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Watching the Tropics

By: Bogon , 3:03 PM GMT en Agosto 04, 2012

It's August, and suddenly we have three blobs to watch. It's time to put up the tropical season blog.

Some WU bloggers, like Skyepony, watch every hurricane and typhoon and cyclone around the world all year long. This blog mainly looks at the North Atlantic, and only during the peak of hurricane season. The Dry Slot is close enough to the beach to be affected by major storms coming up the East Coast. This page is where I keep a weather eye peeled for tropical systems headed my way.

Here are some maps and charts that I have found useful for tracking hurricanes and for evaluating risk. You can click each image to visit the web site where the information originates.

National Hurricane Center

NOAA Satellite and Information Service
Tropical Atlantic Rainbow Loop

University of Wisconsin - Madison
Cooperative Institute for Meteororological Satellite Studies
Morphed Integrated Microwave Imagery at CIMSS (MIMIC)
Total Precipitable Water - North Atlantic, Last 72 Hours

NOAA Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory
Tropical Cyclone Heat Potential
Depth 26°C Isotherm
NOTE: this image does not update automatically. Click for the latest version.

Michael Ventrice, SUNY at Albany
 TRMM rain rates (shaded)
 GFS 200hPa wind anomalies (vectors)
 Kelvin filtered VP200 anomalies (contours)

National Weather Service Climate Prediction Center
Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO)
Infrared/200 HectoPascals Velocity Potential Anomalies

Forty Day Wheeler & Hendon Phase Chart

Forty Day Empirical Wave Propagation Forecast

Previous Entry

The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

Reader Comments

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199. WunderAlertBot (Admin)
9:14 PM GMT en Noviembre 06, 2012
Bogon has created a new entry.
198. Bogon
1:32 PM GMT en Noviembre 06, 2012
Cloudy this morning and a mite chipper. I saw a blue jay in a gold tree. I wanted strenuously to take a picture, but some things are not meant to be. As I turned from the door, the bird flew away.

A month ago (give or take) Wife bought a picture painted by a local artist. It depicts a gold bird in a bare tree. The title of the painting is "The Moment Before".
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197. Bogon
12:39 PM GMT en Noviembre 05, 2012
Well, I hear the Panthers won one yesterday. Wife and I were on the road, so we didn't see the game. Is it still entertainment if you don't watch?

I don't know. I have mixed feelings about this subject. I certainly don't recommend that, as a culture, we should focus only on essential activity. Who decides what is essential? There are lots of optional activities that keep us going. We may regard things such as air, water, food and shelter as essential, but there are lots of little things (cookies!) that make life worth living. Sports, art, music, vacation, good food -- none of these is essential, strictly speaking. Though we might argue over how much is enough, few of us would wish to forgo them entirely.

I also want to acknowledge that there is at least one sense in which professional athletes, as individuals, earn their high pay. Their careers are brief. In some sports athletes run high risk of crippling injuries that will affect them the rest of their lives. Of course, anyone, in any walk of life, may sustain such an injury, and most of us never sign an autograph, let alone a million dollar contract.
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196. Barefootontherocks
3:46 AM GMT en Noviembre 05, 2012
Hi Bogon,
College athletes stay fit while they get a "paid for" education, so in a sense they earn compensation. A plus for the ones who actually finish a degree. I enjoy watching pro sports also, though it does seem like the "star" athletes earn way too much. Boils down to another form of entertainment I guess. But why are entertainers paid so much? Nevermind, too late on a Sunday to even think.

Thanks for the comment on my blog.
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195. Bogon
8:07 PM GMT en Noviembre 03, 2012

Oh, the Charlotte Bobcats. I had to Google that. Sez here the Bobcats just broke a twenty-three game losing streak. No wonder I haven't heard much about Bobcats lately.

To tell the truth, I have given up on trying to follow the Charlotte franchise. They used to be Hornets and maybe Cougars before that. Who can keep up?

I try to watch the Panthers once in a while, but it's a tough assignment. I mostly stick with college sports, especially Atlantic Coast Conference.

On further reflection I believe I may have a philosophical problem with the notion of professional sports. At the university level sports provide aspiring scholars with a fun way to stay fit. But for full grown men and women to spend all their time playing a game? That's not right. There must be some underlying problem with our culture, which not only permits that, but rewards the athletes with wealth and fame. Seems to me that our priorities are out of whack.
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194. Ylee
2:22 PM GMT en Noviembre 03, 2012
Shame you didn't take your camerea, Bogon, but I can easily get my snow fix by looking at all The WU West Virginia pics!

The Bobcats won....
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193. Bogon
1:49 PM GMT en Noviembre 03, 2012
Wife and I are back at Mom's for the weekend. Didn't bring my camera this time, or I could have taken pictures of snow. Some of you may remember snow from last winter. It's that cold, white stuff.

We got here after dark last night. There was no sign of snow anywhere until we turned down the narrow back road that leads to Mom's house. The last five miles of our journey were accompanied by white blobs piled onto the shoulder of the road by a Madison County snow plow.

Now that the sun has risen, I can see snow all around. It's patchy. It's had days to begin melting, but it lingers in the long shade cast by low winter sun. Across the valley on the north side of a mountain sits an unblemished white meadow beside a white church.
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192. Bogon
9:30 PM GMT en Noviembre 01, 2012
Hi, BF. Yesterday Mom's caregivers were able to come and go. Her regular daytime caregiver, who lives at or above four thousand feet, was still snowbound.

For those of you who may have missed the Frankenstorm, here's an instant replay.

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191. Barefootontherocks
5:59 PM GMT en Noviembre 01, 2012
Hi Bogon,
Thanks for the leaves photo. Hope you saw the complement hurigo left you at my blog. Great photo. Good November to you.

Hope your Mom and her caregivers are doing okay in the snow.
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190. Bogon
4:13 PM GMT en Noviembre 01, 2012
Thanks for the holiday wishes. Wife and I had a pleasant evening. The spooks didn't bother us.

Proserpina - I decided to recycle October photos into Halloween greetings. Some of them were more specifically Halloween-related than others, but generic autumn photos seemed to work well enough. It gave them a chance to do more than languish in the archives. And it gave me a chance to wander down memory lane. :o)

Leaves are whirling around my lawn. Need to find out when the city plans to send the big Hoover truck around my neighborhood.
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189. Proserpina
1:12 PM GMT en Noviembre 01, 2012
"Dull November brings the blast,
Then the leaves are whirling fast."
- Sara Coleridge


Bogon, yesterday I followed your Fall photos on the blogs. Love each and every one of them.
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188. Ylee
9:59 PM GMT en Octubre 31, 2012
Happy Halloween, Bogon!

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187. RobDaHood
8:59 PM GMT en Octubre 31, 2012
Happy Halloween Bogon!
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186. Proserpina
6:41 PM GMT en Octubre 31, 2012

Ghostly Greetings!
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185. Bogon
2:55 PM GMT en Octubre 31, 2012
Sunshine! The National Weather Service was right.

We have a door on the east side of our house which we open on sunny mornings. It lets in the light, and the cats like to laze on the warm floor.

Shucks, it's still raining in Maine. That rain is bound to stop sooner or later. Please judge my previous comment more by literary than by short-term meteorological criteria.

Happy Halloween!

To all of you whose lives were recently shattered by superstorm Sandy, I realize that happiness may be an unrealistic expectation. I hope that you can find help and solace and human kindness, and that your day will end better than it started.
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184. Bogon
2:41 PM GMT en Octubre 30, 2012
This could be it for the tropical watch blog.

The NHC map at the top of the page is bare, empty.

The ITCZ has dried up past 30° west longitude. Not much happening in the Atlantic at all.

The rain in Maine is plainly on the wane.
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183. Bogon
1:21 PM GMT en Octubre 30, 2012
Update from Mom: four or five inches of snow on the ground with more falling. Electricity is still on. No television because the satellite dish is full of snow. Caregiver A, who spent the night with Mom, is unable to drive home. Caregiver B, who would normally have come to relieve Caregiver A this morning, is snowbound at home. Mom was going to loan Caregiver A a pair of boots to go outside and sweep off the satellite dish.
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182. Bogon
12:41 PM GMT en Octubre 30, 2012
It's garbage day in the Dry Slot, so I got up before dawn to take the garbage out. (Forgot to do it last night.) Last night I fell asleep to the sound of the wind. This morning it's not very windy, and it's not very cold. It's still doing the drizzly thing. I could feel little droplets falling on my head, but I doubt you would need windshield wipers in your car.

The local forecast via Weather Underground says the temperature outside is forty degrees (~4 C). Don't know how WU found out. My usual source, the weather station at the county airport, has been offline for several days. (The last reported temperature from KBUY was 80°.) Now that I'm back in town, maybe I should go down there and offer to fix it.

Looks like I have a chore awaiting my attention in the back yard. Lots of fallen leaves and some broken limbs to pick up. Those doggone post oaks are messy, but they're quickly running out of leaves to dump. I was really hoping that Sandy would blow all those leaves away. Alas, no joy. :o(

Ylee, Mom's house is at 2400 feet. Yesterday the snow line was near 3000. Snow was falling on the northwest side of the Blue Ridge. Mom lives just behind that westernmost ridge, about three miles as the crow flies from the Tennessee line.

As I drove away eastward I took a look behind me. There are places along I-40 where you can see the mountains stretching away to the northeast toward Linville and Grandfather Mountain. There was no sign of snow on the southeast side.

The numbers you report are from the Great Smokies, which are south of Mom's location. In other words, Mom is closer to the storm. As I was preparing to depart, Mom told me they were expecting six inches. The Weather Service forecast for her area guarantees more snow today and tonight. Later today I plan to call Mom and ask her about the snowfall.
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181. Ylee
4:10 AM GMT en Octubre 30, 2012
According to the NWS, Mt. Leconte received 7" of snow today, while Newfound gap got 5"!

Do you know the elevation your mom lives on?
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180. Bogon
9:54 PM GMT en Octubre 29, 2012
Home again, home again, jiggedy-jig!

Snow was still falling when I departed Mom's house. The only place I saw any sign of accumulation was at Buckner Gap, which is a pass on I-26 north of Mars Hill, NC. There was a dusting of powdered sugar, either snow or rime, on some of the higher peaks.

Down at Mars Hill (lower altitude) the falling snow melted into rain. By the time I got to Asheville (thirty miles south), the roads were dry, and the clouds were broken enough to allow occasional glimpses of sunshine.

There was some wind in Asheville. Asheville lies in a broad, open valley where the wind can move without let or hindrance. It's the valley of the French Broad river. I don't know who the French broad was. The sign doesn't say.

The closer I got to home, the more noticeable the wind became. My car does a good job cheating the wind, but I bet people who were driving trucks and Winnebagos had a lot of extra work. There were occasional outbreaks of light drizzle, most of which were not worth starting my windshield wipers.

I stopped for gas when I exited the freeway. It's chilly out there tonight, especially on an open parking lot with the wind buffeting your ears. Had to zip up my jacket and put up the hood! :oD
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179. Bogon
2:09 PM GMT en Octubre 29, 2012
Good morning, Ylee. The NHC hedged its bets right up until the last minute, hoping the GFS would be right, and that Sandy really would turn away east out to sea. It was the European model which first defied history and precedent to paint the scenario we're all watching play out now.

It has been most interesting to see the stages our meteorologists went through with this storm. First was denial.

“Naw”, said one, “it can't do that! Hurricanes never do that. Sandy will escape beneath the blocking pattern. A new low will form off Cape Hatteras and become the nor'easter.”

When the models reached consensus, there was a good deal of throat clearing and grumbling. Then the forecasters all lined up and started issuing dire warnings of doom. After all, quite a few of them live in the path of this thing, which is surely a new experience for some of them.

Shore, I hope conditions are more clement wherever you are this morning. Indeed I do spy a few white flakes drifting outside my window. There's no accumulation, because the ground is wet and remains too warm. The precipitation should be all rain by the time I'm ready to travel.

There's a high wind warning here and a wind advisory posted for my destination. So far there has been no unusual wind here, but that could be because it's a north wind, and there's a mountain to the north behind Mom's house (like six feet from the back door). Asheville airport reports a northwest wind at 33 miles per hour gusting to 49 mph.

Thanks for the caution. I'm not looking forward to driving two hundred miles through wind and rain. Need to move, though. I have a dental appointment tomorrow, and I don't want to get snowbound.
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178. shoreacres
12:20 PM GMT en Octubre 29, 2012
Morning, Bogon - The first thing I heard when I turned on the tv here in Kansas is that snow is forecast for NC. I didn't hear any details, but thought I'd start checking in here. Looks like you're going to be fine, if a little cold with mussed hair and a scattering of tree limbs.

Amazing sqeeze play going on there. Drive safely on your way home.
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177. Ylee
10:36 AM GMT en Octubre 29, 2012
Nice graphic, Bogon! Unfortunately, you can see Sandy start to juke to the NE!

Sometimes I hate it when the NHC makes the right call! :(
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176. Bogon
10:22 AM GMT en Octubre 29, 2012
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175. Bogon
2:23 PM GMT en Octubre 28, 2012
Forecast for Mom's house:

539 AM EDT SUN OCT 28 2012


Forecast for my house (including Wife):



Forecast for the beach:

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174. Bogon
5:27 PM GMT en Octubre 27, 2012
I just returned from a grocery run to Mars Hill. That gave me a chance to survey the landscape. It was well after dark when I arrived at Mom's house Thursday night.

It was warm and sunny in the parking lot at the grocery store, a carbon copy of yesterday. I thought perhaps the weather service had botched another forecast. On the south side of Buckner Gap the autumn leaves are near their peak. Most of the trees are still golden.

When I crossed back over the mountain to the north side, it was a totally different picture. The majority of the trees are bare. Only the russet tones of oak and dark evergreens relieve winter's austere gray and brown. There is a noticeable chill in the air. Lowering clouds obscure some of the ridge tops. Looks like today's high temperature has already been achieved.
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173. Bogon
1:58 PM GMT en Octubre 27, 2012
Hmmm, the NWS forecast keeps slipping. Yesterday it was Monday, now they say Wednesday, before the sky clears in Burlington.

Well, as long as it's cloudy we won't get a hard freeze. The low Wednesday night: 32°.
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172. Bogon
1:31 PM GMT en Octubre 27, 2012
About fifteen minutes after I posted the previous comment, the sun came out. Last night the local forecast out of Asheville started with video of ‘leafers’ enjoying one more day of golden October sunshine with temperatures in the mid seventies.

That all comes to a screeching halt today. The cold front has arrived. Skies are overcast. The high today will be 60°, tomorrow 50°. Precipitation chances increase througout the period. Sunday night through Tuesday night there's a possibility of snow.

Down in Burlington it's a different story. In central North Carolina the clouds, rain and wind are from Sandy. Temperatures will remain relatively warm until Monday, when I plan to drive back home. The forecast low Monday night is 36°. Tuesday, says the National Weather Service, sunshine returns.

The eastern end of the state will be at high risk of damage from Sandy. Folks along the coast will get the full treatment. It's raining already on the beach where Wife and I vacationed last weekend.
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171. Bogon
2:14 PM GMT en Octubre 26, 2012
Here's a window for watching Sandy.

At the moment I'm sitting exactly halfway between Sandy and the approaching front. The sky is a battleground: half blue, half cloudy.
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170. Bogon
4:35 PM GMT en Octubre 25, 2012
This afternoon I'm off to the mountains again. The move will take me 175 miles farther west away from Sandy and provide upwards of 2000 feet additional protection from the storm surge. On the other hand, I'll be that much closer to a possible epic snow storm.

Interesting times.

Yesterday I spent the better part of a balmy evening preparing houseplants to be brought inside for the winter. Some of them needed repotting. They all had to be cleaned up and de-bugged. The last step was accomplished by carrying all the plants into the garage, where I set off an insecticide bomb. Hopefully that nuked most of the varmints that have set up shop on the plants and in the garage during the summer.

Now it's time to stop blogging and go move the plants from the garage to wherever they'll be spending the winter. Then my plan is to pack up and hit the road. Theoretically I should be able to accomplish all that in a few hours. Wish me luck. :o)
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169. Bogon
2:40 PM GMT en Octubre 24, 2012
Thanks for the welcome, sp.

With regard to the photos, I had about a hundred to choose from, taken between Thursday evening and Sunday morning. My new camera has plenty of memory space, so that I don't have to worry about saving room for yet another photo. For instance, I took half a dozen pictures of ocean waves. None of them managed to capture the essence of waviness that I was after, so none of them made the cut.

Still there are quite a few shots that turned out well, that I did not select for upload. One of these days I might dedicate a page to the also-rans. Most people seem to enjoy photo blogs.

I'll be quite happy to watch Sandy pass by from the relative safety of the Piedmont. I'm a mountain man by heritage and upbringing. I have no desire to experience a tropical storm at sea level. The highest point on the island where we stayed is probably about twenty feet. There's no adjacent high ground where one might flee. The land behind the beach (e. g. Angola Bay Game Land) is low and swampy for thirty miles. By road (our evacuation route) the distance is twice that far. In other words, an hour of driving by the most direct route gets you thirty feet of elevation. You need another hour at the wheel to find a decent hill to hide behind.

Autumn has arrived in my yard. The maples are turning red, and oak leaves litter the lawn. The good news is that the grass has pretty much stopped growing. I only have to mow the wild garlic now. :o/
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168. sp34n119w
11:21 PM GMT en Octubre 23, 2012
Welcome home, Bogon. I rather thought the pic you posted at #160 would be my favorite, but, now that I've been through them all, I can't choose. "Bird's the Word" is in the running and, despite the vote tally, I like "The Golden Path" very much.
Thanks for sharing the pics and I'm glad you got home in time to watch Sandy do whatever its going to do ;)
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167. Bogon
3:16 PM GMT en Octubre 23, 2012
Today we have a named storm, Sandy, in the southwestern Caribbean. Soon TD19 may earn the name Tony.

I'll stick with my forecast for both. TD19 will blow away eastward. Sandy will drift northward, possibly threatening the east coast of North America.

The major weather models are sticking by their guns, too. GFS, NAM and ECMWF essentially agree through 84 hours. At that point NAM ends. ECMWF shows the storm tracking up the coast, while GFS takes it out to sea.

On September 16, in comment 108, I posted a chart of the North Atlantic Oscillation. At that time the NAO was going negative. Since then it trended briefly positive, but now it's going strongly negative again. A negative NAO results in a high amplitude jet stream pattern across North America. It is that wavy pattern that makes a super nor'easter scenario plausible. Meridional flow can bring arctic air and tropical air into conflict.

The North Atlantic Oscillation is an example of a teleconnection. A teleconnection is a pattern that relates meteorological phenomena in different places. In this case it compares atmospheric pressure over the Azores with the pressure over Iceland. More particularly it monitors fluctuations between two persistent pressure regimes, the Icelandic Low and the Azores High.

When the NAO is positive, clockwise circulation around the central Atlantic high combines with counterclockwise flow around the north Atlantic low to produce zonal jet stream flow across the Atlantic. Weather systems transit rapidly off the east coast of North America.

When the NAO goes negative, normal flow stops. It's as if the atmosphere over the Atlantic gets constipated. The jet stream kinks up as it searches for a way around the blockage. This condition is sometimes called an omega block, because the high amplitude jet stream flow resembles the Greek letter omega (Ω).

One can argue whether the teleconnection really exists in the physical world. It may be a case of people seeing patterns in otherwise unrelated phenomena. Whether or not the observed patterns correlate with some underlying physical process, the idea of a teleconnection is useful to meteorologists attempting to explain the weather.

The Madden-Julian Oscillation is another teleconnection I like to talk about. Unlike the NAO, the MJO is a global pattern. Every six weeks (plus or minus a couple of weeks) the MJO wave circles the globe from west to east.

Yesterday I predicted that the favorable rising phase of the MJO wave has passed and that the descending phase would hamper tropical storm development in the Atlantic basin. Today I'm obliged to change my tune. Atmospheric waves are fickle things. They merge and divide; they grow and decay. The brown phase of the MJO appears to be dwindling, while a new area of rising green appears behind it. For a while it looks like the western hemisphere will continue under the (rather patchy) influence of a positive MJO.
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166. Skyepony (Mod)
6:06 PM GMT en Octubre 22, 2012
That doesn't sound at all like the flute pictured but beautiful. I've got a few native ones & my one like pictured.

It's Christmas music crunch time..I know not even Halloween. Had a few hard ones tossed at me. Probability spent the most time on Handel's Messiah Overture today..

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165. Bogon
5:42 PM GMT en Octubre 22, 2012
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164. Skyepony (Mod)
4:20 PM GMT en Octubre 22, 2012
Nice..I think I'll escape this zoo by practicing my flute:)
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163. Bogon
4:08 PM GMT en Octubre 22, 2012
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162. Bogon
4:06 PM GMT en Octubre 22, 2012
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161. Bogon
2:55 PM GMT en Octubre 22, 2012
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160. Bogon
2:19 PM GMT en Octubre 22, 2012
Wife and I returned home yesterday. We had a great short vacation, but (Sigh!) it's all over now. Beach pictures are up.

Ylee, the wave of favorable rising air has passed. A wave of descending air, which acts to disrupt and suppress convection, follows.

Here in the Southeast we sit under a comfortable dome of high pressure (sinking air), which has pushed tropical heat and humidity far offshore. The air mass overhead will slowly warm and moisten throughout the week as the high drifts eastward and a south wind returns around its back side. Our low temperature this morning was near 40° (4° C). The rest of the week will be warmer.

Next week the forecast gets trickier. Of the two tropical blobs you mention, the one in mid ocean, invest 90L, probably doesn't stand much of a chance. It has drifted too far north. It will be swept away by the westerlies.

The other blob, invest 99L, is the one to watch. It sits in the Caribbean, where the waters are still very warm. Since early in the season no other storms have ventured to tap that heat. Not since Isaac, IIRC. Isaac was a game-changer.

This morning's GFS model shows 99L developing into a deep tropical low, then moving north across the Bahamas and out to sea. The ECMWF also develops the storm, but depicts it being drawn into the frontal zone ahead of the next cold wave, where it tracks northward along the east coast. Maybe we're not out of the woods yet.

It will be interesting to see how the various factors come together. If it doesn't get tangled up with a hurricane, the next cold front will likely bring us our first frost. Which will it be, fire or ice?

Stay tuned, folks.
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159. Ylee
12:48 AM GMT en Octubre 21, 2012
I guess I spoke too soon(as usual, lol), since we have a couple of serious invests in the Atlantic!

Glad you're haveing a great time!
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158. Bogon
11:33 PM GMT en Octubre 20, 2012
Hi, sp. The weather here today was perfect. I've taken a lot of pictures. An hour ago I was walking along the beach taking evening twilight photos when the camera's battery ran down.

Some of those snapshots might be pretty good. You can't really tell through the little viewfinder. The best shots are as often the result of accident and luck as they are of skill or planning. With a little luck, and if everything goes according to plan, tomorrow night I'll upload a few photos.

Whoa, I'm way behind on visiting around WUville. Just pulled up your blog, and it looks like I have some work cut out for me. :o)
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157. sp34n119w
6:53 PM GMT en Octubre 20, 2012
Just checking in to say hi. Glad to see that you and the missus got to the beach and are enjoying it. Storms outside and warmth inside is the best. Plus, you can ignore the lawn from there ;)
Reading back a few days - happy to read your mom has been in good spirits and hope that continues.
Don't forget to take beach pictures to share - I recall that you got some great ones on a previous trip!
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156. Bogon
1:49 PM GMT en Octubre 20, 2012
There's a fetch of tropical convection just offshore. It has been there since yesterday. It appears as a band of clouds low on the eastern horizon. Heat lightning flickered within that band all night long.

Not that I was paying attention the whole time. Wife and I slept well snuggled in the cool, dry land breeze with susurrating surf for a lullaby.

I woke up once in the wee hours and walked out to look at the stars. Orion hung in the clear air above the distant storm. No sign of meteors.
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155. Bogon
2:17 PM GMT en Octubre 19, 2012
You're right, Ylee, we may have seen our last hurricane for 2012. I've heard rumors of models of a storm coming north from the western Caribbean, but the current wave of favorable conditions is about to pass.

Yesterday I noticed fall color is becoming more evident at home. Today I am at the beach, at sea level. The sand and the ocean look much the same as ever.

We had a brief rain shower this morning. The cold front that moved through Kentucky yesterday finally cleared the coastline. The air is a cool, humid 70°, and skies are gradually trending sunnier.
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154. Ylee
10:09 PM GMT en Octubre 18, 2012
I guess all the tropical activity in the Atlantic has gone poof! No invests or anything!

We've had one light freeze here in W. Ky. so far, and the maples have past their peak on average, and on their way to becoming bare! Other decidous species are still green, though!
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153. Bogon
3:58 PM GMT en Octubre 16, 2012
Rafael looks healthy this morning. One more storm for the books: Rafael will remain at sea.

On a global scale the tropics are fairly active. There's Paul west of Mexico, Prapiroon and Maria in the western Pacific and Anais in the Indian Ocean. Anais is the first major storm of the spring season in the southern hemisphere.

Yet another tropical wave follows behind Rafael. This one bears watching, if only because conditions are more favorable for tropical storm development now than they have been for weeks. It's late in the season, though. Time for hurricanes is running out.
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152. Bogon
2:18 PM GMT en Octubre 15, 2012
After another visit to check on Mom I'm happy to report that she is feeling better. She was alert and cheerful, and she was able to hobble around with her walker. That's a big change since a couple of weeks ago.

Traffic was heavy on the main roads of western North Carolina as ‘leafers’ converged on the area for a dose of autumn color. Mom's house is around 2500 feet (762 meters) altitude. At that elevation most of the trees are still green, but the first flush of fall is evident. Grandpa's maple drops a few more yellow leaves each time a breeze puffs. Fallen leaves are piling up in Mom's yard. It's too soon to start gathering them, because so many leaves remain on the trees. The job would have to be done over.

Nighttime lows remain in the forties and fifties here in the Dry Slot. The forecast shows little change throughout the rest of the week.

Halloween is right around the corner. That's one of the cross-quarter days that marks a change of season. After Halloween the winter pattern of short days and long nights will have been established. Global warming makes it harder to predict the date of our first hard freeze. The average date gets pushed back, but variability increases. I expect we'll receive a visit from Jack Frost by Thanksgiving, but it could happen much sooner. It will be mid December before our average low temperature (based on climate data for Greensboro) dips below freezing.
Member Since: Diciembre 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
151. Bogon
12:42 PM GMT en Octubre 15, 2012
Wow, Skye, that looks like the Fist of Doom!

Gotta say, I don't put much faith in any of the MJO forecasts. The empirical wave propagation chart I included in this year's blog shows the MJO passing through quickly. Which one is right? Keep watching, and all will be revealed.

Maybe one of these days atmospheric scientists will be able to articulate a comprehensive theory of the origin of the Madden-Julian Oscillation. Until then I'm bound to take these forecasts with a grain of salt.

I hope the GFS Ensemble is wrong, because Wife and I are planning a beach weekend. I'm hoping we can string together a couple of sunny days. It won't be much of a vacation if we have to evacuate!

Hmm, I think I like this one. :o)

Member Since: Diciembre 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
150. Skyepony (Mod)
2:52 AM GMT en Octubre 15, 2012
I never got to venture up that way this year & probability won't get to. Thanks for the fall pics..

MJO is suppose to get strong as it swings through according to some of the models. Got to be over done to some point.

Member Since: Diciembre 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
149. Bogon
7:33 PM GMT en Octubre 13, 2012
Hi, BriarCraft. Thanks for taking the time to look around. I fixed the "Tales of Snow Camp" link. It's an article in the local paper. When I posted the link the article was featured on the front page of the local section. I guess the link changed when they archived the story. Hopefully the new link will last a while.

Last weekend Wife and I took a day off to celebrate our anniversary. That's when I took those photos.
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About Bogon

Retired software engineer. "What is that?", you may ask. It's someone who has time to blog about the weather...

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