Maria brushes Bermuda; 24-hour blitz by Climate Reality Project underway

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:27 PM GMT on September 15, 2011

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Tropical Storm Maria is roaring past Bermuda, bringing winds near tropical storm force. At 11 am local time, winds at the Bermuda airport were sustained at 36 mph, just below the 39 mph threshold of tropical storm strength. Outer spiral bands of Maria have brought a few brief heavy rain squalls to the island, as seen on Bermuda radar. The core of Maria is now at its closest point of approach to the island, about 150 miles (240 km) to the west, and the island may yet see an hour of two of sustained winds of 40 - 45 mph. Maria is headed north-northeast, and will brush Newfoundland, Canada on Friday afternoon. Since Newfoundland will be on the weak (left) side of a rapidly weakening Maria, I'm not expecting much in the way of wind damage from the storm in Canada, though heavy rains may cause isolated minor to moderate flooding. Top sustained winds in St. Johns will probably be in the 25 - 35 mph range Friday afternoon, though a few hours of tropical storm force winds of 40 - 45 mph are possible if Maria ends up tracking farther west than expected.


Figure 1. Radar image of Tropical Storm Maria taken at 10:13 am EDT September 15, 2011. Image credit: Bermuda Weather Service.

Elsewhere in the tropics
Even the busiest of hurricane seasons have lulls, and we're hitting one this week during what is traditionally the busiest week of hurricane season. A westward-moving tropical wave a few hundred miles south of the Cape Verde Islands, off the coast of Africa, has a modest amount of poorly organized heavy thunderstorm activity. This wave is under a moderate 10 - 20 knots of wind shear, is in a moist environment, and is over warm waters, so has the potential for some development, though NHC is currently not mentioning it in their Tropical Weather Outlook. The UKMET and NOGAPS models predict this wave could develop into a tropical depression 5 - 6 days from now. The NOGAPS model continues to predict the Western Caribbean off the coast of Nicaragua could see the development of a tropical depression 6 - 7 days from now, but the other models are showing little support for this scenario.


Figure 2. Heidi Cullen of Climate Central introduces Boulder, Colorado teacher John Zavalney, one of the presenters of the Climate Reality Project's 24-hour live streaming special.

The Climate Reality Project
The Climate Reality Project (climaterealityproject.org) is a little more than halfway through their live, 24-hour streaming video effort that features 24 different presenters for 24 hours, representing every time zone around the globe. The presentations began last night at 7 pm EDT, and will end tonight at 7 pm EDT. It's worth checking out; there have been some interesting presentations and some dull ones. Interspersed with the presentations are panel discussions with some slick Google Earth graphics; last night's discussions were led by Heidi Cullen of Climate Central, who is a rarity--a very personable and well-spoken scientist, and someone you'll be seeing on TV much more in coming years. The Climate Reality Project showed one excellent video tracking the history of industry-funded denial of science that began with the tobacco industry, something I've discussed as well in post called The Manufactured Doubt Industry and the hacked email controversy. Also shown were two cute 15 - 30 second comedy videos. But while the Climate Reality Project's 24-hour blitz has already gotten 3 million people to tune in, its documentary-style tone and Powerpoint lectures will not be engaging enough to keep most visitors around for more than a few minutes. Ph.D. oceanographer Randy Olson, who left a tenure-track professorship to become a Hollywood film maker, has written an excellent book called Don't be Such a Scientist, about the failure of scientists to communicate in way that will engage people (I thought so highly of the book that I bought 20 copies of the book to give away to students at the University of Michigan's Department of Atmospheric Science this year.) In the latest post in his blog, The Benshi, Olson outlines how the climate community has failed in the main way needed to engage an audience: create a likable voice through the effective telling of stories, which is a less literal means of communication and is less cerebral and thus reaches a mass audience. Future efforts at communication by the climate science community really need to work on using the telling of stories by likable voices in order to get their message across, and I highly recommend that all climate scientists who do public outreach read Olson's book "Don't be Such a Scientist."

Jeff Masters

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Quoting BaltimoreBrian:
50 ways to leave your planet. But will we go?




My bags are packed. I have heard something about the closer you get to approaching the speed of light, the more time slows down. At my age, that would be the closest I could get to finding the fountain of youth! ... Who needs Ponce de Leon? I have LIGHT SPEED!
Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 4737
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:


lol, well, any other time I would. But...Its sleep time, not listen to rain and thunder time, lol.

You live in MS right? You don't know what storms are until you've lived in Texas.

Jeez..We had tornadic storms so much that we got used to the tornado sirens =P


Louisiana actually. We have lots of lightning storms here, but few tornadoes (lots of warnings, though). We also get straight line winds in excess of 50-60 mph annually, which I must admit I look forward to. lol
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Quoting Neapolitan:

Excellent article. Thanks. I read a lot of science fiction as a kid, so became enamored of the idea of living under a double sun. I assumed--and later read--that the tidal pull between, and necessarily rapid rotations of, the binary stars would lead to grotesque equatorial bulges, with either or both members displaying a prominent oblate spheroidal shape, and with the primary member drawing plumes of gaseous matter from its companion. I've also read that, because of this imbalance and the abnormal transfer of matter, binary systems would be unstable and thus only to last for a relatively short time. I'm sure a lot would have to do with the mass of the members, their sizes relative to each other, their relative ages, and, of course, the distance between them and eccentricity of their orbits.

Anyway, again: excellent. That's amazing...


Thanks :) Glad you enjoyed it :)

The kind of behaviour you're talking about does happen -- particularly when the two stars in question are very close to one another. It's mainly down to the effect of tides (the strength of which, if I remember right, varies as the inverse-fourth power of the separation - so if you double the distance between two objects, the tidal drag on them drops by something like a factor of 16!). So the stars when you get material sloughing from one to the other are generally cases when the two are very close to one another, and when one of them has swelled up in its later years, filling what's known as it's Roche lobe (which means, essentially, that its upper layers are quite weakly bound to it, and it's easy for them to overflow and for material to pour across the gap.

In this case, the two stars in question are sufficiently separated that they're likely fairly "normal" - i.e. nearly spherical, rather than particularly strongly oblate.

It's also true that two stars rather than one will make things less stable than otherwise you'd expect -- but the secondary star here is quite small and puny, relatively speaking, so it doesn't appear to be a problem in this case. Might have prevented any planets forming fairly close in to the binary though, but I haven't done the modelling, so can't say for sure :D
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814. KYDan
Quoting pottery:

It's too late already.
We're DOOMED as of next year.
An Aztec Scribe said so.
So it MUST be true. After all, they also invented Dark Chocolate. Wise people, them Aztec.


Mayan scribes, or more exactly calendar chiselers.;-)
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Here are a couple of links that might be relevant to the latest gossip. They come from Wikipedia (yay!) which has survived despite being editable by anyone--sort of like this blog.

link1

link2
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812. txjac
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:


lol, well, any other time I would. But...Its sleep time, not listen to rain and thunder time, lol.

You live in MS right? You don't know what storms are until you've lived in Texas.

Jeez..We had tornadic storms so much that we got used to the tornado sirens =P


Love sleeping in the rain and thunder ..miss it much
Member Since: April 24, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 2475
Quoting PensacolaDoug:



Didn't you see "Jurassic Park?" Life always finds a way!


Maybe. But I wonder. Why aren't the clouds green with bacteria?
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Quoting KoritheMan:


Were I you, I would be hoping they come directly over me. Not wishing anything dastardly on you, but I love extreme weather.
I was thinking the same thing lol

Unless there's a tornado on the ground
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50 ways to leave your planet. But will we go?


Quoting Some1Has2BtheRookie:


It will be toasty and there will be no doubt where the extra heat is coming from. Fortunately, we have a couple of days left to pack our bags. ;-)
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Quoting bohonkweatherman:
My daughter is doing well, after 8 days she had water and electricity, her log cabin survived. My ex is living in a mobile home about 20 miles away, someone gave her free furniture in Austin. Things are getting better every day.


That is EXCELLENT news! I am very glad to hear that. I believe that I am safe in saying that all of us here wish her the best and that all others effected will recover soon.

I heard of the donations being sent in to everyone there. I hope they get all they need!
Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 4737
Quoting KoritheMan:


Were I you, I would be hoping they come directly over me. Not wishing anything dastardly on you, but I love extreme weather.


lol, well, any other time I would. But...Its sleep time, not listen to rain and thunder time, lol.

You live in MS right? You don't know what storms are until you've lived in Texas.

Jeez..We had tornadic storms so much that we got used to the tornado sirens =P
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting txjac:


Congratulations, interesting article


Thanks :) Glad you enjoyed it :) It's actually a great website, too -- the whole idea of the place is that they get people in the relevant fields to write their articles on research stories - which means (in theory) you get pieces that are less likely to mis-sell or mis-represent the work :) Since they asked me for the first article I did for them, I've been reading stuff on their site all the time, and have had a fair few I've been tempted to link over here, but didn't bother in the end 'cos I didn't want to provoke too much of an AGW fight :P
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Quoting BaltimoreBrian:
I wonder if land life could have gotten started without tide pools.





Didn't you see "Jurassic Park?" Life always finds a way!
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Marie's brief kiss has turned into a warm, sloppy embrace. Near 100% humidity, no wind, but still 18 degrees C at near midnight. Blech. Ain't gonna sleep well tonight.

Granted, could be much, much worse.
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Quoting scooster67:
I thought you just got an Acre?



i took it back and got Toshiba




did not like the Acer keyboard too letters too small
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Strong storms headed this way..Showing some signs of rotation. Hopefully they will pass just north, but I doubt it.


Were I you, I would be hoping they come directly over me. Not wishing anything dastardly on you, but I love extreme weather.
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Well, I'm off for the night.

Night WU'ers.
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Quoting AvidWeatherHound:


Do you not love the Toshiba? My little net book has an 8 hour battery life. Bought my son a Toshiba laptop for college 3 years ago and still going strong. One of the best brands on the market in my opinion.



i love Toshiba
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Quoting TomTaylor:
that statement may have a little truth to it, but ocean currents certainly won't stop and it won't cause ecosystems to collapse, although coastal marine environments could be impacted fairly significantly.

Even without the moon, the sun accounts for some of our tides. Therefore tides would not cease to exist. Also, deep ocean currents are primarily driven by water densities. Since water temperature and salt concentrations are the primary factors determining water density, they are the primary drivers for deep ocean currents. Since water temperature differences are mostly due to solar radiation differences and salt densities are mostly driven by polar ice melt, in the absence of tides, deep ocean currents would not disappear. At the surface, winds also create ocean currents. Winds are driven by air pressure differences caused by differential heating and humidity, therefore wind driven ocean currents would also remain.


It is true, that the moon is very gradually moving further away from our planet, and it is true that the length of our days are being very very slightly, although its something like 2 seconds every 100 years.
We would not be here without the moon and if we loose it, it will make the worse GW scenario look like a picnic.
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Quoting AvidWeatherHound:


Do you not love the Toshiba? My little net book has an 8 hour battery life. Bought my son a Toshiba laptop for college 3 years ago and still going strong. One of the best brands on the market in my opinion.
What ever you do avoid getting your child anything from Emachines and samsung.....they SUCK really badly.I brought my daughter a laptop for christmas and with in 3 months it went to waste.Damn(SHM).
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Quoting Tazmanian:
i love my new Toshiba
I thought you just got an Acre?
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I wonder if land life could have gotten started without tide pools.


Quoting TomTaylor:
that statement may have a little truth to it, but ocean currents certainly won't stop and it won't cause ecosystems to collapse, although coastal marine environments could be impacted fairly significantly.

Even without the moon, the sun accounts for some of our tides. Therefore tides would not cease to exist. Also, deep ocean currents are primarily driven by water densities. Since water temperature and salt concentrations are the primary factors determining water density, they are the primary drivers for deep ocean currents. Since water temperature differences are mostly due to solar radiation differences and salt densities are mostly driven by polar ice melt, in the absence of tides, deep ocean currents would not disappear. At the surface, winds also create ocean currents. Winds are driven by air pressure differences caused by differential heating and humidity, therefore wind driven ocean currents would also remain.


It is true, that the moon is very gradually moving further away from our planet, and it is true that the length of our days are being very very slightly, although its something like 2 seconds every 100 years.
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Quoting Tazmanian:




Acer LOL i took it right back and got me a Toshiba


Do you not love the Toshiba? My little net book has an 8 hour battery life. Bought my son a Toshiba laptop for college 3 years ago and still going strong. One of the best brands on the market in my opinion.
Member Since: September 5, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 78
Strong storms headed this way..Showing some signs of rotation. Hopefully they will pass just north, but I doubt it.
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Quoting twincomanche:
"Since without these tides there would no ocean currents and without currents the food chain would be disrupted."

Why?
that statement may have a little truth to it, but ocean currents certainly won't stop and it won't cause ecosystems to collapse, although coastal marine environments could be impacted fairly significantly.

Even without the moon, the sun accounts for some of our tides. Therefore tides would not cease to exist. Also, deep ocean currents are primarily driven by water densities. Since water temperature and salt concentrations are the primary factors determining water density, they are the primary drivers for deep ocean currents. Since water temperature differences are mostly due to solar radiation differences and salt densities are mostly driven by polar ice melt, in the absence of tides, deep ocean currents would not disappear. At the surface, winds also create ocean currents. Winds are driven by air pressure differences caused by differential heating and humidity, therefore wind driven ocean currents would also remain.


It is true, that the moon is very gradually moving further away from our planet, and it is true that the length of our days are being very very slightly, although its something like 2 seconds every 100 years gets added on to every day.
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Quoting Some1Has2BtheRookie:


How is your daughter doing?
My daughter is doing well, after 8 days she had water and electricity, her log cabin survived. My ex is living in a mobile home about 20 miles away, someone gave her free furniture in Austin. Things are getting better every day.
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Toshiba rocks
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Quoting AvidWeatherHound:


I thought you got an Acer. I just got a Toshiba Net Book for my birthday and I am loving it!




Acer LOL i took it right back and got me a Toshiba
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:


?



nevere mine
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Quoting Tazmanian:
i love my new Toshiba


I thought you got an Acer. I just got a Toshiba Net Book for my birthday and I am loving it!
Member Since: September 5, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 78
DFWjc 778 *snicker*
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Quoting Tazmanian:
give me a break!


?
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Quoting DFWjc:




Thank you. I rather gathered that. :)
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780. DFWjc
Quoting Tazmanian:
i love my new Toshiba


what model did you get, i'm in the market for a new portable, my sony is 3 yrs old
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Quoting Bielle:


I saw the first Harry Potter movie, and the one before that was the second Star Wars. I gather Tom Hanks is an actor.


Tom Hanks is an actor. The references have been towards his starring role in the movie, "Apollo 13". This is an excellent movie that chronicles the events of Apollo 13 and our nearly losing 3 astronauts on their way to a moon landing. .. A movie that is well done and worth watching. Directed by Ron Howard.
Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 4737
778. DFWjc
Quoting BaltimoreBrian:
I believe Tom Hanks is best known for "Bachelor Party" back in 1984. He may have been in some movies since. ;)


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Quoting Neapolitan:

That'll work. Thanks. So perhaps it's not as rare as I thought for a storm to stay at TS strength for so long. Still, I don't imagine it's exactly commonplace, either...


I'm not gonna say there hasn't been a tropical storm that stayed a tropical storm continuously for longer than that. To be honest I just went back a couple years. Could be a good question to email to the NHC.
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i love my new Toshiba
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Quoting BaltimoreBrian:
Looking back here is a partial answer to Neapolitan's question about the length of time a system has been a tropical storm, without breaks. No intervening weakening to a depression, no strengthening to a hurricane.

Tropical storm Fay became a tropical storm at 5 p.m. August 15, 2008. And maintained that status through 8 p.m. (7 p.m. CDT) August 23. 195 hours, and then weakened to a depression after her eighth landfall.

Tropical storm Marie was a tropical storm for exactly the same length of time, from 11 a.m. September 7 though 2 p.m. September 15. 195 hours. Then became a hurricane.

Here is Fay's advisory archive.

Fay and Marie share the record for the past few years for storms with the longest duration at tropical storm strength.

That'll work. Thanks. So perhaps it's not as rare as I thought for a storm to stay at TS strength for so long. Still, I don't imagine it's exactly commonplace, either...
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I believe Tom Hanks is best known for "Bachelor Party" back in 1984. He may have been in some movies since. ;)
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Quoting Patrap:
I never use the Buttons,,period.


They a distinct distraction in every way
And adding the tally next to them only makes things worse. Bad idea.

(Gee, I hope what I just said was liked, maybe a plus 10 ) :)
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772. DFWjc
Quoting Bielle:


I saw the first Harry Potter movie, and the one before that was the second Star Wars. I gather Tom Hanks is an actor.


(mouth hits the floor) Yes, he is....
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Um yeah if anybody wants to talk about anything about any problems on the main blog and what to do about it come over to my blog.
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give me a break!
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Quoting Bielle:


Thank you. With your explanation, and a little time on Wikipedia (Signal Conditioning Equipment (SCE)), I now get the denotation. You patience is appreciated.


Its a fine Weather,engineering story to be sure.

Enjoy this look back from the HBO series ,,as that happened,from the "actors"
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 421 Comments: 127636
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:


No.



Hmmmm. I just sent them a note asking why. Oh well.
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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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