WunderBlog Archive » Category 6™

Category 6 has moved! See the latest from Dr. Jeff Masters and Bob Henson here.

No Alberto--and where's winter?

By: Dr. Jeff Masters, 3:38 PM GMT on January 11, 2006

No Alberto
A large non-tropical low pressure system is about 500 miles off of the Atlantic coast of Africa, and is located about midway between the Canary and Cape Verde Islands. This low has weakened in the past day, and has developed only a small amount of deep convection, mostly east of the center. The low is forecast to slow drift southward and continue to weaken, and very high levels of wind shear are expected to move over the low by Friday. Thus, it appears very unlikely that this low will develop into Tropical Storm Alberto. Forecast models show no other tropical storm threats developing over the next week, as high wind shear dominates the Atlantic basin.

Where's winter?
Those of us living in the eastern 2/3 of North America are wondering--where's winter? After unusually early and severe winter weather gripped the region from late November through mid-December, a very warm weather pattern has brought delight to those of us dreading high natural gas bills this winter--but despair to the skiiers. There is cold air out there this winter--but it's in Asia, and not headed our way anytime soon.

New Delhi, India saw its coldest winter morning in 70 years on Sunday as the temperature plummeted to 0.2 degrees Celsius (32.4 Fahrenheit). Pakistan and the hard-hit quake areas of Kashmir are experiencing their coldest winter in a decade, and China Daily calls the current winter in China the coldest in 20 years. In Japan, a month of heavy storms has piled snow up to three meters high in some areas, and at least 63 people have died and over 1,000 have been injured because of the snow. Many of the dead were elderly people who fell from their roofs while trying to clear snow, while others were crushed when their houses collapsed under the snow's weight.

When is this pattern going to break? According the the GFS model, no major shifts in the winter pattern are expected in the next two weeks. Asia will stay cold. A succession of rain storms will move across the northern half of the U.S. the remainder of January, with only a brief day or two of cold air moving in behind these storms. Eastern North America may have to wait until February before more normal winter weather returns and Asia gets a break.

Jeff Masters
Chitral- recent snowfall
Harbin Ice and Snow World 1 Lighting up time
Harbin Ice and Snow World 1 Lighting up time
Harbin holds an annual Ice and Snow festival. These photos show part of the displays. The theme is Russian architecture with many of the structures being replicas of those around Moscows Red Square. All buildings built of ice with lights inside to create the colour. Buddha is built of snow. They are huge!!!

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

No upcoming storms, and a fresh start to the blog discussions. Life is good. :-)
I like hearing no upcoming storms! The winter here in Florida for the most part has been wonderful...only had a few so far with temps in the 30's (I'm in east central Florida) I do hope that it continues.
good morning all;its been a few weeks since i last put my 2 cents worth in.i have a question this morning. it seems that the 2005 hurricane season was virtually devoid of the classic cape verde storms.if this is a correct observation,why? was it the amount of dust or some other reason. thanks.
hiseas....I believe that is was due to the fact that there was so many dust storms....anytime that a very impressive wave came off the coast, a dust storm would catch up with it and that would be the end of it....
Thank you Dr Masters for the great information, as usual.
We've had a few below average cold fronts here in South Florida but now everything is back up to normal..

Spoke to family in the mid-south area, and they had temps in the 70's this last week...Last weekend they were much warmer than us.

Keep us informed!
dear dude,thanks for the info.being an amateur,my observations were purely anecdotal,but i had a feeling that the strong sahara dust inhibited the formation of storms off the coast.thanks again. bob
Just imagine if there was no dust, we would have broken into the greek names long before we actually did. There were several instances where dust cleared out a strong wave.
And more where tropical systems were limited in strength due to the dust.
I have been thinking what effect an extremely mild north american winter will have on atlantic/gulf water temperatures
going into spring. Gulf sst's are high now, would that be a harbinger of an early start to the tropical season?

Progessive, may be time to get those dust fans set up in the Sahara:)
Were Emily and Dennis Cape Verde storms? because weren't they a bit early in the season from normal Cape Verde's.
Progressive, the thought of not having any dust this past season just boggles the mind....who knows how many more storms we would have had.....wow
The NHC has released its report on tropical depression 19.
I know Emily was a early Cape Verde storm. I'm not as certain about Dennis. He formed near the Windward Islands.
I'm thinking back through the season here~ we all said yeah! when the dust rolled along & hampered the storms. But then when it cleared & conditions rippened we were looking at 2 or 3 systems at a time or some monster major storm like Katrina. There were discusions that the dust drying up the storms, prevented the upwelling that hurricanes produce. There for, the sea surface tempatures were even higher, helping earth release more energy during the non-dust restricting oppertunities. Back to Katrina, or a part of Katrina, TD 10 rolled across the atlantic, you could see it was a tenacious convection for how it had battled the huge dust storm. It could have been releasing energy & peaked long before the gulf. (another point, maybe dust is good for Florida & east coast, bad for areas west of us.) I wonder if this didn't have something to do with the incease in late & past season storms as well. Since the world has been releasing roughly the same ACE over the years, with the last 10 year trend being to release more ACE in the N Atlantic than previous (with other oceans releasing less), with the added hampering of storms by dust, I wonder if this extended our season. I'd love to see a graph with of # of after season storm days & days of season when the atmosphere wasn't condusive for storm generation due to limiting factors such as shear, low SST & dust.
Cregnebaa, you got my curiousity up. I checked wikipedia. Emily and Irene were the only Cape Verde storms last season.
Irene, completely forgot about that one! It's good when they head north and danger only the fishes

I am in Cayman, so the Cape Verdes always get us going.
did they update td 19 to a ts or did they keep it has a td 19 on there update?
As my handle implies, I'm originally from Ft Walton Beach, Flordia- though I now live in Tucson, Az. My parents are still in Fort Walton and my sister still lives in Slidel, even after what Katrina did to it. The list that shows the average of how many years between strikes within 60 miles has Fort Walton Beach as the first US location listed, so I watch the tropics every year even though I no longer live there.
KRWZ, The list shows TD19 as still a depression. Very short report. Half a page.

Well, I'm off for bed. Got a lot to do tonight.
There really isn't much doubt about any storms except Wilma, Emily, and Cindy now.
Dr. Masters mentioned the coldest morning in 60 years in New Delhi.

If I remember right, in The Day After Tomorrow, it was snowing in New Delhi in amazingly cold weather. Very Interesting LOL!!!
It feals like early fall here in Southern California. high pressure over Nevada bringing an easterly flow over Southern California. Humidity very low everything you touch that is mettle you will got shocked. Temperatures little change from day to day. Highes in the low to mid 70's at the beach and valleys. Jet Stream bringing rain into Centeral and Northern California. Looks like on Saterday storm tack goes a bit more south bringing around 40% chance of rain for most of the LA area.

Looking at the South West as a whole its been a very dry year. From New Mexico, Las Vegas, phoenix. Phoenix 83 days without rain. Flagstaff only a trace of snow this year. That is the latest they have gone without snow.
Bring back winter in the South West.


The answer to your question is yes. Let me explain.

My building was built in 1965 and was designed at the time to be resistent to hurricanes. It was the bomb shelter for the area during the 60's. The main stucture of the building starts on the 2nd floor with only a small lobby, elevator shaft and stairwells on the ground floor. If there was storm surge it would flow thru the parking lot underneath the building. Poured concrete reinforced with steel are on all outside walls, floors and roof. We believe this building has steel frame work within the pilings. Each floor has 4 units with concrete block walls within the hallways. On each end of the two hallways are concrete enclosed terraces that allow light and air to pass thru equalizing pressures during hurricanes. The center of the building compasses two individual stairwells that add even more stability. This would be the safest part during an extreme event. Of course the weakest part was the old rollout windows and they have been replaced with hurricane impact designed to withstand 220 mph winds (If we had those winds there wouldn't anything left but the windows, god forbid. Our biggest test came in September when a 250 ton, 300 ft crane about a block away came crashing down on our building. It hit in three places wrapping the twisted metal around the top and northside, It did crush the neighbors balcony roof and slightly dented the new window frame but did not break or crack the glass. We've hired an stuctural engineer to make sure the rest of the building is sound. The only thing I will do different is put my car in the parking garage 2 blocks away during a hurricane. God forbid that we go thru anything like Wilma again.

"My tunnels will bring winter back."

Lol cyclonebuster. Don't know how but I trust you lol.
Hey guys. I have made my first-ever severe weather forecast. Check it out!
Just wondering what your tunnel will do for us scum of the earth fishermen making a living from the sea.
Bullsheet the lobstering here depends onthe upwelling in the spring sot they come in the shallow water to shed.This would F up their normal routine.
We just want tobe left alone to make an honest living!!!!!
better get off this blog.Imust be the scum of the earth.
hey tornadoty

hey lobcarl watch what you say man
Have you checked the lobster catches in Maine the last few years. This was the first off yearin the last 10.
Catching bugs all my life. Know a little bit about it. Anyone here shows upat my door I promise a lobster feed.
I'm talking about real lobster from Maine LOL.
It is probably notable that if cyclonebuster is the same person I think he is (which I'm fairly sure of), he's been circling several weather forums and for the most part being laughed out of them by everyone who reads it. Generally, he starts flaming, and either the topic gets locked or he gets banned.

Just a note.
Thanks Colby. Nice tohave someone back me up
hey ForecasterColby what up i got my new blog update and there are some news on there that i think evere one sould take a look at
I've just gotten to wondering, but might it be possible that the lack of Cape Verde-type storms helped the season rack up so many big hurricanes? This only strikes me as possible because a lack of storms in that part of the Atlantic might keep the waters flowing into the Carribean slightly warmer than they would otherwise have been. Also, the Carribean/Gulf area might be more favorable to TDs becoming TSs, and the lack of development further east might have helped ensure that we racked up so many cases of favorable storm development, with the extremely high ratio of Depressions to Storms being noted. Any feedback on the possibility?
I know I should shut up.But wouldn't sucking up cold water in one place make the water warmer in an other place.
Hello, folks.

Maine lobster. Throw in some ears of corn, some clams and a beer, I'm all over it.

Does anyone know how the Gulf fishing and shrimping has done this year?
Anakin the Cape Verdes are close to africa, no impact on the sea temperatures in the Carrib or the Gulf
Most of the storms formed between the Verdes and the Carrib this year
I say between but several hundred miles from each
All I know is the Maine shrimp season. 30 cents off the boatand selling by peddlers 1.50. Still a deal.
There was actually an increase in development just east of the carrib this year. Big dust population in the far east brought the storms closer to the mainland, hence your more active season in the gulf.
More significant is the postion of the Bermudia High which streched into the gulf for a good portion of the season.
hey ProgressivePulse whats up i got my new blog update and i am now member so stop on by
Will do KRWZ, How are you this evening?
ProgressivePulse i am doing so good what all go to my blog
This was deffinatly a gulf coast year. And had there not been significant dust storms I think it would have been much worse for the friends in the gulf.
ProgressivePulse you see my blog yet?
LOL. You give a Maine answer.

Succinct, ayuh.
Yes I did KRWZ, posted some comments there, Looking great. I am glad you have all the tools now to do what you love to do.
Shrimp for supper tomorrow. They are small but they are tasty.
i got more on there ProgressivePulse
"Just a note Forecastercolby. The tunnel idea works. You can't change the physics no matter how hard you try. Banning me from forums for thinking up an idea that weakens hurricanes is silly."

Have I banned you? No. I'm reading your idea again, and there are still four immidiate problems (laying aside the tornado part, which is totally outlandish for a couple reasons)

1) What do you do when there ISN'T a current?

2) WHO PAYS FOR IT?!?!? Until this is answered, you have nothing more than a somewhat intriguing idea.

3) How do you predict things far enough in advance? Even with a *huge* tunnel, that upwelling will still take a day or more.

4) The enviornment. You're gonna have headhunters from all the enviornmentalist whackos on the planet on your tail.

One other concern - what effect does this have on larger scale weather? If you mix the warm water down to the bottom, then there's going to be less cold to upwell next time.

What do Pascal's and Bernouilli's (did I spell that right?) principles have to do with any of this? I see this as:

____________________________________________ <--Surface
/ ^ /
/ ^ | /
----> / | / -----> Current
_____________/______________________________ <--Seabed
Sounds to me like you would speed up the warming process of the sea that has already begun.
So what would the cooler water temps do over the span of the gulf stream? Yes they would warm but to a lower degree each year.
And what effect would that have in the many currents that are affected by the gulf stream. Most are temperature sensitve.
If not all
The warm waters of the Gulf Stream flow to Europe, what would happen there?
The cooler waters form the canary currents which carry these waters to the Iberian Peninsula and North West Africa, what would happen there?
At the beginning of the Gulf Stream the water temperature is 80F (27C); the temperature decreases as the current moves north. Just at supposed hurricane threshold, what are you looking to gain??
Even though the current cools as the water travels thousands of miles, it remains strong enough to moderate the Northern European climate.
ok do that a couple of years in a row, you don't think that would have an imapact on the overall temps?
Say it doesn't warm till the seperation point and currents are disrupted and fail.
You think that the sun will heat the waters to the same degree it was before your tunnels, even though the waters are cooler and traveling the same distance. Keep in mind a 1 or 2 degree temp difference is substantial.
1 or 2 degree temp difference could be why we seen the likes of Vince this year.
OK so normally the current cools as it travels to Europe. Lets use logic here, so if the tunnels produce cooler waters to begin with then it will be MUCH colder when it reaches Europe. "MYTH BUSTED"
The Gulf Stream is one of the strong ocean currents that carries warm water from the sunny tropics to higher latitudes. The current stretches from the Gulf of Mexico up the East Coast of the United States, departs from North America south of the Chesapeake Bay, and heads across the Atlantic to the British Isles. The water within the Gulf Stream moves at the stately pace of 4 miles per hour. Even though the current cools as the water travels thousands of miles, it remains strong enough to moderate the Northern European climate.

The image above was derived from the infrared measurements of the Moderate-resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on a nearly cloud-free day over the east coast of the United States. The coldest waters are shown as purple, with blue, green, yellow, and red representing progressively warmer water. Temperatures range from about 7 to 22 degrees Celsius.

The core of the Gulf Stream is very apparent as the warmest water, dark red. It departs from the coast at Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. The cool, shelf water from the north entrains the warmer outflows from the Chesapeake and Delaware Bays. The north wall of the Gulf Stream reveals very complex structure associated with frontal instabilities that lead to exchanges between the Gulf Stream and inshore waters. Several clockwise-rotating warm core eddies are evident north of the core of the Gulf Stream, which enhance the exchange of heat and water between the coastal and deep ocean. Cold core eddies, which rotate counter clockwise, are seen south of the Gulf Stream. The one closest to Cape Hatteras is entraining very warm Gulf Stream waters on its northwest circumference. Near the coast, shallower waters have warmed due to solar heating, while the deeper waters offshore are markedly cooler (dark blue). MODIS made this observation on May 8, 2000, at 11:45 a.m. EDT.

For more information, see the MODIS-Ocean web page.

The sea surface temperature image was created at the University of Miami using the 11- and 12-micron bands, by Bob Evans, Peter Minnett, and co-workers.

Recommend this Image to a Friend

Back to: Newsroom

Sorry have to put this in Bold Even though the current cools as the water travels thousands of miles, it remains strong enough to moderate the Northern European climate.
So if the waters are cooler you ruin the climate in Nothern Europe.
The one closest to Cape Hatteras is entraining very warm Gulf Stream waters on its northwest circumference. I think they would be upset at the cooler temperatures.
How does that pan out with several storms a year? I can name 3 that approached the SFL coast and one that lasted for more than a week. You are trying to disrupt a natural current which has global impact, have you done global research?
And what imapact does that 9 days have on the water tepms in Northern Europe??
You bring something like this to the table, you will have to have many contries involved.
And they will want facts, facts and more facts. OK we in the US are going to start a system that will limit our Hurricane's but, we don't know how it will impact your climate, will you support us "NO".
Even running 9 days cyclone, it still has an impact on the temps of the water.
How much has the Gulf Stream raised in Temp? Or are you basing this on the atl and Glf SST's?
The effect of global warming
Main articles: Effects of global warming#Shutdown of thermohaline circulation, and [[{{{2}}}]], and [[{{{3}}}]], and [[{{{4}}}]], and [[{{{5}}}]]
There is some speculation that global warming could decrease or shutdown thermohaline circulation. This would trigger localised cooling in the North Atlantic and lead to cooling, or lesser warming, in that region, affecting in particular areas like Scandinavia and Britain that are warmed by the North Atlantic drift. The chances of this occurring are unclear.

This statement is in reference to the Gulf Stream.
As it travels north, the warm water transported by the Gulf Stream undergoes two processes, evaporative cooling and brine exclusion. The first of these processes is wind driven: wind moving over the water cools it and also causes evaporation, leaving a saltier brine. In this process, the water increases in salinity and density, and decreases in temperature. The second process involves the formation of sea ice, which likewise increases the salinity of the brine solution and, thereby, decreases its freezing point. These two processes produce water that is denser and colder (or, more exactly, water that is still liquid at a colder temperature). In the North Atlantic Ocean, the water becomes so cold and dense that it begins to sink down through warmer, less salty and less dense water. (The convective action is not unlike that of a lava lamp.) This downdraft of heavy, cold and dense water becomes a part of the North Atlantic Deep Water, a southgoing stream.

You want to try to control those processes, let me know, I want to see your theisus on this subject.
the water becomes so cold and dense that it begins to sink down through warmer, less salty and less dense water.
The statement says that global warming cools the gulf stream in the north atlantic. Cooling already cooling waters.
Cooling occurs naturally as the water flows north, don't shoot the messanger I am simply pulling this off the net as we talk.
Your not introducing water that is the same temperature and it will not have the salinity that warmer water has, that is why it sinks". Water cools as it travels over the gulf stream, screw up the salinity and your going to screw up the currents.
You say you will get the temps back to what they should be, BUT, What is the temperature to properly maintain the current?
You do know that you are pumping water with a much lower salt content from the ocean floor than from the surface right?
You can't use old temps, currents are maintained in a balance between the 2.
So what kind of impact do you expect from a normal traveling Hurricane @ 10 to 15 mph over a short distance as the gulf stream?
And again your talking about global impact, you think you aren't but you are, so I would want to see again your Thesius and hummm maybe 2 of them. Plus at least 10 years of study on the enviornmental impacts.
The Global Climate Impact Cyclone, the migration habits of fish and mammals "They will adversly respond to a drastic temp drop" including the salinity of the water. I woulden't support you either without many studies and more studies. The gulf stream holds a great "BALANCE" I stress the word balance beacuse things go hand in hand. You lower the temp of the surface you would have to lower the temp of the sea floor to keep the 4mph, moreso beacuse the water you just pumped up has a much lower salinity than the water it replaces. Hurricanes do this naturally and a say a cat 4 cane as it reaches your tunnel stream will maintain cat 4 upweling well through and stir up much colder waters, may weaken but, the path of much colder water continues on.
Now you are naturally cooling, cooled waters by Man and by Hurricane.
Not to mention the transfer of deep ocean currents.
Ya know you would be bringing a convergence zone in one of the worlds main trunklines.
Keep heating!! I wish I would never have to feel anything below 65 degrees ever again...Here In Jacksonville it has been too cool...Every year I anticipate the return of summer so I can bake in 90+ temps every day.

I have to say I disagree with any idea to "modify" the ocean temps with anything...nature will seek its balance else where. Too much unknown here. If we want to modify something, warm the atmosphere up so we don't have to deal with ice storms..
Not to mention, a half a catgory strength does not make much of a difference "est. weakness over time & distance" and the warm waters on the other side would induce a strengthening stage.
126. dcw
"So what kind of impact do you expect from a normal traveling Hurricane @ 10 to 15 mph over a short distance as the gulf stream?

That is what I am trying to get modeled at MIT. No one will model it for me.What are they afraid of?"

Maybe they just think it isn't feasable...wonder why.
127. TPaul
Ok, I think some things need to be cleared up. Global warming and global cooling are naturally occuring processes. Yes, human civilization may have some impact on the temperature regulation of the planet but global warming would be occuring now even if we were not here. And you best believe we will have global cooling again which is far worse. Actually there is a report out now in Nature I believe that was reported on NPR that trees give off methane at a pretty significant rate which has not been taken into account with all the discussion on human impacted global warming. The main point being there is still more we do not understand about global warming then we do.
Hey everyone,

I need to add one further contribution to this discussion involving hurricane modification. I believe both Colby, Progressive, and others have pretty much covered the unknown consequences of attempting such a drastic measure suggested by cyclonebuster, although I respect his good intentions.

Very basic principle, Hurricanes are simply one of the Earth's ways to keep our atmosphere in balance by transferring the enormous heat from the tropics to the mid- latitudes and polar regions of the World.

Simply put, no more hurricanes, most likely far worse consequences.

Once again, there will not be any NATURAL global warming that will have a significant effect on these storms or breed these cataclysmic events that many want to propose on the Global warming issue fueled by scare tactics and an extensive array of propaganda.

This is just my personal opinion...NO MORE AND CERTAINLY NO LESS.:)


129. TPaul
cyclonebuster, I have yet to see the basic math for your idea. You don't need MIT to model it for you, you should be able to do those basic kind of calculations yourself and I am being serious about that. You would basicly need to cool a surface area say slightly larger then the diameter of the hurricane. Let me do some math and I will put up my results.

I totally agree as most can certainly attest to.:)

Great post in my humble opinion.:)

OK everyone,

I finished my latest blog early this morning, and I need to try and get some more sleep before work this afternoon.

I hope each and everyone of you has a wonderful day.:)

Your friend,


Although many aspects of your idea are ingenius, the risks of upsetting the gulf stream or redirecting it could have tragic effects in Europe. Even southern Europe is at the same latitude as NYC and enjoys far milder weather. A cooling of even a couple of degrees could cause crop failures across Europe!

Also Global warming is a natural phase our planet goes through, trying to counter it what would the long term effects be.

As for hurricanes aren't they the way heat is transfered from the equator to the poles, stopping extremes of temperatures between the two?

What about the other countries in the Carribean or Central America, do we just not bother with them?

Sorry chaser just saw your post, I'm a bit slower at typing I think
Tropical Storm Jose update is out by the nhc this to yet you all no