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 wunderground.com):

HURRICANE IGOR SPECIAL ADVISORY NUMBER 18
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL112010
230 PM AST SUN SEP 12 2010

…IGOR RAPIDLY INTENSIFIES INTO A CATEGORY FOUR HURRICANE…

SUMMARY OF 230 PM AST…1830 UTC…INFORMATION
———————————————-
LOCATION…17.7N 46.1W
ABOUT 1120 MI…1800 KM E OF THE NORTHERN LEEWARD ISLANDS
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS…135 MPH…215 KM/HR
PRESENT MOVEMENT…W OR 270 DEGREES AT 14 MPH…22 KM/HR
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE…950 MB…28.05 INCHES

Tropics still running hot and heavy

As of the 11am update (AST & EDT) The National Hurricane Center has reported that invest 97L is strong enough to get Tropical Depression status, becoming the twelfth system in 2010 so far.  Tropical Depression twelve is yet another Cape Verde system & another that has been part of this long tropical train. This is also just the peak of the season, with a few more weeks left for more storms to come.

Additionally, Hurricane Igor, which reached Hurricane status just last night at the 11pm update is now, 12 hours later being upgraded to Category 2 status. Igor, having overcome the hurdles earlier with shear is now looking at continued growth over the next few days and the NHC is expecting Igor to become a major Hurricane within that time frame. Of course with many strong early systems, whether or not Igor can maintain that status and will be a risk to any land areas. Models are also not great at that long range on the certainty of the path Igor will take. Expectations are that it will be a ‘fish storm’, staying out to sea, but too many factors that have not evolved yet will make that determination.

Lastly, the continued system that has basically stalled over the lower southeast Caribbean region is actually a little less organized, but is still showing about a 50% chance (according to NHC) of tropical development. This at the moment is the system to watch since it is surrounded by land areas. Forecast models to trend toward moving the system in some sort of westerly direction which is the most favorable for residents in the greater Caribbean region, but threats are still there.

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:

Tropical Storm Igor forms as Hurricane Season Peaks

Tropical Storm Igor has formed in the eastern Atlantic Ocean not far from the Cape Verde Islands. As the hurricane season enters into the statistical peak activity, we see that overall activity is fair. This has been quite an active season overall, but has spared many humans and land areas.

In addition to Igor, there are small areas of activity being monitored by the National Hurricane Center (NHC) among others although they have a very low to zero potential for development at the moment. One area is right next to (northeast) Igor. Two other areas are Caribbean region, one near Trinidad & Tabago while the other is south of Hispanola.

Hermine is still on the map, although barely…as it is all the way up in central Texas as a Tropical Depression. However, responsibility of this storm has been shifted over to the Hydrometeorological Prediction Center.

Tropical Storm Igor is in a slight sheared environment which will suppress development beyond Tropical Storm status for a few days. However as the system moves west, it should encounter less shear and begin to intensify. Both forward motion will increase, thanks to a trough that is to the west, and the intensity should increase into hurricane strength further out in the forecast period. Overall motion, according to the plots will be either west to west-northwest. Overall impacts to land is unknown at this point.

The next few days will tell a better story as models grab the system better and more anaylsis is done.  For now it’s just another storm in this active season.

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.

Highlights:

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.

—–
Discussion:

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.