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Beneficial Barry

By: Dr. Jeff Masters, 4:43 PM GMT on June 03, 2007

Tropical Storm Barry is no more. Its remnants, now an extratropical storm with top winds of 40 mph over the ocean, are over the Mid-Atlantic coast, moving north-northeastward at 10 mph. Barry's remnants are expected to bring 1-3 inches of rain along the Mid-Atlantic and New England states through Monday. Was Barry really a tropical storm? I think it should have been named "Subtropical Storm Barry", and I hope NHC looks at the storm carefully to consider redesignating it after the season is over. Read Margie Kieper's View From the Surface blog for more on this.

On Saturday, Barry brought up to seven inches of rain to drought-parched Florida, including an official 6.99" to West Palm Beach, 4.07" to Jacksonville, 5.91" to Savannah Georgia, and 3.17" to Tampa. Barry's rains probably provided tens of millions of dollars of benefit--quite the opposite of what we're used to saying about tropical storms! The fire area near the Florida-Georgia border got between 1-5 inches of rain from Barry, which has dampened but not extinguished the fires. Barry's rains also helped a bit with the Florida drought. However, Barry's rains were only 1-2 inches over central Florida, and they need about 30 inches of rain to pull them out of drought conditions. The summer rainy season typically begins in June, so there is hope that substantial rains are on the way. There doesn't appear to be much rain coming this week, though.

Figure 1. Total rainfall from Barry for northern Florida, estimated by radar.

June outlook
My outlook for the first two weeks of June was posted Friday. I don't see anything on the horizon for the remainder of this week--wind shear is expected to be high most of this week over the favored breeding grounds for June storms--the Gulf of Mexico and Western Caribbean. Wind shear may drop enough over the Western Caribbean early next week to allow tropical storm formation, but that is too far in the future to guess at the probability of such an event.

This will be my last "live" blog until Monday June 11; it's time to grab a week of summer vacation while the tropics are quiet. I'm off to see Niagara Falls and the "Grand Canyon of the East", New York's awesome Letchworth State Park. I hope to get some good waterfall rainbow shots to add to my wunderphotos. I've written two canned blogs that will be posted Tuesday and Friday while I'm gone:

Tuesday--We've all used NHC's Tropical Weather Outlook, which most often this time of year says, "Tropical cyclone formation is not expected during the next 48 hours." How accurate are these outlooks? I'll present some verification statistics from 2005 and 2006.

Friday--The NHC made it's best track forecasts ever last year. How good are their forecasts now? Which of the various computer models performed the best last year? I'll have a breakdown of the numbers.

Our Climate Change blog by Dr. Ricky Rood has an interesting commentary on what the chief of NASA said last week in an NPR interview when asked, "Do you have any doubt that climate change is a problem that mankind has to wrestle with?"

Strongest tropical cyclone ever seen in Arabian Sea
Follow The View From the Surface blog this week to track Tropical Cyclone Gonu. Gonu is the strongest storm ever seen in the Arabian Sea, and could cause big trouble for the Persian Gulf oil rigs and tankers.

Jeff Masters


The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.