Archive for August, 2007

Felix Forming?
August 31, 2007

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) has been watching a tropical wave move across the far eastern Atlantic for the past few days, anticipating favorable conditions for tropical storm formation. This morning NHC issued a special statement as satellite pictures seem to show the system beginning to organize.

SPECIAL TROPICAL DISTURBANCE STATEMENT
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
910 AM AST FRI AUG 31 2007

SATELLITE IMAGES AND SURFACE OBSERVATIONS INDICATE THAT THE TROPICAL
WAVE AND ASSOCIATED LOW PRESSURE AREA LOCATED ABOUT 250 MILES EAST
OF THE WINDWARD ISLANDS COULD BE DEVELOPING INTO A TROPICAL
DEPRESSION. AN AIR FORCE RESERVE HURRICANE HUNTER WILL INVESTIGATE
THE SYSTEM EARLY THIS AFTERNOON TO CONFIRM IF A DEPRESSION HAS
FORMED. WATCHES AND WARNINGS MAY BE REQUIRED FOR PORTIONS OF THE
WINDWARD ISLANDS...AND ALL INTERESTS IN THAT AREA SHOULD BE READY
TO TAKE QUICK ACTION...IF NECESSARY. REGARDLESS OF DEVELOPMENT...
HEAVY RAIN AND STRONG GUSTY WINDS WILL SPREAD OVER THE WINDWARD
ISLANDS LATER TODAY AND TONIGHT.
$$
FORECASTER BLAKE/AVILA

The next name on the list for tropical storms in the Atlantic and Caribbean is “Felix”…and Felix just might make his grand entrance this Labor Day weekend.

Tom Tasselmyer

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Wildfires In Greece
August 27, 2007

Wildfires in Greece have been in the news in recent days. Below is a striking satellite photo of the areas affected. The photo and text are courtesy of StormCenter Communications.
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This image from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite shows the fires on Sunday afternoon, August 26. The areas where MODIS detected actively burning fires are outlined in red. Thick smoke spreads southwest over the Mediterranean Sea. Bare or sparsely vegetated land is tan, urban areas are gray, and the natural vegetation on the mountains appears dull greenish-brown.

Environmental Impacts:

At least 61 people had been killed by the fires as of August 27, hundreds of homes had been burned, and thousands had to evacuate.

The government suspects that the fires were caused by arson, and it has declared a national emergency to deal with the situation.

The front of one fire Sunday reached ancient Olympia in southern Greece, burning trees and shrubs just a few yards from the museum at the site. Although the pristine forest around ancient Olympia was burned, none of the 2,800-year-old ruins were damaged.

The worst of the fires have been concentrated on the Peloponnesus peninsula in the south and on the island of Evia north of Athens. Strong winds blew smoke and ash over the capital, blackening the evening sky and turning the rising moon red.
—————–

John Collins

Monday Hurricane Anniversary
August 27, 2007

On Monday, August 27, 1971 Hurricane Doria moved up the Mid Atlantic coast. The eye passed close to Ocean City in the evening hours. The rainfall record that date in Baltimore was established at 4.04″. Philadelphia recorded 6.57″ of rain, Trenton & Newark, New Jersey just over 8 inches and New York City 5.96″.

John Collins

ANDREW ANNIVERSARY
August 27, 2007

How soon we forget. Katrina, understandably, has been the focus of our attention over the past couple of years but back in 1992 hurricane Andrew was completing its’ run across south Florida and Louisiana.

August 24 radar image of Andrew making landfall near Homestead, Florida. This was the last image transmitted by the radar before it was destroyed by the storm. Estimated wind gusts were up to 175mph.

John Collins

Record Breaker?
August 25, 2007

Saturday will be very hot and humid. A heat advisory is in effect for most of Maryland. High temperatures are expected to be in the upper 90s to around 100 degrees. With the high humidity factored in it will feel more like 105-110.

The record high temperature for Saturday is vulnerable. The record is currently 97, set in 1968.

John Collins

August Snow!
August 25, 2007


Heat advisories are up for Saturday with high temperatures expected to reach near record levels (BWI-Marshall record for Aug. 25th is 97 set in 1968) and heat index readings likely to push toward 110, so the title of this blog entry probably seems a little nutty! Ahhh…but there was a fresh snowfall to report today, and perhaps the picture posted here will provide a hint and a little psychological cooling for you…it was sent to us by the good folks out at Breckenridge ski resort in Colorado. They woke up to temperatures in the 30s with thunder and snow and a light accumulation above 10,000 feet. They’re hoping this is an early sign of a great ski season to come.

Tom Tasselmyer

Dean Remnant
August 24, 2007

The remnant of the storm that was once Hurricane Dean has crossed Mexico and has moved into the Pacific Ocean

In the picture above the remnant of Dean is the broad area of clouds circulating around the southern end of Baja California where the Gulf of California opens into the Pacific Ocean. The center of the circulation is just southeast of the tip of Baja California. The disturbance is not strong enough to retain the name “Dean”. If it were to regenerate to tropical storm or hurricane strength(not likely), National Weather Service procedure would call for giving the storm a new name and that would be the next in line from names for the eastern Pacific. At this point the name would be “Gil”.

John Collins

The Great 1933 Hurricane
August 23, 2007

This is the anniversary of the 1933 hurricane that struck the Mid Atlantic Region. The National Weather Service map below shows the track of all of the storms from the 1933 season.

The storm that hit this region started in the mid Atlantic Ocean and made landfall as a hurricane on the Outer Banks. It then moved up the west side of the Chesapeake Bay with tropical storm force winds, ultimately passing right over Washington DC. By that time the storm was much diminished but still caused considerable damage.

The storm was most notable for a storm surge that opened the inlet between Ocean City and Assateague Island that remains today. The passage of the eye of the storm just west of the Chesapeake Bay resulted in northeast, then east and finally southeast winds along the Atlantic coast. The hours of high winds and pounding surf from that easterly wind fetch tore at the barrier islands, flooding the bay between the islands and the mainland and ultimately washing out a weak spot that became the inlet.

John Collins

Dramatic Dean Photographs
August 22, 2007

The image and descriptive text below were provided by StormCenter Communications.
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This image of the eye of Hurricane Dean was taken by an astronaut aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour on August 18, 2007. At the time of the photograph Dean was a very strong Category 4 hurricane in the Caribbean Sea passing just south of Jamaica with sustained winds of 150 mph.
———
Below is another Space Shuttle photo of Dean from NASA.

It is a wider view at a rather oblique angle due to the relatively low orbit of the Shuttle compared to geostationary weather satellites. The picture provides a full perspective of the blackness of deep space and the blue of the ocean with the storm spinning in the thin envelope of the atmosphere in between.

Both of these photographs demonstrate the beauty that can be derived from one of the most powerful and destructive forces of nature.

John Collins

Dean Finale
August 22, 2007

Hurricane dean has made its’ final landfall. Here is the bulletin from the National Hurricane Center.

000
WTNT64 KNHC 221646
TCUAT4
HURRICANE DEAN TROPICAL CYCLONE UPDATE
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL042007
1150 AM CDT WED AUG 22 2007

THE CENTER OF HURRICANE DEAN MADE LANDFALL IN MEXICO NEAR THE TOWN OF TECOLUTLA…JUST EAST OF GUTIERREZ ZAMORA AND ABOUT 40 MILES SOUTH-SOUTHEAST OF TUXPAN AT ABOUT 1130 AM CDT…1630 UTC. THE ESTIMATED INTENSITY OF DEAN AT LANDFALL WAS 100 MPH…160 KPH….CATEGORY TWO ON THE SAFFIR-SIMPSON HURRICANE SCALE.
$$
FORECASTER FRANKLIN


The picture above shows that the storm is still holding its’ well defined circulation a little over one hour after landfall.

John Collins