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Haboob, Sandstorm, Dirt Storm? The Answer’s Blowing in the Texas Wind

By: Bob Henson 3:02 PM GMT on May 31, 2016

Just as people come to America from around the world, so do the terms we use to describe wind--although some would prefer that the nation stick to homegrown meteorological verbiage. A good case of this linguistic angst emerged on Sunday evening with the arrival of a dramatic haboob in Lubbock, TX. Rain-cooled outflow from strong thunderstorms over the Texas Panhandle pushed across the Lubbock area from the northeast, plowing up a wall of dust that was captured on video from Lubbock’s National Weather Service office (see bottom of this post). The temperature at the Lubbock NWS office dropped from 82°F at 7:03 pm CDT to 64°F at 7:10 pm CDT, with winds gusting to 56 mph and visibility down to 0.5 mile in rain and blowing dust.

Haboobs are distinct from ordinary blowing dust because of the thick dust shoveled upward--sometimes more than half a mile--by the relatively cool, dense air at the leading edge. After a haboob’s front edge moves past a given location, the airborne dust quickly abates. In contrast, blowing dust refers more generally to the situation where hours of strong wind can kick up broad areas of reduced visibility, often for hours at a time during dry, hot weather. Extreme blowing dust episodes, or duststorms, typically cover a large area, as opposed to the narrow zone of a haboob. Sandstorms occur when sand grains are blown across the lowest few feet of the landscape, usually in true deserts rather than semiarid regions.


Figure 1. Intense thunderstorms located north of Lubbock at 6:15 pm CDT Sunday, May 29, 2016, pushed an outflow boundary (the faint line south of the storms) and associated haboob (not visible on radar image) toward the Lubbock area. Image credit: NWS/Lubbock.


Figure 2. Screenshot of the NWS/Lubbock Facebook entry noting that a haboob was approaching Lubbock International Airport from the north at 6:57 pm CDT Sunday, May 29, 2016. Image credit: NWS/Lubbock.


According to the AMS Glossary (American Meteorological Society), “haboob” is derived from the Arabic word “habb” (a verb meaning "to blow", as with the wind]. That fact has led to unrest on social media more than once over the last few years. The use of the term in media to (correctly) describe a massive haboob that plowed from southeast Arizona to Phoenix on July 18, 2011, caused enough of a local outcry to prompt an article about the controversy in the New York Times. When the NWS Lubbock office posted warnings on its Facebook page about an approaching haboob on March 11, 2014, many readers protested; when the warning was shared on a local TV station’s Facebook page, there were calls for the broadcast meteorologist to be fired. History repeated itself last Sunday when the approaching haboob was mentioned on the NWS Lubbock webpage. One commentor asked the NWS to “use the American term please.” Another said “I’ll find another weather service.”

What’s kicked up the haboob storm?
Why did it take until recently for residents of the Southwest U.S. to get excited about a once-obscure term? For one thing, intense, recurring drought over the last few years, coupled with record-warm, landscape-drying temperatures, could be making the region more prone to haboob formation at times, although this would be a difficult thing to quantify. Another factor: with their adoption of Twitter and Facebook, NWS offices now have a direct line to the public, together with the ability to introduce semi-technical terms that otherwise might not have made it through the filter of mass media. The ascent of online media has also made it more tempting for journalists and pundits to coin or promulgate terms that have a chance of going viral. Already, the age of social and online media has popularized “polar vortex,” “derecho,” and several others. It’s easy to see why a sensitized layperson might feel that certain foreign-sounding terms are being suddenly foisted on them.

Of course, there is Arabic influence throughout the world of scientific terminology. Every time you use 3, 5, or 8, you’re using an Arabic numeral. And though it’s only recently made it into public discourse, “haboob” is hardly a new term in the meteorological literature. As noted by Maryland weathercaster and AGU blogger Dan Satterfield, a 1925 paper in the Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society was titled “Haboobs.”


Figure 3. The spectacular haboob that slammed into the Phoenix area on July 18, 2011, photographed in Maricopa. Image credit: wunderphotographer nukegm.

Other sources of wind names
Like the weather itself, weather words transcend national borders. The names we use in the United States for wind-related phenomena come from a wide array of sources. “Tornado” and “derecho” are both derived from Spanish (“thunder” and “straight,” respectively). The German-derived term “foehn wall” describes a wall of clouds that forms on the windward side of a mountain range, as seen from the leeward side; it’s often accompanied by a strong, mild “chinook” wind on the downwind side, named after several Native American peoples indigenous to the Pacific Northwest.

Even the all-American-sounding “downburst” and “microburst” were coined by a Japanese-American immigrant, the eminent meteorologist Theodore “Ted” Fujita (creator of the Fujita Tornado Damage Scale). First trained as a mechanical engineer, Fujita took a research flight in 1945 over the debris left by the bombs that struck Hiroshima and Nagasaki and observed starburst damage patterns emanating outward from the point of the bomb impact. Later, while surveying damage from the Super Outbreak of April 3, 1974, Fujita recognized similar starburst patterns, and he concluded that some of the damage must have resulted from descending wind bursts.

You’ll find a variety of haboob photos from around the world at the post filed by Jeff Masters on May 3, 2005. This was post #5 in this blog, out of 3317 posts to date!


Figure 4. Flooding at Lakeview Park in Humble, TX, on May 29, 2016. Image credit: wunderphotographer mcdsara1.

Continuing flood threat in southeast Texas this week
The National Hurricane Center issued its final advisory at 5:00 am EDT Tuesday on former Tropical Storm Bonnie, which had been declared post-tropical on Monday. High water resulting from more than 8 inches of rain in parts of South Carolina prompted the closure of Interstate 95 about 20 miles north of the Georgia border on Sunday, causing major traffic troubles. Flooding from a much larger area of heavy rain across Texas related to a stalled front and a slow-moving upper low has taken at least six lives since late last week. The Brazos River at Richmond, just west of Houston, was at a record-high flood stage of 53.19 feet at 7:15 am CDT Tuesday, and dozens of homes have been evacuated. More heavy rains are possible across southeast Texas later this week, which the Houston NWS office warns “will likely exacerbate flooding somewhere in our forecast area.”

Bob Henson


Extreme Weather Haboob

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

Reader Comments

501. JRRP7
Quoting 478. WxLogic:



Hello... well, based on my observations the TW currently crossing the southern Caribbean will start lifting further N/NW and be around Belize by this weekend and it should serve as the catalyst for a low pressure development. How strong the low will be and what track will it take... will remain to be seen, since it will depend on the evolution of the Central CONUS TROF that is expected to dig into the N GOM by the time the low pressure consolidates in the NW Caribbean.... assuming is consolidates as modeled.


Thx.
CSU's forecast update is out. They are now predicting 14-6-2 (including Alex and Bonnie)
Quoting 498. elioe:



Can you verify, what happens between 054 and 120 hours? What I see, is that the low near Belize at 120 hours is continuation of the low in East Pacific at 054 hours (at the left edge of image), rather than of the low in the Caribbean.


This Caribbean system will not have any origins from EPac

If anything GFS just might be too far west
I say system won't be in the gulf of Honduras or near Belize
Quoting 491. fabian171017:

Niño 3.4 index has finally turned negative! Amazing to see this historic El Niño fade away within months!




CPC's Nino update on May 30th had the weekly SST value at -0.1C - Link

We should see a neutral/la nina state come the peak of the hurricane season.
Quoting 361. KEEPEROFTHEGATE:

make yer own blog and post that stuff pls keep it neutral here the season approaches with it no lunacy


good luck with that keep
Quoting 500. tiggerhurricanes2001:

CSU Has issued their June 1st OUTLOOK:
14 Named Storms, 6 Hurricanes, 2 Major Hurricanes. ACE:94. Forecast includes Alex and Bonnie.

Basically not much changed
2 additional storm plus 1 additional hurricane from last update
Hi! Holiday greetings from France by phone during a rare moment with internet access. The moment I left Germany weather turned catastrophic over there. More flashflooding in Bavaria right now... All the best to everyone from Vosges Mountains with sunshine :-)
Quoting 498. elioe:



Can you verify, what happens between 054 and 120 hours? What I see, is that the low near Belize at 120 hours is continuation of the low in East Pacific at 054 hours (at the left edge of image), rather than of the low in the Caribbean.


Complicated situation to say the least. But based on this graphic you can see two distinct lows, one in the eastern Pacific and one in the western Caribbean with higher pressure over land separating the two.
WEATHER RECONNAISSANCE FLIGHTS
CARCAH, NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER, MIAMI, FL.
1015 AM EDT WED 01 JUNE 2016
SUBJECT: TROPICAL CYCLONE PLAN OF THE DAY (TCPOD)
VALID 02/1100Z TO 03/1100Z JUNE 2016
TCPOD NUMBER.....16-006

I. ATLANTIC REQUIREMENTS
1. SUSPECT AREA.....REMNANTS OF BONNIE
FLIGHT ONE - TEAL 71
A. 02/1800Z
B. AFXXX 0502A INVEST
C. 02/1530Z
D. 39.0N 75.5W
E. 02/1730Z TO 02/2130Z
F. SFC TO 10,000 FT

2. SUCCEEDING DAY OUTLOOK.....NEGATIVE.
Quoting 505. Envoirment:



CPC's Nino update on May 30th had the weekly SST value at -0.1C - Link

We should see a neutral/la nina state come the peak of the hurricane season.


I say we will have a La Niña befor the peak of season might even be within moderate range this La Niña may be
Quoting 512. JrWeathermanFL:






The buoy just off shore of southern North Carolina is showing NNW winds while the buoy just to its north is showing NNE winds so there's most likely a weak surface circulation.
But I don't know if it's enough to warrant upgrading the system to a T.D.


Quoting 490. Ricki13th:

US is long overdue for a big storm especially Texas and Florida. This year the chance for landfalls increase substantially when the Caribbean, Gulf, and Western Atlantic are where the bulk of development will be focused at. Hope people are prepared...


"Overdue" does not itself increase the probability it will happen anymore than ten consecutive heads on a real coin increase the chance that tails will come up next toss.

"Overdue" however does suggest people have become complacent since the last event was long ago. And there are other terms in the probability function that suggests the probability of a TX or FL storm is above the long term mean so I'll go with increased chance but not because of "overdue" condition.

Otherwise I don't play these long range forecasting games. I have little skill and acknowledge it
Quoting 508. barbamz:

Hi! Holiday greetings from France by phone during a rare moment with internet access. The moment I left Germany weather turned catastrophic over there. More flashflooding in Bavaria right now... All the best to everyone from Vosges Mountains with sunshine :-)


What fraction of French and German citizens have Internet access on their phones? I thought it was at least as good as in the U.S.
Quoting 491. fabian171017:

Niño 3.4 index has finally turned negative! Amazing to see this historic El Niño fade away within months!




Actually not that amazing. The 1997-98 El Nino also quickly flipped to La Nina in summer 1998. If atmospheric coupling is removed from consideration, a strong Nino always flips, that's the analytic solution for the governing equations close to the equator with an eastern boundary. Atmospheric coupling though is a strong to dominant term and obviously can't be ignored.
Quoting 497. bigwes6844:

Good Morning Folks! Welcome to the official start of the 2016 Atlantic Hurricane Season.
Old Bonnie is looking good!

Big outflow boundary on the SE side. Looks like she's got smokers' cough from ingesting dry air.
Quoting 498. elioe:



Can you verify, what happens between 054 and 120 hours? What I see, is that the low near Belize at 120 hours is continuation of the low in East Pacific at 054 hours (at the left edge of image), rather than of the low in the Caribbean.

Quoting 509. Sfloridacat5:



Complicated situation to say the least. But based on this graphic you can see two distinct lows, one in the eastern Pacific and one in the western Caribbean with higher pressure over land separating the two.



I would agree with elioe. The 06Z GFS has a low pressure spinning up in the EPAC first, crossing over El Salvador/Nicraragua and moving just East of the Yucatan peninsula. The broad Atlantic low located in the NW Caribbean spins up two vorticities. The most northern part of the low impacts FL first, the southern part of the low gets a kick from the EPAC low, spins up and follows the first through Florida as well.

In regards to what the 06Z GFS is currently showing, of course. We'll see what pans out.


Quoting 482. washingtonian115:

Lots of energy to be used if the upper level conditions remain favorable.....



That could support a significant system indeed.
Quoting 515. georgevandenberghe:



What fraction of French and German citizens have Internet access on their phones? I thought it was at least as good as in the U.S.

It is, but e.g. if I were on a camping holiday in France I don't see any www for days either. Of course one can visit some wifi post on gas stations, hotels, camping building or internet café but I myself wouldn't even want to see the www every damned day when on holiday.
1013 AM CDT WED JUN 1 2016 ...FLASH FLOOD WATCH IN EFFECT THROUGH FRIDAY EVENING... THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN HOUSTON/GALVESTON HAS ISSUED A * FLASH FLOOD WATCH FOR PORTIONS OF SOUTHEAST TEXAS AND
SOUTHEAST TEXAS...INCLUDING THE FOLLOWING JACKSON. ...AUSTIN...
BRAZORIA...BRAZOS...BURLESON...CHAMBERS...COLORADO ...FORT ...
BEND...GALVESTON...GRIMES...HARRIS...HOUSTON...LIB ERTY...
MADISON...MATAGORDA...MONTGOMERY...POLK...SAN JACINTO...
TRINITY...WALKER...WALLER...WASHINGTON AND WHARTON. * THROUGH FRIDAY EVENING * HEAVY RAINS WILL BE DEVELOPING TODAY WITH SLOW MOVING STORMS.
RAINFALL RATES OF 2 TO 3 INCHES PER HOUR WILL BE POSSIBLE BUT
THE STORMS ARE NOT EXPECTED SLOW DOWN AND CLUSTER UP. AS AN UPPER LEVEL LOW PRESSURE SYSTEM WILL MOVE CLOSER TO THE
REGION LEADING TO STRONGER WINDS IN THE LOWER ATMOSPHERE AND
INCREASING THE THREAT OF MORE INTENSE RAINFALL RATES EARLY
THURSDAY MORNING THROUGH THURSDAY NIGHT. CLUSTERS OF STORMS MAY
BE MORE LIKELY ON THURSDAY AND FRIDAY AND HENCE A GREATER
THREAT FOR MORE WIDESPREAD FLASH FLOODING. LOCALIZED RAINFALL
TOTALS OF 3 TO 7 INCHES MAY BE POSSIBLE THURSDAY. THE THREAT OF FLASH FLOODING WILL CONTINUE THROUGH FRIDAY WITH
MORE SLOW MOVING STORMS. * GIVEN THE WET GROUND AND SWOLLEN RIVERS HEAVY RAINFALL WILL
RUNOFF QUICKLY AND WILL LEAD TO STREET FLOODING AND MAY CAUSE
ADDITIONAL RISES TO RIVERS OR SLOW THE FALL OF THE RIVER LEVELS
EXTENDING THE DURATION OF THE FLOODING. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS... A FLASH FLOOD WATCH MEANS THAT CONDITIONS MAY DEVELOP THAT LEAD
TO FLASH FLOODING. FLASH FLOODING IS A VERY DANGEROUS SITUATION. YOU SHOULD MONITOR LATER FORECASTS AND BE PREPARED TO TAKE ACTION
SHOULD FLASH FLOOD WARNINGS BE ISSUED.
Quoting 514. georgevandenberghe:



"Overdue" does not itself increase the probability it will happen anymore than ten consecutive heads on a real coin increase the chance that tails will come up next toss.

"Overdue" however does suggest people have become complacent since the last event was long ago. And there are other terms in the probability function that suggests the probability of a TX or FL storm is above the long term mean so I'll go with increased chance but not because of "overdue" condition.

Otherwise I don't play these long range forecasting games. I have little skill and acknowledge it


Complacency and new population can be deadly. South Texas hasn't been hit by a major since 1999. Houston area was hit by Ike 8 years ago but the last "major" landfall was technically in 1983. Tampa hasn't been hit from the ocean side In living memory. Wilma raked the whole state inland in 2005 and Jeanne hit Central Florida in 2004 but the last major to threaten the Miami metro area was....Andrew. There are lots of people who have kids today who weren't born in 1992.
Quoting 523. cRRKampen:


It is, but e.g. if I were on a camping holiday in France I don't see any www for days either. Of course one can visit some wifi post on gas stations, hotels, camping building or internet café but I myself wouldn't even want to see the www every damned day when on holiday.


This is why our tech group, many years ago, (1990) chose the Central Bahamas for our annual fishing trip. We were isolated from the world for the several days of the trip. We had one landline from the hotel $3/minute to use. It was expected we wouldn't use it. (We just finished #27 BTW)

Now our place has wi-fi and 3G data coverage and CNN in the library (not in the rooms) and I get cell signal even on the boat when in sight of the island.. Connected again.. sigh!
Quoting 519. daddyjames:




I would agree with elioe. The 06Z GFS has a low pressure spinning up in the EPAC first, crossing over El Salvador/Nicraragua and moving just East of the Yucatan peninsula. The broad Atlantic low located in the NW Caribbean spins up two vorticities. The most northern part of the low impacts FL first, the southern part of the low gets a kick from the EPAC low, spins up and follows the first through Florida as well.

In regards to what the 06Z GFS is currently showing, of course. We'll see what pans out.





This proposed scenario has been consistent over the last three GFS model runs (18Z Tuesday, may 31; 0Z Wednesday, June 1; and 06Z Wednesday, June1).

The ECMWF seems to be hinting at the same.
A low level vorticity is just north of Western Cuba, the wind barbs put the center of the surface winds in the Yucatan.



The ECMWF solution (at the moment) is to merge the two (the elongated circulation] into one that strikes the West Central Florida Coast (Tampa Bay, get those shields up).



Edit: can't spell shield; and I type like carp . . . :)
Quoting 529. ProPoly:



Complacency and new population can be deadly. South Texas hasn't been hit by a major since 1999. Houston area was hit by Ike 8 years ago but the last "major" landfall was technically in 1983. Tampa hasn't been hit from the ocean side In living memory. Wilma raked the whole state inland in 2005 and Jeanne hit Central Florida in 2004 but the last major to threaten the Miami metro area was....Andrew. There are lots of people who have kids today who weren't born in 1992.


Alicia in 83' was 115 mph at landfall, Ike in 08' was 110 mph at landfall. Basically splitting hairs, the event in 08' was worse than 83' easily due to massive storm surge. Ike was on par with the 1900 and 1915 storm as far as storm surge, if it wasn't for the seawall it'd (Galveston) be gone.

But you are correct, there is a massive population that are going to be getting a rude awakening soon in America.
Quoting 504. wunderkidcayman:



This Caribbean system will not have any origins from EPac

If anything GFS just might be too far west
I say system won't be in the gulf of Honduras or near Belize
Agree. I expect further south, perhaps south of JA ... then motion will be determined by upper steering, as to whether it goes into Gulf or over Cuba and SE FL as the GFS keeps hinting.

I admit I'm not expecting a "big deal" storm from this ... like Bonnie, more likely to be a rainmaker imo. However, with WCar waters undisturbed for quite some time, TCHP is likely to be at its best for this time of year .... so the unexpected may occur.

Watching with interest....
Quoting 533. BahaHurican:

Agree. I expect further south, perhaps south of JA ... then motion will be determined by upper steering, as to whether it goes into Gulf or over Cuba and SE FL as the GFS keeps hinting.

I admit I'm not expecting a "big deal" storm from this ... like Bonnie, more likely to be a rainmaker imo. However, with WCar waters undisturbed for quite some time, TCHP is likely to be at its best for this time of year .... so the unexpected may occur.

Watching with interest....


At the moment two models are showing essentially the same pattern evolving . . . we'll see what happens.
Where Oh Where is Genesis 004 located?


GENESIS004, AL, L, , , , , 74, 2016, DB, O, 2016060112, 9999999999, , 004, , , , GENESIS, , AL742016
Quoting 530. georgevandenberghe:



This is why our tech group, many years ago, (1990) chose the Central Bahamas for our annual fishing trip. We were isolated from the world for the several days of the trip. We had one landline from the hotel $3/minute to use. It was expected we wouldn't use it. (We just finished #27 BTW)

Now our place has wi-fi and 3G data coverage and CNN in the library (not in the rooms) and I get cell signal even on the boat when in sight of the island.. Connected again.. sigh!
How was the trip? I don't think it started raining down there until after you guys were gone ....
Quoting 535. nrtiwlnvragn:

Where Oh Where is Genesis 004 located?


GENESIS004, AL, L, , , , , 74, 2016, DB, O, 2016060112, 9999999999, , 004, , , , GENESIS, , AL742016


Is this something that'll happen in 3 days? "AL742016"

Forget I asked that - forgetting that this is the "6" month. I would say that it is because I am getting older, but sometimes my fingers move before I think.
I now I see that you bolded something for obvious reasons. (sigh)
Quoting 536. BahaHurican:

How was the trip? I don't think it started raining down there until after you guys were gone ....


Fine. We caught enough Mahi to fill our coolers, then did some reef fishing. Winds were unusually light so we did not get beat up by heavy swell as we sometimes do and seasickness wasn't a problem either. Saw a waterspout the last day but it dissipated before I could unpack my cell, power it on and get a picture. A second formed about 15 minutes later but it was much less impressive. I got a pix of that but it isn't even worth posting.
Quoting 537. daddyjames:



Is this something that'll happen in 3 days? "AL742016"


Don't know, Genesis is NHC's internal process on suspect areas, sort of an "Invest" for an Invest. Since it is a 70s number, none of the data generated shows up in the ATCF database, except for in the index which just shows a Genesis number exists.
Quoting 532. RitaEvac:



Alicia in 83' was 115 mph at landfall, Ike in 08' was 110 mph at landfall. Basically splitting hairs, the event in 08' was worse than 83' easily due to massive storm surge. Ike was on par with the 1900 and 1915 storm as far as storm surge, if it wasn't for the seawall it'd (Galveston) be gone.

But you are correct, there is a massive population that are going to be getting a rude awakening soon in America.


This is not 92, nor 85, and most def not 05' but the World has reminders of calamity seen nuff in the Living memory. We are connected now in more ways than ever before. If someone dosent wanna know what is coming, that is their own wishful ignorance showing,

badly.
541. beell
Quoting 531. daddyjames:



This proposed scenario has been consistent over the last three GFS model runs (18Z Tuesday, may 31; 0Z Wednesday, June 1; and 06Z Wednesday, June1).

The ECMWF seems to be hinting at the same.
A low level vorticity is just north of Western Cuba, the wind barbs put the center of the surface winds in the Yucatan.



The ECMWF solution (at the moment) is to merge the two into one that strikes the West Central Florida Coast (Tampa Bay, get those shields up).



Edit: can't spell shield; and I type like carp . . . :)


Beware of "Spurious Vorticity"!
Quoting 532. RitaEvac:



Alicia in 83' was 115 mph at landfall, Ike in 08' was 110 mph at landfall. Basically splitting hairs, the event in 08' was worse than 83' easily due to massive storm surge. Ike was on par with the 1900 and 1915 storm as far as storm surge, if it wasn't for the seawall it'd (Galveston) be gone.

But you are correct, there is a massive population that are going to be getting a rude awakening soon in America.


Agree, but that hairsplitting can be dangerous itself. There was widespread noncompliance with evacuation orders with Ike, a lot of which was on "only a Cat 2" grounds or "running from Rita was a mess and didn't need to happen" grounds. This included many thousands of people staying in areas that had "CERTAIN DEATH" warnings due to surge projections. This of course worked out, albeit mostly thanks to Ike...






Its nothing always until it is sumthing'

Werd
(In reference to the blog update itself) Ah, I love seeing moronic Facebook commentators being publicly shamed like this. Truly amazing the height of stupidity that can emerge on Facebook sometimes.

Anyways, there's good model consensus right now that we'll see something attempt to develop in the western Caribbean next week. The situation is a classic early-June setup and most of the convection will likely be weighted to one side, similar to Andrea in 2013 and Debby in 2012. The GFS is already showing decent rainfall totals for the Florida Peninsula.
Quoting 541. beell:



Beware of "Spurious Vorticity"!


Please educate me! Well, obviously I have an idea of what it means, but how do you think both models are being influenced in the same manner?

Edit: Clarified my statement.
Quoting 542. ProPoly:



Agree, but that hairsplitting can be dangerous itself. There was widespread noncompliance with evacuation orders with Ike, a lot of which was on "only a Cat 2" grounds or "running from Rita was a mess and didn't need to happen" grounds. This included many thousands of people staying in areas that had "CERTAIN DEATH" warnings due to surge projections. This of course worked out, albeit mostly thanks to Ike...









That's why they the NHC are coming out with storm surge projections so people don't just go by the category level which only details wind speed.


Looks like a big rain event coming up for Southflorida early next week.
It is called and rightly so, A" Storm Surge Watch/Warning"...now.

1. Overview

This information is also available in an NWS Product Description Document (PDF format).

While storm surge is often the greatest threat to life and property from a landfalling tropical storm or hurricane, there is no watch/warning product to highlight the storm surge hazard. Storm surge flooding has accounted for nearly half of the deaths associated with landfalling tropical cyclones over the past fifty years. To help identify and visualize areas most at risk from life-threatening surge, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) will be issuing a prototype storm surge watch/warning graphic beginning in 2015 for tropical cyclones affecting the Gulf and Atlantic coasts of the United States. This graphic is intended to introduce the concept of a separate watch/warning for life-threatening storm surge inundation and serve as a call to action.
2. Product Description

The prototype storm surge watch/warning graphic highlights areas along the Gulf and Atlantic coasts that have a significant rist of life-threatening storm surge inundation from a tropical storm or hurricane, and displays areas that would qualify for inclusion under a storm surge watch/warning under development by the NWS.

The prototype graphic represents the first step of a phased implementation towards an NWS storm surge watch/warning, but for 2015 does not represent an official NWS watch/warning product. The NWS plans to offer the prototype graphic again in 2016, and after incorporating user and partner input, plans to make the storm surge watch/warning fully operational in 2017.

The prototype storm surge watches and warnings are represented by different colors, and their individual definitions are below:
550. beell
.
551. beell
Quoting 550. beell:



Probably not qualified to educate you, dj-but I can add a few more words!

In a long and broad circulation, a model can/will display several vort max's rotating around the entire circulation. Some of them turn out to be real, some, transient.

The poleward & equatorward end of the circulation axis is indeed a favored location. Somewhere along the axis may be just as likely.

The model(s) could in fact end up being spot on. But I have seen them pop up here in one model run and pop up in another location on the next run in this type of synoptic.
Quoting 547. HurriHistory:



Looks like a big rain event coming up for Southflorida early next week.
Also notice the continued rain over Central TX......
:-(
Quoting 533. BahaHurican:

Agree. I expect further south, perhaps south of JA ... then motion will be determined by upper steering, as to whether it goes into Gulf or over Cuba and SE FL as the GFS keeps hinting.

I admit I'm not expecting a "big deal" storm from this ... like Bonnie, more likely to be a rainmaker imo. However, with WCar waters undisturbed for quite some time, TCHP is likely to be at its best for this time of year .... so the unexpected may occur.

Watching with interest....
If the shear levels are low and there aren't competing low's, I expect a strong TS, but with the energy and high SST's in the Carrib. anything is possible...
Quoting 526. Patrap:

1013 AM CDT WED JUN 1 2016 ...FLASH FLOOD WATCH IN EFFECT THROUGH FRIDAY EVENING... THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN HOUSTON/GALVESTON HAS ISSUED A * FLASH FLOOD WATCH FOR PORTIONS OF SOUTHEAST TEXAS AND
SOUTHEAST TEXAS...INCLUDING THE FOLLOWING JACKSON. ...AUSTIN...
BRAZORIA...BRAZOS...BURLESON...CHAMBERS...COLORADO ...FORT ...
BEND...GALVESTON...GRIMES...HARRIS...HOUSTON...LIB ERTY...
MADISON...MATAGORDA...MONTGOMERY...POLK...SAN JACINTO...
TRINITY...WALKER...WALLER...WASHINGTON AND WHARTON. * THROUGH FRIDAY EVENING * HEAVY RAINS WILL BE DEVELOPING TODAY WITH SLOW MOVING STORMS.
RAINFALL RATES OF 2 TO 3 INCHES PER HOUR WILL BE POSSIBLE BUT
THE STORMS ARE NOT EXPECTED SLOW DOWN AND CLUSTER UP. AS AN UPPER LEVEL LOW PRESSURE SYSTEM WILL MOVE CLOSER TO THE
REGION LEADING TO STRONGER WINDS IN THE LOWER ATMOSPHERE AND
INCREASING THE THREAT OF MORE INTENSE RAINFALL RATES EARLY
THURSDAY MORNING THROUGH THURSDAY NIGHT. CLUSTERS OF STORMS MAY
BE MORE LIKELY ON THURSDAY AND FRIDAY AND HENCE A GREATER
THREAT FOR MORE WIDESPREAD FLASH FLOODING. LOCALIZED RAINFALL
TOTALS OF 3 TO 7 INCHES MAY BE POSSIBLE THURSDAY. THE THREAT OF FLASH FLOODING WILL CONTINUE THROUGH FRIDAY WITH
MORE SLOW MOVING STORMS. * GIVEN THE WET GROUND AND SWOLLEN RIVERS HEAVY RAINFALL WILL
RUNOFF QUICKLY AND WILL LEAD TO STREET FLOODING AND MAY CAUSE
ADDITIONAL RISES TO RIVERS OR SLOW THE FALL OF THE RIVER LEVELS
EXTENDING THE DURATION OF THE FLOODING. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS... A FLASH FLOOD WATCH MEANS THAT CONDITIONS MAY DEVELOP THAT LEAD
TO FLASH FLOODING. FLASH FLOODING IS A VERY DANGEROUS SITUATION. YOU SHOULD MONITOR LATER FORECASTS AND BE PREPARED TO TAKE ACTION
SHOULD FLASH FLOOD WARNINGS BE ISSUED.


The heavy rain and severe weather threat returns to the area over the next few days. An upper level low will position itself over south central Texas and disturbances will rotate around and to the east of this feature. A highly moist and unstable resident air mass will only fuel future storms in producing high rainfall rates (flooding) and wind (downed trees, home/business damage) as they pass across southeastern Texas from as early as today through the weekend.
JeffMasters has created a new entry.
Quoting 533. BahaHurican:

Agree. I expect further south, perhaps south of JA ... then motion will be determined by upper steering, as to whether it goes into Gulf or over Cuba and SE FL as the GFS keeps hinting.

I admit I'm not expecting a "big deal" storm from this ... like Bonnie, more likely to be a rainmaker imo. However, with WCar waters undisturbed for quite some time, TCHP is likely to be at its best for this time of year .... so the unexpected may occur.

Watching with interest....


Indeed
Quoting 550. beell:



Probably not qualified to educate you, dj-but I can add a few more words!

In a long and broad circulation, a model can/will display several vort max's rotating around the entire circulation. Some of them turn out to be real, some, transient.

The poleward & equatorward end of the circulation axis is indeed a favored location. Somewhere along the axis may be just as likely.

The model(s) could in fact end up being spot on. But I have seen them pop up here in one model run and pop up in another location on the next run.


Oh, I understand that. I was talking more in regards to the EPAC low crossing over into the Atlantic and kicking things off, and presenting my interpretations of how the two models appear (to my very untrained eye, and shallow depth of knowledge) to be consistent with one another . . . yet differ (at this moment) upon their proposed solutions.

I would disagree about the "qualified to educate" part (maybe on this specific topic . . . ?). Over the years you have taken the time to explain things, and discuss things that have broadened my knowledge about interpreting the models. I appreciate that, and always value your opinion/interpretation of what is going on .

Thanks!

Continue keeping your heads above water there in Texas.

Quoting 542. ProPoly:



Agree, but that hairsplitting can be dangerous itself. There was widespread noncompliance with evacuation orders with Ike, a lot of which was on "only a Cat 2" grounds or "running from Rita was a mess and didn't need to happen" grounds. This included many thousands of people staying in areas that had "CERTAIN DEATH" warnings due to surge projections. This of course worked out, albeit mostly thanks to Ike...









From Wiki: In the United States, 112 people were reported killed, directly or indirectly, and 23 were still missing or could not be contacted as of 3 May 2010.
562. SLU
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