11 October 2004

Matthew makes landfall, Nicole forms and passes by Bermuda...

Matthew, the storm that formed in the Gulf on Friday afternoon, was slow
to get organized, and hovered at the Depression/Storm boundary during
the entire northward trek toward the Gulf coast.  At 12Z on Sunday, TS
Matthew made landfall as a poorly organized storm near Houma, LA, 40
miles west of New Orleans.  It dumped about a foot of rain on LA and MS,
causing severe flooding, before dissipating inland.  This storm brought
the season's NTC up to 225.2%, still in third place behind 1926 and

Then on Sunday morning at 09Z, an area of interest near Bermuda for many
days was upgraded to Subtropical Storm Nicole.  Although it does receive
a name (a new convention started in 2002), a subtropical system is
fundamentally different from a tropical one... best described as a
hybrid between a tropical and extratropical storm.  The closest approach
to Bermuda was 55 miles, and did give the island a bit of inclement
weather, but I haven't heard of any damage reports.  Nicole never
transitioned to purely tropical, and is now extratropical.  Whether or
not Nicole will count toward NTC is still being debated, but if so, the
new value would be 227.5%.

Elsewhere in the basin, vertical wind shear dominates and will keep
things quiet for a while.  The next number/name on deck is 17/Otto.

Please visit my tropical Atlantic headquarters.

08 October 2004

Matthew forms in the Gulf of Mexico...

After several days of slow "brewing", a large area of disturbed weather
in the Bay of Campeche was upgraded to TS Matthew based on an aircraft
recon flight into it today.  This is the 13th named storm of the
season.  The center was at 24.2N 93.8W and tracking E at 9kts.  The
maximum sustained winds are 35kts and the MSLP is 1001mb.

The forecast is tricky because of its proximity to a large mid-latitude
trough that is imposing hefty vertical shear over it.  It should
maintain intensity or perhaps strengthen a bit (thanks to baroclinic
enhancement) as it heads generally NE, probably hitting the Florida
panhandle late Sunday night.

For those who have an interest in keeping track of NTC (Net Tropical
Cyclone activity), the season is up to 224.8% as of 21Z today... still
3rd place overall since 1900.

Please visit my tropical Atlantic headquarters.

01 October 2004

Lisa becomes a hurricane...

After nearly 10 full days as a Tropical Storm, Lisa was finally upgraded
to a minimal hurricane at 21Z today, the 8th of the season.  This
upgrade was based solely on satellite appearance, which has become more
symmetric and convective the past few hours.  Current position is 38.4N
45.1W and tracking NE at 19kts.  She will soon become a strong
extratropical cyclone and that will be the end of this long-lived
storm.  Intensity is estimated at 65kts and 987mb, but should quickly
deteriorate as she heads north.

In terms of NTC (Net Tropical Cyclone activity), 2004 has now beat 1961,
1933, and 1995 with a value of 222.3%.  The years remaining in second
place are 1926 (229%) and in first place 1950 (230%).  But the key to
remember is that there are still two more months until the hurricane
season offically ends, so the all-time NTC record could fall this year.

Please visit my tropical Atlantic headquarters.