Archive for August, 2008

What a Surprise…More Rain’s Expected
August 31, 2008

Whether it’s a complex of thunderstorms, or a possible decaying hurricane, we’re a safe bet this year to see significant rainfall across the area.  The summer has been above average with precipitation, so why would we deviate from that trend going into the fall? 

Take a look at the Hydrological Prediction Center’s precipitation outlook for this week.  Depending on Gustav’s track, we’ll be in line for heavy rainfall and unseasonably cooler temperatures.  Right now the computer model guidance places the heaviest rainfall across SE OK and SW AR.

We’re going to have a beautiful Labor Day with highs in the mid to upper 80’s and lower 90’s; however, expect the high clouds to increase from the southeast in advance of Gustav.  Rain and storms ramp up late Tuesday into Wednesday; and will likely linger throughout the rest of the week. 

The WRF shows Gustav and a cold front merging together over our area toward the middle of the week.  These two features will really help to keep the clouds and rain going.

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GUSTAV CAT4
August 31, 2008

Hurricane Gustav strengthened from a minimal CAT1 storm to a CAT4 in about 24 hours which is quite unprecedented. As the storm passed over western Cuba the clearly visible eye became disrupted and cloud filled.  Now that the storm is in the Gulf it will likely re-intensify to at least a strong CAT4 or possibly a CAT5 storm with sustained winds over 156 mph.  They have been as high as 150 mph, though interactions with Cuba set them back to 140 mph.  Gustav will be moving over a very warm region of up-welled water from the “loop current”.  This same oceanic feature was in-part responsible for the CAT5 magnitude obtained by both Katrina and Rita in 2005.  The map above highlights winds aloft, which are Southwesterly, flowing around a High to the Northeast.  Gustav will be steered to the NW, traveling around the periphery of the High.

 

 

The center is quite visible on water vapor imagery; the bright colors around the high are cold cloud tops of the intense convection surrounding the eye.  This is where the strongest winds are located.  It’s thought that very close to the eye, meso-vortices or smaller scale spins rotate around the eye in larger Hurricanes; it is believed that this where the greatest wind damage stems from.  Hurricane Andrew left visual tracks within the debris field of such features.

 

 

 

 

 

The official track has Gustav making landfall sometime during the day on Monday.  The model guidance has only become tighter in consistency, inferring confidence that landfall will be somewhere along the Louisiana coast.  Should the eye of the storm hit to the west of New Orleans, as presently forecasted, the city could see worse damage, destruction and flooding than what was produced by Katrina.  The NE quadrant of the storm, which New Orleans would be subjected to, packs the greatest winds, highest storm surge and often the most rain.

 

GUSTAV… gaining steam
August 30, 2008

Gustav has now become well-organized and is strengthening; it’s likely that sometime over the next few hours and into the overnight period that Gustav will develop an eye. Wind shear is low over the storm and the only land mass that could impact the storm at this point is western Cuba.  Some weakening could occur as the storm interacts with land, though a stretch of very warm water lies in the projected path there afterwards.  This will be the case until the storm makes landfall late Monday or early Tuesday.

 

 

 

KATRINA… just three years ago
August 29, 2008

URGENT – WEATHER MESSAGE NATIONAL WEATHER
SERVICE NEW ORLEANS LA 1011
AM CDT SUN AUG 28 2005
…DEVASTATING DAMAGE EXPECTED…
HURRICANE KATRINA…A MOST POWERFUL HURRICANE WITH UNPRECEDENTED STRENGTH…RIVALING THE INTENSITY OF HURRICANE CAMILLE OF 1969.

MOST OF THE AREA WILL BE UNINHABITABLE FOR WEEKS…PERHAPS LONGER. AT LEAST ONE HALF OF WELL CONSTRUCTED HOMES WILL HAVE ROOF AND WALL FAILURE. ALL GABLED ROOFS WILL FAIL…LEAVING THOSE HOMES SEVERELY DAMAGED OR DESTROYED.

THE MAJORITY OF INDUSTRIAL BUILDINGS WILL BECOME NON FUNCTIONAL. PARTIAL TO COMPLETE WALL AND ROOF FAILURE IS EXPECTED. ALL WOOD FRAMED LOW RISING APARTMENT BUILDINGS WILL BE DESTROYED. CONCRETE BLOCK LOW RISE APARTMENTS WILL SUSTAIN MAJOR DAMAGE…INCLUDING SOME WALL AND ROOF FAILURE.

HIGH RISE OFFICE AND APARTMENT BUILDINGS WILL SWAY DANGEROUSLY…A FEW TO THE POINT OF TOTAL COLLAPSE. ALL WINDOWS WILL BLOW OUT.

AIRBORNE DEBRIS WILL BE WIDESPREAD…AND MAY INCLUDE HEAVY ITEMS SUCH AS HOUSEHOLD APPLIANCES AND EVEN LIGHT VEHICLES. SPORT UTILITY VEHICLES AND LIGHT TRUCKS WILL BE MOVED. THE BLOWN DEBRIS WILL CREATE ADDITIONAL DESTRUCTION. PERSONS…PETS…AND LIVESTOCK EXPOSED TO THE WINDS WILL FACE CERTAIN DEATH IF STRUCK.

POWER OUTAGES WILL LAST FOR WEEKS…AS MOST POWER POLES WILL BE DOWN AND TRANSFORMERS DESTROYED. WATER SHORTAGES WILL MAKE HUMAN SUFFERING INCREDIBLE BY MODERN STANDARDS.

THE VAST MAJORITY OF NATIVE TREES WILL BE SNAPPED OR UPROOTED. ONLY THE HEARTIEST WILL REMAIN STANDING…BUT BE TOTALLY DEFOLIATED. FEW CROPS WILL REMAIN. LIVESTOCK LEFT EXPOSED TO THE WINDS WILL BEKILLED.

AN INLAND HURRICANE WIND WARNING IS ISSUED WHEN SUSTAINED WINDS NEAR HURRICANE FORCE…OR FREQUENT GUSTS AT OR ABOVE HURRICANE FORCE…ARE CERTAIN WITHIN THE NEXT 12 TO 24 HOURS.

ONCE TROPICAL STORM AND HURRICANE FORCE WINDS ONSET…DO NOT VENTURE OUTSIDE!

 

 

 

TODAY’S STORM CHANCES
August 29, 2008

SURFACE MAP

The cold front is now moving through SW Missouri and SE Kansas. It will move through our viewing area today and give us a good chance for showers and storms. Are we expecting any severe thunderstorms? Here is the very latest:

FRIDAY AFTERNOON PRECIPITATION FORECAST

FRIDAY AFTERNOON CONVECTIVE AVAILABLE POTENTIAL ENERGY (CAPE)

CAPE shows us how much energy is available to create strong winds and hail. We will have some CAPE, but not enough to warrant a major severe weather outbreak. We could get some strong winds and small hail, but our tornado threat will be very low. Not a lot of rotation expected today…here is a look at the latest Helicity forecast.

FRIDAY AFTERNOON HELICITY

Friday’s Severe Weather Threat
August 29, 2008

Even though the SPC doesn’t have our area in a slight risk for severe weather, we still feel there may be isolated strong to possibly severe storms for Friday afternoon and evening. 

Upper level winds really tell the story when it comes to widespread severe weather.  Tomorrow the strong winds aloft remain to the north, so no outbreak of severe weather is expected.  The cold front and the sunshine will couple together to produce the showers and storms; however, weak windshear will keep most storms from becoming severe.

CAPE values still warrant the potential for small hail; the CAPE will be heavily dependent on the sunshine.  Higher CAPE is a signal for stronger updrafts.  Moisture is already in place, so strong storms that do fire will likely produce hail and damaging winds, especially along the front.

Gustav’s visiting Jamaica
August 29, 2008

Gustav has now pushed slightly to the Southwest away from Haiti and is now moving West over Jamaica at 7 mph.  The consensus among model tracks as well as the National Hurricane center’s official track, takes Gustav to the WNW, clipping the western section of Cuba.  After this point, the storm will be in the Gulf.  Presently there is a great amount of warm water (above 85 F in places) in the forecasted path of Gustav, which could rapidly intensify the presumed Hurricane.  We may see remnants of Gustav interact with a trough and associated front, producing heavy rain over our area by the middle of next week.

 

 

TROPICAL DEPRESSION #8…HANNA
August 28, 2008

The tropics are extremely active this week. Not only are we watching Gustav, but now a new tropical depression has been introduced and this will become a tropical storm later today (Hanna). Here is the latest track from the National Hurricane Center:

We could possibly be dealing with 2 hurricanes hitting the United States around the same time. This is an unbelievable set-up and we will be following this possible situation very closely; keep checking the best local weather blog for the latest!

Strong Storms Possible Friday
August 27, 2008

A frontal boundary is slowly moving our way for Friday.  This front will act as a focus for showers and storms for Friday afternoon; this may also help to produce strong to severe storms!

The map above is a model projection for CAPE values.  High CAPE values usually indicate the potential for strong updrafts.  The stronger the updraft the better the chance for hail.  Small hail and gusty winds may accompany the strongest storms.  If we break out into a partly cloudy sky, we’ll likely have to deal with isolated strong to severe storms throughout the afternoon and evening.

LATEST ON T.S. GUSTAV…
August 27, 2008

Gustav did weaken through the overnight; thanks to some shearing from mountains in Haiti. Unfortunately he will not continue to weaken, but continue to strengthen over the next 48 hours.

CARIBBEAN WATCHES/WARNINGS

Here is look at the watches and warnings that Gustav has created. For Haiti and Jamaica only tropical storm warnings, but for Cuba there are hurricane warnings. This shows us that strengthening will take place as he moves northwest. He could become a Category 3 Hurricane by Sunday as he makes his way into the Gulf of Mexico! We are going to watch him very closely, so make sure you keep on checking the blog for the very latest.

LATEST VISIBLE SATELLITE IMAGE

LATEST NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER TRACK