Even as it gets shunted quickly offstage, Hurricane Kate
is putting on a respectable closing act in the central Atlantic. On Wednesday morning, Kate became the fourth hurricane of the 2015 Atlantic season. Its top sustained winds remained at minimal hurricane strength, 75 mph, in the 10 am EST advisory
from the National Hurricane Center. At that point, Kate was located about 500 miles northeast of Bermuda, with its center of circulation pushing east-northeast at 45 mph. Kate’s hurricane-force winds are limited to within 35 miles of its center, but tropical-storm-force winds have expanded to a radius of up to 205 miles. Sea-surface temperatures along Kate’s path are marginal for sustaining a hurricane--only about 25°C, or 77°F. However, these readings are about 2°C above average, close to record-warm values
for the region and season. According to NHC’s Eric Blake
, Kate is the latest hurricane on record to develop in the Northwest Atlantic north of 35°N and west of 65°W. Two previous Hurricane Kates, one in November 1985
and one in September/October 2003
, each intensified to Category 3 strength.Figure 1.
GOES-East image of the North Atlantic at 1515Z (10:15 am EST) Wednesday, November 11, 2015. Labeled are Hurricane Kate (center) and Abigail (right), the first named storm in a winter-storm naming system being tested this year by the UK Met Office and Met Éireann (see below). Image credit: NOAA-NASA GOES Project
.Kate’s remnants to succeed the UK’s first named winter storm, Abigail
Strong jet-stream winds are moving Kate into the central Atlantic, with a large nontropical center of low pressure located just west of Kate (see Figure 1). As Kate loses its tropical identity over the next 24 to 48 hours, the two cyclones will merge and continue racing east-northeast, ahead of a strengthening upper-level trough in the Northwest Atlantic. The combined system could bring strong winds and heavy rain to the British Isles late this weekend.
Kate’s remnants will arrive on the heels of Abigail, the first winter storm ever to be officially named by the UK Met Office and Met Éireann
. The naming system is a joint pilot project
of the Met Office and Ireland’s meteorological agency. This year’s names were chosen from thousands of nominations submitted via email, Facebook, Twitter. “Over the past few winters the naming of wind storms that affected Ireland and the United Kingdom (such as the 'St Jude's day storm'
) has shown the benefits of establishing a protocol for the naming of mid-latitude storms,” the Met Office said in a statement
on September 8. In line with the NHC’s naming practice for tropical systems in the North Atlantic, the Met Office will not use names starting with the letters Q, U, X, Y and Z. Abigail is expected to bring wind gusts as high as 90 mph
to far northern Scotland
.Record-warm November low for the UK
According to the UK Met Office, the United Kingdom saw the warmest November night
in its recorded weather history on Tuesday, with the Northern Ireland town of Murlough scoring a overnight low on November 10 of 16.1°C (61.0°F). Murlough reached a high on Tuesday of 18.5°C (65.3°F)
, the day’s warmest reading in the British Isles. I have not yet been able to verify whether or not Murlough’s temperature dipped below 16.1°C before midnight Tuesday night.
The Tuesday warmth is part of a record-smashing “warm wave” bringing much of western Europe some of the mildest November temperatures ever recorded there. WU weather historian Chris Burt has more on this event, as well as the record November warmth over parts of the eastern U.S., in his latest post, published on Tuesday
Convective outlook issued by the NOAA Storm Prediction Center on Wednesday morning, November 11, 2015.Severe weather threat across parts of the Midwest
A potent autumn storm system plowing across the Great Plains is on track to trigger thunderstorms, some possibly severe, across the Missouri and Mississippi valleys on Wednesday. The greatest threat (enhanced) is across southeast Iowa, northeast Missouri, and western Illinois, just ahead of the surface low, but severe storms could also erupt along the cold front that extends south toward Texas from the surface low. Moisture scoured out of the Gulf of Mexico by the last cold front has had some trouble returning northward, which is tamping down this system’s potential for severe weather. Even so, NOAA’s Storm Prediction Center expects a cluster of supercells to emerge in the enhanced risk area, potentially congealing into a line of storms later this evening. Tornadoes are possible during the initial supercellular phase, with the risk of damaging straight-line winds increasing as the storms push into Illinois. We will be covering today’s severe weather as it unfolds in a WU live blog