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2014 September

QuikSCAT's Replacement, the RapidScat Ocean Wind Sensor, Installed on Space Station

A QuikSCAT replacement called ISS-RapidScat was successfully launched on September 20, 2014 on a SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft, which docked last week with the International Space Station (ISS.) This morning, astronauts on the ISS used the station's robotic arm to pluck RapidScat out of the Dragon and install it on the Space Station. RapidScat will measure near-surface winds over the ocean.

JeffMasters, • 3:17 PM GMT on September 30, 2014

Invest 97L Spinning Near Bermuda; Phanfone a Potential Threat to Japan

An area of low pressure (Invest 97L) has formed just west of Bermuda, and is bringing heavy rain showers and gusty winds to the island. With wind shear expected to stay a moderate 15 - 20 knots through Monday night, there is a small window of opportunity for 97L to develop into a subtropical cyclone before wind shear rises to a prohibitive 30 - 45 knots on Tuesday.

JeffMasters, • 2:27 PM GMT on September 29, 2014

Tropical Atlantic Uneventful / Tropical Storm Rachel No Threat

Tropical Atlantic becomes quiet - and Tropical Storm Rachel in the Eastern Pacific is of no Consequence.

JeffMasters, • 3:18 PM GMT on September 27, 2014

Atlantic Disturbance 96L and Tropical Storm Rachel

INVEST 96L in the Atlantic no threat - Tropical Storm Rachel in the Eastern Pacific no major threat to any land areas

JeffMasters, • 5:19 PM GMT on September 26, 2014

96L Little Threat; Arctic Sea Ice Bottoms Out at 6th Lowest Extent on Record

A small area of low pressure (Invest 96L) formed Wednesday evening in the middle Atlantic Ocean near 15°N 45°W, about halfway between the Lesser Antilles Islands and the Cape Verde Islands. Satellite loops show that 96L has a pronounced low-level spin, but only a small amount of heavy thunderstorms. With wind shear expected to stay moderate for the next five days, dry air is likely to keep 96L from developing.

JeffMasters, • 1:04 PM GMT on September 25, 2014

Largest-Ever Meeting of World Leaders on Climate Change Concludes

Yesterday's Climate Summit 2014 in New York City brought together the largest-ever meeting of world leaders on climate change, with more than 125 world leaders and top government officials in attendance. The meeting, called together by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon with the theme of "Catalyzing Action", sought to challenge leaders to announce bold actions to significantly reduce CO2 emissions, strengthen climate resilience, and mobilize political will for a meaningful legal agreement to be negotiated in Paris in December 2015.

JeffMasters, • 2:55 PM GMT on September 24, 2014

A Quiet First Day of Fall for the Tropics

The tropics are unusually quiet for the first full day of fall, with only one tropical cyclone active--Tropical Depression Fung-Wong in the Western Pacific, which grazed the coast of China near Shanghai Tuesday morning, bringing torrential rains to the coast. In the Atlantic, none of our reliable models for predicting tropical cyclone genesis shows anything developing over the next five days.

JeffMasters, • 2:01 PM GMT on September 23, 2014

People's Climate March Brings 311,000 to New York City

The largest demonstration supporting climate change action in world history hit the streets of New York City yesterday, when the People's Climate March brought a crowd of 311,000 participants to Manhattan--more than triple pre-march estimates of 100,000.

JeffMasters, • 3:19 PM GMT on September 22, 2014

25th Anniversary of Hurricane Hugo Hitting South Carolina

On September 21, 1989, Hurricane Hugo underwent a period of rapid intensification that made it a Category 4 storm with 135 mph winds at landfall at Sullivan's Island, South Carolina at 11:57 pm. It was the strongest hurricane on record to hit South Carolina, and the second strongest hurricane (since reliable records began in 1851) to hit the U.S. East Coast north of Florida.

JeffMasters, • 3:11 PM GMT on September 21, 2014

African Wave 95L and Mexico's Tropical Storm Polo Little Threat

Satellite loops show that a tropical wave (Invest 95L) off the coast of Africa, a few hundred miles southeast of the Cape Verde Islands, has a moderate degree of spin and heavy thunderstorm activity. The wave is under light wind shear and over warm waters of 28°C (82°F), conditions that favor development, but shear will rise to the moderate range, ocean temperatures will cool, and the air surrounding the storm will grow drier by Sunday, making development unlikely.

JeffMasters, • 3:51 PM GMT on September 20, 2014

Edouard Dying; Fung-Wong Floods Manila

The Atlantic's strongest and longest-lived named storm of 2014, Edouard, is near the end of its life. Passage over waters cooler than 23°C (73°F) have resulted in the loss of all of Edouard's heavy thunderstorms, and satellite images show that Edouard is just a swirl of low clouds. Edouard will likely be declared dead by Saturday morning.

JeffMasters, • 2:33 PM GMT on September 19, 2014

Earth Has its Warmest Summer and August on Record

August 2014 and the summer of 2014 were Earth's warmest since records began in 1880. Global ocean temperatures during August 2014 were the warmest on record, and the 0.65°C (1.17°F) ocean temperature anomaly was the highest ever measured, beating the record set just two months previously in June 2014. The first eight months of 2014 (January–August) were the third warmest such period on record for the globe.

JeffMasters, • 6:33 PM GMT on September 18, 2014

Odile's Remnants Drench Southwest U.S.; Polo Expected to Stay Offshore of Mexico

Tropical Storm Odile is no more, destroyed by the rough terrain of Mexico and separation from warm ocean waters, after making landfall in the Northern Gulf of California 110 miles south of the Arizona border early Wednesday afternoon. The moisture from Odile lives on over the Southwest U.S., though, and has brought heavy rains of 2 - 4" over portions of Southeast Arizona, Southern New Mexico, and extreme Western Texas as of Thursday morning.

JeffMasters, • 3:16 PM GMT on September 18, 2014

Odile Nearing the Arizona Border; Polo Nearly a Hurricane; Edouard Weakens to Cat 1

Tropical Storm Odile is being pulled apart by wind shear as it tracks northeast at 6 mph across the northern Gulf of California. At 11 am EDT Wednesday, Odile was still a minimal 40 mph tropical storm, and had advanced within 110 miles of the Arizona border. Only two other named storms since 1949 are recorded to have maintained tropical storm strength so close to Arizona.

JeffMasters, • 3:27 PM GMT on September 17, 2014

Odile Dumping Heavy Rains on Southwest U.S.; Edouard Becomes a Major Hurricane

Residents of Mexico's Baja Peninsula are picking up the pieces after devastating Hurricane Odile smashed ashore at Cabo San Lucas near 12:45 am EDT Monday as a Category 3 storm with 125 mph winds. The San Jose del Cabo airport (7th busiest in Mexico) is closed until September 22, and the Cabo San Lucas airport may be closed until October. Fortunately, no deaths are being attributed to the hurricane--a tribute to the excellence of Mexico's civil defense system for hurricanes.

JeffMasters, • 3:28 PM GMT on September 16, 2014

Category 3 Odile the Strongest Hurricane on Record to Hit Baja

Destructive Hurricane Odile powered ashore at Cabo San Lucas on Mexico's Baja Peninsula near 12:45 am EDT Monday as a Category 3 storm with 125 mph winds. Odile was the strongest hurricane on record to hit the Baja Peninsula, tied with Hurricane Olivia of 1967.

JeffMasters, • 2:00 PM GMT on September 15, 2014

Dangerous Category 3 Odile Bearing Down on Baja

Dangerous Category 3 Hurricane Odile is bearing down on Mexico's Baja Peninsula as the storm steams north-northwestwards at 14 mph towards the southwestern tip of Baja. Odile is likely to be the strongest or second strongest hurricane on record to affect Southern Baja.

JeffMasters, • 10:43 PM GMT on September 14, 2014

Dangerous Category 4 Odile Threatens Baja; Edouard Becomes a Hurricane

Hurricane Warnings are flying for Mexico's Baja Peninsula as dangerous Category 4 Hurricane Odile approaches. Odile put on an impressive burst of rapid intensification Saturday night, going from a Category 1 hurricane with 75 mph winds to a Category 4 storm with 135 mph winds in just 24 hours.

JeffMasters, • 3:58 PM GMT on September 14, 2014

Gulf of Mexico Disturbance 92L Disorganized; Baja Watching Hurricane Odile

A small area of low pressure in the Gulf of Mexico a few hundred miles west of South Florida (Invest 92L) is bringing heavy rains to the waters of the Florida Straits, but satellite loops show that this activity is poorly organized. Strong upper level winds out of the north are creating moderately high 15 - 20 knots of wind shear, and the atmosphere is fairly dry to the north, interfering with development.

JeffMasters, • 3:34 PM GMT on September 13, 2014

92L Bringing Heavy Rains to Florida; Edouard Forms in Central Atlantic

A small area of low pressure over South Florida (Invest 92L) is bringing heavy rains to South Florida and the waters of the Florida Straits, but Miami radar and satellite loops show that this activity is less organized than on Thursday. Once the current westward 5 - 10 mph motion of 92L carries it over the Gulf of Mexico on Saturday, development odds will increase.

JeffMasters, • 2:27 PM GMT on September 12, 2014

Halfway Point of Hurricane Season Arrives; TD 6 Forms in Central Atlantic

September 11 marks the halfway point of the Atlantic hurricane season, and we're doing much better than usual so far. Only four named storms have formed, with three becoming hurricanes (and no major hurricanes.) An average Atlantic hurricane season has 6 named storms, 3 hurricanes, and 1 intense hurricane by the mid-point of the season.

JeffMasters, • 3:04 PM GMT on September 11, 2014

Futuristic 3-D Weather Graphics Grace the Weather Forecast for 2050

Futuristic and creative 3-D weather graphics like you've never seen before light up the screen in today's impressive forecast for September 23, 2050 released by the Weather Channel. The video was made in response to an appeal by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) to television weather presenters world-wide to imagine a “weather report from the year 2050,” based on the best science we have.

JeffMasters, • 6:54 PM GMT on September 10, 2014

Two Minor Atlantic Threat Areas; Odile a Serious Rainfall Threat for Mexico

A tropical wave (91L) located about 600 miles west-southwest of the Cape Verde Islands is headed west-northwest at about 15 mph. Our three reliable computer models for predicting tropical storm formation predict development of 91L over the next five days, but the disturbance does not appear to be a long-range threat to the Lesser Antilles Islands or U.S. East Coast.

JeffMasters, • 1:51 PM GMT on September 10, 2014

Monsoon Floods Kill 420 in India and Pakistan

Torrential monsoon rains of over 12" (305 mm) lashed the India-Pakistan border region of Kashmir and Jammu Provinces on September 3 - 7, triggering devastating floods that swept through the mountainous region, killing at least 420 people. Thousands more have been trapped by flood waters, and on the Indian side of the border, over 2,000 villages have been inundated, along with the major city of Srinagar. The heavy rains fell in what has been a below-average monsoon season.

Jeff Masters • 3:09 PM GMT on September 09, 2014

African Wave 91L Worth Watching; Record Quiet Spell Ends in Western Pacific

A tropical wave (91L) that emerged from the coast of Africa on Sunday is headed west to west-northwest at about 15 mph. Satellite images show 91L has a moderate amount of spin and heavy thunderstorm activity, but these thunderstorms are poorly organized. The disturbance does not appear to be a long-range threat to the Lesser Antilles Islands, but it remains to be seen if it will be a long-range threat to Bermuda, the U.S. East Coast, or the Canadian Maritime Provinces late next week.

JeffMasters, • 3:11 PM GMT on September 08, 2014

African Tropical Waves 90L and 91L Pose Little Threat

Two tropical waves spinning off the coast of Africa are worth watching for development, but neither poses a foreseeable threat to any land areas. A tropical wave (90L) located about 700 hundred miles west of the Cape Verde Islands at 10 am EDT on Sunday is headed west to west-northwest at about 10 - 15 mph.

Jeff Masters • 3:26 PM GMT on September 07, 2014

Norbert Hits Category 3; Three Minor Atlantic Threat Areas to Watch

Hurricane Norbert put on an unexpected burst of rapid intensification overnight, topping out as a Category 3 storm with 120 mph winds at 5 am EDT Saturday. Norbert continues to chug parallel and just offshore from the coast of Mexico's Baja Peninsula, bringing heavy rain and tropical storm-force winds to the coast. The storm is starting to weaken.

Jeff Masters • 4:13 PM GMT on September 06, 2014

Norbert Drenching Baja; 90L Moving Through Cape Verde Islands

Hurricane Norbert continues to chug parallel and just offshore from the coast of Mexico's Baja Peninsula, bringing heavy rain and tropical storm-force winds to the coast. Sustained winds as Cabo San Lucas on the southern tip of the Baja Peninsula peaked at 32 mph at 7:43 pm Thursday evening before the airport shut for the night, and the airport recorded 7.4 inches (188 mm) of rain in a 24 hour period ending Friday morning.

JeffMasters, • 3:20 PM GMT on September 05, 2014

New Go-To App for the iPad: WunderStation for Personal Weather Stations

The world's largest Personal Weather Station (PWS) network--Weather Underground's 37,000 individually-owned weather stations across the globe--just got a major software upgrade. WunderStation for iPad, released today (for free) in the App Store and on iPad, provides the weather enthusiast a fantastic interface to the world's most in-depth set of weather observations.

JeffMasters, • 4:46 PM GMT on September 04, 2014

Hurricane Norbert Brushing Baja; 90L Emerges From the Coast of Africa

Hurricane Norbert took advantage of unusually warm 85°F Sea Surface Temperatures and intensified into the Eastern Pacific's tenth hurricane of the year on Wednesday evening. The Eastern Pacific has seen an unusually active hurricane season, with 14 named storms, 10 hurricanes, and 6 intense hurricanes so far. An average Eastern Pacific hurricane season sees 15 named storms, 8 hurricanes, and 3 intense hurricanes during the entire year, with about 2/3 of that activity occurring by September 9.

Jeff Masters • 12:42 PM GMT on September 04, 2014

Tropical Storm Dolly Hits Mexico; Tropical Storm Norbert Threatening Baja

Tropical Storm Dolly made landfall on Mexico's Gulf of Mexico coast just south of Tampico near 11 pm EDT Tuesday night as a minimal tropical storm with 45 mph winds. While Dolly's winds will not cause major damage, the storm's rainfall has the potential to cause dangerous flash flooding and mudslides as Dolly pushes inland and dissipates today. Radar-estimated rainfall from the Brownsville, Texas radar showed areas of 2 - 4 inches of rain along the coast of Mexico as of Wednesday morning.

JeffMasters, • 2:13 PM GMT on September 03, 2014

Tropical Storm Dolly Forms in the Gulf of Mexico

Say hello to the Atlantic's fourth named storm of 2014--Tropical Storm Dolly, which formed Tuesday morning in the Gulf of Mexico's Bay of Campeche. Dolly is struggling with wind shear--its low level circulation center is partially exposed to view, with the heavy thunderstorms limited to one side (the south side) by strong upper-level winds.

JeffMasters, • 2:24 PM GMT on September 02, 2014

Invest 99L Organizing Over Gulf of Mexico

The center of a broad area of low pressure associated with tropical wave 99L is now over the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico's Bay of Campeche, and the disturbance is growing more organized as it heads west-northwest at about 10 mph. Sea Surface Temperatures (SSTs) were very warm, near 30°C (86°F), the atmosphere was moist, and wind shear was moderate, 15 - 20 knots. These conditions are favorable for development.

JeffMasters, • 2:22 PM GMT on September 01, 2014