Delta destroys God's Finger

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 4:23 PM GMT on November 30, 2005

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Today marks the official final day of hurricane season, but the Hurricane Season of 2005 continues to show little regard for climatology. Tropical Storm Epsilon will linger at least until December 2, when strong wind shear and passage over cooler waters to the northeast are likely to reduce Epsilon to an ordinary extratropical storm. Epsilon's formation marks the first time on record that three tropical storms have formed in November. The previous record was two November storms, which occurred six times, most recently in 2001.

Epsilon is over ocean waters with temperatures of 23 - 25C, which are too cold to support a fully tropical system. Epsilon is a hybrid "subtropical cyclone"--one that gets its energy from both the warm water of the oceans and the temperature differences of cold and warm airmasses interacting. The difference between a subtropical storm and a tropical storm is not that important as far as the winds they can generate--Epsilon is near hurricane strength, and could well become a hurricane by this time tomorrow.

Delta destroys God's Finger
Tropical Storm Delta was declared extratropical at 10am Monday, so the deaths and damage it inflicted on the Canary Islands Monday night will probably not be counted in the official statistics for the Hurricane Season of 2005. Nevertheless, Delta was the first tropical cyclone in recorded history to affect the Canary Islands--a check of the tracks of storms since 1851 shows no other tropical storm has come within 500 miles of the islands. Delta dealt the popular tourist mecca a stunning blow that will be remembered for generations to come. Delta toppled the signature landmark of the islands, a narrow finger of rock called "God's Finger" that jutted out of the ocean. The Tenerife News, a local paper from the Canary Islands, reported it thusly:

The emblematic rocky pinnacle known as El Dedo de Dios or Godís Finger, which had pointed skywards from the sea for millennia, a natural wonder and one of the must-see sights of the archipelago finally gave up the ghost after thousands of years and collapsed into the broiling sea. The news of the loss has left islanders in a state of shock.



El Dedo de Dios (God's Finger)
Image credit: http://www.grancanariaschool.com

I'll be back tomorrow with Part I of a multi-part summary of this year's hurricane season--why was the U.S. hit so often, and why did Puerto Rico and the northern Leeward Islands escape harm?

Jeff Masters

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156. seflagamma
2:33 PM GMT on December 01, 2005
goodmorning everyone,
Haven't had a chance to post lately; very busy. My good old Comcast (cable TV and Internet svc) went out again at home and no telling when it will come back up!

Can't believe this season. At work know and a lot to do but will try to catch up with everyone later.
Have a great day.
Gamma
Member Since: August 29, 2005 Posts: 298 Comments: 40902
155. TampaSteve
1:45 PM GMT on December 01, 2005
Looks like Epsilon knocked at the door of a hurricane, but didn't quite go in...still a TS and starting to weaken...

Wow...it's been a helluva season...makes you wonder what 2006 has in store...
154. Trouper415
7:25 AM GMT on December 01, 2005
Anyone have a link to some of the models of Epsilon. Thanks
Member Since: September 22, 2005 Posts: 5 Comments: 637
153. cgableshurrycanegal
5:00 AM GMT on December 01, 2005
thanks for the interesting stuff from Canary Islands and the famous Dedo de Dios! WOW!
Member Since: July 12, 2005 Posts: 24 Comments: 212
152. billsfaninsofla
4:32 AM GMT on December 01, 2005
dcw....nice picture of the storms......do you have one of Katrina as she approached So Fla?
Member Since: September 5, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 5528
151. ForecasterColby
2:24 AM GMT on December 01, 2005
Gotta love it when the records the season sets don't even last the season.
150. KatrinaRitaWilmaZeta
1:52 AM GMT on December 01, 2005
Costliest Hurricane: Katrina ($100 billion+) (previous record Andrew, $26.5 billion - 1992 dollars)

Deadliest U.S. Hurricane since 1928: Katrina (at least 1,300)

Strongest Hurricane in the Atlantic Basin: Wilma 882 millibars (mb) (previous record: Gilbert at 888 mb)

Three of the six strongest hurricanes on record: Wilma 882 mb (1st), Rita 897 mb (4th), Katrina 902 mb (6th)

July hurricane: Emily (155 mph top sustained winds) (previous record: Dennis (150 mph) in 2005; Hurricane #1 (140 mph) in 1926

149. ForecasterColby
1:15 AM GMT on December 01, 2005
woops. Yeah, thats wut I meant. The pressure gradient is also an important factor: if a High moves in on a system, it will strengthen rapidly.
148. Skyepony (Mod)
12:51 AM GMT on December 01, 2005
if you ment "the winds lag behind"~ i can understand, in a way though that's my argument. It can take a day at times for the winds to reach the surface. Why not use the current winds & upgrade as they get stronger. Also, wind is a result of a tighted pressure gradiant. As a hurricane interacts with a high pressure system, winds will be high for it's mbs. The oppisite is true if no area of high pressure is anywhere near & more so if it is small in a general area of lower pressure. We've seen it go both ways this season. Excellent running the numbers of past storms. i'd keep tweekin til Katrina was a 5 (for coastal), maybe surge needs more weight. & some differentation between coastal & inland where surge is no factor. & i like your new handle:)
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 162 Comments: 37829
147. ForecasterColby
12:04 AM GMT on December 01, 2005
I'm upgrading Epsilon.

Hurricane Epsilon
Amateur Hurricane Center
Advisory 3 - 7:00PM EST November 30, 2005

Chalk up another record for the 2005 Hurricane Season. Convection around Epsilon's eye has continued to increase this evening, which justifies the upgrade to a 65kt(75mph) hurricane on the eve of the off-season. Epsilon is the 14th hurricane of the season, increasing the margin above the previous record to two.

A somewhat unsettling motion towards the south has stopped over the past hour or so...and the storm is now moving almost due east. The track forecast calls for the storm to turn east-northeast and move rapidly out to sea for the forecast period. Interests in the Azores should begin following the system, since it is likely Epsilon will reach the islands as a formidable extratropical storm.

The intensity forecast calls for a little bit more strengthening as the storm moves eastward...but Epsilon will soon move out of reach of the still-warm atlantic waters. Past 48 hours, the storm should rapidly transition to extratropical and slowly weaken as the windfield spreads out. Epsilon will probably only maintain hurricane strength for the next 12 hours or so.

Initial: 29.5N 53.5W 65kt(75mph)
12 Hour: 30.5N 49.5W 65kt(75mph)
24 Hour: 32.0N 45.0W 60kt(70mph)
48 Hour: 34.0N 41.0W 55kt(65mph)...becoming extratropical
72 Hour: 35.5N 36.0W 50kt(60mph)...extratropical
96 Hour: 37.0N 30.0W 45kt(50mph)...extratropical...approaching Azores
120 Hour: 38.0N 26.0W 40kt(45mph)...extratropical
146. ForecasterColby
11:59 PM GMT on November 30, 2005
Pressure is included because sometimes a storm (such as Wilma) will drop pressure at an unbeleiveable rate, but the pressure will lag behind.
145. ForecasterColby
11:51 PM GMT on November 30, 2005
Hey all, it's DCW. I've gotten a new handle to match the name I use at my site.

Thanks Joric. Correction on pressure categories:

Pressure

0 - >990
1 - 990-970
2 - 970-950
3 - 950-930
4 - 930-910
5 - 910-890
6 - 890-870
7 - 870-850
144. Skyepony (Mod)
11:50 PM GMT on November 30, 2005
Hey all, my modem gaveway on thanksgiving, back online yesterday, but the new one is acting up a little. The tread to the internet is a fragile one.

dcw~ i get your math & i really like where your going with it. But i'd like the reason you're including the pressure. Though it's an estimate of damage to follow it's not as exact as a specific storm surge, winds & what not.
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 162 Comments: 37829
143. StellarCyclone
11:40 PM GMT on November 30, 2005
dcw keep up the good work

For a possible explanation of this hurricane season read this: Link. Basically the article talks about a 30% reduction in the gulf stream's northward flow. The article focuses on this making the northern Atlantic and Europe colder. But this also could leave a build-up of the warmer waters of the Gulf Stream in the tropical Atlantic to fuel hurricanes for years to come.
142. FloridaFox7
11:12 PM GMT on November 30, 2005
It is a HYBRICANE, not a tropical, not a hurricane, but a Subtropical Hybricane Storm!

=)
141. jorick
11:04 PM GMT on November 30, 2005
dcw - you're missing the 890-910 mb range in your numbers.
Member Since: September 15, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 3
140. smadsen8486
10:25 PM GMT on November 30, 2005
Could this be an apocolipical (spelling) sign?
139. butterflymcb
10:24 PM GMT on November 30, 2005
dcw...I think your system makes a lot of sense...
Member Since: August 25, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 38
138. smadsen8486
10:23 PM GMT on November 30, 2005
AFTER? (crossing fingers)




137. smadsen8486
10:21 PM GMT on November 30, 2005
Let's see if I did this right...

BEFORE









AFTER






136. FLCrackerGirl
9:59 PM GMT on November 30, 2005
Duh?!! Blonde Moment & New Glasses...
70kt = Cat 1

(Don't Mind Me!)
Member Since: August 12, 2004 Posts: 47 Comments: 597
135. FLCrackerGirl
9:49 PM GMT on November 30, 2005
70mph = Cat 1 Hurricane
Is The NHC Waiting To Call Epsilon A December Forming Hurricane or What??
Member Since: August 12, 2004 Posts: 47 Comments: 597
134. FLCrackerGirl
9:48 PM GMT on November 30, 2005
TROPICAL STORM EPSILON ADVISORY NUMBER 6
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
5 PM AST WED NOV 30 2005

...EPSILON CONTINUES TO STRENGTHEN OVER THE CENTRAL ATLANTIC...

AT 5 PM AST...2100Z...THE CENTER OF TROPICAL STORM EPSILON WAS LOCATED NEAR LATITUDE 29.8 NORTH... LONGITUDE 54.2 WEST OR ABOUT 650 MILES...1045 KM... EAST-SOUTHEAST OF BERMUDA AND ABOUT 1650 MILES...2660 KM...WEST-SOUTHWEST OF THE AZORES.

EPSILON IS MAKING A SMALL LOOP TOWARD THE SOUTH NEAR 7 MPH... 11 KM/HR. SOME ERRATIC MOTION IS POSSIBLE TONIGHT... BUT A TURN TOWARD THE NORTH OR NORTHEAST IS FORECAST TO OCCUR ON THURSDAY. ON THE FORECAST TRACK... EPSILON IS EXPECTED TO REMAIN WELL TO THE EAST OF BERMUDA.

MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS ARE NEAR 70 MPH...110 KM/HR... WITH HIGHER GUSTS. SOME SLIGHT STRENGTHENING IS POSSIBLE TONIGHT OR EARLY THURSDAY... AND EPSILON COULD BRIEFLY BECOME A HURRICANE BEFORE GRADUAL WEAKENING BEGINS BY LATE THURSDAY OR ON FRIDAY.

TROPICAL STORM FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 220 MILES
...350 KM FROM THE CENTER. ESTIMATED MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE IS 990 MB...29.23 INCHES.

ALTHOUGH EPSILON IS NOT EXPECTED TO DIRECTLY AFFECT BERMUDA... LARGE OCEAN SWELLS THAT ARE BEING GENERATED WELL TO THE NORTHWEST OF EPSILON WILL MOVE SOUTHWESTWARD AND CONTINUE TO PRODUCE HEAVY SURF AND ROUGH WAVE CONDITIONS AROUND THE ISLAND DURING THE NEXT COUPLE OF DAYS.

THE NEXT ADVISORY WILL BE ISSUED BY THE NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER aT 11 PM AST.

FORECASTER STEWART
Member Since: August 12, 2004 Posts: 47 Comments: 597
133. Trouper415
9:04 PM GMT on November 30, 2005
DCW, that image you posted that shows all the nasty hurricane tihs season. Makes me laugh, very impressive
Member Since: September 22, 2005 Posts: 5 Comments: 637
132. dcw
8:55 PM GMT on November 30, 2005
Cairo, eye features are VERY common in shallow systems such as Epsilon and polar lows. Normally, tropical cyclones are as much as 40000' high, but I doubt Epsilon is better than 25000. Therefore, it takes less power to create an eye. Also, the convection is quite weak. It'll definetly be a hurricane though, especially with the southward motion.
Member Since: August 2, 2001 Posts: 2 Comments: 3
131. cairophoto
8:51 PM GMT on November 30, 2005
epsilon has a clear well defined eye. It is a hurricane!!!!!
130. dcw
8:46 PM GMT on November 30, 2005
Whoa.

Member Since: August 2, 2001 Posts: 2 Comments: 3
129. dcw
8:36 PM GMT on November 30, 2005
Epsilon is currently a 1 on my system.
Member Since: August 2, 2001 Posts: 2 Comments: 3
128. weatherdude65
8:35 PM GMT on November 30, 2005
have a great weekend stormy :-)
127. stormydee
8:34 PM GMT on November 30, 2005
yes...Im running for that door...everyone have a great night!
I won't be on till next week, but I'll be posting some Bahama pics Monday. :-)
See ya in here then!
Have a great weekend as well!!!!!!!!!
Member Since: August 25, 2005 Posts: 39 Comments: 517
126. weatherdude65
8:33 PM GMT on November 30, 2005
Glad I caught you before you left then :-)
125. stormydee
8:32 PM GMT on November 30, 2005
ah, got it that time...thanks dcw...you are quite the smart one. :-) So, whats the answer for Epsilon?
Member Since: August 25, 2005 Posts: 39 Comments: 517
124. dcw
8:31 PM GMT on November 30, 2005
Hmmm...more convection, but a bit ragged again.
Member Since: August 2, 2001 Posts: 2 Comments: 3
123. dcw
8:31 PM GMT on November 30, 2005
I've got a new blogger at my site.
Member Since: August 2, 2001 Posts: 2 Comments: 3
122. stormydee
8:30 PM GMT on November 30, 2005
65 oh good, you caught me before I left..
let me try again
Member Since: August 25, 2005 Posts: 39 Comments: 517
121. dcw
8:30 PM GMT on November 30, 2005
I disagree, AM. Though the organization is beautiful, convection is lacking. I'm nearly certain we'll have a hurricane by tomorrow morning though, the diurnal max will be enough.
Member Since: August 2, 2001 Posts: 2 Comments: 3
120. weatherdude65
8:29 PM GMT on November 30, 2005
hey stormy! :-) How have you been?
119. stormydee
8:29 PM GMT on November 30, 2005
But, dcw taught me to do this....



thanks! :-)
Member Since: August 25, 2005 Posts: 39 Comments: 517
118. dcw
8:28 PM GMT on November 30, 2005
Okay. Well, right now, Epsilon is a:

Wind - 2
Size - 0
Surge - Unknown
Pressure - 1

(2+0+1)/3 = 1

A 1. Anyone got an idea for this system?
Member Since: August 2, 2001 Posts: 2 Comments: 3
117. AM91091
8:27 PM GMT on November 30, 2005
EST not AST
116. AM91091
8:27 PM GMT on November 30, 2005
I think Epsilon is a hurricane now, but the NHC might wait until 10 PM AST.
115. stormydee
8:26 PM GMT on November 30, 2005
hey 65 :-)
Member Since: August 25, 2005 Posts: 39 Comments: 517
114. weatherdude65
8:25 PM GMT on November 30, 2005
hello again everyone....been busy putting up a Christmas tree here at work
113. stormydee
8:23 PM GMT on November 30, 2005
dcw- the math may not be complicated to you...but sorry, its WAY over my head.....you do the figuring and let us know what you come up with. :-)
Member Since: August 25, 2005 Posts: 39 Comments: 517
112. stormydee
8:20 PM GMT on November 30, 2005
Though, the caribbean sea is still hot...hot...hot! Let just hope nothing forms down there and gets dragged across FL due to the fronts pushing by.....Mother Nature doesn't give a hoot if today is the last day on OUR calender for the season.
Member Since: August 25, 2005 Posts: 39 Comments: 517
111. dcw
8:19 PM GMT on November 30, 2005
So I say we WHIP the WPAC for beating us every year ((angry face))
Member Since: August 2, 2001 Posts: 2 Comments: 3
110. dcw
8:18 PM GMT on November 30, 2005
Article link is in the blog post. The math isn't complicated, you just average the:

winds divded by 30, surge divided by six [or the ranges], square root of the size divided by 3, and pressure below 100 divided by 20. So the categories are:

Wind
1 - 30
2 - 60
3 - 90
4 - 120
5 - 150
6 - 180
7 - 210

Pressure

0 - >990
1 - 990-970
2 - 970-950
3 - 950-930
4 - 930-910
5 - 890-870
6 - 870-850

Size

0 - <3 miles (O_O)
1 - 3-21 miles
2 - 21-57 miles
3 - 57-110 miles
4 - 110-182 miles
5 - 182-273 miles
6 - >273 miles

Surge

<5 ft = 0
5-8 = 1
8-13 = 2
14-18 = 3
18-24 = 4
24-30 = 5
30-35 = 6
>35 = 7
Member Since: August 2, 2001 Posts: 2 Comments: 3
109. TampaSteve
8:18 PM GMT on November 30, 2005
Yeah, I know...no more threats to the USA...it's all about keeping score now...
108. stormydee
8:16 PM GMT on November 30, 2005
ah Steve, even if it does become a cane, its not gonna affect us...but, it would just make the record even more of a record....
Member Since: August 25, 2005 Posts: 39 Comments: 517
107. TampaSteve
8:14 PM GMT on November 30, 2005
BTW...Epsilon is looking pretty well organized now...Hurricane Epsilon, anyone???
106. stormydee
8:13 PM GMT on November 30, 2005
LOL yes, brain malfunction!
Member Since: August 25, 2005 Posts: 39 Comments: 517

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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.