricane season is just beginning, with the formation of Category 3 Tropical Cyclone Anja near Maritius Island off the coast of Madagascar.


Figure 2. Category 3 Tropical Cyclone Anja in the South Indian Ocean at 1 am EST Monday November 16, 2009. Image credit: NASA.

Heavy rains hit Washington and British Columbia
A strong branch of the polar jet stream laden with moisture is streaming into Washington State and Canada's British Columbia today, and is forecast to bring heavy rains, high winds, and the threat of avalanches to the coastal mountains today through Wednesday. Heavy rains in the Pacific Northwest this time of year are often dubbed the "Pineapple Express" due to Hawaiian origin of the air, and these events are common during El Niño winters, and can strike from Southern California to British Columbia. However, I've been told by Doug McCollor, a forecaster with BC Hydro, that this rain event is not a true Pineapple Express, since the airflow is more west-to-east, rather than from the southwest. He adds, "also, freezing level at Quillayute WA was only 1800m this morning...not that high. In a Pineapple Express the freezing level would be 3500 to 4000m or so. The media here is calling it a Pineapple Express because they look out the window and it's raining all day. It is raining moderately here, no doubt, but it's because there is a downstream Rex block forming over central North America that is impeding the usual west-to-east progression of these storms".

Rainfall amounts in excess of three inches have already been recorded over Vancouver Island, and rains of up to seven inches (Figure 3) are forecast for the region over the next three days. Wind gusts of 44 mph have been recorded at La Push this morning on Washington's Olympic Peninsula.


Figure 3. Forecast precipitation for the 3-day period ending 7 am EST Thursday, November 19, 2009. Up to seven inches of rain are predicted for Washington State and coastal British Columbia. Image credit: NOAA/HPC.

I'll have a new post Tuesday or Wednesday.

Jeff Masters

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Quoting tornadodude:


Wasnt he there? ;)


LMBO...but I have to be careful about making "old" jokes on him...I'm older than he is! (Not by much, just 3 weeks...)
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Quoting Floodman:


Nope...1895 I was in Prussia


ha wow
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Quoting tornadodude:


Wasnt he there? ;)


Nope...1895 I was in Prussia
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 9922
Quoting LongStrangeTrip:


Gosh, Flood...looks like you came to New Orleans about 109 years too late! :)


Sure enough!
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 9922
Quoting AwakeInMaryland:
Are Mr. & Mrs. Flood still on?

Jerry, talk about trippy -- looks like there is a lot less than 6 degrees of separation between us.

Community Relations Field Report
Prepared by: "Awake In Maryland" aka Nana
Date: 04-09-08
(CRS is Community Relations Specialist)

CALLAWAY COUNTY:

CRS met with the Director of Emergency Management of the Callaway County EOC. Her name and contact information are at the end of this report.

City of Fulton
CRS went to the the Callaway County EOC and met the EM. She has only been in the position a short time, and has only lived in the county for a couple months. However, her Deputy is a 24-year county resident and went out with the FEMA staffer who performed the Preliminary Damage Assessments (PDAs).
CRS described FEMA programs in depth and gave the EM the 1-800 flyers, mold and mildew cleanup flyers, and an NFIP flyer. The EM complimented the depth and breadth of FEMA programs.
Our conversation was almost immediately interrupted by a phone call from a county resident. He is a disabled veteran with a rare form of leukemia. Because of the recent storms, he stated his property is inaccessible for emergency vehicles (not because of debris, but deep ruts). His home has also suffered some damage. The EM handed the phone to CRS. We explained FEMA programs and the registration process. We asked the resident to register immediately and to make sure he let the FEMA intake staffer know upfront of the impassable driveway situation. The resident promised he would call and register right away. The interagency cooperation and ability to take immediate action made the experience satisfying all around.
Besides the call from this resident, the EOC has only had 2 calls about damage. Both those properties were visited when FEMA performed the PDAs.
However, the EM is as worried about the impending continuing bad weather as the original event(s) leading to the disaster declaration. She is very glad the disaster declaration dates are “continuing.” She is also worried about loss of income to her county’s farmers if they can’t get their crops in. I provided her with the DUA and Legal Assistance numbers, and told her I had made a return call to the Garst Seed Company in Tebbett to let them know the DUA number for their workers and clients. She and her deputy informed me that Mr. Andy Garst, one of the co-owners of the seed company, is the president of four different levy districts. CRS will be sure to make a return visit to him in the near future.

Observations
Weather was shifting fast and forecasts were for possibly dangerous conditions, so supervisor requested we come in, in afternoon.

Tomorrow’s Activities
If weather cooperates, go into northern part of county (farthest from water and damage), but need to post 1-800 flyers.

Contact Info
Contact sheets have been faxed. The EM interview form will be faxed.
Michelle A. Kidwell
Director of Emergency Management
michellekidwell@ cceoc.org
Callaway County EOC
P.O. Box 817, Fulton, MO 65251
Area code 573, work, 592-2480; cell, 220-1250; fax, 592-2481

I've got a couple weeks of these I could send you!
I LOVE FULTON, MISSOURI!


My sister works for her...my brother-in-law runs EMS for the county...talk about a small world!
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 9922
Quoting Grothar:


Just can't help yourself, can you!! lol


Quoting NEwxguy:


How about them Patriots!!!
How can you outplay a team and still give them the game,"Hangs his head in shame"


well, you gotta take whats given to you Lol


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Quoting NEwxguy:


How about them Patriots!!!
How can you outplay a team and still give them the game,"Hangs his head in shame"


That last 2 mins. nearly killed me.
Until I remembered they're "our" Baltimore Colts.
From prehistoric times.
Member Since: August 19, 2008 Posts: 32 Comments: 1918
Quoting pearlandaggie:
206. those darn Russian cartridges and clackety-clacking rifles! LOL they do pack 'dillo-walloping power, though! :)


Nah...my old man loads his own; good American brass and powder. He loads high velocity and impact and slower loads...
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 9922
Quoting tornadodude:


How bout them Colts :)


How about them Patriots!!!
How can you outplay a team and still give them the game,"Hangs his head in shame"
Member Since: September 6, 2007 Posts: 881 Comments: 15840
Are Mr. & Mrs. Flood still on?

Jerry, talk about trippy -- looks like there is a lot less than 6 degrees of separation between us.

(A report regarding Floodman's hometown deleted by poster because way too long :))
I've got a couple weeks of these I could send you!
I LOVE FULTON, MISSOURI!
Member Since: August 19, 2008 Posts: 32 Comments: 1918
Quoting tornadodude:


Wasnt he there? ;)


Just can't help yourself, can you!! lol
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Quoting NEwxguy:


+1 LOL


How bout them Colts :)
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Quoting tornadodude:


Wasnt he there? ;)


+1 LOL
Member Since: September 6, 2007 Posts: 881 Comments: 15840
Quoting LongStrangeTrip:


Gosh, Flood...looks like you came to New Orleans about 109 years too late! :)


Wasnt he there? ;)
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Quoting StSimonsIslandGAGuy:
Canal Street, New Orleans, February 15, 1895



Gosh, Flood...looks like you came to New Orleans about 109 years too late! :)
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214. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)


WPAC typhoon possibility
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alright..i'm out for now. i may be back later...maybe not if i'm banned :)
Member Since: September 14, 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 3963
Member Since: September 14, 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 3963
210. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
Mauritius Meteorological Services
Tropical Cyclone Advisory Number ELEVEN
TROPICAL CYCLONE ANJA (04-20092010)
22:00 PM Réunion November 16 2009
=========================================

At 18:00 PM, Tropical Cyclone Anja (950 hPa) located at 15.5S 67.8E has 10 minute sustained winds of 85 knots with gusts of 120 knots. The cyclone is reported as moving southwest at 8 knots

RSMC Dvorak Intensity: T5.5

Hurricane Force Winds
=====================
close to the center

Storm Force Winds
===================
10 NM from the center

Gale-force winds
==================
30 NM from the center extending up to 60 NM in the southern semi-circle

Near Gale-force winds
======================
40 NM from the center extending up to 80 NM from the center in the southern semi-circle

Forecast and Intensity
======================
12 HRS: 17.0S 66.6E - 65 kts (Cyclone Tropical)
24 HRS: 19.1S 66.0E - 50 kts (Forte Tempête Tropicale)
48 HRS: 24.2S 68.9E - 30 kts (Depression Tropicale)
72 HRS: 29.4S 76.2E - 30 kts (Depression EXTRATROPICAL)

Additional Information
========================
TC ANJA shows signs of weakening. METEOSAT7 enhanced infrared imagery reveals as ragged eye which is cooling. As ANJA should track southwestward, then southward along the morthwestern then western periphery of the low to mid level ridge located in the southeast, it should enter a less favorable environment within the next 12 hours. Despite an upper level poleward divergence which maintains, the ocean heat content becomes lower beyond 16S and the polewards low level inflow weakens. Beyond 24 hours, the system is forecast to recurve ahead of an approaching trough, then accelerate southeastwards.

Model guidance is in rather good agreement with the track, but is different related to the speed of the system to evacuate in the mid latitudes.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
206. those darn Russian cartridges and clackety-clacking rifles! LOL they do pack 'dillo-walloping power, though! :)
Member Since: September 14, 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 3963
205. i couldn't imagine the total cluster&@$% 15-20" of snow would bring these days! LOL
Member Since: September 14, 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 3963
Somehow I don't think the people of Galveston were saying only!
Member Since: September 6, 2007 Posts: 881 Comments: 15840
Quoting pearlandaggie:
166. oh, you're bad...i can't imagine a 'dillo catching one of these! LOL

remember, some of them carry leprosy! LMAO


SKS, baby...7.62x39 hollow point!
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 9922
201. only? LOL
Member Since: September 14, 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 3963
I remember In 2007 Dr. Masters said the same thing, nothing that will hit land. Then Olga formed and hit land. I still have to side with Dr. Masters though just be wary.
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boy, the Little Ice Age really sucked...

Weather in Civil War days was equally as cold and bitter. Sgt. H. N. Connor of Co. A, Spaight’s Battalion, wrote in his diary on Jan. 1, 1864, as follows:

"...Reached Liberty, frozen stiff... Horses, saddles, blankets, clothes frozen stiff. One soldier frozen to death. Today the ice held the weight of the horses, causing them to stumble and fall...." In 1864 the ground on Galveston Island "was frozen solid with ice one inch thick..." (Galveston Weekly News, Nov. 22, 1864)

On March 28, 1867, the same newspaper reported that "...the cold was so severe that the steam pipes on steamers, steam sawmills, etc. froze and burst. Such severe cold so late in the month of March was never before known in Southeast Texas...."
Member Since: September 14, 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 3963
Quoting pearlandaggie:
195. i was just teasing...the snow doesn't usually last more than a few hours here in Texas. :)


LOL - it hangs around a little longer here in North Texas. We had a nice snowstorm in March '08, took 3 days to fully melt away.
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198. how are you doing those searches on the NWS site?
Member Since: September 14, 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 3963
195. i was just teasing...the snow doesn't usually last more than a few hours here in Texas. :)
Member Since: September 14, 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 3963
Drat! Need work on the link-posting thing, too. Where's the IT guy when you need him?!
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Even weirder than snow in Beaumont, how 'bout snow in New Orleans last December?

www.youtube.com/watch?v=9m3JF83iKaU

And that snowfall came just 4 years after the last one, on CHRISTMAS DAY, 2004!
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Boston's official snowstorm record is 27.5 inches,but suburbs and areas around southern new england had 30-36 inches in the blizzard of "78"
Member Since: September 6, 2007 Posts: 881 Comments: 15840
Quoting NRAamy:
are we allowed to talk about 2012 on this blog?


Not until 2011.
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LOL @ 190!
Member Since: September 14, 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 3963
Dang it - I'll get the hang of that quote feature, I swear I will!
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Quoting StSimonsIslandGAGuy:
Back in the old days, southeast Texas knew snow--30" fell at Beaumont February 14-15, 1895! That is a heavier snow than Boston, New York City, Minneapolis, Milwaukee, Chicago, Detroit or Seattle has ever received!


I know that it snowed several times in Austin when I was very young, ...early '60s. Then we went from 1967 to 1972 with nothing but the occasional ice storm, which is more common there.
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186. wwwwwwrrrrrrrrrrong. it was gone the next day! LOL
Member Since: September 14, 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 3963
185. oh, my....the 'dillo's worst nightmare! LOL
Member Since: September 14, 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 3963
Quoting StSimonsIslandGAGuy:
Back in the old days, southeast Texas knew snow--30" fell at Beaumont February 14-15, 1895! That is a heavier snow than Boston, New York City, Minneapolis, Milwaukee, Chicago, Detroit or Seattle has ever received!

Link



Yeh for one storm,but I bet it was gone a week later too.
Member Since: September 6, 2007 Posts: 881 Comments: 15840
185. beell
Much more effective. The "natural" predator...

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Quoting pearlandaggie:
mi español es tan oxidado como mi coche.


¡Ah, al igual que nuestro camión! ja ja ja

Okay, back to English...I was just answering Amy from a post a while back. :)
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181. oh, my. i wonder how many roofs were collapsed from that kind of snow here in Texas!

that same year, Houston got 20" of snow! that must be a once-in-500-years storm! WOW
Member Since: September 14, 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 3963
Such an amazing site! Glad to see it, even from Tampa the flame was very visible!!
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Member Since: September 14, 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 3963

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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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