Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.
By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 1:59 AM GMT on October 10, 2005
OK, this is definitely a weird storm. First of all, it's ridiculous that we're up to a "V" storm in early October. Second of all, Vince formed in a very unusual location--off the coast of Portugal--and in a region where water temperatures are only about 24 C. No tropical storm has ever formed so far north and east. Thirdly, Vince is incredibly tiny--and now a hurricane! I know I always harp on the rule that a water temperature of at least 26C is needed for tropical storm formation to occur, but we can bend that rule a little when a tropical storm forms from a pre-existing non-tropical low pressure system that sits over water for many days, and gradually acquires a warm core. As we've already seen, the Hurricane Season of 2005 doesn't care much about what is usual. The storm was too far east to fit on our newer tracking maps, so I dusted off some European maps for the purpose.
Vince is in a strange location, but not unprecedented. Vince is pretty far east--18.6 West longitude at the 5pm EDT advisory--but there have been hurricanes that have been even further east than Vince. For example, in 1965, Hurricane Carol made it to 17.8 West near the coast of Portugal before being downgraded from a hurricane to a tropical storm. And in 1961, Hurricane Debbie hit Ireland as a Category 1 hurricane, passing longitude 8 West before losing hurricane characteristics (sorry my maps don't extend all the way to Europe, I'm going to have to fix this). So, Vince's location isn't unprecedented, and you can't blame Vince on global warming, given that Vince is forming in such cold waters! But this sure is a weird exclamation mark to put on the end of a once-in-a-lifetime hurricane season.
The rest of my discussion from this morning appears below, unchanged.
Vince won't be with us for long. A cold front approaching Europe will pick up Vince Tuesday morning, and cold water and wind shear will tear Vince apart. Vince's remains should bring Portugal and Spain heavy rains and winds gusts to 45 mph on Tuesday. Portugal gets the remains of tropical storms every 5 - 10 years, on average. This occurred most recently in October 1998 with Jeanne.
Subtropical Depression 22
Subtropical Depression 22 dissipated Saturday evening, torn apart by wind shear. Its remnants will continue west towards the Carolinas, but are not expected to regenerate or bring significant rains to the U.S., as the wind shear is too high (30 knots) for re-development to occur.
What's behind TD 22?
The tropical disturbance we've been following near 15N 53W, about 450 miles east of the Lesser Antilles Islands, has a low level circulation, but the cloud pattern is disorganized. Development is not expected today or Monday, but some slow development after that is possible.
A strong upper-level low north of Puerto Rico is creating a large curved band of disturbed weather from the Bahamas through the central Caribbean to the Leeward Islands. No development is likely in this area until Tuesday, when the low is expected to weaken and move north and reduce the amount of wind shear over the area. Several of the computer models predict that a tropical storm could form from this disturbed area of weather by mid-week and move north to threaten Bermuda.
Figure 1. Model tracks for suspect area east of the Lesser Antilles Islands.
There is no new news on Stan's death toll today, which remains at about 1500. Stan now ranks as one of the 30 most deadly hurricanes of all time. Stan now surpasses Katrina as the most deadly hurricane of 2005; Katrina's death toll stood at 1242 at last count, with 1003 of the deaths in Louisiana.
Figure 2.Total precipition for the year (PC = precipitation in incehs) from a station in Guatemala. During a 5-day period of rain from Stan, this station picked up 17 inches of rain.
The grim task of recovering bodies in Guatemala continues today, where the entire town of Panabaj in western Guatemala was buried in a landslide, killing all 800 residents. The entire village may be declared a mass grave, as rescuers move on to find victims of more survivable mudslides. Another 600 died in mudslides elsewhere in Guatemala. The storm also killed 67 people in El Salvador, 24 in Mexico and 11 in Nicaragua. Hundreds more are missing and presumed buried under landslides near Lake Atitlan in Guatemala.
The next update will be Monday around 10 am.
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