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2012 September

Jelawat hits Okinawa; TS Norman feeds heavy rains in Texas

Typhoon Jelawat slammed into Okinawa Saturday morning as a Category 3 storm with 115 mph winds. The small 7-mile diameter eye tracked just west of the island from southwest to northeast, bringing the strongest winds of the right-front quadrant eyewall to much of Okinawa. Kadena Air Base recorded sustained 10-minute average winds of 85 mph at the peak of the storm, with a top wind gust of 115 mph. Jelawat is likely to be a tropical storm at landfall Sunday on the main island of Honshu in Japan.

JeffMasters, • 5:55 PM GMT on September 29, 2012

A Jelawat mystery; moisture associated with TS Norman drenching Texas

Powerful Typhoon Jelawat is hammering Japan's Ryukyu Islands as the typhoon steams northeastwards towards Okinawa at 12 mph. Jelawat has weakened to a Category 3 storm with 125 mph winds. Jelawat will pass over or very close to Okinawa, Japan, as a Category 2 or 3 typhoon on Saturday, between 03 - 06 UTC. Jelawat could hit the main island of Honshu in Japan as a tropical storm or Category 1 typhoon on Sunday.

JeffMasters, • 3:45 PM GMT on September 28, 2012

Jelawat brushing Taiwan; Nadine enters its 15th day of life

Impressive Super Typhoon Jelawat remains just below Category 5 strength, as it heads north-northwest a few hundred miles east of Taiwan. The outer rain bands of the mighty typhoon are bringing heavy rains to the northern portion of the Philippines' Luzon Island, and will spread over eastern Taiwan later today. The typhoon is expected to move north-northwest and then north, with the center passing 150 miles to the east of Taiwan on Friday.

JeffMasters, • 2:50 PM GMT on September 27, 2012

Super Typhoon Jelawat headed towards Okinawa

Super Typhoon Jelawat completed an eyewall replacement cycle over the past 24 hours, resulting in a slight weakening of the storm below Category 5 strength. Jelawat is now a Category 4 super typhoon with 155 mph winds. Fortunately, Jelawat is located well east of the Philippine Islands, and the storm is not expected to hit land while it is at major typhoon strength. Jelawat will likely pass close to Okinawa, Japan on Friday near 20 UTC.

JeffMasters, • 2:23 PM GMT on September 26, 2012

Earth's second Cat 5 of 2012: Super Typhoon Jelawat

Earth's newest addition to the Category 5 tropical cyclone club is Super Typhoon Jelawat, which has intensified to a Category 5 typhoon with 160 mph winds. Jelawat is Earth's second Category 5 storm of 2012; the other was Super Typhoon Sanba (175 mph winds), which hit Okinawa earlier this month as a Category 3 storm. The two Category 5 storms for 2012 match the total from all of last year. Fortunately, Jelawat is located well east of the Philippine Islands, and the storm is not expected to hit land over the next two days.

JeffMasters, • 12:05 PM GMT on September 25, 2012

Miriam Hits Cat 3 Strength off of Mexico; Jelawat a Cat 4 Super Typhoon

In the Eastern Pacific off the coast of Baja Mexico, Hurricane Miriam has put on a burst of rapid intensification this morning that brought the storm to Category 3 strength with 120 mph winds. This makes Miriam the 2nd strongest Eastern Pacific hurricane of 2012. Miriam has a tiny "pinhole" eye, and continues to intensify. High wind shear will attack Miriam late this week, and our two top models, the GFS and ECMWF, show Miriam hitting central Baja as a weak tropical storm on Friday or Saturday.

JeffMasters, • 3:17 PM GMT on September 24, 2012

Nadine is back; Jelawat explodes into a Category 4 typhoon

Tropical Storm Nadine is back. Steering currents favor a continued westwards motion for Nadine, keeping the storm far enough south of the Azores Islands that they will see only very sporadic rain showers over the next few days. Nadine will likely turn to the north over the middle Atlantic late this week, but will still probably be around a week from now. The storm is not likely to threaten any land areas for at least the next seven days.

JeffMasters, • 4:39 PM GMT on September 23, 2012

Nadine goes extratropical; the Atlantic is quiet

For the first day since August 20, the National Hurricane Center is not issuing advisories on an active tropical cyclone in the Atlantic. On Friday, Tropical Storm Nadine finally transitioned to an extratropical storm, due to cool waters and the influence of an upper-level low. The final fate of Nadine is very uncertain; the extratropical version of Nadine is expected to meander between the Azores Islands and Europe for at least a week, and could potentially become a tropical storm again.

JeffMasters, • 4:46 PM GMT on September 22, 2012

Earth's attic is on fire: Arctic sea ice bottoms out at a new record low

The extraordinary decline in Arctic sea ice during 2012 is finally over. Sea ice extent bottomed out on September 16, announced scientists at the National Snow and Ice Data Center. The sea ice extent fell to 3.41 million square kilometers, breaking the previous all-time low set in 2007 by 18%--despite the fact that this year's weather was cloudier and cooler than in 2007. Nearly half (49%) of the icecap was gone during this year's minimum, compared to the average minimum for the years 1979 - 2000.

JeffMasters, • 3:46 PM GMT on September 20, 2012

Nadine brushing the Azores; 94L could impact Canada on Sunday

Tropical Storm Nadine is headed east-southeast at 10 mph, parallel to the Azores Islands, and tropical storm warnings continue for portions of the island chain. The final fate of Nadine is very uncertain; the extratropical version of Nadine could continue moving eastward towards Portugal early next week, or move back to the west-southwest and potentially become a tropical storm again.

JeffMasters, • 12:25 PM GMT on September 20, 2012

Tropical Storm Nadine brushing the Azores

Tropical Storm Nadine continues to churn towards the Azores Islands at 5 mph, where tropical storm warnings are up. Nadine brought sustained winds of 32 mph, gusting to 46 mph to Horta Castelo Branco in the Azores at 1:30 pm local time, and occasional heavy rain showers have affected most of the islands today. Nadine will continue to brush the Azores the next three days as it treks slowly to the southeast. The final fate of Nadine is very uncertain.

JeffMasters, • 2:57 PM GMT on September 19, 2012

August 2012: Earth's 4th warmest August on record

August 2012 was the globe's 4th warmest August on record. August 2012 global land temperatures were the 2nd warmest on record, and global ocean temperatures were the 5th warmest on record. August 2012 was the 330th consecutive month with global temperatures warmer than the 20th century average; the last time global temperatures were below average was February 1985. Global satellite-measured temperatures in August for the lowest 8 km of the atmosphere were 3rd warmest in the 34-year record.

JeffMasters, • 3:07 PM GMT on September 18, 2012

Category 1 Typhoon Sanba hits Korea; 92L and 93L not a threat

Typhoon Sanba battered South Korea on Sunday as a Category 1 typhoon with 90 mph winds. Sanba is being blamed for two deaths and widespread power outages in South Korea and Southern Japan. Sanba has weakened to a tropical storm, and is lashing the North Korea and neighboring regions of China and Russia with heavy rains today. There are concerns that Sanba's rains will aggravate the food situation in North Korea, where two-thirds of the country's 24 million people are dealing with chronic food shortages.

JeffMasters, • 2:43 PM GMT on September 17, 2012

Category 2 Sanba closes in on Korea; 92L enters the Lesser Antilles

The winds are rising in Busan, South Korea, and heavy rain is lashing the Korean Peninsula and Southern Japan as Category 2 Typhoon Sanba steams northwards at 22 mph. Sanba pounded Okinawa, Japan early Sunday morning local time as a Category 3 storm with 120 mph winds, but no casualties or heavy damage has been reported thus far. Sanba will continue to weaken as it encounters cooler waters and higher wind shear today, and is likely to be at Category 1 strength at landfall in South Korea near 22 UTC on Sunday.

JeffMasters, • 2:40 PM GMT on September 16, 2012

Category 3 Typhoon Sanba hitting Okinawa

The winds are rising and heavy rain is lashing Okinawa, Japan where Category 3 Typhoon Sanba is expected to make landfall early Sunday morning local time (early this afternoon U.S. EDT.) Radar loops show that the large 35-mile diameter eye of Sanba is on a track that will bring it across the southern part of Okinawa, and heavy rains and wind gusts of 59 mph and 64 mph have been reported at Naha Airport and Kadena Air Force Base, respectively, over the past few hours.

JeffMasters, • 5:00 PM GMT on September 15, 2012

The new hottest place on Earth: Death Valley, California

As any weather aficionado can avow, Earth's most iconic weather record has long been the legendary all-time hottest temperature of 58°C (136.4°F) measured 90 years ago today at El Azizia, Libya on September 13, 1922. But Earth's mightiest weather record has been officially cast down. The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) announced today that the all-time heat record held for exactly 90 years by El Azizia in Libya "is invalid because of an error in recording the temperature."

JeffMasters, • 1:18 PM GMT on September 13, 2012

Tropical Storm Nadine forms; Newfoundland cleans up after Leslie

Tropical Storm Nadine formed last night, midway between Africa and the Lesser Antilles Islands. With 14 named storms already this season, 2012 is now one of just 19 hurricane seasons over the past 162 years to have 14 or more tropical storms. Nadine's formation date of September 10 puts 2012 in 5th place for earliest formation date of the season's 14th tropical storm. Only 2005, 2011, 1936, and 1933 had earlier formation dates of the season's 14th storm.

JeffMasters, • 3:03 PM GMT on September 12, 2012

Tropical Storm Leslie hits Newfoundland; TD 14 forms

Tropical Storm Leslie zoomed ashore over Newfoundland this morning near 8 am EDT. Leslie brought sustained winds to the capital of St. Johns of 58 mph, gusting to 82 mph, at 10:30 am local time. Damage to buildings has been reported in St. Johns, and the storm has knocked out power to much of Southeast Newfoundland, including the capital. Leslie's tropical moisture resulted in heavy rains over Nova Scotia in excess of 4 inches, which caused considerable flooding of homes and streets.

JeffMasters, • 2:55 PM GMT on September 11, 2012

Summer 2012: 3rd hottest in U.S. history

The summer of 2012 was the 3rd hottest summer in U.S. history. June 2012 ranked as the 14th warmest June on record, August was the 16th warmest August on record, and July was the warmest month of any month in U.S. history, bringing the average summer temperature of the contiguous U.S. just 0.2°F shy of the hottest summer on record--the great Dust Bowl summer of 1936. Second place is held by 2011, which was just 0.1°F cooler than the summer of 1936.

JeffMasters, • 4:48 PM GMT on September 10, 2012

Leslie bears down on Newfoundland; TD 14 forming

Tropical Storm Leslie has left Bermuda behind, and is chugging north-northeastwards at 18 mph towards an early Tuesday morning encounter with Newfoundland. Leslie brushed by Bermuda on Sunday, with the core of the storm passing 120 miles to the east of the island. Leslie brought sustained winds of 39 mph, gusting to 54 mph, to Bermuda. A few scattered power outages occurred on Bermuda, but no major damage was reported.

JeffMasters, • 2:27 PM GMT on September 10, 2012

Leslie brushing Bermuda, heading for Newfoundland

It's a wet, windy day on Bermuda today, where Tropical Storm Leslie is bringing high winds and heavy rain as the storm's core passes 120 miles (200 km) east of the island. At the Saint David's weather station on the east end of the island, Leslie brought sustained winds of 39 mph, gusting to 54 mph, at 12:30 pm AST today. Bermuda radar shows a large area of heavy rain from Leslie is over the island, and these rains will continue through most of the afternoon.

JeffMasters, • 4:40 PM GMT on September 09, 2012

Severe weather in the Northeast U.S.; updates on 90L, 91L, Leslie and Michael

A significant severe weather outbreak is underway today across much of the Northeastern U.S., including metro New York City and Philadelphia. NOAA's Storm Prediction Center has placed the region in their "Moderate Risk" area for severe weather. A fall-like low pressure system with a very powerful cold front will sweep through the region today, triggering widespread severe thunderstorms that may organize into a "derecho" event with damaging winds covering a large swath of the Northeast.

JeffMasters, • 4:07 PM GMT on September 08, 2012

90L in the Gulf disorganized; Leslie and Michael weaken

Invest 90L off the coast of Louisiana was almost torn apart last night by wind shear, but is making a bit of a comeback today. Visible satellite loops and surface observations from buoys and oil rigs in the Gulf show that 90L has an sloppy, elongated surface circulation. The area covered by heavy thunderstorms is relatively modest. A hurricane hunter aircraft scheduled to investigate 90L today was cancelled, and has been rescheduled for Saturday afternoon.

JeffMasters, • 4:27 PM GMT on September 07, 2012

Half of the polar ice cap is missing: Arctic sea ice hits a new record low

Extraordinary melting of sea ice in the Arctic this summer has shattered the all-time low sea ice extent record set in September 2007, and sea ice continues to decline far below what has ever been observed. The new sea ice record was set on August 26, a full three weeks before the usual end of the melting season. The latest September 5 extent is approximately a 50% reduction in the area of Arctic covered by sea ice, compared to the average from 1979 - 2000.

JeffMasters, • 8:53 PM GMT on September 06, 2012

90L in the Gulf disorganized; Leslie almost stationary; Michael hits Cat 3

A remnant of Hurricane Isaac pushed southwards through Alabama on Wednesday and emerged over the Gulf of Mexico, and this disturbance is now being tracked as Invest 90L. Long-range radar shows only a small area of heavy rainfall associated with 90L. Visible satellite loops and surface observations from buoys and oil rigs in the Gulf suggest that 90L has formed an ill-defined, elongated surface circulation.

JeffMasters, • 3:24 PM GMT on September 06, 2012

Leslie near hurricane strength; Son of Isaac (90L) emerges in the Gulf

Tropical Storm Leslie is growing more organized and is approaching hurricane strength on its slow voyage northwards at 2 mph towards the island of Bermuda. Bermuda is likely to see a 42-hour period of tropical storm-force winds beginning Saturday morning near 2 am AST, and lasting until 8 pm AST Sunday night. Leslie will be capable of bringing an extended period of hurricane-force winds lasting six or more hours to Bermuda Saturday night through Sunday morning.

JeffMasters, • 3:05 PM GMT on September 05, 2012

Leslie headed towards Bermuda; Tropical Storm Michael forms

Tropical Storm Leslie is crawling northwards at 3 mph towards Bermuda. Bermuda is likely to see a 48-hour period of tropical storm-force winds beginning Friday night that lasts until Sunday night from Leslie. Tropical Storm Michael has formed in the Central Atlantic on Monday, but is not destined for fame. Michaels's formation on September 4 puts 2012 in third place for earliest formation date of the season's thirteenth storm.

JeffMasters, • 3:01 PM GMT on September 04, 2012

Disorganized Leslie headed towards Bermuda

Tropical Storm Leslie continues to struggle with moderately high wind shear of 15 - 20 knots, which is keeping heavy thunderstorms confined to the southeast quadrant of the storm. The shear is expected to drop to the low category by Wednesday night, allowing Leslie to intensify into at least a Category 1 hurricane by Friday. Leslie will make a close pass by Bermuda on Saturday, and that island can expect a 3-day period of rough weather Friday through Sunday.

JeffMasters, • 4:18 PM GMT on September 03, 2012

Leslie a threat to Bermuda; Isaac is gone

Tropical Storm Leslie is struggling today with high wind shear, which is keeping heavy thunderstorms confined to the southeast quadrant of the storm. The shear is expected to stay high through Wednesday, then drop to the low category, 5 - 10 knots, on Thursday and Friday. At that time, Leslie will be over warm ocean waters of 29°C, and may intensify to a hurricane by Friday. Leslie is expected to pass very close to Bermuda on Saturday.

JeffMasters, • 4:30 PM GMT on September 02, 2012