BTW, don’t ignore the weather


Click to enlarge

Water temperatures in the Gulf of Mexico are running more than three degrees above average, increasing the prospects for severe thunderstorms and tornadoes this spring and potentially stronger hurricane activity in the summer and fall.

The last time Gulf of Mexico waters were similarly warm in 2017, it coincided with an above-average tornado season through the spring, and then Category 4 Hurricane Harvey struck the Texas Gulf Coast at the end of summer…

The annual barrage of tempestuous fury stems from the volatile clash of shifting seasons. As springtime warmth begins to build in the Gulf of Mexico, surges of mild air meander north — only to collide with stubbornly persistent cold shots of winter exiting the Rockies. It’s that collision that brews severe thunderstorms and tornadoes.

No matter how you slice it, this is going to be a tough year. Between nature and numbnuts politicians running our federal government, every disaster is likely to be exaggerated by incompetence and unprepared ideologues who believe that not spending money on the needs of citizens is heavenly ordained. Just like kissing corporate butt.

32 thoughts on “BTW, don’t ignore the weather

  1. Cassandra says:

    Sixteen named storms, including eight hurricanes, are forecast for the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season, according to early predictions released Thursday by experts at Colorado State University.
    Four of the hurricanes will become major storms of Category 3 to 5, with sustained winds of at least 111 mph, the projections indicate for the season that runs from June 1 to November 30. https://www.cnn.com/2020/04/02/weather/2020-atlantic-hurricane-season/index.html

    CSU: “Extended-Range Forecast of Atlantic Seasonal Hurricane Activity for 2020” https://tropical.colostate.edu/media/sites/111/2020/04/2020-04.pdf

  2. Spacebar says:

    “More than 5 million people are under tornado watches across the southeast — in many of the same places that suffered deadly storms last week.” https://www.cnn.com/2020/04/20/weather/severe-storms-in-south-return-monday/index.html Nearly 90,000 customers were without power Monday morning across Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia, according to PowerOutage.us. https://poweroutage.us/

    Meanwhile: US megadrought ‘already under way’ (BBC News) https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-52312260

  3. Carmen Gaia says:

    From South Texas to South Florida, all along the Gulf and Atlantic coasts, temperatures in the spring frequently have leaped ahead to summer-like levels. South Florida, in particular, has turned downright hot, obliterating long-standing records. https://www.washingtonpost.com/weather/2020/04/22/record-april-heat-miami-florida-gulf-coast/
    On Monday, Miami experienced its hottest April day recorded, soaring to 97 degrees.
    Meteorologists say the steamy weather is linked to abnormally warm temperatures in the adjacent waters of the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean and a persistent high pressure zone heating the air.
    But both the extent and intensity of the warmth is unprecedented in many areas and would likely not be happening without the influence of human-induced climate change.

    (Click to enlarge)

  4. Carmen Gaia says:

    May 6, 2020: Polar vortex to unleash winterlike cold across eastern half of nation, with snow in the Northeast : Frost could occur as far south as Georgia as early May reverts to early March https://www.washingtonpost.com/weather/2020/05/06/polar-vortex-unleash-winterlike-cold-across-eastern-half-nation-with-snow-northeast/
    European model simulates the upcoming lobe of upper-level cold diving south across the eastern Lower 48 into the weekend (click to magnify).

  5. Cassandra says:

    How climate change Is contributing to skyrocketing rates of infectious disease https://www.propublica.org/article/climate-infectious-diseases
    “…There are three ways climate influences emerging diseases. Roughly 60% of new pathogens come from animals — including those pressured by diversity loss — and roughly one-third of those can be directly attributed to changes in human land use, meaning deforestation, the introduction of farming, development or resource extraction in otherwise natural settings. Vector-borne diseases — those carried by insects like mosquitoes and ticks and transferred in the blood of infected people — are also on the rise as warming weather and erratic precipitation vastly expand the geographic regions vulnerable to contagion. Climate is even bringing old viruses back from the dead, thawing zombie contagions like the anthrax released from a frozen reindeer in 2016, which can come down from the arctic and haunt us from the past.
    Thus the COVID-19 pandemic, even as it unfolds in the form of an urgent crisis, is offering a larger lesson. It is demonstrating in real time the enormous and undeniable power that nature has over civilization and even over its politics. That alone may make the pandemic prologue for more far-reaching and disruptive changes to come. But it also makes clear that climate policy today is indivisible from efforts to prevent new infectious outbreaks, or, as Bernstein* put it, the notion that climate and health and environmental policy might not be related is “a ​dangerous delusion.”
    * Aaron Bernstein, interim director for the C-Change Center for Climate, Health and the Global Environment at Harvard University’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/c-change/team/aaron-bernstein/

  6. Butterfly effect says:

    “Millions of people in India and Bangladesh are in the path of a cyclone which is due to make landfall in less than 36 hours, bringing damaging winds and heavy rain to a region already struggling with the coronavirus pandemic.” https://www.cnn.com/2020/05/19/asia/super-cyclone-amphan-india-banglash-intl-hnk/index.html Super Cyclone Amphan became the strongest storm ever recorded in the Bay of Bengal on Monday night, after intensifying with sustained wind speeds of up to 270 kilometers per hour (165 miles per hours), according to data from the US Joint Typhoon Warning Center.
    Amphan has weakened slightly since, but the storm is still the equivalent of a Category 3 Atlantic hurricane, with winds speeds up to 185 kph (115 mph).
    The US Pacific Disaster Center (PDC) said up to 33.6 million people in India could potentially be exposed to the storm’s winds, while a maximum of 5.3 million could be exposed in Bangladesh. The PDC’s estimate is based on data from the Joint Typhoon Warning Center. https://www.pdc.org/wp-content/uploads/PDC_TC_Amphan_Wind_Impacts_ADV11_18MAY20_2100UTC.pdf

  7. Ante up says:

    A large, complex area of low pressure—a recurring feature called the Central American Gyre—(CAG) will slog from the Northeast Pacific into the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico over the next few days, potentially causing a variety of trouble. One or more tropical cyclones may spin off from the gyre, and there is a good chance of torrential rains, flooding, and mudslides in the coming week regardless of any tropical development.
    https://www.wunderground.com/cat6/watching-the-gyre-serious-flood-threat-in-central-america-tropical-cyclones-possible-on-either?cm_ven=hp-slot-1
    As smaller-scale vortexes spin around the gyre, there’s always the chance that one or more will consolidate into a tropical cyclone and eventually break away from the gyre, as happened in 2018 with category 5 Hurricane Michael. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hurricane_Michael
    On the southern flank of the gyre, a large, loosely organized area of convection named Invest 91E may consolidate into a tropical cyclone this weekend. In its tropical weather outlook for the Eastern Pacific issued at 2 pm EDT Friday, the NOAA/NWS National Hurricane Center gave 91E a 60 percent chance of becoming at least a tropical depression by Sunday and a 70 percent chance by Wednesday. If 91E does become a tropical storm, it would be Amanda, the first named system in the Eastern Pacific this year. https://www.nhc.noaa.gov/gtwo.php?basin=epac&fdays=5

    • Heads up says:

      Tropical Storm Cristobal, now gaining strength in the southern Gulf of Mexico, could grow into a hurricane as it moves toward the Texas and Louisiana coasts early next week, threatening offshore oil platforms, coastal refiners and agriculture.
      The system’s winds have reached 40 miles (64 kilometers) per hour, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said in an advisory. It will continue to gather strength in Mexico’s Bay of Campeche before tracking northward toward the U.S., with the potential to make landfall as early as Monday, according to Jim Rouiller, lead meteorologist with the Energy Weather Group LLC.
      “Everyone in the energy production area needs to be aware of this one,” Rouiller said. “I think we have a good chance of a hurricane, and the area from Houston and Galveston to New Orleans seems to be the most likely target.” https://gcaptain.com/u-s-gulf-put-on-notice-as-tropical-storm-cristobal-gains-strength/
      In reaching tropical storm status, Cristobal marks the fastest start to the hurricane season since 1851.
      Forecasters remain unsure exactly where the storm will make landfall because Cristobal turned south towards the Mexico coast of the Bay of Campeche on Tuesday afternoon, steered by a large cyclonic atmospheric gyre centered over eastern Mexico.

      “Hurricane researchers believe they have discovered another contributor to the intensity of some hurricanes as they travel through the Gulf of Mexico or Caribbean Sea: surface lenses of freshwater created by the Mississippi, Orinoco and Amazon rivers.” https://www.nola.com/news/hurricane/article_9fc8853c-a1fc-11ea-a758-abc7e8ebed21.html

  8. Vecino says:

    Tropical Storm Amanda threatens major flooding to Central America : warnings have been issued for the coasts of El Salvador and Guatemala. https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/05/tropical-storm-amanda-threatens-major-flooding-central-america-200531091844325.html
    While tropical systems often form near Central America, or even make landfall along the coast with the Caribbean Sea, a Pacific system making landfall is much less common.
    The last tropical system to do this was Tropical Storm Selma, which formed late in October 2017. Selma was the first ever tropical storm to make landfall in El Salvador. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tropical_Storm_Selma_(2017)

  9. Canute says:

    Crews from the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority East close the Bayou Road flood gate in St. Bernard Parish, La. Saturday, June 6, 2020, ahead of Tropical Storm Cristobal. (Max Becherer/The Times-Picayune/The New Orleans Advocate).

    (click to enlarge)

  10. Butterfly effect says:

    Ag Weather Forum : How Sahara Dust May Affect US Crops https://www.dtnpf.com/agriculture/web/ag/blogs/ag-weather-forum/blog-post/2020/06/26/sahara-dust-may-affect-us-crops
    Over the past 12 days, an immense plume of dust from the Sahara Desert in North Africa has gathered and spread westward, all the way to the Caribbean islands and into North America — a 5,000-mile trek. By some measurements, this is the largest Sahara dust cloud in 50 years.
    See also https://www.wyff4.com/article/saharan-dust-storm-helping-upstate-environment/33002827

    https://www.dtnpf.com/mydtn-public-core-portlet/servlet/GetStoredImage?symbolicName=2020m25-sahara-dust.jpg&category=CMS

    • Bob says:

      “Dust acts as a shield, keeping sunlight from reaching Earth’s surface. Last week’s dust event helped depress sea surface temperatures by 0.4 degrees Celsius in the hurricane main development region of the tropical Atlantic, from the coast of Africa to the Caribbean. This is a major reduction in the heat energy available to power hurricanes – a very encouraging development, since ocean temperatures there were 0.6 degrees Celsius above average during the first 25 days of June. Those temperatures ranked as the fourth-highest on record for the region.
      The cooling may be relatively short-lived, however. Recent forecasts from European and GFS models predict that by the second week of July, surface trade winds in the tropical Atlantic will ease, the result of the Azores-Bermuda High drifting northward and weakening. Slower surface winds allow the ocean surface to warm by reducing the amount of cool waters from the depths that are stirred up to the surface, caused by reduced evaporative cooling. It is likely, though, that more African dust outbreaks will counteract this effect in the coming month, since African dust events typically are at their peak in July. Recent satellite imagery shows another strong Saharan Air Layer incursion is underway over the tropical Atlantic, accompanied again by a thick cloud of African dust.” (Yale Climate Connections 6/29/20) https://www.yaleclimateconnections.org/2020/06/saharan-dust-cloud-was-most-intense-in-decades/
      See satellite information at the Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies / University of Wisconsin-Madison, Tropical Cyclones, Saharan Air Layer (SAL) http://tropic.ssec.wisc.edu/real-time/sal/

  11. Cassandra says:

    “I Was a Military COVID Planner. Trust Me: Texas Is in Deep, Deep Trouble : Things are pretty bad right now in the Lone Star State. But the real pain is likely to come during hurricane season, when as many as 19 named storms are projected to hit.” https://www.thedailybeast.com/i-was-a-military-covid-planner-trust-me-texas-is-in-deep-deep-trouble
    A COVICANE, a hurricane in the middle of a coronavirus pandemic, could stretch first-responders and National Guard “to the breaking point,” requiring active duty forces to pitch in. “The Army only keeps a few active units on standby for what is known as the Defense Support to Civil Authorities mission,” Kris Alexander writes. “In a pinch, untrained active-duty forces could fill the gap and do their best. But the real problems would come after their exposure to the virus in the disaster zone.”

    “Hurricane forecasters will be watching the Gulf of Mexico this week” https://www.al.com/hurricane/2020/07/hurricane-forecasters-will-be-watching-the-gulf-of-mexico-this-week.html

  12. Update says:

    Hurricane Isaias (ees-ah-EE-ahs) will track through the Bahamas into Saturday and near Florida this weekend, before tracking up the East Coast as far north as New England next week.
    Isaias became a hurricane following an investigative flight by the Hurricane Hunters late Thursday, which found winds of 80 mph. Isaias remains a Category 1 hurricane, on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.

  13. Heads up says:

    “For the first time since 1933, it’s possible that two tropical systems could make landfall in the mainland United States at virtually the same time.” https://weather.com/storms/hurricane/news/2020-08-20-tropical-depression-thirteen-fourteen-laura-marco-tracker?cm_ven=hp-slot-2
    As of Friday, the National Hurricane Center’s official forecast called for two hurricanes to be in place in the Gulf of Mexico at the exact same time, likely taking place next Monday or Tuesday. The cones of probability for the storms currently overlap the community of Chauvin, about 45 miles southwest of New Orleans. The forecast Friday morning had both storms at hurricane strength when they reach the coast. https://www.ny1.com/nyc/all-boroughs/weather/2020/08/21/only-in-2020–the-gulf-of-mexico-could-have-two-simultaneous-hurricanes-next-week
    Interactive map of water temperatures of the Gulf of Mexico in real time https://www.seatemperatu.re/seas-and-oceans/gulf-of-mexico/

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