Tropical Storm Karen took advantage of its window to strengthen on Thursday by reaching 65 mph, but the dry air in the Western Gulf of Mexico and southwesterly wind shear weakened the system considerably on Friday. Just before sunset I saved this visible satellite image of the completely exposed center. All of the deep convection was well-removed to the east. The swirl of low cloudiness that is the center of Karen is unlikely to strengthen. The system will turn to the northeast and away from Acadiana, leading to minimal impacts here.
The tropical wave in the NW Caribbean sure looks to be on the verge of becoming Tropical Storm Karen. In fact, I’m surprised the NHC didn’t at least classify this as a tropical depression by Wednesday evening. The Hurricane Hunter aircraft could not find a well-defined low-level circulation Wednesday afternoon, causing the delay. Still, all signs point to this becoming a tropical storm and moving into the Central Gulf, before being steered northeastward this weekend, perhaps towards the Florida Panhandle. We’ll keep watching.
Meteorological summer at Lafayette was close to normal, with the average temperature of 83.5° just 0.3° below normal. The heat didn’t relent in September, though, with the average temperature checking in at 81.5°, or +2.3° compared to normal. We were also drier than normal, with total rainfall at -1.03″ compared to normal. From June 1st thru September 30th, the rainfall deficit was 8.27″. While October is starting on a warm note, much cooler air will arrive behind a passing cold front that blows thru Saturday night.
A tropical wave is moving through the Caribbean and is on track to move into the Gulf later this week. A few days ago development looked likely according to the computer models, but now they’re not as ominous. Plenty of moisture will move into the Gulf by the weekend before being pushed eastward by a strong cold front. There’s not much for us to worry about, but Florida, especially, will have to keep a close eye on this disturbance.
Much has been made of “extreme” weather by the mainstream media and some politicians over the past year. The clever use of “extreme” and “climate change” instead of “global warming” may be catchy, but the facts simply don’t back up the tactics. Above is a look at global high temperature extremes. Note that only one continent has set a record high temperature since 1942. Meanwhile, there have been five record low temperatures set since that point. Continue reading
The 2013 North Atlantic Hurricane Season rolls on with very uneventful weather. We are more than two weeks past the statistical peak of hurricane season, but there is still plenty of the season left, which extends through November 30. So far we have seen nine named storms, two of which became hurricanes (Humberto in the open Atlantic & Ingrid in the SW Gulf which moved into Mexico), each remaining a Category 1.
September is the peak month for tropical activity across the Atlantic Basin, but all is quiet right now. Same goes for the Eastern Pacific Basin. The only tropical cyclone on Earth at this point is Typhoon Pabuk southeast of Japan. So far the Atlantic season has featured nine named storms, two of which became hurricanes (Humberto in the North-Central Atlantic and Ingrid in the SW Gulf, before moving into Mexico). The season continues thru November 30, so don’t let your guard down year, but we’re looking good!
The tropical wave in the Gulf of Mexico showed no signs of developing on Friday. The center of the low-level spin was clearly evident and void of any deep convection. Upper-level winds coming in from the north are imparting enough shear to prohibit development. The system will drift northward this weekend and may have a slightly better chance to organize tropically on Sunday, so we’ll keep tracking the disturbance.
We’re still looking for the first break from the summer-like heat. We haven’t been below 69° since May 29th and below 66° since May 15th. Recent Septembers have offered relief by now, but every day this month has been between 92° and 96° for highs thru the 17th. Hang in there, as there are signs of some much cooler air arriving by Sunday morning with lows in the upper 60s. We could be even cooler by Monday morning.
If you feel like the heat this September has been relentless, you’re right! Each day this month, thru the 16th at Lafayette, has seen a high temperature between 92°-96°. Our average temperature is running more than 2° above-normal, coming on the heels of meteorological summer that was actually a touch below-normal. There’s no relief from the heat over the coming days, but better rain chances Friday and Saturday offer the chance to keep highs in the 80s.