Europe expected to see a large increase in Hurricane Sandy-like hybrid storms

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 4:18 PM GMT on April 08, 2013

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Watch out, Europe. Dangerous part-hurricane, part extratropical hybrid storms like Hurricane Sandy of 2012 are expected to be an increasing threat for Western Europe by the end of the century due to global warming, said a team of scientists led by Reindert J. Haarsma of the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute. In a paper called "More hurricanes to hit Western Europe due to global warming", published in April 2013 in Geophysical Research Letters, the researchers describe the results from runs of a high-resolution (25 km grid spacing) climate model based on the European Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) numerical weather prediction model. The model predicts that the breeding ground for Atlantic hurricanes will shift approximately 700 miles eastwards as the oceans warm this century. Hurricanes which form farther to the east can spend more time over warm tropical waters before turning north and northeast towards Europe, increasing the odds that these storms will have hurricane-force winds upon arrival in Europe. The model showed that wind shear will change little in the region over the coming decades, resulting in a large increase in storms with hurricane-force winds affecting Western Europe. Most of the these storms will not be tropical hurricanes upon arrival in Europe, but will be former hurricanes that have transitioned to extratropical storms. However, as we saw with Hurricane Sandy of 2012, these hybrid storms can be extremely dangerous. Summed over Norway, the North Sea, and the Gulf of Biscay, the model found that the number of hurricane-force storms in August - October increased from 2 to 13 over the 21st century, with almost all future West European hurricane-force storms predicted to originate as hurricanes or tropical storms in the tropics by 2100. The researchers conclude that "tropical cyclones will increase the probability of present-day extreme events over the North Sea and the Gulf of Biscay with a factor of 5 and 25 respectively, with far reaching consequences especially for coastal safety."


Figure 1. Hurricane Sandy at 10:10 am EDT October 28, 2012. Image credit: NASA/GSFC.

Europe's hurricane history
Only once since accurate records began in 1851 has an actual hurricane with full tropical characteristics hit Europe. This happened on September 16, 1961, when Category 1 Hurricane Debbie hit northwestern Ireland. Wind gusts reached 106 mph at Ballykelly and 104 mph at Tiree and Snaefill, and coastal radio stations reported the airwaves were jammed with calls for help from small ships and fishing craft. Eleven people were killed and 50 injured in the storm. The only other tropical cyclone recorded to have hit Europe since 1851 was Hurricane Vince of 2005, which hit southern Spain as a tropical depression on October 11, 2005. Historical documents also suggest a hurricane hit Spain on October 29, 1842.


Figure 2. Hurricane Debbie of 1961 was the only fully tropical hurricane ever recorded to hit Europe.

Britain's history of ex-hurricane strikes
Hurricanes that transition to powerful extratropical storms hit the British Isles several times per decade, on average. In 2011, Hurricane Katia brushed by Newfoundland, made the transition from a tropical system to a powerful extratropical storm, and maintained strong winds of 50 - 65 mph as it crossed the Atlantic. Ex-Katia hit northern Scotland on September 12, 2011. Glen Ogle, Scotland, at an elevation of 1500 feet (546 meters), received sustained winds of 60 mph, gusting to 86 mph. Cairngorm, in the Scottish Highlands at an elevation of 4085 feet, reported sustained winds of 67 mph. With the trees in full leaf, tree damage was much higher than a winter or springtime storm of similar ferocity would have caused. One person was killed by a falling tree, and heavy tree damage and numerous power failures were reported throughout Britain. Other gusts experienced in Britain included 76 mph at Edinburgh Blackford Hill, 75 mph at Capel Curig in Wales, 72 mph at Glasgow Bishopton, and 71 mph at Loftus, North Yorkshire.


Figure 3. Image of Hurricane Katia taken from the International Space Station at 15 GMT September 9, 2011, by astronaut Ron Garan. At the time, Katia was a Category 1 hurricane with 85 mph winds. Long Island, New York is visible at the lower left.


Figure 4. Surface wind estimate from the Windsat satellite at 4:04 am EDT on Monday, September 12, 2011. The center of Extratropical Storm Katia is marked by an "L", and winds in excess of 50 knots (58 mph, purple triangles) were occurring to the southwest of the center, near the west coast of Ireland. Image credit: NOAA.

As reported by UK Met Office forecaster John Hammond in a post on the BBC 23 degrees blog, Britain has been affected at least eight times in the past twenty years by extratropical storms that were once tropical storms or hurricanes. Before Katia of 2011, the most recent such storm was Hurricane Bill of 2009, which hit Ireland as an extratropical storm on August 25 with sustained winds of 45 mph. Bill was a Category 4 hurricane northeast of the Lesser Antilles five days prior. In 2006, a record three extratropical storms that had once been tropical cyclones hit Britain:

Extratropical Storm Alberto, which had been a strong tropical storm that hit the Florida Panhandle, hit northern Ireland and Scotland as an extratropical storm with 35 mph winds.

Extratropical Storm Gordon hit Ireland on September 21, 2006, with sustained winds of 65 mph. Gordon brought record warm temperatures as tropical air pushed north across the UK, and also strong winds that brought down power lines in Northern Ireland. Wind gusts to 60 mph (97 km/h) occurred in the Isles of Scilly off the southwest coast, and 81 mph (130 km/h) on the mainland.

Extratropical Storm Helene hit Northwestern Ireland on September 27, 2006, with sustained winds of 45 mph.

Figure 5. Path of Hurricane Lili of 1996, which caused $420 million in damage to the U.K. as an extratropical storm.

Other post-tropical cyclones that have the U.K. in the past twenty years include Hurricanes Isaac and Leslie of 2000, Hurricane Karl of 1998, and Hurricane Lili of 1996. The most severe of these storms was Extratropical Storm Lili, which hit Ireland on October 28, 1996, with sustained winds of 65 mph. Lili caused $420 million in damage (2011 dollars) in the U.K. According to Wikipedia, Lili produced a 92 mph (148 km/h) gust at Swansea, South Wales, while bringing a 4' (1.2 meter) storm surge that inundated the River Thames. In Somerset, 500 holiday cottages were severely damaged. A U.S. oil drilling platform, under tow in the North Sea, broke loose during the storm and nearly ran aground at Peterhead. On the Isle of Wight, a sailing boat was beached at Chale Bay; luckily all five occupants were rescued. It was the most damaging storm to have struck the United Kingdom since the Great Storm of 1987, which killed 22 and did $660 million in damage (1996 dollars.) However, Lili also broke a four-month drought over southwest England.

All but one of these storms hit during the peak part of hurricane season, mid-August - late October. The only exception was Ex-Tropical Storm Alberto of 2006, which hit Britain in June.


Figure 6. Hybrid subtropical storm of October 8, 1996, off the coast of Italy. According to Reale and Atlas (2001), the storm had characteristics similar to a hurricane, but formed over cool waters of 21.5°C (71°F.) They reported that "The maximum damage due to wind occurred over the Aeolian Islands, at 38.5°N, 15°E, to the northeast of Sicily: assistance for disaster relief was required. Unfortunately, no weather station data were available, but the media reported sheds, roofs and harbor devices destroyed, and houses and electric lines damaged, due to 'extremely strong westerly wind.' The perfect agreement between the observations at Ustica, the storm scale, the eye-like feature position and the damages over the Aeolian Island reasonably suggest that the hurricane-level intensity of 32 m/s (72 mph) was reached over the Aeolian Islands." A similar hybrid low affected Algeria on 9 - 10 November 2001. This storm produced upwards of 270 mm (10.6") of rain, winds of 33 m/s (74 mph), and killed 737 people near Algiers, mostly from flooding and mud slides. Image credit: Dundee satellite receiving station.

Hurricanes in the Mediterranean Sea?
The Mediterranean Sea between Europe and Africa has experienced several damaging hybrid subtropical storms in recent decades, but has never experienced a fully tropical hurricane in recorded history. However, global warming may cause the Mediterranean to start spawning hurricanes by 2100, according to a 2007 study by a research team led by Miguel Angel Gaertner of the University of Castilla-La Mancha in Toledo, Spain. They ran nine different climate models with resolutions of about 50 km and found that some (but not all) of the models simulated hurricanes in the Mediterranean in September by the end of the century, when ocean temperature could increase by 3°C, reaching 30°C.

Though the Mediterranean may start seeing hurricanes by the end of the century, these storms should be rare and relatively short-lived for three reasons:

1) The Mediterranean is quite far north and is subject to strong wind shear from jet stream activity.

2) The waters are shallow, and have relatively low heat content. There is no deep warm water current like the Gulf Stream.

3) The Mediterranean has a lot of large islands and peninsulas poking into it, increasing the chances that a tropical storm would weaken when it encountered land.

References
Gaertner, M. A., D. Jacob, V. Gil, M. Dominguez, E. Padorno, E. Sanchez, and M. Castro (2007), Tropical cyclones over the Mediterranean Sea in climate change simulations, Geophys. Res. Lett., 34, L14711, doi:10.1029/2007GL029977.

Haarsma et al., 2013, More hurricanes to hit Western Europe due to global warming, Geophysical Research Letters, DOI: 10.1002/grl.50360

Reale, O., and R. Atlas. 2001: Tropical Cyclone-Like Vortices in the Extratropics: Observational Evidence and Synoptic Analysis, Weather and Forecasting, 16, No. 1, pp. 7-34.

Jeff Masters

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Photo just in from Belmont NSW which is about 10miles south of Newcastle or 78miles north of my place in Sydney.



Courtesy of NSWIA Weather @nswia_weather
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Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 168 Comments: 53285
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 168 Comments: 53285
We are also having severe weather.

TOP PRIORITY FOR IMMEDIATE BROADCAST

DETAILED SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING
for DAMAGING WIND
For people in parts of the
Greater Newcastle and
Central Coast areas.
Issued at 2:46 pm Tuesday, 9 April 2013.
Severe thunderstorms may produce damaging winds in the warning area over the next several hours.
Waterspouts have been observed near the coast, with the potential to bring damaging wind gusts to the coastal fringe.


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22S:

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SEVERE WEATHER STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE GOODLAND KS
1105 PM MDT MON APR 8 2013

KSC023-NEC057-090600-
/O.CON.KGLD.SV.W.0028.000000T0000Z-130409T0600Z/
CHEYENNE KS-DUNDY NE-
1105 PM MDT MON APR 8 2013

...A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FOR CENTRAL DUNDY
AND NORTH CENTRAL CHEYENNE COUNTIES UNTIL MIDNIGHT MDT/100 AM CDT/...

AT 1100 PM MDT...A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WAS LOCATED NEAR PARKS...AND
MOVING NORTH AT 35 MPH.

HAZARD...HALF DOLLAR SIZE HAIL AND 60 MPH WIND GUSTS.

SOURCE...RADAR INDICATED.

IMPACT...HAIL DAMAGE TO VEHICLES AND CROPS IS EXPECTED. EXPECT WIND
DAMAGE TO ROOFS...SIDING AND TREES.

LOCATIONS IMPACTED INCLUDE...
MAINLY RURAL AREAS OF CENTRAL DUNDY COUNTY.

THIS INCLUDES HIGHWAY 34 BETWEEN MILE MARKERS 4 AND 22.

THIS INCLUDES HIGHWAY 27 BETWEEN MILE MARKERS 208 AND 226.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

FOR YOUR PROTECTION MOVE TO AN INTERIOR ROOM ON THE LOWEST FLOOR OF A
BUILDING.

TO REPORT SEVERE WEATHER CONTACT YOUR NEAREST LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY.
THEY WILL SEND YOUR REPORT TO THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN
GOODLAND.

&&

LAT...LON 4035 10149 3978 10180 3981 10202 4035 10198
TIME...MOT...LOC 0505Z 200DEG 30KT 4005 10179

HAIL...1.25IN
WIND...60MPH

$$

THEDE
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Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 168 Comments: 53285
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Quoting Civicane49:


The shear is forecast to decrease further, and the cyclone will remain over warm waters in the next several days. These conditions should allow the cyclone to intensify. Latest microwave imagery shows that Imelda developed a mid-level eye. It appears that rapid intensification would soon occur.



Clearly the COC is coupled ,RI is definitly possible
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Quoting trHUrrIXC5MMX:


calling for (nearly-hurricane)..75 mph
RI possible?


The shear is forecast to decrease further, and the cyclone will remain over warm waters in the next several days. These conditions should allow the cyclone to intensify. Latest microwave imagery shows that Imelda developed a mid-level eye. It appears that rapid intensification would soon occur.

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MESOSCALE DISCUSSION 0406
NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK
1122 PM CDT MON APR 08 2013

AREAS AFFECTED...NORTHEAST CO...PARTS OF NEB

CONCERNING...SEVERE POTENTIAL...WATCH UNLIKELY

VALID 090422Z - 090545Z

CORRECTED FOR ADDITIONAL TEXT

PROBABILITY OF WATCH ISSUANCE...20 PERCENT

SUMMARY...A CORRIDOR OF STRONG/SEVERE STORMS EXTENDS FROM NORTHEAST
CO ACROSS CENTRAL NEB. MOST OF THESE STORMS ARE NORTH OF A COLD
FRONT MOVING SOUTHWARD ACROSS THE REGION. MARGINALLY SEVERE HAIL
APPEARS TO BE THE MAIN THREAT.

DISCUSSION...NUMEROUS THUNDERSTORMS ARE OCCURRING ALONG AN AXIS FROM
NORTHEAST CO...THROUGH SOUTHWEST AND CENTRAL NEB...TO NORTH OF OMA.
ALMOST ALL OF THESE STORMS ARE NOW NORTH OF A SAGGING COLD
FRONT...SEPARATING MOIST AND MODERATELY UNSTABLE AIR TO THE
SOUTH...AND RAPIDLY COOLING SURFACE TEMPERATURES TO THE NORTH.
DESPITE THE CONTINUED SUPERCELL STORM STRUCTURES...THE ACTIVITY IS
EXPECTED TO MOVE INTO THE PROGRESSIVELY DEEPER COLD AIRMASS WITH
MARGINALLY SEVERE HAIL BEING THE PRIMARY THREAT.

ONE EXCEPTION WOULD BE THE STORM IN HITCHCOCK COUNTY NEB. THIS
STORM IS VERY NEAR THE SURFACE BOUNDARY AND HAS A HISTORY OF VERY
STRONG LOW LEVEL CIRCULATION SIGNATURES. HOWEVER...EVEN THIS STORM
WILL LIKELY BE UNDERCUT BY THE FRONT WITHIN THE NEXT HOUR.

DUE TO THE MARGINAL NATURE OF THE HAIL THREAT...A WATCH IS UNLIKELY
AT THIS TIME. ONE SCENARIO THAT MIGHT REQUIRE ACTION WOULD BE IF
STORMS COULD BEGIN TO FORWARD-PROPAGATE AND TRACK ALONG THE BOUNDARY
ACROSS SOUTHERN NEB.

..HART/DIAL.. 04/09/2013
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Quoting Civicane49:
UW - CIMSS
ADVANCED DVORAK TECHNIQUE
ADT-Version 8.1.3
Tropical Cyclone Intensity Algorithm

----- Current Analysis -----
Date : 09 APR 2013 Time : 033000 UTC
Lat : 11:14:45 S Lon : 62:07:35 E


CI# /Pressure/ Vmax
3.9 / 989.3mb/ 63.0kt


Final T# Adj T# Raw T#
3.8 3.6 3.6

Center Temp : -67.2C Cloud Region Temp : -69.1C

Scene Type : UNIFORM CDO CLOUD REGION

Positioning Method : FORECAST INTERPOLATION

Ocean Basin : INDIAN
Dvorak CI > MSLP Conversion Used : PACIFIC

Tno/CI Rules : Constraint Limits : NO LIMIT
Weakening Flag : ON
Rapid Dissipation Flag : OFF

C/K/Z MSLP Estimate Inputs :
- Average 34 knot radii : 57km
- Environmental MSLP : 1009mb

Satellite Viewing Angle : 14.5 degrees



calling for (nearly-hurricane)..75 mph
RI possible?
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UW - CIMSS
ADVANCED DVORAK TECHNIQUE
ADT-Version 8.1.3
Tropical Cyclone Intensity Algorithm

----- Current Analysis -----
Date : 09 APR 2013 Time : 033000 UTC
Lat : 11:14:45 S Lon : 62:07:35 E


CI# /Pressure/ Vmax
3.9 / 989.3mb/ 63.0kt


Final T# Adj T# Raw T#
3.8 3.6 3.6

Center Temp : -67.2C Cloud Region Temp : -69.1C

Scene Type : UNIFORM CDO CLOUD REGION

Positioning Method : FORECAST INTERPOLATION

Ocean Basin : INDIAN
Dvorak CI > MSLP Conversion Used : PACIFIC

Tno/CI Rules : Constraint Limits : NO LIMIT
Weakening Flag : ON
Rapid Dissipation Flag : OFF

C/K/Z MSLP Estimate Inputs :
- Average 34 knot radii : 57km
- Environmental MSLP : 1009mb

Satellite Viewing Angle : 14.5 degrees

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Quoting Thrawst:


I played a tennis match today in the evening (6.30 to 8.30pm) and ughhh it was absolutely perfect!! Wish it was like this every day.
100% agree.... lol...
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MSLP Anomaly World
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Quoting BaltimoreBrian:
Another snow devil.











Whoa! That second one is pretty intense! Although at this point I am pretty immune to them. It's almost unusual not to see one when in the high country of Colorado during the winter.
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Quoting BaltimoreBrian:
Snow has begun at Denver airport 6 hours after it was in the 70s there.


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Another snow devil.





IMHO the video ends about 5 seconds too soon.





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A cool looking snow devil

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Quoting trHUrrIXC5MMX:


SNOWNADO!!!


I prefer my post from earlier- tornadic snow-storm, but that works too.

If Ped is on, Bohemian Rhapsody would work well here, "thunderbolt and lightning, ...."where it says, galileo, put tornado. perfect.
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Quoting TheGreatHodag:

Capital Weather Gang Facebook:
Colorado craziness tonight, via Brad Panovich: "Don't think I have even seen this. A confirmed tornado by law enforcement while it's 36° with light snow in Akron, CO." We'll have more on this big storm in the Rockies and Plains tomorrow.



Um...wow..


SNOWNADO!!!
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Evening all.

Imelda's structure has improved with a defined central dense overcast and outflow in the northern semicircle of the storm, thanks to the decreasing wind shear. The shear is forecast to decrease further and will allow the cyclone to intensify. It appears that Imelda will miss the Reunion and Mauritius islands, but could still bring some impacts, including high waves.

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Capital Weather Gang Facebook:
Colorado craziness tonight, via Brad Panovich: "Don't think I have even seen this. A confirmed tornado by law enforcement while it's 36° with light snow in Akron, CO." We'll have more on this big storm in the Rockies and Plains tomorrow.



Um...wow..
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Quoting Skyepony:

Very little wind for that area, the shading is the number of days. Doldrums cause an increase in water temperature increasing the likelihood of storms & coral kill events.


and some of those areas are already reaching 28 degrees centigrade
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Quoting Skyepony:

Very little wind for that area, the shading is the number of days. Doldrums cause an increase in water temperature increasing the likelihood of storms & coral kill events.


Ok, interesting to say the least.
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370. Skyepony (Mod)
Quoting Tropicsweatherpr:


What do those doldrums mean?

Very little wind for that area, the shading is the number of days. Doldrums cause an increase in water temperature increasing the likelihood of storms & coral kill events.
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369. Skyepony (Mod)
22S

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Quoting Skyepony:
Some serious doldrums setting up in the EPAC..



What do those doldrums mean?
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366. Skyepony (Mod)
Some serious doldrums setting up in the EPAC..

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We also have TC 22 now..
forecast intensities don't go above TS as it's expected to move south

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Quoting BahaHurican:
Evening all. Has a mostly lousy day, except for the fantastic weather here. However, the heat was on with a vengeance... if that front we had marks the end of any serious cold front passage into the Bahamas [and that wouldn't be surprising, given the time of year] we could see some serious warming between now and the end of May.



I played a tennis match today in the evening (6.30 to 8.30pm) and ughhh it was absolutely perfect!! Wish it was like this every day.
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In recent years climate science has come under increasing attack, so geologist Simon Lamb took his camera to find out what is really going on from his climate science colleagues.Simon followed scientists at work in the Arctic, Antarctic, Southern Ocean, New Zealand, Europe and the USA.

They talk about their work, and their hopes and fears, with a rare candour and directness. This creates an intimate portrait of the global community of researchers racing to understand our planet's changing climate.

http://thiniceclimate.org/


via realclimate.org

..."We'd like your help in spreading these messages by hosting a screening in your community. It's also a chance to talk with them afterwards through a panel discussion/Q&A. We are making the film available as a free download (2GB) for a 2 - day period after Earth Day starts in New Zealand -- just complete the Screenings Information sheet attached and e-mail to thiniceclimate@vuw.ac.nz so we can post it on the website and send you download instructions. The film will also be available free for streaming to those who are happy just to watch it at home."
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Quoting captainmark:
Nash Roberts was one of the best mets here in Louisiana. He honed his skills in the Navy and was usually dead on with storm forcasting long before computer modeling. Can't never go wrong with military training. Best of luck to you.

Don't forget Neal Frank's time in the Navy.
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Quoting redwagon:


Wow.. Texas sure got evaporated out of the 2-3" the NAM was calling for the other day. It was through Wednesday,
but I don't see any setup for precip any time soon?

Cap is earnest this time.
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Quoting BaltimoreBrian:
BahaHuracan there is a BBQ/grilling party I'm going to Thursday and I'll try grilled asparagus then :)
Sounds cool... lol... I'm ok with grilling parties, so long as I don't have to do the grilling - too hot after April starts...
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Quoting trHUrrIXC5MMX:
Imelda is starting to look pretty good. Just hope she doesn't decide to go shoe-shopping in Madagascar.... Hope that turn is in the making, not just in the forecast...

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BahaHuracan there is a BBQ/grilling party I'm going to Thursday and I'll try grilled asparagus then :)
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00z NAM HIRES MESO SIM REFLEC











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Quoting Gearsts:
Are you going to code this on your site? Would be very useful!


It will be live for tonight's 0z GFS ensemble and CMC ensemble runs, which will run in 2-3 hours. I've amde it available for the global, Atlantic, and northern hemisphere regions.
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Quoting BaltimoreBrian:




The Dark Side of Asparagus
I've never had grilled asparagus but I think I'll try it.
I've had it. It's actually pretty good, esp. with a similarly grilled steak... lol
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Quoting Levi32:


For tropical interests it's useful as it shows the strength of the trade winds relative to normal. E.g. in the Atlantic the next two weeks feature mostly stronger than normal trades (purple colors) which can cool SSTs. In the equatorial Pacific, the forecast shows stronger trades to the west, with weaker trades to the east, indicating air spreading out at the ocean surface, which indicates sinking air, typical of a La Nina-ish pattern.
Are you going to code this on your site? Would be very useful!
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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.