02 October 2014

Will quietest hurricane season in two decades continue in October?

Today's update on the status of the hurricane season so far and a look ahead can be found on the Capital Weather Gang blog:

Will quietest hurricane season in two decades continue in October?

As always, thanks for reading and sharing!

17 September 2014

Edouard becomes first major hurricane since 2012

On Tuesday morning at 11am EDT, Edouard was upgraded to a Category 3 hurricane (115mph).  A major hurricane is defined to be any Category 3-4-5 hurricane, and the last one was Sandy when it made landfall on eastern Cuba on October 25, 2012.

However, Edouard only held that intensity for 6 hours.  The last two major hurricanes (Sandy 2012 and Michael 2012) also each held that intensity for just 6 hours.  In one day, Hurricane Rina in October of 2011 racked up as much time as a major hurricane as all other storms combined did in the subsequent 1,064 days!

Visible satellite image over Edouard from 8:45am EDT. (NASA)
As of today at 5am EDT, Edouard's intensity is back down to 90mph.  It is centered about 600 miles northeast of Bermuda and heading northeast at 20mph.
It will continue to weaken over decreasing water temperatures and increasing wind shear as it accelerates to the northeast toward the Azores.

Edouard's activity brings the seasonal ACE (Accumulated Cyclone Energy) up to about 52% of average for this date.  So although 4 out of the 5 storms became hurricanes so far, the overall numbers and intensities are falling well short of average.

Only 1 of the 4 hurricanes made landfall anywhere (Arthur), but NONE of them have existed in the tropics!!  All four hurricanes formed north of 24N, a sign that the weak El Nino is suppressing activity in the tropical Atlantic, as expected.  The figure below shows the typical influence of El Nino on hurricane activity in the East Pacific and in the Atlantic... 2014 couldn't fit this any more perfectly!

Typical influence of El NiƱo on Pacific and Atlantic seasonal hurricane activity. (NOAA)
Elsewhere across the basin, there's an easterly wave about to exit the African coast today, and models generally develop it over the next few days, but not very aggressively.

15 September 2014

Edouard becomes strongest Atlantic hurricane in nearly 700 days

Since my last post on Friday morning, Edouard was upgraded to a Category 1 hurricane on Sunday afternoon, then again to a Category 2 hurricane early Monday morning.  Eduoard is the fifth named storm and the forth hurricane... the last time 4 out of the first 5 storms became hurricanes was 1996 (which coincidentally used the same name list as 2014)!

The intensity is currently estimated at 105mph, making it slightly stronger than Arthur back in July of this year, stronger than any storm in all of 2013, and tied with Sandy on the morning of October 29, 2012: 686 days ago.

As of 5am EDT today, Edouard is located about 700 miles east-southeast of Bermuda in the middle of the Atlantic.  The forecast track is shown below - recurving by 60W and staying very far away from any land.

Additional strengthening is likely, and within a day or two, Edouard could become a Category 3 (major) hurricane.  It would be the first major hurricane in the Atlantic since Sandy BRIEFLY reached that status when making landfall on eastern Cuba on October 25, 2012.

Visible satellite image of Hurricane Edouard from 8:15am EDT.  (NOAA)
The disturbance that was passing over southern Florida on Friday entered the Gulf and dissipated.  Aside from Edouard, there are no other areas of interest today.