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 , 1:41 PM GMT on October 10, 2005
Vince is definitely an oddball 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. No known tropical storm has ever formed so far north and east. Thirdly, Vince formed in a region where water temperatures were only about 24 C--usually, 26 C is needed! Fourthly, Vince is incredibly tiny--and was a hurricane for about 12 hours!
Vince is in a strange location, but not unprecedented. Vince is pretty far east--16.6 West longitude at the 5am EDT advisory--but there have been hurricanes that have been even further east than Vince. For example, in 1965, Hurricane Carol made it to 16 West near the coast of Portugal before being downgraded from a tropical storm to a tropical depression. And in 1961, Hurricane Debbie hit Ireland as a Category 1 hurricane, passing longitude 8 West before losing hurricane characteristics. So, Vince's location isn't unprecedented. But this sure is a weird exclamation mark to put on the end of a once-in-a-lifetime hurricane season!
Vince won't be with us for long, and is already starting to rapidly decay. He's over cold 23C waters now, and wind shear from the northwest has blown away all the convection on that side, exposing the low-level center. A cold front approaching Europe will pick up Vince Tuesday morning, and finish tearing 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.
New development near Puerto Rico
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. A surface low pressure area has developed just south of Puerto Rico this morning in association with this area, and has rotated northeastward to the east side of Puerto Rico. Some spiral banding has developed to the southeast of this low, and this low will have to be watched for signs it is turning into a tropical depression. This morning, sustained winds of 27 mph, gusting to 33 mph, were observed at St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands. Although wind shear is too high today to support a tropical depression developing in this area, most of the global computer models predict that a tropical storm will form from this disturbed area of weather later this week and move north to threaten Bermuda.
Figure 2. Current radar out of Puerto Rico shows some spiral banding developing in association with a low to the east of the island.
The tropical disturbance we've been following about 300 miles east of the Lesser Antilles Islands remains disorganized, and is not expected to develop in the next two days.
There is no new news on Stan's death toll today, which remains in the 1000 - 2000 range. Most of these deaths occurred in the Lake Atitlan area (see wunderphoto below). Stan now ranks as one of the 30 most deadly hurricanes of all time.
For those of you who want to help out, I suggest a donation to the Guatemalan Red Cross:
399 PARK AVENUE, NEW YORK N.Y. 10043
Banco del Cafe, S. A. Guatemala
For final credit to:
Cruz Roja Guatemalteca Acct Number 81-03-44361-0
The next update will be Monday by 4 pm, or earlier if the Puerto Rico low develops.
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