Lorenzo still on track for Éirinn! (Sunday morning 29 Sept update)

No matter how you say it, tropical systems do impact Europe, and it’s not as unusual as you might think.  Lorenzo (AL132019) is a bit weaker, and looks to be essentially an extratropical storm by the time it gets to the Ould Sod.   Here is this morning’s visual satellite view from GOES 16.  Still a pretty storm …

Here is the forecast swath map using my Stribog model (based as usual on the official NHC forecast):

On this track the storm will pass close to the Azores Tue/Wed, so folks there should prepare for tropical storm force winds.  Although still a bit far out to forecast, Ireland might see tropical storm conditions.  As for the (not so) United Kingdom, the extended forecast is for wind, rain, and general misery.  Just like every other day 😛 !  But seriously worth keeping an eye on later in the week.

There is also a tropical storm in near the coast of Mexico (Narda) that is dropping a lot of rain (maybe up to 15″) there, potentially causing landslides and flash floods.  In the West Pacific may become a hurricane later today, likely to brush China, then hit the other China, before making landfall in South Korea.

Hurricane to hit … Ireland? (Lorenzo, AL132019)

Well, maybe.  It certainly seems to be headed towards the Suðreyjar (Southern Islands, as my Norse ancestors called them), although technically it won’t be a hurricane by then, “just” an extratropical system with hurricane force winds.  Here’s the Stribog model impact estimate, based on the official NHC forecast track:

And here’s the latest GOES East satellite image as the sun sets, the prominent eye visible having just gone through a replacement cycle.  Currently Lorenzo is a mature hurricane, flirting with category 3.  It will decay a lot as it move north, but as the structure and wind field changes it will likely still be a powerful storm if it does reach the British Isles …

Squashed Spider: Tropical Storm Karen (AL122019)

Tropical Storm Karen, while weak from a wind standpoint and technically well past the island, continued to dump rain on Puerto Rico into this morning, although it looks like things are clearing out, with the risk of mud slides.  Here is what it looks like as of noon Wednesday:

The mature storm out over the Atlantic is Lorenzo, which seems to be headed out to sea and nothing to worry about for a while.  And that little swirl at the top of the frame is what’s left of Jerry.

Karen is pretty disorganized, and NHC is having trouble finding the center.  The track models are showing the classic “smashed spider” pattern, with tracks going off in lots of different directions.  The turn to the west may look scary, but it’s not likely the storm will develop much, although the NHC is showing gradual strengthening.  Either way, it’s a “watch to see what it does” thing rather than a ZOMG! moment. Here’s the tracks …

#Russia, #Ukraine, and the US: some missing context

Administrative note:  updated and edits to bring this post up to date, given current events in January 2022.

As the situation between the West and Russia continues to deteriorate over Ukraine, I hope everyone will take some time to understand how and why we got here and realize it’s not really about Russian “expansionism” and Putin wanting to “recreate the Soviet Union” or interfere with US internal politics, it is blow-back as a result of over two decades of the US manipulating and exploiting financially former Soviet Republics after the fall of the Soviet Union, and how US domestic politics got entangled with them.  I hope you will take a few minutes to read it through, and not jump to a conclusion based on which political team you cheer for.  As in so many things, the “news” media have utterly failed to provide jingoistic free context.  Although this post is long, it’s still overly simplified, but at least it’s a start.

It’s hard to know where to begin this story, but to avoid writing a book we’ll start it with the breakup of the Soviet Union in the early 1990’s, and why the shadows of that event are now cast in the heart of US Politics, and have brought the world to the brink of a war that could easily go nuclear.  By 1991 the Soviet economy was in shambles, and numerous deals were made to facilitate a peaceful transition between the Former Soviet Union (FSU) and the independent nation-states that resulted from the breakup.  There are two key elements of that breakup that are of interest to us here: the disposition of the nuclear arsenal, and  reforms of the “communist” economies (they weren’t really communist, and barely deserve the term “socialist,” but that’s the label that stuck).  First let’s look at the post-Soviet borders and military situation …

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Lots of storms … two are “interesting”: Monday, 23 September 2019

Lots of storms today: three in the Atlantic, two in the Eastern/Central Pacific, one in the Arabian Sea, and one in the West Pacific. Of the seven active storms at this time, two are worth discussing in detail, Karen (in the Atlantic) and Hikka (in the Arabian Sea).  As for the rest, the East Pacific storms are not major threats at this point.  The West Pacific storm is Typhoon Tapah, a tropical storm strength system dropping rain, disrupting flights, and potentially triggering landslides across Japan today, but damage is light so far.   In the Atlantic, Tropical Storm Jerry will likely bring rain and gusty winds to Bermuda, while Tropical Depression 13 is in the far east Atlantic.  It will likely become a tropical storm (named Lorenzo) later today or tomorrow. Tropical Storm Karen is the first of the two “interesting” storms.  It is currently barely a tropical storm, and is moving north towards Puerto Rico (which, along with the Virgin Islands, is under a tropical storm watch).  The main threat is flash flooding and landslides along steeper slopes, along with some gusty winds that, given the fragile electrical infrastructure, will cause power outages and light damage  Here is the impact swath map …

What makes this interesting (and likely the subject of chatter amongst those inclined to do so) is the stall, strengthening, followed by a turn to the west on day 4 or 5 of the forecast.  Some of the models even show a loop south of Bermuda.  The track guidance of the major models (highlighted in color below) are pretty scattered, and if you toss in the secondary models and ensembles, it’s a mess.  So what to do?  Wait and see … and not get too excited about it, unless you ate all your tuna and crackers waiting for the last storm, in which case restock your kit when you get a chance.

Finally, as if the region needed any more drama, Cyclone Hikaa is in the northern Arabian sea, and is headed towards the coast of Oman. It will disrupt tanker traffic trying to enter or leave the Persian Gulf a little.  The biggest threat is for flash floods; past storms have caused significant damage to refineries and piplelines across the southern Arabian peninsula from that source.  It will likely, as a post-tropical system, dump rain across war ravaged Yemen.  Here’s the forecast swath map …

Sunday Storms (22 Sept 2019)

Here’s the view from GOES East mid-morning Sunday … four systems are visible (and labeled):

All are just tropical storms (or invest areas in the case of the blob off of Africa). Jerry is likely to brush by Bermuda as a tropical storm (didn’t Humberto just do that, albeit as as full blown hurricane?).  Karen is causing rain and gusty winds across the southern Windward islands, but is likely to bring tropical storm force winds to Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands on Tuesday.  They are under a tropical storm watch, so take appropriate precautions.  After that the storm is projected to head due north, then stall out south of Bermuda, giving them another storm to worry about, and the SEUS something to chatter about until the track guidance resolves.  Mario is falling apart, and will likely be just a remnant in a few hours.  AL90 is forecast to become a storm later today or tomorrow, but it’s on the other side of the Atlantic right now and early tracking indicates it will turn northwards rather than do the scary “Cape Verde” storm route.

Here are the Stribog model impact maps for Jerry and Karen … the big fan-out increase in size by Jerry is more due to the fancy oblique projection rather than the storm really exploding in size.  But it does make a more dramatic picture 😛


Bermuda, Leeward Islands, Mexico, and Japan … (TC’s for Thu 19 Sept)

Lots going on with two landfalls. Humberto is now moving away from Bermuda, after knocking power out, high waves and surge right on the coast, but damage seems light so far.   Lorena is brushing the west coast of Mexico, mostly a rain and coastal wave thing, and will hit Baja.  Damage should not be catastrophic (of course, if it’s your house, it’s a different story, but here we look at the big picture).  In things to come, the Leeward Islands of the Caribbean (Barbuda, Anguilla, St. Maarten/St. Martin, St. Barthelemy, Saba and St. Eustatius) have tropical storm watches in place since Jerry, as a hurricane, should pass close enough to cause tropical storm force winds and surf.  In the West Pacific, Tropical Depression 18 should become a tropical storm today before moving rapidly north and impacting Japan.    Otherwise, the main area of concern is the human-caused storm building on the Arabian Peninsula … and of course please don’t forget the ongoing recovery efforts in The Bahamas.

Here’s the maps:

Humberto, Imelda, and Jerry: Wed. Morning 18 Sept 2019

Humberto is on the way to brush Bermuda today, Imelda’s remnants are dumping rain on Texas, and Jerry is mid-Atlantic, might brush the Leeward Islands on its way to where ever it ends up, which at the moment doesn’t look like the US or Bahamas.  Monitor the National Hurricane Center’s “Key Messages” for the latest … the Near East Asia (Middle East) mess is distracting me right now so updates might less frequent than usual unless there is a serious threat.  Which, aside from flash flooding in Texas, there isn’t right now …

Tropical Cyclone Watch, Tuesday 17 Sep 2019

Although there are only two active storms this morning, one in the Atlantic and one in the East Pacific, there are a lot of disturbances with the potential to spin up in the next day or so. In the Atlantic, Humberto is generating some wave at rip currents along the US Southeastern coast, and may impact Bermuda later this week.  The rest of the Northeast US and Canadian Maritime Provinces will see waves from Humberto this week as well.

The disturbance about halfway between Africa and the Windward Islands is on the verge of becoming a tropical depression.  There is a system lingering on the Texas coast but the NHC only gives it a 30% chance of becoming tropical enough to call it a depression before it moves inland.

Hurricane Kiko is in that vast expanse of ocean between Mexico and Hawai’i, but not expected to make it to the Islands.  There are a couple of disturbances off of Mexico and Central America that the NHC is probably going to start advisories on later today or tomorrow.  And south of Hawi’i there are three weak disturbances, but none have much of a chance to spin up.

In the West Pacific, Piepah dissipated south of Japan, although another storm may spin up east of the Philippines that may impact Japan in a couple of days.

Bottom line: unless you are in Bermuda, or the west coast of Mexico/El Salvador/Guatemala, nothing to worry about at the moment.

Tropical Update, including Tropical Storm #Humberto

Although it disrupted relief operations, fortunately t looks like the worst stayed away from the Dorian ravaged areas.  The storm turning out to sea, towards Bermuda, which may have to deal with a hurricane Wednesday night into Thursday on the present track.  Here’s the forecast impact swath …

Elsewhere, there is a weak storm off of Japan, a stronger storm in off of Mexico moving away from land (Hurricane Kiko), and some waves in the Atlantic, only one of which has significant potential to spin up later in the week (60% chance per NHC).  There is a blob in the Gulf of Mexico that will bring rain to the Texas coast, but not likely to evolve beyond blobdom (that’s a technical term).