Andrea no help for Florida's fires

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 11:26 PM GMT on May 09, 2007

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Subtropical Storm Andrea has changed little since it was named at 11am today. The amount of thunderstorm activity has decreased on the storm's west side, but become a little more concentrated on the east side. The organization of the spiral bands of rainfall visible on the Jacksonville, FL long range radar has remained about the same, and winds at some of the offshore buoys have remained fairly constant. Andrea remains a sloppy, disorganized storm. The main threat from the storm is coastal erosion due to the pounding surf it is generating--plus a possible fanning of the fires burning in Florida and Georgia (see below).

Wind shear has increased from 10 knots this morning to about 25 knots this evening. Shear is expected to increase to over 30 knots late tonight. Given the unfavorable wind shear, and the fact that the storm is over waters of 24-25 degrees C, I don't expect any significant intensification of Andrea. A slow decay as forecast by NHC seems reasonable.

Andrea and the Florida/Georgia fires
As Andrea began to form on Tuesday off the Carolina coast, the counter-clockwise circulation of air around the center of low pressure brought northerly winds over northern Florida and southern Georgia, where significant fires are burning. These north winds blew the smoke from the fires into the Tampa/St. Petersburg area, where unhealthy levels of particulate matter air pollution were recorded (Figure 1). The storm moved far enough west and south today that a more westerly flow of air has been carrying the smoke out over the Atlantic. Rainfall from Andrea has been less than 0.3 inches across the fires zones, which is not enough to douse them; in fact, the storm's high winds have served to fan the flames.

Andrea is a very dry storm; peak rainfall rates are only about 0.25 inches per hour, in the storm's southeastern rainbands. These rainbands are not expected to hit the coast in the next two days. Maximum total rainfall observed by the Jacksonville radar has been less than 1.5 inches.


Figure 1. NASA MODIS image of fires burning over Florida on May 8, 2007. Image credit: NASA Earth Observatory.

Early storms
The last time a named storm formed so early in the year was on April 18 2003, when Tropical Storm Ana formed near Bermuda. An unnamed subtropical storm also formed on April 21, 1992.

Longest period with a tropical cyclone ends
Andrea's formation brings to a close the longest period on record globally without a tropical cyclone. The last advisory issued on a tropical cyclone this year was at 06 GMT on April 6th, for Tropical Cyclone Cliff in the Southern Hemisphere. Today's 15 GMT advisory on Subtropical Storm Andrea ends the record longest period without a tropical cyclone at 33.4 days, besting the old record of 31.5 days set mid-April to mid-May in 1984. Reliable records of global tropical cyclone numbers go back to the beginning of the satellite era, about 1970.

I'll have an update in the morning. The next Quikscat pass is at about 8pm. The next Hurricane Hunter mission is not until 8am Thursday.

Jeff Masters

Smokey Florida Sunrise (Peacefulbon)
Southwest Florida is being affected by the fires burning on the Georgia/Florida border, some 300 miles away. The smoke plume reduced visability to less than half a mile yesterday, and this morning resulted in this hazy sun at 8 a.m.
Smokey Florida Sunrise
Smoke (BillyBob)
Smoke moving in to Central Florida from the fires in Georgia and Northern Florida created this interesting orange glow. I took this photo, this morning, looking east across Lake Henry near Winter Haven.
Smoke

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308. HurricaneFCast
9:35 AM GMT on May 10, 2007
..


WIND SHEAR
Member Since: April 20, 2007 Posts: 7 Comments: 1482
307. MZT
9:37 AM GMT on May 10, 2007
I'll agree there is not as much improvement tonight as there was the previous two nights. Today may be the last gasp, but they will probably keep tropical storm advisories on it until at least 11 AM.
Member Since: September 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 793
306. KoritheMan
9:34 AM GMT on May 10, 2007
Our friend Andrea's maximum sustained winds have decreased to 40 mph, with the pressure still at 1003 mb. I would expect the shear and dry air combination to tear Andrea apart by tommorow night or early Friday morning. However, I'm not putting a 100% confidence on this forecast, and I would expect Andrea to either remain at this intensity all day tommorow, and strengthen to 45 mph late tommorow night into Friday morning, or weaken to a subtropical depression tommorow night or Friday morning.
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304. dewfree
7:18 AM GMT on May 10, 2007
the storm willbe thier just as it is slightly displaced but they just dont disapate into oblivion untill they haveinfluence to such as land so witht he blocking going on at present i dont think it is going very far and also think that it ispossible for it to sit thier for days apon end ,but please dont make more of it then it really is !!subtropical low!! The blob of convection in the last posting to the far right southeastern corner is more likey to do more then sit on its duff yaw have a good day . Dew
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303. dewfree
6:43 AM GMT on May 10, 2007
ohh my gosh !!!
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302. kylejourdan2006
12:27 AM MDT on May 10, 2007
Definitely Colby - She's not going to last much longer at all. The center appears to be much displaced from the strong convection.

Still, I think there's another interesting area to watch in the Atlantic. It's the surface trough in the upper right of this picture:

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301. ForecasterColby
5:35 AM GMT on May 10, 2007
Andrea's getting sheared apart, final advisory is likely tomorrow.
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300. fldoughboy
4:35 AM GMT on May 10, 2007
I live in North Florida and it was excessively smoky. This is the first time I can remember that our air quality level was "unhealthy". It rained ash for most of the day yesterday and part of the day today. The smoke cleared out, but came in before sunset with a dark sky with Andrea looming off the coast. No rain at all, just breezy.
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299. melwerle
4:01 AM GMT on May 10, 2007
night y'all - i gotta go to bed before i get too tired - then i'm going to get punch happy and posting cantore websites.

Bitter, party of one...just jealous he's not staying in my neighborhood!
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298. Rlennon
4:00 AM GMT on May 10, 2007
Well goodnight all cya in the morning.
297. MZT
3:55 AM GMT on May 10, 2007
Hmm, the expansion of coverage that all the images through 11:23 had, isn't supported very well by the 11:51 image.

Blah, I'm not staying up another half hour. It'll be what it's gonna be. I still think it will be there in the morning, that's the overall trend. We'll see.
Member Since: September 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 793
296. melwerle
3:58 AM GMT on May 10, 2007
(sorry - i love the guy for dramatic effects honest...)
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295. Rlennon
3:58 AM GMT on May 10, 2007
Nice Mel
294. melwerle
3:54 AM GMT on May 10, 2007
ok - cantore is in tybee...that's it for me. I'm going to bed before i run into him on river street. The guy needs hair - it would make it more dramatic - even if it was a sweep over...

www.buycantoreatoupe.com

lol
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293. MZT
3:51 AM GMT on May 10, 2007
Savannah/Charleston radar shows a nice blob of storms coming.
Member Since: September 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 793
292. ForecasterColby
3:42 AM GMT on May 10, 2007
She's becoming more tropical, but dissipating.
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291. Rlennon
3:48 AM GMT on May 10, 2007
Looks like the sheer is pushing the TS activity to the west. It will be interesting to see if she can make it thought this sheer period.
290. kmanislander
3:46 AM GMT on May 10, 2007
" Because Andrea is expected to remain over cool waters it should gradually weaken .." LOL
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289. MZT
3:46 AM GMT on May 10, 2007
I'm just hanging around for one more image...
Member Since: September 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 793
288. Rlennon
3:44 AM GMT on May 10, 2007
StormJunkie as a great yearly track of the sst for the GS during the minth of may over the last couple of years and it shows how the temp is increaseing ever year.
287. MTJax
11:43 PM EDT on May 09, 2007
SUBTROPICAL STORM ANDREA DISCUSSION NUMBER 3
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL012007
1100 PM EDT WED MAY 09 2007

ANDREA CONSISTS OF SEVERAL SMALL SWIRLS EMBEDDED WITHIN A LARGER
CIRCULATION. MOST OF THE ASSOCIATED WEATHER IS LOCATED TO THE
EASTERN HALF OF THE CYCLONE WITHIN A BAND OF MODERATE CONVECTION.
THE INITIAL INTENSITY IS KEPT AT 40 KNOTS...BUT THESE WINDS ARE
PROBABLY CONFINED TO THE CONVECTIVE BAND. A PARTIAL QUIKSCAT PASS
SUGGESTS THAT THE WINDS MAY BE WEAKER. BECAUSE ANDREA IS EXPECTED
TO REMAIN OVER COOL WATERS IT SHOULD GRADUALLY WEAKEN...AS
INDICATED BY SHIPS AND GLOBAL MODELS. ONLY THE GFDL MAKES ANDREA A
LITTLE BIT STRONGER.

THE CYCLONE HAS BEEN MEANDERING DURING THE PAST SEVERAL HOURS
EMBEDDED WITHIN THE CIRCULATION OF A LARGE UPPER TROUGH. ONLY A
SMALL SOUTHWARD DRIFT IS ANTICIPATED AS THE CYCLONE BECOMES STEERED
BY THE NORTHERLY FLOW ON THE BACK SIDE OF THE UPPER TROUGH. THIS
TROUGH IS FORECAST TO MOVE EASTWARD AND WEAKEN. THIS IS CONSISTENT
WITH TRACK GUIDANCE WHICH INDEED SUGGESTS VERY LITTLE MOTION OF THE
CYCLONE OR WHATEVER IS LEFT OVER THE NEXT 2 OR 3 DAYS.

GIVEN THE UNCERTAINTIES IN THE FORECAST TRACK...INTENSITY...AND WIND
RADII... THE TROPICAL STORM WATCH REMAINS UNCHANGED AT THIS TIME.

FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS

INITIAL 10/0300Z 30.5N 79.8W 40 KT
12HR VT 10/1200Z 30.4N 80.0W 35 KT
24HR VT 11/0000Z 30.0N 80.2W 35 KT
36HR VT 11/1200Z 29.5N 80.5W 30 KT
48HR VT 12/0000Z 29.5N 80.5W 25 KT
72HR VT 13/0000Z 29.5N 80.5W 25 KT...DISSIPATING
96HR VT 14/0000Z...DISSIPATED
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286. kmanislander
3:43 AM GMT on May 10, 2007
Agreed scCane

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285. kmanislander
3:41 AM GMT on May 10, 2007
Anyway tomorrow morning will tell one way or another. Its been fun discussing this though. I appreciated all the different points of view.

good nite all

C U tomorrow
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284. melwerle
3:32 AM GMT on May 10, 2007
oh forget it - nice winds here in savannah - not much rain - a bit - maybe a spritz (god help the man dying of thirst). But for tonight, let me thank whomever for allowing me to keep my bedroom window open instead of paying the electric company 4 gazillion dollars a month for my ac. Also, thanks for the "oooooooo" sound outside. For a change, we're not choking from the smoke from the fires in waycross and things here are cooler. It's not all about me though - i am sorry for the folks who have lost their homes and are having to pack up and leave (both on this coast and the west coast). Have done it before and my heart goes out to you.

Thank god for open windows and a house that is standing. (oh...and thanks for the mallowmars too...)

I still say it's going north...lol
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283. scCane
3:38 AM GMT on May 10, 2007
like Rlennon said it is fairly weak and not churring up much water while indeed water does play affect it affects hurricanes more not so much weak ts/subtropical storms.
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282. kmanislander
3:38 AM GMT on May 10, 2007
RLennon
I would agree if I was convinced that Andrea was in fact sitting over the Gulf Stream. Maybe the E semi circle is in part but the Western half looks to be outside the current
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281. kmanislander
3:37 AM GMT on May 10, 2007
I do agree that the increase in shear has played a role in its near demise but water temps are also a material consideration ( IMO )
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280. Rlennon
3:35 AM GMT on May 10, 2007
I don't think the storm is strong enough to chur up a lot of water and then the GS is a warm river that will keep replacing the cooler water that is upwelled.
279. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
3:25 AM GMT on May 10, 2007
update sub tropical storm andrea upgraded to micro tropical storm lol
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278. Skyepony (Mod)
3:34 AM GMT on May 10, 2007
We got a cloudsat pass of 90L lastnight.
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277. kmanislander
3:34 AM GMT on May 10, 2007
scCane

Was Epsilon stationary churning up cool water and making it even cooler ?
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275. scCane
3:25 AM GMT on May 10, 2007
kmani your paying to much attention to surface temps the reason it lost some power is due to shear not temps hurricane eplison stayed a hurricane with temps 70-75 with shear in december the temps now would easly be able to hold a ts together. I think the shear may be wanning slightly for the moment how long that may continue will determine its fate.
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274. pottery
11:26 PM AST on May 09, 2007
There is some ITCZ showers between 20W and 45 W in the Atlantic, but no sign of anything but dust coming off Africa. Cant see any weather originating from that area for a while again.
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273. StoryOfTheCane
3:20 AM GMT on May 10, 2007
its not getting better, its way too close to land right now, if it was 100 miles SW it would have a good shot at intensifying
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272. kmanislander
3:19 AM GMT on May 10, 2007
I just checked a few maps on the location of the gulf stream and in the location where Andrea is it is actually E of 80 W which places Andrea on the far W edge or just W of the gulf stream. If significant convection develops over those cooler waters I would be surprised
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270. pottery
11:19 PM AST on May 09, 2007
Me too, Thel. Thanks.
And the same to you !
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269. MZT
3:16 AM GMT on May 10, 2007
scCane, I think this has been a useful storm to study diurnal effects. The fact that it has stayed in pretty much the same spot for 3 nights under similar conditions, and is on the knife's edge of TS status, make it easier to sense that "bottoming" at diurnal minimum.
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268. thelmores
3:16 AM GMT on May 10, 2007
ok....Pottery, hope you get all the rain you want! LOL
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267. thelmores
3:15 AM GMT on May 10, 2007
looks like we have "some" convection showing up on the radar.....

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266. pottery
11:11 PM AST on May 09, 2007
Thel, I'm not sure how to read that ! lol
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265. scCane
3:06 AM GMT on May 10, 2007
right on que dinural effect looks like the convection while weak is trying to go over the center agian slight burst on north and se side looks like it still has some life.

http://www.nrlmry.navy.mil/tcdat/tc07/ATL/01L.ANDREA/ir/geo/1km_bw/20070510.0215.goes12.x.ir1km_bw. 01LANDREA.40kts-1003mb-306N-797W.100pc.jpg
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264. C2News
3:12 AM GMT on May 10, 2007
I think the storm weakened and is now getting better...that water vapor image looks better....
Member Since: July 17, 2006 Posts: 73 Comments: 622
263. kmanislander
3:10 AM GMT on May 10, 2007
Andrea may in fact be just West or on the Western edge of the Gulf stream and not really benefitting from its heat content. The increase in convection last night and this morning while it was moving W probably had a lot to do with its then location relative to that heat source. I suspect it may have moved far enough West to be back over much cooler water, hence the poor presentation
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262. louisianaboy444
3:10 AM GMT on May 10, 2007
do you think it is possible for that front to pick up the storm and turn it out to sea before it even makes landfall...i mean if it stays stationary for awhile it seems possible
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261. pottery
11:04 PM AST on May 09, 2007
Yeah Kman. Bonedry here too. Some ITCZ stuff in the Atlantic, but with the dust blowing over I think we have a few more weeks of this.
Lost 1500 gals of precious water here when a small tree boa fell into the cistern, and by the time I realised what was up, the water was tasting real funky ! The plants were happy though. Had to pump it out and clean the tank !
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260. MZT
3:06 AM GMT on May 10, 2007
WU has an 11:05 image in. It appears that Andrea has developed a nice spot of "gold" convection again on the east side.

There is also a blip forming on the SW side offshore of Palm Coast, which has been growing since 10:22.

There also are hints that the convection is trying to wrap around the north side.

I'm sticking with my call that the storm is improving... slowly.
Member Since: September 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 793
259. StoryOfTheCane
3:08 AM GMT on May 10, 2007
look at this monster lol

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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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