Hurricane Season began June 1. Last year, there were 16 named storms in the North Atlantic with half of those becoming hurricanes at some time during their lives. 7 struck the United States and an eight skirted the east coast briefly. Here is the archive of the 2008 Hurricane Season. The most ferocious for the US was Hurricane Ike and if you like, here is a link to a gallery of Hurricane Ike video and Hurricane Ike photos. The average for tropical activity has been some 10 named storms with 6 becoming hurricanes. The general thought in research circles is that there is about a 30 year cycle of hurricane activity and that it was long forecast that activity would turn to the more active 30 year cycle starting in the mid 1990’s and that seems to have come about. People forget that Hurricane Andrew, while a strong hurricane, was just the first of the season and that was not until late August 1992. Just a few years later, we had a record number of named storms in the North Atlantic and its been active ever since.
Dr. William Gray at Colorado State University has long been considered an expert at hurricane forecasting with his Tropical Meteorology Project. This year, the 2009 Hurricane Forecast predicts 14 named storms with 6 hurricanes, two of which will become major hurricanes. There is no predictability on landfalling hurricanes. This forecast holds with the theory of the North Atlantic being in the active hurricane cycle but the number is supressed as a weak El Nino was anticipated as the season unfolds. It has been determined that an El Nino event in the Pacific tends to curtail tropical activity in the North Atlantic.
None of this has any relation to Global Warming. However, Mr. Gore and others have speculated that Global Warming would result in more hurricanes and also more intense hurricanes. In recent years, there has been an increase in North Atlantic tropical activity. Many with a US based world view point to this as evidence of Global Warming. However, the number of tropical systems in the Eastern Pacific has been supressed during that time as has been the case in other parts of the world. So, it is held by many that the increase in the North Atlantic has its roots in the natural cycle rather than other factors.
Last year, A meteorologist with NOAA who had apparently been an advocate of a link between Global Warming and an increase in Hurricane Intensity and the numbers of hurricanes now has a new report that says the opposite. Tom Knutson even says that warmer temperatures could decrease hurricane activity and their landfall. That last part is something that I cannot fathom how anyone could make the statement..but he did. Anyway, here is the article with some other links to the study. This guy’s new report may be more of an indication that the wheels may be falling off the Al Gore Juggernaut.
So, now it’s official from NOAA, El Nino is upon us. What that typically means is a risk for big storms on the Pacific Northwest coast this winter along with a cooler and wetter winter season for the southern plains, among other things. One of those other things is a limitation of tropical development in the Atlantic basin. The experts took the notion of a weak El Nino into consideration when they made their initial forecast. Can we expect a dramatic revision downward in the hurricane forecast or is the El Nino data in line with their supposition? Personally, I’m not so sure that humans have enough understanding of the atmosphere and factors involved in tropical storm development to be making long term tropical forecasts. The forecasts get revised every so often during the year so at the end, they come close, but the initial prognostications are often way way off. We’ll see. It’s still pretty early in the hurricane season and lack of activity through mid July by no means is a predictor for the rest of the season, which typically peeks in early September.
On This Date In History: In recent years, we have heard the “I” word tossed about rather liberally. That word is impeach.
President Andrew Johnson was impeached but was not convicted by one vote. President Clinton was impeached but also avoided removal from office as the Senate did not vote for conviction. Today, we haven’t heard of anyone calling for the impeachment of the current president or vice-president. Yet. Someone probably will before President Obama’s 4 years are up. There were certainly those who wanted to impeach President Bush and even Vice-President Cheney. These calls came from allegations of malfeasance. But on this date in 1804, there is no doubt about it…the Vice-President of the United States gunned down Revolutionary War hero Alexander Hamilton.
Hamilton had been an aide-de-camp of Washington during the war and later led a crucial attack at the Battle of Yorktown. He became the first Secretary of the Treasury and served in that capacity for 6 years before retiring. He then formed the Federalist Party, the first political party in America. He detested Thomas Jefferson and the two developed what became known as Hamiltonian ideals and Jeffersonian ideals. Basically, Hamilton wanted a strong central government and Jefferson was for a weak central government with most of the power belonging to the states. Today, Jefferson must be spinning in his grave.
Anyway, in 1804, Burr was the sitting Vice-President under Jefferson and Hamilton had made some unsavory remarks about Burr, who responded with a challenge to a duel! Hamilton had been famous for dueling but had ironically pushed to outlaw the practice in New York. So, Hamilton and Burr went across the river to New Jersey. On this date in 1804, two shots rang out in Weehawken, New Jersey. Hamilton lay mortally wounded. There is great speculation regarding the incident as many suggest that Hamilton missed on purpose as he was a veteran duelist and a good shot. But there were procedures if one was to desire to not shoot one’s opponent. Hamilton did not follow the procedures. Witnesses could not determine who fired first. But what did happen, is that Burr was forced to stay out of New York for the remainder of his term as murder charges were filed. He is now left to nothing more as a footnote to history, though he was later tried for treason. Alexander Hamilton, on the other hand, has lived in immortality as the face of the ten dollar bill.
Henry Clay in 1809 was in a Kentucky duel. He was lucky. Both he and his opponent were lousy shots.
While Dick Cheney did in fact shoot his friend with a shotgun blast, the calls for his impeachment had nothing to do with his shooting prowess.
Weather Bottom Line: Saturday is here and a cold front is on its way. By 9 am it appeared on the radar that a line of t’storm was trying to form along the front between a strong line that extended from near Cleveland and Indy and another cluster associated with a shortwave on the front that was in Southern Illinois. This would suggest that the risk for t’storms with the initial frontal approach will be in the late afternoon or evening in the Louisville region, which will be the heat of the day. Guess here is that wind will be the main severe risk with perhaps some hail. The SPC doesn’t have us in the risk for tornadic activity but, I can tell you that studies have shown that a large number of the twisters that happen in our area are little guys that spin up and go away quickly along bow echoes…so I wouldn’t put that concern totally to bed. Nevertheless, if you get damage from wind in a small tornado or strong straight line winds or a downburst, the results are the same so it’s really not relevant except that people like say they were hit by a tornado rather
than strong wind. Guess it sounds sexier. Anyway, the local NWS office puts the threat between 1 pm and 9 pm and I suspect that John Gordon’s folks are looking at the same line that I am. Now, what will happen is that the front will get hung up near our area so the threat for t’storms will be with us for several days as little short waves move along the stalled boundary. The threats each day will be dependent on the timing of the waves and the exact position of where the front will be lined up and forecasting that at this point is above my paygrade and more of a crap shoot call for anyone, so I shant try to pinpoint that as it will probably be wavering about.
DAY 1 CONVECTIVE OUTLOOK
NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK
0736 AM CDT SAT JUL 11 2009
VALID 111300Z – 121200Z
…THERE IS A SLGT RISK OF SVR TSTMS ACROSS PARTS OF THE NORTHEAST
INTO OH VALLEY…
…THERE IS A SLGT RISK OF SVR TSTMS OVER THE CENTRAL HIGH PLAINS…
…NORTHEAST ACROSS THE CENTRAL APPALACHIANS/OH RIVER VALLEY…
MID LEVEL HEIGHT FALLS WILL OVERSPREAD THE LOWER GREAT LAKES AND
MUCH OF THE NORTHEAST THIS PERIOD AHEAD OF STRONG SHORTWAVE TROUGH
AND ASSOCIATED MID/UPPER LEVEL JET ALREADY NOSING ACROSS THE
LAKES REGION. MORNING VISIBLE IMAGERY INDICATES MOSTLY CLEAR/PARTLY
CLOUDY SKIES WILL SUPPORT HEATING THROUGH THE 70S F INTO MUCH OF
PA/NY AHEAD OF SURFACE COLD FRONT NOW ADVANCING EWD ACROSS
ONTARIO/LOWER MI…WITH 80-90F TEMPS SWWD INTO THE OH RIVER VALLEY.
AS AIR MASS DESTABILIZES THROUGH THE MID/LATE MORNING…SEVERE
THREAT SHOULD STEADILY INCREASE INTO THE EARLY AFTERNOON FROM
PORTIONS OF OH INTO WRN-CENTRAL PA/NY. FORECAST SOUNDINGS INDICATE
SHEAR WILL BECOME QUITE STRONG WITH EFFECTIVE SHEAR OF 40-50 KT
SUPPORTING A THREAT OF SUPERCELLS AND SMALL BOW ECHOES. ACTIVITY
WILL INCREASE IN COVERAGE AND INTENSITY THROUGH THE DAY AND SPREAD
ESEWD WITH SEVERE THREAT WANING AFTER DARK. LARGE HAIL AND DAMAGING
WINDS WILL BE PRIMARY THREATS…ALTHOUGH STRONG LOW LEVEL SHEAR
UNDER 35-40 KT SWLY LLJ SUGGESTS A FEW TORNADOES REMAIN POSSIBLE.
FARTHER SWWD INTO THE OH RIVER VALLEY…REGION WILL REMAIN ON
FRINGES OF LARGE SCALE SUPPORT ASSOCIATED WITH NRN STREAM SHORTWAVE
TROUGH SKIRTING THE NORTHEAST. HOWEVER…AREA WILL REMAIN UNDER
MODEST FLOW ALOFT AND SUPPORT A RISK OF A FEW ORGANIZED
CLUSTERS/LINES OF SEVERE STORMS WITH ACTIVITY INCREASING AHEAD OF
SLOWING SURFACE COLD FRONT SAGGING SWD INTO THE OH RIVER VALLEY THIS
…CENTRAL HIGH PLAINS INTO THE NRN HIGH PLAINS…
STRONG-SEVERE STORMS ARE ONGOING AT DAYBREAK OVER SWRN SD WHICH ARE
EXPECTED TO WEAKEN DURING THE MORNING. MORE ROBUST ACTIVITY SHOULD
AWAIT AFTERNOON HEATING WITHIN MOIST UPSLOPE REGIME ACROSS MUCH OF
THE CENTRAL HIGH PLAINS. COMBINATION OF UPSLOPE FLOW AND ASCENT
AHEAD OF SUBTLE IMPULSES ROTATING AROUND PERIPHERY OF MID/UPPER
LEVEL HIGH PRESSURE OVER THE SRN HIGH PLAINS SHOULD SUPPORT
INCREASING STORMS LATER TODAY OFF THE HIGHER TERRAIN. SHEAR WILL BE
MORE THAN ADEQUATE FOR SUPERCELLS…WITH EVENTUAL EVOLUTION INTO A
FEW CLUSTERS/LINES PERSISTING EWD INTO THE CENTRAL PLAINS WITH
DIMINISHING SEVERE THREAT OVERNIGHT.
OVER THE NRN HIGH PLAINS…WV IMAGERY INDICATES SHORTWAVE TROUGH
DIGGING SEWD ACROSS THE CANADIAN PRAIRIES EARLY THIS MORNING WHICH
IS FORECAST TO SKIRT ND/NRN MN OVERNIGHT. REGION REMAINS UNDER
INFLUENCE OF SURFACE HIGH PRESSURE THIS MORNING WITH RESULTANT DRY
SURFACE CONDITIONS. HOWEVER…ALONG WRN PERIPHERY OF THIS HIGH
SUFFICIENT HEATING/MOISTENING MAY OCCUR AHEAD OF DIGGING IMPULSE FOR
MARGINAL INSTABILITY AND THE POTENTIAL FOR A FEW STRONGER STORMS
INTO THE EVENING. SWLY LLJ IS FORECAST TO INTENSIFY ACROSS SD
OVERNIGHT AND MAY FEED ELEVATED TSTMS INTO PORTIONS OF MN WITH
POTENTIAL FOR HAIL IN THE STRONGER STORMS EARLY SUNDAY MORNING.