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StormTrack has moved: http://thestormtrack.com/


July 29, 2005

Tornado rips through... England?

This should serve as a double reminder. Tornadic weather can occur in almost all regions of the globe. Also, cities are not immune from their destructive power. Afraid yet?
From the Times -
SHOP fronts blown in, roofs torn clean off, trees crashing, firefighters and ambulance crews attending the damage and the injured. This was Birmingham soon after 3pm yesterday.

It was not a terrorist attack that struck the Moseley and Kings Heath areas, south of the city centre; it was a small but vicious tornado.

Within ten minutes it was all over but the freak weather left a trail of damage and so many injuries that paramedics had to set up an emergency triage centre at the scene.

At least a dozen people were taken to hospital, although only three were reported to be seriously injured. More than 50 ambulance staff responded to a huge number of emergency calls.

Is this another sign of global warming?


ITHACA, N.Y. (AP) - This will come as little consolation for anybody who has steadfastly sworn that the sticky summer of 2005 has been the hottest ever:

You're right.

With two days left in this month, it's shaping up as the hottest June-July recorded in several eastern cities, according to data compiled by the Northeast Regional Climate Center at Cornell University.

The statewide average in June was 69.5 degrees, a whopping 5.5 degrees warmer than normal.

"That's a very significant departure," said Keith Eggleston, regional climatologist with the climate center.

The summer heat wave that has cloaked much of the country has been blamed for at least 40 deaths, most in the Phoenix area.


July 27, 2005

BOMBAY, India (AP) - India's financial capital was paralyzed Wednesday by the strongest rains ever recorded in Indian history, with torrential downpours - 37 inches in one day - marooning drivers, forcing students to sleep at school and snapping communication lines. At least 200 people died.

At its worst, the rainfall descended in what looked like a solid wall of water, overwhelming Bombay, a crowded city long accustomed to monsoon rains.

"Never before in Bombay's history has this happened," said Police Commissioner A.N. Roy. "Our first priority is to rescue people stranded in floods."

"Approximately 200 dead bodies have already been recovered in the state," deputy chief minister R.R. Patil told The Associated Press, adding that an additional 100 deaths were feared across Maharashtra state, where Bombay is the capital.




July 24, 2005

Tropical Storm Gert makes landfall, Franklin stalls

So, the latest on our tropical friends? Gert has come ashore as a minimal tropical storm and done little besides dampen somebody's Domingo. Franklin really can't decide what to do. Heavy shear has reduced him to 45 mph and 1005 mb yet he has recently stalled and began to retrograde back to the southwest. None of the models forecasted this type of motion. While somebody may be thinking "Oh, the BAM did it!", the BAM never called for it to move northeast in the first place. Oh well! I am going on a little trip this week but will be checking in whenever I can. Until there Jordan will hold down the fort and keep everyone up to date. Enjoy your week!

Large earthquake near Nicobar Islands

Magnitude 7.0
Date-Time Sunday, July 24, 2005 at 15:42:05 (UTC) - Coordinated Universal Time
Sunday, July 24, 2005 at 09:12:05 PM local time at epicenter
Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
Location 7.93N 92.15E
Depth 10.0 kilometers
Region NICOBAR ISLANDS, INDIA REGION

Tsunami generation is possible but seems unlikely. This earthquake is a little weak but is in the right location and depth.

Tropical Storm Gert forms in the Gulf

Ok, so we still have a full week left of July and we are already at G? Incredible. Check out the graphic below for the forecast track of Tropical Storm Gert. The special advisory to upgrade the storm listed Gert at 40 mph amd 1009 mb. Little change in intensity is expected as Gert is surrounded by land and running out of ocean.

Tropical Storm Franklin encounterting heavy shear, TD Seven strengthening

The latest advisory on Tropical Storm Franklin has weakend the storm to 65 mph and 1003 mb. Right now the core of the storm is encountering heavy shear related to the trough nearby. The lower-level and mid-level lows are becoming decoupled and the storm seems to be foundering. Franklin should continue to weaken but thus far has refused to obey reason.

On the other hand, Tropical Depression Seven is behaving quite nicely. The center of circulation is currently in the southern Gulf of Mexico and moving towards Mexico. Sustained winds are at 35 mph and the central pressure is 1009 mb. Convection is increasing and the depression is becoming better organized. However, the depression is very close to the coast and running out of time before landfall. Tropical Storm Warnings have been posted for the Mexican coast in anticipation of the formation of Tropical Storm Gert. Gert should make landfall as a very weak tropical storm.

July 23, 2005

Tropical Depression Seven forms in the Gulf

NHC is currently issuing advisories on Tropical Deppression Seven currently located near Mexico. More will follow.

Tropical Storm Franklin expected to become a hurricane

Despite a very high central pressure of 1001 mb, Franklin is nearing hurricane strength with winds of 70 mph. Franklin has shown extreme resilience to vertical wind shear and intensified in the face of unfavorable conditions look for Franklin to become a hurricane later today as he heads towards Bermuda. However, the BAM model still has it out for Florida and brings the storm back west.

July 22, 2005

Status Quo with Franklin

I have been avoiding making a post about Franklin because there is very little new to say. Right now Tropical Storm Franklin remains at 50 mph but pressure is down to 1003 mb. The storm should be blown off to the northeast soon and will eventually pass over cooler water. I actual suspect that Franklin may be blow apart in a few days but I will keep watch.

Record heat in Wyoming, flights cancelled in due to heat

From the Associated Press:
Casper tied its highest temperature ever with a reading of 104 degrees on Saturday, a day that saw records broken across much of central Wyoming.

The National Weather Service reported that seven stations in central Wyoming broke their July 16 record-high readings: Greybull (105 degrees, previously 102), Casper (104, previously 100), Riverton Airport, (101, previously 100), downtown Riverton (101, previously 99), Lander (100, previously 98), Rock Springs (95, previously 94) and Big Piney (90, previously 88).


If you thought that you'd seen it all, airlines are actually having to cancel or scale back flights due to the heat. From Bloomberg:
Airlines canceled flights or lightened passenger loads because the hot air wasn't dense enough to support takeoff. UAL Corp.'s United Airlines canceled seven flights in Denver yesterday because of the heat, spokesman Jeff Green said.

``It's rare that we have to take these types of cancellations out of our Denver hub,'' Green said. Flights affected were on smaller aircraft flying into mountain towns, he said.

Mesa Air Group Inc., which flies regional jets as America West Express out of Las Vegas, canceled 11 flights from that city each day on July 18 and 19, spokeswoman Linda Larsen said.

At high temperatures, ``the air entering the engine becomes less dense, so the engine must intake a larger volume of air to attain the same output,'' Larsen said. At certain temperatures and altitudes aircraft can get beyond their operating capabilities, requiring less weight or cancellation, she said.

Oh, and for those of you who are hoping the end is in sight, check out the graphic below from NOAA's Climate Prediction Center. Yes, all the red means its going to be hot for a while. God bless SUV's and global warming.

July 21, 2005

Tropical Storm Franklin forms near the Bahamas

I am very disappointed that Forecaster Franklin was not the one to issue the first advisories on Tropical Storm Franklin. Recon reports that Tropical Storm Franklin currently has sustained winds of 45 mph and a central pressure of 1009 mb. Franklin is forecast to gradually intensify to near hurricane strength over the next few days as he wanders off the East Coast. Right now there are a lot of uncertainties about the strength of the surrounding ridge and interactions with upper-level steering currents. As you can see in the model chart below, there is no consensus on the track of Franklin like we have been used to this year. Sea surface temperatures in this area are plenty warm enough to sustain strengthening so at this point the best we can do is wait to see what Franklin does.


Tropical Storm Franklin?


SPECIAL TROPICAL DISTURBANCE STATEMENT
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
227 PM EDT THU JUL 21 2005

A SHIP IN THE VICINITY OF THE STRONG TROPICAL WAVE LOCATED JUST EAST
OF THE CENTRAL BAHAMAS HAS RECENTLY ESTIMATED WINDS TO TROPICAL
STORM FORCE. SATELLITE IMAGERY AND RADAR DATA FROM THE BAHAMAS
INDICATE THIS SYSTEM HAS CONTINUED TO BECOME BETTER ORGANIZED
TODAY. AN AIR FORCE RESERVE UNIT RECONNAISSANCE AIRCRAFT IS
CURRENTLY ENROUTE TO DETERMINE IF A TROPICAL DEPRESSION OR A
TROPICAL STORM HAS DEVELOPED.

It is becoming increasingly clear that Tropical Storm Franklin is forming just east of the Bahamas. A look at the satellite image seems to clearly show rotation in the system. A hurricane hunter is en route to check out the system. Right now the models don't seem to have a very good handle on the system but their consensus curves it harmlessly out to sea.


July 20, 2005

Heat wave grips the Southwest

The death toll in Phoenix is up to 18 today after record heat has scorched the city. Eleven of those reported dead were homeless and another two were elderly. Typically those most at risk during heat waves are those who work outside. Interestingly enough, illegal immigrants who die in the heat trying to enter the country are not counted in the official statistics of those killed due to the heat. So far this month, the average high in Phoenix remains of 110 degrees!

Below are the temperatures as of 5:00PM PDT today (20-July-2005).

Today tied the record all-time high in Denver where temperatures reached 105 degrees.

Since Friday it has been over 127 degrees every day in Death Valley, CA, with today reaching 129 degrees. The record high in Death Valley and for the entire U.S. is 134 degrees and the world record set in Libya is 136 degrees. For the record, the hot temperatures in Death Valley are not much more impressive than those in Denver due to difference in elevation. Temperatures typically drop about 2.5 degrees Fahrenheit per 1000 feet you go up in the atmosphere. We call this the environmental lapse rate. However, if you were to lift an air parcel up in the atmosphere without condensing out any moisture or exchanging heat (the dry adiabatic lapse rate), the actual cooling rate would be 5.4 degrees F per 1000 feet. The reason that the environmental lapse rate is slower than the dry adiabatic lapse rate is because heat is added to the air as it cools during ascent if water begins to condense. Death Valley is 240 feet below sea level while Denver is 5,431 feet above sea level, thus giving an elevation difference of 5,671 feet. If you account for the environmental lapse rate, this would provide for a 14.2 degree F difference, or 30.6 degrees by the dry adiabatic lapse rate. Today Death valley was only 24 degrees warmer than Denver, in the middle of the two lapse rates.

Emily now a tropical storm, Eugene discontinued

Things are quieting back down in the tropics again. Emily is now a tropical storm and raining herself out in the Pacific. Tropical Storm Emily is over Mexico and continues to rain herself out.

Thus far there have been 7 reported fatalities from Emily. One person was killed in Grenada, 4 were killed in mudslides in Jamaica, and two pilots were killed in a helicopter crash while evacuating a Pemex oil rig off the coast of Mexico.

Right now the only interesting thing in the tropics is a tropical wave near Pureto Rico and Hispanola. However, this system is not expected to develop. Of course the hurricane hunters wouldn't let that keep them bored, they are planning to pay it a visit tomorrow. If anything were to develop with this system, it would travel up over the Bahamas and harmlessly our to sea. I guess all this early season action has the hurricane hunters ready to jump at the first thunderstorm is hopes of kicking up a hurricane.

Hurricane Emily makes landfall over Mexico

From NHC:
DATA FROM THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVCE WSR-88D DOPPLER RADAR IN BROWNSVILLE TEXAS INDICATED THAT THE CENTER OF THE EYE OF MAJOR HURRICANE EMILY MADE LANDFALL AT APPROXIMATELY 635 AM CDT THIS MORNING ALONG THE NORTHEASTERN COAST OF MEXICO ABOUT 3 MILES SOUTH OF BOCA MADRE. THIS IS ALSO ABOUT 35 MILES ...55 KM...EAST OF SAN FERNANDO MEXICO...AND ABOUT 75 MILES...120 KM... SOUTH OF BROWNSVILLE TEXAS.
Before I get the questions, WSR-88D stands for Weather Service Radar 88 Doppler where 1988 is the year they were deployed.

Hurricane Emily is now about 15 miles NE of San Fernando, Mexico, and 75 miles SSW of Brownsville, TX. Emily made landfall as a major Category 3 hurricane with sustained winds of 125 mph and actually had formed two eyewalls at the time. Now Emily has been downgraded to a Category 2 storm with winds of 105 mpb and a pressure of 955 mb. Emily should continue to rapidly weaken as she moves deeper into Mexico.

Eugene downgraded to tropical depression

Eugene recently lost all of his deep convection and remains nothing but a remenant low in the Pacific. Look for all advisories on Eugene to be discontinued later today.

July 19, 2005

Hurricane Emily upgraded to Cat. 3, could reach Cat. 4 by landfall

The Special Advisory from NHC has again increased the winds in Hurricane Emily to 125 mph and lists the central pressure at 945 mb. Hurricane Emily could becomes a Category 4 hurricane before landfall.

UPDATE: The 10PM CDT advisory lists Emily at 125 mph and 944 mb. Recently Emily has seemed to stall off the coast and held its intensity steady. An outer eyewall is in the process of forming and may be in place before Emily reaches the coast. I honestly am not sure why Emily has stalled out but it seems to be consolidating its convection towards the core. Along with the stall, Emily has been trending a little bit further south and this could be very good news for Brownsville. One thing that does seem fairly certain is that Emily should make a march across Mexico after landfall and bring much needed rain to the area. I am slightly worried about the potential for inland flooding and mudslides if the rain proves to be too heavy. Ironically at this point the models are showing their greatest divergence yet in regards to where in Mexico Emily will track.

Hurricane Emily special advisory to be issued

HURRICANE EMILY TROPICAL CYCLONE UPDATE
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
448 PM CDT TUE JUL 19 2005

DATA FROM AN AIR FORCE HURRICANE HUNTER AIRCRAFT INDICATE THAT THE MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS IN EMILY HAVE CONTINUED TO RAPIDLY INCREASE AND ARE AT LEAST 120 MPH. A SPECIAL ADVISORY WILL BE ISSUED BY 530 PM CDT...2230Z...REFLECTING A SIGNIFICANT INCREASE IN THE INTENSITY FORECAST.

Hurricane Emily upgraded to Category 3

HURRICANE EMILY TROPICAL CYCLONE UPDATE
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
443 PM CDT TUE JUL 19 2005

DATA FROM AN AIR FORCE HURRICANE HUNTER AIRCRAFT INDICATE THAT THE
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS IN EMILY HAVE INCREASED TO AT LEAST 115
MPH... MAKING EMILY A MAJOR CATEGORY THREE HURRICANE ON THE
SAFFIR-SIMPSON SCALE. ADDITIONALLY... THE MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE
HAS DROPPED TO 942 MB... OR 27.82 INCHES.

Hurricane Emily rapidly intensifying, should become Cat 3 before landfall

Recent recon and satellite data suggest that Hurricane Emily is undergoing a period of rapid intensification that should last until landfall. I am looking for Emily to be a major hurricane and landfall in northern Mexico. The eye of Emily will come ashore some time overnight. Satellite, recon, and radar data all suggest theat Emily's eye is clearing out and that she intends to mean business once again. NHC experimental products suggest that there is an 85% chance of sustained tropical force winds in Brownsville, TX. Any further jog to the north could stand to increase that forecast.

July 18, 2005

Emily down to Category 1 storm, slowly regaining strength

Hurricane Emily is now down toa minimal category one hurricane. However, Emily's eye remains well-defined. Sustained winds are currently at 95 mph with a central pressure of 972 mb. She is continuing her WNW motion at 14 mph. Emily looks to strike the northern Mexican coast within the next day. Updates will follow as Emily regains strength. As I forecast before, Emily is likely to only make landfall as a category 2 or 3 hurricane.

Tracking God's Fury:
ATLANTIC
Tropical Storm Maria
Tropical Storm Nate
Hurricane Ophelia
EASTERN PACIFIC
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