Southeast U.S. drought: another Tropical Storm Alberto needed

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 11:26 AM GMT on April 19, 2012

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Today is my last day in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, where 700 of the world's hurricane experts are gathered to attend the 30th Conference on Hurricanes and Tropical Meteorology of the American Meteorological Society. It's been a great week of learning and catching up with old friends, and I present below a few final summaries of talks I attended.

Impact of Tropical Cyclones on drought alleviation in the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts
Dr. Pat Fitzpatrick of the Stennis Space Center in Mississippi discussed how landfalling tropical storms and hurricanes can alleviate drought. The biggest winner tends to be the Southeast U.S. states of Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina, where about 20% - 50% of all droughts between 1960 - 2009 were busted by a landfalling tropical storm or hurricane. It is uncommon for Texas to see a drought busted; less than 10% of all Texas droughts have been ended by a hurricane or tropical storm. This occurs because the Southeast U.S. can receive heavy rains from hurricanes moving up the East Coast, or moving through the Gulf of Mexico, while relatively few storms track over Texas. Over the course of a year, hurricanes and tropical storms contribute 15 - 20% of rain along the Gulf Coast, and 3 - 16% along the East Coast. The length of a drought does not seem to affect whether a drought can be ended by a hurricane or not. Hurricanes have been able to end both short (< 3 month) and long (> 12 month droughts) equally well.


Figure 1. Example of a drought-busting tropical storm. Moderate drought (Palmer Drought Severity Index, PDSI, ≤ –2.0) was present in 52 percent of the Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina climate divisions in May 2006. The percentage decreased to 29 percent after Tropical Storm Alberto passed through on June 11 - 15, 2006. Image credit: U.S. Drought Monitor.


Figure 2. Rainfall in inches from the passage of Tropical Storm Alberto in 2006. Image credit: NOAA/HPC.

According to the U.S. drought monitor, over 90% of the area of Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina are currently in moderate to exceptional drought. There is 1 - 2 inches of rain coming to much of the region over the next few days, but that will not be enough to bust the drought. Based on Dr. Fitzpatrick's research, there is a 20% - 50% chance that the drought will be broken by a tropical storm or hurricane. The first storm on the list in 2012 is Alberto again; let's hope we get another Alberto this year that imitates the 2006 version of Alberto.

Patterns of rapid intensification
Peter Yaukey of the University of New Orleans studied patterns of hurricane rapid intensification in the Atlantic from 1950 - 2009. The Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean saw the most rapid intensification events, and the Northeast Atlantic the fewest. Interestingly, he found that rapid intensification events did not peak in September, but tended to be more common in June and July. Hurricane are less likely to intensify in the late afternoon and early evening (near 00 UTC), and more likely to intensify just after midnight, at 06 UTC.

Jeff Masters

TS Alberto Surfer (Loyce)
This surfer was taking advantage of the storm with the high waves in the height of Tropical Storm Alberto.
TS Alberto Surfer
Alberto feederband (earthlydragonfly)
At about 2 am a feederband passed through Winter Garden. My weatherstation recorded a 40mph wind gust and a pretty server drop and barometric pressure. I got this shot last night as well. Really not much lightning in these storms
Alberto feederband

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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Some of you should change your profile pictures sometimes. Just sayin'.


I don't like change!
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Quoting Hurricanes101:


Or better yet

How heavy were the Stone Tablets you were bringing to Moses?


About 2 1/2 ephahs, I think.
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Quoting GeoffreyWPB:


He broke the champagne bottle on the Nina, Maria and Santa Maria.

"Pinta", surely?
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 23105
Quoting MahFL:


How well does it work during the monsoon season ?

Probably not very well, I would imagine.
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---

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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

Hey, I have a question Gro.

Did you ever get to meet Christopher Columbus?


No, he was sailing West and we were going East. Remember, the Vikings beat him by about 500 years.
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322. MahFL
Quoting wxmod:
http://india.nydailynews.com/newsarticle/4f8ffff4 846a56db58000000/asia-s-largest-solar-park-functio nal-in-gujarat-state


How well does it work during the monsoon season ?
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Quoting aspectre:
316 pottery: Well, judging from your avatar, you are sort of nondescript...

Ninja training.

Brilliant!
There was a post the other night talking about La Ninja causing this strange weather down here.
I thought it was a great typo. Made me spill my beverage..
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 23105
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

Hey, I have a question Gro.

Did you ever get to meet Christopher Columbus?


Or better yet

How heavy were the Stone Tablets you were bringing to Moses?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
316 pottery: Well, judging from your avatar, you are sort of nondescript...

Ninja training.
Member Since: August 21, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 4860
Quoting Grothar:


Why? I look the same as I did 50 years ago.

Hey, I have a question Gro.

Did you ever get to meet Christopher Columbus?
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Some of you should change your profile pictures sometimes. Just sayin'.


Why? I look the same as I did 50 years ago.
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Quoting aspectre:
The forum program don' like my looks.

Well, judging from your avatar, you are sort of nondescript..
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 23105
310 TropicalAnalystwx13: Some of you should change your profile pictures sometimes.

The forum program don' like my looks... any of 'em.
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Quoting GeoffreyWPB:


You are a member. We all respect you.

LOL to that.
Good to see you!
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Global Warming & 173 Climate Change Myths

Here is a summary of global warming and climate change myths, sorted by recent popularity vs what science says. Click the response for a more detailed response. You can also view them sorted by taxonomy, by popularity, in a print-friendly version, with short URLs or with fixed numbers you can use for permanent references.

http://www.skepticalscience.com/argument.php
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Some of you should change your profile pictures sometimes. Just sayin'.

Why??
We never change.....
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Copious quantities of convection here today.
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Some of you should change your profile pictures sometimes. Just sayin'.
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Quoting pottery:
What is this?
Some kind of Self Worth Society?


You are a member. We all respect you.
Member Since: September 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 10589
Excuse my Bad Manners, please!

Good evening.

:):))
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 23105
What is this?
Some kind of Self Worth Society?
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 23105
Quoting Grothar:


You're OK,Geoff!


Thank you Gro.
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Quoting GeoffreyWPB:


I like being demonstrative.


You're OK,Geoff!
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Quoting Grothar:


Writing 'multiple paragraphs' would suffice.


I like being demonstrative.
Member Since: September 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 10589
Quoting GeoffreyWPB:


And another suggestion…Posting paragraph, after paragraph, after paragraph of a copy and paste, and then highlighting one sentence in bold…Just post the bold and a corresponding link.


Writing 'multiple paragraphs' would suffice.
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272 wxmod: Asia's largest solar park functional in Gujarat state

283 RTSplayer: Seem's like they are...losing about half their area on access paths.

Nope. Rann of Kuth is at ~24.1degreesNorth. The Earth's axial tilt is ~23.4degrees. From the short shadows on the picture, one could deduce that the picture was taken near-noon nearSummerSolstice: ie near the Sun's highest angle above Rann of Kuth.
The solar panels have to be separated for the lowest solar-noon Sun-angle on the WinterSolstice so that the more southern panels won't shade the more northern panels.
Such overlap shading would reduce overall efficiency, and cause excess stress on any given*panel because of the differences in heat expansion between the shaded and unshaded portions

Besides, the site was chosen because it's wasteland. It ain't as if they coulda grown crops insteada wasting the land on aisle space.

* Except those in the southernmost row.
Member Since: August 21, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 4860
Quoting caneswatch:


A fine example of winning!


And another suggestion…Posting paragraph, after paragraph, after paragraph of a copy and paste, and then highlighting one sentence in bold…Just post the bold and a corresponding link.
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Quoting Grothar:


youaresorightGeoff!


A fine example of winning!
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Quoting Grothar:


youaresorightGeoff!


Short and right to the point! Good example Grothar.
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Tropical Atlantic vertical shear

Eastern Pacific vertical shear

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Quoting GeoffreyWPB:
Just a suggestion Largo...Tighten up your posts. Just the important highlights and a link. Trust me, this will be greatly appreciated when hurricane season begins.


youaresorightGeoff!
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Senate Hearings Focus on Threat of Sea Level Rise

ClimateCentral.org Link (1)

"Senator Murkowski (R-Ak) called the new report's findings "a wakeup call" to near-term climate change risks."

Graphic showing populations & energy facilities (including nuclear) below the 4' mark. (four foot above sea level)

ClimateCentral.org Link (2)

I don't brake for trolls!
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Wow, the most recent GFS doesn't even look like its showing a low at all now in the gulf and not only looks weak for severe threat but it doesn't even look that impressive rainfall wise either. Gosh why is weather so freakin unpredictable in Florida. This makes things that much more complicated. With such a stubborn dry streak we have had, we better watch the model runs closely tomorrow to make sure the other models don't start backing off too, the NAM still looks pretty solid but it backed off a lot on intensity of the low and severe weather, so we shall see.
Member Since: August 21, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 6895
Popocatepetl volcano covers 30 communities with ash...ranging from a light dusting to up to 7centimetres(2.8 inches)...
During the eruption, the plume got as high as 6,500feet[*1,981metres]...

* Or 3,937feet(nearly 1,200metres)... One of their numbers is obviously wrong.
Member Since: August 21, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 4860
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Definitely recommend watching James Spann's video segment concerning the April 27, 2011 tornado outbreak.


James Spann is an incredible person. You hardly see T.V. weather men as dedicated and intelligent as he is. He helped so many people during last years Super Outbreak.
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Quoting GTcooliebai:
Live web chat with Meteorologist Dennis Phillips and Logan Mankins from the NWS on the upcoming low pressure area for FL.

Link



Another one? I was watching one earlier, but it was offline now last I checked, it was a great conversation!
Member Since: August 21, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 6895
Live web chat with Meteorologist Dennis Phillips and Logan Mankins from the NWS on the upcoming low pressure area for FL.

Link
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Storms are exploding in TX and OK... No big tornado threat though
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Wikipedia: "West Antarctica, or Lesser Antarctica, one of the two major regions of Antarctica, is the part of the continent that lies within the Western Hemisphere including the Antarctic Peninsula."
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Quoting wxmod:
http://india.nydailynews.com/newsarticle/4f8ffff4 846a56db58000000/asia-s-largest-solar-park-functio nal-in-gujarat-state


Seem's like they are using around 11% efficient panels and losing about half their area on access paths.

I recognize they don't have a lot of spare water in India, so PV is probably the cheapest and most environmentally friendly way to go, but man, parabolic trough boilers are so much more efficient. You could get gigawatts out of that same space if you used boilers instead...
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Good Evening Everyone! Long day at work!..Just getting a chance to look at the latest model runs
CMC




Euro


GFS
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 13481
April 18, 2011

April 18, 2012
Member Since: November 6, 2010 Posts: 9 Comments: 7480
Definitely recommend watching James Spann's video segment concerning the April 27, 2011 tornado outbreak.

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Quoting LargoFl:
I wonder how the Alaska fisheries are doing with all this, I hope they are cheking each and every batch that comes in for radioactivity


No, there are not doing it..... most countries and business are being more "flexible" by admiting higher radiation levels on food... Economics... Radiation effect being hidden or not talked about, even in West Conus.... For me it would be a mandatory need to have a G. Counter and check out food and water before buying it... specially anything that grows in the Pacific area....
Member Since: August 2, 2010 Posts: 21 Comments: 9656

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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.