1800Z 04 DEC 2013 ATLANTIC SURFACE ANALYSIS
SOURCES: OPC NHC WPC
The National Hurricane Center this low pressure a 0% chance of becoming a subtropical or tropical storm. It has drifted to colder ocean waters and to increasing wind shear that makes it unlikely to become a named storm. Nevertheless, anyone attempting transatlantic travel in a small craft should be aware that there are some winds gusting to 60 mph in this system.
Our 2013 hurricane season ended leaning towards El Nino, but Pacific waters did not warm soon enough, nor long enough, for a real El Nino. Nevertheless, this tendency probably contributed to the upper level wind shear, that combined with a dry atmosphere, to cause the potential for storm development to collapse towards the end of the hurricane season.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
A QUIET HURRICANE SEASON CAME TO AN END!
Fortunately, this year’s hurricane season has been a good one for a change. It was the first season with no Major Hurricanes since 1994, and this year had the fewest hurricanes in 31 years (1982).
When the next hurricane season begins on June 1, 2014, I will be fully retired from my 52-year career with WJXT. As a meteorologist, I could never escape the weather because it always followed me everywhere I went. Now that the internet, forecast models, and computer graphics have such a good handle on weather changes, I’m ready to turn the job over to my younger colleagues at WJXT.
After an early Thanksgiving morning inland freeze in northeast Florida and southeast Georgia, chilly northeast ocean breezes blow a few showers toward the Florida east coast. Meanwhile, a low pressure in the open Atlantic Ocean has only a 10% chance of developing into a subtropical or tropical storm over the next 5 days.
A polar high pressure system from Canada approaching the Atlantic seaboard is causing Nor’easter conditions along our coast this week. The westerlies are dipping southward over the western Atlantic Ocean. This will carry Tropical Storm Melissa eastward over colder water causing it to dissipate this weekend.
Most conversation about global warming seems to be centered on human-induced carbon emissions. In my study of meteorology, I learned about the complexities of the earth’s heat balance. The primary source of heat comes from the sun and it has not been constant during the earth’s history.
It is well documented that climate cooled in the centuries around 1600 AD during the Maunder minimum sunspot event. I confess I don’t know what our climate will be when my grandchildren reach my age. They may see a cooler climate with some occurrences of snow in north Florida, or they may see citrus trees growing in the Carolinas.
As a meteorologist, my focus has been on our weather. I am not necessarily interested in numbers, such as the data and computer models. My mind wanders into what’s beyond what we know. That’s why I’m showing the Sunspot cycle. Ever since my days of learning Science in Lake Shore Junior High School, and Physics and Chemistry in Jacksonville’s Robert E. Lee High School, wanted to learn more about the world we live in.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, better known as NOAA, says it best. http://www.noaa.gov/about-noaa.html Using science they say their reach goes from the surface of the sun to the depths of the ocean floor working to keep citizens informed of the changing environment around them.
The extremely powerful Typhoon HAIYAN that struck the Philippines was spawned by the large amount of heat energy stored in the equatorial waters of the Pacific. With an absence of a cooler and drier surroundings, HAIYAN steamed like a runaway train until it crashed into the Philippine Islands.
The nearest equivalent environment in the Atlantic Basin is the waters of the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico. The tropical easterlies are part of the conveyor belt that transports equatorial heat t the Yucatan area. The Gulf Stream is an extension of this belt creating a threat of a Cat 5 hurricane along the Gulf Coast and the southeast coast of the U.S.
While the intensity of hurricanes is labeled by its peak winds, the death toll and destruction is largely caused by the storm surge and flood waters. According to my 50 years of experience in studying these storm, I find it hard to believe that the Jacksonville area could be struck by a hurricane stronger than Cat 4. That would be catastrophic because of all of our crashing trees and flying debris. But a more deadly effect would be the inland flooding combined with the storm surge, and there is some uncertainty about how extreme that would be.
The National Hurricane Center has pointed out that Storm Surge is not directly related to the peak winds of a hurricane. Other factors such as the angle the storm strikes the coast, the shape of the shore line, the slope of the continental shelf, and the excess or lack of rainfall can be unique to each hurricane situation.
The best advice I can give is to pay attention to the advise of the National Weather Service, your county Emergency Operation Centers, and the latest reports on WJXT Channel 4 when a hurricane threatens our area. Fortunately half of the hurricanes remain at seas, and the chance of one striking here is less than most other coastal cities. Remember that the weather is not set in concrete. It can be extremely volatile. When it comes to hurricanes, be prepared to expect the unexpected!