Browse Author

Mark Ellinwood

T.S. Karl forms as Igor tries to go cat. 5

Tropical Storm Karl has formed in the western Caribbean as of 5:00pm ET, and it is forecast to head WNW towards the Yucatan Peninsula, making landfall there sometime tomorrow before sliding into the Bay of Campeche. Once off the Yucatan, Karl will have the opportunity to strengthen into a hurricane before making landfall again in northern/central Mexico early this weekend. Karl is not expected to make landfall on U.S. soil, but clouds and rain associated with the tropical system could impact Texas as it meanders into the East Pacific.

Igor is re-intensifying tonight following a period of weakening, and has another shot at becoming a category 5 hurricane. If successful, Igor will be the first Atlantic Basin category 5 hurricane since Dean and Felix in 2007. Dean had the most impressive center of low pressure at 907 mb, while Felix bottomed-out at 930mb. This year, Earl hit 928 mb as it peaked as a category 4 hurricane, and Igor is currently at its peak of 933 mb with wind speeds of 145 mph.

Not to be outdone, Julia continues to slowly strengthen, and it is currently a category 1 hurricane with wind speeds of 85 mph. Julia has not been talked about much since it is shadowed by the powerful Igor and the practically-imminent landfalls of Karl. Julia is expected to recurve much further east than Igor, and it should not pose any huge threat to land.

IR Satellite:

What to Watch Fore(cast) – Sep 13-19


Tropics in full gear – Igor is a strong category 4 hurricane in the central Atlantic, with Tropical Storm Julia further to the east. There is another area of interest in the Caribbean, which could form into a named system later this week.

Variable weather in the East – A disturbed weather pattern will bring several shots of wet weather into the Northeast and northern Mid-Atlantic.

Heat cranks away in the South – An area of high pressure will keep the South above normal throughout the week as the summer heat continues.

Cool air working into the northern Plains – A low pressure system diving south from northern Canada will bring below normal temperatures into the northern Plains through most of the week.


Igor is continuing its westward track early this week as it gets ready to recurve to the north and east during the second half of the week. It will continue to be a major hurricane through the first half of the week, but its strength will be in question during the second half of the week depending on how quickly it moves north. The current forecast will keep Igor well away from the U.S. coastline, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Igor ended up a bit further west than expected (though it would still be offshore). Julia is currently near the Cape Verde Islands and is expected to stay east of Igor throughout it’s lifespan, eventually recurving into the North-Central Atlantic.

A series of low pressure systems will bring cooler conditions overall to the Northeast as rain and afternoon thunderstorms roll across the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic today and during the second half of the week. These systems will entrain cold air down from northern Canada into the northern Plains during the second half of the week. Fall is coming to the North!

Meanwhile, a sub-tropical high is parked over the southern U.S., and it will keep most of the South, from the Desert Southwest to the Southeast, under warm temperature anomalies throughout the week. Areas along the Gulf of Mexico that experience onshore flow will have closer to normal temperatures.

Igor now a Category 4 Beast

Since becoming a category 1 hurricane as of 11:00pm EDT last night, Igor has rapidly strengthened into a category 4 hurricane as of 1:30pm EDT. Igor is now an absolute beast of a hurricane, and it should continue to be a major hurricane through the next week! The current forecast for Igor is to miss the U.S. as it recurves to the north and east about a week from now.

Here’s a recent shot of Igor on satellite (from

230 PM AST SUN SEP 12 2010


LOCATION…17.7N 46.1W

MAD US Weather goes 1.0!

After a long week of editing and troubleshooting, we are now in the 1.0 stage of the web site. I still need to get some info/feedback from Jason, but the site is set to go at this point.

I hope you all enjoy the layout and design! Questions/comments are always appreciated. We are always looking for ways to enhance the site, so we’ll see how long version 1.0 lasts until we dive back into the editing process.

To give you all an idea of what’s been done, this is the original template’s design:

Hermine spawns tornadoes in the South

Over the last couple of days, Hermine has spawned a decent amount of tornadoes in the South, including a tornado that went through the Dallas, TX metro area. So far, only one injury in Oklahoma has been reported from these tornadoes.

All of these tornadoes formed in the northern and eastern quadrants of Hermine, which is where nearly all tornadoes form in any tropical system.

Here is a video of the Dallas tornado from yesterday (no audio):

Storm reports, 9/7/10 and 9/8/10:

Shots of cool air bringing early fall to the Northeast

A series of low pressure systems will dive into the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic from southern Canada over the next two weeks, which will bring cloud cover and rainy weather to the Northeast. Temperatures could warm up to normal levels between systems, but the majority of the time the Northeast will be hit by below normal temperatures, creating an abrupt change from extreme summer heat to cool fall weather. This pattern does not appear to be long-sustained, though, as ridging over the central U.S. could move warmer temperatures into the East going into the last week of September.

Meanwhile, the southern U.S. will get a period of above normal temperatures as the subtropical ridge sits over the region. Summer has been rather relentless down there this year as far as above normal temperatures, and it looks like it will be awhile before they will catch a break.

EDIT: I’ll probably be using a different U.S. map in the future… I was just trying this one out. The blue on the ocean may be a bit too distracting to the rest of the image.

What to Watch Fore(cast) – Sep 6-12

NOTE: This was written yesterday, but has been copied to this site to add content. From now on, this site will be exclusive in having the discussion part of the post.


Hermine performs magic in the Gulf – A “surpise tropical storm” has popped up in the western Gulf of Mexico, but it will quickly move inland near the TX/Mexico border and dissipate. Already a strong tropical storm, Hermine could become a Cat. 1 before landfall.

More activity in the Atlantic – As Gaston tries to refire before heading into the Caribbean, more tropical waves coming off the African Coast could yield even more tropical systems this week.

Cool blasts trying to end the summer heat in the East – The transitional weather pattern brought a shot of cool, dry air into the region over the weekend. More systems that are expected to do the same thing are on the way. However, rainfall with these systems is rather scarce in the southern Mid-Atlantic and parts of the Southeast.

Regional drought worsens in the Mid-Atlantic – While some areas have had wet hot-spots this summer, a good portion of the Mid-Atlantic remains fairly dry as this week’s forecast calls for sunshine through the work week.


Somewhat surprisingly, Tropical Storm Hermine has quickly formed in the western Gulf of Mexico and is intensifying rapidly in the short amount of time it has left before it makes landfall. Even more surprisingly, the NAM seemed to capture the storm’s inception the best this time around, but one must take into account that it’s been making fantasy storms in the Gulf all summer. Hermine already has an eye feature on radar as the circulation tightens in the storm:

Meanwhile, the remnants of Gaston continue to drift westward towards the Caribbean as it struggles to reform into a Depression. The models aren’t doing much with it right now, but more tropical waves coming off of the African Coast could produce more tropical cyclones later this week.

Storm systems producing active weather in the northern Plains and Midwest will keep bringing cool shots of air to the East Coast after short warm-up periods this week, but the dry air in place over most of the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast will keep rain at bay as some areas get worse into drought. Downsloping off of the Appalachians has kept it particularly dry in VA and northern MD, which is starting to turn into a giant brown patch. Drought conditions also exist close to the coast, where plant life in parts of MD and most of NJ are beginning to feel the strain. There is a chance for some rain this weekend as the remnants of Hermine and a low pressure system work through the region, but how much rainfall the drought-stricken areas get may be over-hyped on the the GFS.

(Source: U.S. Drought Monitor)

We’ll be seeing more active weather over the next month as the tropical season hits full gear (the peak of the season is September 10th) and the fall transition creates more dynamic weather patterns across the U.S.