10 September 2012

Peak of season comes with Hurricane Michael, TS Leslie, and almost-TD14

Today is the climatological peak of the Atlantic hurricane season.  On average, this is the date when you're most likely to have tropical cyclone activity, and 2012 is no exception.  In fact, we nearly have one of each flavor!  We're extremely close to having Tropical Depression 14 in the eastern Atlantic, Tropical Storm Leslie north of Bemuda, and Hurricane Michael west of the Azores.

In this graph, the red curve represents tropical storm activity, while the yellow is for hurricanes.  There are still 81 days left in the official hurricane season, which ends on Nov 30.

Group photo of Leslie, Michael, and TD14-to-be.


Leslie never did reintensify to a hurricane, and passed 150 miles east of Bermuda on midday Sunday as a strong tropical storm.  The strongest sustained wind I could find on Bermuda was 34kts, with gusts to 47kts.  I'm including a radar image from when Leslie was at its closest approach.  The full long loop can be found here.

It is now on its way toward Canada... a hurricane watch and tropical storm warning have been issued for eastern Newfoundland. 


Michael has very slowly weakened, but is still hanging onto hurricane status.  It's a 70kt Category 1 storm now, and is forecast to become extratropical by Wednesday.  It has been a hurricane for four days now, which isn't bad considering its dismal extratropical origins.  It's presently about 1100 miles west of the Azores and heading W at 7kts.


The easterly wave that exited Africa on the 6th did indeed get organized in a hurry, as models predicted.  It will soon become TD14, and is located about 1500 miles east of the Lesser Antilles.

Models are in excellent agreement on the track, and show it heading WNW for the next couple days, then recurving by the time it reaches about 55W (a track in between Kirk's and Leslie's).  They also agree on this becoming TS Nadine very soon, then a hurricane in 3-4 days.  It will not be a threat to land.


In terms of ACE (Accumulated Cyclone Energy), we're now at 78.6 compared to the climatological value of 49.6 for this date... that's 158% of average!  And, we're going to soon see the 14th named storm this week, which is also quite amazing.  Only about 10% of years ever reach the 14th named storm, and this year, that should be accomplished this week.  The only years that I could find that beat this date for formation of the 14th named storm were 1936 (Sep 10th) and 2011 (Sep 7th).

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