23 October 2013

Lorenzo, and an update on the season

On Monday morning, Tropical Storm Lorenzo formed in the middle of the Atlantic (it was initially Tropical Depression 13).  The closest reference point would be Bermuda, but it was even 650 miles southeast of that.  Today, Lorenzo remains a weak tropical storm, and is in a hostile environment with 30kts of vertical shear.  A recent satellite image shows an exposed surface circulation with all of the thunderstorm activity displaced well to the southeast.

As of 5am today, the intensity estimate was 45kts, and it's forecast to weaken/dissipate over the next couple of days.  It will remain very far from any land.  To put its location in another perspective, it's 1900 miles due east of Daytona Beach, FL... the same distance as it is between New York City and Salt Lake City.

As an aside, one year ago today I was writing about newly-formed Tropical Storm Sandy when it was south of Jamaica.  For a haunting trip down memory lane, here's my blog post from October 23, 2012.  Sandy's U.S. landfall occurred on October 29, six days after that post was written.

In the big picture, the season remains extremely quiet... one of the quietest on record.  Although we've had twelve named storms, there have been just two short-lived Category 1 hurricanes, and no major hurricanes (Cat3+).  Going back to 1950, only four other seasons had zero major hurricanes: 1968, 1972, 1986, and 1994.  Of course, this season isn't over yet and we could still have one or more major hurricanes, but as of now, 2013 joins this short list.  In terms of ACE, the season is at about 30% of an average season for this date, and there is nothing expected to form in the foreseeable future.

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