Atlantic Hurricane Season In August

It is now August and the season is heating up. Where do most August tropical storms and hurricanes form and end up going?

Here is a GIS heat map I created. This is all August tropical storms and hurricanes from 1870 to 2015. The heat map is from within 300 miles (480 kilometers) of a point.

The Main Development Region (MDR) heats up. The Windward Islands see more tropical cyclones making landfall. Interestingly, there is a dead area around Central Caribbean and Cuba. The Gulf of Mexico and Southeast is very active. Many tropical cyclones form near land in August and make landfall. Some of the of most devastating tropical storms and hurricanes made landfall in August:
Sea Islands (1893)
San Ciriaco (1899)
Monterrey (1909)
1945 Texas Hurricane (1945)
Camille (1969)
Amelia (1978)
David (1979)
Alicia (1983)
Bob (1991)
Andrew (1992)
Charley (1998)
Charley (2004)
Katrina (2005)
Dean (2007)
Irene (2011)

Despite Amelia making landfall on July 31, 1978, the worst aspect was heavy rain from August 1-4, 1978 in Central and West Texas, where up to 46 inches (116.84 centimeters) of rain fell. The costliest hurricane occurred in August, Katrina. The previous prior to Katrina was Andrew. August has produced some of the most devastating tropical storms and hurricanes.

Texas does get hurricane landfalls in August, including major hurricanes like Allen and Alicia. Allen was a Category 5 monster and almost made landfall on Port Mansfield as a Category 5 with 180 mph winds. Had that happened, that would of been really devastating. Allen made landfall as a Category 3 hurricane with 115 mph winds. Allen was a very large hurricane upon landfall. Alicia made landfall on Galveston as a Category 3 hurricane with 115 mph winds. It was Texas’s first billion dollar disaster. Alicia was a medium size hurricane, unlike Allen. Had Alicia been Allen, Carla, or Ike size, it would been much worse.

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Atlantic Hurricane Season In July

It is now July and it is the halfway mark of the year. Where do most July tropical storms and hurricanes form and end up going?

Here is a GIS heat map I created. This is all July tropical storms and hurricanes from 1870 to 2015. The heat map is from within 300 miles (480 kilometers) of a point.

Most July tropical cyclones form in the Gulf of Mexico and off the Carolinas, Georgia, and Florida. Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama are at most risk to see a tropical cyclone making landfall in July. America’s 24 hour rainfall record is from a July tropical cyclone, Tropical Storm Claudette in 1979. Some of the biggest flood events from tropical storms have occurred in July like Alberto in 1994 and Danny in 1997. Alberto did form in late June, but most of its life was in July, so Alberto can be considered a July tropical cyclone.

Atlantic Hurricane Season In June

As we are in June and hurricane season is heating up. Where do most June tropical storms and hurricanes form and end up going?

Here is a GIS heat map I created. This is all June tropical storms and hurricanes from 1870 to 2015. The heat map is from within 300 miles (480 kilometers) of a point.

Most June tropical storms and hurricanes form in the Gulf of Mexico, Southwest Caribbean, and off the Carolinas. No surprise that Texas and Florida are most vulnerable to tropical storms and hurricanes in June.

Leap Day 2016

It is Leap Day and it comes every four years. So, what is the weather like on Leap Day in Houston? Here is official weather records on February 29th.

Houston Weather Branch 1921-1968
Year High Low Average Rainfall
1924 67 42 55 0
1928 75 33 64 T
1932 85 64 75 0
1936 71 50 61 0
1940 82 57 70 T
1944 62 45 54 0
1948 72 59 66 0.01
1952 83 58 71 0
1956 68 50 59 0
1960 53 49 51 0
1964 60 45 53 0
1968 49 39 44 0

Bush Intercontinental Airport 1969-2010
Year High Low Average Rainfall
1972 72 61 67 0.33
1976 78 57 68 0
1980 82 63 73 T
1984 55 28 42 0
1988 82 58 70 T
1992 82 48 65 0
1996 47 39 43 0.53
2000 80 57 69 T
2004 72 56 64 0.49
2008 78 57 68 T
2012 84 71 78 0

From 1920 to 2012, only one (4.4%) Leap Day saw below 32°F, which was in 1984. The winter of 1983-1984 was one of the coldest winters on record. Seven out of 23 (31.8%) Leap Day saw at least 80°F days. The warmest Leap Day occurred in 1932. Interestingly, it snowed on March 10, the latest measurable snowfall recorded in Houston. Also, it is not very wet on Leap Day. In fact the record rainfall is 0.53 inches, which fell in 1996. It rained in 10 out of 23 (43.5%) Leap Day from 1924 to 2016. There is more chance to see rain than to see 80°F Leap Days in Houston.

Here are some interesting facts about Leap Day. Leap year occurs in year divisible by 4. However, there are exceptions when years that are divisible by 100, they are not leap unless they are divisible by 400. So the year 1900 is not Leap Year, while 2000 is Leap Year. The purpose of Leap Year is meant to keep calendar in alignment with the Earth’s revolutions around the Sun, which is every 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes, and 46 seconds or 365.242199 days. Happy Leap Day!

Weather In Review And Forecast For August 2, 2015

This week has been hot for Texas. Nor rain in sight either. Strange we had lots of rain in Spring to June. It is like if someone turned off the faucet. Typical of a developing strong El Nino summer.

20150803_July_ElNino_PrecipitationRate_NorthAmerica

Not surprised by it one bit. Texas is dry, while Florida is wet. In fact, it has been quite wet in Florda.

20150803_7Day_Rainfall_Total

The past 7 days has been wet in Florida, especially in the northwestern part of the state. They have seen over 15 inches of rain! There have been flooding reported in the Tampa area.

So, how will this week to next week be like? In lieu of forecast models, I will use analog forecast models courtesy of the Climate Prediction Center. 6 to 10 days forecast comes first.

20150803_6To10Day_AnalogForecast

8/17/1976-Tropical Storm Dottie makes landfall on South Florida and South Carolina. Many areas recorded 4 to 8 inches of rain with 10.68 inches in Fort Lauderdale. Four people lost their life from the storm. Hurricane Belle made landfall on Long Island, New York as a Category 1 hurricane on August 10. The storm did $100 million and claimed 12 lives.
8/25/1961-Southeast Texas closes August 1961 with rain everyday from summer thunderstorms. Hurricane Carla makes landfall near Port O’Connor on September 11th as a large Category 3/4 hurricane. Gusts as high as 175 mph are recorded with 19 inches of rain. 43 people lose their life from massive storm surge of 22 feet.
8/3/1991 & 8/9/1991-Hurricane Bob forms on August 16th ans skirts Outer Banks of North Carolina and becomes a Category 3 hurricane. Bob brushes Long Island and makes landfall near Newport, Rhode Island as a Category 2 hurricane. Than it makes a second landfall near Rockport, Maine, as a Tropical Storm. Bob does $1.5 billion in damages and claims 17 lives throughout the East Coast.
8/21/1981-Tropical Depression Eight makes landfall and dumps heavy rain on Texas and Oklahoma. Up to 21 inches of rain fell in 24 hours in Pine Springs, Texas. 5 people died from flooding.
8/7/1995 & 8/8/1991-Hurricane Erin first affects the Bahamas as a Tropical Storm and Category 1 hurricane. Than makes landfall on Vero Beach, Florida as a Category 1 hurricane. It enters the Gulf of Mexico as a Tropical Storm and intensifies into a Category 2 hurricane before it hits Fort Walton, Florida. Erin does $700 million in damages and claims 13 lives.

Many of those analog dates I mentioned had a tropical system make landfall on America. Does this mean it will happen in the next 6 to 10 days? No. We are entering the more active phase of the season. If something tropical that develops could make landfall on America. The forecast also suggests rain could return for Texas by next week.

Now, let’s look at the 8 to 14 day analog forecast.

20150803_8To14Day_AnalogForecast

8/23/2005 & 8/28/2005-Hurricane Katrina forms over Bahamas on August 23rd. Than makes landfall on South Florida on August 25th as a Category 1 hurricane. It enters the Gulf of Mexico as a Tropical Storm. From there, it undergoes rapid intensification as it gets stronger. On August 28th, Katrina is a Category 5 hurricane with 175 mph winds and central pressure of 902 millibars and heading towards New Orleans. Katrina makes landfall as a Category 3 hurricane on South Louisiana and Mississippi. The hurricane produces massive storm surge of over 30 feet! The same storm surge floods New Orleans and surrounding area. Many thousands are evacuated before and after the hurricane. The hurricane claims 1,836 lives and does $125 billion in damages, the most costliest natural disaster in America to date.
8/7/1998-Tropical Storm Charley forms on August 21st and makes landfall on near Corpus Christi, Texas on August 23rd as a weak tropical storm after intensifying as a strong tropical storm. Del Rio sees heavy rain from what was Charley on August 24th. Over 17 inches of rain fell in Del Rio, setting an all time record.
7/31/1991 & 8/8/1991-Hurricane Bob forms on August 16th ans skirts Outer Banks of North Carolina and becomes a Category 3 hurricane. Bob brushes Long Island and makes landfall near Newport, Rhode Island as a Category 2 hurricane. Than it makes a second landfall near Rockport, Maine, as a Tropical Storm. Bob does $1.5 billion in damages and claims 17 lives throughout the East Coast.
8/12/1953-Hurricane Barbara makes landfall on Cape Hatteras, North Carolina on August 13th as a Category 2 hurricane. Many areas see 5 to 10 inches of rain from Barbara with winds of 50 to 80 mph. Barbara claims 9 lives.

Like the 6 to 10 day analog forecast, something tropical happens. Two dates are infamous and they are in 2005. It is Hurricane Katrina, which happened ten years ago this month. Wow, I remember that nasty storm like yesterday. It was all over the news. It was the second disaster to claim over thousands of lives in America. The other being 9/11, which claimed 3,000 lives.

Even though we are in El Nino, do not let your guards down. It only takes one, like in the case with Hurricane Bob in 1991. That occurred with a developing El Nino, which became a strong Modoki El Nino.

Bill In Review And Forecast For June 21, 2015

20150616_02L_VIS_1955Z

We are now officially in Summer. The days are starting to get slowly shorter each day. Of course, it feels hot as it is Summer. Meanwhile, Southeast Texas got hit by Tropical Storm Bill last week. Some areas got a lot of rain, while others did not. It is the first time that a tropical cyclone made landfall on Texas coast since Ike in 2008. Well, Texas felt Hurricane Alex and Tropical Storm Hermine in 2010 and dried out Tropical Storm Don in 2011.

20150622_7Day_Rainfall_Total

The areas closer to the center of Bill got more rain. Some areas got nearly 20 inches of rain in the past 7 days as seen in the map! The areas northwest of Houston got a lot of rain as well in part due to Bill. Houston area got 2 to 6 inches of rain. Isolated areas got as much as 12 inches of rain.

With Bill gone, how is this week to next week going to fare? There are various ways to look at it. If we just use this week, we can use a surface map produced by the Weather Prediction Center (WPC).

20150622_WPC_SFC_CONUS_3to7Days

It shows a unusual summer cold front heading towards Houston by the weekend. Depending on where it goes over, someone could see thunderstorms fire up along the boundary. It just one forecast method use. Another is the analog upper air pattern. It goes up to 14 days. Let’s start with 6 to 10 days analog forecast.

20150622_6To10Day_AnalogForecast

7/2/2006-Southeast Texas has a wet Independence Day week.
7/2/1972-Hurricane Agnes ravages the Eastern US with strong winds and flooding. Many areas see 6 to 12 inches of rain with as much as 19 inches of rain in western Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania on 6/19 to 6/24.
7/1/1998-Galveston sees heavy rain on 6/28-29 from a tropical wave. Galveston: 11.64″; Bush Intercontinental: 0.62″; Hobby: 1.82″. Galveston records its wettest 6/28 (6.90″) and 6/29 (4.74″).
6/27/1987-Houston area sees rain from 6/29 to 7/2. Four day totals are Bush Intercontinental: 2.46″; Hobby: 3.98″; Galveston: 2.80″.
7/10/1961-Southeast Texas sees a wet July. Houston officially sees its wettest 7/9 of 2.39″. Hobby also sees its wettest 7/9 of 2.42″.
7/11/2007-Southeast Texas sees a wet July. Upper Texas Coast has second wettest July after 1900 of 12.29″.
7/10/1952-Galveston sees it wettest 7/17 of 4.91″.
6/26/2004-Texas is in midst of a wet June. June 2004 was the wettest month for Texas prior to May 2015.

Looking at those analog dates, this bodes a wet one for Texas. In the mean time, let’s look at 8 to 14 day analog forecast.

20150622_8To14Day_AnalogForecast

6/27/2006 & 7/2/2006-Southeast Texas has a wet Independence Day week.
7/11/1952-Galveston sees it wettest 7/17 of 4.91″.
6/30/1998-Galveston sees heavy rain on 6/28-29 from a tropical wave. Galveston: 11.64″; Bush Intercontinental: 0.62″; Hobby: 1.82″. Galveston records its wettest 6/28 (6.90″) and 6/29 (4.74″).
6/20/2004 & 6/26/2004-Texas is in midst of a wet June. June 2004 was the wettest month for Texas prior to May 2015.
7/2/1972-Hurricane Agnes ravages the Eastern US with strong winds and flooding. Many areas see 6 to 12 inches of rain with as much as 19 inches of rain in western Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania on 6/19 to 6/24.
6/28/1987-Houston area sees rain from 6/29 to 7/2. Four day totals are Bush Intercontinental: 2.46″; Hobby: 3.98″; Galveston: 2.80″.

The 8 to 14 day analog forecast is mainly similar to the 6 to 10 day analog forecast. This suggest this week to next week is going to be a wet one for Texas. I suspect this summer will be a wet and cool one.