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2015 September

Joaquin Approaching Bahamas; Possible U.S. Landfall This Weekend

Hurricane and tropical storm warnings are up for the Bahamas as Hurricane Joaquin, now with 85 mph winds, continues to intensify. It appears likely that Joaquin will approach the U.S. East Coast this weekend, although some uncertainty remains in the track forecast.

Jeff Masters and Bob Henson • 9:14 PM GMT on September 30, 2015

Hurricane Warnings for the Bahamas From Joaquin; Threat to U.S. East Coast Grows

Joaquin is now a hurricane, and Hurricane Warnings are up for the Central Bahama Islands as the slowly intensifying storm moves southwest at 6 mph. An Air Force hurricane hunter aircraft made two penetrations of Joaquin's center on Wednesday morning, and found top surface winds of 80 mph, a central pressure of 971 mb, and a huge 54-mile diameter eye with a fully closed eyewall.

Jeff Masters and Bob Henson • 3:38 PM GMT on September 30, 2015

Joaquin Intensifying; Potential Threat for Bahamas and U.S. Coast

is gaining strength as it moves slowly west-southwest toward the eastern Bahamas. Joaquin’s top sustained winds were upgraded from 50 to 65 mph in the 5:00 pm Tuesday advisory from the National Hurricane Center (NHC). Joaquin is projected to become a strong Category 1 hurricane later this week, but its path beyond Friday remains very uncertain.

Bob Henson and Jeff Masters • 9:08 PM GMT on September 29, 2015

Tropical Storm Joaquin a Potential Threat to the Bahamas and U.S. East Coast

Tropical Storm Joaquin formed on Monday evening in the waters between Bermuda and the Bahamas, and could be a threat to both the Bahamas and the U.S. East Coast late this week. The forecast for Joaquin is very complex, and the confidence in both the intensity and track forecast for the storm is very low.

Jeff Masters and Bob Henson • 3:02 PM GMT on September 29, 2015

Dujuan Slams into Taiwan; TD 11 Forms in Northwest Atlantic

Typhoon Dujuan slammed into the northeast coast of Taiwan near the rural township of Nan’ao at 5:40 pm Monday local time (5:41 am EDT Monday), packing wind gusts above 150 mph. Torrential rains are occurring throughout the island and will sweep into China tonight and Tuesday. Meanwhile, Tropical Depression 11 has formed in the Northwest Atlantic and could become a tropical storm later this week.

Bob Henson and Jeff Masters • 5:05 PM GMT on September 28, 2015

Category 4 Dujuan Takes Aim on Taiwan

Taiwan is bracing for the arrival of Category 4 Typhoon Dujuan, which will tear across the northern part of the island on Monday night local time. Tropical Storm Niala may dump more than 12" of rain on the slopes of Hawaii's Big Island today and Monday as it passes to the south. In the Atlantic, Tropical Depression Ida is clinging to life, while a system east of the Bahamas may become a depression and a sprawling complex in the Gulf of Mexico will bring heavy rains to the Gulf of Mexico coastline from Houston to Tampa over the next several days.

Bob Henson and Jeff Masters • 5:41 PM GMT on September 27, 2015

Tropical Storm Niala Approaching Hawaii; Heavy Rains for Gulf Coast Likely From 99L

A Tropical Storm Watch and a Flash Flood Watch are posted for Hawaii's Big Island, as Tropical Storm Niala moves northwest at 8 mph on a course that will take it about 100 miles south of the Big Island on Sunday evening. The biggest threat from the storm will be heavy rain, which could bring 6 - 12" of rain and dangerous flash floods to the Big Island on Saturday and Sunday.

Jeff Masters • 3:22 PM GMT on September 26, 2015

Heavy Rains Ahead for Gulf and Mid-Atlantic; Niala, Dujuan Prowl the Pacific

A nontropical system will bring minor coastal flooding plus welcome rain this weekend to the mid-Atlantic, while another system that could undergo tropical/subtropical development is likely to bring heavy rain to the central Gulf Coast early next week. Newborn Tropical Storm Niali is gathering strength south of Hawaii, while powerful Typhoon Dujuan moves closer to East Asia.

Jeff Masters and Bob Henson • 4:17 PM GMT on September 25, 2015

Heavy Rain, Strong Winds for Southeast U.S. Coast; TD 16-E Remnants Drench Omaha

An elongated area of disturbed weather along the Southeast U.S. coast will bring impacts similar to that of a weak tropical storm, with heavy rains of up to 5" predicted along the North Carolina coast and strong onshore winds that will bring battering waves and flooding. The remnants of TD 16E brought rainfall of 5-8" to the Midwest on Wednesday, and a tropical disturbance may bring heavy rains to the central Gulf Coast early next week. Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Dujuan threatens to become a strong typhoon heading toward Asia early next week.

Jeff Masters and Bob Henson • 4:38 PM GMT on September 24, 2015

Potential Gulf of Mexico Development Next Week; Japan Watches TS Dujuan

Our top three models for forecasting tropical cyclone genesis are showing an area of low pressure capable of becoming a tropical or subtropical depression forming near Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula on Monday. An upper-level trough of low pressure over the Western Gulf of Mexico next week will likely bring high wind shear to the Gulf, limiting the potential for this system to strengthen, though.

Jeff Masters and Bob Henson • 3:49 PM GMT on September 23, 2015

Carbon Dioxide and Climate: What We Knew Then, What We Know Now

We’re in the midst of a landmark period for our changing climate: the warmest year thus far in the warmest decade in global records. This is also a crucial time for dialogue on climate change, as we approach a major UN meeting in Paris this December. How have emissions of carbon dioxide evolved over the last 45 years, and how will that shape the negotiations in Paris?

Bob Henson • 7:05 PM GMT on September 22, 2015

Invest 97L off Southeast U.S. Coast; Tropical Storm Ida Churns the Central Atlantic

An area of disturbed weather off the coast of North Carolina (Invest 97L) is bringing heavy rains to the waters just offshore from NC's Outer Banks. In the open Atlantic, Tropical Storm Ida continues to meander, while Tropical Storm Malia is moving across the Central Pacific and a new tropical depression has formed in the Northwest Pacific.

Bob Henson and Jeff Masters • 3:43 PM GMT on September 22, 2015

TD 16E Bringing Heavy Rain to Southwest; Tropical Storm Ida Stalling at Sea

Tropical Depression, which formed on Sunday just southwest of Baja California, crossed the peninsula on Sunday night and made a second landfall Monday morning on the east side of Mexico’s Sonoran state. TD 16E and a nearby upper low will join forces to bring heavy rain from southern California to New Mexico on Monday and Tuesday. Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Ida is moving slowly across the Central Atlantic, where it may become a hurricane by late this week.

Jeff Masters and Bob Henson • 3:43 PM GMT on September 21, 2015

Flash Floods Likely in Arizona and California From 91E; Atlantic Threats are Minimal

An area of disturbed weather off the coast of Mexico's Baja Peninsula (Invest 91E) is headed north at 15 mph, and will likely make landfall on the central Baja coast on Monday morning. An impressive surge of moisture 91E will bring some of the highest levels of water vapor ever recorded in September to Southern California and Arizona beginning on Monday and extending into Tuesday and very likely cause dangerous flash flooding.

Jeff Masters • 4:44 PM GMT on September 20, 2015

Watching 96L off South Carolina Coast; Tropical Storm Ida Forms in Central Atlantic

An area of disturbed weather off the coast of South Carolina (Invest 96L) is bringing heavy rains to the waters from the northern Bahamas to the Outer Banks of North Carolina, but is not a major wind or heavy rain threat to the coast.

JeffMasters, • 3:47 PM GMT on September 19, 2015

Two Tropical Depressions in Atlantic; More Record Heat in U.S., Europe

The tropics are relatively quiet, with neither of two tropical depressions in the Atlantic an immediate threat, but an extreme bout of record-warm heat has spread across Europe, while many parts of the United States are on track for their warmest September since record-keeping began more than a century ago.

Bob Henson • 7:27 PM GMT on September 18, 2015

Earth Has its Hottest Summer and Hottest August on Record

August 2015 was Earth's hottest August on record, and the Northern Hemisphere summer period of June-July-August was the hottest summer since record keeping began in 1880, said NOAA. NASA rated August 2015 as the 2nd warmest August on record. August 2015's warmth makes the year-to-date period (January - August) the warmest such period on record, according to both NOAA and NASA.

Jeff Masters • 4:00 PM GMT on September 17, 2015

Gulf of Mexico Distubance--30% Chance to Develop; TD 9 Struggling; 95L May Develop

An area of disturbed weather has developed along the boundary of an old front in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Florida, and is bringing heavy rains to portions of the Florida Peninsula, where 2 - 3" of rain are expected over the next few days. The disturbance will emerge over the waters off the coast of South Carolina by Saturday, when wind shear may fall enough to allow development.

Jeff Masters • 2:35 PM GMT on September 17, 2015

TD 9 Forms in Central Atlantic

The last few days of rare September quietude in the global tropics are coming to an end, with a new tropical depression in the Atlantic and a named tropical storm in the Pacific. Meanwhile, some of the worst impacts associated with tropical cyclones this year are happening long after the storms dissipate, as the remnants of former Hurricane Linda fed into deadly flood-producing rains in Utah, and moisture from former Tropical Storm Henri has contributed to severe thunderstorms in Europe.

Bob Henson • 7:05 PM GMT on September 16, 2015

Linda’s Moisture Contributes to Heavy Rain, Deadly Flooding in Southwest

Utah experienced its single deadliest flash flood on record on Monday, and Los Angeles saw one of the wettest September days in its history, as moisture from the remnants of former Category 3 Hurricane Linda was carried into the Southwest. Meanwhile, there were no named tropical storms on the planet early Tuesday morning, the second such period to occur this month after a 54-hour streak last weekend, but several systems are being monitored for potential development.

Bob Henson • 6:32 PM GMT on September 15, 2015

Wildfires Rage across California; Tropics Quiet for Now

California's Valley Fire grew from an estimated 400 acres on Saturday to 50,000 acres on Sunday and roared across the community of Middletown, prompting hasty evacuations and apparently destroying large parts of the town. At least 412 structures had been lost, and the fire is zero percent contained. Two other large wildland fires are afflicting central California, while the tropics are largely quiet for now.

Bob Henson • 5:06 PM GMT on September 14, 2015

Disturbances 93L and 94L Little Threat; All-Time Record Heat in the Caribbean

A tropical wave located a few hundred miles southwest of the Cape Verde islands on Sunday morning was moving west to west-northwestwards at about 15 mph. The wave showed a modest increase in its heavy thunderstorm activity overnight, and was designated Invest 93L by NHC on Sunday morning. Conditions are favorable for development, but it appears likely that this wave will curve to the north well before it can affect the Lesser Antilles Islands.

JeffMasters, • 3:41 PM GMT on September 13, 2015

Only a Few Minor Threat Areas in the Tropical Atlantic

A tropical wave that moved off the coast of Africa on Thursday was a few hundred miles south of the Cape Verde islands on Saturday morning, and was moving west to west-northwestwards across the Atlantic at about 15 mph. Though the wave does not yet have much spin or heavy thunderstorm activity, conditions are favorable for development. It appears likely that this wave will curve to the north well before it can affect the Lesser Antilles Islands.

Jeff Masters • 2:43 PM GMT on September 12, 2015

El Niño Heads for Potential Record Strength; Japan Picks up Pieces from Etau’s Rains

NOAA’s monthly update on El Niño confirms that we are on the upswing of one of the strongest El Niño events--very possibly the strongest--of the past 65 years of recordkeeping. Damage continues to mount in central Japan as a result of a persistent band of heavy rain, associated with Tropical Storm Etau, that caused landslides and flooding over the area.

Bob Henson • 6:31 PM GMT on September 11, 2015

Henri Forms; a New African Wave is Worth Watching; Etau Deluges Japan

Tropical Storm Henri got its name on Wednesday evening in the waters a few hundred miles east of Bermuda, but appears destined to be short-lived and quickly forgotten. The Atlantic has seen close to average levels of activity this year: 8 named storms, 2 hurricanes, and 1 major hurricane; a typical season sees 6 named storms, 2 hurricanes, and 1 major hurricane by this point in the season.

Jeff Masters • 4:03 PM GMT on September 10, 2015

El Niño Expected to Increase Nuisance Coastal Flooding in U.S.

El Niño is expected to cause an increase in coastal “nuisance” flooding at high tide along the U.S. West Coast and mid-Atlantic coasts. Nuisance flooding is expensive, causing frequent road closures, overwhelmed storm water systems, and damage to infrastructure.

Jeff Masters • 7:03 PM GMT on September 09, 2015

Grace Dissipates; TD 8 Forms South of Newfoundland

Tropical Depression Eight spun into life on Wednesday morning in the waters a few hundred miles east-southeast of Bermuda, and appears poised to become Tropical Storm Henri by Thursday. TD 8 is under high wind shear of 20 knots, which is inhibiting development, but ocean waters are warm, near 28.5°C (83°F). TD 8 will likely pass over or near southeast Newfoundland, Canada on Saturday morning.

Jeff Masters • 3:27 PM GMT on September 09, 2015

Grace on the Decline; 92L Forms near Bermuda

Tropical Storm Grace has been downgraded to a depression in central Atlantic, while a system east of Bermuda could be intensifying in the next day or two. In the Pacific, Hurricane Linda has intensified to a Category 3 system several hundred miles west of Baja California, and Tropical Storm Etau is headed toward Japan, bringing heavy rains and wind.

Bob Henson • 3:58 PM GMT on September 08, 2015

Remembering the Labor Day Hurricane of 1935 in the Florida Keys

As Tropical Storm Grace struggles in the Atlantic (see below), today offers a chance to commemorate the victims of a much more devastating cyclone. Eighty years ago, on this federal holiday that recognizes U.S. workers, a group of World War I veterans toiling to improve life on the Florida Keys lost their lives in one of the great workplace tragedies of U.S. history, as the strongest landfalling hurricane on record in the Western Hemisphere brought Category 5 winds and a terrifying storm surge to the upper Florida Keys on the late evening of Monday, September 2, 1935.

Bob Henson • 5:50 PM GMT on September 07, 2015

In Eastern Atlantic, Grace Intensifies While Fred Clings to Life

Tropical Storm Grace, now intensifying in the eastern Atlantic, became the Atlantic’s seventh named storm of the 2015 tropical season on Saturday. Further east, Tropical Depression Fred continues to survive despite hostile conditions, and it may hang on as a tropical cyclone through this week. In the Northeast Pacific, new Tropical Storm Linda is intensifying fairly quickly.

Bob Henson • 5:07 PM GMT on September 06, 2015

TD 7 Forms in the Eastern Atlantic; Likely to Become Tropical Storm Grace

Tropical Depression Seven spun into life on Saturday morning in the waters a few hundred miles south of the Cape Verde islands in the Eastern Atlantic, and appears poised to become Tropical Storm Grace by Sunday. TD 7 is under conditions which favor development: light wind shear of 5 - 10 knots, warm ocean waters of 28.3°C (83°F), and a moist atmosphere.

Jeff Masters • 3:46 PM GMT on September 05, 2015

Watching African Wave 91L; Rare September European Heat Wave Smashes Records

A strong tropical wave with plenty of spin and heavy thunderstorm activity (Invest 91L) moved off the coast of Africa on Thursday, and is headed west at 15 - 20 mph, on a path that will take it a few hundred miles south of the Cape Verde islands over the weekend. The GFS model showed development of 91L into a tropical depression by Tuesday midway between Africa and the Lesser Antilles Islands.

Jeff Masters • 3:45 PM GMT on September 04, 2015

Arctic Sea Ice May Reach Second-Lowest Extent on Record This Month

A burst of late-season loss over the last several weeks has put the Arctic Ocean’s ice cover within reach of the lowest extent observed in any year except 2012. In the tropics, a new system moving off Africa could become a depression over the next five days, and Tropical Storm Fred is barely hanging on to life, while Hurricanes Jimena and Ignacio and Typhoon Kilo continue to prowl the Pacific.

Bob Henson and Jeff Masters • 4:18 PM GMT on September 03, 2015

U.S. Wildfires 2015: Are The Worst Yet To Come?

Thus far, 2015 has been one of the worst U.S. wildland fire seasons since modern records began, largely due to massive fires in Alaska. As fall approaches, the risk of major fire continues across the western states, with the role of climate change under increased scrutiny. Meanwhile, the Northern Hemisphere tropics are beginning to settle down for a spell after a hyperactive August.

Bob Henson and Jeff Masters • 4:38 PM GMT on September 02, 2015

Fred Weakens after Lashing Cape Verde Islands

Downgraded from hurricane status on Monday night, Tropical Storm Fred carved its way into the record books as it made the most direct hurricane strike on the Cape Verde islands in modern records. Meanwhile, the extremely active Pacific has made this the busiest Northern Hemisphere year to date in modern records in terms of accumulated energy from tropical cyclones.

Bob Henson • 4:21 PM GMT on September 01, 2015