Monsterous Michael Makes Landfall

History was made earlier today. Hurricane Michael made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane with 155 mph 135 knots 249 km/h. The highest wind on land is around 132 mph 115 knots 212 km/h with gusts as high as 198 mph 172 knots 319 km/h! It has a central pressure of 919 millibars and still intensifying! If it had been over water longer, it probably would of been a Category 5 hurricane. No doubt that Michael made history. Here is how Michael compares to past hurricanes.

Michael is the most intense Gulf Of Mexico hurricane since Rita (2005). Rita had a central pressure of 895 millibars with 180 mph 156 knots 290 km/h. Rita is the most intense Gulf Of Mexico hurricane recorded. There is no doubt there are stronger Gulf Of Mexico hurricanes that go unrecorded prior to the 19th century. Rita made landfall on the Texas and Louisiana border not before triggering a massive evacuation due to Katrina ravaging the Gulf Coast a month earlier. Michael is the most intense October Gulf Of Mexico hurricane since Opal (1995). Opal had a central pressure of 916 millibars and 150 mph 130 knots 241 km/h winds. Opal made landfall on Pensacola.

How does Michael stack up in terms of central pressure landfall for America and Atlantic Basin? Michael is the third most intense landfalling hurricane on America. Only the 1935 Labor Day and Camille have lower central pressures.

Rank Storm Landfall Pressure
1 Labor Day (1935) 892 mb
2 Camille (1969) 900 mb
3 Michael (2018) 919 mb
4 Katrina (2005)/Maria (2017) 920 mb
5 Andrew (1992) 922 mb
6 Indianola (1886) 925 mb
7 Guam (1900) 926 mb
8 Florida Keys (1919) 927 mb
9 Okeechobee (1928) 929 mb
10 Great Miami (1926)/Donna (1960) 930 mb

Michael has lower pressure than Katrina, Maria, and Andrew. Michael is the most intense Category 4 hurricane to make landfall on America. Katrina is the most intense Category 3 hurricane to make landfall on America. Katrina is much larger than Camille, Andrew, or Michael, which explains the low pressure and Category 3 winds. Texas’s most intense hurricane recorded is the 1886 Indianola Hurricane, which had a central pressure of 925 millibars. It is likely it had lower pressure. The 1900 Guam typhoon is the most intense typhoon recorded to hit Guam. It is very likely there have been more intense typhoons that hit Guam. Typhoons are often intense and often have lower pressure than the Atlantic. Category 5 typhoons happen every year. Let’s look at how Michael compares Atlantic Basin.

Rank Storm Landfall pressure
1 Labor Day (1935) 892 mb
2 Camille (1969)/Gilbert (1988) 900 mb
3 Dean (2007) 905 mb
4 Cuba (1924) 910 mb
5 Janet (1955)/Irma (2017) 914 mb
6 Cuba (1932) 918 mb
7 Michael (2018) 919 mb
8 Katrina 2005/Maria (2017) 920 mb
9 Bahamas (1932) 921 mb
10 Andrew (1992) 922 mb

Michael ranks seventh most intense basinwide hurricane landfall! The 1935 Labor Day Hurricane is still the most intense basinwide landfall. Camille (1969) and Gilbert (1988) tie as second most intense landfall basinwide. There is a unconfirmed report that the 1935 Labor Day Hurricane had pressure as low as 880 millibars! If that was true, it would be the most intense Atlantic hurricane, even surpassing Wilma!

Michael is one of the few Category 4 hurricanes to make landfall in October. Here is a list of hurricanes that made landfall on America in October.

1893 “Chenier Caminanda”
1898 Georgia Hurricane
1950 King
1954 Hazel

The last hurricane to make landfall on America as a Category 4 is Hazel in 1954. On top of it, Michael is a major hurricane over Georgia. The last time Georgia saw a major hurricane was in 1898! It is from the Georgia Hurricane.

History and statistics aside, we are going to be hearing and seeing a lot of destruction and likely more deaths from Michael. It could be a very costly hurricane for sure.

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Furious Florence And Future Kirk?

Hurricane Florence is getting ever so closer to the Southeastern US. Subtropical Storm Joyce recently formed in the Eastern Atlantic. We now have Florence, Helene, Isaac, and Joyce. Invest 95L could become Kirk. If Kirk forms, we would have five storms at once. Before I talk about the latest, ten years ago today, Hurricane Ike was getting closer to the Texas Coast as a large Category 2 hurricane. I will focus on Florence and Invest 95L as they are closest to land.

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) has Florence with 110 mph 96 knots 177 km/h winds with gusts as high as 138 mph 120 knots 222 km/h. It has central pressure of 957 millibars. Just because Florence is no longer a major hurricane does not make it any less dangerous. In some ways, it is more dangerous as it gets larger. People might think that Florence is no longer dangerous as it is no longer a major hurricane. It has hurricane force winds extending up to 80 miles 70 nautical miles 129 kilometers and tropical storm force winds extending up to 195 miles 170 nautical miles 314 kilometers. Hurricane that go further north, tend to get larger. I think Florence could have hurricane force winds extending up to 125 miles 109 nautical miles 201 kilometers and tropical storm force winds extending up to 250 miles 217 nautical miles 402 kilometers before landfall.

Here is the latest forecast track from NCAR-Tropical Cyclone Guidance for Florence and Invest 95L. It is a heat map using points within 300 mile/480 kilometers radius. I have included Ensemble Prediction Systems generated from a previous forecast cycle along with the latest.

The heat map for Florence is getting more circular, which is concerning. Florence could make landfall somewhere in South Carolina or North Carolina. It suggests that Florence is going to slow down after it makes landfall. It looks to linger over the area after landfall. As for landfall time, Florence is probably going to make landfall sometimes on Friday morning. The slower motion of Florence is lower confidence because forecast models cannot predict where Florence will go. In regards to Invest 95L, it looks to be making landfall on South Texas sometimes on Friday. Too early to tell for this one at this time. Since Florence is getting larger and forecasted to slow down, storm surge is going to be a serious problem.

Some areas could see easily 15 feet/4.6 meters storm surge. I would not be surprised if some areas see over 20 feet/6.1 meters storm surge. If anyone is in a storm surge area, they need to evacuate. Storm surge kills! Most people die from storm surge in hurricanes and tropical cyclones. The deadliest tropical cyclone known is the 1970 Bhola Cyclone, which claimed 1.1 million people in present day Bangladesh, then East Pakistan on November 12, 1970. The tropical cyclone produced up to 33 feet/10 meters storm surge on the Ganges Delta. Most of the death were from deadly storm surge and epidemic following the tropical cyclone. Proof that storm surge kills. It also does not have to be a strong major hurricane to produce deadly and monsterous storm surge. Ike and Sandy produce high storm surge despite not being major hurricanes. They produced deadly storm surge because they were large storms and the geography is more conducive to deadly storm surge, which is also the case for Coastal Bangladesh. As Florence getting closer and water rising, many are asking how strong will Florence be.

Most intensity forecast models for Florence show it will be maintaining Category 2. One has it re-intensifying into Category 3 hurricane. I would not be srurprised if Florence does intensify into a Category 3 before landfall. As for Invest 95L, a couple forecast models have it intensifying into a tropical storm. I would not be surprised if 95L becomes Kirk by Thursday.

Rainfall is another concern, especially for Florence. They are from EURO, GFS, Canadian, and German (ICON). The forecast models are from Weather.US. They are all seven day rainfall total forecast.

The EURO has nearly 40 inches/101.6 centimeters of rain. The GFS has 33 inches/83.8 centimeters of rain. The Canadian has nearly 22 inches/55.9 centimeters of rain. The ICON has 28 inches/71.2 centimeters of rain. The EURO has the heaviest rainfall forecast. Previously, the GFS had some high rainfall forecast totals as high as 77 inches/195.6 centimeters in 7 days! The National Hurricane Center forecasts rainfall on par with Mitch and Harvey. They forecasted over 40 inches/101.6 centimeters of rain. That is very chilling to read that. Not often you see that for sure. I would not be surprised if some areas get over 50 inches of rain once it is all over.

The rainfall forecast for Invest 95L is not as high as it has been previously. The EURO has 6 inches/15.2 centimeters of rain. The GFS has 5 inches/12.7 centimeters of rain. The Canadian has nearly 7 inches/17.8 centimeters of rain. The ICON has over 10 inches/25.4 centimeters of rain. The forecast models are all over the place for Invest 95L. The forecast models assume that 95L does not become Kirk. If it became Kirk, I suspect the forecast models are going to change.

Here is what I think will happen.
-Florence could intensify into a Category 3 hurricane.
-Florence is looking to affect South Carolina and North Carolina the most.
-Strong winds, storm surge, and heavy rain will be the main problem from Florence.
-Main headline for Florence will likely be massive flooding.
-Invest 95L is likely to become Kirk by Thursday.

Furious Florence And Future Joyce?

The tropics are heating up and it is very concerning. Before I look at the tropics, let’s take a moment to reflect what happened on this day. Seventeen years ago today, America was attacked on September 11, 2001. Four airplanes hijacked by Al-Qaeda terrorists flew them into the World Trade Center and Pentagon. A fourth hijacked airplane crashed near Shanksville. Nearly 3,000 people were killed on that tragic day. Many more have become ill and some have died from toxic dust and smoke exposure from the World Trade Center and Pentagon.

Currently, there is Florence and Invest 95L, which maybe Joyce. Florence has 140 mph 122 knots 225 km/h winds with gusts as high as 175 mph 152 knots 282 km/h. It has central pressure of 946 millibars. Florence is a large hurricane and getting larger. It has hurricane force winds extending up to 60 miles 52 nautical miles 97 kilometers and tropical storm force winds extending up to 175 miles 152 nautical miles 282 kilometers. I would not be surprised if Florence is a large hurricane as it gets closer to the US. Hurricane that go further north, tend to get larger.

Here is the latest forecast track from NCAR-Tropical Cyclone Guidance. It is a heat map using points within 300 mile/480 kilometers radius.

For Florence, it is looking more likely to hit either North Carolina or South Carolina. One forecast model has Florence going back to the Atlantic. It is looking more and more that Florence is going to hit North Carolina or South Carolina. The circular pattern over North Carolina is concerning because Florence may stall out. That means that heavy rain and flooding is more likely for North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia. The most concerning part is that near the center at night. There could core rain near the center of the low pressure. Core rains dump very heavy rain over a short time at night. Examples of core rain are 1921 Thrall Flood, Camille (1969), Claudette (1979), and Allison (2001).

For Invest 95L, it is looking to hit Texas sometimes this week. One forecast model has it going to Louisiana. It is rather early to tell as it has not developed yet. Regardless if 95L develops or not, heavy rain will be the main problem for Texas. Texas has been getting heavy rain lately, especially along the Upper Texas Coast. The next question is how strong will Florence and 95L be.

Most intensity forecast models keep Florence as a Category 4 hurricane. One has Florence as a Category 5 hurricane. I would not be surprised if Florence becomes a Category 5 hurricane. Most intensity forecast keep Florence as a major hurricane up to landfall.

As for Invest 95L, most forecast models have it intensifying into a tropical storm, especially within a couple of days from now. Since 95L is forecasted to go over the Gulf Of Mexico, I would not be surprised if it becomes a hurricane. Texas has seen tropical storms rapidly intensify into hurricanes like the Freeport Hurricane (1932), Humberto (2007), and Harvey (2017). I am not suggest 95L will become a hurricane, but just pointing out hurricane history is not too kind to Texas.

Rainfall is another concern. They are from EURO, GFS, Canadian, and German (ICON). The forecast models are from Weather.US. They are all seven day rainfall total forecast.

The EURO has 45 inches/114.3 centimeters of rain. The GFS has 62 inches/157.5 centimeters of rain! It is lower, but still very high! North Carolina has 15 to 25 inches/38.1 centimeters to 63.5 centimeters of rain, which is still heavy. The Canadian has 25 inches/63.5 centimeters of rain. Like the GFS, it is over the ocean. The ICON has 41 inches/104.4 centimeters of rain. The trend with these forecast models is heavier. The EURO have heaviest rain along the coast. The GFS has the heaviest rain offshore with heaviest over land in Coastal South Carolina and North Carolina. The Canadian has the heaviest rain over North Carolina and Virginia. The ICON has the heaviest rain along Coastal North Carolina and Virginia. The heavy rain is very concerning and can lead to massive flooding similar to Harvey.

Invest 95L rainfall forecast is all over the place. The EURO has over 9 inches/22.9 centimeters of rain northeast of Corpus Christi. The GFS has 5 inches/12.7 centimeters south of Houston. The Canadian has nearly 7 inches/17.8 centimeters of rain along the Central Coast of Texas. The ICON has over 11 inches/27.9 centimeters of rain south of Houston. The rainfall forecast is all over the place for 95L. When 95L gets closer, the forecast model should be more confident on rainfall amount and where it may fall.

Here is what I think will happen.
-Florence could intensify into a Category 5 hurricane.
-Florence is looking to affect North Carolina the most.
-Strong winds, storm surge, and heavy rain will be the main problem from Florence.
-Invest 95L is likely to become Joyce later this week.
-Texas could see more heavy rain and possibly flooding from Invest 95L or Joyce.

A Weakening Bud And Invest 91L

Oh how the mighty have fallen! Yesterday, Bud was a hurricane. Today it is a tropical storm with 50 mph 44 knots 80 km/h winds. It was once a formidable Category 3 hurricane. All the forecast models have Bud weakening.

With Bud running into cooler water and closer to land, it is most likely to weaken. The next important question is where Bud goes.

The forecast models are having Bud moving towards Baja California and the Southwestern US as a low pressure system. The moisture from Bud is certainly welcomed in the Southwest as they are very dry.

Almost the entire Four Corners is engulfed in a severe drought. It centers around where the Four Corners meet. There is also a severe drought in the Texas Panhandle region. Any rain is welcomed regardless. This leads to Invest 91L in the Caribbean. Many are asking where 91L will go.

Most of the forecast models have Invest 91L heading towards either Mexico or Deep South Texas. Some have it heading towards Southeast Texas. Regardless of where 91L goes, rain will be the main issue. Since Invest 91L is over an area of warm water, does it have a chance of developing?

Most forecast models have 91L at tropical wave or tropical depression. One has it as a tropical storm. Again, it is too early to tell if it will develop. Tropical waves or low pressure areas in the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico can form suddenly into a tropical storm or even hurricane. It has happened many times in the past. I am not suggesting it will happen with 91L. It is something to consider.

The Tropical Cyclone Formation Probability Guidance Product does give Invest 91L a chance of developing into a tropical cyclone in the next 48 hours. Again, that is only a small chance of developing.

Since, we are on the topic of tropical weather trouble, it brings rain. Various forecast models have different rain amounts, which are from GFS, Canadian, EURO, and Weather Prediction Center (WPC). They are from Weather.US and Weather Prediction Center (WPC)-Quantitative Precipitation Forecasts (QPF). These are 7 day rainfall totals.

The GFS has less rain for Texas and the Southwest. Southeast Texas has 2 to 4 inches of rain. The Southwest sees 0.50 to 2 inches of rain with 6 inches in the mountains.

The Canadian is not particularly generous for the Southwest. However for Southeast, Texas it has up to 8 inches of rain.

The EURO is generous for Southwest and Texas. The mountains of Arizona, New Mexico, and Colorado have up 8 inches of rain. Most of Arizona is wet as well compared to GFS and Canadian.

The WPC has 2 to 4 inches of rain over Southeast Texas. The Southwest has 0.50 to 1 inches of rain with isolated areas seeing 2 inches of rain.

The forecast models are unanimous on that rain will fall in Texas and the Southwest. They diverge on rain amount. Some forecast lesser amounts, while others forecast higher amounts. We should have a better idea of rain amounts later on.

My take on this. Invest 91L is more likely going to be a rain event. I do not expect 91L will develop at this point, but of course anything can happen. I do not think we will see another Harvey event from 91L. It is not forecasted to linger over Texas, like what Harvey or Allison did. As for Bud, the Southwestern US should welcome the rain with open arms. They will need it for sure.

The forecast models came from NCAR-Tropical Cyclone Guidance. The GIS drought map is from United States Drought Monitor.

Hurricane Bud And Invest 91L

NOAA/NESDIS/STAR GOES-16 ABI BAND 11 OR_ABI-L1b-RadF-M3C11_G16_s20181640230401_e20181640241168_c20181640241232.nc

It is June and the tropics are heating up. We have two areas of interests, Hurricane Bud in the East Pacific and Invest 91L in the Caribbean. Let’s start with Bud.

Hurricane Bud was a powerful Category 3 hurricane that weakened into a Category 2 hurricane with 100 mph 85 knots 161 km/h winds. It is due to cooler water Bud is encountering. Cooler water tends to weaken hurricanes even if there is not a whole of wind shear.

The area of warm water in the East Pacific is not that great. However, two major hurricanes have formed so far, which are Aletta and Bud. East Pacific is one of the most active basins despite its small size. As Bud weakens, where does it go? Here is a heat map forecast for Bud.

Most forecast models have Bud heading towards Baja California later by the end of the week. Where it goes after looks to be heading towards the Southwest. They can certainly use the rainfall as they are in a severe drought. The next question is how strong will Bud be?

Most forecast models have Bud as a tropical storm with one as a Category 1 hurricane around the time it us close to Baja California. From there, it is forecasted to weaken to a tropical depression.

The next problem is closer to home, Invest 91L. It is located off the coast of Honduras in the Caribbean. It is right now just a tropical wave with a cluster of thunderstorms. Many are wondering where will 91L will go? Here is a heat map forecast for 91L.

Most of the forecast models have 91L heading towards the Western Gulf of Mexico. One has it heading towards Florida looping around. It is just one forecast model. The forecast models at this time are heading towards Texas. Since this is a tropical wave, the forecast model is subject to change. The $64,000 question is will 91L become a tropical storm or hurricane, which would be Beryl.

Most forecast models keep 91L at tropical depression. Only one has a tropical storm at this time. Intensity forecast models are unreliable, especially if nothing has developed yet. Some factors do favor development. Let’s look at the water around Invest 91L.

The depth of warm water in Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico is great and over a large area. The heat potential is fairly high in the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean. Warm water is certainly a factor in tropical development, but not the only one.

Wind shear over the Gulf of Mexico is within average and looks to be trending downward. Less wind shear is more favorable for tropical development. If there is strong wind shear over warm water, tropical development is greatly reduced as they blow tops of thunderstorm clouds that forming into something tropical.

At this time, I do not think Invest 91L will develop. It looks to be more of a rainmaker. However, anything can change between now and the end of the week.

The forecast models came from NCAR-Tropical Cyclone Guidance. The tropical heat came from A href=http://www.aoml.noaa.gov/phod/cyclone/data/go.html>Tropical Cyclone Heat Potential (TCHP). Wind shear map came from Tropical Cyclone Formation Probability Guidance Product.

Subtropical Storm Alberto Is Here

Subtropical Storm Alberto formed earlier today, which was Invest 90L. It is clearly a subtropical storm based on satellite image.

A subtropical storm has thunderstorms away from the center, mostly to the east in the Northern Hemisphere or west in the Southern Hemisphere. They look more like extratropical cyclones than tropical cyclones. Tropical cyclones have the most intense thunderstorms near the center.

Tropical storm force winds in Subtropical Storm Alberto are are up to 253 miles 407 kilometers 220 nautical miles across from northeast to southeast quadrant. The winds are east of the center. That is typical of a subtropical storm. The biggest question is where will Alberto go?

This is a heat map from NCAR-Tropical Cyclone Guidance. The heat map is within 300 miles (480 kilometers) from the center. The forecast models have a consensus that Alberto will go somewhere between Southeast Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, or Florida Panhandle. There is a small chance it go could deviate. The next question is how strong will Alberto be?

Most forecast model keeps Alberto as a tropical storm. However, one intensifies Alberto into a Category 1 to near Category 2 hurricane. I think Alberto will be a tropical storm at most. A hurricane is very remote at this time. I do not think Alberto will become a hurricane. It will more then likely become a full fledge tropical storm in the Gulf of Mexico. I would be more concerned of heavy rain and flooding from Alberto than wind.

Future Alberto Part 2?

The National Hurricane Center is keeping an eye on Invest 90L. They think in the next 5 days it has a high chance of developing into something tropical.

Interestingly, the intensity forecast keep Invest 90L as a tropical depression. One has it as a tropical storm in 36 hours.

This is not the latest intensity forecast model. It should come out later tonight. The biggest question is where does Invest 90L go?

This is a heat map from data from NCAR-Tropical Cyclone Guidance. The general consensus is it will linger over the Caribbean and possibly move into Mexico or Belize. From there, it goes north. The forecast models tend to congregate around Southeast Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. There is a small risk that Southwest Louisiana and Southeast Texas could get hit by Invest 90L. This is still a rather low confidence forecast of where future Alberto will probably go in the next 5 days.

I would not be surprised we see Tropical Storm Alberto this weekend. The question is where does it go. Everyone in the Gulf of Mexico should keep an eye on Invest 90L. It can go anywhere it wants.