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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hi everyone,
isn't there a song called waiting on the rain? it just started to drizzle here and we are suppose to have heavy rain on friday. northern california. last storm with all it's warnings was a dud here, it was all centered at the coast.
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Hi AwakeinMaryland,

I wish you and your family the best and a speedy recovery for your grandson!
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Hi Flood,
Just wanted to add my good wishes and prayers for your quick recovery. As for the "pain button", just pretend it is the Woodstock era and you will totally chill!
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Does anyone have a link to the El Nino status (namely the charts mapping the changes +/- normal in the different El Nino regions)
Member Since: August 3, 2008 Posts: 16 Comments: 5871
Anyone heard from Orca since this morning? I had made a post asking if he felt the earthquake this morning (LOCATION - QUEEN CHARLOTTE ISLANDS REGION, MAGNITUDE - 6.5), but haven't seen a response.
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By the rate this El Nino is strengthening, I wouldn't be surprised if it rivals the 1997/98 episode by next Spring(March)! It's already in the strong category.
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Quoting NEwxguy:


That pretty much sums it up,good job!!

FLOOD: Pretty good, but you forgot drought, famine, Venezuela, Haiti (oh, sorry, that's redundant), and maybe we don't want to move to Oregon afterall, at least during El Nino.

Also, I'm still waiting for NRAAmy's to 'splain the new "Prisoner" to me (thankfully, only 2 more painful hours), and for her online review of 2012 (meteorological aspects, of course).

I wish you, and Amy, too, great success with restoring those backs to health.

Oh, if LST needs support during, after surgery, is the hospital equipped with wireless? Please ask her to post if she wants/needs to...Admin. will, of course, look the other way (per Many WU Blog Grandmothers' orders, I'm sure)!
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Hey Flood we'll be here thinking good thoughts for you and don't worry when we talk about you, and you know we will, it will all be good :)
Great meeting LST the other day and knowing she will keep us informed and give us the inside stuff:) Me thinks you better be nice to the Chief Darlin' in your life LOL!
It's been sunny and about 80 degrees here, nothing better except 90.
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Quoting beell:

So Flood will be handing out eye bleach to the poor unfortunate souls that have had the experience of seeing his wardrobe malfunction. gotcha.

Honestly though... I hope the surgery goes well, and it accomplishes everything you are looking for. Get well soon!
Member Since: August 3, 2008 Posts: 16 Comments: 5871
570. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
Mauritius Meteorological Services
Tropical Cyclone Advisory Number SIXTEEN
FORTE TEMPETE TROPICALE ANJA (04-20092010)
22:00 PM Réunion November 17 2009
=========================================

At 18:00 PM, Severe Tropical Storm Anja (975 hPa) located at 19.5S 65.5E has 10 minute sustained winds of 55 knots with gusts of 80 knots. The cyclone is reported as moving southwest at 13 knots

RSMC Dvorak Intensity: T3.5/4.0

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

Gale-force winds
==================
20 NM from the center extending up to 60 NM in the northeastern quadrant and up to 80 NM in the southeastern quadrant

Near Gale-force winds
======================
30 NM from the center extending up to 80 NM from the center in the northeastern quadrant and up to 120 NM in the southeastern quadrant

Forecast and Intensity
======================
12 HRS: 21.7S 65.6E - 40 kts (Tempête Tropicale Modereé)
24 HRS: 25.5S 67.6E - 35 kts (Tempête Tropicale Modereé)
48 HRS: 32.8S 78.6E - 30 kts (Depression EXTRATROPICAL)

Additional Information
========================
AQUA 0930z and F16 1441z 37GHZ channels allow locating low level circulation center on the northern edge then on the northwestern edge of the main deep convective activity. Due to lack of clear center on recent multispectral imagery, the location of the center in this advisory has been extrapolated. Wind extension has been recalibrated thanks to 1344z Quikscat swath. ANJA winds structure is very assymetric and strongest winds extends mainly far in the easterm semi-circle. Environment is becoming more unfavorable: cooler sea surface temperatures, and increasing northwesterly vertical wind shear. ANJA has accelerated southwesterly and is expected soon to recurve southward then southeastwards. System is expected to undergo a strong vertical wind shear and rapidly weaken.
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Quoting Floodman:


That's what they told me today...I asked if could bring my own and wow, they really frown on brown bagging drugs at a hospital, you know?


Well, there's always the "doggie bag" of leftovers, right?
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Quoting Floodman:
Howdy folks...all pre-opped and ready for Thursday. So let me get this straight:

Solar activity

The difference between what the media in the NW is calling a pineapple express and a real one

Who will be here in the winter

The fact that Patrap will be getitng to 100,000 posts about the same day that the world is due to come to an end

That about it?


That pretty much sums it up,good job!!
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567. beell
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Quoting Patrap:
That about sums it up floodman.

Ask for a Bloggers recovery room too..

And remember,..no matter how many times ya push the Morphine Button,.it only delivers so much.


That's what they told me today...I asked if could bring my own and wow, they really frown on brown bagging drugs at a hospital, you know?
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 9922
Quoting beell:


One more-best wishes on the op!
(try not to have any wardrobe malfunctions with your hospital gown-you may scare the children)


beell, thanks so much for the well wishes; I really appreciate it!

As for a wardrobe malfnction, hey, I'm not shy! If they're looking , well, it's nothing a decade or so of therapy can't cure, LOL!

About the well wishes; I have received dozens of notes from people, the regulars, old regulars from here that don;t post much anymore, poeple who lurk and don't typically post...I want to thank you all; I've said it before: this is one of the best online communities I've ever been a part of; thank you all!
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 9922
564. beell
Quoting Floodman:
Howdy folks...all pre-opped and ready for Thursday. So let me get this straight:

Solar activity

The difference between what the media in the NW is calling a pineapple express and a real one

Who will b here in the winter

The fact that Patrap will be getitng to 100,000 posts about the same day that the world is due to come to an end

That about it?


One more-best wishes on the op!
(try not to have any wardrobe malfunctions with your hospital gown-you may scare the children)
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That about sums it up floodman.

Ask for a Bloggers recovery room too..

And remember,..no matter how many times ya push the Morphine Button,.it only delivers so much.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 421 Comments: 127563
562. beell
Quoting VAbeachhurricanes:
Was 2004 the last el nino?


El Nino Years
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Howdy folks...all pre-opped and ready for Thursday. So let me get this straight:

Solar activity

The difference between what the media in the NW is calling a pineapple express and a real one

Who will be here in the winter

The fact that Patrap will be getitng to 100,000 posts about the same day that the world is due to come to an end

That about it?
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 9922
Was 2004 the last el nino?
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Quoting NEwxguy:
that low in the Gom could be a huge coastal low on the east coast next week.



not even funny... but alot of models say that im scared haha
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558. beell
Saw your El Nino comment earlier, NE. Would agree that you should have an enjoyable blog season. It just seems so "textbook" for now.
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beell,thats a good point,and that blocking in central North America is what is going to send storms up the east coast also.
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556. beell
According to BC Hydro, this one, not a Pineapple Express. BC Hydro blames the media...
An interesting comment from the Doc's blog:

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".
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Thats good news awake,its scary,because the kids are the most vulnerable with this outbreak.
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Quoting NEwxguy:


Its typical of El Nino winters.

Thanks, I'm still learning and expect I will be for a long time to come.
Grandson no. 1 is out of hospital, and grandson no. 2 is okay so far. Worry factor has decreased exponentially :)
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Quoting AwakeInMaryland:
Hi again, I've been reading on here about the Pineapple Express and it doesn't seem to rattle the NW bloggers much.
But there's another big storm expected on Thurs. with high winds and rains,
and a 3rd expected over weekend.
Winds reached 95+ in Oregon, = Cat. 2 gusts.

Is this "normal"? maybe my screen name should have been worrywart

Hi, Matt, looking back on posts yesterday -- to me my teasing sounded shriller than I meant. Sorry, you know me and others on blog have adopted you. Hope your folks don't mind too much.

My 4-year old grandson went to hospital in Orange County, CA yesterday with swine flu. I don't know much more yet, need to call for an update. Worrisome, of course, but he has one grandfather who's a doctor so I'm sure he's well watched over.


Its typical of El Nino winters.
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Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 24 Comments: 8201
Quoting AwakeInMaryland:
Hi, Matt, looking back on posts yesterday -- to me my teasing sounded shriller than I meant. Sorry, you know me and others on blog have adopted you. Hope your folks don't mind too much.


Hey, no worries, I was just harassing you back (:
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 24 Comments: 8201
Hi again, I've been reading on here about the Pineapple Express and it doesn't seem to rattle the NW bloggers much.
But there's another big storm expected on Thurs. with high winds and rains,
and a 3rd expected over weekend.
Winds reached 95+ in Oregon, = Cat. 2 gusts.

Is this "normal"? maybe my screen name should have been worrywart

Hi, Matt, looking back on posts yesterday -- to me my teasing sounded shriller than I meant. Sorry, you know me and others on blog have adopted you. Hope your folks don't mind too much.

My 4-year old grandson went to hospital in Orange County, CA yesterday with swine flu. I don't know much more yet, need to call for an update. Worrisome, of course, but he has one grandfather who's a doctor so I'm sure he's well watched over.
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I'm still mowing every weekend, but it's slowed down some.
We need rain in SW Florida!
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544. depends on how much yard you have to mow! LOL
Member Since: September 14, 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 3963
Quoting pearlandaggie:
540. at least you don't have to mow the lawn! LOL


true! (:

but I do agree with 544 :P
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 24 Comments: 8201
Quoting pearlandaggie:
540. at least you don't have to mow the lawn! LOL


Rather mow yard than do homework, atleast once you mow its over, HW isnt over till school is.
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The Atlantic Philanthropies



I'll be attending the US-Cuban Hurricane Conference here next Monday the 23rd of November.

If anyone is interested in attending here with us,contact me via-wu mail as I have secured a few more invites thru our group.



The Center for International Policy Takes Pleasure in Inviting You to

A Conference on U.S.-Cuban Cooperation in Defending Against Hurricanes

To be held November 23, 2009, in New Orleans at Mardi Gras World

1380 Port of New Orleans Place



2 p.m. Introduction by Wayne S. Smith of the Center for International Policy



2:15 2:45 p.m. Vital U.S.-Cuban Cooperation in Tracking Hurricanes and Warning of their Approach. Jose Rubiera, of the Cuban Meteorological Center (invited) and Lixion Avila of the U.S. Hurricane Center in Miami. Chaired by Jay Higginbotham, Archivist Emeritus of Mobile



2:45 4:00 p.m. - U.S.-Cuban Cooperation in the Face of Hurricanes. Dagoberto Rodriguez Barrera, Cuban Vice Minister of Foreign Relations (invited); Lt.General (Ret) Russel Honore, Former Commander of Joint Task Force Katrina; Lt. Col (Ret) Jerry Sneed, Director of Emergency Preparedness of Orleans Parish; Ivor van Heerden, Founder of the Louisiana State University Hurricane Center; Robert Turner, Director of the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority. Chaired by Wayne Smith, Center for International Policy.



4:00 4:30 p.m. The Growing Focus on Disaster Medicine and Disaster Management in Both the U.S. and Cuba. Dr. Guillermo Mesa Ridel, Director, Latin American Center for Disaster Medicine (invited); Dr. Alex Isakov, Founding Director of the Emory University Office of Critical Event Preparedness and Response; Lt. Gen Russel Honore, Board Member, Tulane Disaster Management Leadership Academy; Chaired by Randy Poindexter, Executive Director of International Cuba Society



4:30 5:00 p.m. President Obama's Prerogative, Despite the Embargo, to Authorize U.S. Companies to Sell Cuba Reconstruction Materials and Equipment. Robert L. Muse, Attorney, Muse and Associates



5:00 6:00 p.m. Open Discussion. Participants from the various delegations to Cuba, and other interested parties, are invited to comment and express opinions as to new initiatives and directions and how we could better organize to advance our objectives



6:00 7:30 p.m. - Reception with cash bar in the Grand Oaks Mansion



Admission is free, but seating is limited.



The Center for International Policy wishes to express its appreciation to

Atlantic Philanthropies for the support which made this conference possible.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 421 Comments: 127563
540. at least you don't have to mow the lawn! LOL
Member Since: September 14, 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 3963
541. xcool
Cold Tonight! Frost Northshore
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Quoting pearlandaggie:
hey, matt. wassup?


oh just doing some HW :/ yay!
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 24 Comments: 8201
hey, matt. wassup?
Member Since: September 14, 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 3963
Was 20 years ago this Dec 23rd..we had a BAd Blue Northern here.
NOLA was under the freeze Line for 40 hours..with a Low of 13 F the 24th.

Everyone with a toolbox was plumber for weeks after too.

Lotsa Water Lines burst.

And the S Shore of Lake Pontchartrain froze out about 20 ft from the shore as well.

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 421 Comments: 127563
that low in the Gom could be a huge coastal low on the east coast next week.
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hey all

Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 24 Comments: 8201
Quoting Patrap:
So with the El Nino conditions present,..Im thinking maybe we will have a colder and wetter winter as forecasted in the SouthEast

I hope so Patrap. Have not seen a good snow in Atlanta in years.
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Member Since: September 14, 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 3963
At this point last year we had had over 22" of snow. So far this year 1/2 inch would be pushing it. If this continues it would be fine for many of us who live just south of the great lakes. Colder and wetter would not be good for us.
Quoting Patrap:
We had 2 inches of snow last December 11th in NOLA.



So with the El Nino conditions present,..Im thinking maybe we will have a colder and wetter winter as forecasted in the SouthEast
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Local CBS met discussing a weekend Low in the GOM,..
Interesting
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 421 Comments: 127563
We had 2 inches of snow last December 11th in NOLA.



So with the El Nino conditions present,..Im thinking maybe we will have a colder and wetter winter as forecasted in the SouthEast
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 421 Comments: 127563
529. someday it will probably happen...we just don't know when! LOL
Member Since: September 14, 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 3963
They've been saying Cali was gonna fall of for YEARS now lol
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About

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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