Hurricanes Igor and Tomas get their names retired

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 8:19 PM GMT on March 27, 2011

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The names Tomas and Igor will no longer be used to name hurricanes in the Atlantic, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) announced this March. Hurricane Igor made landfall near Cape Race, Newfoundland on September 21, 2010, and was that island's most damaging hurricane in 75 years, with $200 million in damage. Hurricane Tomas smashed through the Lesser Antilles Islands on October 30 - 31, 2010, dealing a particularly harsh blow to St. Lucia, where eight died and damage was estimated at $500 million. Tomas also killed 35 people on Haiti, and contributed to a cholera epidemic that killed thousands.


Figure 1. Little Barsway bridge 10 km north of Grand Bank, Newfoundland, after flood waters from Hurricane Igor swept it away. Image credit: George J.B. Rose.


Figure 2. MODIS satellite image of Tropical Storm Tomas taken at 10:30am EDT Saturday October 30, 2010, as the storm began lashing the Lesser Antilles. At the time, Tomas was a Category 1 hurricane with 75 mph winds. Image credit: NASA.

The retirement of hurricane names
The WMO maintains a list of hurricane names for the Atlantic and Eastern Pacific that repeats itself every six years. The names Igor and Tomas in the Atlantic would have appeared again in 2016, but will be replaced by Ian and Tobias. Each spring, the WMO meets to decide if any names should be retired from the list, due to notable death or destruction caused by one of the past season's storms. Any country that is a member of the WMO can request that a name be retired. If a country seriously affected by a hurricane does not request retirement of the name, then the name will not be retired. In the recent past, Mexico, in particular, has been reluctant to request retirement significant storms that have affected them. In 2010, two significant hurricanes affected the country, but Mexico chose not to request retirement of either: Hurricane Alex, which killed twelve people and did $1.5 billion in damage, and Hurricane Karl, which killed 22 and did $206 million in damage. Back in 2005, Mexico also did not request retirement of Hurricane Emily, which made two landfalls in Mexico as a major hurricane, destroying thousands of buildings, but not claiming any lives. A new storm named Emily will appear this year, as we are recycling the names from 2005 that were not retired (2005 holds the record for most retired names, with five.) Probably the best example of a hurricane that did not get its name retired, but deserved to, was Hurricane Gordon of 1994, which killed 1145 people on Haiti. Haiti did not send a representative to the 1995 WMO meeting when retirements for 1994 were decided. Gordon did not affect any other countries strongly enough to motivate them to request retirement, and the name Gordon will be used again in 2012.

Since Atlantic hurricanes began getting women's names in 1953, 76 names have been retired, an average of 1.3 retired names per year. The list includes one tropical storm, Allison of 2001, that caused billions in damage from its heavy rains. The storm with the most appearances so far is Arlene, which has appeared nine times: 1959, 1963, 1967, 1971, 1981, 1987, 1993, 1999, 2005. Arlene will make its tenth appearance this year. One exception to the retirement rule: before 1979, some storm names were simply dropped. For example, in 1966, Fern was substituted for Frieda, and no reason was given. Only three Eastern Pacific hurricanes have had their names retired--Hurricane Ismael of 1995, Hurricane Pauline of 1997, and Hurricane Kenna of 2002. All of these storms hit Mexico.

Cool Katrina animation
A new visualization created by Advanced Visualization Laboratory at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois shows Hurricane Katrina spinning over the Gulf of Mexico during a 36-hour period in August, 2005. The animation is part of a full-length planetarium film called Dynamic Earth screened at the Fulldome UK festival on March 12 - 13. You can see the video at the newscientist.com or DynamicEarth web sites. The video description: Trajectories follow moist air rising into intense "hot tower" thunderstorms, and trace strong winds around the eye wall; rapidly rising air is yellow, sinking air blue. The sun, moon, and stars show the passing of time. The visualization highlights Katrina's awesome power and fierce beauty.

I'll be back with a new post Tuesday or Wednesday.

Jeff Masters

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(surface temps, dewpoints, lapse rates, winds at multiple levels, PW, and forcing all go into how much energy is available)

Whatever, just drop the rain thunderstorm, the water is more valuble than your dynamics
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Quoting RitaEvac:
Just give me the damn rain, all that is needed on the ground

Amen to that!

I'm expecting water restrictions by May in the Houston area, if we don't get some decent rain soonish.
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Just give me the damn rain, all that is needed on the ground
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http://www.flamedia.com/lightning/light.htm

Not much lighting here in Central Florida. We get way more than this in a minute during a typical afternoon thunder storm in the summer. I live in the Conway area of Orlando and only had a very light sprinkle off and on this morning.
Member Since: August 7, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1933
Quoting TampaSpin:


When i say severe i am talking TORNADOS!

Below is the CAPE for Tampa. Nothing severe at all.




Miami has much higher CAPE values.

You and I are on the same page. The biggest thing that can hold back development in the Miami area is the dry slot between 500 and 700mb.
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When i say severe i am talking TORNADOS!

Below is the CAPE for Tampa. Nothing severe at all.




Miami has much higher CAPE values.
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 178 Comments: 20439
Quoting TomasTomas:


He's a hypecaster. Everything is doom and gloom.

Oh, I know. Its a pet peeve of mine, and I can't resist calling him out.
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297. skook
and the sun pops out in tampa!
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Quoting Jedkins01:


lapse rates are quite steep, especially low level lapse rates.

Tampa's sounding from this morning

They are steep, but not awe-inspiring. CAPE is rather low, and while PW is high (1.93"), shear is very low, and I just don't see huge instability in the atmosphere. There is some, but nothing severe-level.
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Activity looks to be headed for Skyepony.
She must have done a rain dance last night.
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Quoting jeffs713:

Thats not a tremendous amount of energy. mid-level temps is not all that goes into what determines CAPE and the amount of potential energy. (surface temps, dewpoints, lapse rates, winds at multiple levels, PW, and forcing all go into how much energy is available)

I know you've been around here for a while, I would have thought that you would know that one factor does not determine a storm's potential...


He's a hypecaster. Everything is doom and gloom.
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Quoting jeffs713:

Thats not a tremendous amount of energy. mid-level temps is not all that goes into what determines CAPE and the amount of potential energy. (surface temps, dewpoints, lapse rates, winds at multiple levels, PW, and forcing all go into how much energy is available)

I know you've been around here for a while, I would have thought that you would know that one factor does not determine a storm's potential...



for sure, which is why I don't think the severe threat is a real big deal. Large scale forcing is weak.


Indeed though, isolated severe storms certainly can't be ruled.
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Quoting RastaSteve:
Tremendous instability here in C FL. It seems storms are now starting to fire everywhere. Lots of lightning with these storms right now near Orlando with torrential rain. that S FL MCS died out because it ran out of energy as all the energy is in C and N FL right now.



It looks like its gonna get real crazy today!

I'm not too worried about the over all severe threat though.
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Quoting RastaSteve:


Energy being -11 to -13 mid level temps and convergence with this stalled front moving into the area. Lots of lightning going on right now.

Thats not a tremendous amount of energy. mid-level temps is not all that goes into what determines CAPE and the amount of potential energy. (surface temps, dewpoints, lapse rates, winds at multiple levels, PW, and forcing all go into how much energy is available)

I know you've been around here for a while, I would have thought that you would know that one factor does not determine a storm's potential...
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Quoting TampaSpin:



I don't certainly see the instablility you are talking of. Yes there will be some rain, but nothing of any severe stuff such as tornados. Just don't see it at all.


lapse rates are quite steep, especially low level lapse rates.
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Quoting jeffs713:

Its right on the edge, imo. I don't think the rain FL is getting right now is really part of the wet season for them, since it isn't related to seabreeze boundaries, but rather because of a stalled out front.
I was almost killed in June-1995 by a flash flood due to a stalled frontal boundary. 15.50 inches of rain in less than 9 hours. It was hideous. I was in Desoto County FL when this occured.
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Quoting hydrus:
Isnt late March still too early for the Florida rainy season to begin..?



Very early to start the rainy season. We rarely see much rain in March nor April. Middle of May is when rain sometimes starts picking up some. MOstly starts around June 1st tho.
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 178 Comments: 20439
Quoting RastaSteve:
Tremendous instability here in C FL. It seems storms are now starting to fire everywhere. Lots of lightning with these storms right now near Orlando with torrential rain. that S FL MCS died out because it ran out of energy as all the energy is in C and N FL right now.



I don't certainly see the instablility you are talking of. Yes there will be some rain, but nothing of any severe stuff such as tornados. Just don't see it at all.
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 178 Comments: 20439
Quoting FirstCoastMan:
Get a sneak preview of the AccuWeather.com 2011 Atlantic Hurricane Season Forecast, which will be released on AccuWeather.com on Wednesday, March 30.They are predicting 15 named storms,8 to become hurricanes,and 3 to become major hurricanes.

Link

and all 15 named storms will hit the NE US, with catastrophic impacts to everything and everyone.
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Get a sneak preview of the AccuWeather.com 2011 Atlantic Hurricane Season Forecast, which will be released on AccuWeather.com on Wednesday, March 30.They are predicting 15 named storms,8 to become hurricanes,and 3 to become major hurricanes.

Link
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Quoting hydrus:
Isnt late March still too early for the Florida rainy season to begin..?

Its right on the edge, imo. I don't think the rain FL is getting right now is really part of the wet season for them, since it isn't related to seabreeze boundaries, but rather because of a stalled out front.
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www.spc.noaa.gov
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 128236
Quoting Tazmanian:
with the wet season starting in FL that means dry season sould be starting in CA
Isnt late March still too early for the Florida rainy season to begin..?
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277. There is some instability, but it definitely isn't "tremendous". Also, N FL isn't as much under the gun right now, as the storms are generally moving W to E, and they aren't popping up. It almost looks like an MCS is trying to form, based on what is coming in from offshore.

As for the hype you have been (and still are) putting onto this storm complex... do you work for accuweather?
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278. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
At 12:00 PM UTC, Severe Tropical Cyclone Bune (967 hPa) located at 29.5S 176.2W has 10 minute sustained winds of 70 knots. The cyclone is reported as moving southeast at 20 knots.

Hurricane Force Winds
=====================
40 NM from the center

Storm Force Winds
====================
120 NM from the center in the southeast semicircle
60 NM from the center in northwest semicircle

Gale Force Winds
=================
260 NM from the center in the sector from southeast through southwest to west
180 NM from the center in the sector from west through north to southeast
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with the wet season starting in FL that means dry season sould be starting in CA
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Quoting GeoffreyWPB:

What the... does SFL have some kind of cap in place? I didn't notice an incredible cap on the sounding...

There is a bit of a dry layer evident, but nothing a decent storm can't blast through.
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Quoting RitaEvac:
I actually dont remember it being this warm for so long in March on the TX coast

Yeah, it is unusual. This week should be a bit cooler (thankfully), with temps near normal, in the 70s. Better enjoy the nice weather later this week, since it counts towards our 3 weeks of spring, before the evilness of summer hits.
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Jet stream took a vacation well north
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I actually dont remember it being this warm for so long in March on the TX coast
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Quoting TampaSpin:





Yep, even the severe weather chances for Florida that the GFS had been showing for Saturday has went bye bye now as well. The GFS had Florida with some very severe stuff moving in on Saturday now, nothing at all.
This model has a stormy pattern for the U.S. also..Link
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Quoting TampaSpin:





Yep, even the severe weather chances for Florida that the GFS had been showing for Saturday has went bye bye now as well. The GFS had Florida with some very severe stuff moving in on Saturday now, nothing at all.

Interesting cutoff ULL looking to develop over Baja at the end of the run...

Also, at the end of the run, because of the ULL, it looks like SE TX may get into the RRQ of the jet, which does help storm development.
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Quoting RitaEvac:
Jeffs713, it was warm this weekend huh

Yes, it definitely was.

I, the incredible genius that I am, decided that Saturday would be my day to do the first full mow of my lawn (I had about 3 weeks of growth). Well, my brand-new (overpowered) mower kept on stalling out on its normal height, so I had to move it up to a couple of levels, AND bag everything (I live on a corner lot, its about 9,000 sq ft of lawn). 6 hours later, I was done.

That said, it was hot enough that I literally lost about 5 lbs (and I was staying hydrated, too), and the sun left me a souvenir consisting of a beautiful sunburn on the back of my neck. This same sunburn hurts whenever I turn my head, and I can feel the heat radiating back from the collar on my polo shirt (dress shirts would be agony). So yeah.. it was rather toasty.

Welcome to summer in Houston... *sigh*
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If you haven't watch the movie "Green Zone" I highly recommend it. it's on cable/satellite now.
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Hello, but doesn't this call for more than sending firemen in with plastic over their shoes?! I am not by any means questioning the committment and bravery of the unfortunate workers who are sent into this lethal mix. I am questioning the World Leaders at this point, who stand by and watch this continuing disaster unfold without applying everything we've got to containing these lethal mixes of radioactive materials.

msnbc.com news services
updated 1 hour 55 minutes ago 2011-03-28T12:13:47
-TOKYO %u2014 Workers at Japan's damaged nuclear plant raced to pump out contaminated water suspected of sending radioactivity levels soaring as officials warned Monday that radiation seeping from the complex was spreading to seawater and soil...

Japan earthquake Updated 115 minutes ago 3/28/2011 12:13:47 PM 00:00 Radiation spreads to Japan's soil, seawater

..Mounting obstacles, missteps and confusion at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear complex have stymied emergency workers struggling to cool down the overheating plant and avert a disaster with global implications. The coastal power plant, located 140 miles northeast of Tokyo, has been leaking radiation since a magnitude-9.0 quake on March 11 triggered a tsunami that engulfed the complex. The wave knocked out power to the system that cools the dangerously hot nuclear fuel rods.

LinktoStory
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Jeffs713, it was warm this weekend huh
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Texas is going to shrivel up and dry
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Quoting jeffs713:

Why do I feel like the HPC is mocking the Houston area? Every time they forecast even a slight chance of solid rain totals, it fades away over the next few forecasts..
Lol...Just like the NOGAPS model during hurricane season..It has a cyclone hitting Nicaragua every week, but vanishes about 12 hours before landfall...
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Quoting jeffs713:

Why do I feel like the HPC is mocking the Houston area? Every time they forecast even a slight chance of solid rain totals, it fades away over the next few forecasts..

I know what you mean. It seems like the stuff evaporates in the dry air before it gets a chance to land...dunno.
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Quoting jeffs713:

Why do I feel like the HPC is mocking the Houston area? Every time they forecast even a slight chance of solid rain totals, it fades away over the next few forecasts..





Yep, even the severe weather chances for Florida that the GFS had been showing for Saturday has went bye bye now as well. The GFS had Florida with some very severe stuff moving in on Saturday now, nothing at all.
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 178 Comments: 20439
Quoting TampaSpin:



Why do I feel like the HPC is mocking the Houston area? Every time they forecast even a slight chance of solid rain totals, it fades away over the next few forecasts..
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It's above us and below us, but hain't got here yet.

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Quoting P451:


Thought I read something last night in a discussion that stated they were not so sure this event was going to come together for the SE quite yet.
NGP ..has lots of rain...Link
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GFS looks good..Link
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Quoting P451:


Thought I read something last night in a discussion that stated they were not so sure this event was going to come together for the SE quite yet.
CMC accum precip looks promising..Link
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Quoting cat5hurricane:

Looking more and more promising...at least in the Sunshine State. We have to work on Texas next!


Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 178 Comments: 20439

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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.