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2015 August

Rare Hurricane Pounds Cape Verde Islands

For the first time since 1892, a full-fledged hurricane is pounding the Cape Verde islands, as Hurricane Fred heads northwest at 12 mph through the islands in the far eastern North Atlantic. The eye of Fred passed just southwest of Boa Vista Island near 8 am EDT Monday. The torrential rains of 4 - 6" predicted from Fred, with isolated totals of up to 10”, are likely to cause unprecedented flood damage on the islands.

Jeff Masters and Bob Henson • 4:23 PM GMT on August 31, 2015

Fred Heading for Cape Verde Islands; Ignacio Skirting Hawaii

Residents of the Cape Verde islands are going through a rare experience today--a hurricane warning--as Tropical Storm Fred intensifies in the far eastern North Atlantic. The remnants of Erika are bringing heavy rain to Cuba and Florida, while three Category 4 hurricanes swirl in the North Pacific, including Ignacio, which is moving on a path just north of the Hawaiian Islands (where tropical storm watches remain in effect).

Bob Henson and Jeff Masters • 7:00 PM GMT on August 30, 2015

Erika Dissipates

Tropical Storm Erika charged into the teeth of Hispaniola's high mountains on Friday night, and emerged from the encounter shattered, without a closed circulation, and is no longer a tropical storm. Measurements on Saturday morning from an Air Force hurricane hunter aircraft failed to find any tropical storm-force winds associated with Erika, and the plane did not find any westerly winds, showing the the storm had degenerated to a tropical wave.

JeffMasters, • 2:34 PM GMT on August 29, 2015

Erika’s Path Shifts West; Hawaii Still Watching Ignacio

Tropical Storm Erika cruised west through the northern Caribbean on Friday, failing to make a long-predicted northwestward turn toward the Bahamas. Erika is now predicted to move into the far eastern Gulf of Mexico as a weak tropical storm or depression. Meanwhile, Hurricane Ignacio continues on a course that may take it just north of Hawaii, and powerful Hurricane Jimena is aiming for Category 5 strength in the Northeast Pacific.

Bob Henson • 5:24 AM GMT on August 29, 2015

Will Erika Survive its Traverse of Hispaniola?

Tropical Storm Erika is headed into the teeth of Hispaniola's 10,000-foot high mountains, as the storm marches west-northwest at 17 mph, spreading torrential rains and sustained winds of 50 mph along its path. The biggest danger of the storm to the islands is heavy rainfall.

Jeff Masters • 3:45 PM GMT on August 28, 2015

Erika Nears Puerto Rico with High Wind, Heavy Rain

till poorly organized--but already deadly, and growing in size--Tropical Storm Erika is likely to cause problems in Puerto Rico on Thursday night into Friday. Erika may approach Florida as a Category 1 hurricane by Monday. At the same time, Hurricane Ignacio will be nearing the Hawaiian islands, potentially threatening the Big Island with an unprecedented hurricane landfall.

Bob Henson • 3:19 AM GMT on August 28, 2015

Erika Floods Dominica; Major Uncertainties on Potential U.S. Impact

Heavy rains and strong gusty winds are sweeping through much of the northern Lesser Antilles Islands today as Tropical Storm Erika heads west at 16 mph. According to the Antigua Met Service, Canefield Airport on Dominica recorded 8.86" (225 mm) of rain Wednesday night from Erika, and heavy flooding has been observed on the island.

Jeff Masters • 2:23 PM GMT on August 27, 2015

Erika Hangs on, With Big Uncertainties Ahead

After going through a rather sickly phase during the day on Wednesday, Tropical Storm Erika began to rally after sunset, a sign that it may yet survive--and perhaps eventually thrive--en route to a possible U.S. East Coast landfall.

Bob Henson • 1:36 AM GMT on August 27, 2015

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

Tropical storm warnings are flying for Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and much of the northern Lesser Antilles Islands as Tropical Storm Erika speeds westwards at 17 mph. I give a 20% chance that Erika will end up being a landfalling hurricane for the U.S. East Coast, a 40% chance storm will dissipate by Saturday, and a 30% chance the storm will be too weak and disorganized to have time to organize into a hurricane before hitting the U.S. East Coast.

Jeff Masters • 3:33 PM GMT on August 26, 2015

Slowly Organizing Tropical Storm Erika Prompts Caribbean Watches, Warnings

With top sustained winds of 40 mph, Tropical Storm Erika was moving just north of due west at around 18 mph. That healthy clip has prompted tropical storm warnings for Anguilla, Saba, St. Eustatius, and St. Maarten, with tropical storm watches now in place for many other nearby islands, including Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Erika may be approaching Florida as a hurricane by Sunday.

Bob Henson • 6:01 AM GMT on August 26, 2015

In the Eye of Katrina: A Personal Retrospective

Ten years ago today, deadly Hurricane Katrina passed through the Miami-Fort Lauderdale area, causing hundreds of millions on damage. Blogger Bob Henson recalls his first-hand experience with Katrina while on a visit to the National Hurricane Center.

Bob Henson • 7:53 PM GMT on August 25, 2015

Tropical Storm Erika Headed for the Lesser Antilles

Tropical storm watches are up for much of the northern Lesser Antilles Islands as Tropical Storm Erika speeds westwards at 20 mph. Erika formed in the waters a few hundred miles east of the northern Lesser Antilles Islands overnight, and is likely to take a west to west-northwest course over the next few days, a path that should concern residents of the Bahamas and the U.S. East Coast.

Jeff Masters • 3:13 PM GMT on August 25, 2015

Danny Dies; Erika Coming?

Tropical Storm Danny has met its demise at the hands of dry air and high wind shear, a victim of an El Niño-year atmosphere over the Caribbean that has been very hostile to hurricanes. In the Eastern Atlantic about 1200 miles east of the Lesser Antilles Islands, Invest 98L appears poised to become the next tropical depression of the 2015 Atlantic hurricane season.

Jeff Masters • 4:43 PM GMT on August 24, 2015

WUTV Takes Over The Weather Channel Beginning 6 pm EDT Today

The Weather Underground hits live TV today, when the inaugural episode of the Weather Underground live cable TV show airs from 6-8 p.m. EDT Monday, August 24 on The Weather Channel (TWC). I’m in Atlanta today to help launch this unique effort, which aims appeal to everyone’s inner weather geek by focusing on the science behind weather and forecasting.

Jeff Masters • 12:40 PM GMT on August 24, 2015

Tropical Storm Danny Weakening; TD Kilo Less of a Threat to Hawaii

Tropical Storm warnings are flying for the northern Lesser Antilles islands of Antigua, Barbuda, Montserrat, St. Kitts, Nevis, and Anguilla, as a weakening Tropical Storm Danny heads west at 15 mph. Danny passed very close to Buoy 41300 on Sunday afternoon, which measured top winds of 42 mph at 11 am EDT.

JeffMasters, • 7:19 PM GMT on August 23, 2015

Hurricane Danny Weakens; Tropical Depression Kilo Struggles

After surging to Category 3 strength on Friday, Hurricane Danny--still hundreds of miles east of the Leeward Islands--has weakened almost as quickly to minimal Category 1 strength, as wind shear and dry air chip away at its integrity. Meanwhile, Tropical Depression Kilo is organizing more slowly than expected, but it could still approach Hawaii as a hurricane by the middle of next week.

Bob Henson • 9:43 PM GMT on August 22, 2015

Danny Vaults to Category 3 Status; Tropical Storm Kilo Aims for Hawaii

Hurricane Danny intensified dramatically on Thursday night and Friday morning, strengthening to a higher-end Category 2 with top sustained winds estimated at 105 mph. Danny remains almost 1000 miles east of the Leeward Islands and may threaten Puerto Rico by Tuesday. Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Kilo is intensifying south of Hawaii and could approach the islands early next week as a significant hurricane.

Bob Henson • 5:16 PM GMT on August 21, 2015

July 2015: Warmest Month on Record Globally

July 2015 was the warmest single month in 1627 months of global records that go back to January 1880, said NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Information on Thursday. The globally averaged temperature above both land and ocean surfaces was 1.46°F (0.81°C) ahead of the 20th-century average. This trumps the record for any month that was set in July 1998, surpassing that value by 0.08°F (0.14°C).

Jeff Masters and Bob Henson • 9:56 PM GMT on August 20, 2015

Danny Becomes First Atlantic Hurricane of 2015; Invest 93C Moves Toward Hawaii

The little storm that could, Danny, surged from weak tropical-storm status on Wednesday night to become the Atlantic’s first hurricane of the year on Thursday morning. At 11:00 am EDT Thursday, the top sustained winds in Hurricane Danny were estimated at 75 mph, or near minimal hurricane strength. Located in the remote central tropical Atlantic, near 12.5°N and 44.8°W, Danny remains far from land areas, roughly 1100 miles east of the Leeward Islands. Meanwhile, Hawaii needs to keep an eye on Invest 93C, which could become a hurricane nearing the islands early next week.

Bob Henson • 4:42 PM GMT on August 20, 2015

Danny’s Leg Up: A Convectively Coupled Kelvin Wave (CCKW)

Tropical Storm Danny might not be making the scene were it not for the help of a subtle but important atmospheric feature, called a convectively coupled Kelvin wave (CCKW), that’s contributed to a temporary break from hurricane-hostile El Niño conditions. Danny has changed little over the last few hours: as of 5:00 pm EDT Wednesday, peak sustained winds remained near 50 mph, and the latest National Hurricane Center outlook continues to bring Danny to hurricane status, though not until Friday.

Bob Henson • 11:38 PM GMT on August 19, 2015

Danny Strengthens in Atlantic; Goni, Atsani Rev Up in Pacific

Tropical activity is on the upswing today, with two intensifying cyclones in the Northwest Pacific (one a super typhoon), a Central Pacific disturbance that could make a run at Hawaii, and a tropical storm in the Atlantic threatening to become the region’s first hurricane of the year.

Bob Henson and Jeff Masters • 6:28 PM GMT on August 19, 2015

Tropical Storm Danny Gathers Strength in Atlantic

After more than a month between named Atlantic storms, Tropical Storm Danny was christened at 5:00 pm EDT Tuesday. Located at 10.9°N, 37.5°W, or about 1600 miles east of the Windward Islands, Danny was moving west at 12 mph. Sustained winds were at minimal tropical storm strength: 40 mph. Danny is projected to become a Category 2 hurricane by this weekend, while still several days east of the Leeward Islands.

Bob Henson • 11:33 PM GMT on August 18, 2015

Tropical Depression Forms in the North Atlantic

The fourth tropical depression of 2015 has developed in the central tropical Atlantic, and it could become the year’s first Atlantic hurricane by later this week. Advisories on TD 4 were initiated by the National Hurricane Center (NHC) at 11:00 am EDT Tuesday. Meanwhile, two intense, well-structured typhoons are churning their way toward Asia, posing no immediate threat to large land areas.

Bob Henson • 4:46 PM GMT on August 18, 2015

96L Slowly Organizing; Two Powerhouse Typhoons in NW Pacific

While Invest 96L takes its time developing in the tropical Pacific, typhoons Goni and Atsani haven’t been wasting much time, both becoming major typhoons in the last 24 hours. Neither typhoon poses an immediate threat to land, although Goni could spell big trouble for Taiwan or neighboring areas by week’s end (see below).

Bob Henson • 8:02 PM GMT on August 17, 2015

First Cape Verde Storm of 2015 Possible This Week

A tropical wave (Invest 96L) in the central Atlantic has the potential to develop into a tropical storm over the next several days, while at least one of a pair of typhoons emerging in the Northwest Pacific over the weekend appears destined to make a run at super typhoon status.

Bob Henson • 11:56 PM GMT on August 16, 2015

What's New in Tropical Cyclone Modeling? An Update from the Trenches

With each passing year, forecasters have ever-more-accurate numerical guidance on where tropical storms and hurricanes are most likely to track and how strong they’ll get.  Several of the leading models have undergone noteworthy improvements over the past year. Here's a summary of what’s new and cool, based on interviews and email exchanges with several experts.

Bob Henson • 11:35 AM GMT on August 14, 2015

NOAA: Major El Niño Still on Track

In its latest monthly outlook, issued on Thursday, NOAA continues to project that the ongoing El Niño event, already close to record strength for August, will at least approach the highest overall strength observed at any time of year since 1950.

Bob Henson • 5:12 PM GMT on August 13, 2015

Hilda Fizzling as it Approaches Hawaii; Twin Typhoons Coming to the Western Pacific

The Tropical Storm Watch for the Big Island of Hawaii has been dropped as Tropical Storm Hilda heads westwards at 9 mph on a course that will take it no closer than 150 miles south of the Big Island. High wind shear of 30 - 40 knots continues to disrupt Hilda. However, even if Hilda dissipates before reaching Hawaii, it will still be capable of bringing heavy rains to the islands, particularly to the Big Island.

Jeff Masters • 3:29 PM GMT on August 13, 2015

Tropical Storm Hilda Degenerating as it Approaches Hawaii

A Tropical Storm Watch continues for the Big Island of Hawaii as Tropical Storm Hilda heads northwest at 5 mph towards the islands. Hilda degraded significantly over the past day due to high wind shear of 30 - 40 knots, but satellite loops on Wednesday morning showed that the storm continued to generate a respectable amount of heavy thunderstorm activity near its core.

Jeff Masters • 3:26 PM GMT on August 12, 2015

South Asia's Deadly Rains of 2015; Tropical Storm Watch in Hawaii

A multi-week series of disastrous rains, floods, and mudslides has taken more than 400 lives and affected millions in a broad swath from Pakistan to Vietnam over the last several weeks. Meanwhile, tropical storm watches have been hoisted in Hawaii ahead of Hurricane Hilda, though the storm is expected to weaken before affecting the islands.

Bob Henson and Jeff Masters • 3:55 PM GMT on August 11, 2015

Quiet in the Atlantic; Hilda Poised to Bother Hawaii

The last time we had an El Niño event this strong--back in 1997--no named storms formed in the Atlantic during August, and only one named storm (Hurricane Erika) formed in September. It would not be a surprise to see similar behavior in 2015. In their 8 am EDT Monday Tropical Weather Outlook, NHC continued to predict quiet conditions in the Atlantic for at least five days.

Jeff Masters • 3:16 PM GMT on August 10, 2015

Soudelor Winds Down; Hilda Hits Category 4; Hong Kong Sets All-Time Heat Record

Former Typhoon Soudelor, now a 50-mph tropical storm, is inland over eastern China after giving storm-savvy Taiwan one of its most powerful typhoon strikes on record. Meanwhile, Hurricane Hilda zoomed to Category 4 status in the Central Pacific on Saturday, and Hong Kong set an all-time temperature record.

Bob Henson • 12:07 AM GMT on August 09, 2015

Soudelor Approaches Taiwan; All-Time Record Heat Returns to Germany

Typhoon Soudelor is making landfall in Taiwan on Saturday morning local time, packing Category 3 winds of 120 mph and torrential rains of more than 20". In Europe, a major heat wave has matched the all-time national record for Germany set just a month ago.

Bob Henson • 6:56 PM GMT on August 07, 2015

Soudelor Makes Beeline for Taiwan; CSU, NOAA Update Atlantic Hurricane Outlooks

Although its peak sustained winds have dropped from 180 mph to 105 mph over the last several days, Typhoon Soudelor may embark on a final burst of intensification before striking Taiwan on Saturday. Tropical Storm Guillermo continues its slow decline as it tracks north of the Hawaiian islands, and newly born Tropical Storm Hilda should be a northeast Pacific hurricane by Saturday. Updated hurricane outlooks from CSU and NOAA continue to point toward a quiet 2015 Atlantic season.

Bob Henson • 5:48 PM GMT on August 06, 2015

Major Typhoon SOUDELOR Heading for Taiwan

Major Typhoon SOUDELOR Heading for TaiwanGuillermo No Longer ‘Threat’ / Tropical Disturbance Near African Coast

Steve Gregory • 6:43 PM GMT on August 05, 2015

Tropical Storm Watches for Guillermo; 95L Clips Coast; Soudelor Still a Super Typhoon

Tropical storm watches were hoisted Wednesday morning for the islands of Hawaii, Maui, Molokai, Lanai and Kahoolawe as Tropical Storm Guillermo headed toward the island chain. Meanwhile, Invest 95L is hugging the North Carolina coast but producing little impact.

Bob Henson • 11:06 PM GMT on August 04, 2015

Another Category 5 Cyclone: Super Typhoon Soudelor

Super Typhoon Soudelor vaulted to Category 5 status on Monday, making it Earth’s sixth Category 5 storm of the year and the strongest one to date in 2015. At 8:00 pm EDT Monday, Soudelor’s sustained winds were estimated at 180 mph.

Bob Henson • 1:36 AM GMT on August 04, 2015

Invest 95L Drenches Florida’s West Coast; Super Typhoon Soudelor Threatens Taiwan

Already reeling from days of heavy rain, the Florida coastline from Tampa to the Big Bend area got an unwelcome visitor on Sunday night in the form of Invest 95L, which has brought more torrential rain to the area. Meanwhile, Guillermo has weakened to a tropical storm as it continues on a trajectory toward Hawaii, and Super Typhoon Soudelor poses a serious threat to Taiwan later this week. The South Pacific is also boasting what may be its first tropical cyclone on record for the month of July.

Bob Henson • 4:17 PM GMT on August 03, 2015