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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They've been saying Cali was gonna fall of for YEARS now lol
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LOL @ 527. oh, my!

although i would say that i don't think anyone was trying to start AGW "bickering"! LOL
Member Since: September 14, 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 3963
I hope to have the most ignored comments. Quiet day so far. I see that not even the climate change can get the bickering started today. Floodman, I see some of the psychadelics have worked for some interesting thoughts. Pat, good luck on 100,000 before California falls into the ocean.( I saw 2012 this W/E).
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Conch,I stick around through the winter,this is my hurricane season,and theres several people who report here and Stormw always reports in on east coast weather.
Member Since: September 6, 2007 Posts: 883 Comments: 15865
It's aurora borealis...lol that's what my daughter is named after
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Quoting NEwxguy:
Its kind of funny,now that the tropical season,is more or less done,this blog has really gone silent.


That's because most on here are adjusters or in related insurance or building occupations. Some, however, like Rareair and I...will be making the occasional cameo throughout the winter months :)
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holy cow....National Geographic Photographer Meets Deadly Leopard Seal

someone needs some tooth whitening strips! LOL
Member Since: September 14, 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 3963
519. yes, when CMEs increase the solar wind velocity, which is more common at solar max than at solar min.
Member Since: September 14, 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 3963
516. who said that? :) in fact, sunspots really don't cause the aurora directly.
Member Since: September 14, 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 3963
515. LOL...it took 4 minutes for the quality-versus-quantity argument to come out. i figured it would be only 1 minute! LOL
Member Since: September 14, 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 3963
Quoting weatherbro:
sunspots aren't the only thing to cause the auraborialis.
Coronal Mass Ejections ?
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hmmm, instigators...

just back for a second. So just received e-mail that pinpointed good place for better info on what's going on post-NorIda in Virginia.

Read article this morning, think Bossier, LA, will get disaster declaration soon but there's been more than one severe weather event, so I've lost track...maybe Pat knows more.

Situation reports & other info, VA

Link
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Quoting Patrap:
My 100,000 post is due the same day as ,well..Dec 21st 2012 around noon ...if my math is correct.

Currently,..

Community Participation:

You have posted 213 entries in your own blog.

You have posted 67985 comments in all blogs.


Snicker,snort,..ack!!!
How about the movie 2012, some people making millions and millions of dollars on events showing how the human race will end. What Next?
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sunspots aren't the only thing to cause the auraborialis.
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A lot of my posts were from Blogging severe weather a few years ago,..when that was kinda en vogue here.

And a lot of others were from vocalizing the experience of Katrina,thru my Families eyes as well.
So..its not really the number of posts one makes..its more about the Quality one could say.
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512. yeah, but, but my posts have been outnumbering yours as of late by a ~10:1 ratio. so there! LOL
Member Since: September 14, 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 3963
current auroral oval...typically meek for a solar minimum.
Member Since: September 14, 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 3963
My 100,000 post is due the same day as ,well..Dec 21st 2012 around noon ...if my math is correct.

Currently,..

Community Participation:

You have posted 213 entries in your own blog.

You have posted 67985 comments in all blogs.


Snicker,snort,..ack!!!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
509. Pat, i'm starting to close the blog posts gap as of late. if the ratio as of late holds, i will eclipse your mark in approximately 657 days. LOL
Member Since: September 14, 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 3963
from yesterday...
Member Since: September 14, 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 3963
Busy Second Day in Space for STS-129 Crew
Tue, 17 Nov 2009 03:37:21 AM CST

The six crew members aboard space shuttle Atlantis began the second day of their mission Tuesday at 4:28 a.m. EST. Activities for the STS-129 crew include surveying the shuttle's thermal protection system, checking out spacesuits and grappling the Express Logistics Carrier 1. The crew also will install the centerline camera, extend the Orbiter Docking System ring and checkout rendezvous tools in preparation for docking to the International Space Station on Wednesday.
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507. well, i'd bet you could think of a way to get discussion started again! LOL i sure can :)
Member Since: September 14, 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 3963
Its kind of funny,now that the tropical season,is more or less done,this blog has really gone silent.
Member Since: September 6, 2007 Posts: 883 Comments: 15865
latest solar minimum update...sunspot 1031 is not getting bigger (it is more of a sunspeck than a sunspot). the plage responsible for old sunspot 1029 has rotated back into view but remains spotless (this was the group that spawned an impressive SC24 sunspot group a couple of weeks ago).



the large plage is from old sunspot group 1029.


the sunspot numbers have been up a little as of late...


but it looks like, according to the sunspot progression, that the SC23/24 minimum will once again undercut the NASA prediction. however, it looks like (from the last few data points) that we are coming out of the minimum. only time will tell...
Member Since: September 14, 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 3963
More and more it's beginning to look like the pattern across the US is setting up in an El Nino pattern,for the end of November and maybe December too.
Member Since: September 6, 2007 Posts: 883 Comments: 15865
Quoting fire635:
Ive never really visited this site through the winter months. Do you guys/gals give insight as to winter weather too? If so, that would be great!

Hi, fire,
I am the least-qualified person on this blog, but didn't want you to feel overlooked.

The short answer appears to be yes! Check out StormW and TampaSpin's blogs today. There's other pros and semi-pros. The other day one of the "old-timers" said a lot of interesting people actually come back in the winter -- duck out during the tropical season because it gets so crazy in here (fun, though, usually.)

Out for now, need to enjoy fine fall weather before the next projected n'oreaster!
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Quoting Grothar:


I've been in an actual Arctic blast, above the Arctic Circle. Not fun. Try spending a winter in Northern Norway, you'll never want another one. lol


Galena, Alaska.

First snow was on last day of summer.

Longest cold spell 35 below for one week (and that's not counting any effects from wind chill).

Still thawing out...
Member Since: May 18, 2007 Posts: 289 Comments: 1639
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Awake. That link sums it up.
And yeah, snow would be fine!
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Leftovers, I do know that some years ago, we sent oil tankers up the Orinoco River, and filled them full of water to keep our refineries open in a particularly dry year. Maybe we could steal some more, if he steals our rain LOL
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Quoting lilElla:
#476 Hi Pottery,
Just read this about the water crisis down your way.

CARACAS (Reuters) %u2013 Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez says he will join a team of Cuban scientists on flights to "bomb clouds" to create rain amid a severe drought that has aroused public anger due to water and electricity rationing.

Bomb clouds? Is this for real??????

And good morning all, now back to lurk mode.

Robyn




Didn't they just do this in China? And it worked. Got snow, though.
LOL, want SNOW, Pottery?

Chavez makes me and my Brazilian friend LOL a lot. Too bad at times he actually appears dangerous. But now I may be getting too political and that's all I'll say 'bout that!
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491. Surely won't get you in trouble with me. And I thank you for history lesson, some of which I was unaware.

A few years ago I knew a couple of young women who were working their proverbial arses off in Amembassy Port Au Prince. Their personal stuff was always stolen (they didn't really care, just saying); one lost 25 lbs in a season.

So I just went to peek to see if things were any better. With a heavy sigh I saw this press release dated 30 Oct. 2009. It doesn't need too much reading between the lines. Haiti needs some sort of long-term miracle which is totally beyond my ken.

Link
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Ive never really visited this site through the winter months. Do you guys/gals give insight as to winter weather too? If so, that would be great!
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I was checking on the activities that are goint on at CERN IEuropean Organization for Nucular Research) and came across this interesting article about Cosmic rays and cloud formation.

CLOUD is an experiment that uses a cloud chamber to study the possible link between galactic cosmic rays and cloud formation. Based at the Proton Synchrotron at CERN, this is the first time a high-energy physics accelerator has been used to study atmospheric and climate science; the results could greatly modify our understanding of clouds and climate.



CLOUD AT CERN
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LOL LilElla!!
I had not seen that. I hope he leaves any clouds over my house ALONE.
What an idea. Maybe he meant "seed' the clouds. But even so...........
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Ida still out there, hard swell still pushing in, a tough time getting through the outside yesterday once the wind came up. Long swell lines, with a tough side current from the north.
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#476 Hi Pottery,
Just read this about the water crisis down your way.

CARACAS (Reuters) – Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez says he will join a team of Cuban scientists on flights to "bomb clouds" to create rain amid a severe drought that has aroused public anger due to water and electricity rationing.

Bomb clouds? Is this for real??????

And good morning all, now back to lurk mode.

Robyn


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Awake, you raise good points in post 481.
But Haiti is a unique situation in that the deforestation there was not brought about by war, but by sheer poverty, and of course corrupt leadership for years. ( the reign of the DuValieur family, Pappa Doc, Baby Doc etc)
Haiti was completely outcast from the rest of the world (meaning Europe) as punishment for chasing the French Colonials out. The place was cut off, ignored and held in scorn by the rest of the world for years. It was politically correct to do that, then.
The people had no options but to cut the forest down, eat what they could, and build shelter with the rest.
The abandonment of Haiti led to Horrors we can only guess at, and that the world is now trying to get to grips with. The idea that we should "re-instate Democracy in Haiti" is an idea that is troublesome, as Democracy has never existed there and is a very alien concept to poor, starving people who cannot read and have no idea what Democracy is all about.
Do not mean to sound like I am lecturing here, but the problems in Haiti are the result of wrath that was sent down on them by others.
And they did not have anyone with the Charisma or Spirit of a Castro to fight back. No, I am not supporting Castro. Just putting things in perspective.

Hope this does not get me into trouble here.
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Orca, did you get shaken up any re: LOCATION - QUEEN CHARLOTTE ISLANDS REGION, MAGNITUDE - 6.5 (dunno how close that is to you)
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Hey Dr. Masters thanks for the mention of the Pacific Northwest and the excellent explanation from the forecaster about the non-Pineapple Express. That solves a mystery for me this morning.

It was 8C at my home in Port Alberni when I left this morning... but driving over the pass to the East side of the Island I ran into heavy sleet .... so obviously no one told the mountains that it was a Pineapple Express!

We had 99kph winds at Port Alberni Harbour and 82kph this morning at 3AM as the front went through.

http://www.alberniweather.ca
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Quoting Marlinzfan:


As bad as or worse than Ida ? Is that possible ? Just how historic was Ida in the final analysis ?

Good questions, all.
don't think there's a final analysis yet(?)
Pretty good article re damages in NJ

Link

Add-on: Pottery, thnx., may you have beneficial rains 'til March again.

Jeff: agreed on all counts; too bad much greater minds than mine haven't figured out what to do or how to resettle displaced peoples in a human- and earth-compassionate way.
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We had some heavy rains from ex-IDA,but luckily missed out on any heavy weather,but looks like we won't be so lucky next week.
Member Since: September 6, 2007 Posts: 883 Comments: 15865
Quoting Floodman:


Exactly; as a scientist there should be a more practiced approach. My feelings on AGW (shiver...GW is a nasty phrase) have been made clear, but I'm not a climatologist. My feelings are based on how I understand the system and that's fine, but to take the stand as a scientist that you know how this is going to work based on the results we have now is irresponsible; we have a enough data to make us say wow, uh-oh...but on the other hand, denying the problem flat out is reminiscent of big Tpobacco before the senate committee saying that their studieds indicate that tobacco is NOT bad for you, nor is it addictive


I am probably between where you are the sky is falling crowd. I lean a little more toward that side because I trust that 90%+ of scientists are far more knowledgeable than I on the subject. As such if they are in agreement then I'd have to trust that such a consensus must have some truth to it. I do agree with your previous statement about how the people representing the 2 sides are mostly to blame. Regardless of that fact I don't see how anyone can be against the Green movement or trying to solve the climate crisis as no matter what there is nothing wrong with trying to take care of the environment or get off petroleum based products for energy, especially foreign oil.
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AwakeInMaryland.
December 10 yr average =7.5"
Jan 10 yr av. =3.5"
both vary a lot obviously, year to year.
So yes, we could still get rain. This year, it rained on-and-off until first week in March. Dry season officially Jan through May.
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Quoting AwakeInMaryland:
Good morning -- just thought to throw this into the mix. Regarding environmental effects of war; the effects on the land, water, air; and the displacement and relocation of large numbers of people that scar the surface of the earth -- I don't know the numbers or percentages, but perhaps they could be thrown into the climate change debate(?)...and we all could agree that would be entirely human-caused.

Look at poor Haiti. We know we can clearly see the difference between Haiti and its neighbor the Dominican Republic from the air.

Again, I don't know if the numbers add to much in the long term. But I'm thinking they do, if you start with Nagasaki, etc. On the other hand, those of you who take a long-term historical approach, will say the time period is just a blink of the Universe's eye.

Any opinions?
Pottery, I didn't realize the water situation was so dire. I do hope you get some unexpected rainy weather (do you sometimes get it in early December instead of November)?

And I am so relieved that Aussie didn't get married at 15! I was too surprised to comment; glad jeff asked. :)

Ex. of war, environment, currently:

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani on Monday again appealed for international help for rehabilitating displaced people and start rebuilding process in areas hit by terrorism.

Mr Gilani, chairing a meeting on damage and needs assessment in the NWFP and Fata at the Prime Minister’s Secretariat, said that donors’ rebuilding effort would be seen in a positive light by Pakistanis.

Although donors had pledged $5.2 billion for the displaced at the Tokyo conference in April, the government has received almost nothing at all.

(Article continues)

The meeting was attended by a number of diplomats from donor and friendly countries, including High Commissioners of Australia and Canada, (etc., and continues)

The Director-General of the Provincial Reconstruction, Rehabilitation and Settlement Authority, Shakeel Qadir, gave a presentation on immediate restoration and medium-term reconstruction. The meeting was informed that the ADB and World Bank had conducted a preliminary damage assessment in Buner, Lower and Upper Dir, Shangla and Swat (in the NWFP) and Bajaur and Mohmand, in Fata.

IMO, its kinda pointless to rebuild if the area isn't stable and secure. Kinda like replacing tires on a car without an engine.

As for the stuff about GW/CC... it is hard to quantify war's impact on the environment, especially the movement of people as a result of war.
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Quoting TampaSpin:


Looks like a Surface low develops and becomes one bad ass NorEaster....


As bad as or worse than Ida ? Is that possible ? Just how historic was Ida in the final analysis ?
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Quoting TampaSpin:


Yep its from the SubTropical Jet stream....if it stays this pronounced it is going to be a ruogh one up the East Coast.


Could these turn into snow storms if they persist into the colder winter months ? Or will they remain warmer (rain) because the lows are forming in the south and going north ?
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Good morning -- just thought to throw this into the mix. Regarding environmental effects of war; the effects on the land, water, air; and the displacement and relocation of large numbers of people that scar the surface of the earth -- I don't know the numbers or percentages, but perhaps they could be thrown into the climate change debate(?)...and we all could agree that would be entirely human-caused.

Look at poor Haiti. We know we can clearly see the difference between Haiti and its neighbor the Dominican Republic from the air.

Again, I don't know if the numbers add to much in the long term. But I'm thinking they do, if you start with Nagasaki, etc. On the other hand, those of you who take a long-term historical approach, will say the time period is just a blink of the Universe's eye.

Any opinions?
Pottery, I didn't realize the water situation was so dire. I do hope you get some unexpected rainy weather (do you sometimes get it in early December instead of November)?

And I am so relieved that Aussie didn't get married at 15! I was too surprised to comment; glad jeff asked. :)

Ex. of war, environment, currently:

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani on Monday again appealed for international help for rehabilitating displaced people and start rebuilding process in areas hit by terrorism.

Mr Gilani, chairing a meeting on damage and needs assessment in the NWFP and Fata at the Prime Minister’s Secretariat, said that donors’ rebuilding effort would be seen in a positive light by Pakistanis.

Although donors had pledged $5.2 billion for the displaced at the Tokyo conference in April, the government has received almost nothing at all.

(Article continues)

The meeting was attended by a number of diplomats from donor and friendly countries, including High Commissioners of Australia and Canada, (etc., and continues)

The Director-General of the Provincial Reconstruction, Rehabilitation and Settlement Authority, Shakeel Qadir, gave a presentation on immediate restoration and medium-term reconstruction. The meeting was informed that the ADB and World Bank had conducted a preliminary damage assessment in Buner, Lower and Upper Dir, Shangla and Swat (in the NWFP) and Bajaur and Mohmand, in Fata.
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Quoting AussieStorm:

I was at a wedding. they tend to go well into the night especially in Scotland

Oh. I didn't realize weddings went THAT late into the night there. (I remembered the wedding.. 3am just seemed rather late for the wedding to still be going on)
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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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