Australia Endures Another Dangerous Fire Weather Day; Lorenzo Dissipates

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:23 PM GMT on October 24, 2013

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Sydney, Australia and the Blue Mountains have endured a second day of dangerous fire weather conditions without a devastating fire catastrophe ensuing. The high temperature in Sydney on Thursday hit 73°F, with sustained winds of 30 mph gusting to 41 mph, and a humidity as low as 7%. The temperature was nearly 20°F cooler than on Wednesday, but the strong winds and low humidity helped fan the 56 fires still burning across the state of New South Wales. Tragically, a fire-fighting aircraft crashed Thursday during a mission to douse one of the fires, killing the pilot and starting a new fire. The fires have burned more than 120,000 hectares (300,000 acres), and have a perimeter of about 1,600 km (990 miles), and are being blamed for two deaths and over $97 million in damage. Australia has just had its hottest September on record, and the 12-month period ending in August 2013 set a record for the hottest 12-month period in Australian history. Australia's warmest summer and 3rd warmest winter on record occurred during this 12-month period. It has also been quite dry in the fire region over the past few months, with sol moisture levels in the lowest 10% historically. However, the latest drought statement from the Bureau of Meteorology is not showing that long-term drought conditions exist.


Figure 1. Volunteer Christelle Gilmore cares for 'Phoenix', an orphaned baby Swamp Wallaby burned in the Springwood fires on October 22, 2013 in Castlereagh, Australia. Photo by Brendon Thorne/Getty Images.

Raymond weakens, moves away from Mexico
Tropical Storm Raymond continues to move away from the coast of Mexico, and will no longer bring heavy rains to the country. Recent satellite loops show that Raymond is a poorly-organized tropical storm, with just a modest area of heavy thunderstorms.


Figure 2. Rainfall over Mexico from October 15 - 23 from Hurricane Raymond totaled close to 10" near Acapulco, as estimated by NASA's TRMM satellite. Fortunately, Raymond did not move ashore, or else the 15+" inches of rain that fell offshore would have fallen over land. Image credit: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.

Tropical Storm Lorenzo dies in the Middle Atlantic
Tropical Storm Lorenzo has died in the Middle Atlantic, done in by high wind shear. None of the reliable computer models for tropical cyclone genesis are predicting any new storms developing in the coming five days. During the first week of November, the Madden Julian Oscillation (MJO), a pattern of increased thunderstorm activity near the Equator that moves around the globe in 30 - 60 days, will bring rising air over the Caribbean, increasing the odds of a tropical storm developing then.

Typhoons Francisco and Lekima weaken
Typhoon Francisco has weakened to a tropical storm, and is bringing heavy rains to Japan as it stays offshore and heads northeast, parallel to the coast. Super Typhoon Lekima, which stayed at Category 5 status for a day and a half, has now weakened to a Category 4 storm with 150 mph winds. Satellite loops show that Lekima is still an impressive typhoon with a prominent eye surrounded by a solid ring of eyewall clouds with very cold cloud tops. Lekima is predicted to recurve to the northeast without affecting any land areas. While Lekima was at peak strength between 12 and 18 UTC on Wednesday, its eye expanded greatly in size while the storm stayed at Category 5 strength, something that is very unusual to see (thanks to Scott Bachmeier of the University of Wisconsin CIMSS for the info and animation.)


Figure 3. MODIS satellite image of Super Typhoon Lekima, taken at approximately 01:05 UTC on October 24, 2013. At the time, Lekima was a Category 5 super typhoon with winds of 160 mph. Image credit: NASA.

Jeff Masters

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246. BahaHurican
1:49 AM GMT on October 25, 2013


Here is this evening's cold front.

More interesting for me is the forecast models suggesting this front might be the germ of a storm next week... the dreaded #13???

Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 22312
245. Neapolitan
1:49 AM GMT on October 25, 2013
Quoting 205. AussieStorm:
Sorry but... Where the heck is Dr Masters getting his 7% humidity reading from? Yesterday there was only 13% and that was at Sydney Airport which is 110km away from the fire grounds. I wish Dr Masters would get his information correct.
You know, Dr. Masters politely responded to your earlier complaint about this same subject. Perhaps instead of trying again to make him look foolish (and--also again--failing), you could read back? That might be the proper thing do. Just saying...
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13549
244. Dakster
1:41 AM GMT on October 25, 2013
Quoting 206. snowballing:

Those days of careful deliberation are over.


All the forecast maps are in fantasy time frame land...I don't buy it -for two reasons. 2013 and the time of the year. But it doesn't hurt to watch just in case.

Second, I am confused by your nick, snowballing. Your avatar is of the desert - so I can only assume you partake in the other activity known as snowballing?

(and before the uneducated mod thinks it is a drug reference, it isn't)
Member Since: March 10, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 10399
243. Tazmanian
1:35 AM GMT on October 25, 2013
Quoting 215. StormTrackerScott:
NW Caribbean is about to get active folks!





too late in the season now
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115234
242. GrandCaymanMed
1:27 AM GMT on October 25, 2013
Quoting 236. wxgeek723:
Like I was saying earlier this season, the optimism of some people on this blog will persist until the calendar change forcibly squashes them.


Anything to back that statement up lol? I have repeatedly provided multiple reasons for my forecasts, and I don't expect to always be right. But reasoning is better than generalized statements like that any day.
Member Since: March 31, 2013 Posts: 0 Comments: 264
241. OneDrop
1:26 AM GMT on October 25, 2013
Quoting 233. wxchaser97:

Highly doubt we get a major. With this being 2013, it just isn't going to happen, especially as conditions get less favorable as we get farther into fall.
Completely agree!
Member Since: May 25, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 145
240. whitewabit (Mod)
1:14 AM GMT on October 25, 2013
Quoting 236. wxgeek723:
Like I was saying earlier this season, the optimism of some people on this blog will persist until the calendar change forcibly squashes them.


Historically, only about 5% of all Atlantic tropical storm activity occurs after November 1. Between 1871 and 2007, 60 tropical storms formed in November. Of these, 29 became hurricanes, and four of these, major hurricanes. There have also been two major hurricanes that formed in October and continued on into November. On average, one tropical storm forms in November every other year, and we can expect a November hurricane about one year in five.
Member Since: August 17, 2005 Posts: 364 Comments: 31545
239. BahaHurican
1:12 AM GMT on October 25, 2013
Evening all, from cool and breezy Nassau... it was quite windy out at the coast as I drove home this evening, and the clouds from the passing front are still hanging fairly low. We've had rain off and on the whole day, quite heavy in some places. It surely does make a welcome change from the 100-degree heat index wx of earlier this week due to the debilitating humidity we have been experiencing.

I hope this cold spell lasts a while...

I will try to post a photo or two later..
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 22312
238. SFLWeatherman
1:09 AM GMT on October 25, 2013
Member Since: May 23, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 4671
237. whitewabit (Mod)
12:56 AM GMT on October 25, 2013
Quoting 229. AussieStorm:

Thanks


LOL That's Sydney Airport... Come on Dr Masters, you should know Sydney Airport which is in the suburb of Mascot is only a few km's from the coast.


The red dot is Sydney Airport(Mascot)



SPECI YSSY 230443Z 27023G33KT CAVOK 33/M07 Q1002 WS RWY25 RMK FU FM0700 24015G25KT CAVOK FM0443 MOD/SEV TURB BLW 5000FT
4:00 PM 91 °F - 22 °F 4% 29.62 in - WNW 21.9 mph - -
Member Since: August 17, 2005 Posts: 364 Comments: 31545
236. wxgeek723
12:56 AM GMT on October 25, 2013
Like I was saying earlier this season, the optimism of some people on this blog will persist until the calendar change forcibly squashes them.
Member Since: August 28, 2008 Posts: 79 Comments: 3588
235. Tropicsweatherpr
12:55 AM GMT on October 25, 2013
Quoting 231. TropicalAnalystwx13:

Hey Luis, can I get the link to the ATCF database for the globe (including WPAC, EPAC, ATL storms, etc.)?


Here you go!

Link
Member Since: April 29, 2009 Posts: 75 Comments: 14311
234. TropicalAnalystwx13
12:49 AM GMT on October 25, 2013
Mid-level relative humidity values across the MDR have been on a steady decline for the past several decades. Not quite sure what the cause is...maybe global warming? Higher mid-level temperatures create a drier environment.



Even more apparent looking at global RH values:



Both graphs are off AmericanWx.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32256
233. wxchaser97
12:45 AM GMT on October 25, 2013
Quoting 209. StormTrackerScott:


Some of the ensembles are showing a major hurricane in the NW Caribbean the first week of November.

Highly doubt we get a major. With this being 2013, it just isn't going to happen, especially as conditions get less favorable as we get farther into fall.
Member Since: March 16, 2012 Posts: 127 Comments: 7948
232. Torito
12:40 AM GMT on October 25, 2013
Quoting 228. Patrap:
What does one do with 4 melted reactor cores that have breached their respective containment vessels, and also the Spent Fuel rod assemblies in the spent fuel pools, which are damaged themselves and that have MOX fuel and have to be removed manually with a crane,one by one?

Japanese and US nuclear experts warn that another earthquake hitting Fukushima could spark a disaster worse than Chernobyl.




Radioactive waste water storage



....Bury it in 100 feet of concrete.... :P

For those that dont understand sarcasm... thats what this is.^ This is what the world thinks we should do... not the right thing to do.
Member Since: April 30, 2013 Posts: 5 Comments: 4316
231. TropicalAnalystwx13
12:40 AM GMT on October 25, 2013
Quoting 225. Tropicsweatherpr:
Raymond up to 50kts.

EP, 17, 2013102500, , BEST, 0, 147N, 1073W, 50, 998, TS

Hey Luis, can I get the link to the ATCF database for the globe (including WPAC, EPAC, ATL storms, etc.)?
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32256
230. Torito
12:37 AM GMT on October 25, 2013
Quoting 226. StormTrackerScott:


No I haven't. The W-Pac seems to be popping off typhoons that are on steriods lately.


I'm glad the US has been spared so far... but I don't know how long this peace will last..... 2 weeks, 2 years, who knows.

Member Since: April 30, 2013 Posts: 5 Comments: 4316
229. AussieStorm
12:36 AM GMT on October 25, 2013
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:



from the last blog



Thanks


LOL That's Sydney Airport... Come on Dr Masters, you should know Sydney Airport which is in the suburb of Mascot is only a few km's from the coast.


The red dot is Sydney Airport(Mascot)

Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15937
228. Patrap
12:36 AM GMT on October 25, 2013
What does one do with 4 melted reactor cores that have breached their respective containment vessels, and also the Spent Fuel rod assemblies in the spent fuel pools, which are damaged themselves and that have MOX fuel and have to be removed manually with a crane,one by one?

Japanese and US nuclear experts warn that another earthquake hitting Fukushima could spark a disaster worse than Chernobyl.




Radioactive waste water storage

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128636
227. GrandCaymanMed
12:35 AM GMT on October 25, 2013
Quoting 223. StormTrackerScott:
64 lovely degrees here in Orlando!


One thing I would watch closely is the return of warmer air to Florida next week. Depending on how strong the high gets that is providing that return flow, and when the next cold front arrives in 8+ days, that will determine where all this mess in the Caribbean is going to go. By that time, we may be dealing with something much stronger.
Member Since: March 31, 2013 Posts: 0 Comments: 264
226. StormTrackerScott
12:35 AM GMT on October 25, 2013
Quoting 222. Torito:


one of the best ones i have seen right there. :) You seen better?


No I haven't. The W-Pac seems to be popping off typhoons that are on steriods lately.
Member Since: February 28, 2013 Posts: 6 Comments: 3294
225. Tropicsweatherpr
12:35 AM GMT on October 25, 2013
Raymond up to 50kts.

EP, 17, 2013102500, , BEST, 0, 147N, 1073W, 50, 998, TS
Member Since: April 29, 2009 Posts: 75 Comments: 14311
224. Torito
12:34 AM GMT on October 25, 2013
Quoting 223. StormTrackerScott:
64 lovely degrees here in Orlando!


38.5 here and falling. :P

Link
Member Since: April 30, 2013 Posts: 5 Comments: 4316
223. StormTrackerScott
12:33 AM GMT on October 25, 2013
64 lovely degrees here in Orlando!
Member Since: February 28, 2013 Posts: 6 Comments: 3294
222. Torito
12:33 AM GMT on October 25, 2013
Quoting 220. StormTrackerScott:


Geesh!


one of the best ones i have seen right there. :) You seen better?
Member Since: April 30, 2013 Posts: 5 Comments: 4316
221. GrandCaymanMed
12:33 AM GMT on October 25, 2013
Quoting 218. StormTrackerScott:
When you this type of upward motion in the Caribbean then watchout. We could have a big one to track soon.



The winds have kicked up a bit here today with that outflow boundary from storms in the SW Caribbean. Some people in FL/Cuba may be in for a nasty surprise if some of these ensembles verify...
Member Since: March 31, 2013 Posts: 0 Comments: 264
220. StormTrackerScott
12:32 AM GMT on October 25, 2013
Quoting 217. Torito:


hey scott, check out this crazy EWRC from lekima earlier...

Link


Geesh!
Member Since: February 28, 2013 Posts: 6 Comments: 3294
219. StormTrackerScott
12:31 AM GMT on October 25, 2013
Usually here in FL a dry & hot October is usually followed by a wet November. Well see.
Member Since: February 28, 2013 Posts: 6 Comments: 3294
218. StormTrackerScott
12:30 AM GMT on October 25, 2013
When you this type of upward motion in the Caribbean then watchout. We could have a big one to track soon.

Member Since: February 28, 2013 Posts: 6 Comments: 3294
217. Torito
12:29 AM GMT on October 25, 2013
Quoting 212. StormTrackerScott:


Here's the 12Z GFS



hey scott, check out this crazy EWRC from lekima earlier...

Link
Member Since: April 30, 2013 Posts: 5 Comments: 4316
216. washingtonian115
12:28 AM GMT on October 25, 2013
Quoting 183. Climate175:
Looks like the Mid-Atlantic may be in for a snowstorm around December 16-19 and Feb 1-3 and Feb 8-11 according to the Farmers Almanac. It also says for a chance of snow in the Mid-Atlantic Area in Mid-November and around Thanksgiving. The Old Farmers Almanac agrees saying the snowiest periods will be in early and mid December and in early to mid Feb. Now people in the Mid-Atlantics feelings may be down for snow but its been at least four years since we got a decent and major snowstorm in this area and i think we could see the major snowstorms in Feb. Now for the cities the urban heat effect is kind of confusing to me a little to me can someone explain how it works and when the temp starts to decline in a city such as Baltimore , Washington DC, Philly , ext. I know the Chesapeake Bay moderates the temps, should i pay attention to the bay temp to know what the temps in the long term might be ? Please reply anyone in the Mid-Atlantic region or anywhere.
The march 6 fail storm of this year is a perfect example of the heat island effect.You see days leading up to the storm weren't cold so the roads and soil was warm and when you combined that with a high sun angle for that time of year your not going to get much accumulation here in the cities,and the temps staying above 32 degrees made it turn into a all rain event.Unless the temperatures are cold prior to a snow event especially that late in the year don't expect a quick pile up of snow...
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 17074
215. StormTrackerScott
12:28 AM GMT on October 25, 2013
NW Caribbean is about to get active folks!

Member Since: February 28, 2013 Posts: 6 Comments: 3294
214. GrandCaymanMed
12:28 AM GMT on October 25, 2013
Quoting 212. StormTrackerScott:


Here's the 12Z GFS




Wow. Needless to say, I'm going to be watching the tropics very closely.
Member Since: March 31, 2013 Posts: 0 Comments: 264
213. CaicosRetiredSailor
12:28 AM GMT on October 25, 2013
Last year it was Mayan Calendar End of The World...

This year it is Fukushima...

What will it be next year?


Member Since: July 12, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6049
212. StormTrackerScott
12:26 AM GMT on October 25, 2013
Quoting 210. GrandCaymanMed:


I would not be surprised. FL and Cuba should keep a close eye on whatever forms.


Here's the 12Z GFS


Member Since: February 28, 2013 Posts: 6 Comments: 3294
211. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
12:24 AM GMT on October 25, 2013
Quoting 205. AussieStorm:
Sorry but... Where the heck is Dr Masters getting his 7% humidity reading from? Yesterday there was only 13% and that was at Sydney Airport which is 110km away from the fire grounds. I wish Dr Masters would get his information correct.



from the last blog


Quoting 504. JeffMasters:


METARS at YSSY (which is called Sidney NW in our database) had an RH of 4% on the 23rd:

http://www.wunderground.com/history/airport/YSSY/ 2013/10/23/DailyHistory.html

This is the station I was quoting.

Jeff Masters
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 173 Comments: 54323
210. GrandCaymanMed
12:23 AM GMT on October 25, 2013
Quoting 209. StormTrackerScott:


Some of the ensembles are showing a major hurricane in the NW Caribbean the first week of November.


I would not be surprised. FL and Cuba should keep a close eye on whatever forms.
Member Since: March 31, 2013 Posts: 0 Comments: 264
209. StormTrackerScott
12:22 AM GMT on October 25, 2013
Quoting 207. GrandCaymanMed:
Link

Numerous strong thunderstorms blowing up in the SW Caribbean, Caribbean, and Yucatan, due to a front interacting with a ULL and pulling moisture up from Central America. I expect outflow boundaries from storms over the SW Caribbean and the Yucatan to produce additional areas of convection over the NW Caribbean. The resulting disturbance over the NW Caribbean will be in a pocket of virtually no shear. That is what I expect to develop into a late season tropical cyclone. This process should take a few days, but MARK MY WORDS, the 2013 Hurricane Season is far from over.


Some of the ensembles are showing a major hurricane in the NW Caribbean the first week of November.
Member Since: February 28, 2013 Posts: 6 Comments: 3294
208. Hurricane614
12:20 AM GMT on October 25, 2013


Good Morning!
Member Since: September 6, 2013 Posts: 5 Comments: 503
207. GrandCaymanMed
12:17 AM GMT on October 25, 2013
Link

Numerous strong thunderstorms blowing up in the SW Caribbean, Caribbean, and Yucatan, due to a front interacting with a ULL and pulling moisture up from Central America. I expect outflow boundaries from storms over the SW Caribbean and the Yucatan to produce additional areas of convection over the NW Caribbean. The resulting disturbance over the NW Caribbean will be in a pocket of virtually no shear. That is what I expect to develop into a late season tropical cyclone. This process should take a few days, but MARK MY WORDS, the 2013 Hurricane Season is far from over.
Member Since: March 31, 2013 Posts: 0 Comments: 264
205. AussieStorm
12:15 AM GMT on October 25, 2013
Sorry but... Where the heck is Dr Masters getting his 7% humidity reading from? Yesterday there was only 13% and that was at Sydney Airport which is 110km away from the fire grounds. I wish Dr Masters would get his information correct.
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15937
204. Dakster
12:14 AM GMT on October 25, 2013
Quoting 189. JrWeathermanFL:
Chiefland Florida


Thanks -
Member Since: March 10, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 10399
203. Dakster
12:10 AM GMT on October 25, 2013
Quoting 202. Pallis:
Lest us not forget that they have already admitted to releasing a large amount of contaminated water into the sea, which by circular flow will end up everywhere eventually. We already had cor exit oil wash up south of Jacksonville this year. That means it moved from Horizon, all the way around the Keys and crept up the gulf stream. Next stop Coney island, Yay!


Yes, the Earth is round and the Oceans connect.
Member Since: March 10, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 10399
202. Pallis
12:07 AM GMT on October 25, 2013
Quoting 174. Dakster:


With TEPCO and Japan keeping everything to themselves, how can anyone vet the information?

All I need to know is a total meltdown and release of all nuclear fuel at the site- all 6 reactors -wouldn't be good.

Hopefully whatever plan they have - works.
Lest us not forget that they have already admitted to releasing a large amount of contaminated water into the sea, which by circular flow will end up everywhere eventually. We already had cor exit oil wash up south of Jacksonville this year. That means it moved from Horizon, all the way around the Keys and crept up the gulf stream. Next stop Coney island, Yay!
Member Since: August 25, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 522
201. allancalderini
11:59 PM GMT on October 24, 2013
Quoting 199. yqt1001:
The 2005 Atlantic hurricane season had a total of 66 category 5 hours. The 2013 Western Pacific typhoon season has had 84...with Lekima having the longest time accumulated at 36 total hours (Rita wins at 24 hours in the ATL).



And to think the WPAC is an average season this year....
In name storms I believe is above average right now but in typhoons or major typhoons they are average.
Member Since: October 15, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 4401
Quoting 156. AldreteMichael:
Just read Dr. Master's post today.

What caught my attention was Lekima's "eye expanded greatly in size while the storm stayed at Category 5 strength". What I found odd about this is that it sounded as if the old eye itself grew, as opposed to a new, larger eye replacing the old smaller eye as the old collapses in on itself, effectively meaning that the eyewall replacement cycle was skipped entirely.

If a tropical system can pull this feat, why don't all do so? What made this possible?

Also, if the eyewall replacement cycle can be skipped, how strong can a tropical system actually become? To my understanding, the EWRC is a major hindrance to a storm's power, because it takes time to complete, and the absolute ideal conditions for strengthening tend to fade away.

This is truly fascinating, and frightening.


Take a look at my blog.... you can see the discreet eyewall replacement cycle on there...

Link
Member Since: April 30, 2013 Posts: 5 Comments: 4316
The 2005 Atlantic hurricane season had a total of 66 category 5 hours. The 2013 Western Pacific typhoon season has had 84...with Lekima having the longest time accumulated at 36 total hours (Rita wins at 24 hours in the ATL).



And to think the WPAC is an average season this year....
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Quoting 194. islander44:


Ophelia pain.

I see what you did there... :P
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Hmm... interesting; setup for a severe weather event?

500mb winds (144 hrs)


Surface Temps (144 hrs)


Surface Dew Points (144 hrs)
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Quoting 190. taistelutipu:
The UK government has recently decided to build another nuclear power plant. The media remain silent regarding Fukushima, of course, they don't want to upset the new deal... so if I had relied on the media in my country, I wouldn't have known about the dangerous removal of spent fuel rods.

In other news, a round of very interesting weather is coming to the UK on Monday, gale to storm force winds with gusts up to 80 mph.

BBC weather forecast

Uk and France are safe places for nuke plants..... Japan and a lot of America is not
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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.