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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handoff to atlantis of control
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retracting main fuel tank arm

checked engine steering

All Systems GO for launch so far
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whats up Flood =)
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going to be an awsome video stream with this camera

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Quoting pearlandaggie:
116.El Nino portends cold winter for East Coast

Graphic: How El Nino and La Nina affect U.S. stormsk

Here is a better link I found:
http://www.oc.nps.edu/webmodules/ENSO/effects.html
Member Since: August 3, 2008 Posts: 16 Comments: 5887
Quoting Bonedog:
hey folks. monitoring the launch again here :)

had another great NASA line moment just now

shuttle: "control. lamp AS-2-B is now lit."
control: "systems. AS-2-B important?"
systems: "nope"
shuttle: "OK then we'll worry about it later."

LOL when later? in space or after the mission LOL


Bone! What's up, man?
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 9922
retracting orbiter acess arm
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Quoting RJT185:
Climatologically speaking, with El Nio at "Strong" what can Western PA expect this winter? Thanks in advance!


Armageddon! Dogs and cats living together, disaster on a biblical scale!

Seriously, you should see a cooler, wetter winter; more snowfall and or rain, depending on ambient temperature (and where you are in the state)
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 9922
T minus 9 minutes and counting
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Quoting RJT185:
Climatologically speaking, with El Niño at "Strong" what can Western PA expect this winter? Thanks in advance!

El Nino isn't at strong yet. Just barely moderate.
Member Since: August 3, 2008 Posts: 16 Comments: 5887
Quoting AresPathfinder:
Nature is wildly complex...hence we all yak about it here...the armadillo's range is increasing to limited predator pressure. This is a known fact. Same as with coyotes moving east. The squirrels coats are most likely linked to diurnal cycles like most fur bearing mammals. I have notices a large amount of masting oaks in the N. Central Florida area. Guess I should look to pressure was the driveway in the spring. Predicting the weather is fun but please don't over analyze things.


Armadillos have limited ability to deal with freezing temperatures, se this website: Armadillo expansion . In addition, the range in Missouri that they are going through now is loaded with cotyotes, bobcats and blackbears all of which would hve no real problems dining on the occasional armadillo, though if you've ever seen a coyote trying to get to one you'd wonder how a coyote ever eats one...

Much like masting of acorns could be an indication of a bad winter coming, the movement of the armadillo may or may not be an indication of warming temperatures, but I can tell you that as a young man I hunted central Missouri very regularly and I never saw a single one outside of the zoo; they simply weren't there
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 9922
hey folks. monitoring the launch again here :)

had another great NASA line moment just now

shuttle: "control. lamp AS-2-B is now lit."
control: "systems. AS-2-B important?"
systems: "nope"
shuttle: "OK then we'll worry about it later."

LOL when later? in space or after the mission LOL
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Climatologically speaking, with El Niño at "Strong" what can Western PA expect this winter? Thanks in advance!
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112. very true...i admitted it wasn't a scientific analysis! LOL ;)
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Quoting Floodman:


Hey, Matt! Yeah, I was raised in Fulton, about midway through the state and spent my teen years and most of my adult life in St Louis


ah, ok, thanks! I have family in Halfway Missouri, it is a little north of Springfield. And I'm not too terribly far from Missouri right now
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 25 Comments: 8360
Quoting tornadodude:


haha yeah thats true

Flood,

I have probably asked you before, but where are you from in Missouri?


Hey, Matt! Yeah, I was raised in Fulton, about midway through the state and spent my teen years and most of my adult life in St Louis
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 9922
Nature is wildly complex...hence we all yak about it here...the armadillo's range is increasing to limited predator pressure. This is a known fact. Same as with coyotes moving east. The squirrels coats are most likely linked to diurnal cycles like most fur bearing mammals. I have notices a large amount of masting oaks in the N. Central Florida area. Guess I should look to pressure was the driveway in the spring. Predicting the weather is fun but please don't over analyze things.
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Quoting pearlandaggie:
92. then again, the "predator satiation" could be the result of too many young boys running around with pellet guns! LOL j/k

nonetheless, i found the amount of acorns noteworthy if nothing else.


It'll be interesting to see how the winter plays out. Being where you are the effects of blue northers aren't as pronounced as they would be here where I am, but it will be interesting to see how harsh a winter we have here in Texas
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 9922
107. "NO!" --dr.NO!

LOL
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Flood, that link info I was referring to was further down the page. It talks about the back fusion surgeries in particular. Jeez, you think I'd send that over for nothing? Go down to the heading called "money". Interesting reading...back to weather.

Any chance of any type of tropical moisture washing over Southwest Florida anytime soon???
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Quoting pearlandaggie:
98. not me! keep the snow away! [not that we really have to worry about it here :)]


haha yeah thats true

Flood,

I have probably asked you before, but where are you from in Missouri?
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 25 Comments: 8360
are we allowed to talk about 2012 on this blog?
Member Since: January 24, 2007 Posts: 317 Comments: 31946
Quoting hydrus:
Is this winter going to be a bad one?


Things are pointing that way, but what the hell, it's an El Nino year, so cool and wet is what the climatology tells us
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 9922
Wife and I took Dau back up to LSU at Baton Rouge the Long way this morning and we played,.."Guess that Road Kill".. Game on LA 44..


Racked up 5 different critters myself.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128879
Quoting Grothar:


Yo, Flood. Didn't know you were from MO. I was stationed in Fort Leonard Wood. Know where Waynesville is? When we were in the field we would see Armadillos there. This was ....ah more than 10 years ago. They were all probably just hiding from you. They make good soup.


Waynesville, south of Rolla, even with Springfield. Check it out: armadillos are not condiered indigienous to Missouri, at least not 20 years ago
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 9922
98. not me! keep the snow away! [not that we really have to worry about it here :)]
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Atlantis poised for a Launch Attempt in about a Half Hour from now.

KSC Live NASA Video feed


The weather forecast remains "go" at the launch site and the Transoceanic Abort Landing, or TAL, sites as the countdown clock ticks backward toward an on-time launch at 2:28 p.m. EST.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128879
Anja still expected to reach Category 4 status...

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Quoting TampaSpin:


MY PROBLEM.....my mistake then......please explain what you are suggesting with your post to me below....LMAO.....


Is there an indication in that post about anything other than my feeling that the global cooling theory is ridiculous?

Let me rephrase that: I am not suggesting that what you believe is ridiculous; let me just say that being completely in either of the extreme camps is ridiculous.

There is no evidence that man is wholly responsible for climate change one way or the other, just as there is no definitive evidence that the climate is NOT warming to some degree...my position has always been that the truth is between those two poles somewhere. Those that deny climate change have drunk the Limbaugh koolaid, and those that say we are wholly responsible have drunk from the cup offered by Gore.

I have yet to read any study that completely convinces me and I have read a number that makes the case for a more moderate truth...

The fact remains that the atmospheric levels of CO2 are increasing and we have had warmer weather globally in the last several decades than we've had before based on the limited records we have; it is also a fact that we as a species are helping to increase the levels of CO2; only a fiool denies that. Does that mean the sky is falling? Certainly not. Does it mean that it isn't? Certainly not...but I'm not convinced that sea levels will rise 300 feet in the next century, but I'm just as convinced that they will not remain the same. If we can something to slow the process then we should, but making it into a joke like the extremists are doing is a larger crime than not doing anything at all I think...
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 9922
Quoting P451:
Staying up until 3am or trying to get up by 4am to get a glimpse just isn't likely to happen for me.

I've been pretty regular about a midnight offing and waking at 6am. Since it's not going to be a spectacular event...I'll probably pass.


HAHA! It sounds like you're more a person who will look up at the sky around 2:28pm today to see if you can get a glimpse of the Space Shuttle flying high after blastoff! I agree with you tho that the Leonid shower will come and go while I lay sleeping in my bed. LOL
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Quoting pearlandaggie:
howdy, matt.


I kinda wish that snow would head to Indiana :P
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 25 Comments: 8360
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 25 Comments: 8360
howdy, matt.
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howdy guys

Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 25 Comments: 8360
The 2009 Season is drawing to a close fast - but the Caribbean Islands are still subject to damaging and, potentially dangerous weather - see report (1152 AM on 16 Nov) regarding BVI

Due to severe weather, heavy rain, flooding, thunderstorms storms, heavy lighting, the Government has advised all non-essential Government workers to stay at home - here in the BVI, that also applies to local business staff.
I have managed to come into town, although it took one hour from our house to town (normally a 7 to 12 minute drive). There are no staff and most offices I can see are a) closed or b) without power.
For anyone needing to get in touch with the BVI, please note it appears most of Road Town is currently without power.
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92. then again, the "predator satiation" could be the result of too many young boys running around with pellet guns! LOL j/k

nonetheless, i found the amount of acorns noteworthy if nothing else.
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92. Inyo
Mass production of acorns is called 'masting' and is a well documented phenomenon. Although it is not fully understood, it is believed that it is partially due to 'predator satiation', meaning that there are so many acorns that year that the squirrels and birds and such can not possibly eat them all, while the more sparse years keep the population of these animals from growing. I don't know of any scientific evidence linking masting to climate but on a non-scientific level I have noticed that some of the Valley Oaks in California have masted before very wet years. I haven't been around long enough to know if it is a good correlation.
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90. some also carry leprosy, i believe! LOL
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Quoting Floodman:


I've read a couple of studies that give pretty good evidence for that being the case...then there's the "old wives tales"; never discount an old wives tale, they tend to have a kernel of truth in them...more acorns, squirrels with thicker coats, wooly caterpillars...I now, next thing you know I'll be brewing things with eye of newt in them...LOL


Yo, Flood. Didn't know you were from MO. I was stationed in Fort Leonard Wood. Know where Waynesville is? When we were in the field we would see Armadillos there. This was ....ah more than 10 years ago. They were all probably just hiding from you. They make good soup.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 26562
later, Tim!
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Quoting Floodman:


Did you grow up there? I never saw one in Missouri until I was in my 30s; not very scientific but certainly an indication that something is going on


Yeah, I grew up in Ptown (as we call it when we're away haha). I would say the armas started showing up considerably around 2000.
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Quoting Floodman:
73.
When I was a kid my grandad and I would go squirrel hunting a fair bit and he told me that when you get thicker coats on the critters and tons of acorns you better cut double the firewood cause it was going to be a bad'un


As a northern boy myself and hunting those critters also......my father whom was much wiser than me....always told me the same....never really watched for it but, he sure did!.....later all!
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81. well, like you said earlier, it's not a scientific analysis...just a curious observation at this point that may mean nothing in the end. my other tree, the one that was made parallel to the ground by Hurricane Ike, has a few acorns this year, but not that many. i would guess it has spent most of its energy over the last year repairing its root system and growing new branches.
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donde esta Donna Flood?
Member Since: January 24, 2007 Posts: 317 Comments: 31946
One more quickie, long as we're on the subject.

I tend to think of things like the acorns, you know, nature's way of reacting to weather, as nature's own climotology models.

While I don't give a lot of weight to Climo on an individual storm, they can give you a sense of what to expect from a given season.

Just a thought!
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You all have a good afternoon ...going on a bike ride. Gonna carry my beating stick to knockoff the Armadillo's and any Jellyfish that get in my way.....BBL!
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Quoting Floodman:
73.
When I was a kid my grandad and I would go squirrel hunting a fair bit and he told me that when you get thicker coats on the critters and tons of acorns you better cut double the firewood cause it was going to be a bad'un
Is this winter going to be a bad one?
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73.
When I was a kid my grandad and I would go squirrel hunting a fair bit and he told me that when you get thicker coats on the critters and tons of acorns you better cut double the firewood cause it was going to be a bad'un
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 9922
Quoting Floodman:


And there is your problem...where in my post anywhere did you see that I put this at the feet of mankind? I'm looking at them and nowhere did I mention Man.


MY PROBLEM.....my mistake then......please explain what you are suggesting with your post to me below....LMAO.....
Quoting Floodman:


So I suppose you support the theory that climate is cooling? LOL
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See you around, Rob!
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 9922

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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.