The 2013 Atlantic Hurricane Season came to an end over the weekend. The final numbers include 13 named storms, two of which became hurricanes (Humberto & Ingrid), with neither becoming major hurricanes. While the number of storms was above the average of 12, the number of hurricanes and major hurricanes was well below normal. Unfavorable conditions dominated much of the season, with strong wind shear and dry and/or dusty conditions. The last time the US was hit by a major hurricane was back in October 2005 (Wilma). The eight-plus year gap is more than twice as long as any other gap between major hurricane hits since records began.
The rain-maker impacting Acadiana Monday/Tuesday will turn into a big storm for the East Coast on Wednesday, which is typically the busiest travel day of the year. Air travel to the big cities in the Northeast and thru hub cities like Atlanta, may experience significant delays. In the wake of the system we’ll see plenty of sunshine as chilly air grips most of the country.
If Super Typhoon Haiyan were in the Gulf of Mexico, here is some perspective on its massive size. Maximum sustained winds were around 195 mph, stronger than Camille’s 190 mph max sustained winds in 1969.
Super Typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines on Thursday (our time) with max sustained winds of 195 mph. This tops Hurricane Camille in 1969, which had max sustained winds of 190 mph at landfall. While reliable records are very limited regarding tropical cyclones, Haiyan will take over the #1 spot as the strongest. However, there is no way to say for sure that Camille wasn’t stronger as all instruments were destroyed at landfall and satellite instruments that can estimate winds weren’t developed at the time.
Super Typhoon Haiyan made landfall on Thursday our time, packing maximum sustained winds of 195 mph with gusts to 235 mph. The monster may produce a storm surge of 20-25′, likely devastating the Central Philippines. While the Atlantic Basin has been rather tranquil this year, tropical activity on the other side of the world has been much more widespread.
This is pretty cool. The visible satellite image Monday afternoon showed a distinct cloud line across Eastern Louisiana. This had to do with very humid air meeting very dry air around 4,000-5,000 feet in the sky. We definitely don’t see such a sharp cloud boundary like this too often over such a large distance.
While towns trick-or-treating on Wednesday evening are fine, those holding the annual candy-gathering task on Halloween evening may run into to some showers and thunderstorms. Our FutureTrack computer model paints the main line of storms thru the area at 7 PM on Thursday. Some storms could be severe with damaging winds the primary threat, with a lesser threat of isolated tornadoes. The rain will end later Thursday night with much cooler air for the weekend.
Have you noticed the bright star in the southwest sky during the evening hours this week, near the Moon? If so, you’ve been looking at Venus. I snapped this picture around 7 PM and labeled the image for clarity. What a beautiful site with the clear skies!
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.