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Ophelia, wave nearing Windward Islands, and blob near Puerto Rico

By: Dr. Jeff Masters, 8:19 PM GMT on September 15, 2005

Wave nearing Windward Islands
A well-organized tropical wave 850 miles east of the Windward Islands has not improved in organization this afternoon, but still has the potential to develop into Tropical Depression 17 in the next few days. The wave has a decent surface circulation visible on satellite imagery and QuikSCAT satellite measurements, but deep convection is limited. The wave, located near 9N 48W, is suffering from being too far south and from 10 - 15 knots of wind shear. The disturbance is expected to continue moving west-northwest at 10-15 mph the next few days into a region with less shear. The upper level environment is favorable--an anticyclone has formed on top of it, which should provide very favorable outflow for any deep convection that fires up.

Figure 1. Early track model runs for the disturbance that may turn into Tropical Depression 17.

Blob north of Puerto Rico
A pronounced area of thunderstorms has developed north of Puerto Rico this afternoon, in the base of a large trough of low pressure over the Atlantic. This disturbed area lies in an area of uniform easterly winds that will blow the thunderstorms to the west towards Cuba and the Bahamas. Upper level wind shear is currently high over the disturbance--about 20 knots--but is expected to drop once the disturbance reaches the Bahama Islands on Saturday or Sunday. A tropical depression could form then or early next week when the disturbance crosses into the Gulf of Mexico.

Shear values in general over most of the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean are expected to drop to very low levels favorable for tropical development during the next week, and I think it is likely that we will see a tropical storm in either the Gulf or Caribbean then.

I'm trying to imagine a day when I don't talk about Ophelia moving slowly, but today is not the day. Perhaps tomorrow; the next trough swinging off the East Coast should be able to pick her up and move her out late in the day.

Ophelia is a shell of her former self. The eyewall has disintegrated, and the latest SFMR wind data from the NOAA hurricane hunters shows just a very small area of hurricane force winds over the water. Cooler waters, dry air, and wind shear are all taking their toll on Ophelia, and by the time she races past Cape Cod on Saturday, the worst she will be able to do there is generate wind gusts of 40 mph.

Figure 2. Winds in Ophelia at 12:30pm EDT today measured by the NOAA hurricane hunters.

Storm surge levels observed last night in Bogue Sound, which is the bay between Morehead City and its barrier island, reached seven feet--near the record levels set there from Category 3 Hurricane Hazel in 1954. The storm surge reached 10 feet in some of the smaller creeks in the Neuse River and may have reached 12 feet, a remarkably high storm surge for what was a tropical storm for that area. High storm surges can result from just tropical storm force winds, if they blow over a large area for a really long time, like Ophelia's did.

Figure 3. Storm Surge heights measured in Ophelia.

For those of you who can handle a 1.6Mb animation, the radar loop from Morehead City, NC during the time Ophelia's northern eyewall passed over the city is fascinating. The turbulence created by having part of the eyewall over land and part over water created some smaller vorticies along the inside edge of the eyewall.

While Ophelia did dump it share of heavy rain--around 5 - 7 inches near Wilmington, and over 10 inches around Cape Fear, south of Wilmington--the rain was mostly confined to the coast, and did not cause widespread flooding problems. Ophelia's winds also did relatively light damage--sustained hurricane force winds (74 mph) were only observed at one location, on Cape Lookout near the Outer Banks. The storm surge was what caused the main havoc with Ophelia.

Figure 4. Estimated rainfall from the Morehead City radar for Ophelia's passage.

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.

Reader Comments

Dr. Masters,
Why does it seem a lot of the storms this year coming from the Atlantic are forming so far south? Isn't this time of year typically the Cape Verde season when they form off near the Cape Verde islands?
Okay everybody I am on the Gulf of Mexico. A wave and a blob are not what I need to see in my future. After Ivan we truly cannot take anymore in my area. What are the chances of this thing making the panhandle area by the end of next week?
Hello From Hancock County MS...been off line for a while as we took quite a lick from ol' Katrina. Had power back since beginning of the week...but no cable/phone/internet. Posting this from work. Last week I was assigned to visit addresses of folks who had not been heard from...I've traveled the length and breadth of Hancock County, and the TV pics, while i have not seen any LOL, I do not imagine do justice to the destruction that has been wrought. I'm gald i did not find any bodies.
My house came out ok...took some tree limb spikes through the roof (tornado went through, just missed the core of it, thank goodness)...easily patched up until permanent repairs can be effected. Unfortunately, my rental house took 6 feet of water...renters bailed...and I got to pull out all of their belongings, carpets, sheetrock, insulation, cabinets, and appliances. Glad I was not in a flood zone, it would have really been bad.
Hope all are well...and doesn't that wave in Mid 'Lant look kinda foreboding??? Wx
hiya gbreeze...man I feel your pain...everyone's going to be watching the so-called "wave and blob"...there's a LOT of good info here so keep your eyes peeled.
i dont like the idea that hurricanes form that far south... its more dangerous for my area..
gb....the area near PR if it does anything would more than likely make it into the gulf, but with high pressure in control will continue westward to Texas or Mexico
Firts run of models of the area in the atlantic

i hav updated my blog
Thanks Stormchaser. Yes was here for Erin and Opal. Did not evacuate. For Ivan I evacuated with my elderly mother and young daughter but husband stayed behind. No major damage to my home thankfully. Just fences, trees, etc. Also left for Dennis. Almost left for Katrina, but thanks to a watchful eye on this blog decided it looked like New Orleans. Hopefully won't have to leave again this year.
Looks like we should have TD17 by 11PM or 5AM, some convection is starting to fire near the LLC near 10.5N 49W Link
Dr. Masters metioned that Ophelia's surge was near that of Hazel in 1954. He also said that Hazel was a cat. 3. I thought that Hazel was a 150 MPH cat. 4. Could someone please clarify?
hazel was a Cat 4...winds 138 pressure 937mb
hurricane....I don't think we will see TD17 until possibly late tommorrow....just my thinking
Thanks weatherdude.
no i wasnt in ivan it happily went a bit more north so we didnt feel anything :)
I don't like that this wave has the same coordinates that Ivan had about 5 days into development. Only difference I see is that Ivan was already a storm when it hit those coordinates. It is eerie if you compare the link with the computer models and then look at Ivan's history. Wow!
So what effect will O's up welling have on any systems that happen to come in to the area from N Florida to N. Carolina?
Is the blob north of PR a remnant of Nate or some other system?
No Nate is gone gone gone.
Talk to you all tommorow. At work. Time to go home and stop worrying!
still dont like the idea of that wave
Some other system from old trough that settled over the region...
I will comment on the blob or wave that is way out at lat9 or 10... Well this is where Ivan formed but we also have to remember that it is well over 10 days away and we need to watch this one very close and see where it goes... There will be a High Pressure thats in the gulf right now but if it moves towards FL then we on the North Gulf Coast will have that chance of it... Katrina left a trail just like Ivan did and Dennis hit almost the same spot, so on that note we need to just wait and see...

Has anyone heard from StormTop latly??? Need his comments on this one too...
I am in Jamaica an we got a Direct hit from Gilbert in 88 and this wave is sitting right where Gilbert developed and Gilbert is one of the greatest storms in the record books. I am really worried if that wave developes.
STORMTOP placed a comment in kerigangirl's blog just today. That was is first comment since Katrina.
Any thought on the strength of the blob north of PR in about 96 hours when it goes over/near South Florida? Looks to me like it could be a tropical storm. Any thoughts??? I find it interesting the the GFS model takes the invest wave well to the north while the other models take it below the high pressure and a more westward/nnw movement.
Southbeach, High pressure will be moving down from the Great Lakes into the Eastern part of the US after Ophelia retreats..This would tend to keep this system from going north any..Where it develops would give us and idea where it would ultimately end up, but S.Fla. to Cuba would be my first guess looking at the long range pattern.
weatherguy...were you talking about the invest wave or the tropical blob about Puerto Rico? thanks for the post.
question, does O still not know what she wants to do.....is it just me or is she deciding to drift southeast or south the last few frames on the radar?..lol...just asking
http://cimss.ssec.wisc.edu/tropic/real-time/atlantic/movies/g8irnhc/g8irnhcjava.html That is one big system off the Windwards!

P.R blog..sorry..at work
03 he's back??????
I say both by 5 AM AST (EDT) Tuesday of next week.
well the P name storm will be in 2days and the r name will be in 3-4 days now thats what I think ...
p storm in 48 hours and r storm in 60/72 (near the bahamas).
yes 8 this is the height of hurricane season for the Atlantic.
The P name storm will head towards S FL and into the gulf going west and the R name will head West North West for 5-6 days...

Thats what I'm thinking right now...
Taco: I'm guessing that since it is so close the PR blob doesn't have the time to develop into much more than a TS. Would you agree?
here is a link from dr. steve gregory's blog with the early track link i tend to agree with taco....but i am by no means an expert.
coconut...that is what the models are predicting, but I remember a few weeks ago Katrina was a tropical storm and then quickly became a cat 1 right before landfall and surprised a few down in miami. not too muc difference in a strong tropical storm and a weak cat 1 hurriance.
Taco2me61, I think you're right, only reversed. It appears that the wave in the central Atlantic is much closer to becoming a storm than the one north of Puerto Rico right now, but I do believe that by the time all is said and done, they will have both developed.
8888888, how about losing the caps
Please lose the caps 8888888888
Good point, South Beach. Katrina was originally supposed to hit Pompano which is directly east of me and then turned at the last minute and hit you. I only got tropical storm strength - nothing major - just a real bad thunderstorm. Oddly enough, I lost power at 5:30 p.m. You'ld think FP&L would have infrastructure strong enough to handle minor storms.
Too early to tell what the p-storm will do

when you have all caps it means you are yelling and no one will answer you or take you seriously. Type normal and people will answer you.
it been done so what willthe R storm be doing will it be a fish storm?
Ophelia has been downgraded to a tropical storm. Winds are now 70mph.
same, way to early to tell. Do not worry about either one for the time being.
how soon you all think we will see S storm T storm V storm W storm
Sorry Coconut I have been cooking but I think when it hits the Gulf it maybe be a Tropical Storm but Water temps are still high right now so it could be even stronger...
FYI: New NHC tropical discussion out...
Don't worry 8888 STORMTOP is back-he will tell us where it is going when needed.
I think that we will see each one by the end of October
Does anyone have any good model links?
I say it is way to soon to even say which way they will go but I'm sure they will be there just not sure where...
Oh yea Tornadoty,
you maybe right now I get a chance to look at both, Thank you
Where is StormTop at and is he ok???
I agree, Taco. It is too soon to worry. There are too many variables. My biggest concern, however, is that living in Southeast Florida if the "big one" hits, there won't be enough notice to get out of the state. We can't go west or south and millions of people will be trying to get north on only two highways. Huge evacuation nightmare. That's one of the reasons I monitor this site. Even a days heads-up could make a huge difference. I knew Katrina was coming from things said on this site so I was able to leisurely get my supplies and avoid the rush the next day.
so would this be the frist time we got done with all the hurrican Names and where do we go from there and how far down will the names go on the next one?
Coconut Creek I do understand because I was stopped on the Interstate for 3hrs and did not even leave Mobile so I came back home to ride Katrina out what a mistake that was...
Well we need only reach TS. Tammy to tie for the second most active season on record ('95). Should we reach TS. Wilma we will have tied for the most active season on record ('33).

I suppose that's why the names stop at W, and perhaps if we surpass W we will modify the name charts of the future to include a letter past W, most likely Y. Should we reach TS Alpha this year it will be one of the coolest names ever...

Does anyone happen to know the record for the most tropical cyclones to co-exist in the Gulf and Atlantic Basin?

After the list of names they got to Alfa,Bata ect,ect,ect...
Models are obsessed with weaknesses in the ridge with storms in the atlantic as far as I am concerned,there is always 1 or 2 models out of 10 with every atlantic hurricane that try to curve it out to sea lol literally I am not just joking.
Well Willjax,

I'm not so sure in the Gulf but the atlantic was 5 I think and the gulf maybe 3,

I'm just not sure...
Stormtop was on the Planet pt3789 in the Galaxy Andromeda II closely situated to the Triangulum Galaxy.

He was transported there by the Tolan who were interested in why any entity would wish to put themselves at risk in a distructive cyclonic disturbance. He was restored to a safe location on our planet 2 days later but in the wrong dimention. He has been trying to get back ever since. Luckily he came across Dr. Emmit Brown while trying to discover a return window. (He was almost struck down by the Delorean). In his pocket he had a small JUMP DRIVE wich contained a memory chip whick allow Dr. Brown to configure a modified dimentional conversion conduit using the power generated by the flux capacitor. After they located enough stale beer to power the system they both were able to reach their desired dimention.
As we cannot alow this information to leak to the general public I hereby command all wuba members to FAGHETABOUTIT as soon as you understand it. Do NOT ASK AGAIN

Nanu Nanu.

First OMG thats LOL and I do understand...

Nanu, Nanu
CoconutCreek, should that scenario occur the best thing is to design an alternate evacuation route that avoids the major highways (like smaller back stateroads that are less travelled). I'd also suggest bringing a few gallons of gas in a canister since fuel will be scarce along an evacuation route and since you will be in the middle of nowhere.

Yah the route is longer, but evacuation traffic is worse than the superbowl!

The alternative is that I could prep my Bell Jet Ranger helicopter** to pick you up, but you're payin for the gas, man!

**please note that Willax does not actually own or have access to a helicopter
How scarey, Taco. I'm kinda curious about how far inland you get damage in a major hurricane. I live about 7 miles inland. Obviously, I wouldn't get storm surge but I suppose I would get as strong of winds as the folks on the ocean. I know that storms weaken when they hit land but how quickly, mileswise, do they weaken?
I say, the best thing to do is to leave early, before evacs are ordered.
there may be 6 TD trying to get going go to twc and see what i mean
Willjax but you did stay at a Holiday Inn last Night...
WilJax. The trouble we have is that all the development at the southern tip of florida is on the coasts. Southeast Florida is only developed about 15 miles inland where I live. After that you hit everglades until you hit the west coast developments. I think it is only about 100 or so miles wide at the bottom of florida. Where I live there are literally two major North/South highways and about 10 other roads. That's it. The only other roads are little streets into neighborhoods. We have 15 miles of development with ocean on one side and glades on the other. Basically, I think we are pretty much stuck if the big one hits.
7 miles is not much. I live about 20 miles from the coast as the bird flys and would expect high winds in any landfalling hurricane. Remember, Katrina caused wind damage several hundred miles inland.
jump start the atomic sub matrix ie the sub atomic balance bilateral conversion for the double helix in the flux capictor's thermal diversion colateral demodulator.
the stale beer would have need a energy intenseafier to jump start the atomic sub matrix
Stormtop was on the Planet pt3789 in the Galaxy Andromeda II closely situated to the Triangulum Galaxy.

He was transported there by the Tolan who were interested in why any entity would wish to put themselves at risk in a distructive cyclonic disturbance. He was restored to a safe location on our planet 2 days later but in the wrong dimention. He has been trying to get back ever since. Luckily he came across Dr. Emmit Brown while trying to discover a return window. (He was almost struck down by the Delorean). In his pocket he had a small JUMP DRIVE wich contained a memory chip whick allow Dr. Brown to configure a modified dimentional conversion conduit using the power generated by the flux capacitor. After they located enough stale beer to power the system they both were able to reach their desired dimention.
the stale beer would have need a energy intenseafier to jump start the atomic sub matrix
CoconutCreek, Even 7 miles is to close for any storm only because I was over 100 miles away from Katrina and Had lots of damage from the winds and tornados...

Just take all storms serious and leave if they say too...
You can definately get storm surge 7 miles inland,it just depends on your elevation and the angle at which the wind is blowing and the wave heights also,but you are not safe 7 miles inland unless you are about 20 to 30 ft above sealevel,but even then if you get a large category 4 or 5 that still isn't safe becausae of the waves and wind forcing the water to rise evan higher,now you understand a bit more about hurricane storm surge.
Latest GFS run...Link..Showing both possible areas of concern...Also latest runs on wave E. of Leewards...Link...GFDL brings this to 132 kts in five days!!..Both the GFS and GFDL also move system North of Leewards moving NW.
Yes they had surge impacts 50 miles inland in mississipi so it goes to show you you just have to leave in a strong hurricane when you are 100 miles or closer to the coast but still a strong hurricane can generate powerful winds and heavy rain for at least 300 miles inland.
I am ganna get a matrix oblong sub - nuclear jumper cable to my healafelcanheican concverter at about 100000000000000000000 volts per millisecond then I sould get my demension warp started back up.
Hello weatherguy.. You and I both know the GFDL's obsession
for spinning up a Cat 4 before something is classified.
Thanks Hills..lol..Oh i know ej..lol..But its definately something to watch for, especially so close to the islands..and conditions ahead of it look to get much better in the next few days.
I hope Ophelia leaves Boston alone Saturday
so my Noles can roll over BC. Any thoughts of a
gametime forecast regarding Ophelia?
hey all...lots to talk about tonight lol wow I sound stupid
GWB said "it was not a normal hurricane" talking of Katrina and the repsonse tonight.

Did I miss something, did Katrina spin bakcwards? Was she a high pressure hurricane?

She was a very normal Hurricane, large yes, but normal. The place she hit was not normal and we knew that going in to it.
CoconutCreek, I'm in Fort Lauderdale, and please folks, understand what CC is saying, we literally have no where to go, I-95, the Fla turnpike, forget it! no way can you get out, and then you have to worry abot gas shortages etc....not a pleasant thought, but we are best at home...
Coconut Creek.........LOL..about FPL ....I lost power at 5:15..... one would think they would have enough infrastructure.... guess we'll be seeing it on our bills come January....not athta this past month's wasn't high enough
Ophelia is already down to a t.s. and as far as I am concerened the northeast will get nothing from ophelia as is the case almost always areas north of north carolina vary rarely get a tropical cyclone hit or impact.But for one it is moving east,number to it will lose most of it's moisture as it moves into the cooler waters and more northerly zones so winds and rain will dwindle as it heads north anyway.
That is what scares me,I think now matter how much these hurricanes are talked about and how much warning,unfortunatley it seems that hurricanes are not takin siriously enough and people say this is no normal hurricane but in reality it is a normal strong hurricane.I believe that is the same attitude that allowed for such a slow respone from the fedral government.I may be wrong but that is my say on that issue.
Anyone agree with me on this?

Normal to me, Very Very Big but normal and you are right...

But the place she hit was as normal as anywhere... We all get hit by storms some big and some small but we all get them...
"it was not a normal hurricane"

I think GWB was suggesting that the storm was too complex to have evolved from a simple breeze and the intelligent design of Katrina clearly shows that Haliburton needs to get more taxpayer money. Further, because of where the storm struck, it sends a plain message that God hates poor people, demonstrating that Congress needs to permanently repeal the estate tax.
Hi, I'm back.


Just to give you an idea of the unique situatin down here check out this map. You'll see the ocean to the east and the everglades to the west. The entire south florida region is pretty much the same situation. I recently heard that there were about 6 million people. They only do mandatory evacuations of folks east of 95. The rest of us they tell to stay home. They do not recommend trying to leave the area b/c the roads couldn't handle it. Basically, if a cat 5 were heading straight to ft. lauderdale we would have a serious problem. The only way out would be to leave at least 4-5 days before it hit. Not many will do that b/c things can turn that far out.
Everyone who tells you they are surprised by waht happened with Katrina is either a flat out liar or just plain ignorant. Becuase the writing has been on the wall ever since the US bought that city, that it is a disaster waiting to happen. Maybe the NHC needs to move into the beltway so Washington can get a better education on what hurricanes are and they won't so surprised by waht they see next time. Because the shock on the faces of all politicans on ALL levels is an absolute joke.
also, when Andrew was coming a hotel could not be found anywhere south of Atlanta - a 12 hour drive!
Hello All
I'm trying to get a location where all of our blogers live want to then make a directory that I will post on my blog
just looking for city (and maybe location in that city if it is large) and state..no other info needed or wanted..Thanks to all who will participate in this endevor..
tks...please make post on the first thread of my blog.
would like to include all that live outside of the states
also..will be interesting to see how wide spread our blogers are in the world..

please, if you can give the gift of life (blood),please contact your local Red Cross and make an appointment..the pint of blood you give my save 3 lives..and blood is really needed in the gulf coast..they lost their supply
of blood because of Katrina..and donors due to displacement..
With no disrespect to anyone's beliefs, this country more than most others are way too willing to 'Act of God' our way out of catastrophic events. There's a mindset that we cannot possibly save the lives of these people because we cannot overcome the power of God. Bigger levees would not save NOLA because God would simply send a bigger hurricane. Better planning would not help these people because God would simply dispatch a hurricane with less warning.

Reinforcing this viewpoint is the truth that bigger hurricanes will come and hurricanes with less warning will come, but we need not be helpless against them.

I'm certain that this attitude played a role in some people's decisions to evacuate. I have neighbors here in CA who's earthquake kit consists of a Bible. If they pray hard enough, God will protect them. Yeah, ok. Personally, I think there's a distinction to be made between having faith and abrocating responsibility, but I also think that a general sense of helplessness against things that are beyond our control (due to whatever cause) permeates even the government.

Through most of this has been an undercurrent of 'how could we possibly prepare for this?'. Basically, these folks are staging their excuses for the next round of failures.
Taco is at Mobile Al
Heres one for you Johnson Wax

A huge flood is coming. The whole area is being evacuated. A man, who had been through many floods, refused to leave his house. He said, Im a christian and I know God will protect me. He stayed.

The flood waters came. The water crept inside his house. His friends tried to get him to leave. "I believe God will protect me." He stayed and went to his second floor.

The water rose higher. It comes into the second floor. He wades through as much as he can and eventually ends up on his roof. A boat comes by and tries to get him to leave. "I believe God will save me and keep me from harm." He stayed and the water continues to rise.

The man is now sitting on the peak of his house. A helecopter lowers a rope to pull him to safety. "God will look after me, dont worry, I'll be fine." The water envelopes his house, the man drowns.

He approaches the gates of heaven and puzzled he asked God "Why did you let me drown" I believed in you and you let me die?"

God said " I gave you friends who cared and you ignored them. I sent a boat and yet you refused help. I sent a helecopter to rescue you and you still refused. Why did YOU ignore me?"

"it was not a normal hurricane" heh - Good analysis J-Wax.

As far as evacuating Florida, Floyd was really the wake-up call, I think that was when they invented counterflow or because of it. I would like to see the history on this, but if I recall correctly, at its peak Floyd was one of the largest hurricanes in the history (in terms of hurricane winds radius and also in terms of total energy transfer). I have weathered a few cat 1 hurricanes out here on the Brevard coastline, but with that monster bearing down on us at Cat 4 (after briefly touching Cat 5), and with a hurricane wind radius that encompassed on area that would encompass the entire Florida peninsula plus part of the panhandle, you bet I was evacuating. I watched on TV as they showed the interstates turned into parking lots, waited until winds started touching tropical storm force, then took a "counter-intuitive" escape route south down AIA to 60 west to a "refuge" in Lakeland. The "refuge" was a joke; it was at some friends of my parents, turned out to be a A-frame guest house facing a large lake, the whole side of the structure facing the lake was made up of large windows. If Floyd hadn't hit that trough and instead rolled over the peninsula I have no doubt that me and my family would have been in extreme danger.

The pattern of persistant deep east coast troughs we saw in the late 90's seems to have broken down for now, and we are not immune to a monster Cape Verde storms rolling over us. Just because we are not below sea level will not save us, most of Florida is very low-lying, and a great deal of development is being done in former flood areas. For example, consider this: after heavy rains in the "upper" (southern) St. John's river basin, it can take up to a month for the river to crest. There is just no where for the water to go in most of the Florida peninsula.
So what is the plan?

Thank you Destiny that was nedded to be said and all should read it for sure...
I think that by normal Bush meant "of the norm," or of the average. He is absolutely correct, Katrina was not a normal hurricane at all, she was an extraordinary and rare storm.

If you were to plot the strength and frequency of tropical systems then it would be quite obvious that Katrina was not normal. She'd be way to the right of the mean.

Coconutcreek.....it's my understanding that in South Florida the situation is this:

Keeping in mind that the main desire is to prevent loss of life, not property.
Those living in areas potentially subject to storm surge or life threatening flooding.....evacuate.
Those inland not subject to injury by water stay. Preferably in a safe room in a safe house. But if you're in a safe room, even if your house crumbles around you...you'll live.
.We've learned as the NHC constantly reminds us and from what we've seen with Andrew and Katrina......that people die in hurricanes from water, not wind.

I have never looked at that way and that is a real eye opener...
So what up with that tropical wave???...lol...Man guys save that stuff for Sunday!!!
Guygee I'm happy to see that you have a brain and are willing to use it. I remember the morning I woke up and heard that Katrina was a category five. My first thought was "Oh my god New Orleans is going to be destroyed!" My second thought was "If I were there I would leave NOW, THIS INSTANT!"

I understand that a lot of people couldn't leave due to a lack of transportation, and some were too weak to leave. That is very unfortunate, but what we mostly saw, in my opinion, was a population of people who "didn't think it would happen to them." That is human nature, and that denial occurs in all tragedies, large or small.
124. genie
I sure hope none come to the gulf..again...we just got our son and his wife moved back into their house after Ivan!!!! They lost EVERYTHING in Ivan. I really, really, hope the blob and wave don't head this way. Tired of evacuating... need some clear sailing. Everyone's nerves are shot in the whole region. Fingers crossed!!!!
wg03, that wave looks pretty well organized and continues to become better organized by looking as satellite loops: Link I as suprised that they have not issued advisories as a TD yet.
I don't know what you mean by a safe room. Are you talking about those retrofited rooms or just a closet or bathroom? I don't know what the plan is. Southeast Florida has probably the toughest building codes in the nation. After Andrew they got even better. For example, I live in a newer home with the latest hurricane code building. BUT as I understand it, it is only designed to a cat 3. The more east you go the older the homes. A lot of the western communities are filled everglades land. We have the counterflow thing here too but where the heck do you go? Even west isn't good because I heard you can get storm surge or something like it from the water off the glades. Basically, I think if a monster cat 5 did a direct hit at ft. lauderdale or miami, we are pretty much screwed. You can try going north or south but as we all know these storms turn all the time. I guess the only way to evacuate is to get on a plane a few days before the mad rush. People would really hesitate to do this because of the way the storms turn.

yeah i was going to bed but figured id wait for the 11PM advisory because i really thought we had a TD..But no..lol..maybe in the morning...and then we see where it goes..W or NW..lol...Maybe misses islands???..GFS and GFDL thinks so..but we will see...catch ya later 79..
later wg03!
taco2 - i had another ("more local")eye-opener the same year as Floyd. A few weeks later came Irene. NHC kept sticking with the models: NW, NW, NW, Big Bend...but the loops kept showing south of west.

So when Irene finally crawled across the mid-south Florida peninsula, then turned north off of the east coast, there was no evacuation. I live in Satellite Beach, about a mile from the Banana River lagoon. If you look at a map of this area, you will see that the intercoastal waters are many miles across near north Merritt island, but the Banana River funnels down to a couple hundred yards wide at the southern tip of Merrit Island. With Irene's steady northly winds (mostly strong tropical storm force, gusting to near hurricane), the water from the "backside" came up the canals, up the ditches, into my street, and halfway up the yard to my house. That storm, a minimal hurricane at its worst, severely eroded the causeways (which have since been shored up)and caused widespread damage al along the intercoastal waterway. I can imagine that a really severe storm would have backed up those intercoastal waters a lot higher. The highest point on these barrier islands is the dune immediately behind the beach, so if that is breached as well water would come from both sides.

The key is early evacuations, INCLUDING plans to move the sick, elderly, and poor. What happened with Katrina is a crime against our country and against humanity, the federal government clearly should have stepped in sooner (BEFORE the storm hit), and I hope people are smart enough or at least humane enough to hold the federal politicians responsible for the totally unnecessary loss of life.
WIlJax - I agree that there is always going to be some "hard-cores" and some "idiot partyers", as well as some foolish storm chasers. But I think we need to at least offer public transportation to those who cannot afford to leave those who are too sick or infirm, as well as evacuate hospitals and nursing homes. None of that was done on a sufficient scale for Katrina.
Perhaps a positive side effect of last years storms and Katrina is to raise awareness of the power of these storms and the need to be prepared and not count on "the calvery" to be there immediately.
Guygee: they are charging the owners of St. Ritas because they didn't evacuate their patients and 30 of them died in the storm. In another home, 14 patients died. They made it through the storm but nobody came to get them. Who will they arrest for this?
CoconutCreek - In those old westerns, when the settlers circled their wagons and were down to their last bullets, wasn't it a "good thing" when "the calvery" showed up at the last minute to save them?

With an "every man for himself" strategy, I guess the calvery would have went on vacation and those settlers would have died...

Unfortunately, our modern calvery locked the settlers in the barn and shot above the heads of those who tried to leave.
CoconutCreek - As for those in the nursing homes that were left to die, there clearly should have been a plan, extending from the owners to all levels of government. I think the planning it needs to be "top down" and "bottom up" at the same time. The Feds should keep resources on standby, "fast strike" forces just as in a military operation. If we can do it in war we should be able to do it in peace as well, to save American citizens. The middle layers of government need to coordinate with the locals and with the Feds to direct the help to where it is needed.

Clearly the debacle following Katrina was a failure at all levels. I hope we learn from this disaster, or maybe I should say "relearn". It seems we learned from Andrew, but some short years later it went back done the memry hole.
guygee, though some of the blame is to be layed on the federal government, I believe that the state government is much more at fault.

It is the responsibility of the state government to govern its people and to take care of affairs within the state. This goes back to the foundation of our nation in the system of federalism. It is not the federal government's jurisdiction to tell the people of N.O. when to leave, or to create evacuation plans, or to facilitate the use of public transportation for evacuations. That is the responsibility of the state government (and it always has been).

Even the Louisiana National Guard is under the authority of the governor. Actually the National Guard also dates back to the foundation of our nation, as it is what remains of the state militia.

All of this is fact, not opinion. If people would look at how our system of government works then we can say this: the response of the federal government to the disaster was slow, but it would not have been nearly the disaster it was if the state government had done its job correctly to begin with.

For those of you who have checked in the past, I made a new forecast map: Link
WillJax you are in a total state of denial - how does it feel to be one of the 30 percenters? Is the sky blue in your world?

ok evety one. i am now back home. while ophelia only brought min ts force winds to killdeveilhills and mainly at the coast i did drive down to hatteras with killdeveilmax in his 4 wheel drive vehicle now named "storm chaser 1"

i forgot my camera in killdeveilhills but killdevilmax took some awsome picks of winds sustained in the 50-60 mph range i will post after i get in the shower. i have sand in every crack and crevice and sand at 60 mph really hurts lol.

i took some awsome pics of the surf in killdevilhills at high tide when the winds were 35mph sustained out of the east. those are on my old fashion film camera and will take me a couple days to get developed and posted on here

kill if ur reading this i made it home safe. had a great adventure. also i got home so late kill as when i hit the va/nc border i ran out of energy and pulled over in a school parking lot and took a long 3 hrs nap. loved every minute of my trip to the obx and can't wait to go back. lovely place, lovely people. 79 quagmires was closed as me and kill tried to go. we were dissapointed.

i knew it would be a good trip when the first thing we did was go to the nagshead pier at 5am around high tide and go to the end like idiots and the pier was actaully rolling up and down. neevr experienced that befor and was in aww of the power of the surf

88889g, when u read this we tried to find cantore and think he was in hatteras when we were there but could never find him when he was broadcsating from the killdevilhills beach as its a huge beach but we tried
Geez, 79, couldn't you send it out to sea? :)
Glad to hear the trip was okay lefty.
Did cantore finally get blown out to sea?
yeah, we also got some pics of a couple in hateras walking around in the almost com,pletly empty sound. all those ne winds frowv the water way out of the sound and was quite a sight
TWC has a woman holding her baby on the NC beach talking calmly about Ophelia while it raged offshore - sounds terrifying

Katrina was a normal storm. It wasn't an average storm, but it was totally normal. And it was far from 'way to the right'. What of Gilbert? Isabel? They didn't strike a major US city at Katrina's strength, but do you think they would have been substantially less devastating against Miami or Charleston? The occurrance of large Cat 4 and 5 storms is hardly a rarity, though direct hits on US cities is.

Nice example, Destiny. But more directly, God has blessed us with intelligence, creativity, common sense, perseverance, and a general goodwill toward each other. If those endowments aren't enough to enable you to recognize when it's time to run like hell, then you're just a lazy, stubborn git. :)
Weatherwananbe I don't want to digress into political discussion too much since this is a weather blog, but let me see if I can summarize the root of my beliefs:

A lot of people are willing to point the finger at the federal government, and the federal government certainly had a crappy response time, but the largest failure was clearly on the state and local level.

The govt. in La. had a disaster plan that they did not stick to. The governor of La. didn't request federal troops until two days after landfall, there were supposed to be NORTA buses to evacuate the poor but there weren't, there was Red Cross food and supplies but the local government didn't want people to get too comfortable and stay, and at one point the federal government tried to take over operations and Governor Blanco said NO, 500 of the local police force quit shortly after the storm hit...

and on and on...

What more do you want?
Watching Bush on CNN give his speech - does anyone honeslty think Bush would be making these promises if his poll numbers were good enough to get his neocon radical winger agenda through Congress? If you answered yes, welcom to the 30 Percent Club.

Bush: "What the poor NOLA black people need is Estate Tax repeal to get them back on their feet!"

Lefty I was sure we would have TD17 by the time you returned, but it is only a matter of another 12 hours before it is official
Lefty, I'm so glad you made it home safe and sound !! Cant wait to see the pics!
With the lower sun angle and shorter days, is it too late for water temps to recover much after Ophelia departs, or will the water off the southeastern USA rise a couple degrees over the next week or so?
ok pics uploaded to my blog. only 2 for now more tocome.
Coconut Creek..... also, normally if we have a bad situation, there is the mandatory evacuation of the Keys.... they are the first to go, along with hotel rooms, gas, etc...so all arteries are clogged.... even though I'm about three miles (as the crow flies from the ocean) no way would I attempt to leave.....
yeah 79. she is looking impressive. this is my first chance to see her since yesterday
And johnsonwax, which btw is a cool name, I was speaking in terms of statistics.

If Katrina were "of the norm" then that would mean that most of the Hurricanes that form are of category four and five strength. As far as intensity goes Katrina was simply not a normal storm.

Let me rephrase:

Lets say that Ophelia is a "C" student, as in the statistically "average student", then Katrina is an A+ student. She was way ahead of the curve, she was way above average, she was way to the right, she was the valedictorian of storms, she was definitely not normal.

dunno bout it not rcovering much. may not have as much heat contenet as befor but should recover nicely
Will - I'm sure you are wondering, what the hell is a 30 percenter? It's those few 30 percent of the population that will support this Bush Clown no matter how bad he makes things - enjoy your membership Will
WilJax - I do not disagree that the state government failed badly, but with a disaster of such magnitude the whole country needs to come together and help, thus Fed funds and assets are needed. I used to work as a graduate assistant researcher at an Army Corps of Engineers installation, many years ago. Even then, the funds were being cut, there was a drive to "privatize" and contract out to corporations. If you are familiar with the kind of overhead charged on these contracts, you must realize that this so-called "privitization" is extremely economically inefficient.

I was lurking on this blog when Katrina was a tropical depression, checking in many times a day. Nobody here should have been surprised by the disaster, and hell, we know we are mostly all rank amateurs.

It is well-documented that the funding for the Corp of Engineer's work on the levies in N.0. was repeatedly cut. The flooding could have been avoided had the Feds funded the necessary work.

Don't get me wrong, I am glad our forebearers had the wisdom to pass the Posse Comitatus Act, but even this should be suspended in times of extreme duress (before the ultimate disaster, not after), and combined with the funding cuts I am not sure I blame the federal government less than the state government.
Yeah, but the governor of La asked for and got declared her State a disaster area before Katrina hit. That should gotten the Feds on the more before the storm even hit.

Yes, the govenor should have asked for more national gaurd to cover her bases.

And yes, the mayor of NO should have declared maditory evac the day before before landfall.

Peronally, I think everyone was at fault to some extent, but the feds should have been on the ground sooner.
Hey wannabee I'm not trying to be political, and for the record I don't like Bush. I think he is one of the dumbest Presidents to grace the oval office. But I am trying to be objective, and thats all I ever try to be.

The minute we have partisan passion enter the equation is the instant we lose all objectivity. It is the equivalent of religion mixing with science.

You are right, lets not argue politics. Lets argue weather.
names of Bush appointed/attempted appointed baffoons

Brown (fall guy for Katrina - likes to lie on his resume)
Chertoff (true culprit behinf Katrina wess)
Ashcroft (resigned because of Plame case?)
Kerick (Bush - ever heard of a background check)
Bolton (payback for Florida 2000?)
James Guckert aka James Gannon - given White house press creds for no apprarnt reason - most likely a Bush plant
Armstrong Williams paid by the Bush WJ to regularly comment on NCLB during the course of his broadcasts

The list goes on and on - impeach the clown now and save the country - Bush is a friggin disaster.
I dont think you can argue weather...it is what is is. we hav ZERO control.
WillJax I disagree with you about the relative responsibility of the state/local governments vs the federal govt for this reason: A strong cat 4 or 5 hurricane striking a major metropolitan area or any other area densly populated, like New Orleans and the Mississippi coast WILL cause destruction that is way beyond the abilities of ANY local/state govt to cope with well. The federal government (the military) is the only organization with the resources to cope with a disaster like that. I believe Mayor Nagin and Governor Blanco made several serious mistakes, but given the situation as it was, the levees would STILL have been topped and New Orleans effectively destroyed. The governor of Mississippi and the mayors of Biloxi, Gulfport, and Pascagoula were probably more effective in their leadership (at least I have not heard of any gross incompentence on their part) but they could neither prevent Katrina from laying waste the whole Mississippi gulf coast nor prevent over 200 people from losing their lives in Mississippi. A storm like Katrina is beyond the ability of any local or state government to cope with, and a SWIFT and EFFECTIVE response from the federal government was sorely needed and did not come. Only on Friday, a full 4 days after Karina's landfall, and a week after it was known that a landfall from a severe hurricane on the north central gulf coast was inevitable did meaningful federal help begin to arrive. And that is just unacceptable.
Anyone think that Ophelia has a chance to regain hurricane status, or do you think that she will either just maintain her strength for a while or do a slow fade?
Will I am happy to hear that you are not a 20 percenter. I would be surprised to find out that any science minded person could belong to such a dubious club. Thanks!

Not only unacceptable... embarrassing.
stsimons, I think maintain strength for a little while longer then fade and become extra-tropical. She has spent a lot of the local energy and eventually she will be nearing much cooler water.
subtropical I agree--the ESE motion for a while earlier will keep her over somewhat warmer water a bit longer than I thought earlier in the day, but her inner core is too disrupted to take advantage of that and consolidate I think. It would be kinda cool if she did become a hurricane again, because she would tie the record for the most times a storm became a hurricane :)
stsimons, I will say this, she did have a little flare up of convection recently. I suppose stranger things have happened. With this storm, I should never say never ;-)
Has anyone heard if there were fatalities in NC/SC from Ophelia? I think there was a fatality from someone drowning in a rip current off Florida last week (but not sure about that) but haven't heard of any others.
guygee, I think we are on the same level here. However, regarding Posse Comitatus, there is no precedent for such an exceptional move. However after Katrina (and even 9/11) hopefully we will see a change in that regard.

You're right in that no one should have been surprised, and we are very fortunate that Katrina was not a direct hit on the city.

The bottom line is that it's was a ridiculous outcome on all levels of government, and it is the people of NO who are paying the price.

I'm sure Dr. Masters is rolling over in his bed and having terrible nightmares at such discussions in his BLOG. Dr.

I promise to stop... now!

She has already become a hurricane 4 times, and a couple have become hurricanes 5 times (!) I am trying to imagine the contortions a storm would have to go through to reach hurricane status on 6 seperate times!
stsimons, not that I have heard of.
Is Bush investing in Intelligent Design Theory for the formation of Hurricanes? Dr Masters?
Things that violent must have beed designed by........Satin???????
Speaking of politics and weather, has anyone here had the chance the read this recent letter in the Journal of Nature:



Nature advance online publication; published online 31 July 2005

Increasing destructiveness of tropical cyclones over the past 30 years

Kerry Emanuel1

Theory[1] and modelling[2] predict that hurricane intensity should increase with increasing global mean temperatures, but work on the detection of trends in hurricane activity has focused mostly on their frequency[3,4] and shows no trend. Here I define an index of the potential destructiveness of hurricanes based on the total dissipation of power, integrated over the lifetime of the cyclone, and show that this index has increased markedly since the mid-1970s. This trend is due to both longer storm lifetimes and greater storm intensities. I find that the record of net hurricane power dissipation is highly correlated with tropical sea surface temperature, reflecting well-documented climate signals, including multi-decadal oscillations in the North Atlantic and North Pacific, and global warming. My results suggest that future warming may lead to an upward trend in tropical cyclone destructive potential, andtaking into account an increasing coastal populationa substantial increase in hurricane-related losses in the twenty-first century.
Top of page

1. Program in Atmospheres, Oceans, and Climate, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139, USA

Correspondence to: Kerry Emanuel1 Correspondence and requests for materials should be addressed to the author at Email: emanuel@texmex.mit.edu.

Received 28 January 2005; Accepted 3 June 2005
naw weatherwannabe--hurricanes keep hitting red states! no intelligent design there ;-)
no eaths while i was there. kildevilmax is a fire and resuce /emt so we had his scanner and there was a bad accident today only smalle fires from transformers

did my pics upload. tell me if u guys see them
guygee , like everthing else, scientific or not, that study will be highly politicized by the neocons and therefore by Bush. I guess the researchers jsut didn't read enough of the Bible.
lefty, I don't see them yet.
neither do I lefty.
yeah one pic isme leaning into 50-60moh wns geting hit by sand that realy hurts. its not the fine sand that hurts. its when u get a gust around 70 they pick up the small rocks and pummel u with them

the other pic is me beside a dune staying out of the wind infront of killdevilmax's 4 wheel drive truck now named "storm chaser 1"
i think some one has to approve it so it won't be up till tom most likely
St Simons, some storms have reached hurricane status five times? Do you happen to know the names of the storms?

I'm wondering if such storms ever developed into major hurricanes, or if they spent their existence as borderline hurricanes such as Ophelia.

I assume that Lefty is taking a well deserved rest. He had better rest up because it's gonna be a busy week.
it says images approved dunno why u guys can't see them
lefty, I take it you can see them just fine?
weatherwannabe - I've fallen a little behind in my bible-thumping, but doesn't some beast rise out of the ocean in the dramatic concluding chapter?

I think the feds should have sent Pat Robertson to N.0. before Katrina hit, then he could have prayed it away just like he did before!
willjax i am so tired i can't even think about another storm lol. i slept maybe 7 hrs in 48hrs andmost of that was in my car. on the way home i made it t he nc/va border when i decided to pull over and take a nap as i could not focus to drive. caught a 3 hrs nap and made i he rest of te way home. i wil be getting off in a sec just finishing eating dinner my wife made for me so i had a hot meal when i go home.

i am still finding sand on me eevn after a long shower lol
yeah i can see them
ok let's try something. Can you see mine?
Okay lefty is awake. Sorry lefty.

Guygee, that is an interesting article. I wonder if it foreshadows the creation of a category 6, or perhaps a super- hurricane status.

Lefty I seen the pics...they are on the main WU photos page not in your blog.
Thanks prttyeyez2002. I didn't think to look there.
i have a couple more that killdevilmax tok that i wll post tomm. i hve around 10 pics of the beach at high tide but thats on my regular 24mm advantix camera so i wil develop the film later this week nd post hem than. we decided to go t hatteras in a hury and i left my camera in my car so i do not have many pics from there other tan the 4 kildevil tok. must say its a sight to see the sand blowing off the dunes and covering the road in 6-10 inches of sand. killdevil was sliding all over the place but tha man can drive. he gtus to the tip as far asyou can go in a good 50-60 mph wind ad battleingthe sand an the rain. was a hell of a trp
oh ok i duuno i just uploaded them. i am tired so i will make sure the others are on my blog when i put them up tomm
lefty. Get some sleep man. Let us know when you have them on your blog.
alright yall i am out catch yal tonm. once again sory i only hve a few pics but wil make sure i take more picsin the next storm i chase. realy was mad at myself wehn i forgot my pic as the sights on hateras were just awsome
WillJax, about the storms that became hurricanes 5 times--I heard it mentioned on Accuweather, but I have not researched it myself. I am looking back on the database now at certain long lived storms I remember, but none have hit hurricane status 5 times that I found.

On another note, this entry about Katrina in wikipedia is BIZARRE. I noticed yesterday that hundreds of Katrina deaths were listed as being in Kentucky, and just assumed that some goofball had just posted some nonsense in the article. But looking just now the Kentucky fatalities are still there. What is up with that?!

Lefty you've got to fill as in on all the details tomorrow. You guys are now the Cantores of the blog!

Have you guys seen the infrared of Ophelia? There's nearly nothing remaining.
WillJax, if you ever want some laughs, watch "Maximum Velocity" the next time SciFi channel has it on--features a hurricane triggered by the close approach of an asteroid (don't ask, it is all so stupid) with a 612 mb pressure and 500 kt winds.
your welcome subtropic.....dont know why I checked there but I did.... :)
It's a Gertrude Stein storm WillJax. As she said about Oakland, CA "There's no there there."
st simons. I looked an I don't get it either. There are also 2 in Ohio. It could be (operative word is COULD) something obscure. When Irene came up from the Florida straights, we had one fatality in SOuth Florida. A woman stepped in a puddle that was energized by a downed power line, but it counted. Maybe something like that in those other states?
WilJax - I liked to read the late great Carl Sagan's journal articles on planetary weather. Certainly the winds howl harder on other planets, if we alter our climate sufficiently then who knows? It is interesting that the Dr. Emanuel also mentions the increasing *persistance* of hurricanes. I don't want to generalize from a datum, but Ophelia sure has been a real champion at fighting off the onslaught of troughs, dry air and shear. Hurricane Kyle seemed to last forever, a real boon for surfers that year here in Florida.

If global warming allows for development of hurricanes at higher latitudes, then I wonder how much the increased Coriolis effect at the higher latitudes plays a role in making these storms more resilent and persistant in the face of adverse conditions? Perhaps a good question for Dr. Jeff.
I wonder if the evacuees who died in TX so far (57) count. Also the 4 people in New Orleans who died from infections of bacteria 'related to' cholera count.

The TX evacuee deaths--some are clearly not from katrina, like a boy who died of an aortic anyuerism after swimming at a local YMCA on a field trip from the dome (a preexisting birth defect). some though have been diabetics and people on dialysis who had their treatment interrupted while in the superdome and have been stressed out since or were badly weakened. Will those deaths count? I wonder.
HAHAHA! It already has me cracking up! I love watching Sci Fi movies for their comedic value. Some are just absurdly funny.

It is time for my bed to become my bedtime. In memoriam for sweet Gertude Stein!

Gnight guys.
I really don't know. Good question though. I would think if they they were unable to receive treatment as a result of the storm, you could easily make an argument that they would count as a "storm related fatality". You always come up with some interesting questions.
Guygee, extratropical depressions form, grow, mature and die all the time in the north pacific and the far north atlantic around iceland. Some storms up there can get VERY deep, like a depression SW of Iceland in December 1986 with a 916 mb pressure and one near the Shetlands off the north coast of Scotland that hit 913 mb (the record for a non tropical system in the Atlantic as far as I know) in Jan 1993. The 1993 storm had sustained winds at sea of 105 kts and destroyed a oil rig in the North Sea off Scotland, killing everyone on it. The area to the east of Iceland is so stormy in winter that the AVERAGE pressure there is below 985 mb in winter!
"but doesn't some beast rise out of the ocean in the dramatic concluding chapter?"

That might just be one of our ballistic missile subs, you know...

As for the Nature article, it's not calling for larger storms than what we've seen, just more major storms. The increase in destructiveness is as much a function of buildup along the coast as more frequent major hurricanes.

Physics largely prevents these things from getting substantially stronger than 200MPH winds, though they can get physically larger. The amount of land that storms must navigate in the Atlantic before a storm reaches the US really impedes Tip sized storms from developing (man, how completely screwed would we be if a Tip sized storm hit the east coast or gulf).

But if the gulf stream is shutting down it'll just be a nonstop stream of storms down there.

WillJax- you're still confusing normal with average. A storm that is not normal would be one that does not form as a storm usually does, does not behave as a storm normally does, that kind of thing. It's something you can excuse away as an outlier, highly unlikely to ever repeat, and therefore something that we really don't need to plan for. That's not the valedictorian, it's the savant. Tip may not be normal - how often do 1100 mile wide storms form on this planet?

Katrina was by all accounts normal. I don't think anybody here believes that the next storm coming across the atlantic couldn't do exactly what Katrina did. She wasn't exceptionally powerful - comparable to a number of other storms in the last decade, though certainly near the top of the scale. She wasn't exceptionally large, again comparable to others. By suggesting that Katrina was not normal, it tells people 'Oh, don't worry yourself, this could never happen again...'.

It's Bush backpedaling on national preparedness. FEMA will never have to meet a Katrina level of preparedness since Katrina wasn't normal. It's crap and not helpful nor responsible for the public.

My dad spent a good chunk of 4 years on watch on a submarine up in those seas. He says that it's like nothing you can imagine - the winds, swells, intensity of storms - it's unreal and very much like a hurricane except that the water temp is 40-50 degrees colder, which is a big deal if you're teathered up on the sail.
StSimonsIslandGAGuy - I have read about these polar storms, very intense I have heard, but driven by baroclinic processes.
I was wondering how rising ocean temperatures at higher latitudes might affect tropical systems? There seems to be a limit on the lowest latitude where a hurricane can form due to the weakness of the Coriolis Effect, so I was wondering about the opposite effect at higher latitudes.

I do not have a source, but I remember reading somewhere that (relatively)high-latitude tropical systems are more resilent to shear.
Me and Lefty looked high and low for Cantore. I wanted to crack some short jokes cause I heard he was shorter than me. He was just a step ahead of us. Next time.
it is like a stochastic phenomena. You can say that ON average a hurricane can reach 920 mb in the Atlantic every other year, and 910 mb every 5 years and 900 mb every 15 years and 890 mb every 50 years *just making these figures up for this example*

Or that at a certain town on a river, the river reaches 5 feet above flood stage every other year on average, 10 feet above every 10 years and 20 feet above every hundred years (the hundred year flood)

You could still get 2 900 mb hurricanes in the same season, or 2 so called hundred year floods in the same year. If such extreme events are randomly distributed through time, they are stochastic. If the extreme events are not random, but are clustered with each other (two 900 mb hurricanes happen in same season because they whole ocean is abnormally warm) or a hundred year flood happens in March and then another one happens in June (because the weather is stuck in a wet pattern causing floods) then the events are associated.

That means that if an exreme event happens, like a severe flood or a super 900 mb hurricane, something is going on that made it happen and that is making it more likely that a similar extreme event will happen again in a short time.

This means that you can use an extreme event to forecast that another extreme event is more likely than average

The most stongly clustered tropical phenomena is November hurricanes--there have been less than 30 hurricanes that have developed in November since 1886 (not counting survivors from October lasting into November) This works out to about one hurricane forming in November every 4 years. But on average, only about 1 in 7 years has a hurricane form in November, but if a hurricane does form, it is far more likely that another will form later in the month. The majority of November hurricanes have formed in years in which November had 2 hurricanes develop. If you just looked at 30 hurricanes in 120 years, you would not expect that there would be nearly as many November hurricane pairs as there are.

So you can say to yourself, there is only 1 chance in 7 that a November will have a hurricane form, but if one does form, the odds are better than 50/50 that you will see another form that same month.
And now Ophelia's pressue is WAY up to 995 mb. And having stayed up to see the advisory it is time for me to go to sleep :)
johnsonwax - When you speak of physics as a limiting factor I assume you are speaking of atmospheric physics as it exists on Earth now, today. But conditions have changed in the past and will undoubtably change in the future. For example, the existence of loess deposits in various places tells us that the average near-surface wind velocity in the past was very much higher in some geographical areas than it is today.

Some people are "gradualists", who believe the climate only changes slowly, but (and all sci-fi aside) there is some paleoclimatological evidence of rapid climate change that can happen possibly in the span of human lifetimes (not for me though, I'm too old). So I do not rule out the possibility of stronger storms in the longer term, whether it be from natural or anthropologically-caused climate variation. Personally I believe both are in action. Our children and grandchildren will experience what we have wrought.
hey kill i thought he was short all the people hes with are all taller then him lol
Kill glad your back and safe....Lefty was on earlier..said he had a blast !!! he posted 2 pocs they were on the main WU photo page.
Hey StSimons, I also just came on to see the advisory. Are we nerds or what?!

johnsonwax, I dont have much time to discuss semantics as I must get some rest, and normal is definitely a word that can be interpreted for hours on end. However, I was using normal in reference to the frequency of hurricane intensity. It is in this sense that Katrina was a deviation from the mean intensity (which is probably around a category 1.x or 2)

"Normal as related to meteorological data published by the National Weather Service are computed as the average value of a meteorological element over a time period."

"Normal is the arithmetic mean of a climatological element computed over three consecutive decades"

I understood what you said, as I hope you understand what I am saying. Goodnight, talk tomorrow.

StSimonsIslandGAGuy - Thanks, that was some very interesting analysis of November hurricanes. It is always easier to invoke the "independent, identically distributed" assumption to make the math more tractable, but your observation that the occurance of November hurricanes is highly correlated makes sense on a deterministic level (if conditions are favorable, then odds are they will remain favorable for a little while longer). I've also read (I think from Dr. Gray) that there is almost no correlation between the frequency of early season hurricanes and the frequency of peak season hurricanes.

I would be curious what the correlation length is between hurricanes in the peak season. They seem to come in clusters, with quiet periods in between. Looking out at the tropics now, I'm wondering if we are due for another "burst" of 2-3 storms within the next several days?
stop whining about the president...jesus....this blog is for weather....def. a democrate there. and i dont know what poles are being looked at...but 3 ive seen still have him at 43%...interesting...watching democratic tv are we?
3 things all of them Off Topic (I can't use the weather chat at work so sue me)

1. Watched a oldie but goodie last night Godzilla vs MechGodzilla 2. Any Godzilla fans in the house?

2. Anyone got any pics of themselves up on thier page?

3. Anyone other than me post while at work?
I post at work...but gotta work for a bit..check back later.
Not a big zilla fan (although I think I dated his cousin once). I have a home office so, while I don't always post, I do check in periodically. When there is something real interesting brewing it's hard to stay focused on work with no boss looking over my shoulder.
Does anybody know how to get to the tropical depression invest models that Dr. Masters shows on this blog. I can't seem to find it.

I take it the zilla date was a one time thing (LOL). I never could really get much work done in a home office setting (either working for myself or as a remote worker).
gnshpdude - If you mean the text sources (not the graphics loops) then while I am sure they are available on the NHC site, the following site gets updated rapidly, so I like to get them here:


click "Tropical Wx" on sidebar, then "Tropical Cyclone Model Guidance - Atlantic".

You can find all the model guidance for the whole year.
oriondarkwood - I liked the original Godzilla, he was a metaphor for the atomic bomb, a force of nature unleashed by mankind. Mothra stands in for Typhoons. After awhile, they made it all too cute, and I lost interest in the later sequels.