WunderBlog Archive » Category 6™

Category 6 has moved! See the latest from Dr. Jeff Masters and Bob Henson here.

2016 July

97L Sweeps Toward Lesser Antilles; Nida Approaching Philippines

A flash flood watch is in effect for Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands as Invest 97L sweeps westward toward the Lesser Antilles. 97L will have an increasing chance of development as it moves toward the western Caribbean next week. Meanwhile, Invest 96L is struggling in the eastern Atlantic; Invest 91E could become Tropical Storm Howard in the Eastern Pacific over the next several days; and Tropical Storm Nida will sweep through the northern Philippines this weekend en route to a landfall in southeast China, perhaps near Hong Kong, early next week.

Bob Henson • 10:54 PM GMT on July 30, 2016

The Big Thompson Disaster: Reverberations of a Flash Flood, 40 Years Later

What began as a celebratory Saturday in the mountains ended in tragedy 40 years ago this weekend, when a catastrophic flash flood ripped through the narrow Big Thompson Canyon of Colorado’s Front Range. A total of 144 people were killed on that Saturday evening, July 31, 1976--the eve of the 100th anniversary of Colorado’s statehood. critical gaps in weather data, communication, and public awareness had teamed up with a slow-moving deluge to create a true disaster, one that’s had a noteworthy influence on how we deal with flash floods today.

Bob Henson • 10:20 PM GMT on July 29, 2016

Twin Invests 96L and 97L Worth Watching in the Atlantic

There's a new threat area to discuss today in the Atlantic: a tropical wave midway between the Lesser Antilles Islands and the Cabo Verde Islands that is headed west-northwest at 25 mph. This disturbance was designated Invest 97L on Thursday afternoon by NHC, and should arrive in the northern Lesser Antilles by late Saturday night. The Hurricane Hunters are on call to investigate the storm on Sunday, if needed.

Jeff Masters • 2:41 PM GMT on July 29, 2016

96L Off the Coast of Africa Growing More Organized

A strong tropical wave that moved off the coast of Africa on Wednesday morning has become more organized over the far eastern Atlantic, and has the potential to develop into a tropical depression in the coming days as it tracks west-northwestward at 10 - 15 mph into the middle Atlantic.

Jeff Masters • 2:01 PM GMT on July 28, 2016

First African Tropical Wave of the Year to Get Designated an 'Invest': 96L

One of the strongest tropical waves of the 2016 African monsoon season moved off the coast of Africa on Wednesday morning, and has the potential to develop into a tropical depression in the coming days as it tracks westwards at 15 - 20 mph into the middle Atlantic. NHC designated this disturbance Invest 96L on Wednesday morning--the first "Invest" of the year for an African tropical wave.

Jeff Masters • 3:21 PM GMT on July 27, 2016

Extreme 'Grey Swan' Hurricanes in Tampa Bay: a Potential Future Catastrophe

Hurricanes more extreme than any observed in recorded history can occur in a warming climate, and can be anticipated by combining physical knowledge with historical data. The risk of such “grey swan” hurricanes for Tampa, Florida may increase by up to a factor of fourteen by the end of the century, thanks to our changing climate.

Jeff Masters • 3:54 PM GMT on July 26, 2016

Darby Makes the Closest Pass to Honolulu by a Tropical Storm in Recorded History

The closest approach on record by a tropical storm to the island of Oahu resulted in torrential rains in excess of ten inches there as Tropical Storm Darby passed just 40 miles to the south and west of Honolulu, Oahu on Sunday with sustained winds of 40 mph. No other named storm on record has passed that close to Honolulu or Oahu since accurate records began in 1949.

Jeff Masters • 3:34 PM GMT on July 25, 2016

Darby Falling Apart as it Makes Landfall on Hawaii's Big Island

Tropical Storm Warnings are flying for the Big Island of Hawaii, Maui and Oahu as Tropical Storm Darby dashes itself against the high mountains of the Big Island. Saturday evening satellite loops showed that Darby was becoming misshapen and disorganized as it made landfall on the Big Island, and radar on the Big Island showed a highly asymmetric storm, with all of the heavy rains confined to the southeast side.

Jeff Masters • 10:57 PM GMT on July 23, 2016

Tropical Storm Warnings in Hawaii for Darby

Tropical Storm Warnings are flying for the Big Island of Hawaii and Maui as Tropical Storm Darby steams westwards at 11 mph towards Hawaii. An Air Force hurricane hunter aircraft was in Darby Friday afternoon, and found top surface winds near 60 mph and a surface pressure of 999 mb.

Jeff Masters • 9:18 PM GMT on July 22, 2016

Eastern Hemisphere's All-Time Temperature Record: Kuwait Fries in 54°C (129.2°F) Heat

It was a historic day in the annals of meteorology on Thursday, July 21, 2016 in the Middle East, where the temperature in Mitribah, Kuwait soared to an astonishing 54°C (129.2°F). If verified, this would be Earth's hottest temperature ever reliably measured outside of Death Valley, California.

Jeff Masters • 3:01 AM GMT on July 22, 2016

WU Personal Weather Stations Are Now 200,000+ Strong

From around 30,000 stations in 2013, mostly in the United States, the WU Personal Weather Station (PWS) Network has now grown to include four continents and 195 nations--and recently passed a major milestone: 200,000 stations! Not only is this the largest PWS Network on Earth, it is also one of the world’s biggest Internet of Things (IoT) platforms.

Bob Henson • 2:42 PM GMT on July 21, 2016

June Does It Again: Global Temperature Sets 14th Consecutive Monthly Record

June 2016 was still the planet's warmest June since record keeping began in 1880, said NOAA and NASA. June 2016 marked the 14th consecutive month that the global monthly temperature record was broken, which is the longest such streak since global temperature records began in 1880.

Jeff Masters and Bob Henson • 7:05 PM GMT on July 19, 2016

Could the Imminent U.S. Heat Wave Trigger a Flash Drought?

A massive upper-level high will envelop most of the contiguous U.S. in the last half of July, setting up what could be a prolonged bout of extreme heat for millions of Americans. If the scorching weather persists into August, the odds of a “flash drought” in the nation’s heartland will rise sharply.

Bob Henson • 12:36 AM GMT on July 19, 2016

Eastern Pacific Hurricane Parade Continues; Record Ocean Heat Energy in the Atlantic

The Eastern Pacific's unending parade of tropical cyclones continues. The latest member of the show is Hurricane Estelle, which got its name Friday night. The Atlantic remains quiet, but has record to near-record levels of heat energy in its waters. This could promote rapidly-intensifying major hurricanes later in the season.

Jeff Masters and Bob Henson • 3:04 PM GMT on July 18, 2016

Earth's 5th Costliest Non-U.S. Weather Disaster on Record: China's $22 Billion Flood

A historic flood event continues in China, where torrential monsoon rains along the Yangtze River Valley in central and eastern China since early summer have killed 237 people, left 93 people missing, and caused at least $22 billion in damage. This would make the 2016 floods China's second most expensive weather-related natural disaster in history, and Earth's fifth most expensive non-U.S. weather-related disaster ever.

Jeff Masters and Bob Henson • 4:14 PM GMT on July 15, 2016

Two Flavors of Record Heat: Deadhorse and Houston

Extreme heat was recorded at either end of North America on Wednesday, with all-time record highs notched at stations in New Mexico and Alaska. Meanwhile, Houston is experiencing an uncommon string of very sultry nights, even by Gulf Coast standards. Extreme heat will invade the U.S. midsection next week as an intense upper-level high develops. In the Eastern Pacific, hurricanes continue to swirl south of Mexico, with the fifth in a series of named storms during July likely to develop in the next few days.

Bob Henson and Jeff Masters • 4:38 PM GMT on July 14, 2016

The U.S. Summer is Off to a Record-Hot Start

Last month was the warmest June in 122 years of U.S. recordkeeping, beating out June 1933, according to the monthly climate roundup released on Wednesday by NOAA. Each of the 48 contiguous states came in above its average temperature for June, with Arizona and Utah setting all-time June records for heat. Despite catastrophic flash flooding in West Virginia, the month as a whole was unusually dry for the nation as a whole. A massive heat wave may engulf much of the nation later this month, while a procession of Eastern Pacific tropical cyclones continues with the birth of Tropical Storm Darby.

Bob Henson and Jeff Masters • 4:58 PM GMT on July 12, 2016

The Eastern Pacific is Sizzling; Nothing Cooking in the Atlantic

The Eastern Pacific is in the midst of an extraordinary period of July activity, thanks to favorable genesis conditions created by the presence of the Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO.) Hurricane Celia could have two new companions--Darby and Estelle--by this time next week.

Jeff Masters • 3:36 PM GMT on July 11, 2016

Typhoon Nepartak Drenches Taiwan, Killing 2; Now Headed For China

Typhoon Nepartak powered ashore over the southeastern shore of Taiwan at approximately 6:30 pm EDT (22:30 UTC) July 7 as a Category 4 super typhoon with top sustained winds of 150 mph. Nepartak hit a relatively unpopulated portion of Taiwan, limiting the damage from the storm. At this writing, two deaths and 72 injuries had been blamed on Nepartak.

Jeff Masters • 3:40 PM GMT on July 08, 2016

Nepartak Holding on to Category 5 Strength Just Hours Before Landfall in Taiwan

Super Typhoon Nepartak is holding on to Category 5 strength just hours before landfall in southern Taiwan. At 8 am EDT Thursday, the Japanese Meteorological Agency estimated that Nepartak had a central pressure of 900 mb, and the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) estimated top sustained winds of 160 mph.

Jeff Masters • 4:06 PM GMT on July 07, 2016

Category 5 Nepartak Headed for a Thursday Landfall in Taiwan

Category 5 Super Typhoon Nepartak is steaming towards a Thursday landfall in Taiwan after putting on a phenomenal display of rapid intensification on Monday and Tuesday.

Jeff Masters • 3:31 PM GMT on July 06, 2016

Super Typhoon Nepartak Takes Aim at Taiwan

Residents of Taiwan are turning worried eyes eastwards, where Super Typhoon Nepartak is steaming towards them after putting on a phenomenal display of rapid intensification. Nepartak went from a tropical storm with 70 mph winds on Monday afternoon to a Category 4 super typhoon with 150 mph winds in just 24 hours.

Jeff Masters • 10:13 PM GMT on July 05, 2016

East and West Pacific Tropical Cyclone Seasons Begin With a Bang

The longest tropical cyclone-free period in Northwest Pacific history--200 days--ended on Saturday July 3, with the formation of Tropical Storm Nepartak in the waters just south of Guam. It's also been an unusually late to the Eastern Pacific hurricane season, which finally got its first named storm on July 2 when Tropical Storm Agatha formed.

Jeff Masters • 12:53 AM GMT on July 05, 2016

Chinese Floods Kill 186: Earth's Costliest and 2nd Deadliest Weather Disaster of 2016

Torrential monsoon rains along a stalled frontal boundary near the Yangtze River in China have killed 186 people, left 45 people missing, and caused at least $7.6 billion in damage--the world's most expensive and second deadliest weather-related disaster so far in 2016.

Jeff Masters • 3:33 PM GMT on July 04, 2016

Heat vs. Cold: Which Is More Dangerous for Kids in Cars?

Children are vulnerable to both extreme heat and cold, but when young children (or pets] are left in a closed vehicle, heat is by far the more dangerous of the two threats, for a variety of reasons.

Bob Henson • 4:33 PM GMT on July 01, 2016