12 October 2016

Hurricane Nicole heading for Bermuda

Nicole formed eight days ago, just as Matthew was hitting Haiti and Cuba, so its existence was overshadowed by Matthew for much of its lifetime. But since Sunday, it has been the only active storm in the Atlantic, and is poised to strike Bermuda as a Category 2 hurricane on Thursday.

Wednesday morning sunrise on Hurricane Nicole.
As of the 8am EDT advisory, Nicole's peak winds are up to 100 mph, and it is just 320 miles from Bermuda.  "Landfall", or closest approach, is expected on Thursday afternoon, but rainbands are already reaching out to the island. A hurricane warning is in effect, and in addition to the winds, 4-8" of rain is forecast, as well as significant storm surge.

I have long, updating radar loops from Bermuda available at http://andrew.rsmas.miami.edu/bmcnoldy/tropics/radar/

Bermuda has had an unusually rough past decade compared to climatology there, with six hurricane encounters: Karl 2016, Joaquin 2015, Gonzalo 2014, Fay 2014, Igor 2010, and Florence 2006.  For a tiny speck in the ocean, I'm sure they're hoping for the unlucky streak to end after Nicole.

By the numbers, the season thus far has had 14 named storms, 6 hurricanes, and 2 major hurricanes (defined to be Category 3+ on the Saffir-Simpson scale).  Climatologically by this date, an average season would be at 10 named storms, 5 hurricanes, and 2 major hurricanes.  And then in terms of ACE, or Accumulated Cyclone Energy, the season is now at about 127% of average for October 12th.  Matthew contributed an impressive 43% of the season's total, and just two storms (Gaston and Matthew) contributed 65% of the total.

The next name on this season's list is Otto, but as of now, there is no new activity expected in at least the coming week.

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