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 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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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


How many times have I told you,stop introducing logic into this subject
Member Since: September 6, 2007 Posts: 862 Comments: 15079
Quoting jeffs713:

Well, heat does rise, and kilts are usually made out of very heavy fabric, so...

I'm also pretty sure I don't want to know why you were out and about at 3am wearing a kilt at the age of 15.

I was at a wedding. they tend to go well into the night especially in Scotland
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Hi all.
It is HOT and DRY here. No sign of any rain on the way either.
BAH! I have to water the plants again today. Water is going to become a big issue around here soon, if this is the start of 6 dry months of dry season. The 10 year average at my house for November=12.5"
November so far this year = less than 3/4"
Previous lowest 2007 =5.5"
November is traditionally our wettest month.

Not looking good.

Over the past couple of weeks, the Venezuelan Gov. has put in place water rationing in Caracas in an effort to maintain a supply for the city. This as a result of low rainfall around the major resevoirs, which are at low water levels now.
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Quoting TampaSpin:


Yep it sure looks like.....about as bad as what the Pats defense thinks of their head coach now Stormy times ahead......LOL


LOL,I didn't think you were the kind of guy that would kick sand in the face of guy whose already down,but then having a team like the Bucs,I guess you have to get pleasure from someone elses misery
Member Since: September 6, 2007 Posts: 862 Comments: 15079
Quoting AussieStorm:

It was actually a bit chilly at 3am when I walked up the main street of Cowdenbeath in the full kit. I was actually quiet surprisingly warm to wear. I was 15 at the time.

Well, heat does rise, and kilts are usually made out of very heavy fabric, so...

I'm also pretty sure I don't want to know why you were out and about at 3am wearing a kilt at the age of 15.
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Quoting Floodman:


Ahhh, so Aussie is an exhibitionist! Now worries, friend, we take all kinds here...LOL

It was actually a bit chilly at 3am when I walked up the main street of Cowdenbeath in the full kit. I was actually quiet surprisingly warm to wear. I was 15 at the time.
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Quoting TampaSpin:


Could be the perfect system for nice breakers for Surfing!...:)


Fingers crossed* - I have been snookered most of the season.....haven't had any real ground swell since Dolly - most of it's been windswell -- kinda the $Dollarstore of waves.

*as always I wish for systems that just make enough ground swell to rock the buoys - but DO NOT MAKE any trouble or grief for people, animals & their homes. GUILT-FREE waves is my mantra : )

SWoosh!!
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Well, the Gulf is FLAT now, so no searching for waves to ride, plus my board is still in the shop getting repaired - IDA DID NOT PLAY NICE!!!

better be ready if this comes to pass

In the meantime, weather here in SWFL/SRQ is divine and my running shoes are calling my name. time for an office break and out for a run.

Horses I care for have been feeling soooo much better with the cooler temps. and especially with the drop of humidity. All their skin troubles, summer itch, rain rot, fungus-amongus - magically gone. Makes grooming a pleasure again : )

later all
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Quoting surfmom:

Surfers sniffing that out as well.

AURASURF:


Tuesday 11/17/09 7am SURF On the Way? Big changes in the forecast for this week. First off a front is blowing 20-30 from the NW in the middle gulf right now. This front will not make it but a little bit of groundswell will for Wednesday afternoon. Best groundswell spots down south should be knee to thigh, maybe waist high with light offshores for late Wednesday. It does look like spots south of Pinellas will get the focus of the little swell better than Pinellas. Friday low pressure is forecast to develop in the western gulf and move towards us over the weekend. The track on this low is important. If it tracks N of us towards the big bend or Panama City we get good surf. If it tracks south of us towards Naples we may get skunked. It definitely looks very el nio like with rain now in the forecast for the weekend. I have a hard time believing our first Texas low in years and the first of this winter in mid-November could track south of us, it's just not climo. But we're going to have to wait and see so check back tomorrow. I will try and have a better fix on it. Maybe keep your Sunday 11/22 open for surfing. Keep an eye on those cams Wednesday and keep your PM flojito in case that groundy gets fun. Two tides on Wednesday with the high around lunch time and not doing much. Sunset is 5:45pm boooo. Getting interesting here on the GC.


Could be the perfect system for nice breakers for Surfing!...:)
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Quoting surfmom:


OhhLalala - tis a REAL Man behind that avatar or under the kilt --
Hope the Weather cooperated and it wasn't too chilly...... or ummm windy

Now ordering eye bleach...
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Quoting AussieStorm:

I actually got married in the full Scottish kilt. And went to a friends wedding in Scotland wearing a kilt. Oh and I did it the pure scots man's way. ;-)


OhhLalala - tis a REAL Man behind that avatar or under the kilt --
Hope the Weather cooperated and it wasn't too chilly...... or ummm windy
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Quoting Floodman:

That's why I like the detente that you and I have come to...I'm not really foaming at the mouth on the yes it is happening side and you aren't too far the other way and we agree to disagree.

Regardless, "the sky is falling" ain't true, and based on the preliminary results "business as usual" isn't true either. Like most subjects that polarize us, it isn't the real data that polarizes us, it's the people that represent the two sides that do.

Quoting surfmom:


that might be the BEST POST of the day - IMHO

I agree with that 100%. Well said.

To use an analogy... its not the NY Yankees or the Dallas Cowboys that I hate... its their fans, and how those fans act that drives my dislike of both teams.

When you take away the emotions involved, and get down to the facts, you get whether an idea or topic is good or not.
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Quoting TampaSpin:


Maybe 1 more named storm is possible......this is the GFS 96hrs out ......the CMC is also hinting at something developing.

Surfers sniffing that out as well.

AURASURF:


Tuesday 11/17/09 7am SURF On the Way? Big changes in the forecast for this week. First off a front is blowing 20-30 from the NW in the middle gulf right now. This front will not make it but a little bit of groundswell will for Wednesday afternoon. Best groundswell spots down south should be knee to thigh, maybe waist high with light offshores for late Wednesday. It does look like spots south of Pinellas will get the focus of the little swell better than Pinellas. Friday low pressure is forecast to develop in the western gulf and move towards us over the weekend. The track on this low is important. If it tracks N of us towards the big bend or Panama City we get good surf. If it tracks south of us towards Naples we may get skunked. It definitely looks very el niño like with rain now in the forecast for the weekend. I have a hard time believing our first Texas low in years and the first of this winter in mid-November could track south of us, it's just not climo. But we're going to have to wait and see so check back tomorrow. I will try and have a better fix on it. Maybe keep your Sunday 11/22 open for surfing. Keep an eye on those cams Wednesday and keep your PM flojito in case that groundy gets fun. Two tides on Wednesday with the high around lunch time and not doing much. Sunset is 5:45pm boooo. Getting interesting here on the GC.
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Quoting TampaSpin:


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

Yep. The surface low has been fairly consistently forecast in the daily discussions for the Houston, TX area. Both the ECMWF and GFS have been sticking on a feature forming, the biggest difference is exact placement (how far off the coast). Surprisingly, the timing has been nearly identical for the past 2 days.
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Quoting Floodman:
That's why I like the detente that you and I have come to...I'm not really foaming at the mouth on the yes it is happening side and you aren't too far the other way and we agree to disagree.

Regardless, "the sky is falling" ain't true, and based on the preliminary results "business as usual" isn't true either. Like most subjects that polarize us, it isn't the real data that polarizes us, it's the people that represent the two sides that do


that might be the BEST POST of the day - IMHO
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Quoting AussieStorm:

I actually got married in the full Scottish kilt. And went to a friends wedding in Scotland wearing a kilt. Oh and I did it the pure scots man's way. ;-)


Ahhh, so Aussie is an exhibitionist! Now worries, friend, we take all kinds here...LOL
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 9922
Quoting AresPathfinder:
Flood wonderfully put... Politics and science make rather bad bedfellows. IMO good scientist should be really skeptical. Anthropogenic warming is a fact. The sky is falling is a knee jerk, feel good reactionary...


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
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 9922
Quoting PcolaDan:


That's why, they gave it too them, anything free... Now if they had charged for it...

Yes, I'm an oddity, I like the bagpipe. But then again, if I had gone to that wedding, I would have had a kilt and SPORRAN too.

I actually got married in the full Scottish kilt. And went to a friends wedding in Scotland wearing a kilt. Oh and I did it the pure scots man's way. ;-)
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Quoting NEwxguy:
Heading into a stormy pattern next week along the east coast


Yep it sure looks like.....about as bad as what the Pats defense thinks of their head coach now Stormy times ahead......LOL
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Heading into a stormy pattern next week along the east coast
Member Since: September 6, 2007 Posts: 862 Comments: 15079


This is a very long range which i hardly take alot of stock in but, a pattern is sure showing with alot of NorEastern coming it appears.......Good for them......LOL
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Quoting P451:


Yeah, that's not tropical development being hinted by the models. It's a winter low being hinted. Strap in...it's going to be an interesting winter!





Yep its from the SubTropical Jet stream....if it stays this pronounced it is going to be a ruogh one up the East Coast.
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Looks like a Surface low develops and becomes one bad ass NorEaster....
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450. g'mornin' StormW! :)
Member Since: September 14, 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 3963


Seismic Monitor

AOI

AOI

Humor in Comments
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CMC 120hrs out..
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445. true...
Member Since: September 14, 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 3963
I really don't see how much could develop with the Shear forecast as it appears very high in that area for some time.
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Flood wonderfully put... Politics and science make rather bad bedfellows. IMO good scientist should be really skeptical. Anthropogenic warming is a fact. The sky is falling is a knee jerk, feel good reactionary...
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Quoting P451:
Good Morning. Ex-Nor'Easter-Ida Still swirling out there. Looking a little better organized. To what end is anyone's guess.

24 HR WV Loop






Why is it still of interest? Well, it still has a chance to develop into either an STS or an extratropical low, and mostly that it's been alive for 18 days now as a notable entity.



I noticed that this AM also. Starting to get into some warmer water.
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120hrs out......
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bye, bye, Anja...
Member Since: September 14, 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 3963
438. downer, dude! LOL
Member Since: September 14, 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 3963
Probably SubTropical from the tailend of another stalled cold front.
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Maybe 1 more named storm is possible......this is the GFS 96hrs out ......the CMC is also hinting at something developing.
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436. woohoo! tick-tock, tick-tock :)
Member Since: September 14, 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 3963
Quoting IKE:
330 hours...
21 minutes...and it's officially over...

TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
700 AM EST TUE NOV 17 2009

FOR THE NORTH ATLANTIC...CARIBBEAN SEA AND THE GULF OF MEXICO...

TROPICAL CYCLONE FORMATION IS NOT EXPECTED DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS.

$$
FORECASTER AVILA



Kind of nice to see the countdown in hours now
Member Since: September 6, 2007 Posts: 862 Comments: 15079
433. oh, puleeeeeeeeez...humid in Dallas in August? NOT...it's like a freaking oven! hahaha! all of the moisture evaporated in June!

humid is August in Houston or Tampa! :)
Member Since: September 14, 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 3963
432. well, i agree that we need to study the situation more and be open to the possibility that the data, when properly gathered and analyzed, may not tell us what we would like it to. hysteria crowds out discussion...
Member Since: September 14, 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 3963
Quoting pearlandaggie:
429. "in the summer"...LMAO...it's NOT hard be accurate in the summer in Dallas! :)


BINGO!

Let's see; what should I forecast today...hot and not humid, or less humid and hot...
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 9922
That's why I like the detente that you and I have come to...I'm not really foaming at the mouth on the yes it is happening side and you aren't too far the other way and we agree to disagree.

Regardless, "the sky is falling" ain't true, and based on the preliminary results "business as usual" isn't true either. Like most subjects that polarize us, it isn't the real data that polarizes us, it's the people that represent the two sides that do
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 9922
who was the guy with the bowtie?

EDIT...i think it came to me...Troy Dungan? LOL
Member Since: September 14, 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 3963
429. "in the summer"...LMAO...it's NOT hard be accurate in the summer in Dallas! :)
Member Since: September 14, 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 3963
Sorry, Pearland...he's a local met here in the DFW area...very old school and (I'm going to blasted by someone in here) not too terribly accurate, except in the summer...
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 9922

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About JeffMasters

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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